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+ - Ma Bell Is Calling Big Brother 2

Submitted by GeekAlert
GeekAlert (1177771) writes "Well, the Fairpoint purchase of Verizon assets is nearly complete in NH. It's at the laughable NH PUC for final review/approval. PREDICTION: Verizon keeps fiber backbone assets and cellular and merges them with AT&T creating Ma Bell all over again (no surprises here I'm sure). Expect to rent phones and share party lines in the near future. BONUS PREDICTION: The reason AT&T/Verizon will give for merger and to allow AT&T to have a monopoly in the states .. "to compete with other global Telecoms/Telcos in the New World Economy". Note too that AT&T will be a willing (and immune) participant in NSA spying. Note also that it will be in the interest of "National Security" that all these remaining infrastructure resources (read countries building their own fiber to escape our "big brother" mentality) fall under one large house to make coordination with the DHS all the easier. A big thank you also goes out to West Virginia. I'm sure the DHS has recorded this post. Hey NSA .. while you have my info on hand .. can you extradite me to the EU?"

+ - Bank of America Online Banking offline->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Users have been unable to login to Bank of America's Online Banking for most of the day. By my count, we are on the 5th or 6th hour. Earlier in the day, https://sitekey.bankofamerica.com/ was not responding at all (and login attempts just hung forever), and now attempts to login are presented with "We are currently experiencing an Online Banking service interruption. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to restore your service as quickly as possible." I was told by BofA Online Banking Customer Support that BofA is in the middle of an "emergency upgrade" that they expected to last two hours — that was much more than two hours ago. If BofA has been owned in some way, do you think customers will be told the truth?"
Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - BBC trust to listen to OSC about iPlayer->

Submitted by
Virgil Tibbs
Virgil Tibbs writes "With the Launch of the BBC's iPlayer imminent, the BBC trust has agreed to hear the Open Source Consortium concerns regarding the BBC iPlayer's tie in with Microsoft's software. The move by the BBC to use Windows Media DRM & their apparent lack of commitment towards other platforms has caused outrage in many circles and prompted several online petitions."
Link to Original Source

+ - British Conservative 'Gets it' on OSS

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "George Osborne, the Conservative Shadow Chancellor, seems to "Get it" in surprising depth on the potential of OSS in government IT and in general. He gave a speech http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.stor y.page&obj_id=135408&speeches=1 in which he correctly identifies not only what OSS and community-driven resources are about, but also seems to understand that open standards are _really_ the key to unlocking some of the benefits. Perhaps he is treading carefully, but he's not yet mentioned the corruption and bribery that seems to determine quite a lot of public sector IT spending (Research Machines IT monopoly in UK education, for example) but that may come in time. If this really translates into future Govt policy, we might be seeing the start of a real change in the IT landscape, with some of our favourite software getting the exposure and appreciation it deserves. Why not let Mr. Osborne know that we appreciate his approach, and tell him that he's on the right track. A bit of voter approval of something like this is just what it needs to confirm his position. contact@georgeosborne.co.uk might appreciate a few messages of support!"

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll