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"Authors Guild" Skims Half of Google Book-Rights Settlement 271

Miracle Jones writes "A recent memo from the 'Author's Guild' to the writers and publishers that it supposedly represents shows that only $45 million of the $125 million dollar settlement with Google will be paid to writers, and that the most a writer can receive for a book is $300. Many people speculate that Google's monopoly over all of out-of-copyright works will result in a brutal monopoly that will hurt both writers and readers, and that the 'Author's Guild' had no right to make the deal in the first place. How will it all shake down? Should writers be paid at all for their work? Will Google be any good at the publishing racket?"
United States

National Debt Clock Overflowed, Extended By a Digit 696

hackingbear writes "The National Debt Counter, erected in 1989 when the US debt was 'merely' a tiny $2.7 trillion, has been moving so much that it recently ran out of digits to display the ballooning figure: $10,150,603,734,720, or roughly $10.2 trillion, as of Saturday afternoon. To accommodate the extra '1,' the clock was hacked: the '1' from "$10.2" has been moved left to the LCD square once occupied solely by the digital dollar sign. A non-digital, improvised dollar sign has been pasted next to the '1.' It will be replaced in 2009 with a new clock able to track debt up to a quadrillion dollars, which is a '1' followed by 15 zeros. That should be good enough for a few more months at least, I believe." Adds reader MarkusQ, "I know Dick Cheney has assured us that 'Deficits don't matter' but I can't help wondering if we should be fixing the problem rather than the sign."

Submission + - Duke Fellow on GPLv3 and the SoftwarePatent Menace (

andy_from_nc writes: "Recently the Triange Linux Users' Group (which meets at the Raleigh, NC Red Hat HQ on NCSU campus) hosted Sapna Kuma speaking on GPLv3 and more particularly about the Microsoft Patent menace. The videos are now up on iBiblio in both MP4 and OGM (OGG for video). I've also posted links to torrents and will update with mirrors on here.

The talk raised some important issues and raises a call to action for the entire "FLOSS" community on battling the Microsoft menace of patents. The video is okay (the other camera failed) and the audio is decent with captions of the key questions."

Comment I'm a hax0r! (Score 3, Interesting) 268

Last login: Thu Apr 6 19:51:14 on ttyp1
Welcome to the Infamous P.M.A.C
The-Infamous-P-M-A-C:~ sapnak$ vi comment

I come at this story from a different angle. I'm a tech who's starting to
be infatuated with drawing.

It works like this: I spend 90% of my time at work sitting in front of a PC
(a Mac, but that distinction is mighty blurred these days..). I troubleshoot
IT problems and design software. Historicaly, my free time at home was spent
doing thing like playing games and watching movies. It's all virtual,
abstract, and intangable.

Last year, I was in laid up for a bit and found myself with some time and
crayons on my hands -- and I realized that I have no drawing skills. So I
took a semester long "drawing for n00bs" class at a local school. I'm almost
done with it, and it's really changed me.

1) It's a great fun to be able to get down and dirty with real materials.
charcoal, pencils, ink, etc.

2) Even n00bs can make pretty things with a little help

3) I started to notice how much shitty computer-made art there is on the
web (for values of art == design).

Related to the article directly, there's something in this debate that reminds
me of the assembler vs. compiler arguments in tech circles. Is it better
if you know what's going on and how to do it yourself? Is there value in
doing it the hard way?

An Interview With The Router Man 94

Angry_Admin writes "For Network World's 20th anniversary, they've published an interview with William (Bill) Yeager, the creator of the multiprotocol router, with some history on how Cisco came to be. As he says in the interview : 'This project started for me in January of 1980, when essentially the boss said, "You're our networking guy. Go do something to connect the computer science department, medical center and department of electrical engineering."' 6 months later he had his first working 3MBit router shoved in a closet."

The opossum is a very sophisticated animal. It doesn't even get up until 5 or 6 PM.