When an opinion on sociological trends or a critique of a group ideology results in criminal charges of hate speech, liberal democracy is in danger.
The Danish supreme court has just highlighted that danger. While deciding to acquit Lars Hedegaard, president of the Danish Free Press Society, of intending to speak hatefully for public dissemination, the court emphatically affirmed a statute according to which anyone who “publicly or with the intent of public dissemination issues a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.”
File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled.
The Swedish website hosts links to download mostly pirated free music and video.
Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must all prevent their users from accessing the site.
“Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists,” the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.
A sixth ISP, BT, requested “a few more weeks” to consider their position on blocking the site.
BPI’s chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale.
“Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them.
Well…. if the ISPs have to block sites from “operators lining their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them” they’ll have to block all the RIAA and MPAA members as well, right?
Their killing power is immense and the surveillance possibilities are endless. Perhaps it’s no wonder that the awesome potential of unmanned aerial vehicles is now being so energetically explored – from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the London Olympics.
The world’s first glimpse of a killer drone in action was over the English Channel: a Royal Navy patrol boat reported “a bright horizontal flame” in the sky. The device emitting the flame had stubby wings and was shaped like a rocket, and was travelling from the French coast at more than 200mph. Too small and too fast to be intercepted, it arrived in England’s Home Counties without warning; as it plunged earthwards the low drone of the motor cut out and there were three seconds of silence before the massive explosion. Where it exploded, the human beings at the epicentre simply disappeared, vaporised.
Sex workers in the Bolivian city of El Alto have gone on hunger strike to demand a solution to the month-long doctor’s strike which has forced the closure of public hospitals across the country.
About a dozen male and female sex workers, many with their faces covered, crowded into the lobby of a neighbourhood health centre on Sunday, vowing to continue their action until the situation is resolved.
Organisation of prostitutes to force legislators to act. Interesting.
Austrian police say former Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem was found dead in the Danube river near Vienna.
Police spokesman Roman Hahslinger told Al Jazeera his corpse was found on Sunday morning floating in the river and showed no external signs of violence.
Did he jump, fall or was he pushed? Answers on a postcard to: SNC-Lavalin, 455 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
A billionaire in Australia has announced plans to build an “unsinkable” version of the Titanic, 100 years after the original ship sank after hitting an iceberg.
The Titanic II, announced on Monday, is expected to retrace the steps of its predecessor with a maiden voyage from England to North America in late 2016.
“It is going to be designed so it won’t sink”, Clive Palmer, a mining and tourism tycoon told reporters.
“It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
Oh, this is too easy…c`mon help me out with a snarky comment here!
Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for “challenging corrections budgets.” In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.
The only way for a state to keep that 90% promise, is to keep pot illegal.
The Federal Election Commission has fined Sen. Marco Rubio $8,000 for accepting more than $210,000 in improper contributions during his 2010 run for the Senate.
In a negotiated settlement finalized last month but only publicly released now, Marco Rubio for Senate acknowledged taking in more than $210,000 in “prohibited, excessive and other impermissible contributions” during his Senate campaign and failing to refund or “redesignate” the funds within the allowed time frame.
$8k fine for receiving $210k. That makes it more than worth it to simply do it again. And again.
As reported here on Friday, a lawsuit filed April 20th in the US District Court For The Middle District of Florida is targeting fans of American metal band All Shall Perish.
Up to a point it’s a familiar story. A total of 80 IP addresses are listed having been harvested from a BitTorrent swarm sharing the album “This Is Where It Ends”. The plaintiff, a company called World Digital Rights, wants to discover the real-life identities of the alleged file-sharers so they can be hauled into court or, as is almost guaranteed, settled with for a few thousand dollars instead.
After the news broke, predictably the band started to receive negative feedback. But according to All Shall Perish’s manager, Ryan Downey, neither he nor the band know anything about the legal action.
“The band wasn’t consulted whatsoever and none of us have ever heard of this company,” Downey told TorrentFreak. “I spoke to the US label manager and German label president who both are as confused as we are. We are digging deeper and looking into the legality of it all. We are thinking it’s perhaps a sublicensor or some digital aggregator or something?!”
If you read the full article, you see that a better title would have been “Band Wonders WTF they signed.”
Heathrow Airport has been ordered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to stop handing out to passengers leaflets acknowledging the “very long delays” at immigration, which have become a serious government concern in the runup to the Olympics.
Passengers flying into the airport at the weekend reported having to wait for up to three hours before clearing passport control. But after leaflets apologising for the problem were handed out by BAA, which owns Heathrow, the UKBA warned that they were “inappropriate” and that ministers would take “a very dim view”.
When small start-ups I’ve spoken with do make money, they often find it difficult to recruit additional investment because most venture capitalists — and often the entrepreneurs they finance — are not interested in building viable long-term businesses. Rather, they’re interested in pumping up enough hype and valuation to find a quick exit through an acquisition at an eye-popping premium.
Getting acquired while producing no revenue is like performing a card trick without the deck of cards: the magician simply explains how magical the trick is, never actually showing it. (And we are supposed to step back in sheer awe.)
For start-ups, fewer numbers in the equation mean a projected valuation can be plucked out of thin air.
Look how well this worked for Instagram, which had zero in revenue and was bought for $1 billion.
Although most companies are not acquired for 10 figures, there have been dozens of multimillion-dollar acquisitions of start-ups that make no money whatsoever. The acquisitions of YouTube, FriendFeed, Zite, Hot Potato, Beluga, GroupMe, TweetDeck and Dodgeball are just a few samples involving companies with little to no revenue.
The term often used behind closed doors with this no-revenue formula is mark-to-mystery. This is a play on the common term for a more logical investment practice called mark-to-market, which is used to create a realistic appraisal of a company’s financial assets.
“V.C.’s can create this mark-to-mystery valuation because as long as there are no numbers, I can have whatever mark I want for an external valuation of a start-up,” Mr. Kedrosky said.
So why does the lunacy of building companies with no revenue or business model work?
Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, used that dirty word that investors scoff at: bubble.
Professor Pfeffer said that through “the hideous recession” that America has suffered in the last several years, the Valley has applied increasingly incoherent valuations to companies.
“This is 1999 all over again, but this time, it’s gotten worse,” he said, referring to the last technology bubble to burst. “We’re back to companies throwing around funny money. The economic values don’t add up.”
He added: “These companies are simply being founded to be bought. With the exception of a select few, Silicon Valley has spawned no real companies over the past decade. Even now, as the value of eyeballs has gone down, people are buying concepts, not companies.”