Monthly Archives: January 2012

Megaupload Destruction Of Evidence

This story was interesting. Megaupload’s user data will be destroyed, possibly as soon as Thursday.

I already wrote about Megaupload. The correct answer is that “intellectual property” is not property. Words like “intellectual property” and “piracy” set the debate in the wrong frame. Copying is not the same as stealing physical property.

If you self-published on Megaupload, your probably won’t recover your files. However, you’re an idiot if you published via Megaupload and didn’t keep backups.

Megaupload rented servers from other businesses. After the State raid, Megaupload’s bank accounts were frozen. Megaupload can’t pay its hosting bill. Therefore, the hosting service will terminate Megaupload’s account. Those servers will be re-sold to other customers.

This is destruction of evidence. One important question is “What % of content on Megaupload’s servers was ‘infringing’?” Another important question is “What % of Megaupload’s revenue came from ‘infringing’ content.” If evidence is destroyed, that question cannot be answered. Prosecutors say “There was some infringement. Therefore, there is criminal activity.” However, a juror might be persuaded, if a low % of Megaupload’s content was not infringing.

If I were Kim Dotcom’s lawyer, this destruction of evidence will be a useful tool in the defense.

I’ve been investigating YouTube alternatives for publishing videos. Kim Dotcom also operated Megavideo, a YouTube alternative. Veoh was also shut down via State violence, a lawsuit. There are few decent YouTube alternatives.  (My AdSense account was unfairly banned.  I couldn’t make money from ads on YouTube videos.  Therefore, I’m looking for alternatives.)

The correct answer is that “intellectual property” is not property. However, Kim Dotcom’s lawyers will not mention that in his trial. Instead, they will argue technicalities regarding the DMCA and criminal intent.

Reader Mail – 01/22/2012 To 01/28/2012

Note: Due to a defect in the rawr plugin, the formatting for this post shows up wrong on the blog homepage, but it does show up correctly if you view it as a single post or in a RSS reader.
Dude commented on FAQ.
Can you fix up my post a bit I thought I would have a review page->

I have been in programming for 25+ years and every year there is the new wonder language. There must be 1,000's by now, C/C++,Fortran, Pascal, Cobol, C#, Python, PERL, Ruby, F#, on and on and on...... What I think the thing to do is, everyone create your own language. All these languages are just wrappers for others C/C++ libraries and given a marketing name anyway.

I would suggest MotherF#$%ingC. Then when you go into the interview you can say, "I'm the world's #1 expert in MotherF#$%ingC." They will ask what is MotherF#$%ingC? You reply a new social networking langauge targeted for the urban environment. They will ask: What is some of the syntax and semantics of MotherF#$%ingC?

Glad, you asked, for example, you don't have a Home page you have a Crib page. You don't have functions like MyString.length(). You use MyBitch.String.howmuchyouholdingoutonme(). They will be so impressed, especially the Harvard MBA's, with your up to date abilities, you can, I promise, name your own price!

If there's a WP plugin that offers preview pages for comments, I might add it.

Dude commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
I have been in programming for 25+ years and every year there is the new wonder language. There must be 1,000's by now, C/C++,Fortran, Pascal, Cobol, C#, Python, PERL, Ruby, F#, Haxe, on and on and on...... What I think the thing to do is, everyone create your own language. All these languages are just wrappers for C/C++ libraries and given a marketing name anyway.

I would suggest MotherF#$%ingC. Then when you go into the interview you can say, "I'm the world's #1 expert in MotherF#$%ingC." They will ask what is MotherF#$%ingC? You reply a new social networking langauge targeted for the urban environment. What is some of the syntax and semantics of MotherF#$%ingC?

Glad, you asked for example you don't have a Home page you have a Crib page. You don't have functions like String.length, You use MyBitch.String.howmuchyouholding outoome(). They will be so impressed especially the Harvard MBA's you can I promise name your own price!


Requested edit:

have been in programming for 25+ years and every year there is the new wonder language. There must be 1,000?s by now, C/C++,Fortran, Pascal, Cobol, C#, Python, PERL, Ruby, F#, on and on and on…… What I think the thing to do is, everyone create your own language. All these languages are just wrappers for others C/C++ libraries and given a marketing name anyway.

I would suggest MotherF#$%ingC. Then when you go into the interview you can say, “I’m the world’s #1 expert in MotherF#$%ingC.” They will ask what is MotherF#$%ingC? You reply a new social networking langauge targeted for the urban environment. They will ask: What is some of the syntax and semantics of MotherF#$%ingC?

Glad, you asked, for example, you don’t have a Home page you have a Crib page. You don’t have functions like MyString.length(). You use MyBitch.String.howmuchyouholdingoutonme(). They will be so impressed, especially the Harvard MBA’s, with your up to date abilities, you can, I promise, name your own price!

I don't see the difference in the two comments.

If you really want to, you can put the post on your own blog, and just give a link.

Some languages really are better. VB.NET is better than MFC. PHP is better than writing your own webserver in C. However, a lot of stuff out there is garbage. Node.js and Rails are two examples.

commented on Disposable Refrigerator.
The new models are even worse and fail within first year of use

Another Anon commented on Ron Paul's Competing Currencies Proposal - A Simple Way To Reintroduce Gold And Silver As Money.
If something is legal tender, it is money. And money is not taxed. So problem solved. Maybe.

To Anonymous Coward. "chop the silver coin up?" Are you serious? If you give a cashier a $100 dollar bill for a $50 dollar purchase, do you expect her to tear it in half to make change?

Legal tender status means that the hard money circulates in parallel with the soft. You can make change with "change" or FRN dollars or pennies or whatever.

There are sales taxes, capital gains taxes, and reporting requirements on gold and silver. That is immoral and unconstitutional. Unfortunately, almost every judge disagrees with me.

You can use APMEX fractional silver (1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz) for making change. You can also use "junk silver" (pre-1964 State dimes and quarters). It isn't that hard to use gold and silver as money, once people are used to it. Unfortunately, in the present, people who try to make it easy to use gold and silver as money wind up in jail. (examples are Bernard NotHaus and Franklin Sanders).

This subject always brings out the pro-State trolls. There's more State propaganda on money and banking than almost any other issue.

Saurabh commented on Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence.
I was wondering when you were going to talk about it. Most probable reason for Megaupload shutdown is the MegaBox service that they were supposed to launch. If it had appeared it would have threatened Music Companies monopoly considerably. This only goes on to prove that state is nothing but tool for rich.

PS: If something happens to your site, you can at least recover article text from Google Reader feed (probably).

gilliganscorner commented on Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence.


My personal two cents is the filesharing is only a cover story. Perhaps the real concern about filesharing is the advance of P2P currency such as BitCoin that bypasses the State's taxation/inflation pogrom foisted on the tax cattle.

I don't like BitCoin. Every transaction is reported to every BitCoin client. That makes it very easy for the State police.

If my blog were shut down, I probably would also be in jail, making recovering my blog archive my least concern. I do keep occasional WP database dumps and PHP backups, but that does no good if my home is also raided.

I did mention the MegaBox angle. The larger goal is to prevent people from becoming famous without going through State gatekeepers. State insiders are also very threatened by the fact that the Internet enables blogs like this.

As long as there are general-purpose computers and communication tools, there will be filesharing. If necessary, you'd find someone willing to burn DVDs and mail them to you. (I did that once to get MAME roms, before BitTorrent.)

Jason commented on Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence.

Great article FSK!

-----> Copying is NOT "stealing". <-------

This is something more people should think about. I am not saying it is always ok to copy/share stuff but it certainly is not the same as stealing. "Sharing" is certainly closer to the truth than "stealing" but that doesn't sell as well in an article.

I always get annoyed when media distributors/producers claim huge - and often quite specific numbers (how did they calculate those?) losses because of illegal file sharing.

How do they know how many (if any) would have bought their music if it wasn't free?

Of course they also never mention the free advertising & exposure their music gets when they quote these numbers...

Jason commented on Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence.

actually, "sharing" is not in the interest of our growth based economy either. If we all stopped watching TV and started hanging out with neighbours and friends at home we would end up sharing things and consuming less artificial entertainment.

Imagine a 30 floor appartment complex with one vacuum cleaner per floor instead of 10!

Imagine all the electric drills, toys, playstations, lawn mowers etc.. we could share. This would certainly bring down the economy and we would not have to pay housing for these things either.

Sharing would need to become illegal to keep the system going a bit longer - and not just for media files. Perhaps this will be next step (in case people still remember & suddenly rediscover that sharing works for 3 dimensional items too) :)

Sharing tangible property isn't the same as sharing electronic files.

I might prefer my own appliances. I don't have to worry about my neighbors ruining it or not doing maintenance. If it was a shared vacuum cleaner, I might wind up being the only one who ever cleans the bags.

For bigger expenses, like zipcar, sharing does make economic sense.

Taken to a ridiculous extreme, it's easier for me to buy my own toaster than try to share a toaster.

Also, the way they get the "lost sales" figure is "Downloads * retail price." They assume that every "illegal" download is a lost sale at full retail price.

yourmom commented on Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence.

you definitely made your point here my friend, and of course they calculate based on full retail prices, not to consider their material is often pure crap, sharing makes easier for customers to try things (movies, music) and if you really like you just buy it, at least that's what i see in my society.

I don't doubt it would come to full censorship for the whole internet if we let this fags approve such laws as SOPA

Marc commented on Tim Thomas Makes A Heroic Stand.
Yeah right...Used to think you were one of the faces of American Hockey. Now I'd prefer not see you put the USA sweater on again. This was not a political trip, you made it that. Its an honor and a privilege to be invited to the White House regardless of who's in power. Just ask all the soldiers and medalists who are bestowed the same invitation for much greater accomplishments. But I guess you're bigger than all of them too. You're a hockey goalie, and an ignorant one at that.

Everything a politician does is political. You missed the point of my post. If an athlete meets the President, that's an implicit endorsement of the President.

What if the whole team refused to go? What if more athletes started speaking out against a corrupt government?

f commented on Tim Thomas Makes A Heroic Stand.

Do you read at all ? Thoughts?

Sometimes, but not much.

That's another website that says "Something is seriously wrong with the way things are now!", but doesn't really suggest alternatives.

gilliganscorner commented on Uriniating Soldiers.
"Without soldiers mindlessly obeying orders, pointless wars aren’t possible."

War initiated between nations cannot be enabled without a nation first initiating force against its own citizens by way of taxation.

Taxation is war by the State against its own tax cattle.

Taxes are collected by policemen who obey orders without questioning them. With militarized police, police are just another type of soldier.

Also, war is a good excuse for taking away freedom. The "War on Terror" is an excuse for expanding State surveillance power. During WWII, the withholding tax was a "temporary emergency measure".

Intrade Flaw – The Time Value Of Money

Intrade is a widely-cited prediction market.  Intrade has a serious structural flaw.  Intrade does not include the “time value of money’, making long term predictions less accurate.

Consider the 2012 US Presidential election.  As of right now, the odds are (using the midpoint of bid and ask):

Obama wins – 54.6%

Romney wins – 39.3%

Gingrich wins – 2.5%

Paul wins wins – 1.9%

Others – negligible

Do you see the problem?  The odds only sum to 98.3, rather than 100.

There’s a flaw with InTrade’s margin rules.  If I wanted to place a bet, I have to place a margin deposit equal to THE WORSE CASE LOSS.  I don’t get that money back until November.  I don’t get credited with interest.

Consider Ron Paul.  Realistically, his odds are zero.  However, if I wanted to sell Ron Paul, I’d have to put up $9.81 to gain $0.19, and I won’t be paid until November.  That would be an idiot bet.  My effective interest rate would be around 2%.  I’d be better off investing in the stock market or gold.

Also, I have counterparty risk.  If Intrade declares bankruptcy between now and November, I lose my investment.

Intrade has a serious defect in its margin rules.  You are required to deposit collateral equal to the worst case loss, and you aren’t credited with interest.  That skews the odds for long-term predictions, like the November election.  Longshots may be overpriced, because it isn’t profitable to sell them.  The overall odds are skewed, because you don’t get credited with interest.  Even if interest were credited at a rate of 1%-2%, that’s still lousy compared to other investments.

KFC – Lousy Chicken

I decided to give KFC a try (the one on 42nd street and Madison in Manhattan).  That was a mistake.  I should have known better.

I offended by what they did.  The chicken was dried out.  They used really strong sauce, so you wouldn’t be able to taste the chicken.  I went at 12:15, but the chicken tasted like it’d been under the hot lamp for days.

Another time, I bought frozen chicken parts and heated them.  That was *MUCH* better than KFC.  I can’t believe that KFC was that much worse than heated up frozen chicken.

There’s another chicken NYC-only chain, “ranch1″.  That also was a big disappointment.

That was an amusing trick that KFC used.  They had lousy dried-out chicken, but covered it up with really strong sauce.  I should have known better, but I figured I’d give them a try.

Uriniating Soldiers

This story was interesting. Some US Marine snipers murdered some people, urinated on their corpses, and then videotaped it.

There was one important detail missing from the coverage of the story. None of the stories I read mentioned this important point. Who were the victims? Were they bad people who deserved to die? Were they random people the soldiers decided to kill?

The US soldiers are a hostile occupying army. From the Afghan viewpoint, it’s acceptable to resist an occupying army. If someone is going to kill you and urinate on your corpse and keep a finger as a souvenir, then maybe you should resist them.

A pro-State troll says “This is one isolated bad example. All other soldiers are saints.” That is false. If one person gets caught, there are a lot of other people getting away with it.

There were 5 people in the video, 4 soldiers plus the guy videotaping it. How come nobody said “Hey! Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this!”? Don’t they tell the soldiers in training “Don’t do things that would embarrass the military.” or at least “If you do commit war crimes, don’t videotape it or take pictures. Make sure there’s no evidence.”

A pro-State troll says “You can oppose war, but support the troops.” That is false. If you’re opposed to war, you should also object to the people who fight the war. Without soldiers mindlessly obeying orders, pointless wars aren’t possible.

That is an impressive bit of doublethink. It is standard to say that it’s OK to oppose war, but you still should support the soldiers who fight the wars.

I am sympathetic to people who were tricked into joining the Army and realize they made a mistake. However, everyone is responsible for what they do. If you perform due diligence before joining, you should realize that war is one big scam.

A pro-State troll says “Soldiers are the best and brightest”. That is false. Many soldiers are people who want a socially-acceptable outlet for their violent tendencies. Most soldiers join the army due to economic conscription. They are so poor and the economy is so bad. Becoming a soldier is their best career opportunity.

When you watch the Super Bowl or a sporting event, there are many hidden advertisements for war. It is very offensive. When the announcer says “Support our troops!”, he’s indirectly endorsing war. When they cut away to a scene of soldiers watching the game from their base, that’s an endorsement of war. When they show John Elway standing next to General Petraeus, that’s an endorsement of war.

There was another offensive bit. To provide “balanced” media coverage, the reporter is interviewing people who say “It’s OK to disrepect their corpses. They’re evil people who deserve it.”

But the actions of the soldiers were not met with universal disapproval. A prominent anti-Muslim activist in New York, Pamela Geller, who was at the forefront of the campaign against an Islamic centre near ground zero and has been embraced by some mainstream Republicans including Newt Gingrich, praised the soldiers for desecrating the Afghan corpses who she called “murderous savages”.

Rick Perry is defending the soldiers. Can anyone really say that with a straight face?

Here’s something really ironic. Bradley Manning will probably spend more time in prison than the urinating soldiers!

When soldiers get out of the military, many of them get jobs as policemen. That contributes to the “us vs. them” attitude of police. That contributes to the militarism of police.

This is not one isolated bad example. There almost definitely are other soldiers who do bad things but don’t get caught. If you are opposed to war, you should also not support the people who fight the war.  Are the US troops heroes?  Or, are they killing indiscriminately and providing motivation for the next generation of terrorists?

Tim Thomas Makes A Heroic Stand

This story was interesting. Tim Thomas was the goalkeeper for the NHL champion Boston Bruins. The President met with the winning team, but Tim Thomas refused to go. He said that government is way too big and out of control.

This is an important point. When the President meets a sports champion, who is endorsing whom? The official spin is that the President is honoring the athletes. Actually, the athletes are endorsing the President and the State.

Tim Thomas may suffer retribution for standup up for his beliefs. He was benched for his next start after refusing the meeting. He may lose endorsement deals. He may have a harder time finding a new team when his contract expires.

The backlash from the State media is predictable. They are saying “Tim Thomas, you have a high-paying job for playing a game. Be grateful that you get paid so much. Most people only dream of having a job and lifestyle as nice as you. Don’t rock the boat.”

This is an important point regarding State “journalists”. They are professional liars. They are interchangeable cogs. The State media cartel can fire any journalist, and find 100 other people eager to lie for huge paycheck. Most “journalists”, even the low-ranking ones, are way overpaid for their real skills. That enables their bosses to keep them on a short leash, knowing that a firing and blacklisting will lead to a much worse standard of living. Nobody gets promoted to be a high-ranking journalist unless they’ve demonstrated thorough pro-State brainwashing. Even with that, occasionally someone deviates, is disgraced, and has their career ruined.

Even a star goalkeeper is an interchangeable cog. For example, Michael Vick hasn’t gotten any favorable calls from referees, most of which are lawyers and judges. Star athletes and journalists are replaceable. Even if Vick or Thomas are fired, the same number of people will still watch the NFL or NHL.  The real power lies with the media CEOs and their bankster backers. who almost never appear in public. If a mainstream media CEO starts having “wrong” ideas, it’s easy to naked short sell and crash the stock, arrange for a leveraged buyout, and install a new figurehead as CEO.

I’ve heard this viewpoint frequently cited. Athletes and celebrities are *NOT* expected to express any “political opinions”, which really means “non-approved political opinions”. If Tim Thomas said “Support the troops! USA! USA!”, that’s a political statement, but the State media would not complain. There only is backlash when a non-approved opinion is expressed.

Imagine if 1% or even 0.01% of athletes started criticizing the State! That would really start waking up some slaves! For this reason, any dissent must be immediately crushed.

Most sports leagues have a “personal conduct policy”. That can be interpreted as preventing the “house slaves” from expressing non-approved political opinions and starting a slave revolt.  If you’re an athlete, celebrity, or journalist, your real job is to keep the slaves distracted and complacent.  The last thing State insiders want to do is for celebrities to encourage the lower-ranking slaves to start thinking for themselves.

It would be awesome, if some athletes or celebrities started saying “The Federal Reserve is evil!” or “Government is way to big!” or even “All taxation is theft!” Almost all celebrities and athletes are employees and not owners, because the State restricts their economic freedom. Taxes and regulations make it almost impossible for a successful celebrity or athlete to start his own media business.

This is the “Asch Conformity Test” problem. Most slaves think subconsciously “If the government was doing bad things, then some journalists and celebrities would complain.” No objections are aired on TV.  This is interpreted as an endorsement that everything is fine. Most mainstream political debate is an illusion and smokescreen.  A single objection can have a large impact.  Therefore, any dissent must be crushed.

If one person objects, that wakes up some slaves. However, the person who objects is usually ruined and disgraced. That sets an example, and other celebrities and “journalists” learn to toe the line. The recruitment and promotion process for celebrities and journalists weeds out the independent thinkers. If you’re the type of person who might discuss forbidden ideas, you don’t get your reputation boosted by the State media cartel. You must conform or get weeded out.

Getting to be a star athlete also has a luck-based component.  Tim Thomas didn’t become an NHL success until late in his career.  How do you know that there aren’t some great athletes denied the opportunity?  You’d never know, because you’d never hear about them.

Tim Thomas took a heroic stand. He may suffer retribution, in the form of worse contracts, losing his endorsements, and not getting favorable calls from referees. If more athletes and celebrities did this, it would help promote freedom. Unfortunately, celebrities are replaceable cogs, making it a risky career move to question the State.

Megaupload And The Effectiveness Of State Violence

This story was interesting. The day after the massive SOPA/PIPA protest, State thugs raided and shut down Megaupload. That was a big “F*** You!” to the SOPA/PIPA protests, that the Megaupload raid came the next day.

To protest the Megaupload raid, “Anonymous” hacked into some websites. It isn’t possible to be sure if they really were disgruntled people, or a false flag operation designed to discredit those nasty Internet people.

Megaupload was a file sharing website. You can upload a file, and share the link with many people. Megaupload made money off ads. Megaupload sold “premium” accounts, which enabled faster downloads and more downloads. A non-premium account was limited to approximately one file per hour.

People could also use Megaupload to share copyrighted content. This is the basis for the criminal charges. The correct answer is “‘Intellectual property’ is not property.” Most people are arguing “Internet piracy is a problem, but this action is a bit extreme.” That is pro-State trolling. The very word “piracy” sets the debate in the wrong frame, because copying is not stealing.

If you make a copy of a song or movie, that is not the same as stealing physical property. If your customers would rather make a copy than pay you, then the real problem is that you have a poor relationship with your customers. Computers and the Internet make traditional copyright law obsolete, because now the cost of copying is zero.  When it required a significant capital investment to make copies, the model for copyright law made more sense.

Copyright law has its origins in censorship.  When the printing press was invented, the king was threatened by it.  It would enable people to spread non-approved ideas.  The solution was that you had to submit your book for approval, and then get permission to print it.  After awhile, there were only a few printing presses directly authorized by the king.  That was too obviously monopolistic.  The law was changed.  Individuals own the copyright, *BUT* copyrights can be sold, *AND* if you want your book published you have no choice but to sell your copyright to a member of the State cartel.  The net effect is that most copyrights wind up owned by large corporations.  A few corporations own almost all the copyrights.  They lobbied for draconian copyright law and retroactive copyright extensions.  The Internet removes the “You have to sell your copyright to the cartel in order to get published.” factor from the above equation.

One conspiracy theory is that Megaupload was planning a service, encouraging independent artists to directly publish on Megaupload, via a revenue-sharing agreement.  Another conspiracy theory is that Megaupload hired some musicians to make a promotional video, a music corporation filed an inappropriate DMCA takedown notice, and Megaupload was suing and going to win.  The criminal charges make that lawsuit moot.  That’s a common theme in State law.  If you catch a State insider doing something bad, they turn around and charge you with an even bigger crime, which automatically disqualifies your complaint.

The owner of Megaupload, Kim “Dotcom”, was arrested and will be extradited to the USA. (He had his last name legally changed to “Dotcom”.)  Normally, extradition is reserved for murderers and serious criminals. The State is treating people who create filesharing websites as equivalent to murderers.

There is another amusing bit. Kim “Dotcom” barricaded himself in a “safe room”. The police broke in and captured him. That shows the uselessness of making such preparations. Once State thugs decide they want to kidnap you, you should either surrender peacefully or go all Ed and Elaine Brown.  I’ve decided that, if it comes to that, I’m going to surrender peacefully and hope for a fair trial; if necessary, I’ll represent myself and mention jury nullification.  However, State thugs do go overboard with excessive sentences for minor crimes.  If you know you aren’t going to get a fair trial and you’re going to be in jail for the rest of your life, why not go down swinging?

Even if Kim Dotcom is eventually acquitted, he is not reimbursed for the legal fees, the cost of time spent in jail, and the cost of having his business ruined.  That’s one problem with State raids and “asset forfeiture”.  You lose your property and your business, even if you are never convicted of a crime.

Also, the fact that Kim Doctom had an “illegal” gun will probably lead to a few years tacked on to his sentence.  Either don’t own an illegal gun, or be prepared to use it!

Another interesting bit is that Kim “Dotcom” was pretty wealthy.  The lesson here is “Honest wage slave work is for losers.”  I should get more serious about agorism.  That’s on my list of things to do.  Illegal and quasi-legal businesses tend to be very profitable, even though the CEO can never have an IPO and steal via bankster tricks.

It is hypocritical that the State is cracking down on file sharing, but lets financial criminals like Jon Corzine get away with it. The media cartel is lobbying for stricter copyright enforcement and getting it.

Megaupload had a DMCA agent. However, they limited the number of DMCA takedown requests they would accept per day. Megaupload also had a deduplication feature. If 10 people uploaded the same file, they would only store one copy on their server. However, if Megaupload got a DMCA takedown notice, they would only remove one copy and not all 10. That is a legal grey area.  What if one person legally uploaded the file; maybe he was making a backup copy of a DVD he actually owned?

Also, a lot of the dispute around Megaupload should be civil and not criminal.  Is it really worth a military-style raid and extradition, over filesharing?

Megaupload did not have a search feature. Ironically, for other websites that were seized “They had a search feature!” was listed as evidence of criminal intent. Megaupload’s lack of a search feature was listed as evidence of criminal intent! (The lack of a search feature did make it hard for the media cartel to crack down on sharing via DMCA takedowns.)

Megaupload had a revenue sharing feature. People who uploaded popular files got a cut of the ad revenue. That is a common website practice. However, State thugs listed this as another count on the indictment! There were “money laundering” charges tacked on. Because Megaupload was facilitating copyright “infringement”, their pay-for-traffic arrangements count as “money laundering”!

It’s pathetic when State prosecutors stretch to tack on charges. However, it’s a common tactic. It helps coerce plea bargains. If Kim Dotcom pleads guilty, he may get a couple of years in jail, with many of the superfluous charges dropped. If he goes to trial and loses, he may get a life sentence. Therefore, the incentive is for him to plea bargain.

I was amused by the frequent usage of the phrase “Mega Conspiracy” in the indictment.  That makes it seem more evil.  The real conspiracy is that State cartels use violence to shut down people who threaten their monopoly.  The State “justice” system is one big criminal conspiracy, given the illusion of legitimacy via “color of law”.

The State also froze all his bank accounts. That’s another sleazy trick. That prevents him from hiring a lawyer to defend himself.  (One high-profile defense attorney agreed to represent him and then resigned.  Other members of his law firm had worked for the media cartel, leading to a conflict-of-interest.)

State thugs seized his servers and interrupted his business. Even though Kim Dotcom was not convicted of a crime (yet), the State stole his business and stole his property.

If you were a Megaupload user who was using it for legal filesharing, such as self-publishing, you are SOL. You may never recover your files. However, you’re an idiot if you used Megaupload and didn’t keep backups. You can buy a 3 TB external HD for only $200. If you had something important on Megaupload, you should have backed it up.

This also casts doubt on all “cloud storage” businesses. For example, I am at risk on Linode. Suppose that another Linode user were charged with a crime. State thugs will then seize *ALL* of Linode’s servers. It might be awhile before I get my website back. I do keep a backup copy of my WP database and PHP, but I only do it every few months. (I wrote some custom PHP for my blog.)

This indictment has a chilling effect. Many other popular Megaupload clones have either shut down, or stopped offering access to US users.

Notice the incredible efficiency of State violence. They only had to raid *ONE* business. Now, people with similar businesses are panicking and shutting down.

I use retrogaming BitTorrent trackers. I download copies of old games and play them in emulators. I am concerned that, someday, a State raid will force them to close. Even though those websites stick to older no-longer-marketable stuff, they still could be raided, just like Megaupload.

It’s like that old Nazi poem. “First they came for Megaupload. Then they shut down other file sharing websites. Then they shut down the BitTorrent trackers. Then they shut down blogs that criticize the State, but by then, there was nobody left to complain.”

Once you have censorship power, it tends to expand and get used for more and more things. Once you have a censorship engine for copyright “crime”, it can be extended to any type of un-approved information sharing, such as political criticism.

Here’s another example of how copyright leads to censorship.  Suppose I picked a clip from TV where an evil person was speaking, posted it to YouTube and analyzed the body language.  Technically, that’s fair use, but the media corporation that owns the clip might file a DMCA takedown notice (or outright sue me Righaven-style).  I’d have to spend time and money defending myself, even if it was a short clip that should be obviously legal to use.

State thugs say “Copyright ‘crime’ on the Internet needs to be treated as equivalent to crime in the physical world.” The most important point, copying isn’t stealing, is never mentioned in mainstream debate. To consider other analogies, if you use a phone to commit a crime, you blame the criminal and not the phone company. If you use a car to commit a crime, you blame the criminal and not the car manufacturer.

With the Internet, you can create a website that allows user-generated content. If the website owner is responsible for all content posted by users, then it’s effectively illegal to create a website with user-generated content.

With the Megaupload raid, the State said “It’s illegal to create a business that makes it easy for people to share arbitrary large files.” There’s no way a website owner can review every single file uploaded. There are some Megaupload competitors that were more diligent about making sure they obeyed copyright “law”, but even they shut down.

Kim Dotcom certainly seems like a sleazy character. It’s hard to tell from a State mugshot and arrest propaganda photo, but he does seem like a shady character.  State thugs picked an unsympathetic-seeming defendant. When defending individual freedom, it seems that you’re often defending borderline-sleazy characters like Kim Dotcom, Sholom Rubashkin, and Bernard Nothaus. I still say that they are victims. Their true crime was challenging State cartels. Kim Dotcom challenged the State media cartel. Sholom Rubashkin challenged the State meatpacking cartel. Bernard Nothaus challenged the State paper money cartel.

The biggest threat of the Internet is not merely “copyright infringement”. It’s that someone can self-publish, start a business, gain a reputation, and spread their ideas without going through State gatekeepers. The media cartel is also a censorship engine, with only “approved” ideas getting published. Without the Internet, I never would have learned about real freedom. I’m good at seeing ideas written by others and explaining them more simply, such as the Compound Interest Paradox. Hopefully, I’m helping other people understand real freedom.

If I was dependent on the State media cartel, I never would have learned about real freedom.  If I was dependent on the State media cartel to publish my ideas, I would never have been able to publish anything. I never would have helped 200+ people understand the truth better. (I estimate that I have 200 regular readers.)

The Megaupload raid is a new low point for State censorship. There was a severe chilling effect, as most other Megaupload-like businesses stopped operating. If a business is responsible for what its customers do, then it’s very hard to create useful new tools.  It is a bit severe to extradite people to the USA for “copyright crime”, a process normally reserved for murderers. Kim Dotcom does seem like a sleazy character, but I still say he’s a victim.  Kim Dotcom is a sleazy unsympathetic defendant, making it easy to get a conviction and a favorable precedent.

The Megaupload cascade effect is an interesting insight into how State power works.  State thugs used violence to shut down one business.  All similar businesses stop operating, even though they were never physically raided.  It’s an impressive bit of evil efficiency.

Kodak Bankruptcy, Greek Bailoutruptcy

This story was pretty funny. Kodak filed for bankruptcy. How is that ironic? Kodak bonds are trading at a *HIGHER VALUE* than Greek government bonds.

Kodak bonds are now in technical default, due to the bankruptcy filing. Technically, the Greek bonds haven’t defaulted (yet). However, Greek bonds are worth a lower % of face amount than Kodak bonds!

Reader Mail – 01/15/2012 To 01/21/2012

Note: Due to a defect in the rawr plugin, the formatting for this post shows up wrong on the blog homepage, but it does show up correctly if you view it as a single post or in a RSS reader.
Anonymous Coward commented on Romney Firing People.
I wonder how long it will take for things to collapse.

3 years. 10 years. 20 years.

Local and national government employ loads of lazy and stupid people. It is not a sustainable situation.

Our stupid transport system rejects British workers for jobs as bus drivers, but goes abroad to recruit.

Anonymous Coward commented on Should You Have A Debit Card?.
I don't like credit cards, except for computer purchases in which I need some consumer protection in case things go bad, as each month there is a large debit to my current account, rather than smooth deductions over time. I like to know how much money I have instantly. I suppose this is being rather lazy as subtraction is not hard.

I've found that with cash I have a slight tendency to spend less.

Anonymous Coward commented on The NFL Should Have A Draft Lottery.
You should take a leaf out of the Ancient Greeks' book.

The trouble with diplomacy (majority rule) is that elected representatives if they stick around too long will essentially take bribes and favour certain groups.

Also today it takes a huge amount of money and media co-operation to get elected. You need the backing of a major, established political party and the mainstream media will only support established, already picked players.

So only rich people can get elected. If you are a rich lawyer you can easily take a few months off work for an election campaign. If you lose you have your job waiting.

A poor software developer cannot take a few months off to campaign. If he/she did so the next employer would say he/she isn't dedicated to software development or that his/her skills atrophied in the space of a few months!

One solution is to have a lottery to pick our Members of Parliament or Congress or President/Prime Minister. It can't be any worse than the current situation where clowns that had never held a real job in their lives (Public Relations clowns take note) become Prime Minister with only 1 in 5 of the population voting for them. And then they break their promises and so what was really the point.

We need a random selection for government positions and then make the post temporary for a maximum of 5 years. Or at least have half elected and half randomly chosen.

The current system favours rich insiders that have need held a real job in their lives. As they have never done any real work, they don't know how the ordinary man gets screwed over and so they cannot be of any help.

The correct answer is market anarchism or agorism.

Even if you had voting reform or reform picking representatives, it's still corruptible.

Besides, there's no way to get any meaningful reform passed, because current insiders will block it.

Anonymous Coward commented on UK Coinage Stupidity.
I've heard Max Keiser say a few times the banking industry crashed an economy worth 1000*x just to make a profit of x. So a similar theme to the one you are speaking of.

What do you expect from UK politicians? David Cameron (the barely elected Prime Minister with only 1 in 5 votes) used to "work" in Public Relations beforehand.

George Osborne's (Chancellor in charge of the Treasury and tax) family makes posh wallpaper and have a nice line in setting up trusts to reduce/dodge tax.

Again you can't make this up. The man in charge of tax has a family that sets up trusts to AVOID TAX.

Why are these clowns still in office?

This is the difference between good logic and evil logic.

According to good logic, crashing the economy to make a profit is evil.

According to evil logic, crashing the economy to make a profit is brilliant. According to evil logic, all that matters is your relative wealth to everyone else, and not absolute wealth. Therefore, it's OK to wreck the economy as long as you're still on top.

An honest form of government would penalize and punish people who do evil things. The current State is of the psychopaths, by the psychopaths, and for the psychopaths.

Anonymous Coward commented on Microsoft Sucks - XmlSerializer Exception.
I haven't looked up the documentation for this class, but I will have a guess.

Maybe you are not supposed to instantiate this class.

Maybe it only exists so that you can instantiate subclasses of it.

Maybe only the Microsoft library is suppose to instantiate this class. Maybe it is for internal use only. I suspect that only subclasses of it are suppose to exist as objects though. But then again they should have marked it as virtual, rather than throwing an exception.

Having said that Microsoft do hire a lot of at best average software developers. Then like hires like.

I was using the class as intended. My code was nearly 100% copied from an MSDN website example. It was listed as a "known bug" somewhere else.

Anonymous Coward commented on Microsoft Sucks - XmlSerializer Exception.

OK, Microsoft sucks in this regard.

However once software gets above a certain size, it is very difficult to cope with the complexity.

My life went in a whole other direction, because I used a class written by someone else that failed at the first step of instantiation.

I was doing one project at a famous tech company and unfortunately the other software developer was a rubbish one and dishonest as well.

He produced a load of crap and many weeks late as well. His class failed at the first step of instantiation.

I thought as this guy was new to the company (and may be overworked) that I would give him the benefit of the doubt. I did tell the managers on the project that his software wasn't ready on time though, but left it at that. I thought he might be incompetent but wasn't sure.

Unfortunately this guy stuck the knife in my back. I did explain things to the managers, but they couldn't be bothered to listen. His story gave them credit as well for saving the day, even though he was the problem.

So my life turned in another direction because of a class so badly written it failed at the first step of instantiation. It wasn't just this, it was the fact that he produced bad code many, many weeks late.

Leap Second Should Be Leap Minute

This story was amusing. There will be another “leap second” this year. Some scientists are getting annoyed by the leap second. The “leap second” must be manually added to every time-sensitive computer.

The Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing, due to the friction of tides. There also are other factors, such as big earthquakes. Even though a “electronic/atomic clock day” is technically defined as equal to a solar day, that will gradually drift due to the slowing Earth’s rotation.

This is corrected via occasional leap seconds. That makes the “atomic clock day” line up with the solar day. The problem is that the leap second must be manually added as an exception.

There’s an obvious solution. Instead of having a leap second 1-2+ times a year, have a “leap minute” every 10+ years. The average person would not notice, if sunrise is off by 30 seconds. They could wait until one minute of error is accumulated, before manually correcting the clock.

They should have a leap minute instead of frequent leap seconds. The solar day doesn’t have to line up perfectly. Nobody would notice an error of 45 seconds.