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Comment Re:One of the youngest volcanoes? (Score 1) 114

Apparently, there has been activity there for at least 850,000 years, which is not particularly young. The 1300-year interval since the last eruption is not long by geologic standards, but there are plenty of volcanoes just in the Cascades that have erupted more recently (Glacier Peak, Baker, Ranier, Hood, St. Helen's, Shasta, Medicine Lake, Lassen). So, Newberry is in the class of "recently active volcanoes", which someone probably simplified to "youngest". Not very accurate, but not terribly misleading, either.

Comment Re:Fracking is dangerous... (Score 1) 114

This Newberry Volcano we're talking about. It is active. It may have been 1300 years since the last eruption, but that's nothing for a volcano like this. They aren't drilling into the magma chamber or anything. Induced seismicity is a real thing, but I've never heard of it producing earthquakes that did more than rattle some windows and maybe knock a few pictures off the walls. This is a volcano surrounded by lava flows, so I doubt there are very many people living in the area, anyway.

Comment Manhattan unsuitable for data centers? (Score 4, Insightful) 231

Like many other posters, my first question was why were the generators on upper floors but fuel (and pumps) in the basement? And as soon as I read the answer, it was completely obvious: fire codes. Duh. Thinking of how fuel is stored elsewhere, the only other option I can think of would be storing the fuel outside the building but above potential floodwaters. Not in a place like Manhattan. The price of real estate is much too high for tank farms on stilts. And the earthquake risk in New York is non-zero, so that solution might have the same problems as the current solution. So maybe the answer is that flood-prone urban areas are just not a good place for critical data infrastructure. Is relocating major data centers out of flood-prone areas of Manhattan (and other similarly risky areas) feasible? The potential of a major flood event in Manhattan has been well-known for a long time. Much of lower Manhattan is built on landfill. Did the builders of these data centers include basement flooding + extended power outage in their risk forecasts and just decide to deal with it if it happened?

Comment Re:Why is Congress involved? (Score 1) 272

How Congress is meant to go about "securing ... the exclusive right[s]" to works is not specified. I have no reason to believe that the authors of the Constitution would have a problem with compulsory licensing (changes to which are the issue under discussion) as a means to secure these rights. Compulsory licenses have existed since 1909. As to whether particular license terms are appropriate, that is a political question, not a constitutional question.

Comment Re:This is why... (Score 1) 272

A tax is different from a royalty. The entire recording industry exists as it does today in the United States because it has the right granted by Congress under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution and various international treaties to collect royalties. This argument is about the partitioning of revenue streams between private parties, not about how much revenue should be taken and used for public purposes.

Comment Re:Sound recordings under Berne (Score 1) 272

In regard to treaties, I believe that treaties can trump US statutory law. They are considered of similar standing to the Constitution, and that is why they need ratification by the Senate. Of course, the terms of the treaty might exclude exclusively domestic production and consumption. Note, I'm not a lawyer, but this is how I understand treaties to work. They can impose all sorts of obligations on the signatory countries.

Comment Re:How can this be a law? (Score 1) 272

Copyright is inherently a restriction on the free market. Unlike physical goods, writings and recordings can be multiplied and redistributed by whoever possesses them. Copyright was originally a way to ensure authors got a cut of the revenue stream when their works were republished. Thus, publishers were required to pass on a bit of the cost of each book (and later recording) to the owner of the copyright, resulting in higher prices to the consumer. Without copyright, prices for all works would be lower, but the creators might not be inclined to produce without the compensation provided by royalties. In the United States, the power to grant copyrights was explicitly included in the Constitution and exclusively granted to Congress.

Comment Re:This is a bad thing? (Score 1) 272

I don't really care if the labels go out of business, as they are just a distribution and marketing system. But, if I want to hear new recorded music, there will need to be some system in place for compensating musicians for the time, effort, and expense of making recordings. Not all music that I and others want to hear can be recorded in a bedroom.

Comment Re:Lower prices lead ot lower income (Score 1) 272

No, but what is new is the ability to instantly listen to practically any song on demand without purchasing the song either as a track on an album or as a single. I think this is the biggest issue. Whether it's through a service like Spotify, which pays very low license fees, or the various infringing ways of obtaining music, I can now obtain a song at decent quality whenever I want at a much lower cost (free or almost free) than I could previously.

Comment Re:Why is Congress involved? (Score 1) 272

Well, regardless of whether your argument is correct about the validity of governing documents, the power to grant exclusive rights to authors is in fact given to Congress in the US Constitution in Article 1, Section 8. I guess one could argue about whether a sound recording is a "Writing" per the terms of that clause. But if you accept that the protection of sound recordings falls under the jurisdiction of Congress, then the terms of that protection would also seem to be up to Congress. This is a different issue from whether you think the particular way they are handling the issue is correct.

Comment Re:Expanding Earth Theory (Score 1) 214

Wegner identified strong evidence for continental mobility; it was then needed to find a mechanism. The mechanism was seafloor spreading and subduction, which were discovered in the post-WWII era (but hypothesized at least as early as 1928). Expanding earth has the problem that there is no evidence that the earth is expanding (as the list linked to in the parent documents).

Comment Re:Heat and movement (Score 1) 214

There's already been a bit of a pile-on here, but as others have pointed out, Wegner was not an irrational pseudoscientist. He had evidence that has withstood the test of time. I own a (badly Xeroxed) copy of a 1928 conference volume put out by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists on the topic of continental drift. There are papers pro and con. One of the "pro" papers proposes a mechanism very similar to seafloor spreading as it is known today. Until the WWII-era mapping of seafloor topography and accompanying magnetic surveys, it was impossible to verify the mechanism, but the geological and paleontological evidence for mobility was strong.

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