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Comment Re:The question is whether copyright should exist (Score 2) 377

Copyright exists to address the free rider problem. If you wish to do away with copyright you need to come up with an alternative for dealing with the free rider problem.

No it doesn't. Copyright exists for only one reason: to create an environment where people will create more content. It's all about the benefit to society, not about the creator "getting what he deserves". Whatever definition of copyright creates the "best" society is the optimum definition. More liberal copyright rules promote wider use of material, but more restrictive rule promote more creation of material. A balance must be struck, but there are no sacred cows. If it turns out the best balance exists when all books can be copied without any payment to anyone, then so be it... not that I think that's the right model. I'm nearly certain that a balanced copyright system would allow a lot of free riders and still promote plenty of content creation. Michelangelo was funded by the Medici family (among others), even though there was no copyright law to compel them to pay him.

Comment Re: My view? (Score 1) 377

But what about those "tell-all" books written by someone trying to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame? Think of the loss to the world if those stop getting written.

On a more serious note, you would be surprised how many people are unable to think beyond the writer-paid-by-the-publisher business model..

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 377

Creators of music have realized that the sale of recorded music won't be their primary source of income at some point in the future, so they now stress concerts and merchandise (and have been moving in this direction for a long time). Authors are going to have to find a place in a world where book distribution is frictionless. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm not in favor of creating legislation that props up their old business model until they are settled into a new one.

This isn't an idle question. Propping up today's business model delays the Star Trek like future of free access to information. There's no technical reason this future can't happen soon, but it will require society to find a way to entice people to write. Ebook lending and resale sounds like a good first step in the right direction to me.

Comment Re:What's particularly fishy... (Score 1) 144

I saw those instructions and it did make it a bit more reliable. However, I still have workouts where the HR goes off a cliff after 20 minutes or so. I generally know it happened when I push the button and the summary says my average HR was around 100, but my entire shirt is completely soaked with sweat. As for stride, this usually happens to me on a stationary bike. I make enough wind to not get soaked with sweat if I'm moving. But on a bike, I sweat enough to have two small puddles under where I'm holding the hand grips.

Comment Re:What's particularly fishy... (Score 1) 144

They also seem to hate sweat. When I work out on a stationary bike, my Charge HR records my heart rate slowly rising up until I start perspiring heavily. Once my wrist is wet, the heart rate reading plummets by about 30 bpm and stays low for the rest of the workout. The rate seems to lock onto the pedal speed as the RPM displayed on the bike is almost identical to the heart rate being recorded. When I run it sometimes locks onto my foot strikes instead of heartbeats.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me. I find value in the resting heart rate readings I get from my fitbit and those seem to be accurate. I don't use peak heart rate for any meaningful purpose, I run whatever speed I can maintain. I find my Garmin ForeRunner as a much more useful tool during running because keeping a steady pace is much more important to me than getting my heart at the right rate.

Comment Re:It's Sad That Direct Ads Work (Score 1) 305

You want them stopped so that source is gone.

I never said I want them stopped, I said it's sad that they work. In my ideal world, drug companies would simply stop making ads because they wouldn't result in increased sales. Everyone who should be on their stuff would already be on it, and no one who shouldn't be on it would start taking it.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

Makes sense... why would driving a few mph faster lead to more accidents? I have no idea why so many people think going over the speed limit is so dangerous. Compare to the insane level of "unsafeness" of other behaviors like driving through the middle of a red light (not the first two seconds that red light cameras collect money for).

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 2) 200

Speeding fines were set back in the days when it required a cop to catch them. The fines were considered fair back then. Deterrent math works out like this:

Deterrent factor = (Likelihood of getting caught) X (fine when caught)

Another reason for fines might be to pay for the cost the society must bear for the fallout from the transgression. This math works out to:

Money available to fix mess = (fine amount) - (cost of catching and processing violators)

In both cases, automating the process of issuing speeding tickets should result in lower fines. If the fine is being used as a deterrent, the likelihood of being caught went up, so the deterrent capability of a given fine amount is greater. If the fine is being used to compensate society, automation should reduce the cost, therefore reducing the amount that needs to be collected.

Here's where your attitude comes in: if the fine amount was acceptable twenty years ago, then it is outrageous in areas with cameras. We should all be fighting against them.

Another thing - these traps don't actually work so well. Violators have much less recourse to address mistakes in the system, and every time someone looks into one of these systems, they are rife with mistakes. Also, they tend to hit the same people over and over again. If they put a camera on your path from home to work, you are thousands of times more likely to be caught than if your path to work didn't happen to go by a camera. Where to put them is a political process, not an engineering process, so it is always abused. Also, going ten mph over the speed limit doesn't raise reduce road safety very much. Almost all of these tickets are bureaucratic victories, not safety victories. Finally, because the same people tend to get hit over and over again, there has been a recent trend of people simply letting the state take their license instead of paying the fines. Once they are driving without a license, there is really not much to hold over them. It's either let them go or put them in jail. Letting them go is admitting that the fines aren't worth it, and jailing them costs way more than the societal cost of speeding was in the first place, so everybody loses.

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