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  • Dec 14th, 2018 @ 5:32am

    Paging Jacob Rees-Mogg

    Yet another argument for a proper "no deal" Brexit.

  • Oct 2nd, 2018 @ 6:03am

    Irony (in the classial, not hipster sense)

    A Southerner is leading the charge against states rights!

  • Sep 11th, 2018 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re:

    Ah, but as we've seen with the Greek debt crisis "negotiations", the Brexit "negotiations", and the reaction of EU officialdom to elections in Poland, Hungary, and Italy, and most recently Sweden, the 500 million individual people don't really matter much, only the hive-mind in Brussels matters.

  • Sep 11th, 2018 @ 3:15am


    This is about authors rights, not proprietary trade secrets or secret military research. The only difference between this plan and what is now done is that an academic publisher (the biggest ones, Springer and Elevier are EU-based) doesn't get to collect monopoly rents on published papers the EU's tax-payers funded.

  • Aug 28th, 2018 @ 6:55am

    Actually, bias might not be that easy to recognize

    The difficulty is that if there is bias involved, it is harder to recognized than might otherwise be the case, because it is not bias on behalf of an extreme position, but bias on behalf of the normative political view in Silicon Valley, which is decidely center-left. That being the case there will be content deleted as beyond-the-pale both to the left of that normative view (e.g. posted by Black Lives Matter and affiliated movements) and to the right (not just the lunatic conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, but the temporary deletion of Prager U.), with a bit more being deleted from the right end of the political spectrum -- as an extreme example I strongly suspect on many social media platforms posts advocating mass executions and expropriation of property on the model of Stalin's and Mao's policies are much more likely to survive (for longer at least) than posts advocating mass deportation of people of color.

  • May 26th, 2018 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re: SO I'm right yet again. Thanks, minion.

    Ah, perhaps he's merely one of their minions, too. I recalled one of item from "Cellblock A" of the Evil Overlord list at http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/dungeon_a.html :

    109.I will see to it that plucky young lads/lasses in strange clothes and with the accent of an outlander shall REGULARLY climb some monument in the main square of my capital and denounce me, claim to know the secret of my power, rally the masses to rebellion, etc. That way, the citizens will be jaded in case the real thing ever comes along.

  • May 26th, 2018 @ 2:57am

    Annoyance to the large incumbents, death to small enterprises

    The wonderful Scotland-based hexgrid wargaming site hexwar.net has been killed by the GDPR.

    Evidently the "private information" that must be rigorously protected includes the state of games being transmitted back and forth between players in an internet analogue of play-by-mail. Somehow the same company's e-commerce side that sells play-against-AI hexgrid games and deals with things like credit card numbers, actual names and addresses and actual money has managed to comply, but the "private data" of where my virtual Marshal Ney, Marshal Grouchy and Napoleon, along with the various divisional-sized groupings of the Grande Armee are located on a hexgrid a map of the Belgian countryside couldn't be brought up to snuff for the EU's regulators.

    And yes, those of us who played games there would have all opted-in to have that data shared with the company and the other players -- heck I wouldn't care if it were published for the whole world to see.

  • Apr 14th, 2018 @ 7:17am

    Why? Rent seeking

    The legal department at In-N-Out seems to have noticed that Australia has allowed copyright succcesful claims against transformative homages to songs (the flute riff on Waltzing Matilda in Men at Work's Down Under) with monetary damages,and figured they could apply the same "principle" in the trademark domain to get a bucket of money for very little work.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 5:34am

    The problem in a nutshell

    When the assertion, "I think my refrigerator is spying on me," represents a sound, rationally held belief, rather than evidence of paranoid schizophrenia, something is definitely wrong.

  • Mar 21st, 2018 @ 7:59am

    feature or bug?

    Are you sure that suppression of free speech is something the EU doesn't want? I suspect that's a feature, rather than a bug, from the point of view of the European Commission.

  • Mar 6th, 2018 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Not likely. While Spain has some influence, Poland's influence on the European Commission is just about nil. A proposal this sweeping isn't going to come out of the Commission without France and Germany being behind it. The only authoritarian influence in play here is the EU itself.

    Quite frankly this sort of thing should make everyone in the UK glad that "Leave" won, no matter how rocky the change to trading with the EU under WTO rules proves to be. (Yes, I think it will come to that, precisely because of the "we are to be obeyed" attitude of the European Commission.)

  • Jan 12th, 2018 @ 6:56am

    Signals Intelligence

    The conduct of signals intelligence is a war measure. The fact that so many in government want to conduct signals intelligence against the populace at large makes it clear they regard us as an enemy.

  • Jan 10th, 2018 @ 9:04am

    ...to authors and inventors...

    Maybe the discussion of copyright (and for that matter patent) terms misses the point. If the law followed the plain meaning of the Constitution "by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries," The rights wouldn't ever be secured to publishers, and corporations would only be able to hold the rights to things the corporation produced -- yes that's possible, movies tend to not be the product of a single individual, and industrial research labs invent things through group effort.

    The original point of that clause was to authorize Congress to make analogues in American Law of the then still-innovative British Law of Queen Anne and Statute of Monopolies of 1623, which replaced the old custom of the Crown granting copyrights and monopolies to printers and favored noblemen or guilds and limited monopolies to authors and inventors respectively.

    It would be harder for publishers (record companies included) to screw artists if the right still inhered in the artist, rather then being transferable to a publisher in toto as a condition of publication.

  • Jan 4th, 2018 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No. I'm suggesting, for instance, that shouting down school choice as "racist" on the plea that it would deprive minority-serving public schools of resources, when ordinary African Americans support the policy in public opinion surveys because it would give them the chance (at least) of sending their kids to better schools -- the countervailing argument -- is an abuse of language which serves the interests of expansion of government (objectively the main goal of the left) and public service unions (who donate to the left), but not the interests of racial minorities, and is akin to "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength".

    I'm suggesting it's an abuse of language, irrespective of the race of the speaker, though if the speaker claiming school choice is "racist" is a white liberal, I think your point applies (see above).

  • Jan 4th, 2018 @ 3:14am

    How does it matter? (in answer to the First Word)

    Yeah, kids think that having a zero-marginal-cost digital copy of a work isn't theft. What matters about the public domain is its use in derivative works and public performances. Had moneyed interests *who are neither authors, nor composers, nor songwriters* not managed first to alienate copyright from the actual artist (the point of the "...to authors and inventors..." was actually to *not* give Congress the power to grant monopolies to publishers and manufactures, but *only* to authors and inventors -- the point of the the British copyright and patent laws the American Founders were looking at when the wrote the Constitution) by making it into salable "intellectual property", and then replaced Anglo-American copyrights of fixed terms with French-style "life plus" copyright terms complete with droits d'auteur to allow suppression of derivative works, our culture would be much richer.

    The public domain is not about being able to have it in your iTunes play list, it's about being able to play it in a cover-band, to retell the story from a different point of view (Remember Margaret Mitchell's literary estate's attempts to suppress "The Wind Done Gone" a retelling of "Gone with the Wind" from the point of view of the slaves? Yeah, that came out right in the end, but the author of the retelling should never have needed to go to court and pursue appeals), to use elements of the existing culture in new cultural works without permission from someone who purportedly represents the "interests" a long-dead previous contributor to our culture, but is really just after monopoly rents for something that they didn't actually create.

  • Dec 21st, 2017 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re:

    The word "racist" is now Newspeak and means whatever it serves the interests of the left for it to mean at any given time. It can mean the same as in English -- a person who believes people should be treated differently according to their skin color or ethnicity, or who believes one race is superior to another -- or someone who advocates a policy the left opposes on the plea that it will harm racial or ethnic minorities (even when the policy if prima facia race-neutral and even if there are countervailing arguments, rejected by the left, that it might help racial or ethnic minorities), or even simply a white person (cf. the claim "all whites are racist" often heard in the halls of academe).

  • Dec 21st, 2017 @ 3:09am

    Signals Intelligence

    Signals intelligence is a war measure -- the vigorous conduct of which against foreign adversaries I strong support. The desire of many in government to apply it to the American citizenry is an unwitting admission that they regard the populace they are, in theory, elected, appointed or hired to serve as an enemy.

  • Oct 28th, 2017 @ 6:26pm

    Fake news like...

    ...pieces by Jayson Blair, perhaps?

  • Sep 26th, 2017 @ 7:12pm


    My discipline in mathematics, category theory, has already done it. Our preeminent peer-reviewed journal is Theory and Applications of Categories. Authors retain copyright to their own papers but grant permission to the journal to offer the papers in perpetuity on the web and maintain print archival copies in several locations. The infrastructure is provided by Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Just like commercially published journals, academicians donate the editorial services and refereeing, and mirable dictu no one is collecting monopoly rents on the donated labor of academician.

    The problem is each discipline has to step up and create peer reviewed journal run entirely by academicians in the field who aren't venial and out to collect monopoly rents for themselves.

  • May 13th, 2017 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Europeans

    Actually, the Europeans are just following America's lead on this: we are the ones who started this notion that our laws apply to non-citizens outside our borders Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom are but recent examples.

    I think the failing is not stupidity, but arrogance.

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