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+ - American Bankers Association Claims Copyright On Bank Routing Numbers 1

Submitted by 192_kbps
192_kbps writes: Greg Thatcher's website publishes bank routing numbers, the nine-digit numbers appearing at the bottom of US checks identifying the issuing bank. The American Bankers Association's lawyers issued a takedown notice, on follow-up claiming "These advances in the ABA Routing Number were the result of significant effort and creativity by the ABA." Techdirt has an analysis, and a petition supporting Thatcher has been created.

Comment: Nepal: Notes from 16 hour+ rolling blackouts (Score 1) 328

by MrZaius (#35250446) Attached to: In case of a blackout, batteries etc. will give me ...

As nice as it is to have an solar panels to power your inverters, the main solution to this sort of problem is axing consumption. The main source of power to an inverter, without going nuts and spending ridiculous amounts of money on the initial outlay for solar panels, essentially has to be the mains. Going off one or two inexpensive panels, you'll still be draining your batteries - Just more slowly.

Given a reliably powered ISP, the secret to dealing with this sort of event on a regular basis is maintaining power to your router and/or modem. Reliable power to your ISP link and USB-chargeable portable devices that can be powered separately by dirt-cheap batteries & solar units intended solely for the purpose of providing USB power are enough to make anything bearable. Don't power anything you don't need. Run phones and tablets and netbooks on batteries in succession, and you can make it through 8-10 hours without power, until you can recharge your inverter & portable devices off the mains again.

A DS or a PSP's nice to have, too, for when the ISP goes down or your batteries for your router die.

Different problem from a prolonged outage, but it's a fun problem. Good excuse for a nap if you screw up. Good luck with cooking & food storage, though.

Comment: Re:Since you brought it up... You're liable (Score 2, Interesting) 1006

by MrZaius (#30094390) Attached to: Software Piracy At the Workplace?

You're liable, but you could fix it.

Would recommend the asker take three tacts simultaneously:

1: Call a lawyer to verify that the below oughta work.
2: Move everything you can away from proprietary platforms, but be realistic - You'll just end up canned if you start replacing desktops and office suites without serious buy-in from all levels of the company, but they'd have to be braindead not to let you at least get the servers legal for free. Likewise, 7zip over Winzip, etc. Thorough implementation of step 2 can, hopefully, greatly lessen the cost of step 3.
3: Don't call the BSA - Call the nearest Microsoft sales rep and ask him to come in and give you a price on a site license to get you legal. Let them decide if they care about what's going on if management tells them where they can put it, but I'd be surprised if they did. Right now they're just hearing from some lowly service provider. Get the vendor on site, and they're staring at a multi-billion dollar behemoth that's capable of pursuing legal action against them but all but certainly won't if you play ball

Whistleblowers deserve some protection, but when there's means available to get a company caught up on their licenses without bringing in the imminent risk of major lawsuits/in a way that's beneficial all 'round and you still call in the trade-group-police, you're doing your employer a grave disservice. Again, go to the vendor first. There's no way to be 100% sure this will work and allow you to keep your job, but it's worth trying before you jump ship.

Comment: Re:How does this *free* Mac users? (Score 1) 276

by MrZaius (#29329335) Attached to: A Different Perspective On Snow Leopard's Exchange Support

However, it does nothing to actually free users from Microsoft.

It does something: For any user with no administration responsibilities, this makes it possible to completely avoid directly running or ,in the case of organizations that allow personally-owned equipment on their network, purchasing any Microsoft product. Freedom is relative, but this is change is certainly a noticeable one.

Comment: Re:Twitter IS a good marketing tool (Score 1) 76

by MrZaius (#28324373) Attached to: Dell Makes $3 Million From Twitter Sales

Wow. Overreact much? You made three points I disagreed with and wrote about, and completely misunderstood what I said. I was writing about vendors responding to reviews on those sites, not the sites themselves. Very public responses to individual customer complaints on neutral ground/away from their own sites obviously yields some value.

Reading-challenged pot, meet kettle.

Comment: Re:Twitter IS a good marketing tool (Score 1) 76

by MrZaius (#28324063) Attached to: Dell Makes $3 Million From Twitter Sales

Business value isnt about the individual complaint; its about problems and tweaks that affect large groups of users.

I call BS. If the parent poster can spare time to do this, it's a great thing. When I see this sort of proactive and aggressive outreach from customer service and developers at a firm that makes a product I'm looking at, I am much, much more likely to do business with them. Seems like common sense, and a fairly straightforward extension of the trend in the same direction long seen on myriad reviewer & feedback engines (ala Newegg, eBay, Amazon, etc) and other high-visibility forums as well. At least a couple of them maintain a similar character limit, to boot.

On a related note, the customer has every right to be lazy enough to not want to create yet-another-account on yet-another-bugzilla-install just because some lazy developer doesn't feel like hooking into an open authentication network ala OpenID.

Comment: Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (Score 1) 247

by MrZaius (#28090401) Attached to: Survey Finds Airport Wi-Fi More Important Than Food

The incentive isn't the airport's, although one could argue that they could make the same money by charging it from resident carriers.

The strong incentive to cut and axe the prices lies with the carriers. You already see free but restricted service in most business class lounges. If they just came to their senses and did the same throughout a terminal, perhaps tied to an eTicket number, they'd quickly win fans enough to warrant the expense.

Comment: Context (Score 2, Insightful) 530

by MrZaius (#27089119) Attached to: State of Colorado Calls Firefox Insecure, IE6 Safe

Given that their site is down at the moment, rendering their explanation unavailable, I'd like to point out that there is a rational argument to be made for the notion that using preinstalled and patched IE installs instead of a third party browser can increase security. I disagree with it (based on a number of factors expressed elsewhere in this thread), but it's a good argument:

You increase the number of potential security holes on a workstation by increasing the number of installed applications. Your sysadmin is responsible for both maintaining and securing IE and Firefox, and is unable to uninstall the former. This, thank God, goes away in Windows 7. In the meantime, however, you can still disable and cripple IE in a way that limits its exposure - It's just more work than most Windows-heavy, Microsoft-ceritified admins are willing to do as doing so often strips them of their preferred choice, and the tools that they've been heavily trained in locking down and adapting to their local networks. If understaffed and underfunded, forcing IE usage may actually be the right call for some agencies and offices.

Still no excuse for any IE6 or earlier builds being used in the wild.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.