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Government

+ - Pirate Party is Now Third Largest in Sweden

Submitted by gamerdonkey
gamerdonkey (1129337) writes "Membership in the Swedish Pirate Party has exploded since the end of the Pirate Bay trial. In those three weeks, the party has tripled its membership, reaching 44,000, and has today surpassed the Center Party, making it the third largest political party in Sweden. Moreover, if growth continues at this rate, it will take the second spot in the country. The party leader, Rick Falkvinge, commented on the achievement and the trial that sparked it, stating, "The Pirate Bay verdict was not a single event, but the final straw in a long series of events... With just one month till the European elections, the timing of these horrible events arguably work as a catalyst for change." Falkvinge also commented on how this improves the party's odds in the upcoming elections, "It's not a question of 'a' seat any more. If everybody who is angry with the Pirate Bay verdict goes to vote, we will get at least one seat, and probably more.""
Data Storage

+ - MegaUpload refuses payout - claims "fraud" 2

Submitted by
Farasha SilverSand
Farasha SilverSand writes "Earlier this year, in October to be precise, LiveJournal user Cleolinda Jones updated her blog with an entry regarding a special campaign known as Project Download.

To make a long story short, Oregon resident Erin (LJ username redscorner) needed a series of brain surgeries that were both expensive and life-saving.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

To Erin, MegaUpload's download reward program must have seemed like a godsend. For five million downloads, Erin would recieve $10,000, enough to pay for her brain surgeries.

The file to be downloaded was a small .txt file, basically thanking the downloader for participating and again explaining her situation.

In December, Erin reached her first milestone — 100,000 download points, listed on the reward page as paying out $100. Instead of waiting until the five million mark to cash in, Erin decided to claim her $100 reward, just to make sure MegaUpload really meant business.

Instead of her reward, Erin received an e-mail from MegaUpload stating that they would not pay her.

Dear Erin,

Our apologies for the late reply, our rewards staff was not in during Xmas.

We have decided not to pay you because of fraud. Your reward points were earned through small 2 KB txt files which were downloaded many times from the same IP's. This against our terms of service and reward rules.

Sincerely,

Megaupload Abuse Department


Aside from being wholly unprofessional, the e-mail is not even consistent with MegaUpload's own Terms of Service regarding their rewards program, which state:

What is a qualifying download?

Up to one download per IP address per file per day will be counted. Downloads from certain countries or territories do not qualify. Click here for the current list of qualifying countries.

Absolutely no fraud

You will be disqualified and banned if you try to manipulate the results. Automated mass downloads are easily detected and strictly forbidden.

Only files up to 100 MB

Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for the Rewards program.


The ToS do not state that files must meet a minimum requirement. They also do not state that multiple downloads from the same IP address on different dates are fraudulent and against the rules.

Erin is considering filing suit in small claims court, but since MegaUpload is allegedly based in Hong Kong, little to nothing might come from legal action.

MegaUpload's rewards program was more of a last-ditch effort than anything for Erin, and he whole situation should reiterate what most of us already know — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Google

+ - Gmail accounts being deactivated.->

Submitted by
zratchet
zratchet writes "My Google account was disabled yesterday, and hundreds of other people have been seeing accounts randomly disabled since the beginning of December. See here, here, and here for the hundreds of people that have been frustrated by this issue. Thankfully Google is working on the issue, but my account is not re-enabled yet. Just getting the news out, and wondering if anyone else has had this happen. The last two URLs need a Google Account to log in."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Youtube censors 1984 1

Submitted by techyluciano
techyluciano (1119153) writes "On Youtube you can watch Orwell's 1984 in 10 minutes reprises. Nothing surprising here. What you'll find if you decide to watch the whole movie is that some parts are missing. "Why?" you ask ... Because of some sex scenes inside the movie. "Thinkofthechildren" comes to mind, but get over it, there must be a gazillion porno youtubes around. All a child has to do is GOOGLE for some porn. You'll be (un)pleased to find out that kids of 2nd grade (and maybe lower) already know about their genitalia and some can list more sex positions than you even know (in detail). Is this censoring part only (barely) effective in preventing kids and parents watching embarrassing sex scenes TOGETHER?"
Education

+ - Graduate with bad grades or repeat an year? 16

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a CS Student within one year of graduation.
Because of financial reasons I've been working on a full time basis for the past 2 years + worked on an open source project.
This has brought me from B+ & A in my first two years of college to somewhere in the mists of C and lower.
I now have enough money to sustain myself for two years of schooling.
I've got two choices:
  • a) repeat one year, repair all my bad grades and graduate with better grades but with a mark that I repeated one school year
  • b) graduate with lower grades but with no repeated year.
I'd like to know the opinion of recruiters out there: if you had two candidates which ranked similarly during the interviews but one is of type a) the other of type b), which would you favour?"
The Internet

+ - Internet Toplogy Resembles a Medusa

Submitted by sehlat
sehlat (180760) writes "A new study by a group of researchers, tends to show that the internet, taken as a whole, has a structure which greatly resembles that of a medusa.

The data suggests a new picture of the AS-graph structure, which distinguishes a relatively large, redundantly connected core of nearly 100 ASes and two components that flow data in and out from this core. One component is fractally interconnected through peer links; the second makes direct connections to the core only. The model which results has superficial similarities with and important differences from the "Jellyfish" structure proposed by Tauro et al., so we call it a "Medusa."
"
Slashback

Charges Dropped In PA Video Taping Arrest 177

Posted by kdawson
from the common-sense-prevails dept.
Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed has reversed himself completely over the charges against Brian Kelly, arrested for wiretapping after videotaping a police stop. Now let's see if they are good enough to compensate Kelly for the 26 hours he spent in jail and the anguish of the cloud over his future caused by a felony arrest. From the article: "... [DA] Freed said his decision will affect not only Brian Kelly, 18, but also will establish a policy for police departments countywide. 'When police are audio- and video-recording traffic stops with notice to the subjects, similar actions by citizens, even if done in secret, will not result in criminal charges,' Freed said yesterday. 'The law itself might need to be revised.'"

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce

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