* Posts by Vladimir Plouzhnikov

2972 posts • joined 5 Jul 2007

Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Doesn't look like she is able to read

Explain what?

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Doesn't look like she is able to read

Not with the hair done like that...

And 275k? FFS...

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UK cops caught using 12 MILLION Brits' mugshots on pic database

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Welcome to UK.Stasi

'K, GB!

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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You have nothing to worry about, as long as you do not exceed the maximum allowable height limit for photographers in public places.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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The argument is not that the renewables are an incomplete solution.

The argument is that pursuing them is a fools errand - only making things worse by diverting resources, attention and political will from implementing a real solution, while on its own, having no chance of success.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: This isn't about energy, it's about ideology. @itzman

You nailed it.

Man is the seed of the Earth, quite literally. It is the Earthly version of life's means of propagating itself throughout the Universe and having a chance at competing with what's out there and, hopefully, proving that the good Gaia did a credible job of evolving a viable form of self-organising matter.

The Greens just don't get it. Through their ignorance they just can't see that life on Earth without man is an infertile fruit - not good for anything other than being eaten and it's not likely to get even that honour, what, in this backwater, on the outskirts of Milky Way...

What the Greens want is the equivalent of killing the children so as to help the mother. Most mothers would not like to be helped like that. In fact, most would kill in order to avoid being assisted in such way.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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So, are we all gonna die?

Not sure what are you proposing then?

Anyway, you are wrong on nuclear. The uranium reserves we know of now will be sufficient for hundreds of years and electricity actually = petrol, as you can make hydrocarbons to your heart's content if you have enough electricity, carbon and water.

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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I am fairly confident

That no terrorist would be able to control a hijacked plane well enough to hit a specific cinema in Manhattan. I think that Sunshine Cinema will be the safest place to be in NYC if they go ahead with the screening. The rest of the Big Apple should better be evacuated though...

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: There's no such thing as "great CGI effects".

I think we have to agree to disagree. For me, models are just as conspicuously noticeable as CGI though the combination of both sometimes works very well.

Coming back to the specifics of the latest Hobbit - I actually found the live action parts of the movie to be more distracting than the CGI. With the latter, I at least was in an automatic suspension of disbelief mode.

The live scenes, however, all looked like they were coming from a "behind the scenes" documentary. No cinematic feel to it at all. I don't quite know why that was so - was it specific to RED Epic cameras? Was it 48fps frame rate? Or perhaps the 5k resolution?

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: There's no such thing as "great CGI effects".

Even if CGI is still noticeable it is still a big improvement on plasticine stop motion animation, crude mattes and cardboard flying saucers on strings that are the alternative. As nostalgically endearing Ray Harryhausen's figurines were, they still look blatantly more noticeably unreal.

It's sci-fi or fantasy, which by definition means it's unreal and is happening in non-existent places.

Unless you shoot on location on Geonosis and build a fully operational replica drone-building factory, the CGI is the best available option and its state-of-the-art is unquestionably getting better (when it is done properly and not as in, say, Dr Who or the like).

Of course, it does not make up for the deficiencies of the script, plot holes, poor acting etc - but these things are not dependent on whether there is CGI or not.

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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There is a big problem here

When this kind of power is given to people who apparently like that kind of music...

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Less than a dollar per shot

But he is surely talking in terms of military dollars, which, as is well known, equal to 3,141,592.65 normal US dollars each.

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Blu-ray region locks popped by hardware hacker

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Region Locks

Yeah, whenever any kind of "intellectual property" is involved - expect a legalised racket there...

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: I have returned stuff before as unplayable

I also had a few cases where I had to reauthor commercial DVDs because of stupid authoring or encoding errors made by the manufacturers - like not putting 16:9 flags in widescreen video or buggy VM code.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Region Locks

"So the region lock supports a company which has bought distribution rights for a film in their region to protect their investment from imports from outside the region by a different company that has no rights there."

In other words - a cartel cornering the market. Things like that are illegal in every other industry. Why should they be allowed for media rightsholders?

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Firms will have to report OWN diverted profits under 'Google Tax' law

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: bank transfers

"But surely the efficient place to collect tax is at the bank transfer."

On the contrary, that would be a most inefficient way to tax anyone.

Far from every bank transfer represents a payment for goods or services. There are loans and repayments, prefinancings and coupons, intracompany transfers, collateral transfers, margin calls.

You want the bank to act as a real time taxman trying to understand exactly which accounting category an individual transfer represents and collecting all the ass-covering documentation? Do you realise how much banks will charge you on top of any "tax" that they collect.

Not even in the heyday of the USSR has such a stupid bureaucracy been imposed on an economic system.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Diverted profits

"Hey Joe, how much diverted profits we have in our books?"

"Lemme see, Boss... yep, just as I thought - a big fat zero, Boss!"

"Oi, guv - you see? Told you so!"

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: It won't work.

"abortion and breast cancer"

Really? I missed this one. Is this a geolocated bizarreness, or am I just unobservant? (Both are possible.)

Unobservant? There is a link between blindness and... wait, where are my bloody spectacles?..

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Review mass-snoop laws regularly, says RIPA daddy Blunkett

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: And in other news

Well, at least Mr Ed "Phil" Snowden never charged his GF's train tickets to the UK taxpayer's account. Talking about thievery and all that...

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Ethanol?

"The lakes are not made from water though, but from liquid methane and ethanol."

Ethane, maybe? I doubt there is enough free oxygen there for whole lakefuls of alcohol to appear spontaneously, not to say a bit cold for the fermenting yeast...

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Mighty Blighty filter tilter causes communications chaos

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Mission creep

Yes, but that's nothing!

The valiant police have started to charge people for fraudulently pretending to be terrorists, or so it seems: Counter-terrorism police charge two people with fraud offences

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Apple deliberately wiped rivals' music from iPods – iTunes court claim

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: whoever put it there manages to corrupt the iPod file system.

Malware, to the extent of my knowledge, is a software, the use of which is detrimental to the user, not to a rival software provider. In the latter case it will simply be a competing product.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Confused about this case

"when whoever put it there manages to corrupt the iPod file system."

Yes, because the art of copying files between two devices without corrupting the file systems is so unimaginably difficult...

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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"Apple had from the beginning not wanted DRM"

Yes, they've locked up the whole bloody phone - why would they want the extra hassle of locking down individual files...

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Men, Women and Children: Shows how crap the internet is via the medium of crap film

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Geeeez!

"'Dad, I saw something on the internet....' - that's the worst opening of any conversation you can have with your child," says director Jason Reitman.

"I'm terrified of my [eight-year-old] daughter having access to the internet - I fear it every time she asks for a phone."

Oh my, the guy simply needs psychiatric help, yet he is being held out as some kind of final authority on human-internet interactions...

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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This is not a comedy

It's a horror movie shot specifically for the Daily Fail audience.

Sounds like they simply took all the internet myths and scary tales in which the permanently morally outraged DF readers so want to believe and be frightened by, and made a "movie" out of it.

They only seemed to forget to iclude the "internet will turn you into an exploding jihadist" bit. I guess that takes one star off their rating...

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It was SPACECRAFT vs BOAT at ORION LAUNCH. The boat won

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: burns up on reentry...

OK, there is no need for us to continue with these gossipy Whispas - the launch has been rescheduled to some time After Eight tomorrow, anyway.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Mission to Mars

One has to walk before one can run.

Before all this talk about Galaxy and Milky Way - let's see how they do with Aero braking first. There'll be no Bounty if that thing burns up on reentry...

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Pub time for NASA bods? Orion spacecraft test launch called off

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Parachutes are like aeroplane engines - you can never have too many...

Airline captain's dream:

Flight Engineer: "Captain, we have a slight over-temp on engine #6, sir"

Captain: "Very well. Pilot, throttle down engine #6"

Pilot: "Ay ay, sir. Ah... that will be #6 on which wing, sir?"

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Why is wind a problem

"Why would something this large suffer from the wind."

Eh? Because it's large. And it balances on its tip. You wouldn't want it to hit the tower on take off or gimbal-lock the engines while trying to correct for wind drift so that you'd have to then ask the range safety officer to turn it into an unscheduled fireworks display...

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: This is bad but inevitable

"And why you think on-premise software is "loyal to you" and "under your control" is beyond me."

Are you saying that any and all systems *will* be compromised if ever connected to a network? So we just have to live with that, bow to the inevitable and enjoy it while we can?

Even in your gloomy world it would still be possible to start with a locally run system that is not compromised at the time of installation and that will, at least for some time run, under *your* control.

With the software run on a remote machine even that initial grace period is impossible.

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Prudes

"violent penetration with foreign objects"

OMG! They've banned Star Wars!!

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Hawking: RISE of the MACHINES could DESTROY HUMANITY

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Unjustified paranoia

Any AI that will think itself so superior to humans that it would want to supplant them will be crap. It will screw itself over in a very short order. We'll just have to wait a little bit for it to fry its brains or make some stupid mistake that will take it out.

That will serve as a warning for any subsequent AIs who will know better than to go into a pissing contest with humanity.

I am more worried about environmentalists leaving us with our pants down in the face of some natural catastrophe than of an AI going rogue.

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Why a heat shield?

"Surely the craft could just spend longer gliding to earth?"

Yes, that's true but only if the spacecraft has enough fuel reserve so that it can slow itself down before beginning of aerobraking. The problem is that you need to bring that fuel all the way from Earth and that means you need a bigger rocket to start with.

Given that the Saturn V was the biggest rocket available and that it was already loaded to capacity with other stuff - like the Apollo craft itself, people, scientific equipment, consumables - the luxury of a longer powered braking was simply not available.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Bah!

"And this isn't new because they were doing this with Apollo and Gemini and for all I know Mercury too"

And they're still doing it with Soyuz on every flight (except when they have a short-circuit in the auto-pilot and then perform a "ballistic" landing, which presumably refers to the condition of the crew members' balls after the event).

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Looking at that picture....

"Then you have a handy helicopter. Yep, I'm joking."

Ever heard about Roton?

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Hominid ancestors beat humans to the drinks cabinet, say boffins

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Only the pleasure of eating?

"That's because lactose isn't by nature toxic and mind-affecting. Ethanol is."

QED. Thank you.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Only the pleasure of eating?

"Tolerance for ethanol would make apes with the efficient ADH4 able to get more food, which would lead to the brain developing pleasure pathways linked to alcohol consumption."

This doesn't sound convincing to me. Tolerance to lactose certainly opened a whole new range of foods for humans yet we don't get drunk on milk as some kind of an evolutionary reward. OTOH, methanol gives you the same kind of pleasure, apparently, before killing you dead.

What I mean is that while tolerance to C2H5OH was clearly helpful as a way to a more, ahem, varied diet, the pleasure issue is a coincidental side-effect.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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ADH4 to its friends

Who is its friend? ADHD? Or is it a family relation?

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Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Yes, yes, there's a hilt...

It's a steampunk version. It works on kerosene and there is a small pump in the handle which you use to pressurise the fuel before lighting it up.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Everybody's bent out of shape over that Lightsabre

Yes, this is for taking the Mickey out... If you try to stab him in the head and he ducks (he, he), at least you chop both of his ears off.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Nah. Rubbish engineering

Should have crossed the side-(burns? -lights? -sabres?) forward, over the main blade.

Still stupid, though - you can never draw it quickly enough as it will snag in the folds of the Jedi robe/Sith cape/whatever...

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Deciphered?

I don't think we have deciphered anything yet. All that was done was separating the whole cipher message into individual codegroups. From there to clear text is still a long way...

Maybe a more charitable analogy is that of reverse-engineering an unknown binary program. We think we've isolated individual instructions but we don't know the instruction set, so can't tell a MOV from a BCS and not sure about the addressing modes either. Also it's a bit of the mystery as to how the data is stored. And it would be nice to know which register holds the stack pointer. And... well, that's my understanding of the HGP status anyway.

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Compensation?

No, you are missing the same point in the same way.

Copyright does not guarantee you get paid for every copy. It only prohibits others from making copies without your consent. It is presumed that you will not give your consent if you don't think you are suitably compensated, but you might.

When taken literally, that means one cannot format-shift without the rights holder's approval and the rights holders can demand payment in exchange for letting someone do that.

I am not saying it isn't the case. What I'm saying is that it is unfair and abusive when applied to the reality of the modern technology and so must be changed (as is happening now) and the changes should not include the right for the copyright holder to demand compensation for format-shifting (as is seemingly happening as well).

Also, I disagree with your idea that the artists are somehow incurring a loss because of this change.

They have never been paid for the format-shifting before, when it was happening illegitimately, so, if they won't get paid now it is only maintaining the status quo.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: People won't know who to hate in this one...

I don't have anything against real musicians (not the mass-manufactured clones from x-factor etc). Not at all.

All the music I have in my collection has been paid for, often more than once (remasters, reremasters, special editions, what have you). I go to concerts when I can (dragging my family with me more often than not) and I even bought band-branded beer a few times (BBT)...

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Compensation?

@SDoradus & Ben Tasker

Please note that I am not arguing whether something is legal or not in this particular case. My concern is whether this should or shouldn't be so.

My argument is that format shifting for personal use should be legal and there is no case for the original artist getting any compensation for it alone.

SDoradus, you say the value I get is a permission to listen.

Yes, OK, when I buy a CD - I get a dataset of x samples of sound in digital form and a permission to convert them into acoustic waves whenever I feel like. When I rip that CD to MP3 - no new samples are being acquired and the end results, when I listen to that MP3, are the acoustic waves of equal or lower fidelity than before. The path from samples to sound is irrelevant. I get no additional value from the artist.

So far I have not heard any rational counterargument to that except "oh, it's prohibited by law". Anything can be prohibited by law if you have enough money and influence to get it through the system. It doesn't count.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Re: Compensation?

"It's relevant in so far as you are not actually allowed to make a copy of something without a license to do so."

But that's purely an artificial construct and a tautology if used in an argument - "it's not allowed because it is not allowed".

Let's suppose I "lobbied" by council to let me draw a line across the street where I live and toll everyone who steps over it. That will be licensed and legal but the essence of it will still be a good old racket as I'd provide no value in exchange for the money I'd collect. Same thing is with the copyright if it is applied in the way the rights holders always want.

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Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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Strange argument

I never understood the logic behind the argument that musicians should be entitled to any "compensation" if someone rips a legitimately purchased CD to MP3 for their own personal use.

It just doesn't stack up - no new data has been acquired, there is no improvement of quality, any improvement in convenience is solely due to the technology involved (and paid for) and no reasonable person can expect somebody to be able to listen simultaneously to both the CD and the MP3 - so only one copy is in use at any given time.

Where is the value added by the musician during the ripping process for which they must be compensated?

Meanwhile, if every media item were to be taxed to pay to the poor artists why should I pay them anything if all I burn on my DVDs is my family home videos?

I'm with the UK on this, not with the continent.

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Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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In the meantime

Bored by waiting, NASA has made a nice 3D composite of a pair of the comet 67p's pictures it got from ESA :-)

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Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
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"Why is that people who share or release other peoples data on the internet and then get caught suddenly want to become politicians?"

Better them than those who have stolen the data in the first place, don't you think? Except those latter ones are already either politicians (bad) or bureaucrats (even worse) or spies (the worst).

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