Monday, 3 August 2009

Tackling the film piracy problem

Tackling the film piracy problem (BBC News, Tuesday, 28 July 2009)

"They'll clamp the camera to a seat or use a tripod obscured by a coat. They'll often use microphones, placing them three of them four seats either side to get a stereo effect."

The movie industry is trying to shove the cursed Blu-ray format down our throats, with the justification that the public is demanding higher quality video and audio. That same industry also claims that 90% of "pirated" films are obtained by crummy recording devices hidden in coats of cinema-goers.

As always, BBC News is willing to help industry spread such propaganda, unhindered by any form of critical thinking. The objective is political correctness, not accuracy.

Two more recent cases of BBC News twisting the facts, presumably with ideological intentions:

Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity (Register, 22nd July 2009)

BBC erroneously reports first charges under Extreme Porn Act (Melonfarmers, 25th July 2009)

Labour 'men-only leadership' over

Labour 'men-only leadership' over (BBC news, Sunday, 2 August 2009)

men "cannot be left to run things on their own"

The only meaningful interpretation of this claim is as yet another deserved stab in the back of Gordon Brown. (Why is he still here?) But honestly, I don't think Brown's disastrous leadership is specifically anti-women, just anti-human. With the gross incompetence of Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears still fresh in our minds, this is not the best time to argue more women are wanted in the Labour party.

Facebook criticised by Archbishop

Facebook criticised by Archbishop (BBC News, Sunday, 2 August 2009)

There are many bad things one can say about Facebook. The many bugs and browser-specific features reveal it was built by incompetent dimwits. The privacy policies, or their absence, one should be extremely wary of as well.

Nevertheless, after taking precautions, I signed up and I now find Facebook useful to keep informed about social events, where I meet people face-to-face. I concede however that other people may interact with their friend online in place of face-to-face meetings.

So does Facebook on the average lead to more face-to-face meetings, or to fewer? Well, there is this revolutionary new idea to find out things about the world. It is called scientific inquiry. One study on Facebook is for example:

Are Facebook Friends Like Face-to-Face Friends: Investigating Relations Between the Use of Social Networking Websites and Social Capital (Annual meeting of the International Communication Association, 2008)

One major disadvantage of science is that it requires effort. It is much easier to become the leader of some fruity club that worships pink unicorns, celestial teapots or whatever other garbled hogwash. And then you can say whatever you want, without obligation to offer any empirical support whatsoever. Your words will be jotted down by open-mouthed BBC News churnalists desperate to reach their quotas, and published on the front page of their website.