Another linkfest: the Headcold edition

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Taken in the front garden this morning

Cory Doctorow has a piece in the Guardian about how the movie studio quest for a perfect copy protection system is doomed to fail.

DRM is supposed to force those unwilling to pay into buying, rather than nicking, their media – but once the cheapskates can search for a cracked copy on Google, it is meaningless.

This means that ultimately, DRM only affects people who buy media honestly, rather those who nick, borrow or cheat their way to it. In turn that means that the people who ultimately bear the inconvenience, cost and insult of DRM are the paying customers, not the pirates.

A conference on the future of artificial intelligence recommends caution and planning:

Some critics have mocked singularists for their obsession with “techno-salvation” and “techno-holocaust” – or what some wags have called the coming “nerdocalypse”. Their predictions are grounded as much in science fiction as science, the detractors claim, and may never come to pass.

But advocates argue it would be irresponsible to ignore the possibility of dire outcomes.

“Technology is heading here. It will predictably get to the point of making artificial intelligence,” Yudkowsky said. “The mere fact that you cannot predict exactly when it will happen down to the day is no excuse for closing your eyes and refusing to think about it.”

An essay from Joanna Burke on the persisting problem of marital rape: it may be against the law now, but many people think that branding a partner/spouse who “goes too far” as a rapist is, well, going too far.

Contrary to myth, wives sustained more severe physical injuries than did other rape victims. According to an Australian study, 66 per cent of women raped by their husbands experienced additional injuries compared with 55 per cent of those raped by strangers.

Rekha Basu of the Des Moines register is trying an interactive experiment with her antifeminist readership: she’s asked them what makes them angry and why. Basu: What makes some men so angry? Let them count the ways

After months of reading comments that lash out at women who support women candidates, or accuse the media, the courts and/or the government of an anti-male agenda, I put this question to the men who write them, especially online: What’s your problem?

I was wondering why white men, the demographic group that still controls the White House and most of the high offices and better-paying jobs, are casting themselves as the ones being discriminated against. And, when Iowa has never elected a woman to a national office, why are women who support Hillary Clinton labeled “Feminazis?”

Who or what do these angry men think has done them wrong?

I got an earful.

And take a Captain Cook at this headline: Women get fatter, more clueless: mag survey

The survey found women today weigh more than a decade ago, with obesity rates up by almost 20 per cent.

Notice how they don’t cite an average for the increased weight of women? They’re probably citing the study done recently that found that we hefty heifers are toting around all of 2-3kg more than women did a decade ago. That study didn’t bother to compare height gains, of course. The obesity rates are also all up because of the unilateral decision some years ago to shift the goalposts on the already flawed BMI (Body Mass Index) scale: tens of millions of people went to bed one night classified as overweight, and woke the next morning classified as obese without gaining an ounce.

The APEC section:


Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Miranda Devine discovers civil rights at last in the Sun-Herald, in a trumpeting blast against the police for abusing their powers when they arrested a Sydney accountant for walking in a direction contrary to police instructions over the weekend (he was crossing the road with his 11yo son to have youm cha with a friend). (Edited to add: found a link and the key quote below)

He has worked in the city for 20 years and has every right to walk through it unmolested.

But the streets have been swarming with police all week, pumped up, and with nothing to do.

After Thursday’s embarrassing security breach, when comedians from The Chaser managed to pass through checkpoints in a fake motorcade almost to the hotel where US President George Bush was staying, the police were even more aggro.

The stunt demonstrated that the security overkill in Sydney was just a big show, designed not to protect anyone from terrorists but to stymie protesters.

But never fear that the universe is being overturned, Miranda’s ire has been raised only because the man is a family friend whom she knows is harmless, so apparently that should have been obvious to the police, and thus and only thus are their actions a disgrace. If she hadn’t known the man she’d probably be back to her usual “there’s no smoke without fire” stance regarding those detained by the apparatus of the State. Margo Kingston’s unimpressed:

As for Miranda Devine’s conversion, she’s a classic case of not giving a damn about the rights and liberties of fellow citizens because she’s confident she and her friends won’t have to worry. Miranda backed Carr’s government all the way when he started NSW down this track in 2002, and the Liberal Opposition said yes please, but make it tougher! But everyone’s in the same boat in the end – think Rau, Alvarez – if we let governments get all the power. Except the really big people, of course. And that’s, yep, fascism.

The SMH has an identity parade of some of the police who took off their identity strips (name and number) that are meant to be velcroed onto their crowd control jumpsuits.

DOZENS of police will be investigated for failing to wear name tags during a weekend protest amid accusations their tactics were unnecessarily heavy-handed.

Five people faced court yesterday over the protests, during which 18 people were arrested and 14 charged with offences ranging from assault to offensive language.

Civil libertarians and protesters accused the police of overreacting and using excessive and extreme force during Saturday’s rally. They want the charges dropped.

But Andrew Scipione, the new Chief Commissioner, said tactics were clearly defined and practised. “That’s the way that we do business in NSW now.”

“That’s the way that we do business in NSW now.” Sends a chill up your spine, doesn’t it?

As David Marr points out, it’s not all over yet.

MARTIAL law still runs in NSW. The great are gone. The fences are coming down. John Howard is off to Canberra to face his political fate. But the power of the police to decide who goes where in APEC city won’t end until midnight on Wednesday.



Categories: culture wars, fun & hobbies, gender & feminism, Politics, violence

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