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Jon Stewart Sums Up Everything That is Wrong with America

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 15:50 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Make it Rain – Bank of America
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 15:42 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 14:55 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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When using open source makes you an enemy of the state

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 14:49 by John Sinteur in category: Free Software, Intellectual Property


It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they use open source software.


Still, in countries where the government has legislated the adoption of FOSS, the position makes some sense because it hurts businesses like Microsoft. But that’s not the end of it.

No, the really interesting thing that Guadamuz found was that governments don’t even need to pass legislation. Even a recommendation can be enough.

Example: last year the Indonesian government sent around a circular to all government departments and state-owned businesses, pushing them towards open source. This, says the IIPA, “encourages government agencies to use “FOSS” (Free Open Source Software) with a view toward implementation by the end of 2011, which the Circular states will result in the use of legitimate open source and FOSS software and a reduction in overall costs of software”.

Nothing wrong with that, right? After all, the British government has said it will boost the use of open source software.

But the IIPA suggested that Indonesia deserves Special 301 status because encouraging (not forcing) such takeup “weakens the software industry” and “fails to build respect for intellectual property rights”.

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Official Google Blog: Serious threat to the web in Italy

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 14:42 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Google


In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. We also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it and she was subsequently sentenced to 10 months community service by a court in Turin, as were several other classmates who were also involved. In these rare but unpleasant cases, that’s where our involvement would normally end.

But in this instance, a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video’s existence until after it was removed.

Nevertheless, a judge in Milan today convicted 3 of the 4 defendants — David Drummond, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes — for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All 4 were found not guilty of criminal defamation. In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload. We will appeal this astonishing decision because the Google employees on trial had nothing to do with the video in question. Throughout this long process, they have displayed admirable grace and fortitude. It is outrageous that they have been subjected to a trial at all.

What was the video shot on? Maybe they can press charges on some Sony employees for making cameras too.

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Trained Up to Death

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 12:29 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


“What if the boy didn’t stop? Would you spank him forever, or would you stop when it bordered on abuse, in which case the child would win?” On February 6, seven-year-old Lydia Schatz was murdered by her parents. Her eleven-year-old sister Zariah was hospitalized for kidney failure, among other injuries. Both girls had repeatedly been beaten with quarter-inch plastic plumbing supply line, a punishment instrument recommended by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy ministries.

The Pearls’ child training manuals have been popular in Christian homeschooling circles since the first one, Train Up A Child, was published in 1994. Their views and tactics are not without controversy, however, both on the child welfare and theological fronts. Though the Pearls consider themselves child-training experts, they have no formal training in child development. This is not the first time a family following NGJ discipline theory has killed a child.

The Butte County DA is investigating NGJ in connection with Lydia’s death. Michael Pearl responds. Blogger Tulipgirl responds to the response, while another blogger who knew the Schatzes gives further background.

From the comments:
Christianity is a tub of bathwater we’ve been told we should not throw out because of the valuable baby in it. The water just gets dirtier and dirtier and more and more stagnant, and if there was ever a baby in there it drowned long ago.

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Beedle dum dum, beedle dum dum (a capo)

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 11:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


In 1902, Francisco Tárrega wrote a very nice waltz. Little did he realize that 91 years later, a few bars in the middle would be plucked from obscurity to become the most-frequently heard tune in the world.

And now, the beguilingly irksome Nokia Tune has begotten its own subgenre of pieces – some silly, some lovely – that take its theme as a starting point. Fugues! Improvisations! Orchestrations! Parodies! And perhaps my favourite: A whole new waltz.

The “Nokia tune” was adopted by the Finnish cellphone company in 1993, lifted from a (then) 91-year old piece called Gran Vals, which in later years has become a favourite of sensitive-looking guitarists on YouTube.

But it’s also inspired Impromptus! More fugues! Emo kids! And too many remixes. And inevitably, even Nokia has been creating whole new settings for the tune. The company might be getting thrashed in the smartphone wars, but it will always have its waltz.

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iGotaBigAssPocket Concept

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 7:42 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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EU Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google.

Posted on February 24th, 2010 at 7:40 by John Sinteur in category: Google


The European Union has opened an antitrust investigation into Google to look into claims made by three European-based Internet companies. Not surprisingly, this key part of the investigation is said to be about search, which is dominated by Google is most of the EU markets.

Okay, without looking – guess who’s funding one of those three companies.

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  1. Opera? 😀

  2. That linked bit is a “bit” biased though.

    “In fact, this whole browser ballot thing is a result of the ongoing EU attempt to make sure Microsoft is playing fairly.”
    Nah, because the only OS they picked on was Windows. I have not heard Mac OSX being forced to abandon auto installation of Safari, or any of the Linux distros do the same.

    But then, Opera didn’t care about Linux and Mac OSX, they just wanted to get a better share on Windows – without doing the hard work.