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  • Oct 1st, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Gene Quinn's Challenge

    You DID catch his recent challenge right?

    By the way, I challenge anyone to a debate on this topic anywhere, at any time, to be moderated by a mutually agreed panel or moderator. I know as well as everyone here that I will never be taken up on that offer. I wonder why? If I am so stupid and irresponsible and ignorant then someone take me up and prove to the world I am as such. Of course there will be no takers because in a true debate none of the nay-sayers stand any chance and would be exposed for what they truly are. Nevertheless, the challenge is made. I am sure the silence will be deafening. Or wait, even better… the response will be “there is no point in debating you because you are .” We all know that is what they are going to say, and rational people will understand that to be nothing more than cowardice.
    Care to take up the gauntlet?

  • Jun 10th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Abolish Copyright

    There is a problem with your analogy - it's pointing to the wrong conclusion.

    responding to the oil crisis by abolishing automobiles is more aptly likened to responding to the copyright crisis by abolishing listeners, viewers and readers. You are pointing to the consumer, not the legislation.

    A more apt analogy to the copyright/copyright law dilemma would be to respond to the oil crisis by abolishing laws that regulate oil - e.g. laws that ban drilling offshore or in alaska, regulations that prevent refineries from being built and regulations that make it more expensive to convert oil into gasoline.

    You'll notice that in THIS case, it would lessen - if not eliminate - the oil crisis.

  • Apr 28th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Colleges and textbook sales.

    You might consider that a fair number of two year college students come from wealthier than average families as well - bargain hunting is not exclusively a poor man's pursuit. Also, while a substantial number of people do attend two year colleges, four year colleges can easily still sell more textbooks simply because people attend them for about twice as long (and that's not counting the people who attend a four year university after getting the basics done at the local community college).

    As far as pricing books lower, the best chance of that happening is to introduce some form of competition in textbook sales - I personally like the idea of virtual books being offered ala Amazon.com's Kindle or something similar.

  • Mar 13th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Did ANYONE Follow the Links?

    Thanks for the suggestion. I found this:
    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2007/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2007/1211_education_loveless/1 211_education_loveless.pdf
    ( http://tinyurl.com/2ry9qm )

    It does both a cross sectional and longitudinal study of the correlation of instruction and homework to math results (they studied math because it provided the fewest variables among countries of various hisories and languages).

    The results found a strong positive correlation with instruction and a neutral - leaning very slightly to the negative - correlation for homework.

    Once again, homework has no effect on student success at best.

  • Mar 13th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Did ANYONE Follow the Links?

    how about looking at concrete results. The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out that Finnish students are the best performing students in the world, but they are assigned little to no homework:

    http://tinyurl.com/2a7vw5

    Prior to that, Time magazine pointed to similar results among other top performing countries as well as to research done by Duke University's Harris Cooper, which showed no correlation between homework and school success.

    http://tinyurl.com/28o92a

    While we're asking for proof, where's your evidence to the contrary?

  • Mar 13th, 2008 @ 5:49am

    Did ANYONE Follow the Links?

    This is for everyone predicting the self destruction of the British education system with the end of homework.

    Homework does NOT help people learn. It never has.

    The story has links DOCUMENTING this - that's what the bright blue words are. Try checking them out some time - they really do add to the story.

  • Dec 12th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    When does it Burst?

    Yes, it would cause havoc - the MPAA declaring bankruptcy, the RIAA downsizing and Sony getting stuck with billions of DRM enabled coasters while the rest of the world goes online - but times like this sometimes require one to just "bite the bullet."

  • Aug 16th, 2007 @ 4:12am

    Bad Publicity

    "no such thing as bad publicity" only applies to those whose sole product is attention. Movies, tv, actors, singers, radio hosts etc... people or things that either are paid for being watched or paid for bringing eyeballs to ads all fall under this category.

    A cafe, however, sells food and drink and in that case, there absolutely IS such thing as bad publicity.

    You are right that this would encourage users to write reviews. However, you are wrong in assuming people would actually have to go there to do it.

  • Jul 27th, 2007 @ 12:52pm

    Let them drink!

    I think the whole thing is overblown.

    Honestly, this is not similar to airplane pilots or even automobile drivers getting behind the wheel drunk. Astronauts take off only when there is no chance of collision from other aircraft and they quickly get past commercial airspace to a place where there is literally NOTHING to crash into. Don't get me wrong, I know that astronauts have complicated tasks requiring the utmost in physical and mental readiness during their time in space, but not on takeoff. The first part of any astronauts mission has successfully been performed by MONKEYS in the 1960's - how sober do you REALLY have to be?

    I say let them have their drinks. Considering the bureacracy they are working for, they need them.

  • Apr 26th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    speedtalk - not newspeak

    You are using the wrong analogy. Txting is not Orwell's Newspeak, which was supposedly developed to eliminate words and restrict thought. Txting, on the other hand is a shorthand language designed to improve the efficiency of the language - much as speedtalk was designed for in Heinlein's story "Gulf."

    The ultimate purpose of Speedtalk is, of course, to make one's ability to think faster and more efficient.

    Oh, and the problem with the concept of newspeak is that there are real world languages that work EXACTLY like newspeak, but are still just as expressive as any language in existence. See Wikipedia's entry here for more on that:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

  • Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 5:19pm

    Reviving the Free Speech Debate

    It's not the political impact on the candidates we should worry about - it's the chance that our politicians will use this as an excuse to limit the free speech of bloggers again. Wired News is already playing that angle.
    From the article:

    The video's success has fired up a new round of debate about the impact of federal regulators' decision a year ago to exclude unpaid online political activity from the detailed disclosure requirements that apply to political advertising in traditional media.

    "The hot issue is whether the (Federal Election Commission) made the right call when it exempted from the disclaimer rules all internet activity except for paid internet ads," says Scott Thomas, a former chairman of the FEC who is now an attorney at the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, D.C.

  • Jan 4th, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Tech Fraud?

    The crimes you are accusing "immigrants" of committing are more often committed by people of foreign nationality IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

    The U.S. has a fairly extensive network of law enforcement agencies clamping down on that - here in the U.S. However, not all other countries are so inclined. It makes MUCH more sense to commit those kinds of crimes in - say just for the sake of argument - a certain region of Africa to remain nameless, than to come here and risk actually getting caught.

  • Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:24am

    Now that is a sweet article!

    That's the wonderful thing about free markets - we benefit from ANY form of competition - even competition doomed to fail.

  • Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:23am

    Re: Semantic solution

    I could be wrong, but I don't think you pull back on the handlebars - Segways detect you shifting your weight.

    I'm not even sure it has a real brake either - I think works as a power gradient to the motor. You lean back and the motor loses power. You lean back further and it cuts into reverse.

  • Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 3:38am

    Re: Isn't this DMOZ redux?

    DMOZ isn't a wiki. You can't add a site to DMOZ directly. You have to apply to have it added. you CAN apply to be an editor, but you can get rejected. with a wiki, if I want a site added, I just add it and hope someone else doesn't deface it.

  • Jan 1st, 2007 @ 1:38am

    Chess vs. Racism

    I don't blame you guys about not talking directly about the article - it really doesn't have that much commentworthy. He cheated, he got caught, he got punished. If he had done it with notes passed to someone, it never would have made it here. The bluetooth angle just barely qualifies it for mention.

    As far as the "dot" goes - I'm pretty sure caste marks are reserved for WOMEN in India - and not all of them at that. The reference is pretty lame and shows the ignorance of the poster more than anything else.

  • Dec 27th, 2006 @ 8:01am

    Not going far enough.

    This is obviously only the start of a GREAT way to "Be There" for your family - all we need to do is make the units portable.

    Imagine, dad has a unit at work, the family has a unit in the car. Little billy has a ball game - just unpack the unit in the bleachers and Dad doesn't have to come home to "Be There!" Now he won't miss out on the school play and the thrill of taking the kids camping is just a mouse click away!

    How's that for technology bringing the family together?

  • Dec 27th, 2006 @ 4:32am

    They Don't NEED 911 services!

    Now that they've banned Trans Fats, they won't have any more emergencies. Everyone will be healthy, moral and safe thanks to the blessings of government intervention.

  • Dec 18th, 2006 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Kidding right by Barry R Gordon

    "if we really assumed it was worth nothing, there'd be less incentive to innovate. scientists would be like those struggling artists trying to scrape a living."

    Luckily, this is provably false. In software, the actual value comes from providing services. You make something, you distribute it, you support it, people pay you.

    In contrast to this, the monopolies granted by patents actually are designed to stifle innovation. For example, if you come up with something innovative, but it builds on someone elses patented idea, you can't produce it unless you pay the original patent holder money.

    Similarly, if you have a patent on a piece of software, you have less incentive to improve it because you will want to "milk" your current product for all you can. without patents, you need to innovate to stay in business.

  • Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    Re: Extend copyrights

    Of course, for all the works that would sweep out of the public domain, the obvious owner would simply be the RIAA.

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