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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Links - 20th August 2011

"I am not sincere, even when I say I am not." - Jules Renard


The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time
3 are from Microsoft - but 2 are from Apple

Apple’s Evidence In European Galaxy Tab Injunction Was Seriously Misleading… As In False - "Apple had some serious alone time with the judge when presenting this evidence. Meanwhile, Samsung didn’t even have the opportunity to dispute the image. Whether the deception was intentional or not, “complete and truthful” evidence is a requirement in the German court system. At a surface level, this doesn’t look good for Apple. It’s entirely possible that the picture they used of the GalTab was an outdated pre-release image. Even so, the fact that false evidence was submitted at all makes Apple look sneaky and weak"

Google, Motorola, and a Patent War - "Apple—with a legal department as innovative as its design department—got all of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs pulled from stores in Europe. Motorola, last week, threatened to sue everyone else using Android. The mobile-computing industry resembles the Balkans in the nineties. Everyone has deep grievances against everyone else, the shifting alliances are inscrutable, and the end results are likely to be bad. Meanwhile, patent trolls play the role of freelance snipers, firing totally unpredictable lawsuits at everyone"

MediaCorp censors segment of Penny Low looking down at her HP in replay of National Day Parade - "During the National Day Rally last night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong lashed out at the new media: “The Government will be more active and adept at engaging Singaporeans online but engagement online lends itself to many negative views and ridiculous untruths.” He should first take the state media to task for churning out 50 years of spins, lies and hogwash to brainwash Singaporeans so as to keep the PAP in power forever"

French-language crusader pops Air Canada for $12,000 - "The Federal Court of Canada on Wednesday ordered Air Canada to pay $12,000 to Ottawa French-language rights crusader Michel Thibodeau in part because when he asked an English-speaking flight attendant for 7Up in May 12 of 2009, he got Sprite... It is Thibodeau's second successful legal action against the airline and its subsidiaries. In 2000, he was refused service in French when he tried to order a 7Up from a unilingual English flight attendant on an Air Ontario flight from Montreal to Ottawa"
This isn't actually as ridiculous as it sounds; as he explains, Anglophones would be very pissed off if they were in his shoes, and he has no problem if only one attendant can serve him in French. Some people say Quebec doesn't offer Anglophones the same courtesies, but then it is not the Federal Government so it is not required to Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice
"bleach also kills cancer cells in petri dishes, why don't people drink bleach? so easy + cheap. ^_^"

Snake Oil? The scientific evidence for health supplements

The Professor of Parody - "Feminist thinkers of the new symbolic type would appear to believe that the way to do feminist politics is to use words in a subversive way, in academic publications of lofty obscurity and disdainful abstractness. These symbolic gestures, it is believed, are themselves a form of political resistance; and so one need not engage with messy things such as legislatures and movements in order to act daringly... Judith Butler seems to many young scholars to define what feminism is now... It is difficult to come to grips with Butler's ideas, because it is difficult to figure out what they are... obscurity creates an aura of importance. It also serves another related purpose. It bullies the reader into granting that, since one cannot figure out what is going on, there must be something significant going on... Last year Butler won the first prize in the annual Bad Writing Contest sponsored by the journal Philosophy and Literature"

Neuromarketing - "Without knowing what they were drinking, about half of them said they preferred Pepsi. But once Montague told them which samples were Coke, three-fourths said that drink tasted better, and their brain activity changed too. Coke "lit up" the medial prefrontal cortex -- a part of the brain that controls higher thinking. Montague's hunch was that the brain was recalling images and ideas from commercials, and the brand was overriding the actual quality of the product"

Liow dismisses Utusan’s Christian Malaysia report as ‘rumours’ - "Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has described Utusan Malaysia’s report that Christian leaders and the DAP are planning to supplant Islam as the official religion as “rumours”, saying Malaysians do not hatch such plots... Umno-owned Utusan carried a front-page article yesterday titled “Malaysia, a Christian country?” (Malaysia, negara Kristian?) based entirely on blog postings by several pro-Umno bloggers. The bloggers had charged the DAP with sedition for allegedly trying to change the country’s laws to allow a Christian prime minister, pointing to a grainy photograph showing what they described as a secret pact between the opposition party and pastors at a hotel in Penang on Wednesday."
Malaysia Boleh!

Home Ministry reprimands The Star over supplement​ - "Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has reprimanded The Star over the publication of articles on non-halal restaurants with buka puasa stories in its “Dining Out” supplement. He said the newspaper should be more sensitive on such matters and exercise extra care on issues related to race and religion."
Malaysia Boleh!

Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture - "Myth #1: Organic Farms Don’t Use Pesticides
Organic pesticides are those that are derived from natural sources and processed lightly if at all before use... Many natural pesticides have
been found to be potential – or serious – health risks... Not only are organic pesticides not safe, they might actually be worse than the ones used by the conventional agriculture industry
Myth #2: Organic Foods are Healthier
Organic foods did, however, have higher levels of overall fats, particularly trans fats
Myth #3: Organic Farming Is Better For The Environment
Organic proponents refuse to even give GMOs a chance, even to the point of hypocrisy... switches to organic farming will result in the creation of new farms via the destruction of currently untouched habitats, thus plowing over the little wild habitat left for many threatened and endangered species"

All Man’s Land - Rakesh Mani - "Education and wealth have nothing to do with it – in fact, some of the worst-affected areas are in India’s wealthiest cities. However discomfiting a possibility, the real culprit might be Indian culture and tradition itself... The novelist Salman Rushdie once put the question to supporters of abortion rights: “What should be done when a woman uses her power over her own body to discriminate against female fetuses?”... Niall Ferguson, the British
historian, cites scholars who attribute Japan’s imperial expansion after 1914 to a male youth bulge, and who link the rise of Islamist extremism to an Islamic youth bulge"

Photo of bag-carrying ambassador charms China - "A photo of the new U.S.
ambassador to China carrying his own backpack and ordering his own coffee at an airport has charmed Chinese citizens not used to such frugality from their officials"

Malaysia a failed state – The writings are on the wall?
Malaysia Boleh!

Secularism and Its Discontents - "It doesn’t follow from the successes of post-Galilean science, he suggests, that our attributions of value are merely arbitrary... When our neighbor doesn’t agree with us that murdering scores of people at an island camp in Norway is wrong, we do not shrug and say, “Chacun ses goûts.” When Tolstoy calls Shakespeare a poor writer, it is a judgment that judges Tolstoy, and
marks his eccentricity... Once a tendency has been put in place by nature, he writes, “it is not essential that each and every expression of it serve survival and reproduction. It is a bit as with the sex drive: it evolved to serve reproduction, but that does not mean that humans and animals have sex only in order to reproduce. The behavior follows its own autonomous motivational dynamic.” De Waal warns against conflating “the reasons why a behavior evolved and the reasons why individual actors show it, a distinction as sacred to biologists
as the one between church and state in modern society.” As he says, “The evolutionary reasons for altruistic behavior are not necessarily the animals’ reasons.” In other words, human morality can be explained without being explained away."

Dr. Neil Clark Warren: On Second Thought, Don't Get Married - "It's frighteningly easy to choose the wrong person. Attraction and chemistry are easily mistaken for love, but they are far from the same thing. Being attracted to someone is immediate and largely subconscious. Staying deeply in love with someone happens gradually and requires conscious decisions, made over and over again, for a
lifetime. Too many people choose to get married based on attraction and don't consider, or have enough perspective to recognize, whether their love can endure."

Areleh Harel: The Orthodox Rabbi Helping Gay Men to Marry Lesbians - "Six years ago, Areleh Harel, an Orthodox rabbi from the West Bank, devised a plan to help an Orthodox Jewish gay man fulfill his dream of becoming a husband and father while keeping him in good standing with
the Jewish law and his community of believers. The solution: Marry him to a lesbian."
This is very screwed up

Believing in bondage - "Opposition to fox-hunting and a commitment to combat climate change may now be protected under the law – but the UK is not yet ready to recognise "consensual slavery"... [The judge's] very real difficulty was whether a way of life sometimes described as "consensual slavery" or "consensual non-consent" could possibly be worthy of recognition in a democratic society... Christianity, for instance, has had its own issues as critics have represented its practice of eating the body of Christ as cannibalism. And as for the Masonic oath… D/s is not sexist: there are probably far more male
submissives than female ones. Nor is it truly inequal. It embodies different and, in the everyday, unequal roles. But its cornerstone is equality and formality: it is preceded in most cases by highly protracted negotiation; there is agreement of rules and boundaries; and an absolute recognition that "no" means "no". Could we claim as much for the average marriage?"

The murder of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn: does left-wing animal rights activism lead to terror? - "Shortly after Pim Fortuyn's violent death, various sympathizers directed emotional reproaches to "left-wingers". Left-wing politicians and personalities were said to have 'demonized' Fortuyn, and to have incited hatred"
This makes for interesting comparisons with Anders Behring Breivik and claims of [non far] right wing influence
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