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+ - Installing OpenSource VLC Media Player Voids Your Dell Laptop Warranty

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "VLC is incapable of increasing the actual power past 100%, all that is being done is the waveform is being modified to be louder within the allowed constraints. But, that didn't stop Dell from denying warranty service for speaker damage if the popular VLC Media Player is installed on a Dell laptop. Also we got a report that service was denied because a KMPlayer was installed on a laptop. The warranty remains valid on the other parts of the laptop. VLC player developer denied the issue with VLC and further claimed the the player cannot be used to damage speakers. How can I convince Dell to replace my laptop speaker which is still in warranty? Or class action is only my option?"

Comment: Well, (Score 5, Insightful) 208

by Dartz-IRL (#45549433) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Censor "Extremist" Websites Via Orders To ISPs

When Terrorism is 'Any action that is intended to influence the government', what is extremism? Any idea that the current sitting government doesn't like?

There was once another group of people that went out of their way to censor information their people received, to hide atrocities committed in their name and smash an idea that didn't fit the party line.

As I recall, at one stage, the UK did quite a bit to stop them.

+ - How to deal with service providers that make it purposely hard to leave?

Submitted by DrHappyAngry
DrHappyAngry (1373205) writes "After calling Tmobile to look at getting out of my contract for unnacceptable service throughout Downtown Seattle, I found that they require a snail mail letter or fax. They also require a copy of ID or utility bill showing my address, which would not even show the locations that are problematic, such as my office. The service quality is at the point where most buildings in the core of a major city are not even able to be serviced by their network. How do you deal with a provider that is out to make it as impossible to leave as they can? Asides from posting this to /. how else can they be publicly shamed? I was very upset when they told me this, and in fact told them "This isn't 1980, nobody uses that anymore, and this is for the sole purpose of making it more difficult to terminate the contract.""

Techdirt: Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Sued To Show That Sherlock Holmes Is Public Domain->

From feed by feedfeeder
A little over three years ago, we had a discussion concerning whether or not Sherlock Holmes was in the public domain. By our understanding of the law, the character absolutely is in the public domain. There is one remaining book -- The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes -- which contains a few stories, that are still covered by copyright, but the characters and most of the written works, are in the public domain. However, the legal representatives of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate use the fact that one book is still held under copyright to argue that the character is still protected until (at least) 2023. Of course, as with things like Happy Birthday, even if it should be in the public domain, if there's some corporate entity insisting that it's covered by copyright, you'd have to go to court to prove otherwise. And most people don't want to bother.

Thankfully, that just changed when it comes to Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes scholar, Leslie S. Klinger, was working on a book (with Laurie R. King) called In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, detailing "major mystery/sci-fi/fantasy authors inspired by the Holmes tales." However, the Conan Doyle Estate contacted their publisher, Pegasus Books, demanding a license fee, and saying if they weren't paid, they'd make sure that no major distributors would sell the book. Specifically, the estate directly threatened that:

If you proceed instead to bring out Study in Sherlock II unlicensed, do not expect to see it offered for sale by Amazon, Barnes Noble, and similar retailers. We work with those company's routinely to weed out unlicensed uses of Sherlock Holmes from their offerings, and will not hesitate to do so with your book as well.
Like too many publishers, Pegasus freaked out and refused to publish the book at all, so Klinger has taken it upon himself to file for declaratory judgment. You can see the full filing posted here (and embedded it below).

The lawsuit points out that Sherlock Holmes characters have long been in the public domain, and even that remaining book of stories includes two that are clearly in the public domain, as they were published prior to 1923. But, most importantly "none of the Sherlock Holmes Story Elements first appeared in any of the stories that were collected in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes." In other words, the entirety of copyright protected elements in the character were published outside of that one book, and are now in the public domain.

The lawsuit also notes that Klinger and King's publisher on an earlier book, A Study in Sherlock did, in fact, pay a license to the estate, but they did not concede any of the legal arguments. When the estate threatened Klinger, he correctly explained that no license was needed, but he's still dealing with the fallout from his publisher getting cold feet. Thus, he's asking the court to state, definitively, that the character is in the public domain. Kudos for Klinger for taking this on. We need more people willing to stand up for the public domain. Also, jeers to Pegasus for not being the one to take this on and for freaking out over the bogus threat.

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How Technology Might Avert an Apocalypse 201

Posted by samzenpus
from the science-to-the-rescue dept.
First time accepted submitter deapbluesea writes "Matt Ridley recounts the many predictions of catastrophe that have been made by prominent figures in the past. 'The classic apocalypse has four horsemen, and our modern version follows that pattern, with the four riders being chemicals (DDT, CFCs, acid rain), diseases (bird flu, swine flu, SARS, AIDS, Ebola, mad cow disease), people (population, famine), and resources (oil, metals).' From over population, to pandemics, peak oil to climate change, Ridley provides examples of human innovation that have averted the disasters, real or imagined. He does not declare the doomsayers to be wrong, merely hyperbolic in their predictions. 'We hear a lot from those who think disaster is inexorable if not inevitable, and a lot from those who think it is all a hoax. We hardly ever allow the moderate "lukewarmers."' Given the current discussions on rich vs poor, conservative vs liberal, religious versus non-religious, maybe a little moderation should be in order. After all, there are a lot of examples of 'experts' who got it completely wrong in the past."

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