With 237 reasons why, why am I having so little?
This is an English translation of an article that I, and six other Members of the Swedish Parliament representing the Moderate Party, had published in Expressen on January 3, 2008. The article, calling for decriminalization of all file sharing, has started a loud debate in Swedish media.
Decriminalizing all non-commercial file sharing and forcing the market to adapt is not just the best solution. It’s the only solution, unless we want an ever more extensive control of what citizens do on the Internet. Politicians who play for the antipiracy team should be aware that they have allied themselves with a special interest that is never satisfied and that will always demand that we take additional steps toward the ultimate control state. Today they want to transform the Internet Service Providers into an online police force, and the Antipiracy Bureau wants the authority for themselves to extract the identities of file sharers. Then they can drag the 15-year-old girl who downloaded a Britney Spears song to civil court and sue her.
If anyone is looking for signs that we may be headed into a recession, look no further than the dismal December sales results turned in by the nation’s retailers.
Many merchants who reported sales figures Thursday failed to meet already lowered sales projections, making this the weakest holiday season since 2002. Their performance led a string of stores to reduce earnings outlooks for the fourth quarter.
The weak results crossed all retail categories. Particularly hard hit were apparel sellers including Limited Brands Inc. and AnnTaylor Stores Corp., as well as department stores including Macy’s Inc. Among the few bright spots were low-price operators like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which posted results that exceeded Wall Street expectations, as it benefited from shoppers trading down to cheaper stores amid higher gas prices and a slumping housing market.
Well, people can’t even pay their phone bill any more, so that’s no surprise…
For those who have been following this adventure for the past few months, you probably thought that Polk County was the Florida poster child for anti-science sentiments. This story, though, shows that even Polk County can be one-upped:
Last month Taylor County School Board unanimously approved a resolution saying the district is opposed to teaching evolution as a fact.
No, that is not a joke, people. Here it is in the Taylor County school board meeting minutes of Nov. 20. Scroll down to page seven and you’ll see:
Upon motion by Danny Lundy, seconded by Darrell Whiddon the Board adopted/approved the: 1.) Resolution regarding the new Sunshine State Standards for Science.
The adoped resolution is as follows:
Whereas, the Florida Department of Education has drafted and is now proposing new Sunshine State Standards for Science, the Taylor County School Board opposes the implementation of the new standards as currently presented.
Whereas, the new Sunshine State Standards for Science no longer present evolution as theory but as “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported in multiple forms of scientific evidence,” we are requesting that the State Board of Education direct the Florida Department of Education to revise/edit the new Sunshine State Standards for Science so that evolution is presented as one of several theories as to how the universe was formed.
Since evolution says nothing about “how the universe was formed”, this ranks pretty high on the “how ignorant can you be” scale.
Evolutionary biology examines how living things change over time, regardless of how the universe “formed”, and is as relevant to the origin of the universe as motorcycle maintenance is.
The only Army officer charged with a crime as a result of the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has been cleared of all criminal responsibility in the case after a general this week dismissed the one conviction against him and wiped away the sentence.
The most massive known black hole in the universe has been discovered, weighing in with the mass of 18 billion Suns. Observing the orbit of a smaller black hole around this monster has allowed astronomers to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.
The black hole is about six times as massive as the previous record holder and in fact weighs as much as a small galaxy. It lurks 3.5 billion light years away, and forms the heart of a quasar called OJ287. A quasar is an extremely bright object in which matter spiralling into a giant black hole emits copious amounts of radiation.
But rather than hosting just a single colossal black hole, the quasar appears to harbour two – a setup that has allowed astronomers to accurately ‘weigh’ the larger one.
CES has no shortage of displays. And when MAKE offered us some TV-B-Gone clickers to bring to the show, we pretty much couldn’t help ourselves. We shut off a TV. And then another. And then a wall of TVs. And we just couldn’t stop.
“Somebody has to do the hard work. As a programmer, you have elected to be that person”
– Charles Petzold, Programming Windows 95
George Bush doesn’t like the Constitution. Especially that part where the Senate has to confirm his appointments. Remember when he wanted coal industry executive Richard Stickler to head the Mine Safety agency? Stickler was turned down by the Senate twice. So in late 2006 Bush did what he does and gave Stickler a recess appointment. Now that the recess appointment has expired, Bush has found that by putting “acting” at the beginning of a job title, he can appoint people whenever he likes?
Sony BMG, the music company, announced Thursday that it would become the fourth and final major label to begin selling digital music on Amazon.com, offering its entire catalog in the MP3 format by the end of the month.
Finally. Now Apple can drop the DRM as well. Now all we need to do is disband RIAA.