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Comment: they're against EVERYTHING that they don't control (Score 1) 375

by ScottFree2600 (#35322486) Attached to: Music Execs Stressed Over Free Streaming
They'd love us to be back in the bad old days, where the cost of entry was high and they completely controlled distribution because ONLY they could make the little plastic disks. They used to have a cool deal going on: radio stations promote records for free (or some. Ahem. "Consideration"), the music would sell, and the system would feed itself. Now, the radio stations won't take any risks (since they're all owned by a few companies who overpaid for them and have huge payments to make). The record companies will sue anything that moves and wants money from the radio stations who might have promoted their Lady Gaga like garbage for free, and then they whine every time that somebody tries to give the public something close to what it wants. I wish that they'd hurry up an go out of business so that somebody with half a clue can get things going again. I mean, how do you blow this?

+ - Et tu, Twitter?!->

Submitted by Mysteray
Mysteray (713473) writes "First there was Amazon and DynDNS, then that graphics site. But Twitter?

The hashtags #wikileaks and #imwikileaks and a few others have been surging hard with tweets, for hours. Much faster at times than even the trending topics. Yet there's a conspicuous absence of them on the list of trending topics. Instead we see the usual celebrity buzz and one or two random phrases. People are looking for an explanation."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google hack 'directed by Chinese politburo'->

Submitted by Gravis Zero
Gravis Zero (934156) writes "BBC has a well written article about this revelation.

One cable, released by whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, cites a "well-placed" contact as saying the action against Google was "100% political".

A politburo member is said to have been angered after Googling his name and finding critical comments online.

The cable says it is unclear whether China's top leaders were involved.

There is also a video for all you tl;dr people.

I think it's only fair to ask China, "why so serious?""

Link to Original Source


+ - New Orleans mayor tries to end video surveillance->

Submitted by wwphx
wwphx (225607) writes ""In seven years, New Orleans' crime camera program has yielded six indictments: three for crimes caught on video and three for bribes and kickbacks a vendor is accused of paying a former city official to sell the cameras to City Hall." On October 14, Mayor Mitch Landrieu "announced his proposal to scratch the program from the city budget. The budget requires City Council approval." No word on whether or not the 2011 budget has been approved.

In 2004, it was claimed that a test deployment of the cameras resulted in a 57% reduction in murders in a public housing development, turns out the sample size was ridiculously skewed. It's nice to see a major municipality abandon them, it would be fantastic to see somewhere like London dump 'em. They say that in London you will be photographed over 200 times a day on surveillance cameras."

Link to Original Source

+ - Wikileaks took advice from media outlets-> 1

Submitted by formfeed
formfeed (703859) writes "According to the AP (through Google News), Wikileaks isn't just sitting on the recent material so they can release it bit by bit to the press, as many people implied. On the contrary, it's quite the other way around: "only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material" are they releasing it themselves. These Newspapers "have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents"

AP questions whether Wikileaks will follow these redactions, but nevertheless seems quite impressed by this "extraordinary collaboration between some of the world's most respected media outlets and the WikiLeaks organization""

Link to Original Source

+ - Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Believe it or not, there is still this illusion that Linux and open-source software is written by counter-culture, C++ programming cultists living in their parent basements or huddled together in Cambridge, Mass. group-houses. Now Cnet reports that the Linux Foundation has found that "over 70% of all [Linux] kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work." That Linux is primarily developed by paid developers should come as no surprise considering that Linux enables many companies--hardware, software, and online services--to be more competitive in their markets and to find new ways to generate revenue. "What’s important about how Linux and open-source software is created isn’t the side issues of politics or how its developers are perceived; it’s that its fundamental methodology produces better software," writes Stephen Vaughan-Nichols. "That’s why businesses invest in Linux’s development. Linux works. If it didn’t, big business wouldn’t bother with it.""

+ - Using the Web to Turn Kids into Autodidacts

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Autodidacticism — self-education or self-directed learning — is nothing new, but the Internet holds the promise of taking it to the masses. Sugata Mitra, an Indian physicist whose earlier educational experiments inspired the film 'Slumdog Millionaire,' is convinced that, with the Internet, kids can learn by themselves so long as they are in small groups and have well-posed questions to answer. And now, Mitra's Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) are going global, with testing in schools in Australia, Colombia, England and India. On their own, children can get about 30% of the knowledge required to pass exams, so to go further, Dr. Mitra supplements SOLE with e-mediators, amateur volunteers who use Skype to help kids learn online. While the U.S. has been slow to embrace SOLE, America does its autodidacticism evangelists. Dr. Yung Tae Kim (another physicist) similarly espouses setting up smaller high school and college classes as 'problem solving workshops' where students can work together in groups, with the teacher acting less as an instructor and more as a troubleshooter, helping students if and when they get stuck."

+ - WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Site->

Submitted by A beautiful mind
A beautiful mind (821714) writes "WikiLeaks is asking for hosting space on unix-based servers. The replication is implemented by a rsync+ssh based push that copies static files to a known path, authenticated via the private half of this public key. The complete website is a few GB in size, making it feasible to replicate on a large scale. The mirror list will be published when the number of independent mirrors reaches 50."
Link to Original Source

Comment: G.722 (Score 1) 228

by ScottFree2600 (#33514564) Attached to: Lo-Fi Phones and the Future
We're seeing more G.722 in VOIP phone sets these days. This gives you 7 khz bandwidth which is respectable for voice. It's also a royalty free codec that's simple to implement. It's supported (mostly) in Asterisk and is commonly used by the corporate conference systems and radio stations. There are better codecs, but the royalties preclude their inclusion into the things that most people buy. Cell phones, as far as audio go, as a disease! I used to be the Chief Engineer at a major talk radio station and... dealing with cell phones was just awful.I refuse to participate on a conference call or any critical phone call using a cell phone. How people can use those things as their primary home phones mystifies me.

Comment: In the past... (Score 1) 386

by ScottFree2600 (#33381798) Attached to: Fun To Be Had With a 10-Foot Satellite Dish?
I live in a very rural area in the Southern California high desert not far from Nevada (Look! There goes Art Bell!) and used to have a C Band dish. After I first moved here (1990 or so) you could tune a few transponders in with a video receiver that had Frequency Division Multiplex (FDM) on them. This is just a fancy way of saying "many little SSB carriers". Connecting a radio that receives short wave to the sat receiver allowed you to listen to phone calls from Alaska and Hawaii. You'd change channels by simply tuning the radio between channels. You'd only hear one side of the conversation but it was kind of interesting at the time. I 'm pretty sure that's all gone now that those places actually have been connected via fiber. (Look! UFO's!) TV was just going scrambled but there were a few things "still in the clear". I suspect that that's still the case. There's also FTA "Free to Air" digital TV or DVB. Consider setting up a couple of long wire antennas, one "North -South" another "East - West". The absence of noise allows you to receive some interesting things on SW.

Comment: Auction $$$: All they care about (Score 2, Insightful) 194

I guess that TV broadcasters didn't give the government enough money. I have a better idea! How about if a good sized chunk of that spectrum was made license free, like 2.4 and 5.8 ghz? Why should we give up "public airwaves" to the Verizons of the world to sell back to us by the kilobyte at high prices with data caps, etc. Look what's been done with the crumbs that the FCC has allowed us already!

Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee 489 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the literal-charges dept.
In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."
The Media

FTC Staff Discuss a Tax on Electronics To Support the News Business 381

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-what-I-call-top-down-management dept.
dptalia links to this piece describing a staff discussion draft from the Federal Trade Commission, writing "The FTC is concerned about the death of the 'news.' Specifically newspapers. Rather than look to how old media models can be adapted to the Internet, they instead suggest taxing consumer electronics to support a huge newspaper bailout. Additionally, they suggest making facts 'proprietary' and allowing news organizations to copyright them." Note, though, "The good news in all this is that the FTC's bureaucrats try hard to recommend little. They just discuss. And much of what the agency staff ponders are political impossibilities."

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.