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+ - Irish Legislator Proposes Law That Would Make Annoying People Online A Crime->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Is Ireland looking to pass a law that would "outlaw ebooks and jail people for annoying others?" Well, no, not really, but that's the sort of unintended consequences that follow when laws are updated for the 21st century using little more than a word swap. (h/t Brian Sheehan)

Ireland has had long-standing laws against harassment via snail mail, telephones and (as of 2007) SMS messages. A 2014 report by the government's somewhat troublingly-named "Internet Content Governance Advisory Group" recommended updating this section of the law to cover email, social media and other internet-related transmissions.

Violators are looking at sentences ranging from 1-5 years and fines of up to €75,000 — all for doing something as minor as "causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety." In addition, the proposed amendment would provide for the seizure of devices used to send the annoying messages, including computers, cell phones — even the internet connection itself.

Link to Original Source

+ - Selling shares at the wrong price is fraud 1

Submitted by dfsmith
dfsmith writes: Apparently the "Flash Crash" of the stock market in May 2010 was perpetrated by a futures trader in the UK. The US Justice Department alleges that he used a "dynamic layering scheme" of large-volume sell orders to confuse other buyers, hence winning big in his futures trades. Wait a second... isn't that what traders do all the time? Why is this one different?

Comment: Re:So they petition to protect their hard work (Score 1) 163

Big deal. Everyone does it. You can bet that Google is out there arguing that all of the content should be free so they can sell more ads alongside it. And you can bet that the unions are looking for political influence to protect their hard work too. It's called living in a democracy.

I wouldn't have a problem with the whole thing if our taxes weren't the linchpin in enabling the whole process. Seems anti-democratic..

+ - Google let root certificate for Gmail expire->

Submitted by Gr8Apes
Gr8Apes writes: The certificate for Google's intermediate certificate authority expired Saturday The certificate was used to issue Gmail's certificate for SMTP, and the expiration at 11:55am EDT caused many e-mail clients to stop receiving Gmail messages. While the problem affected most Gmail users using PC and mobile mail clients, Web access to Gmail was unaffected. Guess Google Calendar failed to notify someone.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Do you know how easy it is to make that stuff? (Score 3, Informative) 421

by alphatel (#49409399) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Banned In Six States

If they wanna ban it, let 'em

You can make it yourself

People intent on banning this stuff have forgotten one caveat: it tastes fairly bad, even when you pollute it with sugar.
A good bottle of whiskey/rum/vodka actually follow a process that gives them a refined and palatable flavor.
Grain in any form, diluted or not, just tastes like rubbing alcohol every time.

Although I hike and enjoy some alcohol after a climb, I will still carry a flask and make myself joyful the old fashioned and refreshing way.

Comment: Re:How do I know if I'm breaking the law? (Score 1) 289

Another portion of the order, highlighted in the Reddit article:

there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

But it could easily mean that no prior warning need to be given to Snowden himself before he is listed, not that nobody will have the means to find out who is listed at a given moment.

You have to understand the sheer brilliance of it all. As long as everything is classified then everything is illegal. It is just an extension of the terrific unending over reach of the government in all matters criminal.

The first rule of donation club is you cannot donate to section 1.
The second rule of donation club is YOU CANNOT DONATE TO SECTION 1.
The third rule of donation club is you cannot know what is defined by section 1.

Comment: How to Deal with Bullies (Score 1) 232

by alphatel (#49302677) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit
G have been slowly creeping to the dark side for some time now. Everything is about profit, like any corporation, and there's nothing truly free even when they hand it to you gift-wrapped. And to top it off they are more than happy to use the media to toss aside the FTC's original case dismissal and settlement, when in fact it's pretty clear they did abuse their search power. G is a monopoly. You know it. I know it. We refuse to change our habits and as such continue to empower them.

People rallied against Microsoft for less. We now see how inconsequential a browser is to any OS experience, and G quickly overcame IE and FF simply by producing the best webkit experience.

So we have one choice here. Find and use a new preferred search engine. I know this whole idea sucks because other than porn, most other search engines suck for everything. But if we keep empowering G, they can keep buying their way out of these things and mocking us. I am tired of being laughed at by my search engine, letting it scrape every other site, ranking them based on how much money G will make, and paying them for the hard labor.

No listen, I am serious! I might actually start using a different engine if you can show me it's just half-damn decent.

+ - Google caught altering search-results for profit->

Submitted by mi
mi writes: We've always suspected, this may happen some day — and, according to FTC's investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did.

In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC’s bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and “scraping” content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals.

For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google’s shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn’t click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed.

Link to Original Source

+ - In 1998, I told the major labels to create their own iTunes. They laughed at me.->

Submitted by journovampire
journovampire writes: "I started to believe that there a simple solution of how record companies could take back some control as the internet age dawned: let’s make... a digital download store owned by all of the major labels, with some independent equity if we can manage it, that can service the market just as we do successfully in the physical world. I brought the idea to the NVPI and raised it. The first response was laughter. Lots of laughter."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Should I let my kids become American citizens? 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Dear fellow Slashdotters,

Can you help me decide whether to allow my small daughter and son to become American citizens?

I am American and my partner is Swedish. We have both lived in Belgium for many years and have no plans to leave. I became a Belgian citizen some years ago and kept my American citizenship. My partner has both her original Swedish and now Belgian citizenship. We are not married. Instead we have a registered partnership, which is common in northern Europe, confers most of the benefits of marriage, and raises no eyebrows. However, the American government does not recognize such partnerships so in their eyes I am still single.

Generally, children of American citizens abroad automatically become American citizens themselves at birth. But our kids fall under an exception. Male American citizens who live abroad and have children out of wedlock with a non-citizen mother do not automatically transmit citizenship to their children unless they sign an “affidavit of support” promising to support their children until the age of 18. If you don’t sign before the child reaches 18, the child is not considered an American citizen. This has been upheld by two Supreme Court rulings (Nguyen v. INS and Flores-Villar v. United States). For legal beagles, the relevant statutes are 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409.

The kids have Swedish and Belgian citizenship. We could go down to the American consulate and get American citizenship for them any time, but I keep putting off the decision and I am not sure I want to do it at all. Sentimentally I would like the kids to have American citizenship, but there is really only one practical pro to it:

* American citizenship would allow them to live, work, or study in America more easily, if they choose, when they get older.

The cons:

* They would be immediately enmeshed in the U.S. tax bureaucracy, which would require them to file U.S. tax returns for life even if they never set foot in the U.S. This, as I know from experience, is a huge bother, even when you don’t owe anything.
* Sometimes they would owe U.S. tax, though, for example for capital gains, unearned income, and in some countries self-employment income.
* My son would have to register for the draft.
* The decision, once made, is difficult to back out of: renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship costs $2300 and a lot of paperwork.
* They can easily travel to the US for family visits as Belgian/Swedish citizens.
* There are lots of good universities in Europe. And if they really wanted to study in the U.S., it’s not too hard to do as a European.

What do you think I should do? The clock is ticking, and I find it hard to choose between the evil of not being able to be American if they choose, and the evil of unjust, lifelong pursuit by the IRS.

Yours sincerely,
A loyal Slashdotter.

Here are two good relevant links:

Nothing succeeds like excess. -- Oscar Wilde