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Comment Re:Protect the innocent! (Score 1) 662

I believe in free speech, I believe in libertarian values.

If you think the government should limit the freedoms of responsible adults because irresponsible adults allow minors to find their porn, booze, tobacco, guns, or drugs, perhaps you should reevaluate your belief in libertarian values.

Now, if you think this type of entertainment should not be allowed for adults to consume, that's another matter. But banning it because a child might stumble upon it is completely bogus.

Comment Re:Headstrong.mp3 (Score 1) 375

His daughter probably only wants the one song, not the whole album.

It's not DRM on the music per se, but there are indeed restrictions on distribution which forces many non-US residents to go the pirate route. As for iTunes on Linux, it's not officially supported but I supposed he could access the store using Wine to install the iTunes windows app. But again, it's more convenient to pirate if Linux users have to jump through hoops to buy music.

Comment Re:What does "help the police" mean? (Score 1) 315

20% or more of us feel its their right to download entertainment content. At what point will moral conform to public opinion? Is something wrong when 100% of the people do it? Is it wrong when 50% do it? 49%? When?

With that logic, if 99% of the population supported laws that discriminate based on race, it would be OK. What about if 20% or more of us felt it was OK to kill another person?

You cannot expect a majority infringing on a minority's liberty to decide it is wrong. This also does not mean the minority has free reign to do anything it pleases.

Having said that, I agree that intellectual property laws are too strong, and perhaps should not even exist. However, abolishing particular regulations only happens in a libertarian's wet dream. Therefore, a compromise must be made that weighs the economic impact of copyright, patents, and other IP laws with the natural right to share information.

Comment Re:Public education... (Score 1) 1322

The problem with raising teacher pay is that it will attract more people.

With that logic, we should be lowering the pay for medical doctors. We wouldn't want people who are hungry for money to be saving lives, right? We only want those who love their job enough to be paid meager wages to perform it, regardless of the demand for high quality workers.

Attracting more people to the teaching profession will not filter out those who love teaching. Interviewing and selecting for the most skilled and passionate candidates is a problem all employers face.

Comment Re:Wrong Wrong Wrong (Score 1) 359

The chances of a random collection of notes on a piano being a recognizable song is infinitesimal. Society grants copyrights to works which are not completely random, but have a certain organization of its contents, be it words or music.

Copyright may not be desirable for society, but that is a different argument. Arguing that music is equivalent to a random sequence of 1s and 0s is silly. And frankly irrelevant since people are being caught uploading music on torrents, presumably with evidence that the files they are sharing are in fact copyrighted material.

Comment Re:One way to get more registered voters (Score 1) 1088

How does this one person represent the state when the minority is virtually the other half of the state? Are you saying the wishes of half the state should go unheard? This is a big problem in many voting systems in the US, especially where people are allowed to vote on state legislature. Essentially, 50.1% of the population can decide what 49.9% can or cannot do.

Half of American Doctors Often Prescribe Placebos 238

damn_registrars writes "'Half of all American doctors responding to a nationwide survey say they regularly prescribe placebos to patients. The results trouble medical ethicists, who say more research is needed to determine whether doctors must deceive patients in order for placebos to work.' The study just quoted goes on to say that the drugs most often used as placebo are headache pills, vitamins, and antibiotics. Studies on doctors in Europe and New Zealand have found similar results."

Do We Live In a Giant Cosmic Bubble? 344

Khemisty writes "Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation. Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario. If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations. 'If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating,' said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. 'It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were.'"

Submission + - Robotic Telescope Installed on Antarctica Plateau

Reservoir Hill writes: "Antarctica claims some of the best astronomical sky conditions in the world — devoid of clouds with steady air that makes for clear viewing — that unfortunately lie deep in the interior on a high-altitude plateau called Dome A with an elevation up to 4,093m known as the most unapproachable point in the earth's southernmost region. Now astronomers in a Chinese scientific expedition have set up an experimental observatory at Dome A after lugging their equipment across Antarctica with the help of Australia and the US. The observatory will hunt for alien planets, while also measuring the observing conditions at the site to see if it is worth trying to build bigger observatories there. The observatory is automated, pointing its telescopes on its own while astronomers monitor its progress from other locations around the world via satellite link. PLATO is powered by a gas generator, and has a 4000-litre tank of jet fuel to keep it running through the winter. The observatory will search for planets around other stars using an array of four 14.5-centimetre telescopes called the Chinese Small Telescope Array (CSTAR). Astronomers hope to return in 2009 with new instruments, including the Antarctica Schmidt Telescopes (AST-3), a trio of telescopes with 0.5-metre mirrors, which will be more sensitive to planets than CSTAR."
United States

Submission + - California sues US over emissions

gollum123 writes: "California is suing the US federal government, in an attempt to force car makers to conform to tougher cuts in greenhouse gas emissions ( ). The lawsuit comes after the federal Environmental Protection Agency denied California a waiver from US law needed to enact its own efficiency targets. Fifteen other states or state agencies are set to join the action. It challenged the Epa's denial of California's request to implement its own emissions law — which would require a 30% reduction in motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 2016 by improving fuel efficiency standards. For years, California has been allowed to set its own environmental targets in recognition of the "compelling and extraordinary conditions" the state faces — and the Epa has never before denied California a waiver request. The other states joining the fight are: Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington."

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