* Posts by skelband

2117 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

'This ruling does nothing to change the facts' thunders Apple in latest price-fix appeal blow

skelband
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> "Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and this ruling does nothing to change the facts,"

Ah, that explains Apple's confusion:

Apple: rulings are not supposed to change the facts; they are supposed to rule on whether or not you broke the law.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

skelband
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Re: Why don't we change tack on this issue ?

> Those are pure Progressive lies. The terrorists are the ones who are well off. Just look at OBL.

It doesn't work if a select few are well off and educated if everyone else is destitute and uneducated.

Surely we have learned this time and time again throughout history.

Osama Bin Laden may have been well educated and wealthy but he has a sea of easily-lead people living in political and economic strife to fuel his power-crazed agenda. And don't be misled yourself: Osama's aims are not religious, they are entirely political.

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skelband
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Re: Thorium Salt reactors.

> Not as clean, efficient, safe or from what I understand able to be used to burn up our existing nuclear waste stock piles as people think they are..

Thorium reactors produce waste, sure, but the half life of most of the waste products are significantly shorter than the equivalent ones from the more traditional processes. And the fuel is burned up to a much greater extent than uranium fuel rods which become "spent" well before the useful fuel is burned. Traditional nuclear power stations really are awful in the grand scheme of things.

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skelband
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Thorium Salt reactors.

Clean, efficient, safe and from what I understand can be used to burn up our existing nuclear waste stock piles.

No so great for making weapons however.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

skelband
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I was reading the Google incident reports this morning out of curiosity.

The vast majority according to Google were rear-end shunts by other drivers into the Google car.

I wonder if they are driving more sedately than is the norm for that area. Driving differently from expectation can be a bit of a problem in itself as regards safety.

Unless the cars are driving really sluggishly, it's hard to criticise them for considerate driving though if they are making sufficient progress.

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California über alles? Is MEP Reda flushing Euro copyright tradition down the pan?

skelband
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Re: Limit the Term.

> Shorter copyight terms are popular on the internet but very unpopular in real life.

People are largely grouped into two camps on this issue:

1) People that don't really care, probably constituted by consumers mainly. A relatively small proportion of them do care about DRM and related issues.

2) People that do care because they perceive that reduction in copyright term would affect their income. For the vast majority of these people, it would make very little difference in terms of their economic income. Most economic works pay the vast majority of what they're going to pay in the first few years, probably 3 or 4 years. We can see this effect in practice when we can buy releases of games, CDs and DVDs in the bargain bins.

From an economic perspective (setting aside the moral aspects which Andrew keeps alluding to in France and Germany), people hate letting things go. Bears defend their kill, people hoard stuff they have paid for, even if they don't use it. It is built into our psyche. However, we mustn't pander to it. If the purpose of copyright is economic (the oft touted social contract balance of encouraging the production of works against our refraining from free use for a set time), then the term should be set based on the useful economic period, which for the vast majority of creative works is probably less than 5 years. With that borne in mind, 20 years is *vastly* too long but still far better than life + 50/70 years.

What might be interesting to explore is different terms for different kinds of works. Films have a fairly short life, music probably longer, many forms of art probably considerably longer. It might be quite difficult to adjudicate in practice though and adding complication to an already complex area would make things worse in my view.

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skelband
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Re: Limit the Term.

> The main complaint with the copyright system today is that people get ripped off, and can't get access to justice.

I would argue that copyright term has undermined any public sympathy for the equity of the social contract and thus is roundly ignored by a large swathe of the population.

It will remain so until the entire thing has been dismantled and rebooted with something that we can all get behind which will pretty much *never happen* by normal political means.

Like I said before (ad nauseam I'm sure), we will either have an economical revolution which will overtake the whole issue anyway (catastrophic collapse of the US economy/rise of the Chinese as a world power) or we will figure out how to abandon money and most of the problem will just go away.

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skelband
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Re: Limit the term

> I never quite figure out why a creator suddenly isn't allowed to get the profit of his or her actions throughout his/her lifetime.

Well, there's nothing stopping you doing this after copyright has expired, so wonder no more!

Additionally, it puts authors on a level footing with everyone else who doesn't have the benefit of a legally imposed monopoly for the rest of their days.

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GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

skelband
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> up to 80 per cent

Which is marketing speak for we haven't a clue.

Clearly the converse of this is that the best you can possibly expect is 80% and could be anything lesser all the way down to 0.

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

skelband
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Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

> It's also not a "number-only date format".

Ah yes, too early in the morning I'm afraid.

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skelband
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> There is NO unambigious number-only date format as long as the date is within the first 12 days of a given month. SOMEONE is going to get it wrong, guaranteed.

I dunno about that.

2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous, assuming of course we agree on the calendar in use,

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Google – you DO control your search results, thunders Canadian court

skelband
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Re: Dissembling

> No-one forced them into this business. They chose it. If it's too difficult, they are entitled to chuck it in.

Personally, I don't give a flying f*ck about Google. I do care about extra-territorial jurisdiction though and so should we all.

It's all very well when it's working in a way that *you* like, but if an islamic state makes impositions in ways that you object to, hard shit.

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skelband
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Re: Dissembling

Except of course Google are distributing potentially to the entire world.

If they are to follow all the laws of every single country that could access that site then that's a pretty fall order. After China gets to redacr what their courts don't like followed by Iran and the Arab countries I think you mind that there is very little left.

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skelband
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Re: Dissembling

Well, I'm sure that there would be raised eyebrows if a Canadian court tried to influence the Yellow Pages that were printed and distributed in the UK.

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skelband
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> ... only practical way for the defendants’ websites to be made inaccessible.

Of course removing listings from Google's search doesn't actually make the website inaccessible.

It worries me that people making judgements in these matters are so badly informed.

I agree though that there are serious implications in suggesting that a legal system can make legal pronouncements on the activities being performed in another country. What seems reasonable here may not be reasonable in another country. What if the boot is on the other foot and an Islamic state makes legal pronouncements regarding websites in Canada?

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US Air Force drone pilots in mass burn out, robo-flights canceled

skelband
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Re: Combat is safe

> It is really easy for the armchair experts to dismiss drone pilots as cowards etc

I did neither.

I was merely taking issue with the literal text.

There's a real difference being in action and experiencing the very real risk that today you might die.

I don't claim that the job is easy or that it doesn't cause problems for the soldiers involved.

But let's not pretend that there's any direct comparison possible between front line troops getting shot at and bombed and these arm chair squaddies.

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skelband
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> ... and I'm going to the fight

Or, in reality, sitting in a room watching a screen.

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'It’s irrelevant whether Elon Musk is a dick or not. At least he’s trying to make things'

skelband
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Re: People used to say Bill Gates was lucky with the DOS contract

> I'm glad we have such people around...

If we didn't have people like Musk, we'd all still be living in caves.

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Unlucky, Palmer: Facebook's going to BAN Oculus pr0n apps

skelband
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Facepalm

> Oculus would therefore not be an open platform,...

Seriously, the thing will be cracked about 2 minutes after it is released.

Then porn *will* be available.

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Denon delivers low-cost DTS:X AV kit. Finally Dolby Atmos gets some competition

skelband
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>The catch is that the UK release of the same movie does not have a DTS:X audio option, it’s only appearing on the US disc.

Weird.

Why would they go to the trouble of producing an entirely different encoded version in the UK?

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All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

skelband
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Re: need a new option now that GOOGLE have Killed Classic Google maps

Printing is pretty broken in the new Google Maps. Classic view allowed to to preview and adjust prints in a preview window. It was one of the best features. Printing is pretty much a hit and miss affair now.

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skelband
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Re: Bah humbug

Kinda what occurred to me. So much friggin' wasted effort.

How many different sets of pictures of the roads do we need anyway?

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Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

skelband
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> As happened to loads of makers because they didn't at that time know how to use lead-free solder. Legislators enforce a new material that nobody has much experience of using.

I will bow to the weight of any evidence that you can provide, but I for one have a lot of trouble accepting that motherboard manufacturers don't know how to solder, even post RoHS.

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skelband
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Where I work, we used to be a mac shop.

All laptops were Macbook Pros. The main reason we were buying them were that (despite what most people seem to think) they were "fairly" cost effective, although perhaps a touch on the expensive side, if you take everything into account. Plus they were good quality and reliable.

Then we started getting the failures ... the motherboard issues, the graphics card glitches in whole batches of machines. Suddenly, when the machines start falling over left, right and centre, they don't seem that cost effective.

So now they're expensive and shit.

We get Lenovos now and we're pretty satisfied with them. Built like bricks and they feel like they would outlive the cockroaches come the nuclear holocaust.

I have run OSX, Linux and Windows on Macbook Pros in the past and they worked pretty much out of the box. I seem to remember the only slight headache was getting hold of firmware so that the camera could be made to work but that turned out to be fairly straight forward.

I wouldn't have another mac now.

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Apple recalls Beats speakers: Rap chap's crap batt rapped in zap mishap flap

skelband
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> and asked fanbois "to stop using their Beats Pill XL speakers"

Because they're sh*t, and expensive sh*t at that.

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Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

skelband
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Happy

Re: If only IBM had included Rexx at the start

Ah, ... Rexx. Now that brings back memories.

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skelband
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Re: All of a sudden, my decision to learn Linux

> Right up until I bash you with it.

Ah! That was korny.

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

skelband
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> USB 2.0 was High Speed, 3.0 SuperSpeed.

This is ever the problem with trying to use marketing terms for differentiation. It only ever confuses. The vast majority of people, even non-techies, know "Superspeed" as USB 3. I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the SuperSpeed term although I do see it a lot on marketing packaging.

I don't know why these people think that Superspeed is easier to remember than USB 3, after the public already being well aware of USB 2 and understanding that this is the next generation of USB.

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China cracks down further on VPNs as censorship intensifies

skelband
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> I'm surprised China hasn't just gone nuclear and prohibited ALL encryption that isn't using state-vetted (and thus state-readable) keys.

Shut up! Mitch McConnell is busily fapping away to those very words. Don't give them any more bright ideas!

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Elon Musk's $4.9 BEELLLION taxpayer windfall revealed

skelband
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> Playing off tax jurisdictions in order to gain maximum tax benefits is an obvious strategy, but the value of it to the country as a whole is less obvious.

That's really a bit hypocritical Tim. Elsewhere, that's called "competition" and is supposed to be the main driving force behind the need to be efficient.

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New kid on the blocks: Lego Worlds game challenges Minecraft

skelband
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Facepalm

Sorry, a lot of kids particularly are going to remember, with much anger, at the way that Lego Universe was shuttered.

I can see a lot of parents avoiding this for their kids after the anguish from last time.

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

skelband
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Paris Hilton

Perhaps the guy is just really bad at maths.

I'm pretty sure "60 million" is a lot more than "several thousand".

Paris because, well, hardly anyone references her these days.

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MIT's robo-cheetah leaps walls in a cyborg hunt for Sarah Connor

skelband
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Terminator

Scary

I'd like to see someone put a fake dog "skin" around and get it to chase someone.

That's would be fun to see but very unsettling.

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The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

skelband
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Re: Political Bullshit

> It really makes no sense. Why would a field of experts around the world be convinced that CO2 emissions are driving up global temperature if it's so obviously wrong?

For that matter, why would a large proportion of the world's population, including many noted scientists, have religious belief in a supernatural creator for which there is no evidence? We're talking about human beings here. We have the scientific method specifically because we are fallible, heuristically-driven, animalistic beings that are especially good at deluding ourselves.

And this is exactly why we should pour scorn on any scientific claims that do not follow the proper process. The fact that there is consensus on the AGW hypothesis means that it is more difficult culturally to consider a dissenting view. That's just the way it is I'm afraid.

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skelband
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Re: Consensus is not science

> So, your subject is correct; consensus is not science, but at the same time it's also not a indication that something's only a hypothesis.

So why use the word consensus at all?

We used to say things like "evidence and experiment strongly suggest...". I can get behind a quote like that.

Saying that there is "strong consensus" is an immediate turn off for me and a lot of other people.

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skelband
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> I love science. But I don't believe in MMGW, simply because it doesn't exist - there is no credible science to show that it exists and none of the models work if you run them with historic data.

I would add further to that.

A lot of the vociferous debate about climate "science" is about "deniers" and "believers", but almost no debate is about what is being denied and I blame a lot of the established terminology surrounding the issue. Do you believe in climate change or are you a climate denier? Well, for one, I don't disbelieve in "climate": we demonstrably have one. I don't disbelieve that the climate is changing: it has always changed. But what is really at the heart is who or what is currently driving it and I think there is still some uncertainty in this area as there always should be in any relatively new scientific field.

Secondly, we're still not forgotten "climategate". Remember that?

- the much lauded, then roundly panned, hockey stick graph which can apparently be produced by the underlying model with random data

- the secrecy surrounding the model used, no peer review for them

- the alleged leaked emails proclaiming that the source data should be disappeared or at the very least suppressed from release because others might use it to refute or challenge their findings, no reproduction of the findings there either

- the "loss" of key underlying data

Everything that follows from that sorry episode is tarnished by those shenanigans.

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Man sparks controversy, fined $120 for enjoying wristjob while driving

skelband
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> He then tries to justify himself on a technicality that 'he wasnt using or holding a phone'.

This is just the kind of thing that happens when laws try to be to proscriptive. They concentrate on the letter rather then intent.

It is much better to have a more general law (not paying due care and attention while driving) and letting Plod use their skill and judgement. We need faith in said Plod of course but by and large, I think that we do.

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CBS boss says he'll show off his crown jewels on Apple TV – for a large enough check

skelband
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> To make matters worse, US cable providers have already begun to move away from the lucrative bundle packages networks enjoy by offering a-la-carte programming packages.

In other news:

... Canadian cable providers are being forced to move away from the lucrative bundle packages networks enjoy by offering a-la-carte programming packages.

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Amazon sighs, may slip hands into trousers to pay some UK corp tax

skelband
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> In other words, it's the government's job to intervene.

In general terms, yes I agree. However, as we saw with committees hauling in the executives of Amazon et al to publicly harangue them over their actual legal accounting arrangements, followed by laws tailored specifically for these small number of large multi-national companies, they are rather vindictively attempting to extract money from them.

I repeat, governments should make laws that suit the majority of people in the majority of situations. This law is a specific vindictive attempt to extract additional money from companies that they believe are not paying enough tax. The reality is that whatever these companies are avoiding in tax contributions make hardly a whit of difference to the overall budget of the UK government, large as the amount sounds. It is political grandstanding, pandering to a media shit storm of entirely their own manufacture. The worst kind of petty bickering that seems to dominate what passes for politics these days.

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skelband
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> The law is catching up with the new dynamics of on line buying

My take on it is entirely different.

The law is fast realising that in the new world economy, country boundaries for trade make a lot less sense now than at any time in the past.

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skelband
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Yet again we see a government bullying a company into paying them more cash. They're fast turning into highway robbers.

These issues are for the courts to decide and for good reason.

Regardless of what you think of the business practices of Amazon, Google et al, I really would not like to see an expansion of government intervening directly in the legal, financial affairs of individuals and companies. They should stick to policy and leave execution to the independent legal apparatus.

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

skelband
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Re: So what did YOU do then ?

> because unlike GPL3, those licenses allow them to keep their own proprietary code proprietary.

Erm, did you miss the bit about RMS hating proprietary code?

The whole point about GPL2 & 3 is to eradicate proprietary software. His aims are no secret.

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More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First

skelband
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Re: @Skelband: we've tried that

I was watching Fresco's interview with Larry King in 1974 (lots of examples on youtube).

Some of his ideas were clearly whack, like using nuclear waste for heating. His views have changed as knowledge has evolved. It's kinda weird though seeing how far ahead of his time he was even then.

He foresaw (like many others of course) the scale of unemployment that would be (and should be) caused by mechanisation. What we should be doing is mechanising *everything* that we don't want to do, thus leaving us eventually free to do what we really want.

There isn't an answer to everything, but if society can get to a stage where people need not work just to live, then that's a start and people really don't need that much. Somewhere to live, food, clean water, sanitary facilities and access to information and education. Everything else is just extra.

The main objections we see to this kind of scenario is "if people didn't have to work, wouldn't they just get really lazy and do nothing?". The evidence of what we see today is that so many people do charity work or they volunteer their time for worthwhile causes, the free software movement being one example. If we have enough people willing to do the little that needs to be done, then everyone else can just enjoy their leisure. They could enrich themselves with education, travel, exploration. These are all worthwhile pastimes. We just have to get out of the mindset that those that don't "work" are shirkers.

The other side of the coin is that the vast majority of the "work" that is done these days is a total waste of time. Bureaucrats pushing paper around, anything involved with the movement of money is really just pointless time wasting and if you think about it, that's a large proportion of what people do today. It's work constructed to give people employment. Government, law, finance, anything involving "business".

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skelband
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Re: @skelband

> Evidently you don't know how cults work.

Perhaps you could enlighten us then.

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skelband
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Re: @skelband

> Jacques Fresco strikes me as a cult leader who never managed to successfully found a cult.

Weird, because Fresco keeps saying "Don't believe what I'm saying. Think for yourself."

One of his most important "mantras" if you will, is that we are ultimately shaped and restricted by our culture, including himself. He neither claims to have a perfect plan for the future, and thinks that the idea of a "utopia" is a nonsense. He promises nothing but an idea that we can reshape our future and our culture by applying technology to the practical problems of living.

Strange cult that. However, he does have a large and growing following for these ideas and is largely aligned with the Zeitgeist movement's aims, although I see that they have parted ways from a partnership that they did used to have.

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skelband
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Re: we've tried that

> Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler and Lenin all had brilliant ideas for fixing society.

Well yes, but they were all demonstrably bollocks.

Karl Marx had a lot of "interesting" ideas, but ultimately even he admitted that they would never work.

And all of those ideas are trapped in the sphere of what we know. They are all just different varieties of political and economic systems, different ways of having lords and masters and ultimately all doomed to fail.

I seriously would suggest looking into the ideas of Fresco. This is no crackpot idealist. He is talking about the technological logical extension of what we have now but taking technology to its logical conclusion. The barrier that we have to transitioning to this system is the current incumbent which assumes that there is scarcity. Nearly everything that we do and think is based on a worldview that is rapidly diverging from how things really are.

We have so many ways of producing abundant forms of energy. The barrier to achieving this? Technology? No: economic "cost".

We have plenty of land for living on. Why do we have conflicts over land? Stupidity.

There is far more food than is needed to feed everyone on the planet. Is the barrier to this technology or the will of the populous? No. Politics.

Our current social and political systems were formed when there was scarcity and most work had to be done by people. We are long past that point. So why do we have long-since defunct economic systems based on scarcity? It's idiotic. Why do you think we have so much litigation over copyright and patents these days and a gradual historic departure from making money from labour? Because labour is becoming obsolete.

The future is bleak ladies and gentlemen unless we can really sort out the kind of future that we want and manage to get over ourselves long enough to implement it.

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skelband
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The only way to fix unfixable social systems are to rip them up and start from scratch.

We can all dream about remaking society into something worthy of our race's hopes and dreams but very few people dare even talk about them because most don't really realise that there are alternatives.

Most of the alternatives that most people can conceive of are just more of the same of what we have had before, all with the same obvious flaws, and have some element of pitting ourselves against each other.

True real alternatives are few and far between but anyone interesting in thinking really big and differently listen to the lectures of Jacques Fresco and his Venus Project.

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Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

skelband
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Re: My theory on supporters...

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." - Cardinal Richelieu

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

skelband
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> When are we going to see driverless buses and trains I wonder.

The Metro Vancouver Skytrain has been driverless since 1986.

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skelband
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Re: Misses the piint

> Oh, and this rather presupposes that anyone can get a fully automated unsupervised vehicle driving on the road. I doubt that they'll ever manage that. Legally at the moment you have to be behind the wheel, sober and qualified and paying attention. Hardly seems worth it to me!

Well if we believe Google's stats on the subject (what was it? 11 incidents, all caused by humans), they seem far more capable than the equivalent meatbags. Taking that with the fact that they're still at the prototype stage, there's every reason to believe that they would be much safer than human drivers.

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