Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


FBI Obtains Phone Records With a Post-it Note 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-you-have-a-subpoena-or-a-note-from-home? dept.
angry tapir writes "The FBI was so cavalier — and telecom companies so eager to help — that a verbal request or even one written on a Post-it note was enough for operators to hand over customer phone records, according to a damning report (PDF) released on Wednesday by the US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General."

Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA Again In Tenenbaum 528

Posted by timothy
from the could-make-a-jaded-man-more-jaded dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Despite having had some time to get their act together, Obama's Department of Justice has filed yet another brief defending the RIAA's outlandish statutory damages theory — that someone who downloaded an mp3 with a 99-cent retail value, causing a maximum possible damages of 35 cents, is liable for from $750 to $150,000 for each such file downloaded, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. The 25- page brief (PDF) continues the DOJ's practice of (a) ignoring the case law which holds that the Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence is applicable to statutory damages, (b) ignoring the law review articles to like effect, (c) ignoring the actual holding of the 1919 case they rely upon, (d) ignoring the fact that the RIAA failed to prove 'distribution' as defined by the Copyright Act, and (e) ignoring the actual wording and reasoning of the Supreme Court in its leading Gore and Campbell decisions. Jon Newton of attributes the Justice Department's 'oversights' to the 'eye-popping number of people [in its employ] who worked for, and/or are directly connected with, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's RIAA.'"

Minnesota Introduces World's First Carbon Tariff 303

Posted by timothy
from the hey-cut-that-crap-out dept.
hollywoodb writes "The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota. To encourage the switch to clean, renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012 ... Minnesota has been generally pushing for cleaner power within its borders, but the utility companies that operate in MN have, over the past decades, sited a lot of coal power plants on the relatively cheap and open land of North Dakota, which is preparing a legal battle against Minnesota over the tariff."

How Apple's App Review Is Sabotaging the iPhone 509

Posted by kdawson
from the race-to-the-bottom dept.
snydeq writes to recommend Peter Wayner's inside look at the frustration iPhone developers face from Apple when attempting to distribute their apps through the iPhone App Store. Wayner's long piece is an extended analogy comparing Apple to the worst of Soviet-era bureaucracy. "Determined simply to dump an HTML version of his book into UIWebView and offer two versions through the App Store, Wayner endures four months of inexplicable silences, mixed messages, and almost whimsical rejections from Apple — the kind of frustration and uncertainty Wayner believes is fast transforming Apple's regulated marketplace into a hotbed of bottom-feeding mediocrity. 'Developers are afraid to risk serious development time on the platform as long as anonymous gatekeepers are able to delay projects by weeks and months with some seemingly random flick of a finger,' Wayner writes of his experience. 'It's one thing to delay a homebrew project like mine, but it's another thing to shut down a team of developers burning real cash. Apple should be worried when real programmers shrug off the rejections by saying, "It's just a hobby."'"

Comment: Re:10 Years, not Infinity+ years (Score 1) 597

by azakem (#27144421) Attached to: Copyright and Patent Laws Hurt the Economy

What I dont get is why your son needs to be rewarded for you working in the first place. Outside of world leaders & royalty, no other profession gets a free pass for their children. Are the children of copyright owners incapable of working like everyone else has to?

Not that I totally disagree with you, but inheritance basically works the same way. There is a principled argument that inheritance should be capped because it encourages sloth among the children of the wealthy. The counter argument is that the wealthy will not work as hard to produce during their lifetimes if they are not able to leave their estates to their children upon death.

Comment: Re:Why would we listen to economists? (Score 1) 597

by azakem (#27144375) Attached to: Copyright and Patent Laws Hurt the Economy
Actually, China is fairly respectful of IP, so long as it is Chinese IP that is being protected. As far as the rest of TRIPS members goes, they are working on it and making progress.

Also, I don't know where this vitriol against the term intellectual property comes from. The first thing any IP lawyer learns is that IP is not property per se. IP is just an umbrella term to encompass copyright, trademark, and patents, which have certain attributes akin to property but important distinctions that separate them from traditional property. The term intellectual property may be a relatively recent creation, but most of the legal doctrines are not. The problems most IP opponents have are with the developing doctrine, I don't see why they waste breath on attacking the term itself. Calling it propaganda strikes me as a bit over the top.

Comment: Re:What about the kids? (Score 1) 689

by azakem (#26892139) Attached to: Student Satirist Gets 3 Months; the Judge, Likely More
Retribution and deterrence are two of the fundamental purposes of criminal law. These two judges have irreparably harmed their victims as well as the justice system itself. They were given positions of public trust and abused their power for monetary benefit at the expense of faith in the judiciary. If ever there were government servants who deserved life in prison for their offenses, it is these two judges.

Comment: Re:Firefox (Score 1) 835

by azakem (#26568811) Attached to: How To Diagnose a Suddenly Slow Windows Computer?

This is actually good advice. I've found that the flash plugin with firefox can go ape-shit and destroy performance (even if you close the tab) until you kill firefox to kill it.

Yeah, I have noticed this same problem ever since I upgraded to version 3. Too bad I don't know enough to do anything about it. Blocking flash isn't an option for me, I'm addicted to random mindless flash games.

Have you reconsidered a computer career?