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French copyright enforcers: “Pirates are big spenders on legit content”

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 20:43 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

HADOPI, the French agency charged with disconnecting French Internet users who use the same Internet connections as accused copyright infringers, conducted a study on media purchasing habits by copyright infringers. They concluded that the biggest unauthorized downloaders are also the biggest customers for legitimate media. Just like every other study that’s looked at the question, of course, but this time the study was funded and released by one of the most extreme copyright enforcement bodies on the planet.


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  1. Yet another rationalization for piracy. Pirates don’t have enough rationalizations already? Does it really matter that they’re willing to pay for some content but not all? I guess that depends on which artist you ask. The one who is getting paid for their work or the one who isn’t. Sorry. This study is irrelevant.

  2. The study is indeed irrelevant, because everything it says is already known. And yes, it does matter that they’re willing to pay for some content but not all – but you need to ask (and answer) this: why? Why do they pay for content X but not Y? Could it be availability? If you live in France and want to watch, say, Spartacus from HBO, there’s only one way: pirate it. Would it be less pirated if you could actually buy it?

    The first step to finding this out – and reducing piracy along the way – is to recognize that you need to find the answer to those questions, and the first step towards that is to realize that your biggest pirates are also your biggest spenders. Oh, wait, that means this study is relevant after all.

  3. They can’t buy Washington Parish watermelons in France, either. So what? You’re saying people pirate because they have no means to purchase the product? If I want to see Spartacus, I have to subscribe to HBO. That’s the price. If they can’t subscribe to HBO in France, they should have to do without Spartacus.

  4. Oh, and HBO “On Demand” is on the internet. They will one day be able to get HBO legally in France (If they can’t already), perhaps when France does something about piracy.

  5. If they can’t subscribe to HBO in France, they should have to do without Spartacus.

    Good luck stopping piracy that way.

  6. No crime can be totally eliminated. The criminals will just be prosecuted and fined or jailed when they’re caught. Quite a few of them are going to get caught. You probably know a bazillion ways to get around tracking software and might even recognize a sting site when you see one but the average file downloader doesn’t.

  7. Not to mention that shafting your best customers is not actually going to endear them to you.

    This argument about access rather than ability to pay is true for me. I’d actually pay equivalent to their license fees for fresh BBC content, but they won’t let me…sigh…

  8. As an artist and technologically competent person, I would love it if I got to the point where people are bittorrenting my music. It’s free publicity and distribution, if it gets even one person to buy a track, then great, they might not have heard of me otherwise. Its a shame that it is viewed as a threat instead of a boon for mass distribution of media by so many

  9. Prosecuting and punishing thieves is equivalent to “shafting your best customers”? What will they do? More stealing and pay the heavier price the next time they’re caught? Quit buying the content they’ve been buying?

    I can’t get fresh BBC content, either, Sue. All I get is what BBC-America offers. We get Spartacus, they get Waking The Dead. :)

  10. You’re free to do exactly that, mysteryweapon. Who is stopping you? This whole problem would go away if artists distributed their own material. They don’t, though. They sign recording contracts and studio contracts and book publishing deals, etc.

  11. The criminals will just be prosecuted and fined or jailed when they’re caught.

    So you’d rather spend gobs of money prosecuting a victimless crime than find a new way to get less crime and more sales in the first place?

    Quit buying the content they’ve been buying

    That’s what I’ve been doing. Haven’t been to a cinema in years, quit buying music.

    And I don’t bother pirating – for example, I’ve got an iPod full of music from the time I did buy, and I found out if I put it on shuffle I’ll never get bored. So why buy new (or pirate, for that matter)?

    Right now it’s unlikely they ever get me back as a customer even if they stop treating their best customers as criminals.

  12. I create music for more than 15 years. Today I can publish my own music on itunes and beatport myself via Rebeat or Tunecore. 
     I dont need and want record companies anymore. 
    That’s the real reason why they’re fighting piracy.
    New artists don’t need them anymore.
    Fighting piracy is a last breath.
    Most of them are  crooks anyway. And their music sucks too. 

  13. Piracy is not a victimless crime. Selling songs, CDs, DVDs, and books is honest work. Stealing their products is no different than stealing whiskey from a liquor store or shoes from a shoe store. It’s only easier. It hurts the merchants. It hurts the manufacturers. It hurts all of the vendors who support the merchants and manufacturers. It hurts all of the employees of the merchants, vendors, and manufacturers. If trains go out of business because of cars and airplanes, that’s the free market at work. If they go out of business because people keep robbing them, that’s something else and I support stopping it or at least trying to.

    You have the perfect solution, Paul. Whose music sucks, though? The people who sign with record labels? I buy music from iTunes. I also buy CDs, DVDs, and books from Amazon. They’re both evil middlemen, too.

  14. You’ve carefully avoided my question: So you’d rather spend gobs of money prosecuting a victimless crime than find a new way to get less crime and more sales in the first place?

  15. Within reason, yes. I wouldn’t go as far as “millions for defense, not one cent for tribute” because I don’t think anyone can afford that philosophy any more.

  16. “This whole problem would go away if artists distributed their own material. They don’t, though. They sign recording contracts and studio contracts and book publishing deals, etc.”

    Just want to understand, your justification for legitimate customers being treated like thugs is that the artist is too stupid to be able to handle the business side of their work in a modernized fashion? This precedent that Metallica started by suing their own fans is nothing short of retarded.

    When a person must fork over a sum of money they could never hope to attain in a lifetime of work and have the rest of their life completely ruined by a money hungry media copratocracy in the name of “defending artists”, who is the real criminal? If you can’t make money from free advertising via electronic replication, your product never had a goddamn leg to stand on in the first place.

  17. Not talking about legitimate customers, mysteryweapon. Just the thieves. Didn’t once say artists were too stupid. They like the money the various recording companies or publishing houses offer them to sign. Those companies have a right to protect their investment and to want a return on it. Metallica has every right to charge for their product. If you don’t want it, you are free to not purchase it. You are not free to take it from them or anyone they authorize to distribute for them because you don’t like the price or the terms.

    “When a person must fork over a sum of money they could never hope to attain in a lifetime of work and have the rest of their life completely ruined by a money hungry media copratocracy in the name of “defending artists”, who is the real criminal?”

    Easy. The person who broke the law, the person who violated the terms of service is the criminal.

  18. So you have little interest in actually fixing it, and think prosecution is the far more important?

    Wow.

  19. So you’re probably not a big fan of the Twenty-first Amendment, then?

  20. I want it to evolve on its own. Paul Jay and mysteryweapon have found ways around it without breaking the law. If more did what they’re doing, it would evolve into something closer to what you want. Well, maybe anyway.

    I wonder how virtuous those two artists are if Warner Brothers or Geffen Records were to wave a stack of cash at them.

    Not sure how the 21st amendment is relevant. It merely repealed the 18th amendment. I’m not FOR prohibition.

  21. I want it to evolve on its own.

    Consider piracy to be evolutionary pressure.

    Not sure how the 21st amendment is relevant

    Drinking alcohol was a crime. Not a victimless crime, to say the least. Following your stance on piracy, you would not have wanted money spent on anything but prosecution of people drinking – perhaps a little on rehab, but that’s it. At most, you’d wanted recreational drinking to evolve on its own, since some drinkers appear to have found ways around it without breaking the law.

  22. I consider piracy to be criminal and it should be dealt with accordingly.

    Buying and consuming alcohol was made a crime by the 18th amendment. I would have opposed that one but I would have obeyed it while working to change it. That’s what our modern day pirates should be doing.

  23. So any law you think is unjust will never be changed by any of your actions, no matter how unjust you feel the law is?

  24. I don’t make the laws but I vote for the people who do. I won’t always agree with them. I can’t just break the laws I don’t like. There is nothing unjust about this anyway. People are not entitled to free music, free cable, free concerts, free books, or a chicken in their pots. The people who provide those products and services are no different than anyone else who provide products and services. How much they charge or if they charge at all should be up to them.

  25. Oh, and I know we’ve butted heads on this before but I do want to say I appreciate the civility. I don’t weigh in on this elsewhere mainly because that’s not always the reaction.

  26. There is nothing unjust about this anyway.

    That’s now what I asked you – I knew you felt that way, and quite simply that’s a matter of opinion, and mine happens to be different. I said: So any law you think is unjust will never be changed by any of your actions, no matter how unjust you feel the law is?

    I take it the answer is no. That’s fine with me – you’re free to feel that way, but progress in society will never be made by people like you.. (which is fine too – not all progress is by definition good or right)

  27. Progress in society IS made by people like me but not by people like me alone. If I feel strongly about something I think needs changing, I’ll write or call my representatives. I’ll sign petitions. I’ll work for candidates that agree with me. I won’t always get my way, though. That’s as it should be.

  28. Writing your rep is not always useful

  29. Definitely not always useful and with my dismal winning vote percentage, it’s most likely they’ll tell me to sit down and shut up. :) I’ve signed a recall petition. I’ve worked in a campaign. The recall didn’t gather enough signatures but the campaign I worked in was successful. It can be done.

  30. The irony of metallica is that their fan base was built because of fan to fan bootlegs. How many bootleg tapes have people offered you lately? None, because mp3 is the new bootleg. You’re right, I have the right not to buy metallica crap, and after that fiasco, I wouldn’t listen to anything by metallica or own any property of theirs unless it was stolen. Your fans are what make you, when you get this attitude that you are suddenly more important than the people who make your existence up, that’s when I call bullshit. They only started having to sue people because they could no longer make decent music that people would actually buy, and that’s precedent for bands and companies that are seeing their business model crash and burn. Suing your way out of a problem doesn’t work, just look at SCO

  31. I haven’t seen any kind of bootlegs since I was a kid. I would counter that Metallica’s music is desirable or no one would want to steal it. I would also disagree that what makes them is their fans. What makes them is their music. If it draws an audience, more power to them. Metallica went after Napster because they are one of the few bands who had the resources to do it. The quality of their music had nothing whatever to do with their lawsuit. Metallica may not be the musical force they were in 2000 but who is?

  32. “Easy. The person who broke the law, the person who violated the terms of service is the criminal.”

    Then if I pirate stuff I am not a criminal, as the Hungarian laws clearly state that downloading is not a crime.
    Also, I already pay for all the music I never pirate when I buy DVDs, CDs or flashdrives.

    So if I decided to pirate stuff, I am not a criminal :)

    The person who breaks the law is indeed a criminal. I wonder why, in some cases, people insist to call them “victims of communism”.

    On the other hand the “violated the terms of service is the criminal”, now that’s an interesting question.
    If I sell you a software, and put in the terms of services, that:
    1) by opening the case you accept the terms of services
    2) from now on you are not allowed to sing your national anthem

    and then you sing your national anthem you will be a criminal.
    Or maybe my terms of service are criminal?

  33. “Selling songs, CDs ….. is honest work.” If it is done by the actual artists, I would agree Rob. Somehow you have this misplaced idea that those entities that used to be known as the record companies are good and honest people. Try asking the musicians if they believe that to be true. Try asking all the artists who are still waiting for payments from the 70s, 80s, 90s and so forth. Try asking the people who are still waiting for their royalties to be paid for decades despite court rulings. Need I continue? You seem to place great store in “the law”. Time to investigate the music industry from that angle, for starters.

    There’s that “research” word appearing again. Try it some time Rob. Properly.

  34. ““Selling songs, CDs ….. is honest work.” If it is done by the actual artists, I would agree Rob.”

    When its not done by the artist, it’s done by someone who paid the artist money for the rights to do so. Your whining is misplaced. You should be angry with the artist, not the record company. Mysteryweapon, at least, had that part of it right.

    “Somehow you have this misplaced idea that those entities that used to be known as the record companies are good and honest people.”

    Most successful businesses are ruthless. See Walmart, Dell, Microsoft. The artist does not have to sign with them. Oh, that’s right. They like the money. Again, your whining is misplaced.

    “Try asking the musicians if they believe that to be true. Try asking all the artists who are still waiting for payments from the 70s, 80s, 90s and so forth. Try asking the people who are still waiting for their royalties to be paid for decades despite court rulings.”

    Payola was awful but artists wised up to it. They don’t sign those kinds of lopsided contacts any more … but they do still sign contracts. Why? Why not distribute the music, themselves?

    “There’s that “research” word appearing again. Try it some time Rob. Properly.”

    I respond to what’s here, Irene. Same as you. But I’m not going to respond to you any more. Arguing with fools and all that.

  35. Let’s keep this brief. Your use of terms such as “whining” and your final sentence demonstrate your usual level of maturity, Rob.
    Your standard of debating/arguing as in – “I respond to what’s here, Irene. Same as you.” is also in the same vein, mainly because it it untrue. Given the low benchmark of your refutations, the fact that you are not going to respond to me anymore, could be taken by many as a joy to behold. Take your bat and ball and go home.

    Alternatively, lighten up Rob. It’s not a competition. As I’ve said on a previous occasion – Wake up and smell the hummus.

A Brief History of Apple Not Buying Things

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 20:41 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

For years, Apple has confounded the rest of us by not buying things that it should clearly be buying. Not purchasing other well-known companies is so core to Apple’s strategy that it must have a whole department devoted to non-mergers and un-acquisitions.


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Sex abuse led to 26 suicides says policeman

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 15:01 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

In interviews with a university researcher, Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson of the Ballarat Crimes Investigation Unit has revealed that during his investigations into Father Gerald Risdale and Christian Brother Robert Best – which led to both being convicted – he discovered that up to 24 young men had killed themselves in the years after they were abused by one or both of the men.

Detective Carson has recently learned of two more suicides, bringing his count to 26.

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A research paper prepared by lawyer Judy Courtin, a PhD candidate in law at Monash University, examining the Catholic Church and child sexual assault, says that according to Detective Carson, the information about the suicides was discovered during the course of recent investigations into Best’s abuse.


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Can you survive Baltimore’s 5K zombie run?

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 14:29 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

[Quote]:

One of the first rules to surviving an attack by the living dead, as related to us by the main character in the film "Zombieland", is cardiovascular health. The undead may be clumsy, but they’re also fairly quick and extremely unrelenting, so being in top shape when the time comes to escape the brain-hungry masses should be a priority.

What better way to measure how you’re stacking up against the competition then by participating in this year’s “Run For Your Lives” race? The 5K (3.1 miles) event, taking place an hour outside of Baltimore, has you frantically running through a forested obstacle course – all the while attempting to avoid a horde of zombie volunteers nipping at your heels.


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Comments:

  1. Baltimore Rules!!! Go Zombies!!!

  2. i love baltimore! hope the zombies prevail!

NSW rabbis brawl over child abuse

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 14:16 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

Rabbi Yosef Feldman, president of the Rabbinical Council of NSW and based at the Southern Sydney Synagogue, has sparked outrage in a series of emails to other rabbis when he said it should be up to them to determine whether a paedophile should be reported to authorities.

The rabbi also said that, where possible, allegations of abuse should be dealt with outside the Australian legal system.


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Comments:

  1. Oh come on!

    It’s not bad enought that the Catholic church is, at best, dithering over whether or not to hand over paedophile priests to the authorities?

    Now the JEWS are taking the same approach?

    The worst advertising for religion is priests.

  2. In the fockin’ sack, rabbis!

$230,000 For a Guard Dog: Why the Wealthy Are Afraid Of Violence From Below

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 13:15 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

John Johnson, the owner of the $230,000 dog featured in the New York Times, is a former debt collector. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

He sold his debt collection company three years ago, but still has not just one, but six highly—and expensively—trained “executive protection dogs.” Harrison K-9 services, the trainers behind Johnson’s pricey protection dogs, used to train dogs for elite military units like the Navy Seal team that raided Osama bin Laden’s compound. The article doesn’t say exactly how many dogs Harrison K-9 has provided for the world’s rich and famous, but it does feature a quote from their head trainer saying she’s trained “a thousand” dogs.


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Big Pharma looks to capitalize on success of vitamin D by turning it into a ‘drug’ for kidney disease

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 12:23 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

With an incredible success rate for vitamin D in treating a myriad of health conditions, it is no wonder that some drug companies are looking for new ways to capitalize on this natural, inexpensive nutrient.

Biopharmaceutical giant Rockwell Medical recently announced that it has acquired a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic, injectable form of vitamin D called Calcitriol, that it openly refers to as a “drug.”

Marketed under several brand names including Rocaltrol (Roche), Calcijex (Abbott), and Decostriol (Mibe, Jesalis), Calcitriol is really nothing more than vitamin D3, or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, that has been placed in a syringe with sterile fluids and other additives. And yet Rockwell Medical, as well as various medical information sources, refer to Calicitriol as a “drug,” which is why Rockwell Medical obtained an ANDA in the first place.


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Comments:

  1. How “cute”, when 5-15 minutes in the sun every day will provide you all the Vit-D you need, or a simple multi-vitamin tablet that costs a few p…

  2. Well doctors who study the stuff say that unless you live in air truly without modern pollution you need WAY MORE than what you get from typical sun exposure when it comes to actual health problems that benefit from vitamin D. This is why the sudden interest by Big Pharm in the chemical.

    To help illustrate this point, I met a physician’s assistant from central Alaska who visiting her sister in Arizona, in June. The sister a point of getting her sun exposure for vitamin D. She said that very week they were each tested on the same day for their Vitamin D levels and the Alaskan had twice as much vitamin D in her than her sunny city sibling. The Alaskan, who promotes taking supplements with calcium believes the moist, polluted air over Phoenix is the cause of her sister’s deficiency.

    People are beginning to catch on to the fact that most Americans are seriously lacking in their vitamin D. I just had mine tested after meeting that woman, but I have not gotten the results back yet.

  3. Rather than pollution, I’d suspect the Arizona sister is just not spending very much time in the sun. And the Alaska resident is probably eating way more oily fish (salmon etc).

  4. The sunshine you get through the office window – glass – doesn’t help at all with the D vitamin levels either. Also, if she uses sunscreens that negates the sunshine effect too, as sunscreens block nearly all production of vitamin-D.

    So if you live in California and spend all your day on the beach, using the sunscreen, you will get lower levels of D Vitamin than someone in Alaska – who doesn’t use suncscreen.

Cartoons

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 12:19 by Paul Jay in category: Cartoon


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Norge rammet av terror 22.7

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 10:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

Pictures of all the Norway victims (with brief bios)


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Obama

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 9:59 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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Cartoon

Posted on July 31st, 2011 at 9:59 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Sect leader warns of ‘death’ to ‘those who prosecute the church’

Posted on July 30th, 2011 at 13:50 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

"I, the Lord God of heaven, ask the courts to cease the prosecution of my holy ways," Jeffs said. "There will be a judgment against all those who prosecute the church. … I shall let all people know of your unjust ways. I will bring sickness and death. Let this cease."

Walther then told him that "if you call for the jury’s destruction" while the jury — who will decide if Jeffs is guilty on two counts of sexual assault on a child — is present, "you will be removed from the courtroom."

The defendant responded by saying, "I am not threatening. I am releasing a message."


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Comments:

  1. Sounds like someone wants to receive additional punishment for contempt of court (which is a criminal offense in criminal court, as far as I know)

    Furthermore, this “message” surely is not helpful to his case.

    On the other hand, perhaps he wants to go for the “insanity defense”?

  2. Off with his head!

Loving Christians respond to American Atheists’ WTC case.

Posted on July 30th, 2011 at 13:49 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

[Quote]:

Every day, we have to live with the knowledge that there really are people who wish we were dead. They hate us. They think we are evil hellspawns deserving of nothing better than crucifixion, torture, and death.

What’s worse, we have to spend hours defending ourselves to the "Good Christians" who would never do that kind of thing, and think we’re awful people for trying to paint Christians with such a broad brush. How dare we call attention to the hateful Christians! How dare we suggest that we’re a hated minority and that Christians are responsible? The gall of it all!

And the thing is, day in and day out, we see the hate. We get it in our inboxes. We get it on Facebook. We feel the icy stares when we have the temerity to wear an atheist shirt in public. And then we get shouted down when we wonder aloud why all the supposedly "loving Christians" aren’t standing beside us against those who they claim are "Not really True Christians."


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MORTYS

Posted on July 30th, 2011 at 10:29 by John Sinteur in category: News

MORTYS from Bad Kidow Company on Vimeo.


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Cartoon

Posted on July 30th, 2011 at 9:53 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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Bush says slow reaction on 9/11 was deliberate decision

Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 21:47 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the September 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis.

In a rare interview with the National Geographic Channel, Bush reflects on what was going through his mind at the most dramatic moment of his presidency when he was informed that a second passenger jet had hit New York’s World Trade Center.

Bush was visiting a Florida classroom and the incident, which was caught on TV film, and has often been used by critics to ridicule his apparently blank face.

“My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children,” Bush says in an excerpt of the interview shown to television writers on Thursday.

10 years of brainstorming.


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Comments:

  1. That’s not the first time he’s said that. Doesn’t make it any more believable, but he has said it before.

  2. Well, let’s see, he lied about his service record, he lied about WMD in Iraq, he lied about yellowcake, he lied about the US not torturing, he lied about “Brownie” doing a good job in New Orleans, why would anyone be surprised to hear him lie about this… or anything else for that matter?

Assange: ‘This generation is burning the mass media to the ground’

Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 21:27 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

When I was 12, my family and I lived in Bryon Bay. Some days I would try to climb up to the lighthouse.
Earth would overhang the seacliffs and sometimes a pebble would shift or a gull would cry and I would wonder if I was standing on the overhang.
Later I would look back and see that, in fact, there had been nothing between me and the waters below.
At any given moment I could not see where I was. I could only see where I had been and wanted to go. Only with perspective could I understand.
We are all like that. We all laugh at the dorky fashions from 10 years ago, but we think we’re totally cool now.
Well, we are — but in a more important way.
We are becoming the agents of perspective. This generation is burning the mass media to the ground.
We are reclaiming our rights to world history.
We are ripping open secret archives from Washington to Cairo.
We are reclaiming the rights to share ourselves and our times with each other — to be the writers and agents of our own history.
We don’t know yet exactly where we are. But we can see where we are going.
The change in perspective that has happened over the last year is what this generation is going to use to find our lighthouse.
And when we get there, we’ll turn the fucking spotlight on.

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Comments:

  1. It’s Byron Bay, named after the grandfather of the poet.

  2. It helps that you can find other sources of news. Those other sources are becoming more powerful in the process.

  3. I can’t remember where I read it, but I remember reading an article where the writer pointed out that the skills of reading and writing used to be the profession of a select few, and they exercised a certain amount of contol and power because of it. Nowadays, reading and writing is something that basically everyone in the modern world can do.

    The writer of the article then extended this idea to television and creative media, but perhaps it is more appropriate to simply apply this model to the dissemination of all information – news. Nowadays, anyone can report it and publish it without any ‘guiding hand’ of a corporation, thus removing the power that old media had over society.

  4. “Nowadays, reading and writing is something that basically everyone in the modern world can do. ”
    I don’t know.
    I mean, sure, everyone can “write” and “read”, sadly real reading, i.e. when the reader actually understands what he is reading, is not that common.
    Same for writing, it’s not like everyone can write clear, meaningful, well formed thoughts.

    I would risk that reading and writing is still the profession of a selected few.

FDA to scrutinize mobile medical apps

Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 21:21 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking input on its proposed oversight of some health-related mobile phone apps.

It’s hardly surprising that health-related apps are popular on the mobile phone platform. The smartphone is a device you carry around with you and its in-built camera can easily double as a monitoring device. It all provides excellent opportunities for some clever programs. It it is almost too easy to create an app that aims to help people detect or manage some condition or other – but should programmers play the roll of doctor even in seemingly harmless areas.

The FDA has now drawn up a set of draft guidelines for reviewing a subset of medical mobile apps. It isn’t planning to oversee all health apps – just those medical apps that could present a risk to patients if the apps don’t work as intended.

It specifies the following two categories of mobile medical apps:

  1. those used as an accessory to medical device already regulated by the FDA. (For example, an application that allows a health care professional to make a specific diagnosis by viewing a medical image from a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) on a smartphone or a mobile tablet)
  2. transform a mobile communications device into a regulated medical device by using attachments, sensors or other devices. (For example, an application that turns a smartphone into an ECG machine to detect abnormal heart rhythms or determine if a patient is experiencing a heart attack).

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    Comments:

    1. FDA guidelines are pretty strict. Last year I worked on a benchtop hematology analyzer introduction to the USA, and yeah, they have lots of well defined requirements.
      And mobile apps are not different. You wouldn’t accept the excuse: “Well, we screwed up with the diagnosis, but hey, it was an iPhone app, not a real tool or something.”

    Lockheed Martin Awarded $72M To Help TSA Upgrade and Install New Airport Security Equipment

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 21:14 by Paul Jay in category: News

    [Quote]:

    Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded two regional task orders totalling $72 million to help TSA integrate and deploy new passenger screening and security equipment at airports across the east and central United States. The task orders were awarded under the TSA’s Security Equipment Systems Integration (SESI) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) vehicle and include one base-year plus one option-year.

    “Lockheed Martin has partnered with TSA to test, evaluate, and install security equipment at U.S. airports since 2009. We’re honored that TSA chose to continue expanding that partnership,” said June Shrewsbury, vice president of Citizen Protection Solutions at Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Civil.

    “Together, we face a challenging mission,” Shrewsbury added. “Each airport is unique and always in operation, and the threats are constantly evolving. Our goal is to rapidly deploy technologies that ensure both safety and freedom of movement for the flying public.”

    Or else the terrorists win.


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    Truck nuts swing onto US freedom of speech agenda

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 20:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

    [Quote]:

    The lower portions of the US are distracting themselves from the Washington debt-ceiling car crash by asking whether the use of "truck nuts" constitutes obscenity or is a question of free expression.

    The constitutional freedom issue has swung into the national consciousness after a South Carolina woman was ticketed for hanging a brace of the gargantuan plastic testicles from the backup of her pickup truck.

    [..]

    The case could be heard next month, assuming the US is still able to afford a legal system by then.


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    Comments:

    1. I guess they’ll have to put panties on all the non-human male animals an’ all.

    Don’t hold back, just push things forward

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 15:03 by Paul Jay in category: News

    Don’t hold back, just push things forward from Ithaca Audio on Vimeo.


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    Meow Zedong

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 9:56 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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    U.S. balance now less than Apple cash

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 8:41 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

    [Quote]:

    Steve Jobs is now more liquid than Uncle Sam.

    While it’s highly unlikely that President Barack Obama is looking to ask the founder and chief executive of Apple Inc. for a loan, it became a fact as of Thursday afternoon — the world’s largest technology company now has more cash on hand than the most powerful democracy on Earth has spending room.

    As Republicans and Democrats continue to work towards a compromise to the country’s debt ceiling crisis, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that Washington now has a total operating balance of only US$73.768-billion.

    Meanwhile, Apple currently boasts a cash reserve of US$75.876-billion, as of its most recent quarterly earnings report at the end of June.


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    Microsoft’s latest Google-compete weapon: The Gmail man

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 at 7:44 by John Sinteur in category: Google, Microsoft

    [Quote]:

    I asked Microsoft whether the video is legit and received an official no comment. I have to say I think it’s the real deal. It has all the hallmarks of a real Microsoft production, including the fact that the name on the company doors that Gmail man opens when visiting an office is Contoso Ltd. As Microsoft customers, partners and watchers know all too well, Contoso is Microsoft’s favorite fake company name, and is used in demos for all kinds of Microsoft products.


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    Comments:

    1. Yes, I guess it’s really an MS video. But still funny.

    Northeast braces for temps near boiling point

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 20:43 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

    [Quote]:

    The extreme heat that’s been roasting the eastern U.S. is only expected to get worse, and residents are bracing themselves for temperatures near and above boiling point.

    Weather service heat warnings and advisories have been issued Friday from Ohio to Maine.

    The high temperatures and smothering humidity will force up the heat indexes. Boston’s 99 degrees on Friday could feel like 105 degrees; Philadelphia’s 102 degrees like 114 degrees and Washington, D.C.’s 103 degrees may seem the same as a melting 116 degrees.

    It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.


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    Comments:

    1. I do not what the big deal is. There is always an excess of hot air in D.C.

    2. To be fair, *some* things boil at that temperature. Water does, for instance, at about 8000 Pa (.08 atm) from eyeballing a phase diagram. So they’re right, technically.

    USSR Wins Space Race As U.S. Shuts Down Shuttle Program

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 20:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

    [Quote]:

    Less than a week after the return of the Atlantis orbiter marked the end of the U.S. space shuttle program, the crowded streets and textile factories of Moscow erupted in celebration as the USSR officially declared victory over the United States in the Space Race.

    "At long last, our great Soviet republic has conquered the West and achieved technological and ideological superiority over America," Kremlin representative Sergei Voronin said Wednesday, announcing the achievement to an audience of joyous beet farmers and steel factory laborers assembled in Red Square. "We have established our unrivaled dominion over the stars and planets and stand now at the dawn of a new era, an era in which the tenets of communism shall echo loudly across the Earth’s entire expanse."


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    Comments:

    1. Phew! It’s the Onion. Thought the ol’ Fox boys were at it again…

    ‪Bill Maher “I’d Like To See Obama Challenge The Banks & Wall Street To Bail Us Out”

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 19:02 by Paul Jay in category: News


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    Comments:

    1. Obama has no backbone. Why did he give in on revenue? And why is the mainstream press not headlining the lack of revenue in Reid’s plan? Is everyone so afraid of ruffling the feathers of the rich? Screw them. We are here in large part due to the Bush’s tax cuts. Obama is a disgrace, a flop, a miserable failure. What a total lack of leadership. At least Maher gets it.

    2. As this farce gets worse from day to day, I start to suspect that this is another heineous move by the super-rich and big business, who pull the strings in the background.

      May it be possible that this is a plot to make anything looking bad that is coming from government? A plot to make government in general look incompetent regardless what they do? To instill an ideology in the populace: “When something comes from the government, it must be automatically bad until proven otherwise?”

      If government in general gets a reputation of being incompetent and stuck in endless quarrels instead of solving problems efficiently, then it is much more easy to get support for: Lower taxes even more (because government cannot handle money…) and privatize government property even more (because government cannot handle business…) Just what big business wants.

    3. @Steffen:
      “To instill an ideology in the populace: “When something comes from the government, it must be automatically bad until proven otherwise?” ”

      Talking with my american friends, there is no need to instill that ideology. As they told me time and again

      “the distrust of government (domestic or foreign) is in the blood”
      “the government by definition is incompetent”
      “the government is the necessarry evil”

      Oh, wait, these are the conservative ones.
      The liberals don’t phrase it in such a way. But they too think mostly that government is incompetent, politicians are corrupt, and government can’t be trusted.

      The point is – there is no need to instill such thought. It is simple reinforcement.

    McCain erupts: Conservatives are lying to America

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 19:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

    [Quote]:

    So the debt limit debate has come to this: John McCain, who you may recall was the GOP’s 2008 standard bearer, is now openly accusing conservatives of actively misleading America with their completely unrealistic demands, which he labeled “deceiving” and “bizarro.”

    In a seminal moment in this debate, here’s some video of McCain on the Senate floor today, unleashing an angry tirade at conservatives who are still holding out for a balanced budget amendment as part of any compromise on the debt ceiling. McCain accused them of “deceiving” America into believing such a thing can pass the Senate:


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    Hello? I’m ready for my closeup now!

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 18:06 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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    Comments:

    1. Looks like a tit.

    In the Name of the Fodder

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 16:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


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