Why Are People Still Getting Basic Science Wrong?

OK people, is “Science” education just a frivolity, or are there really that many people that slept through science in the 3rd grade and never woke up again? I’m serious, there’s a desperate lack of basic science education that’s being celebrated and lauded as if it was a good thing, even the most basic of things.

Over the past week, two science topics have got my pulse racing on social media. The first was a post by NPR on June 29th that had the headline “Don’t Believe in Evolution? Try Thinking Harder”. My quick comment of

“silly headline. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re not thinking at all”

started a bit of a snowstorm of people who don’t understand simple things. Things like ‘evolution is not abiogenesis’ (abiogenesis is ‘origin of life’) or that evolution has been extremely well tested in both models and the lab, and been observed happening (what do you think antibiotic resistance is?) are somewhat par for the course, but absolutely basic things like ‘theory is not a hypothesis’. Also, side note – first comment on an NPR story means your notifications will go off constantly for days. Continue reading…

 

Bittorrent’s DHT And Its DRM Problem

torrentsOver this past month, I’ve been researching a few topics based around BitTorrent, and I’ve come up on one point that I remember well, but which was never adequately explained for people. That was the controversy in 2005 around BitComet and the private flag, especially with version 0.60. It may seem an odd time, almost 10 years later, but it’s actually a key part of the history of Bittorrent, and one that’s always been badly reported (if at all).

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iiNet Vows Free Lawyers For Troll Targets

dallas-buyers-club-pl_422_600_80iiNet, the second biggest ISP in Australia, has been a bit of a magnet when it comes to bittorrent lawsuits. In 2008 they were sued by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) for failing to prevent its subscribers from infringing copyright via Bittorrent, a case it won, as the court found it was not iiNet’s responsibility.

In late 2014, Voltage Pictures – the company behind Oscar winning movie ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – started proceedings against Australian users it accused of downloading its movie, just as it has in both the US and Canada. The alleged Australian infringements all occurred between 2 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. Continue reading…

 

PPUK Moving Forward With Purpose

The stepping down of Loz and Ed might seem like some to be the end of the Pirate Party. They couldn’t be further from the truth. While both Ed and Loz have been valuable members of the executive team, to say they’re indispensable, and of critical importance to the party is not only being overly dramatic, but also insulting and demeaning to the many other people involved at all levels of the party.

Loz is not vanishing, riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again, so it’s far from the doom and gloom that you might think. He’s stepping back, recharging his batteries batteries, focusing on his own local area, and letting someone else refocus things.
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[LIVE] Pirate Party UK General Election Liveblog 2015

It’s election time again, which means time for another liveblog. I’ll be covering the election, focusing on the 6 pirates up for election, and I’ll be assisted in that by various pirates including Wendy Cockroft, and Stephen Ogden.

Those 6 lucky Pirate candidates are: Continue reading…

 

Judge Calls Prenda an “Ingenious Crooked Extortionate Operation”

Today was the long-awaited appeals court hearing in the ongoing Prenda saga. Almost exactly two years after Judge Otis Wright went sci-fi on Prenda and its principles, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held an appeals hearing requested by Prenda on the sanctions, and it was not a pretty day for Prenda.

prenda_stressToday was the long-awaited appeal for Prenda and associates in the 9th circuit. A welcome change from other hearings is that the case was live-streamed by the court, enabling those who were unable to get to the courtroom, a chance to view the proceedings, and what a show it was. Daniel Voelker, representing Prenda, left the first half hour battered and bleeding (metaphorically) from the many jabs and barbs by the three judges on the panel, while Morgan Pietz representing the Doe, had a much more cordial reception. Continue reading…