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Slashback: Kororaa GPL, ICANN .XXX, BellSouth NSA 216

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the filled-with-dissapointment dept.
Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories including an update to the Kororaa GPL accusations, BellSouth demands a retraction to NSA story, South Korea rejects Microsft antitrust appeal, Tim Berners Lee continues net neutrality fight, ICANN possibly pressured to nix .XXX domain, another side to Vista Beta2 reviews, and the worst tech IPO in 2 years -- Read on for details.

Kororaa denies GPL violations. AlanS2002 writes "Chris Smart, of the Kororaa Project, has written an update about the accusation that the Kororaa XGL LiveCD is in violation of the GPL. According to Chris, he has been shown no evidence that the nVidia/ATI drivers are derived from any code in the Linux Kernel or that the drivers link to the Kernel. From the best information he has it appears that the drivers make system calls to public interfaces of the Kernel, in the same way that a web browser makes calls to public interfaces of a web server but are not considered to be linked to the web server (they do not link to private functions of the web server). However the Kororaa project has decided to let end users download and install the drivers themselves if need be, which defeats the purpose of continuing to develop their Live CD. As such their will be no Kororaa XGL LiveCD 0.3, however they will continue to make Kororaa XGL LiveCD 0.2 available."

BellSouth demands retraction to NSA story. An anonymous reader writes "CNN reports that BellSouth has moved from strongly denying participation in providing the NSA with calling records to requesting a retraction of the article from USA Today." From the article: "The telecommunications giant sent a letter to USA Today on Thursday asking it to retract last week's story that BellSouth and two other companies helped the NSA compile a massive database of records on domestic phone calls."

South Korea rejects Microsft antitrust appeal. mikesd81 writes "According to MSNBC, the Korean Fair Trade Commission has turned down Microsoft's appeal to separate it's Window's OS and it's media service. The February ruling also included a 34 million dollar fine. Apparently, The commission began investigating Microsoft after a local Internet portal, Daum Communications Corp., filed a complaint with the commission in 2001."

Tim Berners Lee continues net neutrality fight. Kortec writes "As reported by The BCC, Sir Tim Berners Lee has spoken out against the current US bias towards the destruction of network neutrality at the Edinburgh WWW2006 conference. The man behind it all is quoted as saying the two tier system proposed recently on the floor of Congress is not 'part of the internet model,' and that 'the web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it in to different services.'"

ICANN possibly pressured to nix .XXX domain. mobiux writes "Fox News reporting that the US Government allegedly pressured ICANN into denying the .XXX domain, despite orders not to do so. ICM Registry says the e-mails show how the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, was subjected to intense pressure to intervene on behalf of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two socially conservative lobbying organizations."

Another side to Vista Beta2 reviews. lordgreg writes to tell us that while Slashdot already talked about Vista Beta 2 Major Problems, which Gary Krakow addressed in his review. DotProject claims to have the other side of Vista Beta2's Major Problems, the users themselves.

Vonage IPO shaping up to be the worst tech IPO in 2 years. fistfullast33l writes "Vonage went public to great fanfare and poor results today, with it's stock price falling 11% by closing time. Analysts have cited the fact that Vonage has yet to post a profit and increasing competition for the lack of interest. 'It's a wildly unprofitable company still selling at a very high valuation,' said Tom Taulli of Newport Coast, California, an IPO analyst. BusinessWeek also discusses growth barriers listed in Vonage's filings, including 'finding enough customer-support staffers and long delays in getting traditional phone companies to let customers take their existing phone numbers [to Vonage].'"

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Slashback: Kororaa GPL, ICANN .XXX, BellSouth NSA

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  • Uh huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:09PM (#15398339)
    Of course, the alleged actions that Bell South is denying they performed-- and demanding USA Today retract their reporting of-- is... the same stuff Bell South is currently being sued for [cnn.com]. Maybe if we all just close our eyes real hard and think about other things the lawsuits will go away?
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:13PM (#15398356)
    ICM Registry says the e-mails show how the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, was subjected to intense pressure to intervene on behalf of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two socially conservative lobbying organizations.

    "Intense pressure?" Big guys named Guido and Luigi showed up at the reception desk and asked politely that they pressure ICANN? Concerned mothers sent them very sternly worded letters with comments like "I would send you to bed without dinner"?

    The US Government does whatever the hell it wants to, generally. Especially branches nobody's ever heard about, unless someone threatens their budget. We generally term that "extortion", and that's certainly not very family-friendly. Nevermind that it seems absurd that some goofy little branch of the department of Commerce holds -any- sway over ICANN whatsoever; they're also fantastically good at ignoring people and doing whatever the hell they please.

    • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:17PM (#15398586)
      Since the GOP controls Congress and the Executive, it would be quite easy for them to get together and "reform" ICANN out of existence, dump all the graybeards, and create a new Internet committee loaded with the usual party hacks. I think if the ICANN members have half a brain, they take GOP opinions on Internet governance very seriously.

      The entire .XXX issue was basically an internal GOP division -- some conservative groups wanted it, others didn't. The fact that ICANN was even considering it was an example of political influence, and if the conservatives were unified behind it, we'd most likely have it by now.
    • Big guys named Guido and Luigi showed up at the reception desk and asked politely that they pressure ICANN?

      Well, given the history and reputation of the fundie militias, it was probably more of a "weasely little guys in camo with burnt cork rubbed on their faces and sniper rifles" kind of thing...

    • Who sits on ICANN? typically, engineers from companies such as HP, Sun, MS, etc. If the feds want to stop something from ocurring, it is easy enough to put pressure on these companies who then put pressure on the geek.

      If nothing else, talk to journalists. Since W's DOJ allowed for news media accumulation, the press has a lot of pressure being put on them to stay in-line.
      • "Who sits on ICANN? typically, engineers from companies such as HP, Sun, MS,"

        Company affiliations notwithstanding, they're lawyers, not engineers. The ones that don't have big company affiliation are lobbyists from the industry.
    • " Nevermind that it seems absurd that some goofy little branch of the department of Commerce holds -any- sway over ICANN"

      Legally it works out like this: icann was formed with oversight by DoC/NTIA. Congress has natural oversight over this.

      The US government is a monolith. Bits and pieces of it can't just do what they want. Oh they do, but that's why there's oversight.

      None the less I don't expect anything to happen to .xxx during a Bush administration although I'd loved to be proved wrong.
  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:14PM (#15398358) Homepage
    said by a company that is involved with national security? They don't even need to tell the truth to the SEC, let alone mear mortal human beings:


    The memo Bush signed on May 5, which was published seven days later in the Federal Register, had the unrevealing title "Assignment of Function Relating to Granting of Authority for Issuance of Certain Directives: Memorandum for the Director of National Intelligence." In the document, Bush addressed Negroponte, saying: "I hereby assign to you the function of the President under section 13(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended."

    A trip to the statute books showed that the amended version of the 1934 act states that "with respect to matters concerning the national security of the United States," the President or the head of an Executive Branch agency may exempt companies from certain critical legal obligations. These obligations include keeping accurate "books, records, and accounts" and maintaining "a system of internal accounting controls sufficient" to ensure the propriety of financial transactions and the preparation of financial statements in compliance with "generally accepted accounting principles."

  • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrazyDuke (529195) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:14PM (#15398363)
    "...Family Research Council [wikipedia.org] and Focus on the Family [family.org], two socially conservative lobbying organizations."

    FYI, both organizations are founded/run by James Dobson. I would not necessarily refer to them as seperate entities rather than appendages of the same one. James Dobson, you know, the guy of Spongebob Squarepants is a conspiracy to turn kids gay fame.
    • Someone should edit the wikipedia and add the ICANN controversy to his
      wikipedia entry. [wikipedia.org]
    • Re:FYI (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jonadab (583620)
      Dobson was a child psychologist (and, as near as I can determine, a pretty good one), but the popularity of his books (some of which *are* quite good) apparently went to his head, and he started to see himself as a religious leader (which was dangerous, because he doesn't have the proper training for that; his training is in psychology). Then in order to maintain his popularity and keep selling books and magazines and things, he at some point along the line abandoned all pretenses of discernment and starte
      • Re:FYI (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Seraphim_72 (622457)

        For instance, around the time LOTR:FOTR came out his magazine ran an article that attempted to claim that LOTR was Christian allegory.

        Actually that is old news to the Tolkien folk. If you search around you will find that His works have always been well recieved by the greater christian community, Compare that to any Harry Potter book, universally reviled as witchcraft, satanist, and evil. Good or bad the original Tolkien books were loved by the christian orthodoxy. It has been said that the acceptance

        • Compare that to any Harry Potter book, universally reviled as witchcraft, satanist, and evil

          What are you talking about? A few people (mostly nut cases) have claimed Harry Potter books are evil yes. To claim that makes them "universally reviled" is ridiculous. Plenty of CHristians like Harry Potter.

          As for Tolkien, interpreting his books as Christian allegory is fairly natural given that he was a Christian and he was a friend and colleague of CS Lewis who is best known as a writer of Christian allegory.

      • Re:FYI (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Watts Martin (3616)
        For instance, around the time LOTR:FOTR came out his magazine ran an article that attempted to claim that LOTR was Christian allegory.

        While I agree Dobson's generally an incoherent idiot, Lord of the Rings very definitely isn't allegory--but it's very definitely Christian. As Tolkien himself wrote [christianitytoday.com], "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first but consciously in the revision." There's a great deal of scholarly work out there on the Christian them
        • by MsGeek (162936)
          OK, let me break it down to you: it's not just religious allegory, it's WWII in allegory-vision!

          Gandalf: Jesus Christ
          Saruman: Hitler
          Sauron: Satan
          The Hobbits: The British
          The Elves: The French
          The Men: The Americans
          The Uruk-Hai: The German "Master Race"

          Re-read the books with those ideas in mind. It's basically World War II seen through an apocalyptic prism.
          • Instead of exhorting others to re-read the books, why don't you try reading Tolkien's own preface yourself? He denies that LoTR is an allegory, and specifically not about WWII.
          • Re:FYI (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sgtrock (191182)
            Kinda difficult when most of the back story had been written long before WWII. He started writing parts of it when he was in the trenches during WWI. LOTR was meant to be just one more chapter (possibly the final one, although I can't remember for sure) of a long mythology. Don't take my word for it. Take the time to read all of his other works to get a feel for where the LOTR and The Hobbit fit in to that larger view.
    • Re:FYI (Score:2, Informative)

      by Brandybuck (704397)
      James Dobson, you know, the guy of Spongebob Squarepants is a conspiracy to turn kids gay fame.

      The more people like you make stuff up like this, the less people will believe you when you decide to say something truthful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dobson [wikipedia.org]
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:22PM (#15398393) Homepage Journal
    Leave the legal arguments to the lawyers already. If someone doesn't like you linking X component with Y component, the very first thing you should ask them is: are you the copyright holder of X component or Y component? If the answer is "no" then kindly ask them to go away. Only the copyright holder can sue you so why should you pay any attention to them. If you are so worried about someone suing you, just call up the only people who can sue you, the copyright holders, and ask them if what you are doing is ok. If they say yes, put that on your web site and tell the distractors to piss off.
    • If someone doesn't like you linking X component with Y component, the very first thing you should ask them is: are you the copyright holder of X component or Y component?

      The Linux® brand kernel uses a distributed copyright ownership model, in stark contrast to the copyright-assignment practices that GNU® brand software follows. If I write a patch to Linux, and a kernel maintainer accepts it, then I am an owner of copyright in Linux. I would wager that even FSF, the owner of copyright in GNU so

    • This is the kind of thing that is a big problem for Open Source and Linux in particular. When I first read about Kororaa I downloaded it and of course the feature that I wanted to see (the 3D) didn't work, no ATI driver included. Then I read about a second version that included the drivers, so I downloaded that and walla the thing worked as expected, with all the bells and whistles.

      Now SUSE 10.1 is supposed to have the same feature. I have it installed exclusively on one of the hard drives, and this featu
      • Ya know what? I agree that the Linux community needs to "do something" to get hardware to "just work". But I completely disagree with your suggestion. My suggestion is that what we need to do about it is actively reverse engineer the proprietary drivers they supply and write open source ones. More importantly, I intend to start doing this in the near future. I hope other people will join me.
      • so I downloaded that and walla the thing worked as expected
        It's voilà, damnit! You people look like morons when you spell it wrong!
  • by mazphil57 (792004) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:28PM (#15398414) Journal
    In the good old days, a new company (such as Vonage) would go public long before it was "discovered", allowing early investors to get rich (like Microsoft, for example). In today's world, major banks provide working capital and the objective is to delay the IPO as long as possible, so that only the banks and the founders make any real money. I'm predicting the disappointment seen today with Vonage is going to become the norm for technology IPO's.
    • Actually that's a bit wrong, unless if you are thinking the good old days were 5-7 years ago. Companies wouldn't go public unless they had a real reason to, many of them spending years prior to going public. Going public has so many difficulties that it's often the last thing a traditional company wants to do (i.e. old stogey companies, rather than dot-com). Often when they have reached a place where to grow the business to the next level and they need an injection of cash they do it, or more often when t
  • How exactly does an IPO fail?

    First of all, as I understand it, most IPOs have a requirement that buyers not sell for anywhere up to 90 days. How does the stock price do anything worse than remain flat in that time?

    Second - Conceptually, let's say I like Vonage and manage to get in on the IPO. I buy 100 shares, which initially dip. Now I've taken a small loss on something I expect to shoot way up within the next few days... Would I sell? Hell no! Now, at around a 10% dip I might get rather worried,
    • Lets say a company goes public, and is expect to sell 100 shares at a price of 10 bucks per share.
      Then they IPO, and only 50 shares are bought. There value would decrease because there is no interest.

      "Now I've taken a small loss on something I expect to shoot way up within the next few days... Would I sell? Hell no! "
      you might if there was no interest.
      Now if all 100 shares were sold, you would expect the price to go up do to heavy interest, but if an IPO doesn't sparl a lot of interest, there isn't
    • There are generally not restrictions on selling the stock after the IPO. You might be thinking of some SEC rules regarding changes to the ownership immediately prior to the IPO (whether such rules exist, I'm unsure).

      Not only would you not see a fall, you wouldn't see any movement in the stock for 90 days if trading were suspended (buyers not being able to sell would result in no transactions). This is clearly not true if you look at any IPO. In fact, the possibility to have a run up in the stock price early
    • I buy 100 shares, which initially dip. Now I've taken a small loss on something I expect to shoot way up within the next few days... Would I sell? Hell no! Now, at around a 10% dip I might get rather worried...

      You really need to pay more attention to how this is supposed to work: buy low, sell high. It's really not that complex.
    • by Astin (177479)
      Point 1 - Umm.. no. It's possible that INSIDERS (ie.- company employees) might have a restriction on them, but 90 days seems extreme. If nobody could sell an stock for 90 days after the IPO, then the stock would do nothing. It would sit there and not trade at all. As soon as it's public, the stock is tradeable by anybody who isn't restricted by their insider (or possibly other) position.

      Point 2 - Depends on your strategy. Bear in mind that most stock trades are institutional, not mom and dad buying for
  • Kororaa GPL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:48PM (#15398493)
    However the Kororaa project has decided to let end users download and install the drivers themselves if need be, which defeats the purpose of continuing to develop their Live CD. As such their will be no Kororaa XGL LiveCD 0.3

    This sentence was a little confusing the first seven times I read it. So I did what I hardly ever do, go to the source, read the article and gain a fuller understanding of the situation... instead of just posting here about how the summary was confusing.

    My misunderstanding stemmed from my thinking that the Kororaa project was just the Live CD. So I was thinking: if they decided to script the downloading and compiling of the nvidia modules why would they then go and decide to cancel the Live CD development? The key here is that they also have a non-live CD version called Kororaa 2005, and soon to be 2006. They are still continuing this distribution, which will prompt the user to download the modules manually as other distros do.

    The author's reasoning was kind of strange though, he leads us on a very logical path towards concluding that the Kororaa Live CD does *not* violate the GPL in its current form. He even says For me, with the information at hand, I cannot see how the drivers constitute a GPL violation. Yet he still decides to discontinue the live CD. He also makes a good case about why he doesn't want to have the user download and compile the drivers themselves on boot.

    I can't blame him though. He's clearly a supporter of the GPL. He's striving to adhere to the letter and spirit of the license. Oh well, maybe I should check out the standard Kororaa distribution.

    • "This sentence was a little confusing the first seven times I read it. So I did what I hardly ever do, go to the source, read the article and gain a fuller understanding of the situation... instead of just posting here about how the summary was confusing."

      dear lord, please let this be the start of a trend.
      • dear lord [...]

        I didn't read any further, and thought I should complain that even if there was a God, It's not listening if your palms aren't pressed together (as that activates the transmitter).

    • Its simple - the LiveCD with a scripted install would need to have the drivers downloaded and installed each time the CD was booted - negating most of the point of the LiveCD (cant use it without network access). Hes discontinuing it because, even tho he doesnt believe there is a violation, he doesnt want to have to expend time and money on it - its easier to just stop doing it.
  • It's odd to me that Vonage decided to go public right now. I received the notice that I was invited to the IPO, and there was a moment of excitement. But then I remembered that my service has been pretty poor over the last 6 weeks. Dropped calls, garbled calls, and the most mysterious problem: it won't stop calling me. That is, a friend calls, we talk, we hangup, and then I get ghost ringing from the friend for the next eight hours. Anyway, my point wasn't really to grouse about Vonage problems. My po
    • The onkly thing I can tell is that something very bad is happening at vonage, and they need money to fix it now.

      Thats pure speculation, but it's the only reason I can think of..well that and coincidence.

      Could Vonage be DDOS'd? If so, would that meen all there users systems could become useless during the DDOSing?
      • It might have something to do with raising money ot sue traditional telcom and ISPs with competing offers. There has been stories released about Telcos degrading vonage service and certain ISPs doing the same.

        Now, This isn't just unfair business practices once the company goes public. There are a host of other sec rules and laws to protect them. Also When stock holder finds that thier interests are being railroaded by competitors, It would be easy for one of them to launch a class action suite against say T
  • .XXX TLD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:00PM (#15398536) Homepage
    Unlike many Slashdotters (as evidenced by previous reactions to the subject), I am very happy indeed that ICANN decided to reject the XXX domain, for the reasons given here [blogspot.com]:
    In June 2005, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the creation of an xxx top-level domain (TLD) for pornographic websites. This reverses their previous decision back in November 2000, when they decided against the creation of the xxx TLD. The Bush administration, responding to the recent decision by ICANN, is objecting to the creation of the new TLD. Meanwhile, many of the folks at Slashdot are objecting to Bush's objection to the xxx TLD.

    While the Bush administration's decision is based more on opposition to pornography than on opposition to the xxx TLD, the arguments raised by Slashdot readers are rather problematic. The prevailing argument appears to be that the Bush administration should not interfere with the ICANN's decisions, and that an xxx TLD is a good idea because it could make it easier for parents and system-administrators to filter out pornographic content. The second part of this argument raises important free-speech concerns.

    While the xxx domain is currently voluntary, could it eventually become mandatory? The government could require that pornographic content be hosted exclusively on xxx domains, the ICANN could change the rules for com, net and org domains to allow only non-pornographic content, and hosting providers could refuse to host pornographic websites not associated with an xxx domain. In short, there are many ways in which an xxx domain could be abused, all in the name of keeping smut away from impressionable eyes.

    The xxx TLD could become a mechanism for the regulation of pornographic websites hosted on xxx domains. According to ZDNet, a "nonprofit organization called the International Foundation For Online Responsibility will be in charge of setting the rules for .xxx. It's intended to have a seven-person board of directors, including a child advocacy advocate, a free-expression aficionado and someone from the adult entertainment industry." What are the rules being set, and why do we need a "child advocacy advocate" to make decisions about adult-oriented domains? Would they require use of AVS (age-verification systems) by websites that use the xxx TLD?

    According to an earlier statement by Stuart Lawley, whose company -- ICM Registry -- will administer the xxx TLD, "apart from child pornography, which is completely illegal, we're really not in the content-monitoring business". While this may seem reassuring, how will they decide what constitutes "child pornography"? Which country's definition of "child pornography" will they adopt? Shutting down child pornographers is the government's job, not the registrar's.

    There's no good reason why pornographic content should be stuffed into the xxx TLD and isolated from the rest of the Internet's namespace. What is so terrible about pornography that it must be kept in its very own TLD? Who the hell knows. It's a silly decision grounded upon primitive moral codes.
    • A couple of points that are interesting:

      The right to free speech is just that... a right to speak, not to be heard. Every other medium for distribution of pornography is subject to laws (in most countries) that help keep it out of the hands of minors unless their parents approve.

      Why shouldn't pornography be censorable, say, by schools or libraries? Students and library patrons shouldn't really be looking up porn. Nor playing Flash games. Nor watching movies. A government saying porn (or almost anything
      • Re:.XXX TLD (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eccles (932)
        The internet is international. Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue would be .xxx in Iran. Whose .xxx do you use?

        Even if voluntary, .xxx is a bad idea. Wife demands ISP-level xxx filter. Husband complies, secretly goes to .com porn sites. Who would register as xxx voluntarily, it would be bad for business.
        • Which is why I think most true tlds are silly and we should be moving away from them. .xxx.us is a good idea. .xxx for the whole world isn't. There's also a LOT of stuff in .com that should be in .com.us. But that would emphasize the point that the Internet is international, and USians don't like that.

          Agreed, nobody is going to move out of .com unless they have to -- at best they'll register .something-else in addition to .com. Which is why I think we need rules. Kick the porn out of .com along with com
        • The internet is international. Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue would be .xxx in Iran. Whose .xxx do you use?

          Even if voluntary, .xxx is a bad idea. Wife demands ISP-level xxx filter. Husband complies, secretly goes to .com porn sites. Who would register as xxx voluntarily, it would be bad for business.


          Both of these are good points. My argument against it has been that:

          * There will likely be a land-rush to register .xxx domains. Are you going to register yourcompany.xxx? Will you like it if someon
      • Why shouldn't pornography be censorable, say, by schools or libraries?

        It should be, but the problem is a .XXX domain makes too easy a dumping ground for anything that offends anyone. One can in an extreme case imagine requiring the recent Mohammed cartoons being only publishable in a website located in the .XXX domain.

        Other possible things that may not be viewable outside of a .XXX domain:

        Michelangelo's David
        Artistic Nudes
        Sites with graphic how-tos on breast exams.

        It's all a roll of the dice as to what the
        • As I mentioned in another post, a single .xxx tld is pretty silly. Each country code should have it's own. Internet pornography should be governed by the same laws (remember, we're in each individual country now) that govern any other kind of pornography. If you fall under those laws then you must go in xxx.mycountry, just like if you were publishing a magazine you'd have to go on the top shelf behind the counter.
          • But even by country is not good enough - people in North Dakota generally have a very different idea of what pornography might be compared to people in California or New York.

            Either no-one forces sites into these domains, or it should not be at all.
      • library patrons shouldn't really be looking up porn. Nor playing Flash games. Nor watching movies.
        A lending library will lend you a copy of The Da Vinci Code. It will lend up a CD audiobook of The Da Vinci Code. Why shouldn't it offer you the movie as well?

        ian

  • Big Brother (Score:4, Interesting)

    by graveyhead (210996) <fletch@@@fletchtronics...net> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:09PM (#15398567)
    I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has wondered why we haven't seen wider circulation of this story and why immigration laws are suddenly the thing to discuss. As one slashdotter pointed out a couple weeks ago, the NSA makes Nixon look like an amateur.

    There was a protest today outside the SBC building on Folsom Street here in San Francisco, but it drew hardly any attention and there was no media around.

    The building itself is pretty scary looking [google.com]. It's a huge brown rectangle with tinted windows that also somehow look brown. Compared with the nice architecture of the nearby buildings, it sure is an eyesore.

    Anyhow, someone want to offer me any conspiracy theories on why nobody cares?
    • Anyhow, someone want to offer me any conspiracy theories on why nobody cares?

      Well, gee, that's obvious. It's the Soma they put in the water supply.

      What were we talking about again?
    • Re:Big Brother (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:36PM (#15398819) Journal
      I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has wondered why we haven't seen wider circulation of this story and why immigration laws are suddenly the thing to discuss.

      Domestic wiretap abuse is ancient news. Been going on since there were wires to tap. Look at the COINTELPRO stuff from half a century back to see some real dirty tricks.

      The immigration thing, on the other hand, got 'WAY big when congress decided a fair "compromise" solution would be to add maybe 60 million Mexicans to the 300 million population of the US over the next 20 years - giving them full citizenship (including the vote).

      Adding one new voter for every five now present - when the two major parties are so evenly matched that the presidency gets decided by a few hundred votes - sounded to a lot of citizens like an invasion.

      Then consider that the people in question grew up in a country where the government is totally corrupt and the laws deserving of contempt, most of them came here, stay here, and work in violation of OUR laws (while our own politicians refuse to enforce them and reward the immigrants for breaking them), and are being educated by a system that keeps them isolated from the general culture. So they started to worry about what will happen to respect for law over the next few decades.

      They pushed the congress critters and got ignored. Then they got mad.

      The immigration issue is a reboot of US politics on the banana repulic model. If you thought you've seen government corruption in the last couple decades you ain't seen NOTHING yet.

      And if it continues in the same vein for even a couple more years it could, in the opinion of many, literally start an avalanche that will lead to the second civil war.

      So, yes, it's significantly more "the in thing to discuss" than a little traffic analysis on phone calls by the NSA.

      As one slashdotter pointed out a couple weeks ago, the NSA makes Nixon look like an amateur.

      Compared to the NSA Nixon's plumbers WERE amateurs. Heck - compared to the NSA the KGB were a garage shop (and NOT the hi-tek startup kind, either.)
      • "...solution would be to add maybe 60 million Mexicans to ... the US over the next 20 years..."


        That is more than half the entire Mexican population. (reference) [wikipedia.org] If you are not simply exaggerating, (ie. FUDing) could you please back up your numbers?

        • That's the current estimate. It's based on two things:
          - The number allowed by the proposed legislation
          - The number of illegals estimated to be here now (about 12 million), assuming they bring in the same proportion of relatives that those legalized in the first amnesty did.

          The US is estimated to have about 10% of the working-age population of Mexico and the same percentage of non-working dependents (which is what 12 million comes out to by that same set of Mexican population figures) alread
  • Whew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <.RealityMaster101. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:38PM (#15398660) Homepage Journal
    I'm a Vonage customer, and got the notification that they were "rewarding" their customers by allowing them to get in on the IPO, up to 5,000 shares. I had a few hours of excited thoughts, thinking that maybe I should get in on it.

    Then, fortunately, my brain kicked in. Why, if the Vonage IPO was going to be a blockbuster, would they give away so many shares to the unwashed masses?

    Unless they needed the unwashed masses to drum up demand.

    These finance guys aren't typically stupid. Yeah, sure, it was theoretically possible that they were giving out so many shares out of the goodness of their heart, but my experience in life is that there ain't no free lunch.

    I'm glad my suspicians were borne out. I'd have been REALLY pissed if it shot up 10x or something. :D

    • by tweek (18111)
      I disagree that it was a tactic on face value. I was a part of the RedHat IPO because of some bug contributions but I didn't consider it a ploy.
      • Re:Whew (Score:3, Insightful)

        I disagree that it was a tactic on face value. I was a part of the RedHat IPO because of some bug contributions but I didn't consider it a ploy.

        The Red Hat precedent did occur to me, but that was a bit of a different deal. First, the pool of people who were contributors is much smaller than the (almost) entire Vonage customer base. Second, I think it was limited to much smaller than 5,000 shares (like 100 shares or something?). Third, contributors to Red Hat seems a bit more honest than any customer that

    • I actually had myself down for some shares but remembered to go cancel before the 19th. Sanity got the better of me. The cable companies are growing so much faster than Vonage, offer the simplicity of bundling, and if they decide not to pursue network neutrality, Vonage is done for.

      I've been happy with the service, but the future doesn't look so bright.
      • Plus they don't have NEARLY as annoying commercials. I'll never be a Vonage customer because they

        a) have REALLY annoying commercials and
        b) telemarketed me.
    • Re:Whew (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aardpig (622459)

      Unless they needed the unwashed masses to drum up demand.

      Well, it seems to have worked, despite the price drop. I signed up for 100 shares, but was allocated none; so it's not as if they had to dump loads of stock on the customers.

  • Geeks should shut out the lawyers from our world at least as much as they extend the favor to us. Maybe require all their briefs, filings and opinions ot compile against the Constitution, for starters.
  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:53PM (#15399137) Homepage
    For user programs, the Linux kernel's license states:
    NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work". Also note that the GPL below is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation, but the instance of code that it refers to (the linux kernel) is copyrighted by me and others who actually wrote it.

    Should a similar exemption not apply to device drivers compiled as kernel modules?
    • More to the point, if it doesn't then it is clearly the case that distributing *any* proprietary Linux driver is a violation of the copyright of "me and others who actually wrote it", even if you're not distributing the Linux kernel along with the driver, because according to these terms a proprietary Linux driver is a "derived work".

      I don't understand. I really don't.

      WTF is going on here.
      • I think the argument goes as follows. L is Linux which is GPL'd, D is the proprietary driver which is not. L+D is the derived work. You can distribute D if you like, but you can't bundle it with Linux unless you license the whole new thing under the GPL.
  • The purpose of the GPL, as I have grown to understand it, is to ensure innovation is possible, and in fact encouraged. While preserving the rights of the creators of said technology in a manor they saw fit. Now the GPL is being used to stifle innovation. Shame too, Kororaa was a very enjoyable way to experiment with coming technology, without destroying my working environment.

    Nearly every "pay for play" copy of Linux comes with nvidia and or ati commercial drivers included. It would seem that the bi
    • I think the problem is mainly that you have to be consistent. If nobody minds about what Kororaa does, half a year later some other company can violate the GPL in a similar (but less desired) way. AFAIK nobody can then do anything against that company anymore, because nothing was done against Kororaa either.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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