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Submission + - Judge wipes out Safe Harbor provision in DMCA, makes Cox accomplice of piracy

SysKoll writes: The DMCA is well-known for giving exorbitant powers to copyright holders, such as taking down a page or a whole web site without a court order. Media companies buy services from vendors like Rightscorp, a shake-down outfit that issues thousands of robot-generated take-down notices and issues threats against ISPs and sites ignoring them.

Cox, like a lot of ISP, is inundated with abusive take-down notices, in particular from Rightscorp. Now, BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music are suing Cox for refusing to shut off the Internet access of subscribers that Rightscorp accused of downloading music via BitTorrent. Cox argues that as an ISP, they benefit from the Safe Harbor provision that shields access providers from subscribers' misbehavior.

Not so, says US District Judge Liam O'Grady. The judge sided with the media companies ahead of trial, saying Cox should have terminated the repeat offenders accused by Rightscorp. Cox's response is quite entertaining for a legal document: its description of Rightscorp includes the term "shady", "shake-down", and "pay no attention to the facts"

O'Grady also derided the Electronic Frontier Foundations's attempt to file an amicus brief supporting Cox, calling them hysterical crybabies.

This case will be closely watched and can be very damaging for the Internet industry.

Submission + - Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements (

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination. These employees are arguing that they are victims of national origin discrimination, a complaint increasingly raised by U.S. workers who have lost their jobs to foreign workers on H-1B and other temporary visas. Disney's layoff last January followed agreements with IT services contractors that use foreign labor, mostly from India. Some former Disney workers have begun to go public over the displacement process

Submission + - Understanding a 2,000 year old Greek computer (

szczys writes: We attribute great thinking to ancient Greece. This is exemplified by the Antikythera Mechanism. Fragments of the mechanism were found in a shipwreck first discovered in 1900 and visited by researchers several times over the next century. It is believed to be a method of tracking the calendar and is the first known example of what are now common-yet-complicated engineering mechanisms like the differential gear. A few working reproductions have been produced and make it clear that whomever designed this had an advanced understanding of complex gear ratios and their ability to track the passage of time and celestial bodies.

Comment Unicomp makes quality keyboards (Score 1) 147

I agree, Unicomp keyboards are hard to beat thanks to their buckling spring switches. And the price is awesome: $80 or so for a keyboard that feels *solid*. Compare to at least $120 for most Cherry-based keyboards. I use mine in a software development office (cubicles) and I don't have complains. To the contrary, other developers and sysadmins have bought their own Unicomp after typing a few test lines. Too bad the poster posted as AC, this is a very thoughtful post.

Comment No pure oxygen (Score 4, Insightful) 116

Having a gun inside a thin-walled spacecraft filled with oxygen sounds crazy,

Having a spacecraft filled with pure oxygen sounds and is crazy. The Apollo 1 fire (1967) showed just how crazy it is. Which is why they don't do it anymore. Neither ISS nor the Russian capsules have a pure oxygen atmosphere. In fact, the ISS atmosphere is ground-level pressure with 20% oxygen. Only the EVA suits have a low-pressure, high-oxygen breathable mix.

Submission + - WSJ refused to publish Lawrence Krauss' response to "Science Proves Religion".

Kubla Kahhhn! writes: Recently, the WSJ posted a controversial piece "Science Increasingly Makes a Case for God", written by non-scientist and darling of the apologist crowd, Eric Metaxas. Noted astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss wrote a simple and clear retort in a letter to the editor, which the WSJ declined to publish. Is it an example of the kind of "fair and balanced reporting" we can expect, now that Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch?

Submission + - 'Disco clam' lights up to scare predators away (

sciencehabit writes: When predators get close, the bright, orange-lipped “disco clam” flashes them to scare them off. But it's not just the light that's important. Researchers have found that the clam has sulfur in its fleshy lips and tentacles and suspect that, like another clam species that drop tentacles laden with sulfuric acid to deter predators, the disco clam's sulfur also gets converted into a distasteful substance. The flashing may warn predators away, similar to the bright orange of a monarch butterfly warning birds of its toxic taste.

Comment These crazy archeologist... (Score 3, Insightful) 276

From the paternalist, condescending article: Beyond firearms, of course, TSA officers encounter an extremely wide variety of other prohibited items at airport checkpoints, including ... an unloaded cannon.

Because archeologist or collectors should absolutely check in priceless historical artifacts! It's not like baggage handler would steal anything, or the airlines would lose luggage, ho ho, how silly.

Hey, this thing was a firearm once, right? So it's totally justified, innit? Even though the picture even shows that the thing is rusty, unable to fire, and very old.

Do you know how funny it is in Dilbert cartoon when the PHB adopts a tone of condescending smugness to assert misinformed, ill-reasoned opinions? Well, somehow, these bureaucrats don't manage to make it funny.

Comment Best source(s) about your work on sunk submarines? (Score 2) 40

Your work on a certain luxury liner is very well documented. However, it's harder to find details about your work to locate and study the wrecks of U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion.

How much of this is still classified? What good publicly available source(s) would you recommend to learn more about these missions?

Comment Whoah, wait a minute... (Score -1, Flamebait) 232

The article barks at the wrong tree. The cryosphere page at University of Illinois-Champagne shows that we are currently seeing 1.3 million sq. km more sea ice than the average, and the levels have been sharply rising the last few years.

There is a fine balance between trying to increase awareness and being a downright propagandist. Unfortunately, this article doesn't help the cause. This is exactly the kind of thing that make people believe environmentalists are exaggerating and grasping at straws.

Wired: Stop. You are not helping.

Comment IBM CLM publicizes their bug backlog on (Score 1) 159

IBM Rational has a product called CLM, an expensive software lifecycle management system, for which the bug and backlog lists are public. So your marketing might want to consider this. Then again, CLM is targetting developers, a crowd that is used to the notion that software has bugs. If you are selling your product to marketing, sales and other professional liars, you might want to hide the bugs. Reality frightens these guys.

Submission + - US nuclear commander suspended over gambling (

mdsolar writes: The No 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the naval criminal investigation command for issues related to gambling, officials said on Saturday.

The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at US strategic command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced.

Air force general Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, navy vice admiral Tim Giardina, from his duties on September 3, according to the command's top spokeswoman, navy captain Pamela Kunze. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.