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Comment Re:String theory is a kind of religion (Score 1) 307

and that's not semantics. i can call a mountain lion a type of dog, and when you say "that's not true", is it valid if i respond "well, you're just engaging in a silly pedantic exercise in semantics." what? no i'm not, i'm applying the DEFINITION of what science IS. likewise a mountain lion is not a dog BY DEFINITION. that's not quibbling about semantics!

The key word there is "quibbling", not "semantics". The definition of mountain lion, dog or science is clearly a matter of semantics. A discussion of the meaning of those terms is a discussion of semantics (as you'd presumably note, "by definition"). Semantics are extremely important. Quibbling over semantics is unhelpful because quibbling over anything is unhelpful. That doesn't mean there's something wrong with discussing semantics.

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 1) 478

I have to say, I've never understood this argument. I would regard the loss of my freedom as being as bad as the loss of my life.

So if you were convicted (we'll assume wrongly convicted) of a serious crime and your lawyer wanted to push for imprisonment instead of death you'd say "don't bother, it's all much the same to me"? I think most people value their lives rather more highly than that.

Andf loss of freedom for what period of time? You think that 30 years lost freedom is as bad as death, how about 10 years? 5 years? 1 year? If all those are as good and bad as being killed then are they also the same as each other? Does this only apply once you get into a term of years or is half an hour being detained for questioning as bad as being killed too?


Submission + - Viacom sues Google for $1 Billion

rking writes: According to the BBC, Viacom are suing Google for $1 billion. It's hard to believe but apparently there are copyright infringing videos on YouTube!

Comment Re:ridiculous. (Score 3, Funny) 251

Do you think (Extremely NSFW in case you've never heard) - would exist if the good folks at had any legal recourse?
The folks at don't want to make the case that they're trading under that name. In court they'd tend to actively claim that they're not for sale. Hence no trademark issue.

Sony Set to Market Blu-ray as Winner of Format War 353

An anonymous reader writes "Citing the recent sales numbers, Sony exec David Bishop is claiming that the high-def format war can officially be declared over. With a movie sale ratio of almost 2:1 Blu-ray discs are being declared the victor over rival HD-DVD by Blu-ray supporter Sony. 'And yet while all agree that it was a strong month for Blu-ray, opinion is split on whether the surge in sales is an indicator of stronger user adaption of Blu-ray compared to HD DVD, or simply a reflection of the larger number of new Blu-ray titles that hit the market over the month -- 25 new Blu-ray titles were released in January, compared to just 11 titles on HD DVD for the same period.'"

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell