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+ - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience"."

+ - Prenda hammered: Judge sends porn-trolling lawyers to criminal investigators->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "ArsTechnica Aurich Lawson reports:

Lawyers who lied and obfuscated for years face disbarment and a $82,000 fine.

US District Judge Otis Wright has no love for the lawyers who set up the copyright-trolling operation that came to be known as Prenda Law. But Wright at least acknowledges their smarts in his long-awaited order, released today. Wright's order is a scathing 11-page document, suggesting Prenda masterminds John Steele and Paul Hansmeier should be handed over for criminal investigation. In the first page though, there's almost some admiration expressed for the sheer dark intelligence of their scheme. The copyright-trolling scheme that has reached its apex with Prenda is so complete, so mathematical.

"Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system," Wright begins. He goes on:

"They've discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow, starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry."

And yes, if reading "resistance is futile" rattles something in your brain—Wright's order is thoroughly peppered with Star Trek references.

The plaintiffs have a right to assert their intellectual property rights, "so long as they do it right," Wright acknowledges. That's not what happened here, though. Prenda lawyers used "the same boilerplate complaints against dozens of defendants," without telling the judge. Instead, defense lawyers like Morgan Pietz flagged the dozens of related cases. "It was when the Court realized Plaintiffs engaged their cloak of shell companies and fraud that the court went to battlestations," stated Wright."

Link to Original Source
Image

DIY Space Photography 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the exploring-on-a-budget dept.
Four Spanish teenagers sent a camera-operated weather balloon into the stratosphere. The boys built the electronic sensor components from scratch. Gerard Marull Paretas, Sergi Saballs Vila, Marta Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort attached a £56 camera to a heavy duty £43 latex balloon, and sent their science project 20-miles above the Earth. Team leader Gerard Marull, 18, said, "We were overwhelmed at our results, especially the photographs, to send our handmade craft to the edge of space is incredible."
IT

Do Nice Engineers Finish Last In Tough Times? 613

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the nice-guys-always-finish-last dept.
jammag writes "As the wave of pink slips is starting to resemble Robespierre and his guillotine, the maneuvering among tech professionals to hang on to their job is getting ugly. IT Management describes the inter-office competition between the manager of a server farm and the supervisor of networks and security. One was nice, giving his team members credit, taking responsibility when something went wrong. The other was a backstabber who spent plenty of time sucking up to the management. As the inevitable cuts came, who do you think hung on to their job?"
Image

Nobel Winner Says Internet Might Have Stopped Hitler 290

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-can't-it-do dept.
There can be little doubt that the internet has changed everyday life for the better, but Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio has upped the ante by saying an earlier introduction of information technology could even have prevented World War II. "Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler's criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day," he said. I have to agree with him. If England had been able to send a "Stop Hitler Now!" petition to 10 friendly countries, those countries could have each sent it to 10 more friendly countries before the invasion of Poland, and one of history's greatest tragedies might have been averted.
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-keep-coming dept.
This installment of Disagree Mail highlights a man's concern about illegal cloning in the Hollywood community, a guy who is sick of US imperialism and his low karma, and an example of the kind of people you don't want as roommates in college. Read below to find out just how crazy, angry and irresponsible it gets.
Music

+ - Gizmodo calls for RIAA boycott in March

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Gadget review site Gizmodo is calling for a boycott of RIAA-signed bands in the month of March: http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/putt ing-our-money-where-our-mouths-are-boycott-the-ria a-in-march-239281.php Instead, they suggest spending your greenbacks on indy artists, or attending concerts/buying merchandise from your favorite RIAA artist (which puts money in the artist's pocket), rather than buying recordings (and further enriching the fat cats at the RIAA). All I can say is, "hell yes!""
Role Playing (Games)

+ - Blizzard Sues Bot Creator; Seeks Customer Info

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "After filing a prayer for relief to continue the selling of his WoWGlider, an automation bot for Blizzard's fanatical World of Warcraft, Michael Donnelly has again found himself in some deep water: Blizzard has retorted demanding WoWGlider be shut down, his URL, and financial compensation, but more interestingly they want all of WoWGlider's sales records. Presumably, Blizzard will cross-reference this with their current user database and ban anyone who bought the program. Furthermore, Blizzard claims that WoWGlider violates copyrights by accessing the game client's RAM space, a process which is also done by every anti-virus program. So why is there no Blizzard vs. Symantec?"
The Courts

Politicians Wising up on Game Legislation? 66

Posted by Zonk
from the we-can-only-hope dept.
Blackjack writes "Ars Technica looks at recent failures to pass laws regulating the sales of violent video games. They ask whether politicians are finally wising up to First Amendment issues and the costs associated with lawsuits resulting from the laws. Recent attempts to pass video game legislation in Mississippi, Utah, and Indiana have either failed or been put on indefinite hold. 'Now, state lawmakers are more cognizant of the constitutionality issues at stake. The judicial landscape is littered with the charred husks of laws passed by Illinois, Washington, Michigan, California, Louisiana, and others. All of them tried in some way or another to regulate the sale of violent video games to children, and all of them were struck down on First Amendment grounds.'"

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