* Posts by Edward Barrow

11 posts • joined 17 Feb 2007

Economists say P2P file-sharing fuels art

Edward Barrow

correlated does not always mean causes...

The raw numbers of products made - albums, films - etc has gone up as filesharing has gone up. But is it causal?

Technology has greatly reduced the cost of production; you can do on a Mac what used to need kit worh 100s of thousands. Any fule can make an album with Logic (and the quality of most of it shows). This is a good thing, but it's not filesharing that's caused it.

Intrinsically costly productions - classical orchestral pieces for example - have almost certainly declined over the same period.

Data centers embrace The Great Outdoors

Edward Barrow

reclaim the heat

Dave: I'm sure I've posted comments on this before so between us we'll challenge any patent trolls. I don't know how much the waste heat is recycled even within datacentres: for example, how does the Googleplex heat the hot water for its washrooms and kitchens? Or the employee swimming pool?

I think the real answer though lies in decentralising the data processing itself, so that you replace the oil or gas burners in domestic boilers and furnaces with xeons crunching arbitrary numbers for gazillions of virtual machines in a vast distributed cloud.

Judge attacks 'bits of legal boilerplate, bolted together'

Edward Barrow

not unusual

This is exactly the same practice which cased the cockup with Google's Chrome EULA.

Incidentally the learned judge is one of the authors of that fine tome "The Modern Law of Copyright and Designs", the second edition of which is available for a very reasonable £556 on Amazon.

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out

Edward Barrow

Lazy lawyering

It's obviously a cut-and-paste job from another licence; it will be changed when someone with a commercial brain talks to the lawyer who did it.

Nvidia drivers named as lead Vista crash cause in 2007

Edward Barrow

@ a j stiles

You are absolutely right, but it shouldn't just apply to drivers. Copyright in all code should be conditional on publishing the source code. You don't get a patent without publishing how the invention works. There is in all intellectual property an inherent bargain: publish, for the good of society, and in return society gives you a restricted monopoly. Patent law makes it explicit; the fact that we've lost it in software copyright for a whole host of historical reasons has resulted in lots of monopoly abuses, broken drivers and worse.

Boffinry bigwig puts another boot into biofuels

Edward Barrow

only for tractors

imo, the only future for biofuels is to power tractors, reducing agriculture's dependence on oil so we don't starve when it runs out. And whether that's going to be any more efficient than growing oats to feed horses is moot.

The 'green' car tax grabs that don't add up

Edward Barrow

Only if there were road pricing AS WELL

Stern's carbon tax pays for the environmental costs of the CO2 emission, and should apply to all fossil fuel including home heating fuel and fuel for the railways.

And cars including electric cars should pay for the costs of maintaining and providing the highway, including a recognition of the value of the land that it occupies and the social costs such as health and accident liability. As a free marketeer, you should recognise that the most effective way of achieving this would be to privatise the roads and the right to exact tolls for travelling on them.

Minister calls for boffins to engage with public

Edward Barrow

The role of publishing

"Science isn't science until it's published" - in a peer-reviewed journal, meant to be read by by the scientist's peers.

there needs to be just a little change: science isn't science until it's published, in a peer-reviewed journal, still, for quality control, but with an abstract intended for the public. No layperson's abstract, no publication. The scientist should write the lay abstract, but the journal publisher should insist on it.

Germans debut kitesurf-powered autonomous windjammer

Edward Barrow

too much stuff

The mistake is to assume that growth is linked to buying and shipping more stuff. It's true that buying, making and shipping more cheaper and crappier stuff has been the way of progress for a century or two, but less-better-more expensive stuff is the way to go now at least for us in the rich world.

Has anyone noticed the number of self-storage depots springing up all over the place? People don't have room for all the stuff they've already got. Chucking it all out soon won't be an option either, with landfill tax and weeee directives.

Speed-cam fines topped out in 2005

Edward Barrow

then again

Could just be that the cameras are actually doing what they're supposed to do, which is to get people to obey the law.

For various reasons, cameras included, I now make a conscious effort to keep to the speed limit. Never out of third in town.

Do we really need a daily shower or bath to stay healthy?

Edward Barrow

No wonder they're running out of water

It's the world's driest continent, yet nine percent of them shower three times a day?

Clearly the gene for criminal irresponsibility is still there....

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