The BPI are idiots.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Record companies win £41m damages: "British Phonographic Industry"

So CDWOW has to pay £41 million damages for importing cheap versions of Music CDs, paying import tax on them, and then selling them in UK.

So remember, whilst it's CORRECT for a corporation to manufacture goods in the cheapest country possible, it's WRONG for a paying customer to purchase goods from the cheapest country possible.

The Atheist Delusion

Here at Skeptobot we believe that if you can't take any criticism of your ideas then your ideas aren't worth anything. So every so often we dig up something to put us in our place.

This is quite good. And a entertaining 3 minutes of satire. What's better of course is youtube's idiot posters.

It's important to remember that even amongst atheists there is a huge volume of "mentally challenged."

Here's a selection of quotes picked almost at random (names have been removed to protect the innocent):

What scares me the most is that he votes. :-/

if you don't think the bible is written by humans, then you sir, are an idiot.

The BIBLE!?!! That book that was written by primitives that thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it? Yeah, THAT'S a credible source. It's also got TWO different creation stories in it. TWO!!! It's full of whacky contradictions and also genocidal crazies. He believes in unicorns too. What more can you say?

So if J.K. Rowling called herself God and said the Harry Potter series was real, you would consider it right to believe it because the book says so, right? There's a difference between the Bible and evolution...evolution can be proven through physical evidence. Prove the Bible with physical evidence and make a video about that.

Wow! I heard better argeuments from stoned High school students....You need to just go check your self into a Mental Ins.

if it's 2000 years old how do you explain people in B.C.? Like Chinese, and don't forget there are other gods so which one can you believe?

ok im gonna write a book that says im god and im 1000 feet tall and my ass is made of noodles does that make it true NO there is no god religion=MONEY SCAM btw u beleive an old book with no proof over science yeah im deluded and your retarded so i win atheists 1 religion 0

Wait, wait a second, did he say that "science and reason have no place in our lives"? What a fucktard, man!


okay if these are the reasons you give me for believing in god, i am going to stay with my deluded atheism. you cant proof a point by saying that you believe in it man....if there is something we need to bann, it is religion!
even if your god exist, i would rather go to hell with einstein dawkins curie and darwin instead of going to heaven with you douchebag!
fuck that i am out of here

LOL! I can't believe he called Stephen Hawking a freak. This dude is a MORON!!! LOL! Just remember man the earth is at the center of the solar system and the universe.

At this point I was about a third of the way through the comments and my will to live was sapping away - so I gave up.


Media Bias on Transgenders rasing "concerns"

Media Bias on Transgenders Raising Concerns | "'With more anti-discrimination laws being passed, though, it does seem like things are moving in that direction,' she adds.

Federal legislation on expanding hate crimes to include violent attacks against individuals on the basis of 'gender, sexual orientation and gender identity' is currently being reviewed by the Senate. Christians have strongly voiced opposition to the expansion, arguing that the bill could silence believers who view homosexuality as sinful. That also applies to the transgender."

This is about a transgender woman being in Ugly Betty.

See America, I don't want to be all "holier than thou" - but 1) being against a bill that prevents violent crime is pretty retarded, and 2) in the UK the 2nd largest national soap, Coronation Street, has had - for years - a man "married" to woman-who-used-be-a-man.

Our nation hasn't been destroyed. Kids aren't all turning into differing sexes - and everythings been hunky dory.

And even more telling. That soap is generally regarded as being pretty "safe" and "dull." They are dull, and normal and just get on with life. The Governmentcommended it and people weren't scared and sickened.

Here's the happy couple:
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You can't have a bias over something that doesn't hurt others.

Get over it America.

Religious people back gay rights - it's just the churches that need to catch up

Religious people back gay rights-Comment-Faith-TimesOnline: "Religious people back gay rights"

A nice little article showing that it's the issues with religion aren't the individual trying to understand the world better. It's the archaic organizations that refuse to update their world views.

Well guys - you can't ignore the people who line your pockets forever.

Sorry about that.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Darwin's letters archived on web

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Darwin's letters archived on web: "Darwin's letters archived on web"

Do you here that? Thats the sound of thousands of creationists rushing to quote him out of context. Mark my words.


YTMND - Crocoduck has a catchy beat

Remember Kirk Camerons 'Crocoduck' (aka weakest argument ever) that CCN thought was newsworthy two posts down?

And also in the HD-DVD post I went on about how fair use allows you to satirize, criticize and ridicule. And that power was now in the hands of all of us rather than the main stream media. This link (with sound!) explains why thats a good thing.

Yes it's silly, yes it's stupid. But it should be commended for that.

BBC reporter losing it! Or more than that?

YouTube - BBC reporter losing it!: "BBC reporter losing it!"

Watch this (it's only 41 seconds long):

Thats not nice is it. You shouldn't shout like that.

But it's a little strange isn't it. It's seems awfully out of context.

Well there is a reason. This is John Sweeney who at the time was filming a documentary about wait for it:


They've been harassing him whilst he's been filming and that was him snapping.

From his explanation of the events on the Beeb's website he says:

While making our BBC Panorama film "Scientology and Me" I have been shouted at, spied on, had my hotel invaded at midnight, denounced as a "bigot" by star Scientologists, brain-washed - that is how it felt to me - in a mock up of a Nazi-style torture chamber and chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers.

Back in Britain strangers have called on my neighbours, my mother-in-law's house and someone spied on my wedding and fled the moment he was challenged.

What you've just witness is Scientology try and destroy someone for questioning them.
Watch the video they uploaded again now. It seems so much sinister.

As Scientology uses the new media to try and protect itself the BBC will be using the "old media" to show them for who they are this monday at 8:30pm. I really recommend watching it.

What the Hell america.

YouTube - O'Reilly - Kirk Cameron defending God to atheists: "O'Reilly - Kirk Cameron defending God to atheists"

This is on a news channel?!

"I was poking holes in the Big Bang Theory"

I don't know what to say. It's the perfect demonstration of the pointless of arguing. You craft these beautiful arguments, to explain and inform. And whilst they may not convince your opponent they should at least raise the standard of debate. In the same way that their rebuttals force you to raise yours.

Thats not what this is.

A Challenge to Digg: Stop the Government burying news.

BBC NEWS | Politics | ID card costs rise above £5bn: "Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: 'It is bad enough that the government seeks to bury bad news behind the camouflage of Tony Blair's announcement.

'Breaking the law to do so breaks new ground even for Tony Blair's Labour Party.'"

I don't like ID cards for lots of reasons. The cards are powered by a huge database of everyone in the country. All your details in one place. And I think thats open to abuse. NO2ID can explain the flaws in more detail.

The Government agreed to announce the offical cost estimates every 6 months, and they are three weeks over due when they got released today. Why? Well it seems the Government have decided to hide the announcement that the costs have risen half a billion quid behind the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Thats rather cuntish.

So I challenge you digg. Spread the word. They may try and hide it, so we just need to shout louder. Visit the BBC article linked in the title. Get the ID card article above the Resignation article in the Beeb's 'Most viewed' and 'Most emailed.'

Cause a fuss. You're good at it.


Best Terrorist Ever Vatican calls verbal attack on Pope ‘terrorism': "“This, too, is terrorism. It's terrorism to launch attacks on the Church,” it said. “It's terrorism to stoke blind and irrational rage against someone who always speaks in the name of love, love for life and love for man.”"
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The man above is a terrorist. His name is Andrea Rivera. He's NOT a host of an open air concert you understand, don't be a fool, He's a terrorist! An evil terrorist that wants to bring about the end of everything good and proper. Would the Vatican's official newspaper lie? Of course not! You just read their biting comment above.

"Why?" I hear you ask, "what evil did he say?"

Well I don't believe in giving EVIL TERRORISTS the oxygen of publicity but I'm going to reproduce it below. I warn you it's hideously offensive... proceed at your own risk... This is true terrorism....

“The Pope says he doesn't believe in evolution. I agree, in fact the Church has never evolved,”

What the hell! Now I've heard that vile filth I know for sure that the Vatican is definitely NOT talking ABSOLUTE SHIT.

Surely he couldn't have said anything else.... But wait! There is more!
“I can't stand the fact that the Vatican refused a funeral for Welby [a campaigner for euthanasia who was paralyzed with muscular dystrophy] but that wasn't the case for [Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet or [Spanish dictator Francisco] Franco,” he said between musical acts at the open-air concert.

You've heard it here first people. Well reasoned personal opinions on the actions of the Catholic church being used to inform others - thats TERRORISM to the Catholic faith.

And strangely - I agree with them.

In Science, or Art, or Design, or Politics, or Comedy, or Music, or Wikipedia, or Culture, or Architecture - fields that are in a state of constant development - when people criticise things, 9 times out of ten that discussion leads to things getting better.

To Catholicism that very act of self improvement is terrorism.

This is the perfect example of why most Religion's as they stand today are dead forces. They are fundamentally opposed to improving itself. They define themselves as perfect. They judge everything else through a lense of their own perfection. I work in Astronomy at the moment, and day after day you see people trying to disprove their heros. To push forward, to learn, to better themselves. Of course human vanity is always there - but you still get the 60 year old established professor at the peak of their field who will throw away their life's work because an upstart PhD student stumbled on some new data that proves them wrong.

And do you know what? These guys, who life's work is now wrong (but never wasted), are happy. Because today they are closer to truth than yesterday, and maybe tomorrow they will be closer still.

And that is inspiring.

But sitting in an ivory tower, saying no one can ever know more than we know now, and if you so much as mock us we will call you a terrorist.

That is not.


News Fart!

Imams refuse to play woman priests in Oslo soccer match

- Haaretz - Israel News
: "'Some say that bodily contact is the problem. It leads to special feelings that can lead to something forbidden,'"

"The match was to have followed talks meant to build bridges between faiths in Norway."

Piss up in a brewery fellers? I respect peoples right to have so little faith in themselves that they believe that touching a woman during football is going to produce uncontrollable lust. I can't force you not to be morons after all. But fucking hell guys if you can't organize a footy match what chance do your silly faiths have in getting along about important things.

PBS TV Stations to Air Three-Part Documentary on Atheism -- 04/30/2007: "Conservative Christians are criticizing a plan by Public Broadcasting Service stations to begin showing later this week a three-part television documentary series on atheism, calling it 'demagogic and propagandistic.'"

Whenever anyone wants to prevent you from seeing something - then you can be pretty certain they are always, always in the wrong. (I've seen the show in question, which was made by the BBC, It's superb.)

Atheists Celebrate, Christians Lament Lawmaker's Stance on God -- 03/14/2007: "U.S. Congressman has caused a stir by becoming the first member of the legislative body to declare himself not to believe in God."

The coming of "The Dark Times" have just been pushed back a fortnight.

Though the same people who complained about the tv show about atheism - Concerned Women for America - complain again:

"It is unfortunate in a society that is going down the path of godlessness and making right wrong and wrong right, that we continue down this path by celebrating one member of Congress who denies that God exists altogether,"
Concerned Women for America Director of Legislative Relations Mike Mears

Mike Mears? What? But then these Concerned women seem so old fashioned that they would need a man to lead them...

USA vs Satan II: Sin Harder

Daily Herald - Convention ends with Satan and immigrants: "Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants."

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Sometimes, like in the case of HD-DVD's and our fair-use rights I feel like I need work a little to make my case. I need to demolish straw men, I need to refute lies, I need to prove truths.

Sometimes all you need to do is ctrl-c, ctrl-v the important parts:

Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.

At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."

"If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion and the Republican Party will go into extinction," [Larsen] said

This got a standing ovation.

Pimp my HD-DVD

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That number had 35,000 hits on google yesterday.

It has 350,000 today. It's already on my blog. It's on countless others no doubt. It's on homepages, it's on boingboing, It's on countless ytmnds. No doubts it's being twittered. There's a facebook group. Hell it's probably got a myspace page. That a society speaking.

I know this is a skeptical blog. About bad science and silly religions. But I think Skeptical means it can extend into free speech and the media.

So I'm going to talk about that number. And no, I'm not a fucking pirate.

And I'm going to do something stupid. I'm going to do an analogy.

An analogy about cars.

I'm a fucking fool.

But hopefully avoiding getting into the "but you wouldn't steal a car" nonsense piracy debate. This is about the media industries perceptions.

There are three stereotypes for car users.

1) The largest group is "The average joe" who buys a standard car, takes it to the shop to be repaired and doesn't think much about it.
2) A much smaller group is the "The hideous thief" who uses his technical knowledge of cars to steal them - which is different to copying media remember
3) The guy who buys a car, and fiddles with it, makes it run on a different engine, replaces the wheels, the suspension, the bodywork. Pimps it. Improves it. Changes it. Joins groups of like minded people who also love this true ownership of their cars. They work together to improve and modify. Sharing ideas and methods.

Now, nobody would say that because people use technology to steal cars. IR door openers. Jimmy sticks, hotwiring, that owner number 3 should be stopped from playing. No one can stop Number 3 from improving his car. You can't claim copyright on the bonnet and stop him from painting fire stripes on it. Or claim that he can't mess with the exhaust, or sparkplugs.

The movie industry see consumers the same way.

1) The average joe.
2) The pirate - who is different to a thief - but thats a different debate, and we can all agree that not supporting the developer of an IP you consume and enjoy is very bad and leave it at that.
3) The fringe. who want to watch films from a different region that haven't been released in theirs. Who want to timeshift, want it to run on linux, their homemade myth tv box, want to make funny trailers as though film x was actually genre y. Wants to put it in his class presentation. Wants to rip it to their hard-drive to take on holiday. Want to satirize, want to inform, want to make a funny gif. Want to screen grab for their blogs review. Want to screen grab so they can write "THIS IS SPARTA!!!!"on it in a big font and use it on a forum.

But like the car industry they cant ban #3 just because #2 exist!

The existence of pirates should not - and cannot stop the fair use of material

Regardless of what the law says, nothing I listed in 3) is wrong - you should be able to do all those things. And a good citizen shouldn't refrain from doing it - just because a law says you cant. They should shout. They should complain. And they should be disobedient.

And crucially in our day and age - more people fit into section 3 than is realized. I think the older generation miss this shocking fact. Unlike the car industry most people, at least young people, are in #3.

It's my 60 year old mum wanting to watch an American DVD. It's my professor wanting to put his bought itunes on his non-ipod. It's an early adopter wanting to actually use his 'outdated' HDTV. It's my dad not wanting to leave his genuine cds in the car. It's my grandma wanting to tape a tv show to watch at a later date. It's a Linux user wanting support they won't provide. It's a lecturer wanting to add a clip of a film they are discussing into a presentation.

That list is not a list of criminals. It's real people living a real life.

But bring this up and their argument in return seems to be. "That all well and good - but I think you are a pirate, and you're using fair use as an excuse." - which we are fucking not.

So don't be a pirate, but use your media, own your media.

We live in a world where taking a clip of a film, and changing the music, and editing the characters, is a feasible way to comment on the film. Even if it's just to ridicule it.

That makes the world a more colourful, better place.

It isn't wrong.

That number gives people back the rights they should have from the start.



This number is being said a lot more often than it used to be said.

And I'm posting it here - because it's just a number. And you can't own a number.


News Fart!

Evolution News & Views: Did an Anti-ID Wikipedia Editor Shut Down a Darwin-Dissenter?

Idiots today bemoaned the Evolution bias that reality holds. Stupid real life - always getting in the way. This site is one of those fake ID sites that pretends that this whole shit storm is a debate about 'competing theories'.

Universal Psychic Guild Unveils its Live Webcam Psychic Readings: "the booming tradition of online psychics have also given rise to a host of fake and psychic practitioners and scam businesses. The immediate and obvious victims, of course, are ordinary people just seeking honest and trustworthy psychic advice"

I see what you did there. I bet these guys sleep so soundly at night.