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Government

In MN, Massive Police Raids On Suspected Protestors 961

Posted by kdawson
from the it-can-happen-here dept.
X0563511 alerts us to events in Minneapolis and St. Paul in advance of the Republican convention (which has been put on hold because of Hurricane Gustav). Local police backed by the FBI raided a number of homes and public buildings and confiscated computers and other material. From Salon.com: "Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than 'fire code violations,' and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying. Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning — one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided." Here is local reporting from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an 'anarchist' plan to disrupt this week's Republican National Convention. From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience ... A St. Paul City Council member described it as excessive, while activists, many of whom were detained and then released without charges, called it intimidation designed to quash free speech."
Media

Sirius, XM Merger Gets FCC Approval 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-wants-a-choice-anyway dept.
Multiple readers, including koavf, have written to tell us the FCC has finally approved the Sirius-XM merger that has been in the works for quite a while now. CNN has picked up AP coverage as well. We discussed approval of the merger by the Justice Department a few months ago. From CNN: "The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the buyout, with the tiebreaker coming Friday night from Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate. Tate had insisted that the companies settle charges that they violated FCC rules before she would approve the deal. The companies agreed this week to pay $19.7 million to the U.S. Treasury for violations related to radio receivers and ground-based signal repeaters. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin confirmed the final vote Friday night. 'I think it's going to be, in the end, a good thing for consumers and be in the public interest,' he told The Associated Press."
Microsoft

Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Posted by timothy
from the could-be-the-largest-free-software-vendor dept.
Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)
The Military

Stealth Paint From German Inventor Werner Nickel 193

Posted by timothy
from the peek-a-boo-you-can't-see-me dept.
Gerhardius writes "Werner Nickel sounds like a Disney-style wacky inventor. He moved to the UAE to develop his previous invention: he had bred a worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand. That project failed so he moved on to the next item on his agenda, naturally a radar absorbing paint. While it certainly is not unique, there is some interesting history behind the development, and a proposed civilian use."
Privacy

UK's MI5 Wants Oyster Card Travel Data 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
Boiled Frog from a Nation of Suspects writes "The Oyster card, an RFID single-swipe card (which was recently cracked), was introduced to London's public transport users purportedly to make their lives easier. Now, British Intelligence services want some of the benefits by trawling through the travel data amassed by the card to spy on the 17 million Britons who use it. The article notes, "Currently the security services can demand the Oyster records of specific individuals under investigation to establish where they have been, but cannot trawl the whole database. But supporters of calls for more sharing of data argue that apparently trivial snippets — like the journeys an individual makes around the capital — could become important pieces of the jigsaw when fitted into a pattern of other publicly held information on an individual's movements, habits, education and other personal details. That could lead, they argue, to the unmasking of otherwise undetected suspects."
Music

$5 Per Month Fee Proposed For Legal Music P2P 528

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-nice-to-have-somebody-do-my-budget-for-me dept.
sneakyimp writes "Both Wired and Ars Technica have reports on Jim Griffin's proposal that ISPs charge each broadband customer $5 per month to subsidize the ailing music industry. The resulting fund would ostensibly 'compensate songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels.' Although no specific version of the proposal has been referenced, a number of controversies are inherent to the plan: How is the money really divided? What happens when the MPAA, the Business Software Alliance, and various other industry groups want their own surcharge added? What about the supposed majority of broadband customers who never download illegal music? Griffin discussed the plan further at SXSW . We've previously discussed a similar proposal from the Songwriters Association of Canada.
Movies

Blu-ray Player Prices Hit 2008 Highs 318

Posted by Zonk
from the them's-some-prices-right-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HD DVD is almost gone and Blu-ray prices are already on their way up. TG Daily went through average retail prices of some of the popular Blu-ray players and found that you should expect to pay at least $400 for an entry-level Blu-ray player, while you could get a player for less than $330 in February. It really should not be a surprise for all of us, but it is interesting to see how quickly retail adjusted to the new situation and increased prices."
The Internet

Internet Pranks in Schools 404

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the like-putting-electromagnets-on-your-teachers-dell dept.
Ferante125 writes "An interesting article about online pranks by students and teachers' responses to them. There are some interesting stats that sounded a little hard to believe. My immature side finds it funny and my more mature side is interested in the legal aspects." For the most part it seems like this article thinks pranks are basically just name calling and flaming on websites.
The Courts

Jack Thompson Served With Order to Show Cause 299

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the a-village-somewhere-is-missing-their-idiot dept.
cli_rules! writes "DailyTech has reported that Jack Thompson has been ordered to explain himself. 'Therefore, it is ordered that you shall show cause on or before March 5, 2008, why this Court should not find that you have abused the legal system process and impose upon you a sanction for abusing the legal system, including, but not limited to directing the Clerk of this Court to reject for filing any future pleadings, petitions, motions, letters, documents, or other filings submitted to this Court by you unless signed by a member of The Florida Bar other than yourself.'"
Government

+ - US pushes for armed marshalls on european flights

Submitted by CaptJay
CaptJay (126575) writes "According to Spiegel, the United States are pushing for armed marshalls on all transatlantic flights. The article mentions that the armed guards would be US Air Marshalls. The proposal is sweetened with deals for looser visa requirements from certain countries, which complicates the European Union members uniting against the measure."

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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