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+ - Class Action Suit Goodies Await Tech Users->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Did you buy an Acer laptop with Vista and less than 1 GB of RAM? The company has a thumb drive it would like to send you. Did you get an unwanted text from Papa John's? The company would like to make it up with you with $50 worth of free pizza. These and other little rewards are available as a result of class action lawsuits that have wound their ways through the court systems and now, years later, are paying off for very large groups of tech users."
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+ - U.S. ISBN monopoly denies threat from digital publishing->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "The Economist writes that self-publishing threatens the existence of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) regimen, which is used to track and distribute printed books. Self-publishing of e-books has experienced triple-digit growth in recent years, and the most popular self-publishing platforms such as Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing don't require ISBNs (Amazon assigns its own reference number to these titles). But Bowker, the sole distributor of ISBNs in the United States, sees an opportunity in self-publishing. The packages for independent authors are very expensive — Bowker charges $125 for a single ISBN, and $250 for ten. It also upsells other expensive services to new and naive authors, including $25 barcodes and a social widget that costs $120 for the first year. Laura Dawson, the product manager for identifiers at Bowker, insists that ISBNs are relevant and won't be replaced anytime soon: "Given how hard it is to migrate database platforms and change standards, I wouldn’t expect to replace the ISBN, simply because it is also an EAN, which is an ISO standard that forms the backbone of global trade of both physical and digital items. There are a lot of middlemen, even in self-publishing. They require standards in order to communicate with one another.""
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China

+ - Infamous Chinese Hacker Heading Antivirus Firm?->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Brian Krebs has uncovered evidence that Anvisoft, a Chinese antivirus startup, may be operated by Tan Dailin, a notorious Chinese hacker known as "Wicked Rose" or "Withered Rose". In 2006, Tan was allegedly the leader of a Chinese government-sponsored team called NCPH (short for Network Crack Program Hacker) that took advantage of a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word to conduct attacks against an unnamed U.S. military organization. Krebs used DNS records, Google Translate, and other tools to make the connection, but acknowledges that it could be a coincidence or hoax. He concludes:

"Anvisoft may in fact be a legitimate company, with a legitimate product; and for all I know, it is. But until it starts to answer some basic questions about who’s running the company, this firm is going to have a tough time gaining any kind of credibility or market share."

"

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Your Rights Online

+ - Lendink story submission -- please withdraw, DMCA complaint may be bogus->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Earlier this evening I submitted a story based on LendInk's owner receiving a new DMCA complaint:

LendInk ebook lending service returns, quickly draws DMCA notice

On closer examination, the alleged DMCA notice looks extremely fishy (the notice was sent via gmail, and the lawyer is not registered in the state he allegedly sent it from). For this reason, can you cancel the submission? Even though Lendink's owner thinks the notice is real, I would rather err on the side of caution.

Thanks,

Ian"

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Comment: Re:Authors still attacking their Facebook page (Score 3, Insightful) 288

by Ian Lamont (#40927083) Attached to: Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints
Go to the "see all" discussions on this page to see authors' misguided complaints (most are in early August). Some samples:

Remove my books from your lists immediately...The Eternal Question and Children of Hamelin. I am seeking legal action... ... I own the copyright to my books and I did NOT give you permission to put them on your sight for lending. REMOVE THEM IMMEDIATELY! ... Please remove my three books from this site. My novel Queen Sacrifice took over a year to write and I consider book piracy to be theft from authors. Any readers who download stolen books are also guilty of stealing from authors. ... I'll add my name to this list of people pissed off that you are lending my book without my permission. This will serve as your only notice that you are to remove my book Morgan: The scandal that shook Freemasonry from your service immediately.

Your Rights Online

+ - Legitimate ebook lending community closed after copyright complaints-> 5

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "LendInk, a community for people interesting in using the lending features of the Kindle and Nook, has been shut down after some authors mistakenly thought the site was hosting pirated ebooks. The site brought together people who wanted to loan or borrow specific titles that are eligible for lending, and then sent them to Amazon or BarnesAndNoble.com to make the loans. Authors and publishers who were unaware of this feature of the Kindle and Nook, and/or mistakenly assumed the site was handing out pirated copies, were infuriated. LendInk's hosting company received hundreds of complaints and shut the site down. LendInk's owner says, "The hosting company has offered to reinstate Lendink.com on the condition that I personally respond to all of the complaints individually. I have to say, I really do not know if it is worth the effort at this point. I have read the comments many of these people have posted and I don't think any form of communication will resolve the issues in their eyes. Most are only interested in getting money from me and others are only in in for the kill. They have no intentions of talking to me or working this out. So much for trying to start a business and live the American Dream.""
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Comment: Walter M. Miller Jr. (Score 4, Interesting) 1130

by Ian Lamont (#40924431) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?
I read a lot of post-apocalyptic sci-fi when I was a kid, and the author that really stood out was Walter M. Miller, Jr., author of A Canticle for Leibowitz. He's a strong short story writer as well, but he's seldom mentioned in sci-fi lists -- I speculate it's because his prime writing period was in the 1950s.
Facebook

+ - Facebook changes your email listing to @facebook.com without permission->

Submitted by coastal984
coastal984 (847795) writes "Facebook has rolled out a sweeping change to profiles few have noticed, without users' permission: Your email listing has been changed from whatever you had posted to an @facebook.com address. You have to go and change it back manually to undo the change. One would have thought Facebook would have learned it's lesson by now, but apparently they have not."
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Google

+ - Miami Heat owner sues Google, blogger over 'unflattering' photo->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Ranaan Katz, a minority owner of the Miami Heat, has filed a copyright suit against Google and a blogger using Google's Blogspot service after the blogger posted an unflattering picture of Katz. The photo was taken at a basketball game, but the blog post that contains the picture alleges a "fraudulent scheme" involving Katz's commercial real estate operations. According to PaidContent, "This is the second time that Katz has sued the blogger. Last summer, Miami news outlets reported that Katz filed a defamation lawsuit against “John Doe” over critical blog posts. That lawsuit appears to have failed, likely on the grounds that Katz is a public figure and that US law is reluctant to chill free speech. The copyright lawsuit, therefore, appears to be a backdoor for Katz to go after the blogger all the same.""
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The Internet

+ - "Inventor of email" gets support of Noam Chomsky->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Shiva Ayyadurai, who famously claims to have invented email as a teenager in the 1970s, is back. A statement attributed to Noam Chomsky offers support for Ayyadurai's claim while attacking "industry insiders" for stating otherwise. The statement reads:

Given the term email was not used prior to 1978, and there was no intention to emulate "...a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system," as late as December 1977, there is no controversy here, except the one created by industry insiders, who have a vested interest to protect a false branding that BBN is the "inventor of email", which the facts obliterate.

"

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Google

+ - Google Blockly - A Language With A Difference->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "There are aspects of Google that increasingly don't make sense. First they dump App Inventor — a graphical language for Android apps — in a fit of spring cleaning and closures — and now they have launched another Scratch like graphical language, Blockly.
However Blockly is different. It works like Scratch or App inventor but it is written in JavaScript. This means it can be included in any web page or web app very easily. This in turn means that it can be used for education, getting people to learn to program, or as an easy to use script generator for the app. The FAQ gives the example of automating GMail filters and mangement.
The additional difference is that Blockley can compile its programs to JavaScript, Dart or Python so you can take the script and develop it further.
This is a really good idea. As long as Google doesn't throw this one out in a fit of reorganization and spring cleaning, this is a welcome new language.
Good luck Blockly!"

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+ - City of Boston pays $170,000 to settle landmark case involving man arrested for -> 1

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "The City of Boston has reached a $170,000 settlement with Simon Glik who was arrested by Boston Police in 2007 after using his mobile phone to record police arresting another man on Boston Common. Police claimed that Glik had violated state wiretapping laws, but later dropped the charges and admitted the officers were wrong to arrest him. Glik had brought a lawsuit against the city (aided by the ACLU) because he claimed his civil rights were violated. According to today's ACLU statement:

As part of the settlement, Glik agreed to withdraw his appeal to the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel. He had complained about the Internal Affairs Division's investigation of his complaint and the way they treated him. IAD officers made fun of Glik for filing the complaint, telling him his only remedy was filing a civil lawsuit. After the City spent years in court defending the officers' arrest of Glik as constitutional and reasonable, IAD reversed course after the First Circuit ruling and disciplined two of the officers for using "unreasonable judgment" in arresting Glik.

"

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Programming

+ - Don't Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Patrick McKenzie has written about the do's and don't's of working as a software engineer, and some solid (and often amusing) advice on how to get ahead. One of the first pieces of advice:

Don't call yourself a programmer: "Programmer" sounds like "anomalously high-cost peon who types some mumbo-jumbo into some other mumbo-jumbo." If you call yourself a programmer, someone is already working on a way to get you fired.

Although he runs his own company, he is a cold realist about the possibilities for new college grads in the startup world: "The high-percentage outcome is you work really hard for the next couple of years, fail ingloriously, and then be jobless and looking to get into another startup""
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