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Privacy

+ - The Pirate Party wins 2 seats in EU parliament

Submitted by while(true)
while(true) (626738) writes "The Swedish Pirate Party has secured around 7% of the country's votes in the election to the European Union parliament. This means it likely has enough votes to claim 2 seats in the parliament. The Swedish Pirate Party has as it's only agenda "to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected"."
The Courts

Supreme Court Declines Jack Thompson Appeal 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-the-hint dept.
eldavojohn writes "Jack Thompson was disbarred last year in Florida, putting a halt to annoying lawsuits targeting game makers and the constitutional rights of gamers. Well, he had appealed to the United States Supreme Court (scheduled to be heard last Friday) to get this overturned, but instead they declined to even hear his appeal. They wouldn't even give him the time to review his appeal, so it appears his disbarment for life stands. Florida had declined to file a response to Thompson's appeal, and it turns out they didn't need to. Sad day for Jack Thompson, but a great day for gamers everywhere." This comes shortly after Thompson was frustrated by the vetoing of some legislation he promoted in Utah.
Earth

Climate Engineering As US Policy? 355

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-in-there-and-fix-it dept.
EricTheGreen writes "The Associated Press has an article featuring Obama administration science advisor John Holdren discussing potential climate engineering responses to global warming. Among the possible approaches? His own version of Operation Dark Storm — shooting micro-particulate pollution high into the atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. I'm sure the rest of the world would have no issue with that at all, of course. Yikes ..."
The Courts

Strip-Search Case Tests Limits of 4th Amendment 1240

Posted by kdawson
from the stand-and-deliver dept.
langelgjm writes "The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a case involving the strip-searching of a 13 year-old girl who was accused of possessing prescription-strength ibuprofen on school grounds, in violation of the school's zero-tolerance drug policy. The case has gained national attention because of the defining role it will play in determining which, if any, parts of the Constitution apply on school grounds. In Morse v. Frederick, the Supreme Court has already upheld the right of school administrators to restrict students' free speech at school-sponsored events that take place off school property. The school described the strip-search as 'not excessively intrusive in light of [the student's] age and sex and the nature of her suspected infraction.' The Supreme Court's last decision about searches on school property dealt only with searching a student's purse. Incidentally, the girl was found not to be in possession of any drugs, illegal or otherwise."
The Courts

Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA 785

Posted by timothy
from the similar-to-the-old-boss dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Obama Administration's Department of Justice, with former RIAA lawyers occupying the 2nd and 3rd highest positions in the department, has shown its colors, intervening on behalf of the RIAA in the case against a Boston University graduate student, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, accused of file sharing when he was 17 years old. Its oversized, 39-page brief (PDF) relies upon a United States Supreme Court decision from 1919 which upheld a statutory damages award, in a case involving overpriced railway tickets, equal to 116 times the actual damages sustained, and a 2007 Circuit Court decision which held that the 1919 decision — rather than the Supreme Court's more recent decisions involving punitive damages — was applicable to an award against a Karaoke CD distributor for 44 times the actual damages. Of course none of the cited cases dealt with the ratios sought by the RIAA: 2,100 to 425,000 times the actual damages for an MP3 file. Interestingly, the Government brief asked the Judge not to rule on the issue at this time, but to wait until after a trial. Also interestingly, although the brief sought to rebut, one by one, each argument that had been made by the defendant in his brief, it totally ignored all of the authorities and arguments that had been made by the Free Software Foundation in its brief. Commentators had been fearing that the Obama/Biden administration would be tools of the RIAA; does this filing confirm those fears?"
Medicine

Bionic Eye Gives Blind Man Sight 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
AmigaMMC writes "A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a bionic eye. Ron, 73, had the experimental surgery seven months ago at London's Moorfield's eye hospital. He says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks using the bionic eye, known as Argus II. I wouldn't go as far as claiming he regained his sight, but this certainly is a biotechnological breakthrough."
Government

Obama Picks Net Neutrality Backer As FCC Chief 409

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-we-all-just-get-along-now dept.
Ripit writes "President Obama on Tuesday nominated Julius Genachowski as the nation's top telecommunications regulator, picking a campaign adviser who has divided his career between Washington, D.C., political jobs and working as an Internet executive. Genachowski is likely to continue the Democratic push for more Net neutrality regulations, which are opposed by some conservatives and telecommunications providers. He was a top Obama technology adviser and aided in crafting a technology platform that supported Net neutrality rules."
XBox (Games)

Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban 1182

Posted by timothy
from the you-have-crossed-the-line-ma'am dept.
Goatbert writes "I just read on the Consumerist about an XBOX Live user being banned for identifying herself as a lesbian. Despite appeals, Microsoft has stood by its position that merely mentioning that you are gay or lesbian is grounds for terminating your XBOX Live membership."
Windows

The Hard Upgrade Path From XP To Vista To Win 7 496

Posted by kdawson
from the twisty-little-passages-all-different dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft executives have been telling the tech industry that if hardware supports Windows Vista, it will support Windows 7, but it now looks like that may not entirely be the case. According to CRN: 'But after a series of tests on older and newer hardware, a number of noteworthy issues emerged: Microsoft's statement that if hardware works with Windows Vista it will work with Windows 7 appears to be, at best, misleading; hardware that is older, but not near the end of most business life cycles, could be impossible to upgrade; and the addition of an extra step in the upgrade process does add complexity and more time not needed in previous upgrade cycles.' And here is CRN's overview of the difficulties Microsoft faces in asking enterprise users to walk this upgrade path: 'Across the XP-Vista-Windows 7 landscape, Microsoft has fostered an ecosystem that now holds out the prospect of a mind-numbing number of incompatible drivers, unsupported devices, unsupported applications, unsupported data, patches, updates, upgrades, 'known issues' and unknown issues. Sound familiar? That's what people used to say about Linux.'"
The Military

Cold-War Era Naval Vessels Up For Grabs 165

Posted by kdawson
from the yours-for-a-dock dept.
mcleland lets us in on a Wall Street Journal story about two cold-war era, formerly top-secret vessels the US Navy is trying to give away. At issue are the Sea Shadow (the ancestor of all modern naval radar-evading technology) and the Hughes Mining Barge (a floating dry-dock and more-or-less base for the Sea Shadow). While the ships are being 'given away,' there are multiple regulations involved, making the gift a very costly one. "A Naval Museum is 'a bloodthirsty, paper-work ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole,' warns the Historic Naval Ships Association. Because the Navy won't pay for anything — not rust-scraping or curating — to keep museums afloat, survival depends on big crowds."

Comment: Re:How do they enforce this? (Score 5, Informative) 327

by Atomic6 (#26944001) Attached to: Wisconsin Passes Digital Download Tax
Not sure why this was downranked, but I'll try to explain why Anon. Coward is correct in his thinking, to a certain point at least.

If you get a refund, you'll get exactly what you would've have spent when you initially paid your taxes and had withholding's taken out. In other words, it's like the government was saving your money for you without paying interest like a bank would do.

If, however, you owe money, that means you got to keep it in the bank or put it into some kind of investment, where it could grow grow. When it comes time to pay owed taxes, whatever interest or growth that money accrued is yours.

Comment: Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (Score 2, Interesting) 450

by Atomic6 (#22154052) Attached to: World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers
You'll definitely notice. The reduced amount of XP needed to level along with all the new mid-range quests makes hitting Outlands so much easier. Whatever you do, make sure to give Duskwallow a second chance. There is an exciting new questchain in Theramore that I won't spoil, and they even added roads to Tabetha's house, so she isn't so much of a pain-in-the-ass to find.
NASA

NASA World Wind 1.4 Released With Trailer 117

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fun-toys dept.
Bull_UK writes "As many of you probably already know NASA had to shift it's priorities to the upcoming Java version of World Wind, leaving 1.4 effectively orphaned, but the Open Source community came together and with a lot of hard work we were able to finish what Chris Maxwell started. Some of the new things which differentiate the new World Wind from the competition are the amazing new visual effects, including HDR, check out the video for some examples. Remember this virtual globe has never had the same goals as Google Earth, if you just want to see your house stick with GE, although many areas have high resolution as good and sometimes better than GE. World Wind is aimed at education and science, all the default imagery is copyright free, you don't need to purchase a license to redistribute the imagery and there are no pro or expert versions to buy, you can happily use World Wind at work or school without fear of any lawyers confiscating your research."

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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