Given that the officially sanctioned method for destroying the American flag (when it has become to worn for use) is to burn it - what is all the fuss about?
"The United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Para (k) Amended 7 July 1976) states: "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." "
Whilst I agree in general about this trend - I don't see it as being particularly tech-driven.
As technology has improved this particular "tide" has gone in and out. The 18th and early 19th centuries saw increased concentration of wealth based on new technolgies - but the late 19th and early 20th centuries reversed the trend and brought (to the US and W. Europe) the universal prosperity that we still enjoy the remnants of today.
It has been globalisation and the replacement of local workers with cheap third world labour that has done the most damage - not the advent of machines. In fact cheap labour has actually held up the advance of technology - because it is easier to deploy than robots.
Oh Dear - that isn't what actually happens at all!
Here Come The AIs To Make Office Workers Superfluous
Sorry - that isn't what happens - for 2 reasons:
1) Alongside the plan to use a new technology to replace workers come another plan to use the technology to DO MORE than the previous workers did. (The quoted piece more or less admits that.) In the end that tendency will not quite restore all the jobs - BUT - it will do more than that when combined with
2) Empire building. New departments will be created to manage and procure the AI and because humans will still be in charge and their prestige depends on "having people working for them" these departments will not stay small long and will spawn subdepartments where the same processes will happen.
My old schoolteacher used to say that no machine had ever been invented that had actually reduced the amount of work that needed to be done - and nothing I've seen so far will change that.
So - AI will not cut jobs until it takes over the CEO's job and reason prevails in the company structure.
(Unless of course the AI is such a good impersonation of a human that it carries all the human flaws too!)
Why not take - some advice - in the spirit of VIZ topical tips http://www.fishtank.org.uk/humour/humour.php3?articleid=61 Avoid the bad publicity using the followinng tip: Have some plastic surgery so the selfie no longer looks like you and change your name by deed pole - it'll be cheaper than the lawsuit!
It should be illegal to even try to get a trademark on something that belongs to everyone already, especially with no room for uncertainty.
That translates to:
"It should be illegal to even try to get a trademark on anything"
Since all individual words and short phrases and specifically titles don't qualify for copyright and are hence in the public domain. (How come there are so many in copyright songs called "The Power of Love" otherwise.)
However the real crux of the matter is that this is trademark - and the concept of the public domain is rather different here - if it exists at all.
The problem is not in trademarking "Through the looking glass" it is in conflating together several different legal things and creating legal theories that have no foundation in the law. Disney does this all the time so there is some poetic justice here.
The point is this. If Disney creates a line of shirts called "Through the Looking Glass" then Alice Looking have a case - but so long as Disney sticks to movies there is no problem.
Actually I have some sympathy with Alice Looking here. They are getting their retaliation in first. I suspect that they are worried that Disney will create some merchandise around the film and then sue them. That is perfectly consistent with Disney's past behaviour. Getting their own lawsuit in at an early stage may be a good way to forestall a legal attack from Disney.
Twitter is free to remove anyone from the service who breaks the site's terms and conditions.
Fact is that both FB and twitter seem to be rather better at removing innocuous things (like pictures of statues and girls eating ice cream), or even people arguing against Islamism than they are at removing the propaganda of actual terrorists.
It would be better for them if they removed rather less - thus avoiding giving the impression that they are better able to remove stuff than they actually are. I'm sure that this impression is one of the things that motivates these lawsuits.
_ You may have heard that the UN Security Council passed a resolution recently, officially declaring that Israel’s settlements in Palestinian lands are illegal (something most of us knew already). The US normally vetoes this kind of thing, but this time it let it pass, with an abstention.
This has put Israel in a panic. It is lashing out at everybody, even accusing the US, its closest ally, of “abandoning” it. There have been countless General Assembly resolutions along similar lines before, but it has always managed to laugh them off. But the Security Council is different.
Speaking as someone who lives in one of the countries that sponsored the resolution, and who previously came from another one, I feel quite pleased at this. Some say it has purely symbolic value, nothing more. But Israel’s own reaction says otherwise._
I used to think like this.
I also used to think that a one state solution (as in South Africa) was the most sensible - since the people have to live together and if they can't live in one state then two states will most likely fight each other.
I used to think that all that was needed was a state which was secular - and belonged equally to whoever lived there and didn't privilege immigration fro one particular religious group.
However - I looked at the reality of the surrounding Arab countries and realised that this is a pipe dream.
It is clear that the dominant (if not majority) opinion in the Islamic world rejects the existence of Israel - in fact if anything it goes even further than that. So Israel is probably right to see no solution that way. But then there is no solution their way either.
Face it there is no solution.
And for the remaining minorities in the region, who are neither Muslim nor Jewish the result of being in the crossfire between the two will be inevitable slow annihilation.
So I am not pleased at this resolution - because it will only act as a catalyst for further conflict. Israel will reject/ignore it and the terrorists will use it as an excuse for murder.
Since the guy responsible for the Berlin attack went to France and the Netherlands before he was shot in Italy, he might have been captured sooner if he had to provide documents and/or was not be able to buy new tickets at the last minute.
But "being captured sooner" doesn't prevent anything - and since a large proportion of these attacks are suicide missions anyway it is often irrelevant.
The problem with our anti-terror forces is that (as usually happens) they are fighting the last war. This is not like the IRA/Red Brigades or even earlier rounds of Palestinian (as opposed to Islamic) terrorism.