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Geeks among you might know that UK's Sky One has been airing the latest Stargate SG-1 episodes months ahead of the US's Sci-Fi Channel.

In fact, last night Sky One aired the Stargate SG-1 series finale.

We have had evidence for some time that the decision to delay airing in the US was not made with a deep understanding of the passion or technical savvy of the Stargate SG-1 fan base. Witness to both: already by today, at least two users have uploaded the series finale onto YouTube, in four or five less-than-ten minute segments, to meet YouTube's 10 minute per clip limit.

That's after the biggest Stargate copyright violator of them all -- who was uploading every single new episode of Stargate SG-1 and backfilling earlier ones -- had his account suspended.

At one point, illegal episodes of Stargate were so easy to find on YouTube, I had assumed that the copyright owner was being extremely progressive and tactful -- understanding that core viewership of these shoddy-quality uploaded versions is extremely likely to purchase the season DVDs in addition to watching the episodes online. Let them have their fun, and 99.5% of regular viewers won't even know about it.

But I was wrong: the copyright holders were worried about the impact of the 0.5%, but they were, apparently indecisive, lethargic, or incompetent.

Can it possibly be worth it financially to stop a couple of hundred, or even a few thousand people from sharing these episodes with one another?

And besides counterinsurgency, what can YouTube reasonably do to stop this insurgent community from taking countermeasures: opening up shell accounts for each episode, uploading the videos while misrepresenting the content in words, and distributing links among a trusted network? A loss of one account means nothing if multiple accounts hold identical content, or if files are retained by several seeders who can repost banned content to new accounts within hours.

Markets in Everything – God Helmet

If you’re interested in a short cut to spiritual experiences, neurobiologist Michael Persinger has devised a wired helmet that he says induces religious experiences in those who wear it.

Another helmet called Shakti – claimed to be better than the above one (price $220)

Shakti and the Koren Helmet - which is more effective?
God on the Brain - questions and answers
The God Experiments
This IsYour Brain on God
God moves in mysterious waves
Visions or Partial-Complex Seizures?
The Significance of Ellen White's Head Injury
Neuroscience - the New Philosophy
Neuroethics (podcast)

The Herd Instinct and the rise of SUVs

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Robert Frank tries to explain the rise of fall of SUVs- to a lot of people it will seem quite obvious;

“Economists increasingly recognize the importance of herd behavior in explaining ordinary purchase decisions. A case in point is the sport utility vehicle. Herd behavior helps us understand not only the explosive rise of this market segment in the 1990’s, but also its imminent collapse…

The conventional determinants of consumer demand cannot explain this astonishing trajectory. Cheap fuel was a contributing factor, but clearly not an adequate explanation, because fuel had also been cheap in earlier decades. Similarly, rising average incomes cannot have been decisive, because the pre-S.U.V. decades had experienced even more rapid income growth…

To understand the explosive growth of S.U.V. sales, we must look first to changes in demand caused by new patterns of income growth and then to how others responded to those changes in demand. Unlike the three post-World War II decades, when incomes grew at about the same rate for people at all income levels, the period since the mid-1970’s has seen most income growth accrue to the wealthy

An important feature of the herd instinct is that people are more likely to emulate others with higher incomes. Seeing a wealthy studio executive behind the wheel of a Range Rover instantly certified it as a player’s ride. As more and more high-income buyers purchased these vehicles, their allure grew. And when other automakers began offering similar vehicles at lower prices, S.U.V. sales took off…”

For Comment; Do readers of newspapers really appreciate economists telling them things that appear ‘common sense’? How does topics for op-eds get decided? Does the writer get paid or tipped to write about certain products and issues?

Via Michael Blowhard

Some people have noted the lack of pivot tables and graphing capabilities, but I've had far more fundamental problems using Google Spreadsheets Beta in Firefox These aren't bugs, but differences in usage from Excel that make it unlikely that I will be transferring to GS any time soon:


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