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Comment Re:The Law of Unintended Consequences (Score 4, Insightful) 1364

I have to disagree here, and shake my head sadly at the number of up-modded clueless Slashbots talking on this.

It is people who wish to restrict gay rights behind this. It is a first in terms of arguing for anonymity in such a way on a petition-backed ballot option.

Gays who have campaigned elsewhere, and run petitions for ballot items, have put up with their names being publicly available.

If you're a raging homophobe in private, fine. If you want to sign a petition calling for a ballot on restricting the rights of people you don't like — have the balls to accept the potential consequences.

Comment Re:Who the hell are they trying to catch? (Score 2, Insightful) 122

Two possibilities:

Osama isn't in Pakistan (or Afghanistan) at all - he's disappeared, or died, or retired to Florida to drink pina-coladas all day, or - The security forces don't actually WANT to find him, as once they do there's no reason for them to continue in the region: Job done, game over, go home. And then what will they do to keep the contracts flowing to their friends in low places?

Osama Bin Laden is, truly, the modern-day Emmanuel Goldstein.

Submission + - EU might be listening to you at last (wikinews.org)

Ronald Dumsfeld writes: Wikinews puts together some of the details around the EU's five-year-plan called Project INDECT, and brings attention to a leaked "sales-pitch" video.

"An unreleased promotional video for INDECT located on YouTube is shown to the right. The simplified example of the system in operation shows a file of documents with a visible INDECT-titled cover stolen from an office and exchanged in a car park. How the police are alerted to the document theft is unclear in the video; as a "threat", it would be the INDECT system's job to predict it.
Throughout the video use of CCTV equipment, facial recognition, number plate reading, and aerial surveillance give friend-or-foe information with an overlaid map to authorities. The police proactively use this information to coordinate locating, pursing, and capturing the document recipient. The file of documents is retrieved, and the recipient roughly detained."

Comment Re:Movies (Score 1) 1021

Yes, movies.

That's a really good way to introduce a particular piece of literature. When doing Shakespeare at school, we watched Roman Polanski's Macbeth.

Fahrenheit 451, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Watchmen (bonus: original is a graphic novel), Minority Report (based on a PKD short story), and lots more. Just don't take BladeRunner. Visually stunning for it's time, so much of the book is left out. PKD stuffed so many ideas into his work that it's generally his short stories that make better movies.

Comment Re:Some More Names to Consider (Score 1) 1021

I'd definitely go with this list. Two names that I'd pick out are:
  • Philip K. Dick - Particularly his Hugo winner - The man in the High Castle, or Radio Free Albemuth.
    The first is an alternative reality where the Nazis won. The second is fictional, as if someone worse than Nixon was elected - Nixon heavily influencing Dick's politics.
  • Douglas Adams - The Guide, humour, and a particularly cynical way of looking at the world. I'd actually say, go for the radio scripts there - possibly the TV series. The latter for the talking entries from the electronic book decades before Wikipedia.

Submission + - Dear Lily- A letter to artists against filesharing (youtube.com)

Ronald Dumsfeld writes: Dan Bull makes the perfect musical argument aimed at famous artists who stand up on the label's side, and end up taking down their anti-filesharing blog for doing what she's saying is so wrong.

Dear Lily Allan,
Remember when you pretended, Lily, that you were truly independent, Lily? Faking like you made it all alone but you were legally with Regal, part of Parlophone — oh yes.

Comment Re:I don't blame them (Score 1) 1040

The amount of man-handling and smug stares I have to endure from thick-necked, multi-chinned police academy rejects is bad enough when flying domestically. That's no way to welcome the largest tourist event in the world.

Yes, but they never thought of this. They just wanted to welcome the largest tourists in the world.

I think most of them are already in America, and looking for their next cheeseburger.

Comment Re:Google Purges Pirate Bay? (Score 1) 244

I went from recommending AltaVista, to recommending Google when it was obvious the search algorithm was so much better. Nowadays, I don't recommend Google anymore, I recommend Firefox and a part of why I do that is because it has Google as the default search engine.

I'm probably preaching to the converted to say, that Google couldn't continue to exist without making money off that technology. And that technology enables the automation of something very valuable in advertising, contextual relevance.

Comment Re:Google Purges Pirate Bay? (Score 3, Informative) 244

Google is an advertising company. Not anything else. Not the technology tinkerer it works to portray itself as.

Wrong. Google is both of these things. They noticed that geeks respond better to advertising when it is true and assembled their company accordingly. A lot of good stuff is coming out of Google and a lot of Google geeks contribute to Open Source. Sure, they're not in the same league as IBM, Novell, Red Hat, or Intel, but they don't have to be.

The "technology tinkerer" part is Google's equivalent of a regular advertiser's department of coke-snorting-idea-generators.

They don't stand to make much money from geeks, we're the sort of people who learn how to filter out what they make money from. Text-only Adwords was a stroke of genius, when you look at what other advertisers were like at the time. Adverts that are relevant, and not so annoying that geeks will make tools to block them. Especially when the geeks might make that tool easy enough to use that the public do so.

And yes, you're right they've done a lot of interesting and good tech. Plus released quite a bit of it under liberal licenses. It makes for great PR, allows their techie people who develop these things the satisfaction that it's out there - even if the advertising company can't see a way to use it to sell ad space.

Comment Re:Oh, for crying out loud. (Score 1) 567

There comes a point when 'let's add another lane' is no longer a viable option!"

There also comes a point when "let's have another horrendously expensive tax-sucking boondoggle" is no longer a viable option.


I looked at the pricetag and my mind boggled.

Yet, by your logic - if applied a long, long time ago, there would be no rail or roads whatsoever - unless they were profitable.

It seems really unfair to damn this proposal, when it seems to be so similar to what works very well in Europe over similar distances, and with - I would expect - similar projected passenger numbers.

At the stated journey time, you are definitely going to get to your destination faster than even flying - unless you have a private jet standing constantly ready to go. You will miss the drawn-out paranoia-induced security procedures that make the time from arriving at the airport to getting on the plane hours. Not to mention, the environmental cost - you do know planes use a hell of a lot of expensive fuel?

Comment Re:host the servers in antigua (Score 2, Informative) 244

Copyright isn't even the ownership of an idea anyway, its the ownership of the right to distribute that idea.

Try again.

Copyright is a social contract between the creator, and the general public, that they are granted a limited monopoly on their creation. The arguments for that, pretty much boil down to it being in the public's interest for people to have a chance to profit from their creations and thus create, and be able to create again in the future.

Saying, "Gee, just get paid what it's worth and don't bother if a megacorp rips you off to sell millions of copies" is breathtaking stupidity. You can't charge five million pounds each to an audience of 20-30 people just in case one of them works for the aforementioned megacorp and will copy your work.

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