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The Internet

Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-to-kill-your-youtube-habit dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Hungarian government has announced a new tax on internet traffic: 150 HUF ($0.62 USD) per gigabyte. In Hungary, a monthly internet subscription costs around 4,000-10,000 HUF ($17-$41), so it could really put a constraint on different service providers, especially for streaming media. This kind of tax could set back the country's technological development by some 20 years — to the pre-internet age. As a side note, the Hungarian government's budget is running at a serious deficit. The internet tax is officially expected to bring in about 20 billion HUF in income, though a quick look at the BIX (Budapest Internet Exchange) and a bit of math suggests a better estimate of the income would probably be an order of magnitude higher.

Comment: Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 5, Informative) 376

by eldavojohn (#48153407) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
The summary seems to have left out the most interesting tidbit:

According to the Times, the reports were embarrassing for the Pentagon because, in five of the six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been "designed in the US, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies".

Where were they found? Next to the plants set up by Western companies that filled them in Iraq, of course. Who has control of those plants now? Why, ISIS of course. Don't worry, though, the people who thought it was better we didn't know about these things are assuring us that all those weapons were hurriedly destroyed.

Comment: What Is Your Relationship with Microsoft & Ora (Score 5, Interesting) 187

You were a valuable unbiased source of information on software patents and patent litigation. Particularly the German court's struggle with them. However it came to light -- in a rather surprising way -- that you were paid or possibly employed by Microsoft and Oracle. I have heard much about this and it often casts a negative light on your blogging but I would like to hear your side of these relationships. I can conceivably understand how you could accept money that furthers your ideals but it is difficult to comprehend how I can be assured this does not influence your writing, position, selected details and bias. Are you able to lay my concerns to rest?

Comment: Where Do These Stats Come From? (Score 1, Informative) 546

by eldavojohn (#47819359) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Nearly half of the software developers in the United States do not have a college degree. Many never even graduated from high school.

What? I pored over the article and the US BLS link in it to find the source of these statements. Aside from a pull quote that appears as an image in the article but isn't even in the article itself and is unattributed, could someone find me the source of this statistic?

Because I'm a software developer in the United States with a Masters of Science in Computer Science. All of my coworkers have at least a bachelor's degree in one field or another. And my undergrad very much so started with a sink-or-swim weed out course in Scheme and then another in Java. Yes, they were both easy if you already knew how to code but ... this article almost sounds like it's written by someone with no field experience. Granted that's a low sample set, I'd like to know where the other half of us are. Everyone keep in mind that a Computer Science degree is a relatively new thing and there very well may be elderly coders doing a great job without technically a degree in computer science.

The only way I can see the misconception spreading is that people who use Wix to drag and drop a WYSIWYG site (for you older readers that's like FrontPage meets Geocities) erroneously consider themselves "software developers".

Comment: Canv.as Decommissioned (Score 3, Insightful) 220

by eldavojohn (#47807697) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media
Canvas (site, not the HTML5 element) and DrawQuest were killed earlier this year. I used it briefly in its beta form and thought it was a neat idea. Any chance you could elaborate on why it was shut down? The e-mail I got was brief and vague -- were you facing copyright issues? Monetization problems? Image space issues? Care to spill your lessons learned?

+ - Conservatives Release New Video Proving Global Warming is a Hoax->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Conservative Louisiana House of Representative Lenar Whitney has released a new four minute video on Youtube proving once and for all that global warming is a hoax. In the heavily referenced and peer reviewed video, Whitney puts to rest global warming — something "any ten year-old can invalidate." She points out the important fact that our planet "has done nothing but get colder each year." The highly polished video with special effects clearly exhausted all of Whitney's cognitive powers in researching and backing up each point in her proof that global warming is the "greatest deception in the history of mankind." Fat cat scientists and their propaganda machines don't stand a chance with this hardworking former oilfield equipment company sales employee to set the record straight."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Over at Dice? (Score 4, Insightful) 315

by eldavojohn (#47560113) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Over at Dice

But we are at Dice, sir:

[Querying whois.publicinterestregistry.net]
[whois.publicinterestregistry.net]
Domain Name:SLASHDOT.ORG
Domain ID: D2289308-LROR
Creation Date: 1997-10-05T04:00:00Z
Updated Date: 2014-03-14T22:12:11Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2015-10-04T04:00:00Z
Sponsoring Registrar:Tucows Inc. (R11-LROR)
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 69
WHOIS Server:

Referral URL:
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Registrant ID:tuE8gFbzWFO9qSj2
Registrant Name:Host Master
Registrant Organization:Dice Holdings, Inc.
Registrant Street: 1040 Avenue of the Americas
Registrant City:New York
Registrant State/Province:NY
Registrant Postal Code:10018
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.8557527436
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:hostmaster@slashdotmedia.com

Pros: Today's article has more content than the usual Dice front page linkage. Great article if you're not a programmer but feel stymied by the wide assortment of languages out there. Although instead of hemming and hawing before making your first project you're better off listening to Winston Churchill and sticking your feet in the mud: "The maxim 'Nothing avails but perfection' may be spelt shorter -- 'Paralysis."

Cons: It barely scratches the surface of an incredibly deep topic with unlimited facets. And when one is considering investing potential technical debt into a technology, this probably wouldn't even suffice as an introduction let alone table of contents. Words spent on anecdotes ("In 2004, a coworker of mine referred to it as a 'toy language.'" like, lol no way bro!) could have been better spent on things like Lambdas in Java 8. Most interesting on the list is Erlang? Seems to be more of a random addition that could just as easily been Scala, Ruby, Groovy, Clojure, Dart -- whatever the cool hip thing it is we're playing with today but doesn't seem to quite pan out on a massive scale ...

Technology

MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati 110

Posted by timothy
from the science-fiction-future-awaits dept.
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. If scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

Comment: Some Public Records ... You Know ... Just in Case (Score 5, Informative) 448

by eldavojohn (#47304885) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now
So a whois.net domain name lookup on their site yielded nothing. And there are suspiciously no patents mentioning "wetag" or "ifind" and the names they listed (Dr. Paul McArthur) are in patents but for cold fusion BS in California.

Surely, though, they must have registered the "iFind" trademark? And if you search on TESS we find:

Owner (APPLICANT) WeTag, Inc. CORPORATION TEXAS 3309 San Mateo Drive Plano TEXAS 75023

With an attorney listed as "Richard G. Eldredge" which corresponds to a local attorney. Before you deploy the door kickers to lynch somebody, that address is just somebody's $200,000 house and could possibly be a random address used by a jerk. Remember that it's entirely possible that this is all a front by some other actor and someone was paid western union/bitcoin to register this trademark through this attorney without realizing they were just being used by literally anyone in the world ... of course, kickstarter should have even better transaction details (hopefully).

Comment: Re:Key Point Missing (Score 2) 34

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#47234405) Attached to: Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

Agreed that it's not in the summary, but as you correctly note, it's just a "summary". Anyone who reads the underlying blog post will read this among the facts on which the court based its opinion: "The public was allowed to search by keyword. The search results showed only the page numbers for the search term and the number of times it appeared; none of the text was visible."

So those readers who RTFA will be in the know.

+ - Appeals Court finds scanning to be fair use in Authors Guild v Hathitrust

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "In Authors Guild v Hathitrust, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that scanning whole books and making them searchable for research use is a fair use. In reaching its conclusion, the 3-judge panel reasoned, in its 34-page opinion (PDF), that the creation of a searchable, full text database is a "quintessentially transformative use", that it was "reasonably necessary" to make use of the entire works, that maintaining maintain 4 copies of the database was reasonably necessary as well, and that the research library did not impair the market for the originals. Needless to say, this ruling augurs well for Google in Authors Guild v. Google, which likewise involves full text scanning of whole books for research."

+ - Councilman/Open Source Developer submits Open Source bill->

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes "New York City Council Member Ben Kallos (KallosEsq), who also happens to be a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developer, just introduced legislation to mandate a government preference for FOSS and creating a Civic Commons website to facilitate collaborative purchasing of software. He argues that NYC could save millions of dollars with the Free and Open Source Software Preferences Act 2014, pointing out that the city currently has a $67 million Microsoft ELA. Kallos said: "It is time for government to modernize and start appreciating the same cost savings as everyone else.""
Link to Original Source

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