Monday, December 31, 2007

Almost all recorded music is digital

The NY Times reports:
Warner is the third of the four major music corporations to reconsider its use of so-called digital rights management software, known by its initials as D.R.M., and offer its catalog in the unrestricted MP3 format. ...

The move also comes as the industry faces increasing pressure to bolster digital music sales as its traditional business -- selling CDs -- suffers a sharp decline.
The reporter is not very clear on the concept. Music sales went digital about 25 years ago. CDs contain digital music, and they always have. The traditional music business is the digital music business.

The main promoter of DRM music is Apple with its iTunes store. If you buy music elsewhere, in CD or mp3 format, then you can nearly always just copy it to your computer or portable music player without any difficulty. Music from Apple comes with tight restrictions, and can only be played on an Apple computer or ipod.

Update: Here is a Jan. 14 NY Times article that makes the same mistake. It quotes someone saying:
How do I convince them that digital music is a good thing to begin with?
When does anyone ever listen to recorded music that is not digital?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

ex Offenders Are Barred From Internet by New Jersey

The NY Times reports:
New Jersey enacted legislation on Thursday banning some convicted sex offenders from using the Internet.

In signing the restrictions into law, Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who is filling in while Gov. Jon S. Corzine is vacationing, noted that sexual predators were as likely to lurk at a computer keyboard as in a park or playground.

No federal law restricts sex offenders’ use of the Internet, and Florida and Nevada are the only other states to impose such restrictions.
There are some good comments here.

These laws are really extreme. A lot of sex offender are convicted of minor crimes based on flimsy evidence.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

UK dumbs tests down

A UK paper reports:
Pupils should be given as much time as they need to complete crucial national tests, says the Government's exam watchdog.

This would ensure the children, aged 11 to 14 and sitting Key Stage tests, do not become stressed, says a report by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The proposal will reignite accusations that examinations are being dumbed down and an "all must have prizes" system is being encouraged.
In the USA, a lot of kids get extra time by claiming to have a learning disability.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Idiots on The View

The TV show The View seems like just a parody of silly women saying silly things. Here is Sherri Shepherd's best in 2007. She says that nothing predated Jesus and Christians, and that she tries not to beat her kid in a rich white kids store.

Monday, December 24, 2007

County lets women out of jail

Wisconsin news:
Sometime next year, La Crosse County might let all its female prisoners out of jail. Instead of sitting behind bars, the women will be in a new community-based program the La Crosse County Board unanimously approved Thursday night. ...

Supervisor Keith Belzer, a criminal defense attorney, said in 15 years he's never represented a woman who was put in jail because she's dangerous.

"I'm not saying there won't ever be a woman in La Crosse County who's dangerous and needs to be locked up for the safety of the community," said Belzer. "I will say that would be the rare exception rather than the rule."

Belzer said women are almost always in the system "because of some kind of relationship with a man."
So if a woman gets convicted of a crime, she just gets treatment on having better relationships with men? Weird.

Humor comes from testosterone

UK BBC reports:
Men are naturally more comedic than women because of the male hormone testosterone, an expert claims.

Men make more gags than women and their jokes tend to be more aggressive, Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says.

The unicycling doctor observed how the genders reacted to his "amusing" hobby.

Women tended to make encouraging, praising comments, while men jeered. The most aggressive were young men, he told the British Medical Journal. ...

Dr Nick Neave is a psychologist at the University of Northumbria who has been studying the physical, behavioural, and psychological effects of testosterone.

He suggested men might respond aggressively because they see the other unicycling man as a threat, attracting female attention away from themselves.

"This would be particularly challenging for young males entering the breeding market and thus it does not surprise me that their responses were the more threatening."
Somehow I don't think that this clown was really a threat to young men.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Low IQ kids do not get adopted

Steve Sailer analyzes a NY Times story about how Romanian orphanage kids have low IQ. He quotes:
On I.Q. tests taken at 54 months, the foster children scored an average of 81, compared to 73 among the children who continued in an institution. The children who moved into foster care at the youngest ages tended to show the most improvement, the researchers found.

The comparison group of youngsters who grew up in their biological families had an average I.Q. of 109 at the same age, found the researchers, who announced their preliminary findings as soon in Romania as they were known.
It appears that the low IQ kids are gypsies that no one wants to adopt.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Those named K strike out

The WSJ Numbers Guy writes:
For example, major league baseball players with first or last initial K were more likely than average to strike out; and business graduate students with initials C or D had lower grades, on average, perhaps reflecting an unconscious affinity to the grades corresponding to their initials.
There have been a lot of other studies that have found correlations with names and birth dates. This sounds like astrology to me. If these studies are correct, then it seems possible that astrological signs could have some significant correlations.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Women spend much more than men

A Business school publication says:
Women spend $4 trillion annually and account for 83% of U.S. consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of the nation's gross national product, according to WomenCertified, a women's consumer advocacy and retail training organization headquartered in Hollywood, Fla., which also worked on the study.

The "Men Buy, Women Shop" study is based on a random, national sample of 1,250 shoppers who were asked about a recent shopping experience in telephone interviews conducted from October 20 to November 4, 2007. The sample was dominated, two to one, by females.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Swedes castrate army symbol

News from Sweden:
Protests from female soldiers have led to the Swedish military removing the penis of a heraldic lion depicted on the Nordic Battlegroup's coat of arms.

The armed forces agreed to emasculate the lion after a group of women from the rapid reaction force lodged a complaint to the European Court of Justice, Göteborgs-Posten reports. ...

But the castrated lion has already won the day and is now worn on the arms of all soldiers in the battle group's Swedish battalions.

"We were given the task of making sure the willy disappeared," Christian Braunstein from the army's 'tradition commission' told Göteborgs-Posten.

"We were forced to cut the lion's willy off with the aid of a computer," he added.
I guess nobody cares if the male soldiers don't like having to wear the image of a castrated lion.

Huckabee urges wives to submit

AP reports:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Republican Mike Huckabee's record on women's rights is coming under increased scrutiny, including his endorsement of the Southern Baptist Convention's stance that women should "submit graciously" to their husbands and his opposition to sending women into combat. ...

The former Arkansas governor and his wife Janet signed a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement with 129 other evangelical leaders in 1998.

"A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ," the convention says in its statement of faith.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Homeschooled kid wins biggest college sports award

Homeschooled kids have been winning spelling bees and other contests for years, but now a homeschooler has won the Heisman Trophy for college football. Florida QB Tim Tebow was homeschooled until college.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bernie Ward indicted

When a right-wing radio talk-show host gets caught in some minor scandal, the news media grossly exaggerates the story. But now left-wing radio talk-show host Bernie Ward just got indicted for distributing child pornography, and everyone is strangely silent.

Bernie Ward sounds like a puppet of, and is a typical lying Bush-hater. He is a failed Catholic priest, and has the most annoying holier-than-thou attitude when he lectures the public on his own peculiar theology. He claims that he needed the child porn for a book on Hypocrisy that he was writing. I doubt that he deserves the draconian penalties that he faces. I think that he is mainly guilty of being an idiot. But Ward appears to have done something worse than Rush Limbaugh, and Ward is the real hypocrite.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Women want casual but ethical sex

Here is some wacky sex research from down under:
Women 'want no-strings sex'
5:00AM Saturday December 08, 2007
By Simon Collins

Two young women researchers are calling for a new form of sexual ethics that would allow women to have casual sex without feeling that they're "sluts".

They say the popular view of women as either promiscuous or passive victims has failed to reduce incidents of rape and sexual assault.

Instead, they want both women and men to think about what each of them really wants out of a sexual encounter, and negotiate how to get it.

Canadian sociologist Melanie Beres, a post-doctoral researcher at Auckland University, and Auckland doctoral student Pantea Farvid told a sociology conference yesterday that rape prevention efforts should stop just giving women tips to avoid harm and promote an ethic of "self-care and care for the other".

Dr Beres interviewed young Canadians aged 19 to 25 about their casual sex experiences, while Ms Farvid interviewed New Zealanders in the same age bracket. The New Zealand women were more likely to have actively initiated casual sex, whereas the Canadians were more likely to say it "just happened". Drink was used by some as an excuse for their choices.

Studies have shown New Zealanders start sex younger than in many countries and have high rates of teen pregnancies and STDs. By the age of 25, 13 per cent of women have had more than 10 sexual partners.

Dr Beres said some women deliberately challenged society's "double standard" that said casual sex was okay for men. One woman in her study took the initiative in sexual encounters and another had decided that a serious relationship would hinder her career, so she sought casual sex to meet her physical needs.

Ms Farvid said a more open approach to sex would move away from the legal idea that the only issue in sexual morality was consent.

In some highly publicised group sex cases, men had escaped conviction because of doubts over consent. But on the basis of care for oneself and others, it would be unethical to have "four men in a room with a woman".
I guess that the women are still sluts if they have sex with four men at one time.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Free speech on YouTube

A JAMA article complains that the freely available info on does not always match the official govt mandates. The article is not freely available on the web.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Republicans are more sane

A Gallup poll finds:
Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education.