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17 Dec 16:03

Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

by Soulskill


It seems that the bipeds who once inhabited this planet had, at one time, developed a comprehensive worldwide networking system. They accomplished much through it, from exchange of all kinds of information to commercial transactions, education, and even personal communications.

But suddenly, one day, this useful system was destroyed. Apparently a small group of bipeds, which had enriched themselves by creating carefully distorted fictional representations of life and events, decided that the network might be slightly reducing the rate at which they amassed wealth. So they sabotaged it.

We really have no idea what kind of intelligence those bipeds had - if it was even intelligence as we know it."

schwit1 sends this report from The Verge: Most anti-piracy tools take one of two paths: they either target the server that's sharing the files (pulling videos off YouTube or taking down sites like The Pirate Bay) or they make it harder to find (delisting offshore sites that share infringing content). But leaked documents reveal a frightening line of attack that's currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place? To do that, the MPAA's lawyers would target the Domain Name System that directs traffic across the internet. The tactic was first proposed as part of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011, but three years after the law failed in Congress, the MPAA has been looking for legal justification for the practice in existing law and working with ISPs like Comcast to examine how a system might work technically. If a takedown notice could blacklist a site from every available DNS provider, the URL would be effectively erased from the internet. No one's ever tried to issue a takedown notice like that, but this latest memo suggests the MPAA is looking into it as a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against piracy.

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17 Dec 14:26

Torture Report A Best Seller On Kindle, Despite Being Available For Free (And In The Public Domain)

by Mike Masnick

Convenience is a currency.

"You can't compete with free!" is the mantra of a number of copyright maximalists -- and no matter how many times we show them examples of people successfully competing with free, it's still taken as inviolable law by some. Yet, here we are with yet another example of it happening anyway. As you know, last week the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released its CIA torture report (or, rather, the redacted version of the executive summary of the full report). It is a gripping read, and you can read the whole thing here (or embedded below). We can post it here for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the document is in the public domain, as a work of the federal government.

A little over ten years ago, we noted that the famed 9/11 Commission Report, despite also being in the public domain, had become a best seller in its printed version -- even though it, too, was in the public domain. It appears something similar is happening with the CIA torture report. There is a Kindle version that costs $2.99, and despite the report being available as a PDF (which can be viewed on Kindle), the fee-based version of the torture report is the number one seller in the "intelligence & espionage" section (beating out James Risen's recent book Pay Any Price). And this is happening despite the fact that people on Amazon are warning people not to buy the fee-based Kindle version, posting comments to tell them it's just a PDF that's available for free.

Yet, it appears that the convenience factor has made it worthwhile to an awful lot of people, who are willing to pay the money rather than figure out how to get the PDF onto their kindle. As we've pointed out for years, things like convenience and ease-of-use are real selling points -- and it's why things like Netflix and Spotify have been shown to decrease infringement -- because it's worth paying a little extra for a better-to-use system.

Meanwhile, physical copies of the CIA torture report are being rushed out with at least one publisher, Melville House, saying it will be out by the end of the year -- though, I'd imagine others will follow suit. In Michele Boldrin and David Levine's book, Against Intellectual Monopoly, they have a fascinating discussion on how publisher W.W. Norton made out wonderfully in being the first to publish a hard copy of the 9/11 Commission Report, despite not having to pay any copyright royalties:
The 81-year-old publisher struck an unusual publishing deal with the 9/11 commission back in May: Norton agreed to issue the paperback version of the report on the day of its public release.…Norton did not pay for the publishing rights, but had to foot the bill for a rush printing and shipping job; the commission did not hand over the manuscript until the last possible moment, in order to prevent leaks. The company will not reveal how much this cost, or when precisely it obtained the report. But expedited printings always cost extra, making it that much more difficult for Norton to realize a profit.

In addition, the commission and Norton agreed in May on the 568-page tome's rather low cover price of $10, making it that much harder for the publisher to recoup its costs. ( is currently selling copies for $8 plus shipping, while visitors to the Government Printing Office bookstore in Washington, D.C. can purchase its version of the report for $8.50.) There is also competition from the commission's Web site, which is offering a downloadable copy of the report for free. And Norton also agreed to provide one free copy to the family of every 9/11 victim.
As Boldrin and Levine point out, according to copyright system supporters, this situation couldn't possibly work out. After all, Norton is agreeing to publish a work that anyone can get for free, and which any other publisher (including the federal government) can offer for sale at a lower price. In fact, the book notes, a rival publisher, St. Martin's, teamed up with the NY Times and got a second physical copy on the market just a couple of weeks after Norton's physical copy, and priced it at $8.50. Clearly, Norton got a bad deal, right? And yet, Norton sold 1.1 million copies of the book, and donated $600,000 in "profits" from the book to charity. But, you know, you can't compete with free (and public domain).

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16 Dec 19:41

Dead Depressed Tumblr — Twitter — Facebook— Buy my books

Dead Depressed

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15 Dec 18:45


14 Dec 23:00

Cthulhu’s Christmas

by Kristian

We also wished for Breaking Bad season 3 on DVD, which will definitely be a torturous experience to watch over and over again through eternity.

Merry Cthulmas! Happy Cthunukka!

Also, I’m going on an extended Christmas vacation somewhat soon, so updates for the rest of December will definitely be rather sporadic. With some luck I will have some more comics for you in 2014, but I can’t promise to stick with the regular schedule. Be sure to follow me on Twitter or Facebook to get instant updates!

13 Dec 00:51


13 Dec 16:58

Just bearly got away Tumblr — Twitter — Facebook— Buy my books



Just bearly got away

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04 Dec 07:19




02 Dec 18:44

An Untold Tale from the Wild West

by fatawesome

The happiest duel ever.

The post An Untold Tale from the Wild West appeared first on FATAWESOME.

01 Dec 11:00

Tales from the Interview: The Amazon River

by Dan J.

I had a very similar question asked on my job interview. The guy never even looked at any of my papers though, he just wanted to check my thinking process. It was also the only interview, and I started working the same day.

Growth is challenging for any company, and the smaller a team is the more carefully they have to vet candidates to ensure a good fit. Carlos understood this, but had never seen it practiced as extensively as when he applied for a systems management position at Initech. The scrutiny applied to their candidates suggested a company obsessed with finding the perfect fit, and Carlos couldn't imagine the quality of the incredible team they must have already. Between the recruitment agency and Initech itself, he'd had three interviews and completed four online tests, including every developer's favorite: a personality quiz. Shaking hands with Carlos after the most recent interview, Initech's senior developer and his would-be boss promised he'd get a call that day or the next with the company's decision. Days went by before his phone rang, Initech's chipper HR person on the line.

"Hi Carlos! I was hoping you had a few minutes to answer a few questions."

Carlos blinked; this sounded very much like the beginning of his first two conversations with Initech. But, still interested in securing the position, he took a deep breath and said, "What would you like to know?" Surprisingly, there turned out to be a few questions about his previous experience and future career plans that hadn't been covered in previous tests and interviews, and Carlos dutifully filled in the blanks, sure that a job offer must be close. "Great!" The HR person said. "We just need you to come in for a chat with the senior partners. They always want to meet our best potential candidates, just to make absolutely sure you're the right fit for the Initech family! Can you do Wednesday, sometime in the afternoon?" Carlos replied in the affirmative. This had to be the last interview. Victory was so close, he could taste it.

When he arrived at Initech's office on Wednesday, the woman at the front desk greeted him by name. "Hi Hilary," he replied, having learned her name during his last two visits. He'd also learned that she was Initech's executive assistant, still obliged to man the front desk as none of the many candidates for the open receptionist position had been the right fit. "Guess today's the day, Carlos," she said. "Feeling lucky?"

"I hope so. Honestly, I'm just racking my brain trying to figure out what questions I haven't answered yet."

"Don't worry," Hilary smiled. "You'll be meeting with Kyle first, then Cliff. Cliff will probably want to talk about the company's direction in general terms. Kyle... Well, he likes to show off a little bit. I'll give you one hint," she leaned over the desk, beckoning Carlos closer. "Amazon."


"Shh! Don't give away that you've heard anything! You can go in there now, Kyle will be down in a minute. Good luck!" Hilary pointed him to a small conference room off the lobby, and Carlos wandered in, trying to puzzle out what "Amazon" could possibly mean. Fortunately, Carlos had some experience with AWS from a previous gig. He was muttering details of its features to himself when Kyle walked in.

"You must be Carlos!" Kyle sat down and slapped a Manila folder on the table; Carlos recognized one of the papers that spilled out as his resume. "Stop me if you've heard this before, but here at Initech we give a LOT of thought to each and every new hire."

"Actually, I-"

"We're a small company, and we can only afford to hire the best!"

"Yes, and I-"

"That's why I'M here, Carlos," Kyle leaned across the table conspiratorially, "I need to make sure you're one of us." Kyle softened this somewhat accusatory remark with a big grin. "So let's get your questions out of the way! Ask me anything."

Carlos sat for a long moment in thought. "Actually... Well, to be honest, I think your colleagues told me pretty much everything about Initech during the last three interviews. Maybe you-"

"That's great! Then I have a question for YOU, Carlos. Are you ready?" Kyle didn't wait for a response. He leaned even further across the table, a posture that looked like it must have been painful, and asked, "How much water flows annually from the Amazon River into the sea?"

Based on Hilary's tip, Carlos had been paging everything he knew about Amazon Web Services into his brain; all of that vanished with a pop. All he could say was, "Pardon?"

Kyle narrowed his eyes, and Carlos could see the executive's opinion of him fading. "It's a simple question, Carlos. But its very simplicity is part of its brilliance. I want you to tell me how much water flows into the sea on an annual basis from the Amazon River." Kyle slid a pad of paper and a pen across the table. "You can perform your calculations on this."

Carlos studied the empty page, wondering if Kyle was playing a joke. "Uh... I understand what you're asking, I'm just not sure how I'm supposed to figure it out without any, you know, data. Like the average annual rainfall in the Amazon Basin, for example."

Kyle furrowed his brow, as though unsure why Carlos was making this more difficult than it had to be. "I'm sorry," he said, "you can't use anything but what's right in front of you. All our other successful applicants were able to figure it out."

Carlos thought long and hard about how he might at least demonstrate the process he would use to come up with an estimate. He made an attempt at explaining the reasoning he would use, which seemed to satisfy Kyle. Having managed to ford the brain-teaser, Carlos hoped the conversation would turn to more-relevant matters, but Kyle wasn't ready to drop his pride and joy.

"Yup, that question always gets results, it's a real wheat-chaff separator. Bet you'd never heard it before, either, right? Hah!"

Carlos wasn't sure what to say to that; if pressed, he guessed he could make up an arbitrary, unanswerable question, too. He wondered if he should mention it, but he hadn't heard anything about Initech producing random interview-question generator software. Kyle closed the interview by asking what Carlos thought the former colleagues he'd referenced on his resume would say was his biggest weakness, and, while shaking hands, warned that he'd call them to see if Carlos was telling the truth.

The subsequent interview with Cliff was perfectly reasonable, though the executive did make sure to mention that, as a small company, Initech was obsessed with making sure they hired only the best. At the conclusion of the interview, Hilary told Carlos they'd be in touch later that day or the next. He's still waiting to hear from them, which is too bad, because he's since learned that almost 1900 trillion gallons of water flow from the Amazon River into the Atlantic every year.


Photo credit: jai Mansson's photography. / Foter / CC BY-SA

01 Dec 00:22



Hehe, did everyone watch the special George Lucas version of the new trailer?

29 Nov 16:52


28 Nov 05:00

#1080; In which Excitement is sought

by David Malki

Extreme sitting. Living the dream.

Meanwhile, for the deer, it's just another Thursday.

27 Nov 02:15


26 Nov 16:52

Memory Foam never forgets

Memory Foam never forgets

25 Nov 22:14

Turtles Closer to Birds and Dinosaurs than Lizards and Snakes

by LaminatorX

Flying turtles right around the corner.

lhsi writes:

A new genetic sequencing technique has found that turtles are not as closely related to lizards and snakes as previously thought; and instead have a closer relationship with birds, crocodiles and dinosaurs.

A team of scientists, including researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, has reconstructed a detailed "tree of life" for turtles. The specifics of how turtles are related--to one another, to other reptiles, and even to dinosaurs--have been hotly debated for decades. Next generation sequencing technologies in Academy labs have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a thrilling new look at turtles' evolutionary history. These high-tech lab methods revolutionize the way scientists explore species origins and evolutionary relationships, and provide a strong foundation for future looks into Earth's fossil record.

Research results, appearing in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, describe how a new genetic sequencing technique called Ultra Conserved Elements (UCE) reveal turtles' closest relatives across the animal kingdom. The new genetic tree uses an enormous amount of data to refute the notion that turtles are most closely related to lizards and snakes. Instead, authors place turtles in the newly named group "Archelosauria" with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs. Scientists suspect the new group will be the largest group of vertebrates to ever receive a new scientific name.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

24 Nov 14:00

Zeus vs Thor. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 4.

by ERB


Season 3 Autographed CDs available at ► ◄ Download on iTunes ►◄ Subscribe for more battles! Watch Behind The Scenes Here: ► ◄ Hi. My name is Nice Peter, and this is EpicLLOYD, and this is Epic Rap Battles of History, Season 4. As always, these videos could not be possible without your suggestions, your subscription, and the help of a lot of awesome people. Special thanks to all of you and everyone in our crew who helped make this happen. -np & eL We hang out here: ▼ CAST ▼ Zeus: Nice Peter Thor: EpicLLOYD ▼ CREW ▼ Executive Producers Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist Directed by Forrest Whaley Animated by: Directed by Forrest Whaley Sean Willets Zach Macias Production Assistance provided by Paul Hollingsworth Written by: Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD & Zach Sherwin Staff Writer: Dante Cimadamore Writer: Mike Betette Song Produced by: Nice Peter & Jose "Choco" Reynoso Song Mixed by: Nice Peter and Jose "Choco" Reynoso Beat Produced by: Epistra ok, I think that's it. Thanks again for watching and see you next Monday! -nice peter & epiclloyd Download the free ERB App: iPhone ► iPad ► Android ►
From: ERB
Views: 9221938
228524 ratings
Time: 03:02 More in Entertainment
24 Nov 02:30

Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula (2013)

Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula (2013)

24 Nov 02:15

Frozach Submitted


Ah yes.

99% chance of sewing supplies though.

23 Nov 15:05

Absurd Paper Accepted by Open-Access Computer Science Journal

by martyb

The paper is worth a read.

Thexalon writes:

The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, an open-access journal some accuse of being predatory due to its lack of actual editorial judgment of any kind, has recently accepted for publication a paper entitled Get me off Your F****** Mailing List [pdf]. (warning: NSFW language, in case it wasn't obvious)

This raises an interesting point about open-access journals: How does one police the quality of the work when some are faking the editorial process entirely?

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

22 Nov 17:36

MPAA Launches Search Engine that Tells You Where You Can Watch Almost Anything Online--Legally

by martyb

Something like this couldn't happen without people starting to discuss copyright. I'm intrigued by this comment: "All the best and most recent research suggests that even a weak and humane 1 year copyright would be quite enough to recoup all costs of producing a heavily marketed blockbuster."

gewg_ writes:

The Center for American Progress reports:

It's official, TV is moving online. Fewer customers are buying cable packages and more are opting for lower-cost options that let them watch movies and television shows wherever they want--at an airport or in a coffee shop.

But there are more than 100 online services, from Netflix to Hulu, that allow customers to watch all their favorite episodes of The Simpsons at any time they want. Meanwhile, big broadcast and cable companies have struggled to compete with [the] mobile-ready entertainment market, clamoring for customers' attention.
[On November 10,] the Motion Picture Association of America joined the pack with a new site called WheretoWatch, a sort of online search engine where customers can type in the name of a movie or TV show and find out exactly where they can watch it legally. Users can search by title, genre, year it was produced or released, MPAA rating (PG or R), and whether it's online, on DVD or in theaters.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

14 Nov 04:07



Stupid one time, silly a few times, then hilarious the more I see.

20 Nov 05:00

November 20, 2014


Moby-Dick, I shall avenge thee!

17 Nov 14:00

Romeo and Juliet vs Bonnie and Clyde. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 4

by ERB

Hehe, that's pretty good.

Download on iTunes ► ◄ Season 3 Autographed CDs available at ► ◄ Subscribe for more battles! Watch Behind The Scenes Here: ► ◄ Hi. My name is Nice Peter, and this is EpicLLOYD, and this is Epic Rap Battles of History, Season 4. As always, these videos could not be possible without your suggestions, your subscription, and the help of a lot of awesome people. Special thanks to all of you and everyone in our crew who helped make this happen. -np & eL We hang out here: ▼ CAST ▼ Romeo: Nice Peter Juliet: Grace Helbig Bonnie: Hannah Hart Clyde: Epic Lloyd ▼ CREW ▼ Executive Producers Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist Directed by: Nice Peter & Mike Betette Written by: Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD & Zach Sherwin Staff Writer: Dante Cimadamore Writer: Mike Betette Song Produced by: Nice Peter & Jose "Choco" Reynoso Song Mixed by: Nice Peter and Jose "Choco" Reynoso Beat Produced by: Jesse Cale: Edited by: Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Daniel Turcan, and Nice Peter VFX and Compositing: Andrew Sherman and Ryan Moulton Produced by Michelle Maloney Director of Photography: Jon Na Costume Designer: Sulai Lopez --------------------------- Make Up and Hair: Frances Ferres Assistant Make Up Artist: Anissa Salazar Gaffer: Arthur Hong Grip: Yev Belilovsky Music Supervisor & Playback: Dante Cimadamore Production Coordinator: Atul Singh Assistant Editors: Ryan Moulton Office PA: Shaun Lewin ok, I think that's it. Thanks again for watching and see you next Monday! -nice peter & epiclloyd Download the free ERB App: iPhone ► iPad ► Android ►
From: ERB
Views: 11800665
217595 ratings
Time: 03:07 More in Entertainment
15 Nov 06:29

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brevity by Dan Thompson for November 15, 2014
11 Nov 16:08

Linux Community Mulls NSA Involvement With systemd

by LaminatorX

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by fucking insane developers with a Napoleon complex.

Robotron writes:

Several sources within the Linux community (here, here, here and here) continue to discuss the possibility of NSA involvement with systemd. Various commentaries argue that the pace, scope and vociferousness surrounding the Debian kernel updates signify cause for suspicion. Discussion upon this subject has simmered since April, when Julian Assange branded the Debian project as being under the ownership of the NSA.

iGuru summarizes the arguments in this post, noting the worrying influence of developers working in billion-dollar corporate giant Red Hat, the potential for infiltration and manipulation within and between systemd supporters, plus numerous possible security holes and vulnerabilities in the code. Meanwhile, systemd's 217 update has been announced as implemented.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

10 Nov 21:44

Dear Senator Ted Cruz, I'm going to explain to you how Net Neutrality ACTUALLY works

by Matthew Inman
08 Nov 18:45

Frozach Submitted

07 Nov 05:02

CD Projekt Red Goes All DLC For The Witcher 3...But It's Completely Free And Doesn't Require Pre-Order

by Timothy Geigner

The awesome continues.

We've written about the CD Projekt team in the past, typically concerning something awesome it's done with one of its games. Often times this means bucking the trend on DRM in game after game, even as competitors insist that DRM is necessary. Even when the company has gone down the road of going after infringers, it has quickly reversed course in listening to fans. Most recently, CD Projekt is looking to buck the DLC trend that has so many gamers annoyed these days. It's not that Witcher 3 won't have DLC. It totally will, except that the DLC is going to be completely free and available to anyone for simply purchasing the game.

As CD PROJEKT RED, we strongly believe this is not the way it should work and, with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we have decided to do it differently. Cutting to the chase, everyone who buys Wild Hunt will receive 16 specially prepared DLCs absolutely for free, regardless of platform. You don’t have to pre-order, you don’t have to buy any special edition to get them -- if you own a copy of Wild Hunt, they’re yours. This is our way of saying thank you for buying our game.”
What a shock, rather than taking the avenue of other game companies, such as Ubisoft and EA, CD Projekt treats their customers well, behaving in an awesome and human way and even connecting with gamers with a shared experience, and success is had. They listen, in other words, rather than simply try to dictate. As part of this announcement, the company is insisting that there will be no restrictions on getting the DLC. They even have a long Q&A below the blog post to reiterate that point.

Is this something of a gimmick? Undoubtedly. After all, the company could simply wait until all this DLC content is finished and include it in the final product. On the other hand, their competitors could do the same and include all the DLC they put out for free or raise the pricing of the game. The message CD Projekt is conveying is that it isn't going to attempt to nickle and dime its fans. Gimmick or not, it's a message that resonates in the days of paid DLC.

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07 Nov 05:48



Pictures are fine, but only video truly represents this most awkward of creatures.

You didn’t specifiy so I can only assume you’re looking for pictures of the Tree Kangaroo. Here you are: