Crime and punishment and sensemoral

The things I’ve enjoyed most since I’ve left are just mundane things that allow me congenial interactions with people. Paying for the bus. Talking to the person you’re sitting next too. Buying a sandwich. Excusing yourself when you pass someone on an escalator. Helping people. I helped a woman get her pram off the bus this morning, and she probably walked away thinking ‘what a nice young man’ without realising I’ve just spent two years locked inside cesspool of human indignity for threatening a room full of people with a firearm.

→, Amnesia: 2 Years In Prison – A Man’s Story

For both games, two 6 gram weights was almost too much, yet with only one weight in the R.A.T. 7 gaming mouse, it felt a little whippy and I had to dial down the DPI a notch from 4000 DPI range to about 3500 DPI. If there had been a 2 or three gram weight option, it would have been perfect and I probably would have been able to boost the DPI settings even higher than 4000. In any event, my hand was not fatigued in the least by the end of either gaming marathon sessions, this is something which happens all too often for me and some mice I literally have to take a break or risk hand cramps.

→ Everthing USB, Anthony Garland: Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Gaming Mouse Review

The lesson, basically, is that a company won’t do well in the developing world simply by hawking cheap, out-of-date hardware after it’s become obsolete in places like America. Companies like Nokia, LG and Samsung spend a lot of time and money developing new phones that you and I might consider old-fashioned or odd, and with good reason: Emerging markets are huge. The 8th, 9th and 10th largest phone seller in the world, by volume, are companies you’ve never heard of—ZTE, G-Five and Huawei—which have made heaps of money selling millions of customers their first phones.

→ Gizmodo, John Herrman: The most popular phone in the world

Not long ago, foods like kiwis and sushi weren’t widely known or available. It is quite likely that in 2020 we will look back in surprise at the era when our menus didn’t include locusts, beetle larvae, dragonfly larvae, crickets and other insect delights.

→ Wall Street Journal, Marcel Dicke & Arnold van Huis: The six-legged meat of the future

By the next morning—day six—the three were well aware that they’d made a terrible mistake. But what could they do? They sat on the benches, facing each other. They had no watch. Nothing to read. No pen or paper. They tried to distract themselves with conversation, but they had little to say. “It started to get quiet,” says Etueni. “All I was thinking about was water and juice.”

→ GQ, Michael Finkel: Here be monsters

In defence of humanity.

Their arms were then hit with a stick. If they gave off a hard, hollow ring, the freezing process was complete. Separately, naked men and women were subjected to freezing temperatures and then defrosted to study the effects of rotting and gangrene on the flesh.

→ Daily Mail, Christopher Hudson: Doctors of Depravity

But Yuasa, who practiced medicine until he was 84, has been active to this day in exposing some of the darkest secrets of the Imperial army. He is propelled by a sense of guilt, as well as the fear that Japan is on a path toward committing the same mistakes again.

→ Japan Times, Jun Hongo: Vivisectionist recalls his day of reckoning

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

→ H-I-M Jail & Prison Ministry: Hebrews 13:3

Robots can take the soldiers’ places, he said. They can continuously keep watch on an area, and if nefarious activity is spotted, “We can take appropriate action. … We can kill those bastards before they plant the IEDs,” he added. That includes mounting a weapon on the robot, he said.

→ National Defense, Stew Magnuson: Failure to field the right robots costs lives

Why are humans so fascinated by robots? Where is the UK’s most innovative robotics research taking place? And how does the biology of the natural world inform robot design and engineering? In this video interview, Noel Sharkey, professor of robotics and AI at the University of Sheffield, discusses developments in robotics – from the proliferation of robots in Japan’s automotive industry to the stair-climbing dexterity of Honda’s Asimo robot and beyond.

→ Silicon, Artificial Intelligence: Noel Sharkey on the inexorable rise of robots (Via Slashdot)

Rather than guiding a missile to its intended target, Arkin’s robotic guidance system is being designed to reduce the need for humans in harm’s way, “… appropriately designed military robots will be better able to avoid civilian casualties than existing human war fighters and might therefore make future wars more ethical.”

→ H+ Magazine, Surfdaddy Orca: Teaching Robots the Rules of War

The US was paying teenagers “thousands of dollars” to drop infrared tags at the homes of al Qaida suspects so that Predator drones could aim their weapons at them, he added. But often the tags were thrown down randomly, marking out completely innocent civilians for attack.

→ The Telegraph: Military killer robots ‘could endanger civilians’

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have found that robots equipped with artificial neural networks and programmed to find “food” eventually learned to conceal their visual signals from other robots to keep the food for themselves.

→ Technology Review, Kristina Grifantini: Robots ‘Evolve’ the Ability to Deceive

Stabby stabby!

From Chopper, an odd Australian flick. This beautiful scene summarises the whole movie quite well. Now you don’t have to watch it. Not that it’s bad, it just doesn’t go anywhere.

[flv: 640 355]

Guys are in a tight spot because in very real terms, we have nothing they want. They on the other hand, have vaginas. They can make us do pretty much what ever they want. I don’t see anything wrong with guys trying to learn some tricks of their own.

→ Penny-Arcade: Discussion about the seduction community

RP: I thought the whole theft / not theft debate was settled?

Crossposted from Metafilter on the subject of todays court ruling against The Pirate Bay in the lower court. Let’s see how it all will play out. In the mean time, I tried to formulate a few thoughts – They’re mostly rehashings of what has been said again and again by people a lot smarter and visionary than I, but what the hell is a blog good for if not self publishing? Check out the mefi thread for the discussion.

Copyright infringement is a violation of someone elses monopoly on exploiting whatever it is that falls under “intellectual property” and isn’t covered by patents or similar legal devices.

If I download an unathorised copy of a book you’ve written, it doesn’t follow that I’m causing detriment to you. Of course that could be construed as a cop-out — “Oh, I wouldn’t have bought that anyway” — but it’s a valid argument. Also, I could maybe even profit from it, (one of the charges levelled against tbp) but this does not automatically constitute detriment to you, unfair thought it might seem. (Big corps fucking over small time artists is a familiar theme)

I might enjoy your book, but that is a weak argument since it’s about moral right more than financial or other damage to you or your ability to make a living as an author. It’s saying “only if you pay me are you allowed to enjoy my work” which seems reasonable but is about your feelings and convictions more than detriment caused.

There are technical aspect to consider in this as well; If I use Bittorrent and seed as much as I leech, I might aid someone else to your detriment (Oh I don’t know. It’s an unedited copy and it’ll garner you a negative review. Or that other person is someone who otherwise would have bought the book. Whatever.) which of course has a bearing on your argument. (Difficult to measure though.)

But you need to differentiate between purely moral arguments which are founded on your thoughts of authorship — originality, uniqueness and the “creators” right to his/her own “work” — and more practical and pragmatic convictions and policies (A majority of our population believes musicians should be able to make a living off of music) and the implementation thereof.

Regardless on what side you come down on, the very way the Internet works forces the issue of copyright infringement to come head to head with other interests. It’s not fair, but in this case I don’t see how you can imbue technology with morals or a material model of scarcity.

Every decision that has been made lately (In Sweden as elsewere) regarding laws online, have eroded the notions of right to privacy in favour of political and financial gain. As much as I like having such a plethora of music, books and film to choose from, I’d rather have my privacy.

But until the fear and shortsightedness is beaten out of people by one fifteen year old with time on her hands after another, let’s put the same broken record on once again, shall we?