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Comment Re:4000000? (Score 1) 163

Your sugestion basically makes government liable (because they will have to pay to enforce all that stuff), which is better, but it just indirectly makes the taxpayer liable.

The best answer is to attach some simple value to someone's simple private personal data - say £5000, and to be adjusted for inflation in future. Upon loss of their data, the victim must be paid out that amount, along with any future losses of income/monies that they are liable for "on the balance of probabilities".

The liability approach makes sure that private data starts to be taken seriously. It's also very consistent with what is easy for civil courts to prosecute, and avoids any government beauraucracy.

The REAL Reason We Use Linux 682

Vlad Dolezal writes "We tell people we use Linux because it's secure. Or because it's free, because it's customizable, because it has excellent community support... But all of that is just marketing BS. We tell that to non-Linux users because they wouldn't understand the REAL reason." The answer to his question probably won't surprise you.

De Icaza Regrets Novell/Microsoft Pact 264

Ian Lamont writes "Novell Vice President and GNOME architect Miguel de Icaza sounded off at a MIX 08 panel on a number of topics. First, he claimed that he was 'not happy' with Novell's cross-patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, saying that if he had his way, the company would have stayed with the open-source community. He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models: 'They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow. There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users.' He also tangled with Mike Schroepfer, a Mozilla engineering executive, about extending patent protection for Moonlight to third parties. However, de Icaza did say that Novell has 'done the best it could to balance open-source interests with patent indemnification.' We discussed the beginnings of the deal between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006."

Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea 150

orlando writes "Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, currently schedule for the end of February. After that there's a subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably about the riskiest thing you can do, if you are concerned with long term interoperability. At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already-dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today? Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"

Submission + - Suing Trolls on Mess Boards for Threats (reuters.co.uk)

* * Beatles-Beatles writes: "Defendant began a thread in 2005 seeking to warn Yale students about one of the women in the suit, entitled "Stupid Bitch to Enter Yale Law." Another threatened to rape and sodomize her, the lawsuit documents said

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?t ype=internetNews&storyid=2007-06-17T010410Z_01_N15 292674_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK-USA-INTERNET-LAWSUIT.XML
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/16/new-suit-coul d-expose-anonymous-internet-trolls/"

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Why Does Ebay Insult Customers? (barrisbilt.com)

Ralph Riccardi writes: "I am presently having a dispute with eBay over the fact that I mistakenly listed a car 2 minutes before their promo went in effect. (I am EDT, they use PDT). I ask for a credit ($39) and they reply with 2 emails that are both insulting and condescending in tone. This is not about the money, but rather the way a huge company in the middle of some serious competition issues treats the customers that made them the success they are. I wonder if the powers that be at eBay know about any of this questionable customer service, or in fact, set these policies. I will gladly forward all the emails to you or post them on my blog if you are interested. Feel free to contact me for any additional information. Also, I have not responded to the second email yet. Thanks for taking the time to look this over.
Ralph Riccardi"


Submission + - Pump and dump spam coming to VOIP?

An anonymous reader writes: This morning I received a phone spam for a penny stock. It was similar to the robotic political campaign calls that plagued during the last election (I was receiving over 10 a day in the weeks leading up to the election). The call had all the tact of a late night infomercial, proclaiming... "STOP! Do you trade in stocks? Then you need to BUY XXXX (I won't do them the justice of perpetrating their pump and dump). Thats XXXX! This stock is set to run! Get in now before the news breaks sending XXXX into the stratosphere" You get the point.

I'm on the do not call list and use a "zapper" so my normal telemarketer frequency, aside from political and charity calls is very low. I did just register a new domain name and didn't configure my private registration for a couple of days... so I imagine my number could have been scraped from WHOIS.

So I put it out to other Slashdotters... have you experienced this? Do we have to look forward to a new level of spam harassment utilizing the latest and greatest in low cost automated phone banks? Has the cost of VOIP brought the cost of spamming down so low as to be profitable for the pump and dump scam artist?

Submission + - Cellphone "Phantom Vibration Syndrome" ... (usatoday.com)

Ant writes: "This USA Today article on what some call it "phantom vibration syndrome." Others prefer "vibranxiety" — the feeling when you answer your vibrating cellular/cell phone, only to find it never vibrated at all. Though no known studies have analyzed what may cause spontaneous buzzing. Some who experienced recurring phantom vibrations wondered whether the phenomenon had physical roots: Was it caused by nerve damage or muscle memory? But experts say the false alarms simply demonstrate how easily habits are developed. Psychologically, the key to deciphering phantom vibrations is "hypothesis-guided search," a theory that describes the selective monitoring of physical sensations, says Jeffrey Janata, director of the behavioral medicine program at University Hospitals in Cleveland. It suggests that when cellphone users are alert to vibrations, they are likely to experience sporadic false alarms, he says... Seen on Digg."

Submission + - Why people write online documen (onlamp.com)

mbadolato writes: The O'Reilly Network published a survey asking why people contribute to online forums, wikis, and other technical documentation. With over 350 responses, the results and analysis are published here

The article summarizes some of the debates concerning online gifting, presents the results of the survey, and attempts to analyze the meaning of the results.

Feed Sony apologizes over Manchester Cathedral gunfight scene (engadget.com)

Filed under: Gaming

Sony's PR department has got to be one of the oddest places in the world to work: what other job requires doing damage control over accusations of running a racist marketing campaign and apologizing to the Church of England about violent video games in the same breath? Well, the latter is the current situation report from the whole "Resistance: Fall of Man level being set in Manchester Cathedral" brouhaha. Apparently, the company and the Church are going to sit down and discuss the Church's demands -- how much the company will be donating, and whether there will be a recall of the game -- with the background of Sony sincerely apologizing to anyone that was offended by the depiction. In light of this controversy, the embarrassment from asking a Church "can we make a video game where we shoot aliens inside this Cathedral?" would have been far less damaging than all this negative publicity: next time Sony, just ask permission!

[Via Joystiq]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Ebook Readers Where are they now?

Patrik_AKA_RedX writes: "I spend quite sometime on the bus each day, and most of it I spend reading. A lot of it I get from the net and have to print to take with me. IMO this is a bit of a waste of perfectly good trees so I was looking for an alternative. I've tried taking a laptop, but even the compact Armada M300 is quite cumbersome. Real Ebook readers haven't shown up in stores around here yet, the closest thing I've found is a MP4 player with ebook support, which didn't specify how much this support actually is. My question is what ebook reader-device do you have and is it worth the trouble? Also which of these devices are available in Europe?"

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll