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The Internet

Submission + - Chinese ISPs "Protect" Users from the Gove (physorg.com)

eldavojohn writes: "A Chinese lawyer is suing his ISP, Sohu, for restricting his blog entries. The ISP sees it as a preventative measure to protect the blogger from the government. But he's not looking for protection, from the article, 'All the controls reinforce a climate of fear and obedience that keep most Internet users in line, experts said. But if self-censorship fails, "Sohu will protect you from yourself," said Rebecca MacKinnon, a new media expert at Hong Kong University. Liu, the Beijing lawyer, did not want to be protected. He has tried to sue Sohu for breach of contract for blocking nine of his blog entries. Yang Bei, a Sohu spokeswoman in Beijing, said the company had no comment on the case. Liu insists the postings conformed with Sohu's user guidelines as well as Chinese law. He said that identical material posted to his Sina blog was not blocked. He is not asking for compensation, only to have his entries restored.' Scary stuff."

Rob Malda Answers Your Questions 221

Last week hundreds of you posted questions for Slashdot's CmdrTaco, AKA Rob Malda. Today we present his answers to 10 of the highest-moderated questions. CT: You can continue to sign up for 10 year anniversary parties but we're already working on shipping shirts so you won't be able to get a care package... but you can still try to run for the big grand prize by just taking videos of pictures or just doing something cool at your parties to prove that we should have been there.

Submission + - Smart Compilers--But Smart Enough? (ddj.com)

mlimber writes: A recent article in Dr. Dobb's Journal talks about the future of compilers. It makes mention of the new 64-core processor from MIT spin-off Tilera (previously covered by Slashdot here), gives a brief history of compilers, and discusses what Intel and Microsoft are working on for their future compilers. Parallelism is a major focus, of course, but they're also concerned about making it easier to write reliable software.
The Courts

Journal Journal: Is RIAA out of touch with music fans? Ivory Towers maybe?

The recent conviction of RIAA vs. Jammie Thomas trial highlights the fact just how out of touch RIAA and the music labels are with their music fans. I could highlight the fact that the sole reason for her loss in court was her poor defence (highlights that the poor really don't have a chance in court - another issue). But this lady owned THOUSANDS of music CD's. Not a couple, THOUSANDS. She was a music fan. And like most music fans, they embrace it even with technology.

First Actual CPU Energy Use Statistics Published 103

BBCWatcher writes "CNN is reporting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August asked server manufacturers to develop 'miles per gallon' ratings for their equipment that would provide accurate assessments of energy efficiency. IBM says it is now providing 'typical usage ratings' for its line of z9 mainframe computers, in addition to previously available maximum power ratings. More than 1,000 z9s around the world started reporting (with the owners' permission) on May 11th their actual installed power and cooling demands, so IBM can publish statistics such as how much energy is required to turn on an additional processor to run multiple Linux virtual servers. The answer? About 20 total watts. 'Over time every vendor is going to be asked to provide typical energy use numbers for their equipment. It's what the EPA wants, and this allows us to move beyond simple performance benchmarking to energy benchmarking.'"

Submission + - Man Arrested for Cursing in Public Park (baynews9.com)

Anml4ixoye writes: "While visiting Sarasota, FL, you could be locked up for breaking the law if you are theft, assault, or any of the other normal offenses. You can also be locked up for "prohibitions against gambling boats, visiting a 'house of ill fame' and 'being in a public place in a state of nudity or in a dress not belonging to such person's sex.'" These so-called "Offenses Against Public Morals" extend to what you can say in a public place. Just ask Christopher Haudt who had charges brought against him for swearing near a minor during a public park's opening."

Submission + - Pictures: Asus $340 Linux-based laptop

An anonymous reader writes: CNET.co.uk has some close-up pictures of Asus' Eee PC that features a 7-inch screen, a Mobile Celeron-M ULV 900MHz, 256MB of RAM, 2GB solid state hard drive 802.11g Wi-Fi, integrated webcam, microphone and speakers, and an optional 3G module for getting online wherever you are. This version — plus a $400 version with a 4GB SSD and 512MB of RAM — are available to order now in the UK. One of the reasons for the miniBook's ludicrously low price is the fact it doesn't use Windows — it's Linux-based. It comes with a copy of Open Office, plus you can install any amount of open source software that in most cases work just as well as their off the shelf counterparts. If you really can't live without Windows, the miniBook's fast enough to run Windows XP.
The Almighty Buck

Amended Internet Tax Ban Will Not Include VoIP 139

Spritzer writes "Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 which would prevent the tax ban from expiring. However, the amendment also eliminates tax protection for VoIP services. 'The amendment, offered by committee Chairman John Conyers Jr., a Michigan Democrat, would extend the ban on Internet access taxes until Nov. 1, 2011. ... The Conyers amendment would allow nine states with Internet access taxes to continue them. It would also narrow the definition of Internet access, excluding services such as VoIP from the tax ban.'"
Linux Business

Linux Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat/Novell 473

walterbyrd writes "Just months after the last nail in SCO's case, and on the same day as Red Hat's brave words about patent intimidation, a company filed the first patent suit against the Linux operating system. IP Innovation LLC filed the claim against Red Hat and Novell over U.S. Patent No. 5,072,412. PJ points out there is prior art here: 'You might recall the patent was used in litigation against Apple in April 2007, and Beta News reported at the time that it's a 1991 Xerox PARC patent. But Ars Technica provided the detail that it references earlier patents going back to 1984.'"

Submission + - Dr Bussard passes away, polywell fusion continues

Vinz writes: Dr Bussard, the man behind the Bussard Collector and inventor of the Polywell fusion device, passed away last Sunday in the morning. He leaves behins him a legacy of EM fusion devices, and a team determined to continue his efforts. The news of renewed funding for the construction of his WB-7 fusion devices made it to slashdot months ago (as well as his talk at google). They may be a serious candidate in the run to bring commercial fusion, and may work at lower scales than other projects.

Let's hope the project continues in good shape despite his departure.

Submission + - Almost arrested for using iPhone on plane

PadRacerExtreme writes: Using 'airplane mode' on you iPhone was not enough for this guy on an ATA flight.

We land and there are police waiting for me, the flight attendant that started this whole thing makes me walk to the front of the plane while everyone else has to stay in their seats and I stand there for 10 minutes. I kind of feel like I am standing in front of class as punishment because I was disruptive, not that this has ever happened to me in school, ok maybe it has.
Told all first person of this argument with two flight attendants and the discussion with the police after words.

Submission + - Moment of silence mandated Illinois schools (chicagotribune.com)

Martintxo writes: "Illinois state lawmakers are requiring public schools to provide students with a brief moment of silence at the start of classes. The law states: "In each public school classroom the teacher in charge shall observe a brief period of silence with the participation of all the pupils therein assembled at the opening of every school day. This period shall not be conducted as a religious exercise but shall be an opportunity for silent prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day." This seems like another attempt to sneak prayer into public schools."

Submission + - Patent case filed against Red Hat and Novell


Submission + - Grad student suspended after pro-gun-rights e-mail

fredklein writes: A Minnesota university has suspended one of its graduate students who sent two e-mail messages to school officials supporting gun rights.
"Hamline University also said that master's student Troy Scheffler, who owns a firearm, would be barred from campus and must receive a mandatory "mental health evaluation" after he sent an e-mail message arguing that law-abiding students should be able to carry firearms on campus for self-defense."
When informed that suspending him violated the school's freedom of expression policy, the University changed their tune: Now they claim he's being suspended because of "anonymous allegations" they received, and they can't tell him (or the press) what those allegations are, or who his accusers are. With all the talk of 'Big Brother' throwing people into detention centers without knowing the charges, are we overlooking 'Little Brothers' closer to home?

Submission + - Google spikes anti-MoveOn.org ads

stupidpuppy writes: Google has informed an ad firm working for Senator Susan Collins (R) that they will no longer run ads critical of MoveOn.org because they violate Google's "trademark policy". This policy evidently does not apply to corporate trademarks: Google still carries advocacy ads directly critical of Exxon, Wal-Mart and Microsoft, among others. Google is also a major corporate underwriter of MoveOn.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang