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+ - Employee Trying to Sue for Internet Usage?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "I recently worked for a small (think 4-5 employees) accounting company as their resident IT person. Long story short, I recently resigned on were regretfully rather tense terms. The final straw was when they said that monthly downloads had been high, and asked me to payup right away, or they would threaten me with legal action. My next words were something along the lines of "You've got to be joking...", followed by "I quit". Monthly downloads were indeed high, basically because we were deploying a new network, and piping down a lot of ISO images (Windows XP SP3 OEM images, Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007 trial versions, different OpenSolaris and Ubuntu images, postfix/cyrus/castle packages, VMWare ESXi etc.) I can definitely say that the majority of the monthly usage was for work purposes — sure, the occasional eBay visit, or checking my mail during lunch, but I'm not silly enough to actually download behemothal files at work for home use. In Australia, many ISPs, particularly Telstra charge quite high charges for excess usages. It's not unheard of to rack of a monthly excess in the hundreds, or even single thousands of dollars (AUD). I do remember pushing hard last October (2008) to change our ISP, or at the very least our plan, to something that suited us a little better (we were on a 7gb plan, and paying around $119 a month), and perhaps shaped us, rather than charging us excess charges. Anyhow, I know, I'm going to get a lot of IANAL responses, but do readers have any experiences they could share about this, or advice? Or, friend of a friend tales? Not sure if I should call their bluff, but if it does go to a local court, I wouldn't want to walk in totally unaware."
Cellphones

+ - SPAM: Can GSM/Satellite Hybrid Phones Go Mainstream? 1

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "TerreStar Corporation and SkyTerra are attempting to do what rivals Iridium and Globalstar haven't been able to: launch a serious sat phone service without having to resort to bankruptcy just years after the initial investment. In two months, TerreStar is expected to shoot a massive commercial satellite into space, some 22,000 miles above Planet Earth. Once there, the device will lay out an "umbrella of gold mesh" that measures 60 feet across and aims directly at the United States. This antenna net will provide sat phone service to those using it in North America. SkyTerra is expected to follow suit with two birds that are even larger, with the duo slated to cost the company around $1.2 billion to launch. Unlike past attempts, supposedly this new hardware will be designed to work with so-called hybrid phones that operate on traditional cell towers and satellite service."
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Comment: Re:People just don't understand Linux (Score 3, Insightful) 833

by Malaak (#27539573) Attached to: Linux On Netbooks — a Complicated Story
As you made your Photoshop point pretty clear... For me Gimp IS pretty close to Photoshop. Of course I am not doing professional image editing, but so is the majority of people who use Photoshop as a replacement for MS Paint. They use it because a friend gave them this wonderful editing software where they can use this magic wand and edit contrast and brightness. You are right, Gimp is probably not even close to Photoshop for a professional user, but it is for Joe Sixpack.

Comment: Freedom of press (Score 2, Insightful) 466

by Malaak (#27480759) Attached to: Columnist Fired For Reviewing Pirated Movie
A lot of people here are writing things like "He did something illegal, so no shit he got fired" or "He downloaded and watched the whole movie..." For me the important point is the freedom of press! A chinese writer reporting about the problems in tibet is also acting against the law - chinese law of course. But isnt a good journalist supposed to report about "delicate" events? Dont get me wrong, I am not going to equate a hollywood movie with the problems in tibet, but a journalist should report about things the authorities dont want to hear. And I for one will prefere medias who appreciate such behavior.

Comment: The reason I still use it as my main player... (Score 1) 488

by Malaak (#27447599) Attached to: VLC 0.9.9, The Best Media Player Just Got Better
Many years ago it was the first player (the first I knew of course) that could playback about anything without crying about missing codecs. Since this time its one of the first things I install when setting up a new computer. Maybe there are better players out there, but VLC is lightweight and simple, and I dont care about the UI anymore when watching fullscreen.
The Military

+ - US Nuclear sub crashes into US Navy vessel->

Submitted by
Kugrian
Kugrian writes "Showing that it's not just the British and the French who have trouble seeing each other on the high seas, a US Nuclear submarine yesterday crashed into a US Navy heavy cruiser. The USS Hartford, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, was submurged as it crashed into the USS New Orleans in the strait of Hormuz, resulting in the spillage of 95,000 litres of diesel fuel. Both vessels were heading in the same direction when the collision occurred in the narrow strait and were subsequently heading to port for repairs. A spokesman for the 5th Fleet said that the USS Hartford suffered no damage to its nuclear propulsion system."
Link to Original Source
Security

Students Learn To Write Viruses 276

Posted by samzenpus
from the mischief-101 dept.
snocrossgjd writes "In a windowless underground computer lab in California, young men are busy cooking up viruses, spam and other plagues of the computer age. Grant Joy runs a program that surreptitiously records every keystroke on his machine, including user names, passwords, and credit-card numbers. Thomas Fynan floods a bulletin board with huge messages from fake users. Yet Joy and Fynan aren't hackers — they're students in a computer-security class at Sonoma State University. Their professor, George Ledin, has showed them how to penetrate even the best antivirus software."

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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