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Member Since 20 Jun 2004
Offline Last Active Apr 13 2014 07:30 PM

In Topic: More USA documents get released by Wikileaks

30 November 2010 - 04:32 PM

I mean, I'm not really going to debate this, but instead I'll just state it. I don't really believe Wikileaks should exist.

Its endangering soldiers and other innocent peoples lives right?

And this, is why I'm not debating it.

But it's not.

The Government comes out with the same BS every time about it risking lives and it's absolute crap. Of ALL the times Wikileaks have released 'life-risking' documents, how many people have died from it? None. They're not bloody advertising troop movements and pointing a big neon sign saying 'HERE'S A WEAK SPOT GO KILL THEM'. It's exposing the hypocrisies and corruption of their regime. This doesn't equate to 'blood on Julian Assange's hands'.

I'd like to quote the CBS article above. (And I have that set of documents on my computer)

One specific example cited by the paper is a report on an interview conducted by military officers of a potential Taliban defector. The militant is named, along with his father and the village in which they live.

They probably wont be alive for very long.

General information and diplomatic cables should be leaked, but names and locations should be censored.

People will as a direct consequence of leaking some of the secret documents, be (or already are) murdered, tortured or kidnapped if they contain identifiable people and civilian names. Assange has blood on his hands.

What he is doing is a favor to transparency and democracy. But he has no business exposing individual people who were collaborating with foreign forces to catch other insurgents, criminals, terrorists etc.
Comparable to leaking out press sources. Without anonymous press sources you could never interview anyone in undemocratic countries.


Reporters' privilege is the qualified (limited) First Amendment right many jurisdictions by statutory law or judicial decision have given to journalists in protecting their confidential sources from discovery.

The only reason protection of sources exists (in the case of individuals) is to guarantee their untouchability and physical safety.
If they gave out sensitive enough information & you take anonymity away from them you are signing their death warrant

In Topic: Pirate Bay and MegaUpload Escape Domain Seizure by US

02 August 2010 - 06:50 PM

Musicians, software engineers and game developers get their living with future commissions and royalties.

Depriving them entirely of income is suicidal if considering future productions.
These people have to either earn money from their work in the long term or face unemployment. Inspiration alone is not going to pay for their massive development costs, studio time, tools, physical equipment, office rent etc.

For the group of users of peer-to peer systems, piracy reduces the probability of buying music by 35% to 65%.

Is piracy something you need to demonize? No. Perhaps it sends a good message to these companies that product prices should be more reasonable to make them affordable to a wider base of consumers (including poor students). Piracy is a symptom and a reaction to high prices or bad availability (and semi-malware such as DRM and rootkits)

However, refusing to absolutely pay *anything* for work other people have put forward is a form of theft. In the case of software, for example, the copyright holder/licensee is selling a digital copy of a program for a determined price per consumer that the company has deemed appropriate for recouping development losses.

The product being a digital good instead of a tangible, touchable physical object doesn't make it's illegal usage any less financially damaging to developers. By entirely refusing to purchase the artist's product, you would not be hurting the 'greedy record companies or publishers', but the artist who directly depends on people buying the products to earn a living.

No, one download does not equal one sale, ever. There are people who wouldn't pay for a product either way even if no pirated equivalent was available. But it always equals some form of loss to the developer. Should all consumers simply choose the pirated option instead of the commercial copy, the company would not attract investors for a second game/software/etc. (which is happening to PC games due to abnormally high piracy rates)

Crytek Estimates 20 PC Game Pirates for Every One Legitimate Buyer
Echoing previous reports that Crysis Warhead would be Crytek's last PC-exclusive title, Yerli added that rampant piracy may lead to "less and less games appearing on the PC, or less and less games pushing the boundaries of PC gaming."

"For one sale there are 15 to 20 pirates and pirate versions, and that's a big shame for the PC industry."
"Our message is if you're a PC gamer, and you really want to respect the platform, then you should stop pirating."

I don't believe it's fair to say all the developers are just lying or shifting blame.
They are really abandoning the PC as a gaming platform because the games simply don't sell over the pirated equivalent.

Console platforms which are hard or impossible to pirate on such as PS3 and the 360 sell the same games at exponentially higher rates compared to the PC even though they cost the same (or more).

In Topic: Stealing is moral?

10 March 2010 - 05:44 AM

I believe in voluntarism.. which is basically anarcho-capialism.
What have I said that makes me sound like I think stealing isn't wrong? The first thing I stated was that stealing is wrong..
Only I can say what is for my own good. And only you can say what is good for you.. "Public" services are just monopolies.

Capitalist enterprises and property-driven societies, even quasi-anarchic ones like Russia, need protection and facilities by default. They can't only rely on private security companies for security, or on community collections for enormous projects such as sewage maintenance, building of oil pipes, heating routes, electric grids, etc.. The only way to finance these facilities is through taxing every participating and non-participating member of that society for a set amount of money regularly.

Though, there are many ways to go about with it. The current model used in Europe and the US guarantees a certain minimum level of services even for non-contributing citizens on grounds of humanity, but it's not particularly 'effective' and it significantly drains economical resources from people aspiring to rise out of the lower or middle social classes by labour. For example, in tax havens such as Panama, the vast majority of tax revenue comes from VAT and import tariffs, which do not have much direct impact on a consumer at all.

Salaries are taxed at 0%, companies pay some tax, but there are numerous loopholes in the legislation that effectively allow 0% taxation for corporations as well (especially if split in multiple shell entities). In return, the government only maintains the basic functions of society, such as waste management, military defence, rudimentary public schooling and some transportation duties. Advanced features such as social security or healthcare are not available, so if you fall poor or jobless suddenly, you are in big trouble (screwed) in a country of low taxation. Especially if you have loans or try to upkeep your previous lifestyle.

If it were not for the relatively heavy taxes levied on everything you do in society, you probably would not have your current standard of living, assuming you are middle class in a western country.

In Topic: Haiti Earthquake

22 January 2010 - 08:17 PM

Where was America when Hurricane Katrini hit? Seriously though, what sort of contribution do you think Haiti could have possibly made to the Katrina relief effort?

We have been porting money into Haiti for years and where has it gone?

France and the US ultimately made Haiti into what it is today (or was, before the earthquake - a poor, crime infested drug harbor) during colonial times.

Think of it like the guilt-responsibility relationship between Germany and Israel. It is bad PR for the US if they didn't keep helping them after using the land for enormous coffee, spice, cotton, manual slave labor etc. profits, and leaving the local population all alone with a corrupt hierarchy after they had collected worthwhile profits & deemed the exploitation to be no longer politically viable due to the negative response in their respective countries.

You are not responsible for what happened in the past, just as today's young Germans are not responsible for what happened in WW2 to jews, but the political and moral ground for continuing aid and 'reparation' money exists, and has been paid to Haiti ever since they gained independence. As a result of the earthquake it will probably continue almost indefinitely.

In Topic: headphones keep breaking after only a few weeks of usage?

21 November 2009 - 09:38 PM

I never bought expensive headphones yet one of them pairs worked for over 4 years. Your statement of "money equals quality" is invalid.

Don't see how it can be invalid only based on a single personal experience, statistically more expensive headphones (especially coiled cable) are percieved as much superior when comparing to cheaper ones.

For example Pioneer ON headphones get about 100% approval rating and 5/5 on most sites, while costing roughly $100, and lower-end headphones from Sennheiser (of which I own a couple of products) consistently get horrible 1/5 reviews from most users due to poor construct and lack of suitability for anything else than light use, while only costing a fraction of the higher end models.

Of course it's possible you just ran into an exceptionally well-manufactured patch of hp's, and they will never break, or will not wear due to only light gaming use/some mp3's. But a great number of people experience difficulties especially with lower-end models. There was a thread just like this one on bit-tech last year.