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Comment Radicalize the masses (Score 1) 386

What an unbelievably stupid strategy, Go after people who downloaded a bad Hollywood movie and you'll end up radicalizing a bunch of average folks. This kind of strategy will do nothing to the most active (or most political( file sharers out there.

If these people think that the mass lawsuits will deter other people from downloading movies, then they don't understand that the RIAA has been pursuing that strategy for years without success. In fact, internally at the RIAA around 8 years ago, they had decided to pursue the mass lawsuit strategy as a last ditch tactic in a war they knew they had lost. They also had to go through the motions in order to show their clients that "they were doing something." They understood that the file-sharing wars were over and industry had lost.

The RIAA was hoping that the news media would cover the lawsuits and this coverage would scare average users into not file sharing. This approach may have worked back in the 1980s with cassette taping, but that was only because most people got their news from a few sources. These days, large segments of the population don't even follow the news. The RIAA lawsuits might get a story here or there on some TV news, but few people watch any of those news reports. And the average viewer of traditional network news is an older person and more likely not to be involved with file sharing.


Rogue Brown Dwarf Lurks In Our Cosmic Neighborhood 188

astroengine writes "The UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii has discovered a lone, cool brown dwarf called UGPSJ0722-05. As far as sub-stellar objects go, this is a strange one. For starters, it's the coolest brown dwarf ever discovered (and astronomers using the UKIRT should know; they are making a habit of finding cool brown dwarfs). Secondly, it's close. In fact, it's the closest brown dwarf to Earth, at a distance of only 10 light years. And thirdly, it has an odd spectroscopic signature, leading astronomers to think that this might be the discovery of a whole new class of brown dwarf."

DR Congo Ring May Be Giant Impact Crater 96

Phrogman writes "The BBC is reporting that deforestation has 'revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, scientists say. The 36-46km-wide feature, identified in DR Congo, may be one of the largest such structures discovered in the last decade.' If you search Google Maps for 'Omeonga Democratic Republic of the Congo,' you will be right in the middle of the suspected crater."

Comment Stop the blinking and spinning! (Score 1) 1051

My friends and I have run a popular news site for over a decade with no advertising. It's possible to run a site while relying on a non-advertising revenue model. It's not easy and our content could be better, but folks are ridiculous when they whine about people not looking at their ads.

I've run ad-blocking plug-ins on my Firefox browser for years. If a site like Ars Technica disabled my ability to see their site, I'd just get that news from elsewhere.

One of the main reasons why I start using ad-blocking software was because of the ads that animate, blink, and otherwise do anything other than being static. I can't read some damn article if ads are doing stuff in my peripheral vision. And if the moving ads are blocked, I can also tune out the other ads, until the time when I'm actually thinking about buying something.

Comment Whatever! (Score 1) 849

My anarchist friends are having a hoot over the stupidity of this law. One anarchist organization is already circulating a letter to South Carolina explaining why they won't be registering.

Somebody pointed out that the law as written is so vague that it actually mandates that the Democratic and Republican parties in South Carolina must register, since they are in favor of "controlling" and "conducting" the U.S. government. Are the Tea Party folks going to register, because they are advocating the ouster of President Obama?

Comment Google will fail (Score 1) 197

This is going to go down as one of Google's biggest missteps, which these ginormous tech corporations always make when their egos get the best of them. People are not going to leave Facebook en masse and start using Google's social media for one basic reason: Facebook has the critical mass. Everybody is using Facebook. Anybody using Facebook instinctively understands this, as they connect with old classmates, friends and relatives. Facebook has become the virtual equivalent of our daily face-to-face lives. Facebook is the best pplace to find out about events that your friends are attending. It offers easy-to-use chat (when it isn't buggy) and email. I recently switched to a Gmail account, which I like, but I still use Facebook for most of my social messaging with friends and family.

Google's service would have to offer some killer app over Facebook to overcome this critical mass factor. Many of us left Myspace for Facebook, because Facebook was easier to use and didn't have all the crap that Myspace had, including all of the horrible page design customization.

Many people will argue that people are motivated to leave Facebook because of Facebook's privacy issues. I have several friends who are paranoid and upset about FB's privacy mess, but face it, most people just don't care that much about tweaking their privacy settings. That's why *social* media has exploded in popularity, because most people want to share things publicly and have open social lives. Facebook's privacy settings are adequate for the majority of FB users. Those folks who are concerned with privacy and security are going to be equally skeptical of Google, which everybody knows is primarily a data-mining business.

Comment Clueless (Score 1) 753

This guy just doesn't get human nature or economics. People will always give away their work for free, or at least volunteer on cooperative projects, even when the economy is bad. I've technically been "unemployed" for several years as a tech worker (I'm a poorly paid freelancer), but I still give away large amounts of my time and sweat equity to community projects and organizations. People aren't going to stop sharing just because of bad economic times. This article also ignores the fact that FOSS software is more important in a poor economy because it is FREE, as in free beer. If I had to pay for the software to run all of my websites and servers, I could never do what I'm doing now as a freelancer.

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