ExecutorElassus writes: TorrentFreak is reporting a recently released study, 'Piracy and Movie Revenues: Evidence from Megaupload', which tracked film studio revenue for a five-year span surrounding the Megaupload shutdown last January. The findings might give pause to erstwhile anti-piracy crusaders like the MPAA: while revenues from blockbusters increased slightly after the online file-locker was raided, the net change in revenues was (subtly, but noticeably) negative, dragged down by decreases in revenues from smaller releases. This 'counterintuitive result,' writes the authors, suggests that 'file-sharing acts as a mechanism to spread information about a good [film] from consumers with zero or low willingness to pay to users with high willingness to pay.'
ExecutorElassus writes: For about twenty years, scientists and policymakers have speculated at what the limit for atmospheric carbon would have to be to avoid a feedback loop that would cause widespread environmental change, mostly negative for humans. At the time, the guess was double pre-Industrial Revolution levels, which would make the limit 550ppm. Now, though, NASA Climate Expert James Hansen (whom you might remember for claiming that political appointees at NASA were censoring him) has pegged the limit at 350ppm, a much lower number. That's the limit, he argues, at which global carbon dioxide levels cause an accelerating warming trend, leading to the continuously revised estimates for when the ice caps, glaciers, etc., will melt completely, and all those scary animations Al Gore made come to pass. The catch? We're already at 383ppm, meaning that if we want to avoid the worst, Hansen argues that we should ban all new coal plants, phase out the old ones, and instate a carbon tax so high that all those tar sands and oil shale deposits stay in the ground.