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Comment: (Score 4, Informative) 148

by TACD (#47377803) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

Specifically, this post from their blog illustrates how far NFSN will go to defend their users against anybody (in this case, the UK government) who tries to bully them without proper authority.

The official lawyers for the UK government are basically saying on official letterhead (even their own filename contains “Letterhead”), “Hey, we heard you’re small. Well, we’re the world’s 6th largest economy, so we can put you out of business with legal bills if you don’t play ball.” Now, it’s not super-unusual to see a lawyer say something menacing about how if they win, you’ll have to pay their legal fees — even though that’s often not true in the US. What’s different here is that they dropped “if we win” and added “we will ruin you.” Stating that if someone doesn’t cooperate, your strategy will be to run up enough legal bills to put them out of business whether you win or not is a little different. It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear from the smarmy thug lawyer for the big bad corporation in a formulaic TV legal drama. We don’t generally see it in the real world from the legal representatives of a developed country.

Fortunately, they heard wrong. Our excellent legal team is ready, willing, and able to vigorously defend us should the need arise.

So, the story so far is that we asked to have the proper legal process followed, and the UK’s lawyers threatened to destroy us. Despite this, we are refusing to censor our member’s site. We steadfastly believe we are under no legal obligation to do so, that we will prevail in any US legal action that arises from this matter, and that any attempt by the UK government to spend us into oblivion will fail. More news as it happens.

Comment: (Score 4, Informative) 148

by TACD (#47377701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

For this (as well as their other policies) I'd recommend - they have a DMCA policy page which clearly lays out the requirements that must be met to anybody intending to make a takedown claim. They're run as a pay-what-you-use host for people who have at least a small amount of knowledge of what they're doing (no cPanel interfaces here!) and from their blog and general demeanour it's clear that they are a company run by nerds who Do Things Properly.

I have no doubt that they'd follow the law if issued with a full and proper DMCA notice, but I also have no doubt that they would not give the benefit of the doubt to, or go out of their way to assist somebody filing incomplete or incorrect takedown notices.

(Full disclosure: While I've hosted my small website with NFSN for a number of years I've never received a DMCA takedown notice and I have no material which is at all likely to generate any.)

The Media

What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper? 166

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-trillion-dollars dept.
ananyo writes "Nature has published an investigation into the real costs of publishing research after delving into the secretive, murky world of science publishing. Few publishers (open access or otherwise-including Nature Publishing Group) would reveal their profit margins, but they've pieced together a picture of how much it really costs to publish a paper by talking to analysts and insiders. Quoting from the piece: '"The costs of research publishing can be much lower than people think," agrees Peter Binfield, co-founder of one of the newest open-access journals, PeerJ, and formerly a publisher at PLoS. But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.' There's also a comment piece by three open access advocates setting out what they think needs to happen next to push forward the movement as well as a piece arguing that 'Objections to the Creative Commons attribution license are straw men raised by parties who want open access to be as closed as possible.'"

Interviews: James Randi Answers Your Questions 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-can't-handle-the-truth dept.
A while ago you had the chance to ask James Randi, the founder of The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), about exposing hucksters, frauds, and fakers. Below you'll find his answers to your questions. In addition to his writings below, Randi was nice enough to sit down and talk to us about his life and his foundation. Keep an eye out for those videos coming soon.

Comment: Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (Score 1) 225

by TACD (#41364293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

If you're in the USA, sure. I live in the UK and pay £10/month for unlimited data, texts, and a small number of minutes which I don't use. (GiffGaff - Affiliate link.) It's astounding how deeply Americans get ripped off for phone service, and when I was living over there, shopping for mobile phones was one of the few times I felt genuinely, truly insulted as a customer. There's a lot of industries with shoddy customer service but getting a mobile phone in the US really feels like paying somebody to spit in your face.


Jordanian Mayor Angry Over "Alien Invasion" Prank 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the war-of-the-worlds dept.
krou writes "Jordanian mayor Mohammed Mleihan has taken a dim view of local newspaper Al-Ghad's April Fools prank, which saw a front page story claiming that 'flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr.' The paper claimed that communication networks had gone down, and people were fleeing the area. The mayor called the local security authorities, who combed the area, but they were unable to find any evidence of the aliens. Mr Mleihan is now considering suing because of the distress it caused to residents: 'Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them.'" I guess they've never heard of Orson Welles in Jordan.

+ - iPad teardown photographs leaked by FCC

Submitted by TACD
TACD writes: iFixit has laid its hands on some photos of the iPad's internals that were apparently leaked by the FCC. It looks like they're still poring over the pictures to glean as much information as possible but there's already some interesting information available. For one thing, the shots were supposed to stay under wraps until August 17th. Whoops!

Comment: It only took a decade or so... (Score 4, Insightful) 362

by TACD (#31536882) Attached to: UMG To Price New CDs Under $10

You'd think the music companies would have at least one economist on staff who could explain to them, slowly and gently, that under certain circumstances it is actually possible to make more money when each individual unit is priced lower. It really takes some stubborn failure of logic to prioritise your sale price above your actual monetary returns.

Of course, it's also possible that the music quality will just decline to compensate for the drop in price.

Comment: Re:umm (Score 1) 213

by TACD (#31251758) Attached to: Simon Singh To Appeal In UK Court Today

(that even America is making moves to protect its citizens against) Why the "even"?

Because America and Britain are supposedly so very close and buddy-buddy, it's more shocking to hear that America is this repelled by British libel law. If it was some middle-eastern country that hates us nobody would be surprised, but it's a point of note and shameful fact to politicians over here that our laws are bad enough that you guys can't even ignore them, but have to actively seek ways to protect yourselves from them.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.