Things that matter to Tweeple on Christmas

I think the current trending topics list on Twitter is quite apt for how Christmas Eve/Day is celebrated around the world.

We have English, French, Spanish, Portuguese all trending Christmas greetings.  And then the American’s are shopping at their holy temple of commercialism: Wal-Mart.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Can you sue an artificially intelligent machine?

The Herald reports:

A Paris court has convicted US search engine giant Google and its chief executive Eric Schmidt of defamation over results from its “suggest” function, a French legal affairs website has revealed.

The new function, which suggests options as you type in a word, brought up the words “rapist” and “satanist” when the plaintiff’s name was typed into the search engine, reported.

The court concluded that the search engine’s linking his name to such words was defamatory.

A Google spokesman told AFP by email that they would be appealing the ruling.

The statement said that the Google Suggest function simply reflected the most common terms used in the past with words entered, so it was not Google itself that was making the suggestions.

Now this is interesting, Google are correct that they are not manually making the suggestions. But a machine they programmed is. Where does the accountability for the suggestions it makes lie? You can’t sue a machine, or in the future maybe you can?

But does this mean that a machine that is artificially intelligent and makes money for you really makes money for itself? And if it gets sued then the money that it has made can be used to pay court costs? Can a machine be represented in court by a lawyer?

Division in the Greenpeace Ranks. BBQs are Evil.

Last Saturday Greenpeace held a BBQ outside The Warehouse in Newmarket to raise awareness of the Sign On Campaign. This event has spawned a very interesting debate in the greenpeace ranks over the use of meat because cows omit so much greenhouse gasses.

A selection of comments from the blog (

This is repulsive. The UN panel on climate change has reported that meat production contributes more to global climate change than the entire transportation industry combined, and here in NZ agriculture is responsible for almost one half of our total emmissions. And here these people are selling beef in an effort to raise money to combat climate change? Ridiculous

Note that we used organic sausages for Darby’s Barbie, meaning there’s zero chance they were feed on palm kernel supplements, because there is no such thing as organic palm kernel. Any supplementary feed given to those cows would have been organic maize, hay or sileage.
Greenpeace is not, and never will be, anti-farming. As you point out, it’s not the farming, it’s how we’re farming.

I think you guys are being a little melodramatic here are you not? We need to change our ways to fight climate change but we don’t all need to be cave dwelling vegans

In normal circumstances yes, we’d use vegetarian food for a Greenpeace activity or event, but this was, quite strategically, a traditional Kiwi sausage sizzle. With the Sign On campaign the important thing is for us to reach out to all Kiwis, not just our usual soy-sausage munching friends, so we decided we needed to keep Saturday’s event as traditional as possible.

Save the whales, but kill the cows! This is complete hypocrisy 100%.
Where’s your integrity Greenpeace? Killing cows, whether organic or not, is far from peace.

Greenies at war, very funny. Read the full thing, check out the passion in the comments. ROFLOL