Martin Thomas’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Mar 14th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    (untitled comment)

    I just searched Google for 'bev stayart' and the suggested searches included:


    beverly stayart yahoo
    beverly stayart google


    They are clearly using her name to promote themselves!

  • Sep 14th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So what does that all really mean? Well firstly it's factual proof that one download cannot equal one lost sale, secondly it gives some perspective on how damaging piracy can actually be. If we are producing 95% piracy rates out of iOS devices where only at worst 20% of the market can be pirates then it's reasonable to presume that it's the same everywhere.


    It is also worth pointing out that if someone downloads a lot of items at once, they probably do not use them all. If they had to pay they would make more effort to work out in advance which ones they were most likely to use.

  • Sep 14th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    They harm DVD's

    Some DVD's are blighted with ads claiming that pirates support drug pushers and terrorists. I guess that some drug pushers are so impoverished that they would be unable to push drugs if it were not for the money they get from selling pirated DVD's.

    The adverts are configured so that some DVD players will not yet you skip them or fast forward through them. Many open source DVD viewers do allow you to do that. I bet there are people who would like to ban such software!

  • Sep 11th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    They sometimes try to stop you reading the agreement

    I wonder how long before someone goes to court when a company goes out of their way to discourage people from reading the terms. It may be hard to prove, but why else do so many companies put the terms into an absurdly small text box?

    If you could prove that they had deliberately tried to discourage people from reading the terms, would that invalidate them?

  • Sep 11th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: I think so

    I suspect that we will not manage to build a computer with even a very good simulation until we get a better idea of how our brains manage to be concious.

    The work of Douglas R. Hofstadter certainly looks like a good starting point.

  • Sep 8th, 2012 @ 4:38am

    Probably in the far future ...

    We do not yet have a clear idea what exactly it is about human brains that causes them to experience anything. Some people think we are close to understanding it; others call it the "hard problem", because it appears to be the most difficult problem that science faces. I am assuming that it will eventually be understood and then we will be able to make robots which are every bit as self aware and alive as we are. Then we will face all these problems!

    In the meantime, we will very soon have robots that appear to be human and to have human thoughts and feelings. Many people will be very happy with this, some may react violently.

    If 10,000,000 young children believe that their kiddy-bots are alive, what to do if people begin to smash them up publicly?

  • Sep 7th, 2012 @ 7:32am

    (untitled comment)

    People who make horror films will have to tread carefully.

  • Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, people who were ready to believe that the world was about to end latched on it.