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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Supreme Court could take its first RIAA file-sharing case

The US Supreme Court is weighing in on the first RIAA file sharing case to reach its docket, requesting that the music labels’ litigation arm respond to a case testing the so-called “innocent infringer” defense to copyright infringement.

The case pending before the justices concerns a federal appeals court’s February decision ordering a university student to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $27,750—or $750 a track—for file-sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader. The appeals court decision reversed a Texas federal judge who, after concluding the youngster was an innocent infringer, ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400—or $200 per song. That’s an amount well below the standard $750 fine required under the Copyright act.

Supreme Court could take its first RIAA file-sharing case

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jammie Thomas Has Fine For File Sharing Reduced

An American woman told to pay $2m for sharing 24 songs over the internet has had her fine slashed.

Following an appeal, Jammie Thomas-Rasset has now been ordered to pay the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) $54,000.

The judge who reduced the fine said the original multi-million dollar claim by the industry was "monstrous".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ballmer Prove's CEO's Have a Sense of Humour!

"I thought this Steve Ballmer autograph on a Macbook Pro was fake, but according to the following video of the big man scribbling it on a student's computer at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, it's not".

I found it ironic that Ballmer wrote "Need a new one?" with a question mark. It's like he was unsure if replacing it was a good idea or not. I think maybe Ballmer is a closet Apple fanboy! I'll give him credit for being such a good sport and laughing about it. See, CEO's have a sense of humour too....

The Radiation Boom - Is It Killing Us?

"As Scott Jerome-Parks lay dying, he clung to this wish: that his fatal radiation overdose — which left him deaf, struggling to see, unable to swallow, burned, with his teeth falling out, with ulcers in his mouth and throat, nauseated, in severe pain and finally unable to breathe — be studied and talked about publicly so that others might not have to live his nightmare." - (NY Times 01-24-10)

It's scary that nobody noticed the machine was generating three times the recommended dose of radiation for over a month. Even scarier is the increasing amounts of radiation we have been absorbing over the last 30 years.

Far be it from me to be critical about putting nasty shit in your body, but the people giving it to me damn well better know what they're doing. I generally try to resist any imaging unless it's absolutely necessary. Call me paranoid, but the idea of absorbing a "small, but safe" amount of radiation just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I'm sure if I had cancer it would be a completely different story. As a general rule of thumb, I try absorb as little radiation as possible. Maybe I've just seen too many Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Cherynobyl pictures......

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Company has putting biblical references on military scopes...WTF?

What kind of idiot bible thumper came up with the idea to stamp bible references on the base of rifle scopes? I'm not sure how someone could think this would in any way be respectful to god, the bible or our soldiers. The irony is unacceptable to any reasonably normal person. I just can't get my head around the thought process that went into this decision. Was it supposed to be somehow comforting to our soldiers? Did they think that they were spreading God's word? I'm baffled.....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

California Solar Power Transmission Line Approved at Thanksgiving

California Solar Power Transmission Line Approved at Thanksgiving: "

On Friday the California Public Utilities Commission approved a new 500 Kilovolt transmission line from desert areas deep in southeastern California where numerous solar projects have been signed, to urban centers on the coast.

As originally submitted the line was to have also carried electrons from sunny Arizona deserts too, but the project is having to moving forward without its neighbor. Arizona officials were concerned their state could become an “energy farm” for California, using up Arizona’s resources and costing the state’s rate-payers.

Even just the California portion could help bring many of the backlog of solar projects in our desert onto the grid, now that there is the transmission that they need.

Read more of this story »

They could also build a couple of ginormous nuke plants out in the desert and connect them to the grid as well. Then they could do the same on the East Coast also. Let say in the Oneonta, NY area. You could connect New England, Metro NY, Philly and Metro DC all to the new nuke powered grid. They could store the waste onsite or blast it into deep space.... :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Should the US Continue to Back Israel? ...Part 2

The comments below mine are from the following article. Below my comments are what I believe to be some very valid points made by a poster to the original article:

This article is well worth reading as it highlights the disconnect between the people and the policies of America. I don't think that we, collectively, consider our role in the problems of the Middle East. Although I can't really fact-check blog comments, one commenter stated that we spend more than $350,00 per hour on aid to Israel! How many Americans could we help with that money? How many Palestinians? It's time we stop blindly supporting Israel. We've helped create and support them for the last 60 years. I think we've fulfilled our commitments we made after WW2 to the Jewish people. It's time to let them stand by themselves. If they can't sustain peace with their own neighbors after 60 years, perhaps they don't really have much right to exist. It was a bad idea in 1948 and its a bad idea today. You can't steal someone's land and give it to someone else, and then expect that there will be peace. Ask any American Indian if they think they got a fair deal? If there were a viable way to take back their land, I'm sure they would be doing it. What do you suppose the US Government would do if Native Americans started lobbing rockets off the reservation? Would we negotiate or bomb them back into the third world? Oh wait...we already did that. Unfortunately, this is the mentality our government. Just because our great nation has more to offer than others is no reason to believe that we're right all the time or that everyone likes us or agrees with us. We simply never learn from our mistakes.....

"October 30th, 2009 6:24 pm GMT - Posted by Alison Weir
While some Israeli actions have served US interests, the balance sheet is clear: Israel’s use of American aid consistently damages the United States, harms our economy, and endangers Americans.
In fact, this extremely negative outcome was so predictable that even before Israel’s creation virtually all State Department and Pentagon experts advocated forcefully against supporting the creation of a Zionist state in the Middle East. President Harry Truman’s reply: “I am sorry gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”
Through the years, our aid to Israel has not resulted in a reliable ally.
In 1954 Israel tried to bomb US government offices in Egypt, intending to pin this on Muslims.
In 1963 Senator William Fulbright discovered that Israel was using a series of covert operations to funnel our money to pro-Israel groups in the US, which then used these funds in media campaigns and lobbying to procure even more money from American taxpayers.
In 1967 Israeli forces unleashed a two-hour air and sea attack against the USS Liberty, causing 200 casualties. While Israel partisans claim that this was done in error, this claim is belied by extensive eyewitness evidence and by an independent commission reporting on Capitol Hill in 2003 chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer.
In 1973 Israel used the largest airlift of US materiel in history to defeat Arab forces attempting to regain their own land, triggering the Arab oil embargo that sent the US into a recession that cost thousands of Americans their jobs.
During its 1980s Lebanon invasion, Israeli troops engaged in a systematic pattern of harassment of US forces brought in as peacekeepers that created, according to Commandant of Marines Gen. R. H Barrow, “life-threatening situations, replete with verbal degradation of the officers, their uniform and country.”
Through the years, Israel has regularly spied on the US. According to the Government Accounting Office, Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operations against the United States of any ally.” Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard: “It is difficult for me to conceive of greater harm done to national security,” And the Pollard case was just the tip of a very large iceberg; the most recent operation coming to light involves two senior officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel’s powerful American lobbying organization.
Bad as the above may appear, it pales next to the indirect damage to Americans caused by our aid to Israel. American funding of Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights is consistently listed as the number one cause of hostility to Americans.
While American media regularly cover up Israeli actions, those of us who have visited the region first-hand witness a level of US-funded Israeli cruelty that makes us weep for our victims and fear for our country. While most Americans are uninformed on how Israel uses our money, people throughout the world are deeply aware that it is Americans who are funding Israeli crimes.
The 9/11 Commission notes that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s “animus towards the United States stemmed from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” The Economist reports that ” the notion of payback for injustices suffered by the Palestinians is perhaps the most powerfully recurrent theme in bin Laden’s speeches.”
US aid to Israel has destabilized the Middle East; propped up a national system based on ethnic and religious discrimination; enabled unchecked aggression that has, on occasion, been turned against Americans themselves; funded arms industries that compete with American companies; supported a pattern of brutal dispossession that has created hatred of the US; and resulted in continuing conflict that in the past seven and a half years has cost the lives of more than 2000 Palestinian children and 119 Israeli children.
By providing massive funding to Israel, no matter what it does, American aid is empowering Israeli supremacists who believe in a never-ending campaign of ethnic cleansing; while disempowering Israelis who recognize that policies of morality, justice, and rationality are the only road to peace."

Well thought out and nicely put Allison!