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Google

Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain 191

Posted by timothy
from the what's-english-for-bully? dept.
English-language site The Spain Report reports that Google's response to mandated payments for linking to and excerpting from Spanish news media sources — namely, shutting down Google News in Spain — doesn't sit well with Spanish Newspaper Publishers' Association, which issued a statement [Thursday] night saying that Google News was "not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position," recognising that Google's decision "will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses. Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies." Irene Lanzaco, a spokeswoman for AEDE, told The Spain Report by telephone that "we're not asking Google to take a step backwards, we've always been open to negotiations with Google" but, she said: "Google has not taken a neutral stance. Of course they are free to close their business, but one thing is the closure of Google News and quite another the positioning in the general index." Asked if the newspaper publishers' association had received any complaints from its members since Wednesday's announcement by Google, Mrs. Lanzaco refused to specify, but said: "Spanish publishers talk to AEDE constantly."

Comment: Re:Thank you! (Score 2, Interesting) 125

by Anon E. Muss (#48289669) Attached to: OpenBSD 5.6 Released

... check out OpenBSD before checking out FreeBSD, and I cannot stress this enough. FreeBSD developers don't use their own operating system; they run it in a Virtual machine on their Macs, and it shows.

Citation needed.

Suspend/resume has been broken there since 2008, and drivers for any recent Intel graphics adapter will not run (you cannot switch from Xorg to a console and back) properly.

Yeah, it can suck to run a server-focused OS on a desktop/laptop.

FreeBSD devs do not care about their OS

This is objectively false. Any devs working for free must care, of they'd hack on something else. Any devs being paid must have an employer who cares. The problem is that the people hacking/funding FreeBSD don't care about the same parts of the system that you do.

Comment: Re:are the debian support forums down? (Score 3, Informative) 286

by Anon E. Muss (#48176459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

... the way systemd has turned into something similar to the bloated beast that is the Windows 'svchost.exe' ...

+1 to the anti-systemd sentiment.

-1 to using svchost.exe to make your case. svchost is just a container process. The real issue is the Windows architecture/philosophy that encourages a proliferation of services.

(I like Unix and I like Windows. Each has their place. Trying to turn one into the other is a big mistake.)

Government

Conservative Groups Accuse FCC of Helping Net Neutrality Advocates File Comments 283

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-cheating dept.
jfruh writes Conservative groups opposed to net neutrality have a beef with the FCC, claiming the commission helped pro-net neutrality advocates file comments on the subject without similarly helping opponents. In other news out of this camp, it turns out American Commitment, an advocacy group with ties to the Republican billionaire Koch brothers, sent out 2.4 million letters to Congress opposing net neutrality but only collected about 814,000 signatures. The group then generated three letters to Congress for each person signing the petition, one letter to each of the signer's two senators and one to each signer's representative.
Cloud

Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-pittance-of-love dept.
sfcrazy writes: Native support for Netflix is coming to Linux, thanks to their move from Silverlight to HTML5, Mozilla and Google Chrome. Paul Adolph from Netflix proposed a solution to Ubuntu developers: "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed. If this version is generally installed across 14.02, Netflix would be able to make a change so users would no longer have to hack their User-Agent to play." The newer version of NSS is set to go out with the next security update.
Music

U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music' 358

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
Squiff writes U2 and Apple are apparently collaborating on a new, "interactive format for music," due to launch in "about 18 months." (A direct interview is available at Time, but paywalled.) Bono said the new tech "can't be pirated" and will re-imagine the role of album artwork. Marco Arment has some suitably skeptical commentary: "Full albums are as interesting to most people today as magazines. Single songs and single articles killed their respective larger containers. ... This alleged new format will cost a fortune to produce: people have to take the photos, design the interactions, build the animations, and make the deals with Apple. Bono’s talking point about helping smaller bands is ridiculous ... There's nothing Apple or Bono can do to make people care enough about glorified liner notes. People care about music and convenience, period. As for “music that can’t be pirated”, I ask again, what decade is this? That ship has not only sailed long ago, but has circled the world hundreds of times, sunk, been dragged up, turned into a tourist attraction, went out of business, and been gutted and retrofitted as a more profitable oil tanker."

Comment: Good luck with that (Score 1) 139

by Anon E. Muss (#47783659) Attached to: Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Option #1: Valve has no physical presence in Australia, and tells the Australian government to go fuck themselves. Government responds by banning Valve from doing business in Australia. Good luck enforcing that. To the extent they do manage to enforce it, it will be taking action against Australian citizens, since they have no power over Valve.

Option #2: Valve doubles prices in Australia. Y'all can have all the consumer protection you want, but you're going to pay for it.

Comment: The fix is to delete the font cache (Score 5, Informative) 179

by Anon E. Muss (#47675037) Attached to: Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

The way to fix this is to delete \Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT. The file will automatically be regenerated on the next boot.

(Information found on Microsoft Support Forum and used to successfully fix my own system.)

How do you delete the file if you can't boot?

(1) Press F8 during boot to get to the Windows boot manager advanced options screen.
(2) Select "Repair".
(3) Provide password for a local account that's a member of the Administrator group.
(4) Select "Command Prompt".
(5) Find drive letter assigned to Windows partition (may not be C: in the repair environment!).
(6) Delete \Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT.
(7) Exit command prompt and reboot system.
(8) Fixed!

----------

And now, since this is /., here is the required Windows bashing...

This bug demonstrates the danger of running your GUI in kernel mode (win32k.sys). One stray pointer can ruin your whole day. In this case the pointer was sufficiently invalid to cause a bugcheck. A stray pointer that silently scribbles on other kernel data structures is even worse.

"Those who would give up essential Safety, to purchase a little temporary Performance, deserve neither Performance nor Safety."

Comment: The Mill (Score 2) 125

I think NVidia tied their hands by retaining the ARM architecture. I suspect the result will be a "worst of both worlds" processor that doesn't use less power or provide better performance than competitors.

In order execution, exposed pipelines, and software scheduling are not new ideas. They sound great in theory, but never seem to work out in practice. These architectures are unbeatable for certain tasks (e.g. DSP), but success as general purpose processors has been elusive. History is littered with the corpses of dead architectures that attempted (and failed) to tame the beast.

Personally, I'm very excited about the Mill architecture. If anybody can tame the beast, it will be these guys.

Image

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls 501

Posted by samzenpus
from the up-against-the-wall dept.
meghan elizabeth writes: Temple physicist Rongjia Tao has a utopian proposal to build three massive, 1,000-foot-high, 165-foot-thick walls around the American Midwest, in order to keep the tornadoes out. Building three unfathomably massive anti-tornado walls would count as the infrastructure project of the decade, if not the century. It would be also be exceedingly expensive. "Building such walls is feasible," Tao says. "They are much easier than constructing a skyscraper. For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300-meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed." Update: 06/28 04:14 GMT by T : Note: originally, this story said that Tao was at Drexel rather than Temple -- now corrected

Comment: Re:Legally correct decision with awful results (Score 1) 303

Splits in the circuits are more common than you might imagine, and the Supreme Court doesn't always resolve them. A lot depends on how substantial the split is. Minor differences don't always get resolved.

In any event, this case isn't "ripe" for appeal to the Supreme Court yet. The Supremes rarely get involved until all lower court proceedings have been exhausted, and this case just got sent back for retrial on the issue of fair use. The process can be maddening for the individual litigants, but it makes sense for the legal system overall.

Comment: Legally correct decision with awful results (Score 5, Informative) 303

(I actually read the court ruling before posting this)

tl;dr version: The results will likely be awful, but the decision appears legally correct.

Google won at trial because the judge decided that the Java API was not copyrightable. I absolutely believe that API's should not be copyrightable, but that isn't what the law says. Copyrightability has a very low threshold. The trial judge screwed up by applying legal standards related to fair use to the question of copyrightability. The appeals court was correct to reverse.

The case now goes back to the district court. There will be a new trail with a new jury, but the only issue will be whether Googe's copying of the Java API is fair use. The original jury deadlocked on this question. Fair use decisions are very subjective, so it's hard to predict how this will turn out. All I can say is that I hope Google wins.

P.S. None of this decision was related to patents. Oracle lost on their patent claims at trial, and that stands.

Science

Nature Vs. Nurture: Waging War Over the Soul of Science 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the born-this-way dept.
derekmead writes "Wherever determinism appears, controversy attends, raising specters of days when colonialists, eugenicists, public health officials, and political idealists believed they could cure the human condition through manipulation and force. Understanding those fears helps shed light on the controversy surrounding a recent paper (PDF) published in the American Economic Review, entitled, 'The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development.' In it, economists Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor argue that the economic development of broad human populations correlate with their levels of genetic diversity—which is, in turn, pinned to the distance its inhabitants migrated from Africa thousands of years ago. Reaction has been swift and vehement. An article signed by 18 academics in Current Anthropology accuses the researchers of 'bad science' — 'something false and undesirable' based on 'weak data and methods' that 'can become a justification for reactionary policy.' The paper attacks everything from its sources of population data to its methods for measuring genetic diversity, but the economists are standing by their methods. The quality of Ashraf and Galor's research notwithstanding, the debate illustrates just how tricky it's become to assert anything which says something about human development was in any way inevitable."

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan

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