Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 April 7

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April 7[edit]

Why doesnt YouTube get sued by record companies?[edit]

I hope they don't, but I'm just saying. I realize you aren't technically downloading the songs. But with video saving programs,and access to whatever you want to hear whenever you want to hear it, it seems odd. Record companies were all over Napster and many small private sites. How does copywrite law apply differently here?--Sam Science (talk) 01:13, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I am not a lawyer but, Apparently as a service provider they're (somewhat) immune to that sort of thing. Just as the phone company is not responsible for crimes committed over it's lines, and AOL isn't responsible for all crimes committed over AOL, YouTube is not necessarily responsible for the files on their servers, since they didn't put them there. (And they do make some small effort to get rid of copyright infringing files.) Whether or not this is true at all, or whether it applies to YouTube, and what countries it applies in are currently one giant, confusing mess. The Criticism of YouTube of article covers this a little, and points out that they have been sued for this sort of thing in the past.
Also, remember that YouTube is now wholly owned by Google. APL (talk) 02:14, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer either, but I think YouTube/Google could very easily be sued if it could be shown that they are knowingly hosting copyrighted content and not doing anything about it. YouTube does has a mechanism by which copyright holders can complain about content on YouTube, and YouTube generally takes down the content after a complaint is made. (Try finding Major League Baseball games on YouTube -- they're usually gone in a flash.) -- Mwalcoff (talk) 03:18, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, or any substantial clip from a Star Wars movie. George Lucas apparently defends his copyright well. --S.dedalus (talk) 03:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The reason they aren't sued for hosting copyrighted content is because of the safe-harbor clause of the DMCA, the legislation which covers online copyright infringement in the USA. Basically YouTube is fulfilling its obligations under the DMCA by allowing copyright owners to request things to be taken down that other users (not YouTube the company) has put on YouTube's servers. If YouTube didn't take down the material, or if YouTube were uploading the material on its own (e.g. was not just acting as a "service provider"), it would probably get sued itself. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 14:56, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
They were going to sue, but ended agreeing with Google. For example, here is an article talking about the agreement between YouTube and Vivendi Universal, here is with Warner, here is with EMI and here with Sony BMG. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 04:43, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
How is this different then with the issues. Seems to me they are doing the same thing here with the exception they are a large company not some small guy trying to get by. Seems corruption runs deeper than just our leaders...

worn/clogged angle grinder wheels[edit]

Anybody know if it's possible to use a dressing tool on the wheel of an angle grinder? —Steve Summit (talk) 03:41, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Assuming you could somehow hold the dressing tool in the proper relationship to the grinding wheel, sure, why not? But therein lies the rub. Perhaps you should re-mount the grinding wheel on a bench grinder and dress it there? Well, assuming that the arbors match. But at least the bench grinder is likely to be turning within the RPM limits of the angle grinder's wheel.
Atlant (talk) 16:08, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

1974 dodge colt[edit]

My 74 dodge colt has the letter 'U' stamped on the vin# which indicates engine displacement. This didget 'U' which I can't seem to find the answer to is my question. What engine is this letter referring to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Crysnj (talkcontribs) 03:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I get ENGINE DISPLACEMENT. U - 2.0 Litre 2000cc 122 C.I. and this link[1]. Hope this hleps, Julia Rossi (talk) 03:26, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

What to do if information is wrong for a location/place name?[edit]

First of all, there is no easy link to report incorrect info which I find on Wiki every now and then. With that being said, this page: list a Water Port in Florida as Port of St. Pierce... There is no such thing. I live there. It's Port of Ft. Pierce. The confusion they may have had is that Ft. Pierce is in a county called St. Lucie whose largest city is Port St. Lucie but that city has no port and is not by the water. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The reason that there is no place to report incorrect info is because users are welcome to correct it themselves. That's the point of a wiki. If there is something contentious about the article that you wish to discuss with the people who watch that particular article (whatever article it is) you can use the talk page (labelled "discussion" at the top of the page) to discuss this. Dismas|(talk) 06:51, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not have an article on either Port of St. Pierce or Port of Ft. Pierce. The error you noticed must have been on a page of a different name. I did find (and corrected) this error in the template for Florida ports, which may have been what you noticed. Rmhermen (talk) 15:13, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Uber Lag on Some Sites[edit]

Moved to computer refdesk (as per StuRat's suggestion).

US = Oil Guzzling?[edit]


According to this graph, the US is using more oil than twice of China and India combined. How do they use so much oil with only a fraction of China's or India's population? --antilivedT | C | G 10:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Mostly because they use things like this when they need to pop down the road for some groceries. FiggyBee (talk) 10:33, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The average Chinese or Indian uses much, much less oil than the average American. A huge proportion of China and India are very underdeveloped compared to most anywhere in the USA, and the people living in those areas tend to use very little to no oil. Even in very rural parts of America, most people own cars, farm machinery, etc. which would be all but unheard of in rural China or India. -Elmer Clark (talk) 11:26, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Additionally, quite a bit of the U.S. is rural. Homes and shops are not located all around a town square or anything like that, so a lot of traveling in a car must be done in order to just go to the store for groceries. Dismas|(talk) 12:42, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
That's true even in non-rural areas. In many places it simply isn't feasible to shop for anything without driving for a mile or so, and the public transportation in most of the country is abysmal.
The US has a high expectation of owning at least one car per household, if not two or three. Most of said cars are not very fuel efficient. Additionally we also rely on a massive infrastructure of trucks to cart the products we want to consume all over the country. There are some other bits as well (lots of jets, some electricity generation), but most US petroleum usage is transportation. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 14:53, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Japan's oil use is a better comparison with the US as it has a similar economy. Their usage is almost proportional to their population which is some 127 million versus over 300 million in the US. However, as noted above, there are larger distances to cross in the US, so oil usage is expected to be slightly higher in the US (per capita) than in Japan. Even better matches for the US might be Canada and Australia, which have similar economies and also vast distances to travel from town to town. Unfortunately, their oil usage isn't shown in that chart. StuRat (talk) 02:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I would imagine that the oil use was actually more easily influenced by industry than by private use. The US has a strong production economy. China's production economy is also huge, but is still dwarfed by that of the US. Steewi (talk) 03:35, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Petroleum isn't used so much for industry, since other energy sources, like coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro, can be used there. It is used to make plastics, but this is a by-product of fuel production, and so far fuel production has provided more than enough by-product for industry. StuRat (talk) 11:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


Due to the overwhelming barrage of information online about its ensuing disadvantages, I have become downright confused. What are the costs, benefits, and safety concerns ? How would one weigh its useability in terms of a Cost-Benefit Analysis. -- Re$p(_)t}n Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

There is a stack of general information, including information on safety and efficacy, in our LASIK article and its related links. Obviously we cannot say how that information might apply to your personal situation - you can only get that advice by consulting a professional opthalmologist. Gandalf61 (talk) 15:16, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Go with your gut instinct, and more importantly, don't be swayed by doctors and people who have already had it done. The former want your business and money, the latter want their decision to have it done be a correct one, by seeing as many people as possible have it done. Vranak (talk) 19:44, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with not asking those who perform Lasik. However, I have more faith in my friends and family to honestly tell me the results of their procedures. And even if I didn't trust them, probably an equal number would complain about minor details to get attention as would minimize problems to make their decision seem correct. I haven't had the procedure myself because it seems that, while it improves your vision, it's usually not to the point where you no longer need corrective lenses. That might be an advantage if you wear glasses, so you wouldn't need coke-bottle lenses any more, but I wear contacts, and likely nobody would notice any difference, including me, when my contacts are in. StuRat (talk) 02:29, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Vranak's point is related to this cognitive bias - Post-purchase rationalization Trugster | Talk 18:15, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Thats true. I have been wearing contacts myself for the past 5 years now. The problem though is that recently, my eyes become very red whenever I wear the contacts...Is there anything that can be done to bring the "white" back in my eyes? --Re$p(_)t}n —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
The sensible suggestions are to wear the contacts fewer hours during the day, replace them more often, clean them and rinse thoroughly with saline solution every time you take them out, and get a brand with higher oxygen flow to the eye. A less sensible solution is to use a product like Visine, which "gets the red out" by using a chemical vasoconstrictor. The problem with this is that it prevents your eyes from getting the blood they need to repair the damage your contacts are causing, which sounds risky to me. StuRat (talk) 16:12, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Reason for Foundation Principle[edit]

I read in a BLP discussion that one of the Foundation principles is "Ability of anyone to edit articles without registering".

Why does the Foundation have this principle? Is it because

a) having to register is regarded as a significant hurdle which stands in people's way?

b) requiring people to register does not provide any benefit to Wikipedia?

c) other?

Maybe there's somewhere you can refer me to where this is discussed.

Wanderer57 (talk) 16:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

One summary is expressed at Village Pump/Perennial Proposals. — Lomn 17:13, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. That's a helpful summary. Wanderer57 (talk) 21:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

time period inquirey[edit]

i need to know what how old an item is if it's from california, and the price tag reads:

Reformatted for hscroll. Well, you're looking at a 4% tax (presumably sales tax), and I assume that's what you're trying to date by. Unfortunately, that's not really enough to go on. Even if you find when (or if) CA had a 4% state sales tax rate, that determines nothing about when the item was sold. What if there was a city or county tax? What if the item was partially tax-exempt? More information is needed -- most likely, information about the item itself. — Lomn 17:09, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
State sales taxes have been collected in California by the California State Board of Equalization since 1962. Barring any additional local levies or surcharges (per Lomn), the sales tax rate in California was a total of 4% from 1 January 1962 to 31 July 1967: [2]. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:24, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

related question[edit]

What is it about the previous question that makes it display incompletely? Wanderer57 (talk) 17:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The poster used leading spaces to attempt to format the numbers in a column. WP syntax treats that as a "display as-is" notation, and thus inserted about 70 non-breaking spaces to lead off subsequent rows. I've reformatted it for clarity and better display. Alternately, the original form could be emulated with:
  .05 tax
$1.30 total
6 of one, half dozen of the other. — Lomn 17:11, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates[edit]

At there was something I read about YPP that I remember reading about in the past:

"One of the game mechanics introduced during the development of Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates was the blockade system, in which multiple flags of pirates could take part in a large-scale naval battle/capture the flag game to earn the right to colonize and build property on various islands. Eventually one player came up with an unpopular strategy to wage war for these islands, consisting of raising enough money to wage multiple wars, scheduling them so they took part in the early morning, not showing up to battle, and repeating this every week. The defending army couldn't refuse to show up; if he or his crew showed up and they didn't, it counted as a win on his side, giving him a chance to take the island. So the defending army showed up every week and did nothing but keep the ships afloat for several hours. In the end, many agreed that keeping the island was turning into a second job and was no longer fun, and a number of players got fed up with the game and quit. The responsible pirate called this "tactics"."

Who was that player? I want to look on Google about it. Vitriol (talk) 19:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Found it. The guy was apparently named RobertDonald AKA Sloppy. Read all about it here. APL (talk) 14:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Clarkes Pies[edit]

Does anyone know when the fist clarkes pie shop was opened, and where it was? Whitewitchnita. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Check for info here: The Clark's Pie#History -Gwguffey (talk) 03:26, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Trivia Sections[edit]

I am trying to find "trivia" about certian shows, such as My Name is Earl, the Office, and 30 Rock, yet there are no more trivia sections. Are there new wiki pages for this info., or were the old trivia sections just deleted? meep 21:42, 7 April 2008 (UTC)Meepy123

What could be melded into the article was, and what was truly trivial was deleted. Or at least that's the way it was supposed to go. Dismas|(talk) 21:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Use the History tab at the top of each article. Fortunately the small-minded idiots given to enforcing the cretinous arbitrary anti-"trivia" guideline also tend to be the kind who provide detailed edit summaries, so it shouldn't be too difficult to identify the exact point at which the drones in question decided to make the article less useful. - (talk) 10:10, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Please remember to be civil. Corvus cornixtalk 17:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It's hardly very civil to remove useful information based on some idiotic pseudointellectual bias against facts that can be conveyed in a single sentence. - (talk) 11:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Trivia sections are discouraged because - well, they're trivial. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. We already have something for that - it's called the web. DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:28, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Elsewhere on the Web, has fairly extensive and usually interesting trivia sections for those shows. Go to "trivia and quotes" under each episodes, like so. -Elmer Clark (talk) 19:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Is it really Russian?[edit]

Since my office email address has become public, I'm now receiving loads of spam, and an increasing amount of it is in Cyrillic. I can't read Russian, or any of the other dozen or so languages written in that alphabet, but I'm still curious whether or not it's really Russian?

It has occurred to me, for instance, that if I could pronounce the words, it might be plain-vanilla spam, university degrees and fake software and all that. On the other hand, some (not all) of the phone numbers start with +7, which is Russia.

(The real question would be, "What kind of idiot thinks that sending me something I can't possibly read, will generate a bonafide lead?", but that's a topic for another day.)

Anybody who can shed some facts on this is invited to do so. Thanks! (talk) 21:49, 7 April 2008 (UTC) Danh

I guess the only way we could pronounce on whether or not it's Russian is for you to show us what you've been sent. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:57, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Today I received my first spam in Chinese. (I assume it is Chinese.) I guess it is progress, of a sort. BrainyBabe (talk) 22:14, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The English spam I get is just random gibberish these days, to avoid being detected by spam filters, so it would be reasonable to assume the Russian and Chinese are gibberish too. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:52, 8 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Much of the spam I get includes random gibberish, but almost none of it is all gibberish. —Tamfang (talk) 23:19, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Gee, I got lots of Chinese spam a decade ago or more, before I ever got any in Cyrillic. —Tamfang (talk) 23:19, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

OK, example from today's mail, "non-7" telephone.

Ответственное хранение Оказываем услуги ответственного хранения. Oт 100 до 3000 паллето мест! Оказываем профессиональные услуги ответственного хранения в Москве и области. Полный комплекс складских услуг, включая сортировку, переборку, оклейку, предпродажную подготовку товара.

Возможна аренда склада в Москве Опыт работы на рынке складских услуг! Телефоны: 8 916 500 74 31

Russian spam, or ordinary spam in a funny alphabet? (talk) 01:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC) Danh

No, it's real Russian all right. As for whether it's spam or not, I'm not able to say. -- JackofOz (talk) 02:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Russian spam indeed; however, rather than V1@gra or university degrees, they offer leasing of storehouse space near Moscow :-). (talk) 09:24, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
The most amusing spam I've received lately was for snowboarding lessons in Moscow. (At least, it contained the word сноубордом; a word meaning 'instructor' (I looked it up and have since forgotten what it was); and a Moscow phone number.) —Tamfang (talk) 23:19, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

What kind of idiot?[edit]

You suggested (correctly) that it's a topic for another day, but in answer to your question "What kind of idiot thinks that sending me something I can't possibly read, will generate a bona-fide lead?", it's like this:

Suppose there are three people worldwide who are actually in the market for your product, or are stupid enough to fall for your scam, or who can read your language. But suppose that the cost to you of sending email to everyone on the planet (including those three) is less than the cost of identifying and selectively contacting those three people. A preposterous supposition, I agree, but it's the spam problem in a nutshell. :-( —Steve Summit (talk) 13:21, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

There's a moral to this story: Don't give out your email address to anybody (including wikipedia talk pages). I get round this problem by having lots of different addresses: One for friends and relatives, one for use in internet cafes around the world, one for companies I have some kind of legitimate business with, one for logging in to internet sites, one for anything else (ie. I think they're the kind of people who might spam me). Astronaut (talk) 15:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

The one that's a little harder to understand is the text-message spam I sometimes get on my cell phone, shilling some stock or other (usually meant to look like it was sent to me by mistake, and I got lucky by seeing a tip sent to the sender's friend). Doesn't it cost like five cents or so to send the message? Wouldn't you have to own a lot of stock for that to pay off? And wouldn't the large stockholders automatically be good suspects? --Trovatore (talk) 21:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about your phone service but mine can receive text by email, i.e. (I tested it once.) But I've only ever had two spams that way. —Tamfang (talk) 23:21, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Torch security team[edit]

An Olympic torch security team protecting the torchbearer has been sent by China. Is this customary for every Olympics? Or is this just a special scenario due to the increased potential of risk for the torchbearer due to the Tibetan protests? As well, are there any data into the qualifications of members of the security team? Thanks. Acceptable (talk) 22:00, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

A related question -- the BBC reported that interpreters would be on hand while the torch passed through London yesterday, to help the police identify and remove embarrassing banners. Was this accurate? (The misuse of the job title, which should have read "translators", leads me to think something might have been lost in translation.) And isn't this plain censorship? Is there precednt for the removal of legal but provocative written material before state visits? BrainyBabe (talk) 22:17, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The security thing I'm pretty certain is new - normally they just get away with police lining the route. As for the banners and stuff, I would imagine that they might move the ones which involved swearing and stuff, but I doubt they'd really remove normal banners. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:43, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Of course, they are probably legally entitled to remove banners if it isn't a legally sanctioned protest (which, being right next to the path of the torch, most of these aren't – the legal protests were some distance away, since nobody's going to give permission, knowing that this sort of mess would ensue). Angus Lepper(T, C, D) 18:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
They are members of the People's Armed Police. See our article for more details. And no, there have always been people escorting the Olympic flame. F (talk) 10:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

image race converter[edit]

is there a program that can take a picture of me aned give back a picture of what i would look like as a different race? thank you-- (talk) 22:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The University of St Andrews computer science department has an online tool as part of their facial computer vision research that lets you do just that (as well as aging) called of Face of the Future. Give it a try. Gwguffey (talk) 02:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Another Hillshire Farm Commercial[edit]

Why don't the cast and crew film another Hillshire Farm commercial at a fitness camp in Humble, Texas that has something to do with "GO MEAT!"? Ericthebrainiac (talk) 23:29, 7 April 2008 (UTC)