* Posts by skelband

1973 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

'LOOK into my EYES: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... SO worried'

skelband
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Re: @skelband

> Your average Joe and Josephine Public have little idea about the arguments, potential causes and suggested solutions, so asking them is pointless and counter-productive.

I would agree that the staggering lack of information or public discourse is a big problem.

That people remain ignorant and disconnected from public discourse is the main reason that our political masters manage to get away with so much of their bullshit.

That so many people are so ignorant is the real problem and there is little incentive to change this.

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skelband
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> Asking the public their views on climate change is fairly pointless.

Actually, this is one of the most important aspects of the whole debate.

The climate debate, whether or not you think climate change is preponderantly man-made, should be focussed on what we the public want to do about. The current political opinion on this issue is clouded by partisanship and political oneupmanship.

It's about time the populous was asked what they are willing to do if the climate changes.

Mostly it seems rather one-sided in terms of cutting emissions, raising taxes and other pointless agendas.

Has anyone considered that we might be happy to just move our houses from the coast?

The possibilities are not nearly as narrow as the politicians and climatologists like to paint it.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

skelband
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Re: *facepalm*

> It took some explaining!

Thanks goodness you didn't declare that you were going to "smoke a fag".

The local sheriff might have got involved.

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

skelband
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> particularly when you cost for the re-skilling and the usual reality of the FOSS software being less capable than the commercial competition.

We're talking here principally about back-end software.

This used to be a good argument when Hadoop technologies, MySQL and Linux were rare, known only to a few bearded hippies.

For that last few years these technologies have become the de facto mainstream rather than the exception. That argument no longer holds.

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Cubans defy government's home internet ban with secret home-made network

skelband
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Black Helicopters

Nice one Washington Post!

Rafael Antonio Broche Moreno can now expect the Cuban black helicopters nuking his house from above.

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SURPRISE! Microsoft pops open Windows 10 Preview build early

skelband
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Boot

> The most annoying one, most likely, will be the tendency for some PCs to display a boot selection menu each time they start up.

My laptop does that all the time. It's Linux Mint and it's called a "feature" :D

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Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

skelband
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Re: "A sense of responsibility is needed.”

If the tax take was anywhere reasonable, then I think more people would have a sense of responsibility in this area.

But since a large wadge of it goes straight to that cesspool of iniquity, the EU, and another large wadge goes into fighting other people's wars, the "common good" is fast becoming a long forgotten dream.

There's nothing remotely "good" about the tax systems of the West these days.

We need to return to smaller state government, and more local devolution + taxes which would at least give people the feeling that they were paying for stuff for them rather than the Whitehall wonks' holidays and bureaucratic pipe dreams.

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SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

skelband
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Re: A new term to describe them?

Microshaftholes.

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SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

skelband
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I thought the story was primarily about the technology.

I think that's pretty cool in its own right.

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SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

skelband
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Re: Wait Whaaa?

> If you read the full report and not just the headlines then you find they say they are only 38% sure.

And your point is what exactly?

So they are 38% sure. If their 38% sureness is well within what would reasonably be called random variation, then their 38% statistically counts for exactly nothing. That's the point.

And as someone else said, they're not exactly up front about the fact that they cannot draw any reasonable conclusion other than there is no statistically significant evidence to support a change in the temperature.

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skelband
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Re: Wait Whaaa?

> So is the debate here that global land (sea temp isn't part of the debate because its a losing argument) temperatures havent really changed in the past ten years, thus climate change doesnt exist or isnt as bad as thought?

Erm, well actually no, that's not what the debate here is.

It is about the statistical reliability of one report about 2014's climate measurements.

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skelband
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FAIL

Re: consensus

100% consensus among religious people is that God is real.

Unfortunately, they are all wrong.

Please don't quote consensus as being a reliable measure of anything here. We can see past it. OK?

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skelband
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Re: Nope

It's not entirely bogus.

Levies on fuel are really hurting a lot of people who don't live in cities for which fuel is their only option for getting around.

The whole point of fuel levies is to make fuel so expensive that it changes the behaviour of consumers so that they will use less fuel. This might mean buying more fuel efficient cars which is a good thing, but inevitably it also means that they make fewer journeys which is probably a bad thing if your living depends on it.

These crude measures will inevitably affect some people disproportionately and unfairly while having positive effect elsewhere.

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skelband
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Re: Thermometers

> Any data 'massaging' deing done should be to the current data to lower it because of the UHI that predominates present readings.

A certain amount of massaging is necessary to normalise the data since different methods are used for measurement in different places. I would imagine that it is very tempting to massage the data so that it confirms your particular biases though.

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skelband
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Re: Well

> The idea that there is a hiatus is idiotic.

Hardly anyone of any credibility is denying that a hiatus exists. The masurements clearly show it on both sides of the debate camp. The debate is as to why.

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skelband
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Re: Cut the sh*t! @Stuart 22

> But the margin of error is not really relevant as it is the same for each recent year. So while it is possible it isn't the probability it is.

You're obviously not a statistician otherwise you would not have made such a stupid comment.

The people taking these readings are taking samples. They're not measuring the temperature at all places on the planet simultaneously and continuously. Therefore, what they are doing is called "sampling". Sampling can only ever tell you a limited amount about the whole which is why we have the concept of error and confidence intervals.

Within those bounds, you can not be said to have made any reasonable correlation to the population. Outside those bands, you can with a calculable level of probability.

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Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

skelband
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> I'm trying to understand how the headline and the content of the story are related.

I came here to make the same comment.

Nothing in the article seems to be remotely connected to pornography, even via a tenuous link related to censorship.

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Open Source's 2014: MS 'cancer' embrace, NASDAQ listings and a quiet dog

skelband
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Re: It's in the DNA

> Microsoft does not have DNA.

Microsoft *does* have DNA. It is called "corporate culture" and it has it in spades.

It guides the direction of the company in all its dealings and is much bigger than any one person which is why it is so resilient to change.

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BMW: ADMEN have asked us for YOUR connected car DATA

skelband
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Re: What?

Same here.

My first question would be "how do I switch all that shit off."

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Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' SLABLET phones (in Puerto Rico)

skelband
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Re: No way, no how

> Wow, that's quite blinkered...

And I would add to that the most obvious innovation, that of being eminently repairable.

Screen broken...new screen swapped in easily. Duff battery, just swap in a new one (something that is becoming increasingly difficult or impossible).

This rush for progressively cheaper phones due to the phones being manufactured to be irreparable is a social evil that we need to stamp out.

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$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data

skelband
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Coffee/keyboard

> "... so parents can fret more quickly and in a more informed fashion using the latest technology."

That actually made me laugh out loud this morning.

That's brightened my day, thanks.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

skelband
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> The only assurance it gives is that the server you're talking to is what/where it claims to be.

I think you are confusing an SSL encrypted session with certificate verification.

There is some overlap in the technology but they're not the same thing.

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skelband
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Is this April 1st?

Must check calendar....

So this twat is proposing making https illegal? The foundation upon which trusted Internet commerce rests?

What f*cking muppet.

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ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> Science is all of the above. Without one part, you will not get to the next. The author of this paper has followed the first 2 parts, the rest still needs completing, but it is still science.

I think ST's confusion is that he/she is assuming that the paper is presented as a complete process.

The paper is merely hypothetical speculation with some additional observations to justify it and is presented as nothing other.

Those observations are not presented by the paper as substantial evidence for believing the veracity of that speculation and I think ST believes that they are which I personally think is unreasonable.

This is not a sensationalist paper claiming to have discovered anything substantial. It merely points out some observations regarding some possible interesting surface detail and that we should go have a more detailed look.

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skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> The word proof means to "test".

Further, even in formal mathematical methods where people are very careful about the meanings of words, a "mathematic proof" is merely a formal test. It is not, in of itself, evidence.

The application and subsequent verification of the proof (or test) is, however, evidence.

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skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> - The paper offers its own hypothesis as proof of itself:

> -- bacteria existed on Mars - purely hypothetical, no proof that this is true. There is no proof that life has ever existed on Mars. OK, I'll relax the constraint: there is no plausible indication that life has ever existed on Mars.

The paper does not seem to make that claim. There is certainly no reason to suppose that bacteria *doesn't* exist on Mars, which is not the same thing.

> -- there are mud bumps on Mars - possibly true but not proven by direct observation. Direct observation of a photograph of something is not the equivalent of direct observation of something.

The photographs are of very good quality. However, that they are photographs and not direct observation should be taken into account when evaluating the hypothesis. In either case, the truth will be determined by experimental verification. The "strength" of the initial hypothesis will have no bearing on the subsequent experimental evidence devised to test it in the same way that we don't believe something just because the assertion is made by an authority.

> -- the Martian bacteria formed the mud bumps on Mars - purely speculative, no proof that this is true, and no indication that this assertion could possibly be true.

The paper is very specific that this is speculation from parallels drawn from our experience on earth. I'm a bit confused by your assertion that there is "no indication that this assertion could possibly be true". The whole point of the paper is that it could be possible. Whether or not it turns out to be true depends entirely on what happens from here on.

Again: " no proof that this is true": that's because it is speculation. That's how hypotheses are drawn up. You seem to be predetermining the veracity of the hypothesis before it has even been tested. If everybody only hypothesised something that was intuitive or reasonably safe to assume up front, we would never have made any novel discoveries.

> -- therefore bacteria existed on Mars and formed the Martian mud bumps - no direct logical connection to any of the previous assertions. Just re-statements of the initial hypothetical assertions, presented as a logical conclusion.

Again, the paper very deliberately does not state this. It postulates it as a possibility and makes no assertion as to the likelihood of it. That is entirely from your own imagination.

The problem that you seem to have with this paper is that you intuitively think that the hypothesis is bunk. The paper is cautious and presented by someone who has enough experience in the field to know what she is talking about. Despite that, the paper goes to some length to stress that far more evidence is required.

All hypotheses are generated from observation, imagination and experience. Without it we cannot move forward. Some hypotheses turn out to be right, some wrong. That's why we have the scientific method, to guide us on the right path.

Regardless of what you think about the basis of the paper's assertions, the scientific method will determine the truth.

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skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> No, I mean proof. There is a fundamental difference between proof and evidence.

The word proof means to "test".

Unfortunately, in ordinary language people have conflated the meanings of evidence and proof.

What most people mean by proof is evidence.

Proof can be taken to mean sufficient evidence to establish a hypothesis as scientific fact.

However, what level of evidence required to attain proof is entirely subjective.

In either case, "proof" is merely sufficient evidence.

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skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> Yes, it is. Also, the use of "well" in this sentence is redundant. There are no possible qualifications on a proof: proof either exists, or it does not.

I assume you mean evidence. No evidence is absolute. Evidence has weight. Just because there is evidence doesn't necessarily mean that something is proven. There can be evidence *for* something that is patently false.

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skelband
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

> Unless these three requirements have been met, it's not science

You seem to be confused about something.

Science is not a body of well proven facts. That's called "knowledge".

If it were not so, then only librarians could be truly called scientists.

Science is a process, a very well defined process.

It involves

1) Observation,

2) the formation of hypotheses,

3) the derivation of testable, novel predictions based on those hypotheses and

4) a reliable, repeatable test capable of proving them.

I don't understand why you think that this paper is not science since it covers 1-3 and proposes the execution of 4.

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Euro Parliament: Time to rethink DRIP, other snoop laws

skelband
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> What I really find surprising though is how few attacks there are. I would assume that any "terrorist atrocity" that kills someone in the west makes it into the news.

I agree with most of what you say.

However, the fact that there are so few attacks doesn't strike me as odd at all.

We are social creatures to our very core. It is innate in us to abhor the murder of another individual almost as much as we abhor killing ourselves. If it were not so, then our race would have died out eons ago.

It takes religious fervour and intense brain washing to impel someone to commit such a heinous act against their own species.

Premeditated murder is hard and thank ${DEITY} it is.

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skelband
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> ...should be proportional to the security threat.

This is a simplistic assertion and takes no account of the efficacy of general public surveillance which as any fool knows is pretty low.

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

skelband
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Re: Push-button gear change? Really?

> Trying to join into traffic coming uphill from 15% gradient side street with such "hand brake" was definitely not a rewarding experience.

I drove one of these systems for the first time when visiting the UK driving a hire Passat.

One of the most convoluted and unintuitive systems I've ever encountered particularly for hill starts. It's not that it is particularly complicated once you understand how it works, it just lacks any kind of subtlety or sensitive control when trying to carefully enter traffic. I had the car for a week and I found it to be frustrating beyond belief and certainly designed by someone that doesn't have to drive in town/city traffic on a regular basis or where there are hills.

Also, as someone else commented, the hand brake is supposed to be a failsafe, mechanical fallback that you expect to work regardless of anything else including control systems, battery etc.

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skelband
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Picture confused me a bit to start.

It looked to me like the "buttons" were the slanted white segments and I was going to comment that the labels were ambiguously placed, but I *think* the buttons are the black sections in between but it doesn't seem very obvious to me.

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Verizon wants to sell 'antiquated' copper assets, stick to wireless for voice

skelband
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> “We're moving a lot of customers off copper onto wireless, especially for voice services and lower speed DSL”, McAdam said, adding that it delivers “frankly better” services than “antiquated copper”.

Bollocks.

As the gentleman above commented, they want to shove their landline customers onto services that they can charge more for, and divest themselves of the overheads of maintaining the copper and any statutory responsibilities that copper imposes on them.

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Saudi Arabia hires 'ethical hackers' to silence smut slingers

skelband
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> Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice

Aka the "British Home Secretary's Office"

Won't someone please think of the children?

Although of course that's illegal now.

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

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Kepler's STILL GOT IT! Space telescope spots SUPER-EARTH 180 light years away

skelband
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That's a damn good picture they took.

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Feds finger Norks in Sony hack, Obama asks: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA?

skelband
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Trollface

> the snoops have most likely compromised telcos and backbones in Asia to obtain this sort of evidence, assuming the FBI's allegations are true.

Which I think is illegal in most countries. It would certainly explain why they wouldn't want to divulge that.

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Finally kicked that Minecraft habit? Story time!

skelband
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Re: lol

> As usual Microsoft is missing the point and has no understanding of what the consumer wants.

Like Lego did with the sets of parts that weren't generic enough to reuse.

It's the infinite variety and lack of predefined scope that makes these things so engrossing.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

skelband
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Trollface

I wonder how many of the smiling sycophantic generals hanging around their glorious leader secretly want to put a knife in his ribs?

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skelband
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> How about we pirate it and f#$k Sony and the terrorist at the same time?

I like your thinking.

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skelband
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F*ck the terrorists.

I'd watch it just as a gesture, whether it was good or bad.

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

skelband
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All this f*cking nonsense has to stop.

I see some knowledgeable comments above about what small businesses have to do to get around this as something straighforward and normal.

From an outsider, it's crazy. No wonder so many people are scared off starting a small business these days. And it isn't ever going to get any simpler. The tax book just keeps getting thicker.

I'm calling for a large mob with pitch forks to march on the tax wonks and sling them into the street.

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

skelband
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We need a better way of paying the costs of these sites.

That a popular and useful site goes titsup because there is not enough advertising revenue to support it is a testament to how bad things are in the western world. That important resources are funded on the whim of advertising is a crime in this century. We all know that the subscription model just doesn't work.

There has to be a better way.

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Sony Pictures email hack: The bitter 'piracy war' between Google and Hollywood laid bare

skelband
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Re: Bending forward?

> Sounded more of a selfish move to me.

It's a company out to make money. Did you expect anything else?

Google will go where the money is.

It's a shame the MPAA and its members don't understand that otherwise they might find that the Internet poses previously unimaginable opportunities for them were they predisposed to avail themselves of it.

The likes of Hulu and Netflix understand this. Not only that, cinemas are seeing a massive new revival.

To make money, one requires imagination. The suits in Hollywood are too old to change.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

skelband
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Re: Not broke

Same here.

The enormous pop-ups on mousing over the headlines is in danger of giving me an epileptic fit.

And the absolutely enormous headline picture, what on earth were you thinking?

To be honest, I liked it the way it was.

Out of curiosity, what prompted the revamp?

As someone said above, why fix what isn't broken?

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Blu-ray region locks popped by hardware hacker

skelband
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Trollface

Can't disagree with a single word there but....I bet you get into some real shouting matches with your brother.

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skelband
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Headmaster

Re: And they wonder why we pirate?

> Fascinating insight into the mind of a serial copyright abuser, thanks.

You didn't call him a thief.

Thank heavens for small mercies.

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The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid

skelband
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And thus ends one of the most successful and convenient media distribution hubs in modern times.

I suppose it's back to the usual inability for most people to watch anything unless they have the "correct and approved" hardware, the right magic hocus pocus, or the willingness to sell their soul (and a large portion of their take-home pay) to a cable company.

The human race makes me weep sometimes.

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One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

skelband
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> "Is it reasonable that people who create content should have ownership of that content? Most people would say 'yes',"

This kind of thing is becoming more and more common.

You can't own a work. What does that even mean?

Copyright affords authors some limited privileges with respect to reproduction, nothing more.

I wish we could sort out our language with respect to copyright. I sometimes think that a lot of the friction around the issue of copyright is poor, emotionally-motivated use of language.

Can we agree that copyright violation is not "stealing".

Can we also agree that copyright doesn't grant "ownership", it bestows some limited, very specific, privileges.

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