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LeopoldS

Statistical detection of systematic election irregularities - 0 views

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    Nice paper ...
LeopoldS

The Pacific free trade deal that's anything but free | Dean Baker | Comment is free | g... - 0 views

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    Frightening!

    In reality, the deal has almost nothing to do with trade: actual trade barriers between these countries are already very low. The TPP is an effort to use the holy grail of free trade to impose conditions and override domestic laws in a way that would be almost impossible if the proposed measures had to go through the normal legislative process. The expectation is that by lining up powerful corporate interests, the governments will be able to ram this new "free trade" pact through legislatures on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.
Luís F. Simões

How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards - 1 views

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    We are living in the future when live broadcasts are being censored by AI programs in real-time.
    I'm sure dictators everywhere are looking forward for these technologies to mature. Having a firewall over reality is so convenient.
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    What this tells is that we should not take AI seriously until smart Luis's (or his son) managed to make something decent out of it ...

    "This was, of course, absurd. First of all, the clips had been provided by the studios to be shown during the award ceremony. The Hugo Awards had explicit permission to broadcast them. But even if they hadn't, it is absolutely fair use to broadcast clips of copyrighted material during an award ceremony. Unfortunately, the digital restriction management (DRM) robots on Ustream had not been programmed with these basic contours of copyright law.

    And then, it got worse. Amid more cries of dismay on Twitter, Reddit, and elsewhere, the official Worldcon Twitter announced:

    Chicon 7@chicon_7
    We are sorry to report that #Ustream will not resume the video feed. #chicon7 #hugos #worldcon
    3 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
    And with that, the broadcast was officially cut off. Dumb robots, programmed to kill any broadcast containing copyrighted material, had destroyed the only live broadcast of the Hugo Awards. Sure, we could read what was happening on Twitter, or get the official winner announcement on the Hugo website, but that is hardly the same. We wanted to see our heroes and friends on that stage, and share the event with them. In the world of science fiction writing, the Hugo Awards are kind of like the Academy Awards. Careers are made; people get dressed up and give speeches; and celebrities rub shoulders with (admittedly geeky) paparazzi. You want to see and hear it if you can.

    But Ustream's incorrectly programmed copyright enforcement squad had destroyed our only access. It was like a Cory Doctorow story crossed with RoboCop 2, with DRM robots going crazy and shooting indiscriminately into a crowd of perfectly innocent broadcasts."
LeopoldS

Come On, China, Buy Our Stuff! - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    Interesting article on china us trade inequalities
LeopoldS

Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress - Bloomberg - 2 views

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    Interesting figures ...
LeopoldS

Ron Paul Would Erase Billions in Research Spending - ScienceInsider - 2 views

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    your Ron Paul from yesterday ...
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    not surprising, just a google search on 'ron paul evolution' and boom first result: Ron Paul: I don't accept the theory of evolution http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/29/scitech/main20098876.shtml
LeopoldS

The Senate has "saved" JWST? Hang on a sec, folks… | Bad Astronomy | Discover... - 2 views

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    JWST apparently saved but what has been cancelled (Mars mission in 2018???? :-(      )
LeopoldS

Make Way for the Radical Center - NYTimes.com - 3 views

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    interesting initiative ...
LeopoldS

China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work | World news | guardian.co.uk - 0 views

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    forced to play WOW ...
Luís F. Simões

Robert Newman's History of Oil - 2 views

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    as discussed at lunch:

    "Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, he places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion."
Luís F. Simões

Why Randomly-Selected Politicians Would Improve Democracy - Technology Review - 4 views

  • If Pluchino sounds familiar, it's because we've talked about him and his pals before in relation to the Peter Principle that incompetence always spreads through big organisations. Back in 2009, he and his buddies created a model that showed how promoting people at random always improves the efficiency of the organisation.

    These guys went on to win a well-deserved IgNobel prize for this work.

  • Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1103.1224: Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency
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    I think I start to understand why Italian politics does so horribly bad...
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    ... because they don't follow this rule!
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    According to the authors we have four types of people in the parlement:

    1) intelligent people whose actions produce a gain for both themselves and for other people.

    2) helpless/naive people in the top left quadrant whose actions produce a loss for themselves but a gain for others;

    3) bandits whose actions produce a gain for themselves but a loss for other people.

    4) stupid people in the bottom left quadrant produce a loss for themselves and also for other people.

    According to the above definition it is clear that their model does not apply to the italian parlament where we only have stupid people and bandits.
Luís F. Simões

Shell energy scenarios to 2050 - 6 views

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    just in case you were feeling happy and optimistic
  • ...7 more comments...
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    An energy scenario published by an oil company? Allow me to be sceptical...
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    Indeed, Shell is an energy company, not just oil, for some time now ...

    The two scenarii are, in their approach, dependant of economic and political situation, which is right now impossible to forecast. Reference to Kyoto is surprising, almost out-dated!
    But overall, I find it rather optimistic at some stages, and probably the timeline (p37-39) is unlikely with recent events.
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    the report was published in 2008, which explains the reference to Kyoto, as the follow-up to it was much more uncertain at that point. The Blueprint scenario is indeed optimistic, but also quite unlikely I'd say. I don't see humanity suddenly becoming so wise and coordinated. Sadly, I see something closer to the
    Scramble scenario as much more likely to occur.
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    not an oil company??? please have a look at the percentage of their revenues coming from oil and gas and then compare this with all their other energy activities together and you will see very quickly that it is only window dressing ... they are an oil and gas company ... and nothing more
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    not JUST oil.
    From a description: "Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies." Of course revenues coming from oil are the biggest, the investment turnover on other energy sources is small for now.
    Knowing that most of their revenues is from an expendable source, to guarantee their future, they invest elsewhere. They have invested >1b$ in renewable energy, including biofuels. They had the largest wind power business among so-called "oil" companies. Oil only defines what they do "best".
    As a comparison, some time ago, Apple were selling only computers and now they sell phones. But I would not say Apple is just a phone company.
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    window dressing only ...
    e.g. Net cash from operating activities (pre-tax) in 2008: 70 Billion$
    net income in 2008: 26 Billion
    revenues in 2008: 88 Billion

    Their investments and revenues in renewables don't even show up in their annual financial reports since probably they are under the heading of "marketing" which is already 1.7 Billion $ ...



    this is what they report on their investments:
    Capital investment, portfolio actions and business development

    Capital investment in 2009 was $24 billion. This represents a 26% decrease from 2008, which included over $8 billion in acquisitions, primarily relating to Duvernay Oil Corp. Capital investment included exploration expenditure of $4.5 billion (2008: $11.0 billion).

    In Abu Dhabi, Shell signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to extend the GASCO joint venture for a further 20 years.

    In Australia, Shell and its partners took the final investment decision (FID) for the Gorgon LNG project (Shell share 25%). Gorgon will supply global gas markets to at least 2050, with a capacity of 15 million tonnes (100% basis) of LNG per year and a major carbon capture and storage scheme.

    Shell has announced a front-end engineering and design study for a floating LNG (FLNG) project, with the potential to deploy these facilities at the Prelude offshore gas discovery in Australia (Shell share 100%).

    In Australia, Shell confirmed that it has accepted Woodside Petroleum Ltd.'s entitlement offer of new shares at a total cost of $0.8 billion, maintaining its 34.27% share in the company; $0.4 billion was paid in 2009 with the remainder paid in 2010.

    In Bolivia and Brazil, Shell sold its share in a gas pipeline and in a thermoelectric power plant and its related assets for a total of around $100 million.

    In Canada, the Government of Alberta and the national government jointly announced their intent to contribute $0.8 billion of funding towards the Quest carbon capture and sequestration project. Quest, which is at the f
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    thanks for the info :)
    They still have their 50% share in the wind farm in Noordzee (you can see it from ESTEC on a clear day).
    Look for Shell International Renewables, other subsidiaries and joint-ventures. I guess, the report is about the oil branch.

    http://sustainabilityreport.shell.com/2009/servicepages/downloads/files/all_shell_sr09.pdf

    http://www.noordzeewind.nl/
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    no - its about Shell globally - all Shell .. these participations are just peanuts
    please read the intro of the CEO in the pdf you linked to: he does not even mention renewables! their entire sustainability strategy is about oil and gas - just making it (look) nicer and environmentally friendlier
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    Fair enough, for me even peanuts are worthy and I am not able to judge. Not all big-profit companies, like Shell, are evil :( Look in the pdf what is in the upstream and downstream you mentionned above.
    Non-shell sources for examples and more objectivity:
    http://www.nuon.com/company/Innovative-projects/noordzeewind.jsp
    http://www.e-energymarket.com/news/single-news/article/ferrari-tops-bahrain-gp-using-shell-biofuel.html

    thanks.
LeopoldS

Wired and Shrewd, Young Egyptians Guide Revolt - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    nice account how some tech savvyness helps in these situations
Luís F. Simões

20 predictions for the next 25 years | guardian.co.uk - 5 views

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    the 10th is interesting, connected with our crowdsourcing experiments with the spacegame
LeopoldS

Kettling Wikileaks | DefectiveByDesign.org - 1 views

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    sympathetic point of view ... I am sure Francesco will appreciate ...
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    the great Richard Stallman ( http://xkcd.com/225/ ). Nice article indeed.
LeopoldS

Strong Web Design - The Daily WTF - 5 views

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    any hidden message
LeopoldS

Icelander's Campaign Is a Joke, Until He's Elected - Biography - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    which city or country is next? who is ripe?
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