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Comment Re:So, basically the parents are screwed? (Score 1) 420

I disagree. Parents should be able to raise their kids as they see fit, provided they aren't abusing them. Why is it any business of the state if I want to shield my kids from a lifestyle that I may not approve of?

You can. Just not in *PUBLIC* school. Want to shelter them from things that you find offensive then home school them. Don't complain if they have a hard time fitting into society later.

I disagree with the "Parents should be able to raise their kids as they see fit." The big problem here is the "their". They are not your property. They are supposed to independent human beings but they can't manage that initially and wouldn't know where to begin so you as parent get to take care of them and raise them. This does not mean mold them to be exactly the same as you. Don't push your beliefs or biases on them. Teach them to think critically on their own and they can decide what they believe.

Comment plenty of ways to monetize site (Score 2, Interesting) 329

Seems like there are plenty of ways to make money from users without charging them directly.

- a craigslist/ebay style setup to buy/sell/trade music/show tickets/whatever - take a cut from the ads/transaction fee - there are forums but these are token and there isn't a Buy/Sell section anywhere AFAIK.

- use music recommendations to sell people music directly rather than linking to amazon/itunes whatever. Particularly for smaller bands that can't get recording contracts - work to hook them up with gigs and sell merchandise through the site and take a cut - essentially cut out the record labels as middle men and still provide a service that makes it easy to find smaller bands.

- they have recommendations for events in the local area but I never see them handle ticket sales at all - well why the heck not - local shows are much smaller scale than giant stadium shows and they could get a larger turnout and

Of course setting up this kind of infrastructure costs money, particularly to do it globally, but use your user base to add events in the region and use them to review and categorize bands and just make it easy for bands to offer goods through the site. Charging users directly is a good way to lose them because there are plenty of free alternatives and we've all gotten used to not paying for radio. Music fans are among the most passionate - give them services they can actually use and take a reasonable cut and they'll probably embrace it in droves.

They just do not get social networking at all.

Comment I didn't like the ending (Score 2, Interesting) 852

I dislike using god and a hokey religion as an explanation for anything. I couldn't stand the last few episodes with Baltar babbling on about his angels. The show has always had a religious theme but I held out for a reasonable rational explanation of the head characters (something to do with cylon projection) and Kara.

Instead pooft she magically disappears into thin air, after magically entering the coordinates of a single magic planet in all of space from a magic song that her magically disappearing dad taught her when she was young and that Hera magically happens to know as well. How? What? Why?

I disliked the get rid of all our technology and live like the natives bit. Both the god explanation and the luddite attitude seem to me to be a diservice to many science fiction fans who overwhelmingly like science and technology and reject hokey explanations for things like flying spaghetti monsters. Seriously, what happens the next time someone needs to get a tooth pulled now that all their technology is gone.

I disliked the Cavil suicide bit because it seemed out of character along with actually listening to Baltar's stupid little speech on coexistence and angels. I'd like Boomer's redemption to not have been followed with her getting shot in the gut again. I didn't need to see Adama puking.

And finally, Tyrol is an idiot for not realizing that killing Cally was the nicest thing Tory or anyone else in the entire fleet did for him.

Comment Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (Score 1) 334

So Ogg is free. Even if the manufacturers got $5 for each machine they shipped Ogg on, most would not do it because it would not increase sales by any measurable amount, and it would force them to pay more for hardware. MP3 decoders are mass produced and very very cheap.

Except a lot of manufacturers DO support Ogg/Vorbis (hereafter ogg because we are all sick of the container vs codec posts).

That list is in fact out of date already because the Archos 5 I have very definitely supports ogg.

The elephant in the corner that refuses to join the party is the ipod. It can already decode ogg with Rockbox and there isn't any terribly good reason they couldn't support ogg natively.

Right now I can rip music from CDs to ogg and not have any issues except if someone else wants that music (which is illegal anyway right...) and has an ipod. Then one of us has to transcode it to something they can use.

If Apple did add native ogg support I imagine the format's adoption would increase substantially. You'd just be able to find a lot more (illegal or otherwise) ogg files floating around that you could toss on your ipod and have it Just Work.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Top 25 Web Hoaxes & Pranks

eldavojohn writes: "Serving as a mass media outlet, news source & cheap instant communication, the internet has had memorable moments of mischief. PC World has a piece that will take you back through 25 of the most popular dandies. Hopefully most of these were debunked before they made it to your inbox. Some are just deplorable awful scams while others might cause you to smile."
The Media

Submission + - UK charme offensive to extend copyright protection

benesch writes: "An ageing UK star lineup tries to charm parliament into exending copyright protection of their songs: "Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff Richard are among the artists who will see the current 50-year limit on their early sound recordings expire soon. The House of Commons culture committee said people had a "moral right" to keep control of their creations while alive. The copyright term for sound recordings should be extended to at least 70 years, the committee recommended. That would allow ageing performers to continue to benefit from their early recordings throughout their lifetimes.""

Submission + - Should Copyrights Last as Long as ideas?

The_Rook writes: In an opinion piece in the New York Times, "A Great Idea Lives Forever. Shouldn't Its Copyright?" Mark Helprin, author of "Winter's Tale," equates copyrights on written works like novels, etc. with physical assets like houses, flour mills, travel agencies, and newspapers. Apparently 70 years after his death is not enough for Mr. Helprin. He wants his descendants to own the copyright on his works forever.

On the way he laments that the Constitution says copyrights are to be granted for "limited times" and is thankful that congress can and has periodically extended the length of copyrights.

Lost on Mr. Helprin is that the entire value of an idea is it's usefulness to others and that public domain enriches more than "stockholders of various businesses."

The essay is not particularly well thought out and is perhaps beneath the attention of the Slashdot community. But it needs to be refuted on the grounds that is perpetuates the fallacy that intellectual property is the same as physical property and that authors have always had right to their intellectual property (which the nasty government has seen fit to take away) rather than the real situation where intellectual property is a fiction created by the government to encourage the creation and publication of creative works.

The article can be read here: n.html?pagewanted=1

Microsoft Using .MS TLD 308

mqudsi writes "Microsoft is using the .MS top-level domain, assigned to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, for its Web 2.0-flavored Popfly project. You can get your own .MS name if you really want to — there are no restrictions on foreign ownership — at $180 US for 2 years. As of this writing is available." In an obliquely related note, TechBlorge has up a rumination on the resemblance of the Popfly logo to Tux.

Submission + - Vendors fudging prices for Froogle, others

An anonymous reader writes: I recently stumbled across a case of an online vendor adjusting it's prices based on url referral; notably,, but I've noticed similar (though harder to trace) activity from other large vendors such as Dell and Amazon.

Take a look at this page: Exchange Software, then find it again through Froogle. Once you access the SoftwareMedia site through the Froogle link, they update (generally lower) their prices to match those found on Froogle. Accessing the exact same page after going through Froogle results in an entirely different set of prices. (In my case, Exchange 2003 Enterprise was 'discounted' by a whopping $1260)

Is SoftwareMedia trying to make Froogle Fudge? Should this sort of activity be allowed? Should users be presented with two different pages depending on referral? Shouldn't all users be presented with the same set of prices?

Feed Male And Female Brain Patterns Differ During Reaching (

Men's and women's brains "fire" differently when they are planning how to reach for something, so rehabilitation after brain injuries such as strokes may need to be tailored to the sex of the person, says a new study. Researchers found differences in patterns of brain activity in men and women preparing to do visually-guided actions related to tasks such as using a computer mouse or driving a car.

Submission + - YouTube Takedowns: Any 15-year old can do it

BillGatesLoveChild writes: Recently Slashdotters wondered how easy it would be to take down YouTube videos. Wonder no longer:

A 15-year old Australian Boy with nothing more than a HotMail account emailed YouTube saying he was the "Australian Broadcasting Corporation" and under the DMCA ordered YouTube to take down hundreds of videos. They did without immediately and without question. YouTube did not try and call the ABC back, nor ask why the email came from Hotmail. Given Cringely's recent report which lead to Slashdotters asking the question, YouTube seem remarkably slow to learn. How many more DMCA attacks will there be before they get the message?

Many of the Video's were from the ABC's The Chaser, including one where a prankster rolling a cigar asked Senator Hillary Clinton if he could be her new intern. The Chaser Staff were impressed with the youngster, "I don't think we should prosecute him — we should probably hire him."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - "What If All the Ice Melts?" Myths and Rea

petrus4 writes: "What If All the Ice Melts?" Myths and Realities is an article which features images of what the globe would look like if all of the ice (both land and sea) on the planet melted, leading to a sealevel rise of around 66 meters. The change shown in global geography is surprisingly unremarkable, and the analysis seems sound, making this article a sober and very useful counter to some of the more hysterical FUD which has been circulated in relation to global warming.

Submission + - Lost in space ...

clyde_cadiddlehopper writes: "A review board has determined that the loss of Mars Global Surveyor probably had nothing to do with aging of the spacecraft hardware, but instead resulted from mistakes made by both the human operators and the spacecraft's onboard fault protection software. ecraft_Errors_Together.html It takes a million mouse clicks to build a system, unfortunately any one of them can bring it to its knees."

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"Roman Polanski makes his own blood. He's smart -- that's why his movies work." -- A brilliant director at "Frank's Place"