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Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 18:30 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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IFPI Loses: Telenor Will Not Block The Pirate Bay

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 14:35 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


tpbThis March, IFPI – backed by several Hollywood movie companies – gave Telenor, Norway’s largest ISP, a warning: block your users from accessing The Pirate Bay within 14 days or we will take legal action.

Without any legal basis, Telenor refused to comply.

“This would be the same as demanding that the postal service should open all letters, and decide which ones should be delivered,” said Telenor boss Ragnar Kårhus.

The verdict in the case was due to be delivered October 30th, but was delayed until today.

IFPI has lost the case and Telenor will not have to block The Pirate Bay.

The court ruled that Telenor is not contributing to any infringements of copyright law when its subscribers use The Pirate Bay, and therefore there is no legal basis for forcing the ISP to block access to the site.

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Ridiculous Productivity

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 14:23 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Goldman Benefits from Trading Bonanza

Traders at Goldman Sachs recorded only one daily loss in the third quarter, highlighting the trading bonanza sweeping Wall Street as central banks continue to pump billions of dollars into the financial system.

The performance – revealed on Wednesday in a regulatory filing – compares with two losing trading days in the previous quarter and confirms that the authorities’ drive to revive markets after the crisis is yielding huge windfalls for some banks.

Before the crisis, banks regularly recorded trading losses on several days in a quarter.

Goldman made more than $100m in profits on 36 of the 65 days in the three months to September and recorded more than $50m in profit on more than eight out of 10 trading days, the filing shows.

Only one day with trading losses out of the entire quarter? A 98.5% win-rate? Sorry folks, this is so far beyond the realm of statistically possible that we must search for other reasons. There can be no doubt that Goldman is enjoying an advantage not shared by the rest of the market.

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  1. Well, a very large number of central bankers are ex-Goldman people. Just because I’m not a conspiracy theorist doesn’t mean that markets are not fixed…

Muslims at Fort Voice Outrage and Ask Questions

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 14:12 by John Sinteur in category: News


Leaders of the vibrant Muslim community here expressed outrage on Friday at the shooting rampage being laid to one of their members, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who had become a regular attendee of prayers at the local mosque.

But some of the men who had befriended Major Hasan at the mosque said the military should examine the policies that might have caused him to snap.

“When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal,” said Victor Benjamin II, 30, a former member of the Army. “But when a Muslim does it, they call it jihad.

“Ultimately it was Brother Nidal’s doing, but the command should be held accountable,” Mr. Benjamin said. “G.I.’s are like any equipment in the Army. When it breaks, those who were in charge of keeping it fit should be held responsible for it.”

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  1. I haven’t read anywhere that this was referred to as “jihad”. The man is said to have been “mortified” at his deployment to Afghanistan. If you’re mortified of deployment, the army is not the best organization to join. As a major, a psychiatrist, and a highly educated man, he is going to have difficulty blaming anyone else for his actions. Benjamin is wrong. The army is not responsible for Nidal. Muslims aren’t responsible for him, either. He has full responsibility and he’ll face the full consequences … alone. Rightly so.

  2. The army is most certainly responsible for allowing/encouraging that anti-Muslim atmosphere. The one which made it OK for his fellow soldiers to harrass him. The one which makes it OK for them to treat Iraqi and Afghani civilians as sub-human because they are Muslim. OK to torture them to death. OK to murder families for sport.

    Other army personnel have done such things. This one gets attention because it’s in Texas and the victims are US citizens … instead of in Iraq or Afghanistan, where most folk are brown skinned and non-American. I would love to see Justice be done … for those other victims before these, since they have been waiting for a lot longer.

    I’m not saying that the blame is 50%/50% on the Army (or that it isn’t) … but let’s not be blind about what that organization is doing. It’s far from the proud organization it once was. And it’s way overdue to recognize that reality, and start fixing it.

    One more point: The shooter did try to resolve this problem before shooting. He tried to leave the army. He was not allowed. That’s a really direct link to army actions worsening this problem. It’s reasonable to believe that if he had been allowed to leave, as he asked, then we those particular soldiers would not be dead today.

  3. One more point: I wrote that “It’s reasonable to believe that if he had been allowed to leave, as he asked, then those particular soldiers would not be dead today.” Or put in therapy, or … lots of other things.

    The army is extremely desperate for warm bodies. So desperate that it doesn’t pay attention to red flags. In this case, psychological flags, self-raised. But there are a lot of other examples.

    And where thirty years ago there were all kinds of safe roles such folk could take within the army, now a huge chunk of those roles are outsourced to private contractors. Soldiers’ job descriptions are devolving to “cannon fodder”. It’s no wonder that craziness gets amplified, not reduced. And that’s another structural issue that can only be blamed on the Department of “Defense”, and its corporate “partners”.

  4. I find it suprising that they have been watching him – because of praising suicide bombers and such -, they knew he did not want to go oversea, and still he could pull it off.

    To the “did not want” part. He was a psychiatrist. He has been listening to soldiers who came back from the war a bit “broken”. I am sure that would discourage anyone.
    He repeatedly said he does not want to go to kill other arabs.

    They should have let him go, or take him off the deployment list.
    And most of all, if they were already suspecting him sympathizing with insurgents, they should have isolated him – Dr Nadik, we have a project where we need your expertise.

    But it will run it’s course, eyewitnesses will testify that he was shouting “Allah akhbar” – did he shout that? Are you sure he did not shout that? So, he may have shout that? Are you sure he did? Ok, so pleaste take it on record, he did shout “Allah akhbar” – and it will be on record as someone already stated “He was a jihadist. Simple as that”.
    No need to look into the reasons, the roots of the problem. Much easier and cheaper.

    And of course if every soldier were carrying a bazooka and an assault rifle, it would have never happened.

Ask Your Doctor If This Ad Is Right for You

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 14:05 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Does it seem like you hear the phrase “ask your doctor” every time you turn on the TV? There’s a reason. Drug companies spend about $5 billion a year in the U.S. on ads imploring people to talk to their physicians if they think a pill they’ve read about or seen on TV might help them. Such ads are so pervasive one might assume viewers are heading to the doctor knowing which drugs they want. But new research based on recordings of conversations in physicians’ offices suggests most patients aren’t asking for drugs by name. Or they’re only asking about scary side effects, which drugmakers have to include in ads, often in stomach-turning detail.


Some lawmakers wish drug companies would exercise more restraint. On Oct. 8, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced a bill proposing that drugmakers no longer be allowed to deduct marketing expenses from their taxes, as companies generally can. “This legislation will remove these benefits so pharmaceutical companies can focus on developing new drugs, not excessive marketing schemes,” Franken’s office said in a statement.

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  1. I’ve been curious about those commercials for a long time. When we first started seeing them, they would only tell you to ask your doctor if their product was right for you but they didn’t mention anywhere in their ad what their product was for. Now that they do provide information on their product, they have to give warnings on potential side effects and they do it very slowly and deliberately, which leads me to believe that a government oversight body either monitors them closely or signs off on them before they’re aired. Personally, I think ads aimed directly at patients undermine doctors and they should be removed.

Medical News: Gene Therapy Arrests ALD Progression

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 14:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


In what appears to be a first, European researchers have used gene therapy to arrest the progress of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, a fatal brain disease.

In two 7-year-old boys, the gene therapy — using a viral vector derived from HIV — stopped the progressive demyelination characteristic of the disease, Patrick Aubourg, MD, of University Paris-Descartes and colleagues reported in the Nov. 6 issue of Science.

The clinical benefits are identical to what is achieved with bone marrow or cord blood transplants from a matched donor, Aubourg said in an interview.

Such transplants are the standard therapy for the disease — which was the focus of the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” — but the two patients in this study had no matched donor available, Aubourg said.

Scientists have used HIV to insert healthy genes into living children. Wow.

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  1. Well,they inject us with H1N1, Polio, and a host of other diseases too. Just in case.
    Nothing new there. 🙂

  2. HIV != viral vector derived from HIV. Vectors used in microbiology/molecular biology are often derived from bacterial and viral nucleic acids. Viruses are perfect vectors for gene therapy: as long as the pathogenic component is neutralized, they will still have all the necessary machinery to penetrate cells and tissues that would otherwise be impenetrable, and deliver whatever you want – like healthy genes.

  3. as long as the pathogenic component is neutralized

    Yes. Now you understand my “Wow”.

  4. ”Viruses are perfect vectors for gene therapy: (…)they (…)have all the necessary machinery to penetrate cells and tissues that would otherwise be impenetrable, and deliver whatever you want.”

    Sounds borgish.
    Resistance is Futile. Prepare to be Assimilated.

  5. John, I’m not sure I understood your wow, hence my comment. Was it “Wow, they could neutralize HIV and use it for gee therapy, but not for fighting HIV infection itself” or “Wow, the stuff people can do nowadays, awesome”? Because if it’s the first case, I should point out again that a vector can be very different from the virus it was derived from in the first place, and that neutralizing it in vitro and reusing it is several orders of magnitude easier than fighting it in vivo. If it’s the second, then yes I agree with you 🙂
    If anyone is interested, I can read the article and see _how_ derived it is. My experience with such headlines is that buzzwords are inserted to make things more appealing than they are to the general public.

  6. Shows what I know… I was not aware that HIV could easily be neutralized in vitro… if you manage to write something about the how, feel free to send it to me and I’ll make a post out of it…

After Winning Case, Man Hands Domain Name to Glenn Beck

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 10:13 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


Isaac Eiland-Hall just won a highly publicized case against Glenn Beck over the domain name glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com. As soon as he won, he did something surprising: he offered the domain name to Beck for free.

In a letter (pdf) to Beck, Eiland-Hall explained that he has met his objectives with the domain name and web site, and points out to Beck that bringing the case made things worse for Beck.

It bears observing that by bringing the WIPO complaint, you took what was merely one small critique meme, in a sea of internet memes, and turned it into a super-meme. Then, in pressing forward (by not withdrawing the complaint and instead filing additional briefs), you turned the super-meme into an object lesson in First Amendment principles.”

In explaining his reason for voluntarily handing over the domain, Eiland-Hall wrote:

“…I want to demonstrate to you that I had my lawyer fight this battle only to help preserve the First Amendment. Now that it is safe, at least from you (for the time being), I have no more use for the actual scrap of digital real estate you sought…

I wonder if Glenn Beck will actually start paying hosting fees for this domain or if he’ll let it slide into the hands of some domain squatter who puts nasty porno ads on it. Either way, Beck loses. He’s either gonna have to pay money for nothing or have his name associated with something else he doesn’t like.

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  1. He’s already changed the contact info and the nameservers so the domain doesn’t resolve. However, you can still reach the site at http://gb1990.com/

    It was only registered for a year – so check back around September 1, 2010 to see what happens then! 🙂

Big Ben on Twitter

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 10:04 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

Big Ben

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The OpenOffice Mouse

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 10:03 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ



It supports Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, will retail for $74.99, and is not a joke.

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  1. Ha ha ha ha. I wonder what distro it runs.

The definition of courage

Posted on November 7th, 2009 at 10:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


The police officer who brought down a gunman after he went on a shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army base here was on the way to have her car repaired when she responded to a police radio report of gunfire at a center where soldiers are processed before being sent overseas, the authorities said Friday.

As she pulled up to the center, the officer, Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, spotted the gunman, later identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, brandishing a pistol and chasing a wounded soldier outside the building, said Chuck Medley, the director of emergency services at the base.

Sergeant Munley — a woman with a fierce love of hunting, surfing and other outdoor sports — bolted from her car, yanked her pistol out and shot at Major Hasan. He turned on her and began to fire. She ran toward him, continuing to fire, and both she and Major Hasan went down with several bullet wounds, Mr. Medley said.

Whether Sergeant Munley was solely responsible for taking down Major Hasan or whether he was also hit by gunfire from her partner is unclear, but she was the first to fire at him, the authorities said.

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