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Comment Re:What's the open alternative? (Score 1) 641

Check out the products from BeBook - they support many popular eBook formats and don't have any way to exercise complete remote control over the device. They do support Adobe Digital Editions DRM, but the device is happy to read unencumbered formats. Based on free software, their GPLed code is available from the support section of their website.

The BeBook products are actually the most popular line of ebook readers in the world - just not in North America where the Kindle is most popular. Until recently, they only had higher-end readers that were more expensive (~$300), but they've recently released the BeBook Club which is down in Kindle's price range ($150).

The main problem is that they don't retail in North America. They can be ordered online and will ship across the Atlantic - it's expensive, slow, and 100% worth not buying a Kindle.

http://mybebook.com/

Displays

Why Are We Losing Vertical Pixels? 1140

An anonymous reader writes "Switching from 1600x1200 to wide 1680x1050 to HD 1600x900, we are losing more and more vertical space, thus it is becoming less and less simple to read a full A4 page or a web page or a function call. What's the solution for retaining the screen height we need to be productive?"
Government

Submission + - Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300-> 1

Kurofuneparry writes: Pennsylvania generally and Philadelphia specifically have had a number of budget issues and some bloggers are seeing the results. From the article: "yes, cash-strapped cities can’t very well ignore potential sources of income. But at the same time, there must be some room for discretion and common sense."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

Comment Re:Good for you (Score 1) 93

I opened a Scribd account just to write scathing things when they show up in my search results. I've also taken to reporting these hits as spam to google in the hopes that someone will investigate.

It's very frustrating - most of the time, my search terms only ever appear on the list of search terms that has brought others to the page. 95% of the time, it's just an SEO feedback loop.

Censorship

IWF Backs Down On Wiki Censorship 226

jonbryce writes "The Internet Watch Foundation, guardians of the Great Firewall of Britain, have stopped censoring Wikipedia for hosting what they considered to be a child porn image. They had previously threatened to block Amazon for hosting the same image." Here is the IWF's statement, which credits the Streisand Effect for opening their eyes: "...in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this webpage from our list. Any further reported instances of this image which are hosted abroad, will not be added to the list. ... IWF's overriding objective is to minimize the availability of indecent images of children on the internet, however, on this occasion our efforts have had the opposite effect."
Music

Record Label Infringes Own Copyright, Site Pulled 282

AnonCow sends in a peculiar story from TorrentFreak, which describes the plight of a free-download music site that has been summarily evicted from the Internet for violating its own copyright. The problem seems to revolve around the host's insistence that proof of copyright be snail-mailed to them. Kind of difficult when your copyright takes the form of a Creative Commons license that cannot be verified unless its site is up. "The website of an Internet-based record label which offers completely free music downloads has been taken down by its host for copyright infringement, even though it only offers its own music. Quote Unquote Records calls itself 'The First Ever Donation Based Record Label,' but is currently homeless after its host pulled the plug."

Comment Re:Their stuff sounds worse than DRM (Score 2, Informative) 279

No, Impulse is nothing like that. I purchased the electronic download of Sins of a Solar Empire using Impulse, so I have actually used it.

1) Impulse doesn't run in the background.

2) I don't have to start Impulse to play Sins of a Solar Empire. Once it's installed, I can start it from an icon like any game installed from media.

3) Impulse only runs when I start Impulse. The only time I start Impulse is to download game updates.

4) Online multi-player accounts are created via Impulse, but you don't need to run Impulse to sign on. I can sign on to the Internet multi-player right from Sins of a Solar Empire.

There seems to be a lot of backlash against Impulse, but having used it, it's not bad at all. It's a little flashy and cheezy looking, but it's basically a download manager with integrated iTunes-like store.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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