Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick Update!

Wow guys, really sorry that I haven't maintained the blog. School has absolutely been killing me. But need to fear I have not fallen out of the loop with what has been happening F1 wise and election wise. Both are slowly coming to a close, and they're both going to have surprising and fun conclusions (I hope). In any case, big apologies but I hope you all understand school is the priority.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Korean GP Gets The Green Light! Great News For Red Bull!

 (Photo Credit:
  After months of rumors and speculation as to the fate of the Korean Grand Prix, the FIA has finally given the Yeongam circuit final approval. With this news comes confirmation that the track's inaugural event, the Korean GP, will indeed take place. This fulfills the nineteen race calendar set by the FIA and provides the teams with one more race to contend with before the season is done. While this season has had its ups and downs, it hasn't had nearly as many as the Yeongam circuit and the Korean GP. This news certainly brings a welcome sigh of relief for anyone involved, and certainly for F1 fans who were anxiously awaiting the results of the inspections.
  With the final approval, the Red Bulls are certainly looking at yet another promising race weekend. The Yeongam track is filled with tight turns that suit the RB6 chassis' perfectly. As to which Red Bull performs better, that will have to wait. I'm hoping for a strong showing by Mark Webber. But given Sebastian Vettel's hot streak, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if he gets another pole-to-finish. The Red Bulls are going to need to give the Korean GP everything they have before Brazil, where the track has fewer turns than any of the previous two races. Here's to yet another great weekend Red Bulls!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Red Bulls Have Done it Again!

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  I am absolutely delighted with the results of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Qualifying was unbelievably tense for the top five drivers in the points standing, and the race held none of the tension back. The beginning of the race saw Renault's Vitaly Petrov, Williams' Nico Hulkenberg, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi all drop out due to collisions and within lap one Robert Kubica also dropped out due to his right-rear wheel coming clean off. Unfortunate for the Renault F1 team, but the rest of the race was not disappointing in any way shape or form. The biggest driver of the day by far was Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, who pulled off quite a spectacle for his home crowd, jumping up 7 spots before finishing in 7th place. But moving further up the list of drivers, it was the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber that stole the show in P1 and P2 respectively. From the start of the race to the last lap, the 23 year old German absolutely dominated the race going back and forth with team mate Webber and Ferrari's Alonso to see who could get the fastest lap time.
  All in all it was an absolutely amazing race that constantly kept me, and I'm sure many other fans, eagerly on the look out for the next major development in the race. With RBR Renault taking two podiums, the driver standings are looking much, much more exciting for Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber securely retains his lead in the standings with a 14 point lead over Fernando Alonso, and fellow team mate Sebastian Vettel. On that note, Sebastial Vettel has made an unbelievable resurgence into the top 3 of the driver standings. Hard to believe that 3 races ago he was barely hanging on in 5th place, and not he is tied for second with 2 time World Champion Fernando Alonso. If there is one driver to look out for in the coming years, it is him.
If you watched the Japanese GP, I hope you enjoyed. If not, I hope you enjoyed the post. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Cost of Suing: Gene Simmons Edition

  Just because I'm bored out of my skull of doing probability homework, I thought I would do the math of Gene Simmon's recent proposal that the RIAA should sue every Peer-To-Peer user. Using this Ars Technica article for numbers and process, lets begin.
  1.   How many Peer-To-Peer users are out there? Well, that really isn't all too clear. Ars Technica (who first wrote about the comments of Mr. Simmons), estimates the number of peer-to-peer users to be around 60 million from 2005. We're in late 2010. That 60 million has most likely ballooned into something MUCH, MUCH larger. Just keep that in mind as we keep doing these calculations. So for the sake of working with numbers, there are 60 million estimated peer-to-peer users globally. 
  2.   So now that we have our total number of P2P users, lets look at the number of filings the RIAA does per year. Once again, Ars Technica points out that its between 18,000 to 20,000. Average it out, and it's about 19,000. So 19,000 filings a year to P2P users. Ars Technica goes on to multiply that number by the total number of P2P users to compute the cost of suing everyone. But that doesn't give us anything. We need to find the cost of each individual legal filing and multiply it by the total number of P2P users. Well here's the thing, the cost of P2P legal filings is really unknown. But just so you get an idea of the hoops the RIAA jumps through to get these filings out, not taking into account the time and money spent on finding the infringer's in the first place, lets look at it step by step.
    1.   They contact their legal team, or a legal team to send a notice to a suspected infringer. There are all the legal fee's and overhead associated with that all. They eventually send a letter out, which needs to be paid, and they wait to hear back from the accused.
    2.   They hear back from the suspected infringer. If the infringer decides to take it to court, they begin the long process of a trial, which brings with it its own set of legal fees and overhead. Then once a verdict is reached, someone may or may not appeal. Should one party decide to appeal then there are all of those legal fees and overhead to pay, and a possible retrial, which again brings in more legal fees and costs that need to be paid.
      1.   BUT, if the accused decides on an out of court settlement, then there are still many legal fees that need to be paid before the process is over and done with. 
  I really hope the cost of just one case is starting to sink in, because if not, I have failed.
  So that was just a picture of what one lawsuit would look like. But for the sake of using numbers lets use Ars Technicas way of computing the total cost of suing every P2P user. So we have the average 19,000 filings a year and 60 million users. Multiply the two and we get 1,140,000,000,000. Throw a dollar sign on that and we get $1,140,000,000,000. HOLY S**T! One trillion, 140 billion dollars. or just 1.14 trillion dollars. That isn't the most accurate number (number of users has grown, actual cost of one legal filing is unknown, and number of legal filings a year is a useless number), and its already astonishing.
  Knowing this, would Gene Simmons still support suing every P2P user out there? Of course. So long as he didn't have to front the bill. I know the dude is worth and has some serious amount of money, but even though he says the entertainment industry should do everything it can to stop piracy, I'm sure he and the entertainment industry can find a better way to spend 1.14 trillion dollars, even if they had it. Oh, I know, start a foundation or work with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to promote the arts and creativity in the developing world. 
  *GASP!* GENIUS! I should patent and trademark that!

Some Statistics

After having my blog open for about a month now, I thought I would share some stats that Google/Blogger has graciously provided me.
A Firefox and Mac majority. I'll let you guys parse through the rest of that info.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lets Have Some ACTA Fun!

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  ACTA, that fun and wonderful little anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (Hence the name ACTA), that has eluded the constituents of its member nations for years, may finally get an official and complete release! Ars Technica is reporting that ACTA negotiations are "finished", and that the text of the agreement is 'consolidated and largely finalized' YES! 1 point for the worlds copyright/trademark/patent law whistle blowers! Disregarding the fact that the text of the ACTA agreement has been leaked, oh I dont know, FIVE TIMES, the news of a complete and official release is more of a "you finally got your act together!" moment, than it is a moment of relief for the whistle blowers. That isn't to say that ACTA isn't important. Far from it! Probably the biggest reason behind the formation of this agreement is to tackle copyright, patent, trademark, and Intellectual Property infringement in the 21st Century on a global scale (Well, by global I mean 'only pertaining to the participating parties'). This undoubtedly affects the Internet and nearly everything having to do with it. If that isn't important now int he 21st Century, I don't know what is.
  I'm not going to start dissecting and analyzing ACTA here on my blog. Ars Technica has done a pretty good job doing that with the official draft release from April of 2010. Along with analyzing the major provisions, they do a pretty damn good job giving background and what effects passing ACTA will have on global Copyright and IP enforcement.
  Is ACTA good or bad? For now I'm sticking to bad. US Copyright, patent, and IP law are a bit crazy and antiquated. I think that before the US began ACTA talks, they should have gone back and revised it's own copyright, patent and IP laws. Simply taking a look at the ridiculous length of copyright protection, along with the sheer abuses committed by companies such as Monsanto, it really becomes clear that something is wrong. Before you go spreading that around the world, you gotta make it work, albeit better, at home. But those are my two cents on the issue of Copyrights and the such.

Happy reading, readers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodbye Fareed, and Thank You

That was a sad bit to read as I finished another wonderful article by Fareed Zakaria. I've been a long time fan of Zakaria and subscriber to Newsweek, and his departure from the magazine is truly saddening. His breadth of editorial and knowledge is unparalleled in journalism today. He still has his weekly show on CNN, but nothing will compare to his writing and the way it opened up my perspective on issues. To say I loved and will miss his work at Newsweek would be an understatement. I am currently reading his book "The Post-American World" and it is an amazing piece of work, I hope he continues to influence the dialogue on Globalization.
Whatever comes next for Fareed, I wish him the best of luck.