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Former RBS boss Fred Goodwin stripped of knighthood

Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 23:33 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin has had his knighthood removed.

Mr Goodwin, who was heavily criticised over his role in the bank’s near-collapse in 2008, was given the honour by the Labour government in 2004.

The Queen cancelled and annulled the title following Whitehall advice.

They should have a ceremony for that. Like instead of getting tapped on both shoulders the queen hacks them off.

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Richmond cop’s Twitter comment attacking Internet hackers draws anger, criticism

Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 20:05 by Paul Jay in category: News


RICHMOND — A Richmond police officer is facing criticism and anger Monday for a Twitter comment he made about Internet hackers.

Angry posts on the Facebook pages of the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa Times are criticizing the officer for his Jan. 26 tweet about a hacker attack on the Ultimate Fighting Championship website.

“Get those hacking (expletive). I’m a cop in the bay area CA. (sic) I would go at them with both guns!” Richmond police Sgt. Mike Rood wrote via Twitter to UFC President Dana White.

The hacker group Anonymous and its supporters viewed the comment as a criminal threat, and called for the department to punish Rood.

“In his tweet, he expresses his desire to use firearms to deal with problematic people,” several posters wrote on the Contra Costa Times’ Facebook page, apparently copying a form letter. “I fear for the safety of the citizens of Richmond after seeing such irresponsible action displayed by one of its very own police officers.”

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  1. A twitter comment? He had better not try to travel by air, then.

Speed Limits on the Evolution of Enormousness

Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 15:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


If you’ve ever wondered whether mammalian evolution has a speed limit, here’s a number for you: 24 million.

That’s how many generations a new study estimates it would take to go from mouse- to elephant-sized while operating on land at the maximum velocity of change. The figure underscores just how special a trait sheer bigness can be.

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This is where I had dinner last night…

Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 14:28 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property, personal

(on a map, it’s here)

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  1. Hook’s Hut is no more?

  2. Nope – Pirate Bay is the new name for the same place.

  3. Of course!
    Hook’s hut was copyrighted by Disney!!1!

  4. Do they serve a torrent of seafood? Or is the food distributed peer to peer without servers?

    I was thinking there might be a reason for the light posting.

  5. Well, they do server some mighty nice seafood, but they’re still working with servers. Also, there’s no sign they are being blocked by Dutch ISP’s yet, so the Stichting Brein is failing here as well.


Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 13:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. So now he’s got a million bucks? Can he, legally, move that cash into his pocket now? Or will his PAC hire a ‘evening speaker’ (who just happens to be called Steven Colbert) to do a gig in someone (let’s say… Steven Colberts) dining room at a fee of… one million bucks?

The /bin/true Command and Copyright

Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 23:16 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


It might also be noted that, since I am “publishing” the entire contents of an AT&T program I am in blatant violation of AT&T’s copyright claim. I’ve pointed this out publicly on numerous occations, in various technical forums, since the early 1980’s. So far I haven’t heard a word from any AT&T lawyers. Anyone have any idea why they are ignoring such a violation?

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  1. This just confirms my long held suspicion that you folks that write code are an odd and frightening lot.

Children’s A.D.D. Drugs Don’t Work Long-Term

Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 20:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


TO date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve. Until recently, most studies of these drugs had not been properly randomized, and some of them had other methodological flaws.

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Brit pair deported from US for ‘destroy America’ tweet

Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 17:23 by John Sinteur in category: News


A couple of Brits were unceremoniously ejected from the US last week after one of them ill-advisedly tweeted he was off to “destroy America”.

Leigh Van Bryan, 26, and pal Emily Bunting, 24, jetted into Los Angeles last Monday ahead of what they hoped would be a lively Stateside holiday. Their shorter-than-expected trip certainly delivered, although the pair weren’t expecting to be arrested, internally probed and thrown in a cell for 12 hours with hungry Mexican narcos.

The Department of Homeland Security had already earmarked Van Bryan and Bunting for a warm welcome before they even touched down at LAX. The agency had picked up on a couple of Van Bryan’s tweets, which suggested they intended to wipe out the US and disinter Marilyn Monroe.

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  1. Well, at the risk of being denied access to the USA, let me say this. Clearly if a terrorist is planning a huge action like destroying the USA with their bare hands and digging up Marilyn, again with their bare hands, they are going to be so cunning as to inform the world beforehand using reverse psychology of telling exactly what their plans are. Pity they did not get to spend all that tourist money…

  2. Indeed. Just like a Street Photographer with a DLSR camera who obviously is a possible terror threat because his camera is too big.

  3. I’m pretty sure “destroy…” is just English slang for party real hard.

  4. They were quoting Family Guy. Which ofcourse signals ill will.

  5. I feel so safe now being protected by flaming idiots! Note: I hope the DHS doesn’t flag “flaming”!

  6. So if I tweet “destroy, destroy, destroy”, they’ll send me to prison to party.

  7. Was it Noel Coward who filled in a immigration form with “Subversion” in response to the question, “What is the purpose of your visit?”

Hollywood Still Hates You

Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 14:23 by Paul Jay in category: News


These people do not get it:

Under a new deal between the two companies, Netflix users won’t just have to wait 56 days to rent Warner Bros. movies on DVD. They’ll have to wait 28 days to add the movies to their queues.

Also under this new deal, pirated movies remain free of charge, free of non-skippable ads, free of five-minute load times, and are now nearly three months ahead of the competition.

iTunes changed the music industry because it was more convenient than stealing. Most people made the value judgment that ten bucks for a clean, legal digital album was worth the alternative of fishing around for files that may or may not be damaged or infected.

Hollywood continues to completely ignore that lesson. It continues to punish the people who play by the rules with an insufferable customer experience. This is the sole reason piracy is up and profits are down: because doing it right totally sucks. And that’s apparently how the studios want it.

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  1. A delay before you can add the movie to your queue? Ahahahahahahaha.

    The fact that Netflix went along with that sucky compromise in user experience suggests that Netflix is not feeling very confident.

  2. Netflix really has no choice. They either cave to labels’ demands, or they lose access to the material.

    (I also don’t buy that iTunes is more convenient than pirating. iTunes store is a blasted mess. Even as an Apple shareholder, I find buying music from Amazon much easier.)

  3. iTunes really IS more convenient than stealing, if you have an iPhone.

  4. I have an iPhone. That doesn’t make the iTunes store any more convenient if I can’t get what I want. My tastes run towards the obscure (nerd, not hipster), and iTunes just doesn’t have the music.

    I do have to admit, however, that before pushing the “submit comment” button, I checked, and the iTunes store app is definitely much improved over last time I tried it. The search does a much, much better job, and the catalog has definitely grown. I couldn’t find everything I looked for, but it’s gone from being 80% unavailable to maybe 20% unavailable. So, in short, I concede the point.

Woman set to marry building undeterred by demolition work

Posted on January 29th, 2012 at 18:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


Bruised or not, she says she’ll marry her beloved building as planned come Sunday.

Babylonia Aivaz’s bride-to-be is a 107-year-old warehouse that sits at 10th and Union in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. She has been planning to enter into what she described as “a gay marriage” with the building.

“If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings,” said Aivaz, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising. “I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.”

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  1. Completely kook. The building is in the middle of a couple of junky blocks of warehouses that outside of this context would be described as “ugly” or “nondescript”.

  2. If she would just incorporate the building, then she could marry it as a person!

  3. That building looks totally straight to me.

  4. @Sue_W> I lold!

Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Censorship

Posted on January 28th, 2012 at 12:39 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


At a behind-closed-doors meeting facilitated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, copyright holders have handed out a list of demands to Google, Bing and Yahoo. To curb the growing piracy problem, Hollywood and the major music labels want the search engines to de-list popular filesharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, and give higher ranking to authorized sites.

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  1. Behind close doors ACTA style.


Posted on January 28th, 2012 at 0:13 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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S is for Sodomy

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 23:27 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

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  1. Copy & Paste strikes again

  2. I wish I could like comments here!

    This video seems slightly relevant to this post:

European Parliament Official In Charge Of ACTA Quits, And Denounces The ‘Masquerade’ Behind ACTA

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 21:36 by Paul Jay in category: News


Kader Arif, the “rapporteur” for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person “appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue.” However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn’t make him very pleased:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.

As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”

Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.

This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

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The Onion: Internet Against SOPA, PIPA

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 21:35 by Paul Jay in category: News


Last week, several websites, including Google and Wikipedia, raised awareness of the prohibitive measures included in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Here are some ofthe legislation’s controversial provisions

  • Music review sites can only allude to a song’s title and content in vague terms
  • All pirated material available only at the Commerce Department’s new site, Torrent.gov
  • Government will actively encourage people to download only public-domain music, such as Pipey Lester’s “That Cat’s a-Mewing!” or Ukulele Ted’s “Nickel For Your Hat”
  • Denies future generations the ability to watch hilarious scene from Dirty Work where Chris Farley yells at the Asian hooker anytime, free of charge, which is a fundamental right of being an American
  • Does absolutely nothing to get rid of goddamn Lolcats
  • Makes the MPAA and RIAA feel better, which, if you have any shred of a soul, causes pure rage to swell through your very being
  • Any person suspected of Photoshopping bill sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in an unflattering manner shall be subject to a minimum sentence of two months in prison; sentence will be increased by an additional two months if MS Paint is used
  • No longer legal to steal Ryan Gosling’s credit card information


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Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 19:58 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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MegaUpload Users Plan to Sue the FBI over Lost Files

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 19:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


megaIn most reports following the MegaUpload shutdown, the site is exclusively portrayed as a piracy haven.

However, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people used the site to share research data, work documents, personal video collections.

As of today, these people are still unsure whether they will ever get their personal belongings back.

In a response, Pirate Parties worldwide have started to make a list of all the people affected by the raids, and they are planning to file an official complaint against the US authorities.

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Scientists: ‘Look, One-Third Of The Human Race Has To Die For Civilization To Be Sustainable, So How Do We Want To Do This?’

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 19:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


Saying there’s no way around it at this point, a coalition of scientists announced Thursday that one-third of the world population must die to prevent wide-scale depletion of the planet’s resources—and that humankind needs to figure out immediately how it wants to go about killing off more than 2 billion members of its species.

Representing multiple fields of study, including ecology, agriculture, biology, and economics, the researchers told reporters that facts are facts: Humanity has far exceeded its sustainable population size, so either one in three humans can choose how they want to die themselves, or there can be some sort of government-mandated liquidation program—but either way, people have to start dying.

And soon, the scientists confirmed.

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  1. You might want to mention this came from the Onion….Just sayin’…

  2. Fox News, talkin’ class warfare.

  3. @Ben: Nah, no need, you can see it’s from the Onion easily: as usual they are again ahead of their time. Remember the ‘F*** everything, we’re doing five blades’ in 2004?
    Well, in 2005 the real world caught up:
    Call me a pessimist, but I really think the question here is not ‘is this going to happen’ but rather ‘when’…

  4. Not to mention the fact that it’s mentioned in the “[Quote]” bit.

Watching Apple win the world

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 0:04 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Apple’s last quarter was the second most profitable quarter of any company ever in US history. Only ExxonMobile topped them slightly in 2008 when oil was at an all-time high. That’s an astounding and awe-inspiring accomplishment.

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  1. Awesome indeed–especially in light of the fact that its business model isn’t predicated on extracting a never-renewable resource from the Earth and burning it.

Gates donates $750 million to fight AIDS, TB and malaria

Posted on January 27th, 2012 at 0:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will inject $750 million into the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced Thursday at the World Economic Forum.

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Man Held in Solitary Confinement 2 Years After DWI Gets $22M

Posted on January 26th, 2012 at 21:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


A man who spent two years in solitary confinement after getting arrested for DWI was awarded $22 million for suffering inhumane treatment in New Mexico’s Dona Ana County Jail.

Stephen Slevin was arrested in August of 2005 for driving while intoxicated, according to NBC station KOB.com. He said he never got a trial and spent the entire time languishing in solitary, even pulling his own tooth when he was denied dental care.

“‘[Prison officials were] walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate,” he said. “Day after day after day, they did nothing, nothing at all, to get me any help.”

Slevin said he made countless requests to see a doctor to get medication for his depression, but wasn’t allowed to see one until only a few weeks before his release. He also never got to see a judge.

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Paulo Coelho on SOPA

Posted on January 26th, 2012 at 12:05 by Paul Jay in category: News


In the former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

Why? Because they needed to share what they were feeling. From the Gospels to political manifestos, literature has allowed ideas to travel and even to change the world.

I have nothing against people earning money from their books; that’s how I make my living.
But look at what’s happening now. Stop Online Piracy Act (S.O.P.A) may disrupt internet. This is a REAL DANGER, not only for Americans, but for all of us, as the law – if approved – will affect the whole planet.

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Girl Scout Troops Banned From Va. Church

Posted on January 26th, 2012 at 2:28 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Several Girl Scout troops in Chantilly, Va., have been banned from meeting at a local Catholic church and a neighboring school.

St. Timothy Catholic Church said that scouts won’t be allowed to meet or wear their uniforms on church property. The edict also applies to the adjacent St. Timothy School, which enrolls students from preschool to eighth grade.

According to the Arlington Diocese, the pastor did not believe the National Girl Scouts membership to the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts aligned with the message of the church, stemming from a perceived connection between WAGGGS and Planned Parenthood.

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital said its parent/national organization is not WAGGGS, but instead Girl Scouts of the USA, which does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Boy scouts will be allowed to continue to meet in the priests bedroom weekly.

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  1. This will teach a fine lesson in tolerance and understanding. Is it me, or is it stupid in here?

  2. These wingnuts are gonna kill my diet with all the cookies I’m going to gave to buy!

Castro lambasts US Republican primary as idiotic

Posted on January 26th, 2012 at 2:17 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012


“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is _ and I mean this seriously _ the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been,” said the retired Cuban leader, who has dueled with 11 U.S. administrations since his 1959 revolution.

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  1. Well _he’s_ lost none of his penetrating intellect.

  2. …not lost his ability for understatement

Reding’s ‘right to be forgotten’ bill polarises Euro biz world

Posted on January 25th, 2012 at 14:09 by Desiato in category: Privacy


EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding will imminently table a draft bill that will – if passed in Parliament – require internet firms to be upfront about the user data they hold.

The proposal has already been slammed by many businesses in the UK, where opposition to the draft regulation has been particularly fierce.

Reding’s "right to be forgotten" on the internet plan forms part of a huge legislative overhaul of Europe’s 1995 data protection law, which the commissioner has labelled as outdated.

EU observers, businesses and politicos agree with her that the current legislation is in desperate need of a rewrite, but Reding’s draft proposal has drawn fire from many.

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Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright

Posted on January 25th, 2012 at 12:39 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Amateur Photographer magazine has published an interesting story about a copyright infringement case of similar, but not directly copied, images. The issue of copyright is thorny, contentious and often misunderstood but this case sheds some light on the current attitude of courts in the UK. Despite significant differences between the two images there was no implication that the second image was a duplicate of the first, the court found that the second image copied substantially from the ‘intellectual creation’ of the first that is the elements that can be protected by copyright in the original image, including a consideration of the composition, lighting and processing of the image.

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Mobile Apps Put the Web in Their Rear-view Mirror

Posted on January 25th, 2012 at 12:27 by Desiato in category: Commentary, Software


Our analysis shows that, for the first time ever, daily time spent in mobile apps surpasses desktop and mobile web consumption. This stat is even more remarkable if you consider that it took less than three years for native mobile apps to achieve this level of usage, driven primarily by the popularity of iOS and Android platforms.

As a note of interest, Facebook has increasingly taken its share of time spent on the Internet, now making up 14 of the 74 minutes spent per day by consumers, or about one sixth of all Internet minutes.

The chart clearly shows that Games and Social Networking categories capture the significant majority of consumers’ time. Consumers spend nearly half their time using Games, and a third in Social Networking apps. Combined, these two categories control a whopping 79% of consumers’ total app time.

I think it’d be valuable to break out some of this data by age group; there’s a big question of how much of the additional time is from under-18yos. (e.g. people handing the iPad to their kids to keep them from fussing, teens spending time online, etc.)

So I’m not convinced that the following is actually fully right, but it’s thought-provoking and worth sharing, I think:


What the headline should be is that consumers are leaving web developers behind. And so those that can follow quickly have a HUGE opportunity. Forget a few hundred thousand, there are going to be tens of millions of mobile apps available to consumers in the next few years. App goldrush over? Difficult to be visible on mobile? I don’t think so – not even close.

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Norwegian Data Inspectorate rules use of Google Apps by companies breaches Norweigian law, cites US Patriot Act

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:49 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy


Datatilsynet, The Norwegian Data Inspectorate has effectively outlawed many corporate uses of Google Apps within Norway on privacy grounds.

Reports are only just emerging (in Norwegian) that a “Notice of Decision” dated 16th January (pdf, Norwegian) states that Norwegian companies that make use of Google “cloud” services, (known locally nettskyløsning – essentially Google Apps) with its standard terms “violate the law”.

It is unclear at this stage whether the opinion will be challenged in the courts.

The Norwegian authorities cite the US Patriot Act, which gives “U.S. authorities the ability to monitor terrorist suspects without charge or trial” amongst the reasons why a US-lead data protection initiative known as US-EU Safe Harbor was insufficient in itself to guarantee compliance with strict Norwegian data protection laws.

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  1. Since you never know where a piece of hosted software may store its data, that seems pretty close to saying “all SaaS is illegal for Norwegian companies to use”. Not just Google Apps, but Bootcamp, Dropbox, iCloud, Office Live, you name it.

Stephen Colbert – South Carolina Speech Rally (January 20, 2012)

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:43 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012

“…because if Corporations are people, people with a Constitutional right to influence our elections, then I promise you: Government of those people, by those people, and for those people, shall not perish from this Earth.”

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  1. Is that really Cain who shows up at the end, or a double?

  2. That was indeed Herman Cain. They planned to do a stump speech together in SC before the vote.

The Gingrich Who Stole South Carolina

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:36 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

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