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+ - Windows 7 Activation Down - Buy Windows 8 1

Submitted by fibrewire
fibrewire (1132953) writes "I am getting hammered for license compliance issues due to users reporting that their copy of Windows is not genuine. When I use online actiavtion or call 1-888-725-1047 to activate my copy of Windows 7 Pro, I am told that "activation services are experiencing technical difficulties, please call back in 2 hours." Unfortunately I've been getting this message for several days now, and my clients are getting frustrated. Good news is that Windows 8 activation services are not experiencing this problem. Is this a ploy to force users to upgrade to Windows 8?"

+ - Verizon Dropping data rates, but current customers have to call -> 1

Submitted by executioner
executioner (113014) writes "n spite of Verizon Wireless’ recent boasts that it’s “a leader, not a follower,” a new announcement from the nation’s biggest wireless company shows that Big V is indeed following the competition down the path of charging customers less for their data plans. However, current Verizon subscribers will need to let the company know they want to save money (or get more data).
It’s a little confusing, so stick with us for a moment. Verizon MORE Everything customers who currently have monthly data allotments of 1GB, 2GB, 3GB, or 4GB will have an option on how they want to save.They can either get more data for their money by getting 1GB of additional data per month for no extra charge OR they can have their bill reduced by $10/month.So someone with a 2GB plan is currently paying $50/month. If they take the free data option, that goes to 3GB for the same price. Or they can elect to stick with the 2GB and their data bill drops to $40/month."

Link to Original Source

+ - Laws for thee but not for me....-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, the nation’s top court found that a police officer who mistakenly interprets a law and pulls someone over hasn’t violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

If a police officer reasonably believes something is against the law, they are justified in initiating a traffic stop, says the U.S. Supreme Court. The problem? According to North Carolina traffic law, only one tail light needs to be functional. That means the initial stop, justified on these grounds, would have been illegal — and so would the seizure of the cocaine found in Heien’s car

“The result is a system in which “ignorance of the law is no excuse” for citizens facing conviction, but police can use their own ignorance about the law to their advantage,” notes the legal brief on the case by a coalition of civil rights organizations, including American Civil Liberties Union and Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Although this was a traffic stop, imagine this applied to computer search & seizure. Suddenly, you could be facing "reasonable belief" that you committed a crime.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this will enable a Police State."

Link to Original Source

+ - Why Lizard Squad took down PSN and Xbox Live on Christmas Day

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Early Christmas morning, hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for taking down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for hours. This affected those who had received new Xbox One or PS4 consoles, preventing them from playing online.

So why did they do it? According to an exclusive interview with Lizard Squad, it had to do with convincing companies to improve their security — the hard way. "Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies’ inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result.""

Comment: Re:Yes, it's in FB's "ordinary [business] course" (Score 1) 48

by apraetor (#48673431) Attached to: Federal Judge: Facebook Must Face Suit For Scanning Messages
Chrome doesn't read your emails and what personal information the browser does "phone home" to Google can be disabled if you so wish. The scanning of emails for ad targeting is done server-side for Gmail; still, if you replace "Google's browser" with "Gmail" then you'd have a statement I'd probably agree with. Personally I don't mind my email being checked by an algorithm to generate keywords for advertising; the keywords are only used while that specific email is open on-screen, so it's not like Google is amassing a database of every keyword ever found in any of your email -- that WOULD concern me.

+ - Comcast's Lobbyists Hands Out VIP Cards To Skip the Wait->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A lengthy story about how David Gregory lost his job hosting Meet the Press holds an interesting tidbit: Comcast's team of lobbyists regularly hands out VIP cards to influential (and influence-able) people in Washington that lets them bypass normal customer service and fast-track their support problems. "Its government-affairs team carried around 'We'll make it right' cards stamped with 'priority assistance' codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service. A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable." (The David Gregory article is worth a look, too; it shows how Comcast's purchase of NBC has led to interference in NBC's attempts at real journalism.)"
Link to Original Source

+ - Space X - Going where no one has gone before->

Submitted by ColdWetDog
ColdWetDog (752185) writes "This Friday, SpaceX will attempt what no agency or company has done before: land a used rocket stage on a floating ocean platform. The effort will be made during the private spaceflight company's fifth paid cargo run to the International Space Station. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 is scheduled for 1:22 p.m. EST (18:22 UTC)."
Link to Original Source

Comment: This should be interesting (Score 1) 2

by apraetor (#48630003) Attached to: Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot
Last I checked there was no amendment giving the Federal gov't authority to create drug laws; it's an interpretation of the commerce clause that's been used as legal justification. Wikipedia has an interesting break-down of the source of constitutional authority for drug laws here. The argument is tenuous and based on the idea that if the federal gov't refuses to tax something, then it has the authority to make laws criminalizing all trade. It's an argument which gives the fed broad reach beyond the letter of the US Constitution; it doesn't mean it's right or wrong -- just that it's the kind of interpretation liable to being changed as our society loses it's hard-nosed Puritanical belief in regulating the private lives of others.

+ - Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot-> 2

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing state-legalized marijuana from Colorado is improperly spilling across state lines.

The suit invokes the federal government's right to regulate both drugs and interstate commerce, and says Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has been "particularly burdensome" to police agencies on the other side of the state line.

In June, USA TODAY highlighted the flow of marijuana from Colorado into small towns across Nebraska: felony drug arrests in Chappell, Neb., just 7 miles north of the Colorado border have skyrocketed 400% in three years.

"In passing and enforcing Amendment 64, the state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems," says the lawsuit. "The Constitution and the federal anti-drug laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local pro-drug policies and licensed distribution schemes throughout the country which conflict with federal laws.""

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