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Submission + - How to stop TPP

Presto Vivace writes: The gold standard in political activism is an in-person visit to your Senator's or Representative's office. That is not practical for most people, so a visit to their district office is the next best thing. Politicians assume that people who make in person visits are very serious about an issue, and further assume that for every voter who makes a personal visit their are ten more who feel the same way. Writing a letter via their congressional website is very effective. Using snail mail is not effective because of the post anthrax security delivery is delayed for weeks. What is more effective is writing a letter to the editor and including your Senator's or Representative's name in the letter. For example: TPP is a terrible deal and will have a very negative impact on the Internet and I hope that Senator Snort will vote against it. Senator Snorts will pick up the letter on their Google News Alert, or whatever they are using, and will see that someone was sufficiently movtivated to write a letter to the editor and that it was published. A letter to the editor will also alert the publisher that TPP is a hot issue, and will spread the word amongst the general public. It is a great tool for acitivism and I encouraged Slashdotter's to use it.

Submission + - America's voting machines are rapidly aging out

Presto Vivace writes: America’s Voting Machines at Risk

Technology has changed dramatically in the last decade, but America's voting machines are rapidly aging out. In 2016, for example, 43 states will use electronic voting machines that are at least 10 years old, perilously close to the end of most systems' expected lifespan. Old voting equipment increases the risk of failures and crashes — which can lead to long lines and lost votes on Election Day — and problems only get worse the longer we wait.

Submission + - Drones impede air battle against California wildfires

Presto Vivace writes: ‘If you fly we can’t,’ pleads firefighter

Drought stricken California is now fighting at least 14 large wildfires in at least ten counties across the state, engaging a force of some 7,000 firefighters plus National Guardsmen. They’re up against a triple-threat of three digit temperatures in some parts of the state, high winds that are spreading the fires rapidly and drought conditions furnishing fuel for the burning. ... ... A fourth threat is also emerging: Drones. ...

... One four-foot drone shut down evening operations over the Lake Fire, which burned an additional 3.5 square miles overnight Wednesday, KTLA news reported.

Submission + - Republicans push to limit FCC's net neutrality rules

Presto Vivace writes: Senate Republicans push rider to limit FCC's net neutrality rules

Senate Republicans are pushing a measure to bar the Federal Communications Commission from regulating broadband Internet rates under its net neutrality rules.

While the commission has vowed not to regulate rates under net neutrality, Republicans oppose the rules and are wary of expanding the FCC's powers.

The measure is included as a policy rider in the Senate's Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that was reported out of an Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday

Submission + - Firefox Will Soon Show You Which Tabs Are Making Noise, And Let You Mute Them

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla is working on identifying Firefox tabs that are currently playing audio. The feature will show an icon if a tab is making sounds and let the user mute the playback. It’s worth noting that while Chrome has had audio indicators for more than a year now, it still doesn’t let you easily mute tabs. The option is available in Google’s browser, but it’s not enabled by default (you have to turn on the #enable-tab-audio-muting flag in chrome://flags/).

Submission + - Trucks driven by software

Presto Vivace writes: Self-Driving Trucks Will Hit Us Like Ton of Bricks

At $40,000 a year, the incentive to replace truck drivers with software is massive. And it will happen. Not only that, but insurance costs will drop. Most truck accidents are caused by user error: Driving too fast, driving while tired, driving intoxicated, etc.
Robots don't drink, don't get tired, won't drive unsafe to get to a destination faster,

Think of all the fun hackers could have with trucks driven by software.

Submission + - Australia passes site-blocking legislation (

ausrob writes: Cementing their position as Australia's most backwards and dangerous government in recent memory comes this nasty bit of legislation, riddled with holes (which is nothing new for this decrepit Government): "The legislation allows rights holders to go to a Federal Court judge to get overseas websites, or "online locations", blocked that have the "primary purpose" of facilitating copyright infringement. If a rights holder is successful in their blocking request, Australian internet providers, such as Telstra and Optus, will need to comply with a judge's order by disabling access to the infringing location."

Submission + - ISP Not Following Net Neutrality? The FCC's Got A Complaint Form For That.

Presto Vivace writes: Consumerist

The FCC has updated their new consumer help center — specifically, the internet service complaint form. Among the issues concerned consumers can complain about, the form now contains “open internet/net neutrality,” right there alphabetically between “interference” and “privacy.”
So what, specifically, qualifies as a net neutrality violation you can complain about? The FCC has guidance for that, too. In general, paraphrased, if’s a problem if there’s
Blocking: ISPs may not block access to any lawful content, apps, services, or devices.
Throttling: ISPs may not slow down or degrade lawful internet traffic from any content, apps, sites, services, or devices.
Paid prioritization: ISPs may not enter into agreements to prioritize and benefit some lawful internet traffic over the rest of it on their networks.

Submission + - Copyright Law As an Intimidation Tactic

Presto Vivace writes: Guy Reveals Airtel Secretly Inserting JavaScript, Gets Threatened With Jail For Criminal Copyright Infringement

Last week, an Indian blogger, Thejesh GN, discovered that mobile operator Airtel was injecting javascript into subscribers' browsing sessions, which is both incredibly sketchy and a huge security concern (not to mention raising net neutrality issues on the side). He posted the proof to GitHub and tweeted about it.
He posted the evidence showing that javascript was being quietly inserted, and that it apparently tried to insert some sort of toolbar:
That's all super sketchy. But that's just the very beginning of this story. Because days later, Thejesh received the most ridiculous legal threat letter, coming from a lawyer named Ameet Mehta from the law firm Solicis Lex. It claims to be representing an Israeli company, Flash Network, which is apparently responsible for the code injection software... and it claims that by merely revealing to the public that Airtel was doing these injections, he had engaged in criminal copyright infringement under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

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