Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:He broke the law (according to court) (Score 1) 250

It's also well documented that the lead investigator working on the Pirate Bay case, was hired by Warner Brothers during the investigation, and started his job there the day after the investigation was concluded. Once again, he admitted it publicly. It's also a well-documented fact that the public prosecutor initially decided to not prosecute the Pirate Bay, because he didn't consider what they did (publish links to copyrighted material) to be illegal according to Swedish law. US diplomats had a talk with the Swedish government and demanded they do something about the Pirate Bay problem (publicly admitted). After that, the Swedish justice minister had a talk with the public prosecutor about the problem with pirate sites (again, publicly admitted). The public prosecutor then, by pure coincidence, changed his mind and decided to prosecute Pirate Bay after all. This was a minor scandal when it was revealed in Swedish newspapers (and the Cablegate papers, which are even more incriminating, hadn't even been released at that time).

I'm pretty sure Bodström never admitted publicly to telling a prosecutor what to do, as that would be quite blatantly illegal. He was investigated for that and denied it. But more importantly:
Let's pretend every single thing you say - the usual defense presented by TPB defenders - is absolutely true. The fact remains that none of this says proves anything at all about whether TPB actually were guilty or not. It's pure misdirection. Talk about everything but the actual ruling, or the legal issues at stake. You're looking for bias in the judge's affiliations and connections - but what about his actual words, reasoning and ruling? (A ruling which was confirmed by higher courts!)

The fact remains: The Pirate Bay guys were repeatedly found guilty. Not of copyright infringement, but of being an accessory to criminal copyright infringment. Now the law here is unambiguous - criminal copyright infringment is punishable by prison, and you can be sentenced as an accessory to any crime severe enough to result in a prison sentence. The magnitude of copyright infringement conducted through TPB's trackers clearly was on a criminal scale. They knew this. They were knowingly and deliberately aiding and facilitating that infringement. Not only that, they were making a good deal of money off of it. They never did anything in the slightest to hide these facts. They didn't make any efforts at all to stop it - or even pretend to try.

They thought - obviously - that they were in the clear as long as they themselves weren't distributing any copyrighted material. And they were cleared of all such charges. And the prosecution did prove, in the eyes of the court, that they were behind the site, or they wouldn't have been convicted. They had (among other evidence) e-mails between them talking about the money they were bringing in.

The judge was investigated for - and cleared of- those allegations of undue influence. Bodström was investigated for, and cleared of, those allegations of ministerial rule. The only people not cleared here was the Pirate Bay guys - because they were pretty obviously guilty of what they were charged of. But rather than man-up to the fact that maybe they weren't as clever as they thought they were, and that their own interpretation of the law didn't hold, they just continue to point fingers at everyone else. It's all the fault of the RIAA, the USA, corrupt judges and politicians, yadda yadda.

The Pirate Bay was found guilty of aiding and abetting copyright infringment. Because that's what they were doing. You know it, I know it, the court knows it and the defendants know it. This whole conspiracy theorizing is a lousy attempt to draw attention away from this obvious fact. They ultimately have nobody but themselves to blame here. Just because Slashdotters think TPB should be legal, doesn't make it so.

Comment Re:Sweden seems to have problem with justice syste (Score 4, Insightful) 250

These arrests must have been influenced/initiated/forced by politicians.

Because it's just unthinkable that someone sentenced for a crime could be extradited for it? And Assange's case is even more ridiculous. So was it political pressure that made the district attorney _drop_ the case, only for that decision to be successfully appealed by the women's representative? And given that the women and their legal representative are members of the opposition, are they working across the isle on this, too? You're living in a crazy fantasy.

In a healthy country, justice system is independent

But only if they're doing what you want, right? Because Assange doesn't think so. He thinks the Swedish government should provide guarantees he won't be extradited to the USA, despite the fact that this is a decision the courts would make. He's asking for the Swedish executive to tell the judicial what to do.

Comment Re:This is not about TPB, possibly WikiLeaks (Score 1) 250

he is being held on terrorism charges not related to TPB

No, he's not being held on any kind of terrorism charges, nor do your links say that either. It says he's being held by the Cambodian interior ministry's "counter terrorism department", for whatever reason. Sweden is however seeking Svartholm for questioning on additional charges related to hacking into tax records, which is a case that's been developing for a few months, with several other arrests.

Peter Sunde, a TPB founder, seems to think that it is related to the fact that Svartholm's company used to host WikiLeaks.

Well, that would apparently be wrong. And a stupid gues as well. Why would they go after him now for his company formerly hosting them? Especially since they're currently hosted by the Swedish ISP Bahnhof?

Comment Re:Conspiracy or not (Score 4, Informative) 250

In the Assange case there are so many strange facts that the burden of proof has been shifted.

Why are these "strange facts" then only apparent to ardent Wikileaks supporters, with no working knowledge of Sweden or the Swedish legal system, and a quite selective and distorted set of 'facts'? It'd be a huge scandal (and a violation of the constitution, et cetera) if his prosecution was actually "ordered" at the political/cabinet level. But there isn't one. Now either you could conclude that Swedes don't know what's going on in their country as well as you do, or you could perhaps wonder if you've gotten the whole picture.

It's not like the Swedish administration isn't hiring an ex Bush administration official

They're not. What happened was that two years ago, Rove visited Sweden for a few days, invited by some TV-production company. In 2008 he also visited a few days on the invitation of a Swedish right-wing think-tank. (and prior to that, he'd been in the country some time during the 1980) Without any evidence or justification, that got turned into him an unusubstantiated claim he was 'consulting' for Reinfeldt, from this American left-winger in Sweden, Brian Palmer. Which was then picked up by Amy Goodman (also revealing that Sweden has a big munitions industry. Who knew? Well, everyone in Sweden at least) From there, it becomes a source for your Huffington Post story. Where's the actual evidence?
There's pretty good reason to ask for the evidence, because the Swedish right-wing is substantially to the left of even most Democrats in the US. (true of Europe in general but Sweden in particular) Swedish PM Reinfeldt (who's a centrist within his own party) made no secret of supporting Obama in 2008. Perhaps more importantly, they wouldn't have any good reason to hire Rove as a consultant in the first place. He has no in-depth knowledge of Swedish politics, society or political culture. He simply wouldn't have any useful advice to give, either on policy or strategy. It's absurd. Rove would be as useless to Reinfeldt as Reinfeldt would be in advising Romney. Add to that, the reason why the Reinfeldt won in 2010 wasn't because they used any dirty, 'Rovian' tactics. Anyone who knows Sweden will tell you why they won: Because the Social Democrats were lead by Mona Sahlin, the least popular leader of that party in living memory (with the possible exception of her short-lived successor Juholt, who never saw an election campaign). Of course, if you believe Julian Assange, he's claimed to have 'cables' (e.g. Rolling Stone interview last January), showing that Rove is the best-buddy of Swedish foreign minister Bildt, and Bildt has also worked as a "CIA informant". Said cables have failed to materialize since. (which wouldn't be the first time Assange talked about leaks that never turned up, btw).

In this case it's just a ridiculous example of post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc. Sweden's been giving aid to Cambodia to decades. This aid deal was has been in the works for months if not years (and publicized quite a long time ago). There's nothing unusual about it at all. It's also absurd to think any country would pay that kind of money to get back someone who'd been sentenced to one year in prison (and for a non-violent crime as well). This guy is far from the only Swedish fugitive in the world, and far from the "Most Wanted" as well. On top of all that: There's no real reason at all why Cambodia would actually refuse to hand him over in the first place! Lack of an extradition treaty has never meant they won't extradite you. (Given that he's apparently fallen into some heavy drug abuse now, they may well be glad to get rid of him)

Comment That's false. (Score 2) 430

This is pretty well documented in Hadith, an important source of Islamic knowledge for every interpretation of Islam as far as I know.

Not true. Different Islamic groups follow different sets of Hadith, and don't attribute the same importance to all of them either. There's no agreement on which ones should be followed, or even trusted at all, much less how they should be interpreted. In Christian terms, they're Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha.

Add to that there's the whole school of Quranism, which completely rejects all Hadith and holds the Quran as the only canonical text.

Comment Very true (Score 2) 542

Also worth mentioning are guys like Ferraris (3-phase), Ferranti (transformers) and Dolivo-Dobrovsky (first complete AC demo system). In practical terms there's also Decker (who built a commercial AC system in Calfiornia before Tesla/Westinghouse's Niagara facility) and WenstrÃm (who built one in Sweden before Niagara and founded ASEA, now ABB - the world's biggest manufacturer of power-transmission systems).

It's rather ironic that there's this cult of Tesla that's arisen around the myth that he's an unappreciated genius in Edison's shadow, when in fact that same hagiography ends up giving Tesla credit for things that many other people had independently developed earlier or concurrently. So many people were working on that stuff in the 1880s that it's virtually impossible to actually figure out who really did what first.

The whole 'War of the Currents' is also a US-centric narrative, as it was mainly an affair that concerned the American northeast. If Edison had 'won', it still wouldn't have had any impact on the adoption of AC power in Europe.

Comment Re:Good post (Score 1) 430

A lot of extreme sects confuse a core religion with their own local behaviour. The Taliban, for instance, seem to have adopted the more backward practices of some Arab nomadic tribes

Your point is correct, but the specifics are wrong. The Taliban are known to promote a lot of specifically Pashtun traditions and rules as "Islamic" dogma. The Pashtuns aren't Arabs.

Comment Re:Wayland vs X (Score 5, Insightful) 315

Why? What part of "legacy code" automatically means "toss [it] out"?

He didn't say everything that's legacy should "automatically" be thrown out. But X has a huge amount of cruft nobody uses anymore. Nobody actually writes towards Xlib, they use a toolkit. Nobody uses the orignal font functionality and descriptors, the bitmap fonts, the pixel-based rendering primitives, the image system that has no less than three different ways of storing an image (ximage, xpixbuf, xpixmap), that distinguish drawable and non-drawable images, depending on where they're stored. Et cetera. It's not thread-safe either.

Nobody is using the core X functionality, it's all outdated and largely replaced. The one redeeming feature of X - the network transparency, isn't that 'transparent' (again, the API distinguishes server-side and client-side stuff). Nor does it support modern stuff like drag-and-drop, and cut-and-paste has always been inconsistent (highlight-middle-click not being the same as the desktop or application's cut-and-paste buffer). Since nobody's using the core libraries anymore, the network transparency in X mostly consists of it passing events and bitmaps back and forth, something a simpler protocol like VNC can do just as well if not better.

In short, people don't need any of the things that are unique to X, and the things people actually use X for can be done better without it. It's a big load of cruft that exists for backwards-compatibility purposes only. Which is why it's entirely the correct decision to dump X11 and relegate X11 support to a compatbility library, so we don't need to have stuff held back and complicated by these legacy designs.

Comment Re:Queue the screams of hysteria (Score 0, Flamebait) 195

Here's how it works in reality: many fjords are home to commercial fishing and aquaculture. All those species are adapted to cold water and don't do well in warm water. What happens if a data center warms the water around the effluent by a couple of degrees? Cold-water fish, shrimp, clams move away and the people who depend on them have to move with them. It's probably fine if there's just one data center in the Fjord, and the warming is highly localized. maybe a few hundred square meter of surface area. But what if there's more? What if there are ten data centers in the Fjord? Or other industries in need of cooling? Suddenly the entire fjord warms, and it's not only the fish, shrimp and clams that are gone, but the livelihood of the people in the area.

Except that's not reality. That's your own speculative fantasy. A retarded one. If fish couldn't handle a few degrees warmer water, they'd die in the summer. Also: The water is not vented to the same thermocline it came from.

In any case, reality is what research and empirical evidence says it is, not what you can imagine and think is plausible. It so happens that there's been decades of research in Norway's neighbor, Sweden, on the environmental effects of the major-river's-worth of 10 C heated cooling water, which the three Forsmark nuclear reactors put out into an enclosed basin in the Baltic. That's far more than an entire district-cooling network would put out. In fact, one of the Forsmark reactors alone puts out more waste heat than the 30-something district-cooling grids that already exist in Sweden.

The results of the research, performed by the government agency for fisheries (not the nuclear industry) actually indicates that, on balance, fish growth is actually promoted, as are many other species of birds etc.

Yeah, life is full of grey and subtilities and hard decisions that aren't black and white. Sorry to disappoint you.

Sorry to dissappoint you: But one of those subtleties is that speculation is not a substitute for actual study, and that those "subtilities" you speak of should include the possibility that environmental impact can actually be a net positive.

Comment You don't know what you're talking about. (Score 1) 250

There's nothing about the _religion_ here. Nobody's being denied the right to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.

What happened here was that an ad-hoc religious _organization_ was denied the right to be considered a religious organization in the legal sense. Contrary to what people here are blindly asserting, that does not give them any tax benefits in addition to the ones you already have as a non-profit (which is a prerequisite for becoming a recognized religious organization). It just changes some purely legal/organizational aspects and liabilities.

And the requirements to qualify here is, in the simplest possible terms, that it's a serious organization. That it has a substantial membership, a clear charter, an elected board, organized finances and has exhibited a certain 'permanence'. The "age of the fantasy" is **not** relevant, even though you claim it is. But the age of the organization **is** relevant.

It's got nothing to do with what they believe or whether or not they actually believe it, and everything to do with whether or not they're a serious organization. The law was written more or less specifically with the intent of stopping people from registering merely as a joke. And the letter of the law is being followed here.

Comment Re:Quantum Theory is not relevant (Score 5, Informative) 729

There is no reason to think that quantum physics has anything to do with the nature of conciousness. It is not useful to explain free will, or the illusion of free will, of the qualia of objects, or the steadyness of perception on a background of constantly varying spike rates in the brain.

Quantum chemist here (my username's a hint at that), and I couldn't agree more. I fight against this nonsense all the time.. You'd think that if there was anything to it, we'd be all over it - since explaining chemistry and biochemistry in terms of quantum mechanics is exactly what we do. But nope, I don't know anybody in the field who thinks those ideas have any merit whatsoever. (And let's just point out that as merited a guy Penrose is, he's not a quantum chemist, and more a mathematician than a physicist. His main area of expertise is topology, which has applications in cosmology but is totally unrelated to this area)

It breaks down like this: Electrons in atoms and molecules behave entirely quantum-mechanically. It's why QM was invented in the first place. Since chemical properties are the result of how the electrons behave, all of chemistry is intrinsically quantum-mechanical in some sense.

However: Molecules as a whole do not act quantum-mechanically. They move about according to classical mechanics - and that's how we model them physically too. Because once things get as heavy as an atomic nucleus (save for hydrogen, under some circumstances), their quantum 'uncertainty' in position etc is so small that it's chemically insignificant. So you need QM to describe how two atoms are bonded, but classical mech does a good job of describing how the molecules as a whole bounce around.

So the question is: Are there 'non-trivial' quantum effects in biology? I.e. ones that aren't explainable in terms of 'ordinary' chemistry (which is still ultimately quantum-mechanical). There are a few examples, such as magnetoreception in birds, and energy transfer during some photosynthetic processes. But: despite a lot of the hype surrounding them, these things are still dealing with individual, sub-atomic particles. They don't cast any doubt on 'conventional wisdom' that QM phenomena don't happen at the biological scale. There's nothing in the cell that depends on the actions of a single small molecule, or a single chemical reaction, or anything that's small enough to act quantum-mechanically.

The physics here doesn't make sense (Penrose's ideas in particular don't even hinge on established QM, but rather his own speculative ideas about quantum gravity.. of all things), we have every reason to believe you wouldn't have quantum phenomena at that scale in that environment, and no reason to believe otherwise. The chemistry doesn't make sense, as there's basically nothing hitherto found in biochemistry that doesn't fit into established chemistry. (Which isn't to say biochem hasn't expanded the boundaries of established chemistry, but it hasn't changed the foundations at all) And the biology doesn't really make sense, as cells are not built anything like Geiger counters, sitting in a labile state waiting for a single sub-atomic event to trigger them.

Finally, the philosophy doesn't really add up either. The quantum-consciousness people seem to have an agenda along the lines of 1) QM is non-deterministic 2) If the brain's higher functions rely directly on QM processes, then the brain is non-deterministic 3) That nondeterminism means we have free will.
Little of that makes sense to me. (1) is in fact a matter of which interpretation of QM you choose, and ultimately a question of metaphysics, since any non-deterministic theory could be postulated to be the result of a deterministic underlying 'reality' (as is the case with the Bohm interpretation of QM), or vice-versa. (2) is unwarranted speculation and (3) especially doesn't make much sense to me, since the philosophical question of 'free will' tends to hinge on whether or not you control your actions, and I don't see how you're more in control if everything's random than if everything's predetermined. (also 'predetermined' and 'predictable' don't mean the same thing; something may be deterministic but impossible to predict, even in principle, because the theory may limit what you can know about the system. Again the case with some interpretations of QM)

TL;DR: Yup, a bunch of bunk.

Comment Re:The cloud? (Score 1) 253

Do we really need to bring buzzwords like the cloud into this?

Well let's see.. the guy who said it is...

vice president of global strategy

Ah well there you are. He's a VP. So yes, I believe he really does need to bring buzzwords into everything. He's probably contractually obligated to.

Slashdot Top Deals

The bogosity meter just pegged.