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Censorship

Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist 133

Posted by timothy
from the how-is-this-playing-in-peoria? dept.
New submitter rotorbudd (1242864) writes with an article at Reason about Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, who ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him."Guess the good Mayor has never heard of the Streisand Effect. 'The original Twitter account had a total of 50 followers. The new account has over 200.'"
Government

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings 416

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-right-on-the-surface dept.
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. The concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe. Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

Comment: Re:Refunds indicate bad tax planning (Score 1) 630

by StormReaver (#46755219) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

It would be better to owe $2K each year than to expect refunds.

As part of a reasonably complete tax plan, yes. But the people who depend on refunds at the end of the year don't have the knowledge or ability to plan for a large (or even small) tax debt, and so won't have the $2000 available to pay those taxes. For the vast, vast number of people, overpaying their taxes is the only thing keeping them from ruin.

The Almighty Buck

Comcast PAC Gave Money To Every Senator Examining Time Warner Cable Merger 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-government-money-can-buy dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about money and politics that is sure to shock no one."It's no surprise that Comcast donates money to members of Congress. Political connections come in handy for a company seeking government approval of mergers, like Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast's political arm? In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them."
Games

Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the random-number-generators-are-the-root-of-all-evil dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new study published in the March edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that a gamer's experience of a video game and not the content of the game itself can give rise to violent behavior. In other words, 'researchers found it was not the narrative or imagery, but the lack of mastery of the game's controls and the degree of difficulty players had completing the game that led to frustration.' Based on their findings, researchers note that even games like Tetris and Candy Crush can inspire violent behavior more so than games like World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto if they are poorly designed and difficult to play."
The Internet

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion 1037

Posted by timothy
from the randi-does-miracles dept.
pitchpipe (708843) points out a study highlighted by MIT's Technology Review, which makes the bold claim that "Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That's the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use," and writes "I attribute my becoming an atheist to the internet, so what the study is saying supports my anecdote. If I hadn't been exposed to all of the different arguments about religion, etc., via the internet I would probably just be another person who identifies as religious but doesn't attend services. What do you think? Have you become more religious, less religious, or about the same since being on the internet? What if you've always had it?"
Blackberry

Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-typing-for-you dept.
time_lords_almanac (3527081) writes "BlackBerry is trying to put the kibosh on the Typo, a physical keyboard attachment for iPhone. And they've won the first round, in the form of a sales ban on the attachment. From the article: '"BlackBerry is pleased that its motion for a preliminary injunction against Typo Products LLC was granted. This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo's blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology," a spokeswoman for BlackBerry told the news agency in an email.'"
Windows

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL? 423

Posted by timothy
from the stock-up-like-y2k dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As most of us working in IT may know, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. Although this fact has been known for quite some time, XP is still relatively popular in companies and also enjoys noticeable marketshare for home users. Even ATMs are running XP and will continue to do so for some time. A lot of companies/users don't want to change because they see no additional benefit to do a costly upgrade, no reason to change a running system, and they may in some cases be right with their assumptions. So what is the best way to secure this remaining Windows XP systems? Installing the latest security patches, checking firewall status and user permissions etc. should be fairly obvious, as Microsoft Security Essentials may also not receive updates anymore, changing antivirus programs seems a sensible thing to do."
Businesses

Owner of Nortel Patents Sues Cisco For 'Immense' Patent Infringement 83

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the patent-troll-dreams-big dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "The venerable Nortel Networks may have vanished into bankruptcy five years ago, but thanks to U.S. patent law, it can strike back at its old rival Cisco from beyond the grave. Spherix, a Virginia-based 'research company' that bought Nortel's patents in 2009, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Cisco has been knowingly violating 11 Nortel patents. 'The vast majority of Cisco's switching and routing revenue from March 2008 until the present is and has been generated by products and services implementing technology that infringes the Asserted Patents,' the lawsuit claims."

Comment: Re:He's entitled to spend his money as he wishes.. (Score 0) 112

by StormReaver (#46572541) Attached to: JavaScript Inventor Brendan Eich Named New CEO of Mozilla

He's entitled to his opinion and he's entitled to spend the money he has earned as he sees fit.

And everyone else is entitled to their opinion that he's a hateful asshole. What you're saying is, "he's entitled to his opinion, but no one else is entitled to a contrary opinion."

Comment: Re:The most damning aspect of this affair (Score 2) 259

by StormReaver (#46523055) Attached to: Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

Our corrupt government allows corporations to poison our food in order to poison the bugs that eat it.
The bugs evolve to resist the poison, making the poison pointless.
Our government allows corporations to continue poisoning our food because the corporations have become dependent on the income the poisoning provides.
We are still being poisoned, and will continue to be poisoned.

Yet genetically altering our food is somehow still considered a good thing by the clueless. Sadly, the clueless are the ones making the decisions and supporting those making the decisions.

Comment: Re:Reality in the USA.... (Score 4, Interesting) 529

by StormReaver (#46504693) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Oh that not so bright kid that can run and catch really good? he is a superstar!

You've really only touched upon the disfunction in American society. I could write a Ph.d thesis on how the United States is breeding itself into obsolecense. We are a country that is more obsessed with brawny men in tight pants moving a ball from one end of a large field to another than we are with keeping our country educated and competitive.

When I was getting my degree, our school would close off parking for academic purposes so the football spectators could park. Nevermind that we had group assignments to complete; there be a bunch of young boys moving their balls across the field!

Our society is slitting its own throat.

Comment: Re:What they're really afraid of, I think... (Score 3, Insightful) 279

by StormReaver (#46498207) Attached to: The Billionaires Privatizing American Science

Billionaires tend to be far more critical of what their money finances than government granting authorities.

True, but the outcome is not usually what you are implying. Billionaires tend to put their money where there is the most to gain for themselves, while governments have a stronger motivation to fund important fundamental discoveries that do not provide an immediate return on investment.

Consider all of the scandals involving made up data.

Both privately and publicly funded entities do this. At least publicly funded entities can be cross-checked. Privately funded entities are under no pressure to disclose all their sources, and will be even less so as private funding of science becomes more socially acceptable.

A billionaire who discovers shenanigans certainly won't fund that researcher again, a government agency probably will.

To a billionaire, "shenanigans" means that the "researcher" didn't arrive at the results the billionaire paid for. So yes, the billionaire will not fund that researcher again.

...it's pretty obvious that private donors are more likely to scrutinize than public sector donors.

Yes, but only to make sure that the private donors' political biases take precedence over the truth.

Billionaires have the luxury of blowing their money however they see fit.

And they will only "blow" their money on endeavors that make them more money. How do you think they became billionaires to begin with?

This is how science got funded during its first centuries as a discipline when many of the giants of science did their work.

Lots and lots and lots of good science had to fight and uphill battle against the political desires of private patrons back then, which held back scientific progress rather than promoted it.

No, private funding of the sciences was, is, and will be a disaster.

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