In his recent article ‘Is the Road to Music Success Paved with Spam? Canada’s Music Lobby Apparently Thinks So‘, Michael Geist discussed the music industry’s opposition to the pending ‘anti-spam’ legislation, revealing once more that the ‘content creation’ industry knows no limits.
Spyware? Yup. Root kits? Yup. Deep packet inspection? Yup. Spam? Yup.
The music and movie industries are in favor of any possible computer malware as long as they are the ones using it to ‘protect’ their interests. They keep trying to spin the narrative to make it look like they are protecting ‘artists’ but the truth is that they prey upon artists and use every measure in their arsenal to rip off the people they claim to be supporting.
While suing customers and ripping off artists, they buy influence and spread lies just to prop up a dead business model.
For some reason, I’ve seen three articles today that all use the phrase “It begs the question….”
All three have used that phrase incorrectly and it’s annoying me.
Here’s what ‘begging the question’ means (according to the wikipedia page, which is a good introduction.)
“The fallacy of petitio principii, or “begging the question”, is committed “when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof”; in order to charitably entertain the argument, it must be taken as given “in some form of the very proposition to be proved, as a premise from which to deduce it”. One must take it upon oneself that the goal, taken as given, is essentially the means to that end. ”
That means that you use the point to be proven as part of the logical argument for that same point. It is similar to circular reasoning. It does not mean the same as a question left unanswered although that’s the meaning people seem to think it has.
Using a neat sounding phrase without understanding what it means does not make you look smart. It makes you look like a fool, so stop doing it.
They can create a new position for ‘religious freedom’ and they can afford to send auditors out to harass the unemployed. They can even afford to install defibrilators in hockey arenas, but they can’t afford to take care of veterans.
They can fight the non-battles and go up against the non-issues. They can pump out endless pointless sound bites and distract the media with nonsense.
In short, they can do anything that they want, so long as it doesn’t actually help any Canadians. (Unless those Canadians are major campaign contributors, of course.)
Starting with LCOL John Glenn, there have been 25 of them. Fred Haise Jr, the LEM Pilot on Apollo 13 was a Marine.
Here’s wikipedia’s list of real Space Marines.
Think that the law around intellectual property is a mess? Read these news items to see how bad it’s become.
Michael Geist brings this to our attention: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware on Your Computer in which we find business interests who think that their ‘war on piracy’ is more important than our right to privacy. They want have the legal right to install monitoring on any computer to make sure that the computer isn’t used to pirate their stuff.
BoingBoing shows us this: Games Workshop says you can’t use “space marine” in science fiction where a company who thinks that since they stole a phrase from a writer ( “Captain Brink of the Space Marines”, Bob Olsen , Amazing Stories, Volume 7, Number 8, November 1932 ) and got away with it, they have the exclusive rights to use that phrase forever.
RetractionWatch reveals this : WordPress removes Anil Potti posts from Retraction Watch in error after false DMCA copyright claim where their stories were copied and reposted elsewhere, then the thieves had the audacity to have the originals deleted by way of a bogus claim.
The common point – the misguided application of ’intellectual property.’
The entire system around around intellectual property is badly broken. From trademarks to patents to copyright, the entire field is a disaster area. Corporate psychopaths have driven things to the point of crisis, where nothing works. In their pursuit of corporate sponsorship, politicians have passed ill considered pieces of IP crap leaving us in the mess we’re in today.
We need real IP reform and we need it right now.
CBS Also Refuses To Let CNET Review TV-Streaming Service Aereo
This is atrocious. I cannot believe that CBS has fallen so far from days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Chronkite.
Have they no shame? No sense of decency? Is there not a shred of honesty and integrity left anywhere in that whole organization?
Even if the answer is ‘No’ to all of the above, has nobody there considered that they’ve utterly destroyed any credibility that CNET used to have? Why would we trust anything they publish now?
The student who was expelled after finding a security flaw in his school’s web portal has been offered a scholarship by the company whose software was the problem.
I guess they noticed the stink of the bad press they’ve been getting. I suppose it’s a step in the right direction, but we should all remember their first reaction was to attack and threaten the student and have only changed their tune now that their misbehaviour is public knowledge.
The school, by contrast, is standing by their ‘ethics’ and refusing to retract his expulsion. It’s good to see somebody who won’t let public pressure force them to do the right thing. You’ve got to love a dedicated douche bag.
In the Globe and Mail, An A+ Student Regrets His Grades describes a problem I’ve been mulling over for many years – the difference between learning and formal education. As the author points out, success in school doesn’t entail actually understanding the subject but simply means that the student has correctly figured out what the teacher wants.
And then there’s this - Student expelled from Dawson College after finding security flaw. Could there possibly be a better example showing that the goal isn’t to learn skills and gain experience, but to learn to conform and to do what you’re told?
Over my years as a student and as a teacher, I’ve seen examples of students who were able to achieve perfect test results without the slightest glimmering of understanding. I’m always shocked when I discover that someone who has aced every test or exam is unable to give any indication that what they read and wrote has had any impact on them whatsoever.
As teachers, we all approach our subjects with our own prejudices, preconceptions and biases. We are products of a system that rewarded us not for originality and understanding, but for complacency and acceptance of the established authorities. We pass those along to our students as a matter of course. The problem is compounded by the pressures of administrative types who don’t like the messy subjectivism of real student assessments and prefer nice, neat, clean, objective looking numbers.
Students who can regurgitate answers that agree with our notions get higher marks, which people interpret to mean they’ve better mastered the materials. They tend not to be one students who shake things up or make a difference, but they’re rewarded for their docility and end up teaching or influencing the next generation of students to do the same things.
How do we break this cycle?
How do we ensure that our students aren’t simply gaming us and regurgitating back to us the stuff that they know we want to see? How do we determine if they truly understand what we’ve taught them? How do we develop an environment where students learn to learn?
The sales figures of Windows 8 have been ‘ disappointing’ (pronounced ‘pathetic’) and the reviews have been abysmal, so the logical thing is to… raise the price. Windows 8 Will Cost You $120 After Jan. 31
The only question I have now is -
Is Microsoft trying to go out of business or are they still locked into their mindset from ten years ago where they could do anything they wanted with impunity?
Back in the nineties and early ‘noughts’ Microsoft’s de facto monopoly let them get away with any boneheaded move. No matter how badly they screwed up, they still made money because there were no real alternatives and people upgraded out of the sheer hopeless dream that the next version would be less awful than the last one. (Yes, Macs ruled graphic design but everyone knew they weren’t ‘serious business machines.’ )
That’s not the case any more. People don’t have to run Windows, and in many cases people don’t have to run ‘computers’ at all. For millions of users, iPads with their ‘computer as appliance’ aura are all the computer they need. Desktop and laptop computers are well on their way to becoming a niche product and desktop operating systems are going along for the ride.
Windows 8 ( or RT or whatever the branding de jure is for the latest Windows release ) sucks. It’s a disaster on conventional hardware. It’s barely useable on tablets. It’s a poorly designed, poorly executed attempt at relevance by people who fundamentally don’t get what’s happening around them.
Hasn’t anyone at Microsoft noticed how many iPads and iPhones are flying out the doors of Apple stores? Don’t they look at comparative sales figures? Hasn’t anyone there taken a course in basic economics?
When nobody wants to buy what you’re selling, it’s probably not the best time to raise the price.
I’ll be interested to see how this works out.
On one side we have CNET, a formerly trusted source of computing news, twisting its coverage of the CES at the orders of CBS, a formerly trusted source of news, and on the other side we have the Atlantic, a formerly trusted source of news and opinions, running what can only be called an ‘infomercial’ for Scientology.
Right now the link goes to an error page that says the story was removed while they review their policies, but earlier today it led to a ‘story’ about what a great year Scientology had last year. You can find the ‘story’ via Google’s Cache or The Wayback Machine, and it’s a good one, brimming over with the amazing work that Scientology did in 2012 clearing Thetans or whatever the hell goofball Scientologists think they do.
Where has integrity gone? Did I miss a memo? Is this the new years resolution for the ‘press’ today?
“In 2013, let’s just make money. Screw the truth and the public interest. Let’s just rake in the bucks and let the dumb bastards figure it out for themselves.”
Is there nobody out there in mainstream media who is trustworthy any more?
Has the news business completely imploded?
Has the Fox News effect – where news need not have any basis in reality so long as it serves the corporate goals – become the standard?