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Comment Re:Creating own award (Score 4, Insightful) 360

It's true that the Nobel Peace Prize has been unreasonably politicized — not so much with Liu Xiaobo, but certainly with Gore and Obama. Then again, international events are intrinsically political and always have been.

I don't know what to say about the Confucius Peace Prize, though. Confucius was not about either peace or war — he was about extreme social conservatism. I suspect that one of these days, the world is going to stop finding China cute and see it for what it is: a first world colonialist culture with a high developed traditional theory of realpolitik and a chip on its shoulder about not being treated with sufficient respect. China will then be a much more interesting foil to the United States than it is now.

I mean, assuming the United States and China both still exist and haven't destroyed each other or merged into some horrible monster.

Comment Re:Something wrong with me, maybe (Score 1) 122

I guess the problem with any of them is that you don't really end up achieving anything by playing them. In that sense writing code or just writing is more satisfying. You end up with something to show for your efforts.

Yes, that's one part of it - I hate the sensation of time spent without something going on. Listening to Beethoven or exercising doesn't give me that feeling, but playing computer games (when I was too young to understand myself) always did.

However, what I really like about writing code or prose is the sensation that time outside of my mind is going more slowly than time inside. I struggle with some piece of construction for what seems like days; then I look up and only an hour has passed on the clock. The physical world has been traveling near the speed of light - my mind, however, has had the advantage of much more time, untrackably. That's the opposite of what happens with a game, where two hours can disappear in the world and I have the sensation that only a few minutes have passed.

Programming and writing are the only things I know of that make me feel, truly, I've made a sort of gain in my struggle to stay ahead of time. Sort of like your signature says: "Reality, to be commanded, must be destroyed," though maybe you meant it in a different sense.

Comment about virtualization... (Score 1) 507

See this, in all the W'ks clamor?

The attack of WikiLeaks also ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on. These are firms like Google, Flickr, Facebook, Myspace and Amazon which host your blog or store your data on their servers somewhere on the internet, or which enable you to rent "virtual" computers – again located somewhere on the net. The terms and conditions under which they provide both "free" and paid-for services will always give them grounds for dropping your content if they deem it in their interests to do so. [From John Naughton]

All this is off-topic, but I think we're in a paradigm-shifting earthquake right now.


Why We Shouldn't Begrudge Commercial Open Source Companies 172

Thinkcloud writes with a followup to recent news that Mozilla is once again looking into a do-not-track mechanism after having previously killed a similar tool, allegedly under pressure from advertisers. Canonical COO Matt Asay wrote in The Register that this is not necessarily the case, nor is Mozilla's decision necessarily the wrong one. "It's quite possible — indeed, probable — that the best way for Mozilla to fulfill its mission is precisely to limit the openness of the web. At least a bit. Why? Because end-users aren't the only ones with rights and needs online, a point Luis Villa elegantly made years ago. It's not a one-way, free-for-all for end-users. Advertisers, developers and enterprises who employ end-users among others all factor into Mozilla's freedom calculus. Or should." OStatic adds commentary that "Like it or not, commercial open source companies are still companies, and the economics of the online world have everything to do with their present and their future.

Comment "new" internet proposals (Score 1) 810

Any thoughts about the feasibility of Clean Slate and other proposals to "remake" the Internet?

I'm not asking for predictions so much as informed thoughts about what the obstacles are to this actually happening. I used to think the Internet was perfectly anonymous, until I encountered (second-hand) the Chinese renrou sousuo yinqing "human flesh search engine"). Cyberspace is bound to physical servers and wires and antennas; can the majority of these be controlled? Is the political will now accumulating for it to happen?

DOJ Ramping Up Crackdown On Copyright-Infringing Sites 366

An anonymous reader writes "The Obama administration is just getting started in its mission to shut down rogue websites that illegally share copyrighted content such as movies and music. The White House's intellectual property czar, Victoria Espinel, said Monday that the Internet community should 'expect more of that' pre-emptive action as the administration ramps up its efforts to combat online copyright infringement — especially the illegal copying and sale of pharmaceutical drugs."

Comment A worthy substitute for the Cold War (Score 1) 810

This is really a momentous time in history. For the first time since the Cold War ended, there is a serious international political conflict in which everyone everywhere may see that they have some economic or intellectual stake.

After September 11th, I heard many older people in New York say, "I hoped not to live long enough to see this." Well, I'm grateful to be alive now to see this. It is a very important conflict.


Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables 810

A number of readers have sent in new WikiLeaks stories today, many of which focus on the content of the leaked diplomatic cables. The documents showed how the US government bullied and manipulated other countries to gain support for its Copenhagen climate treaty (though behavior from the US wasn't all negative), how copyright negotiations largely meet the expectations of critics like Michael Geist, and how Intel threatened to move jobs out of Russia if the Russian government didn't loosen encryption regulations. Perhaps the biggest new piece of information is a list of facilities the US considers 'vital to security.' Meanwhile, the drama surrounding WikiLeaks continues; Julian Assange's Swiss bank account has been frozen and the UK has received an arrest warrant for the man himself; the effort to mirror the site has gained support from Pirate Parties in Australia, in the UK and elsewhere; and PayPal was hit with a DDoS for their decision not to accept donations for WikiLeaks.

Comment old news to some but now spreading (Score 2) 58

For many Slashdot readers, this is old news. But the interesting thing is how awareness of web-privacy issues has hit the mainstream. The Wall Street Journal (whose news pages typically have at least half a dozen trackers on them) has been running a whole series on simple tools to avoid being tracked online.

I think the place of the Internet in society is entering a new phase.

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