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Transportation

Bruce Schneier On Airport Security 582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the he-should-know dept.
the4thdimension writes "Bruce Schneier has an opinion piece on CNN this morning that illustrates his view on airport security. Given that he has several books on security, his opinion carries some weight. In the article, Bruce discusses the rarity of terrorism, the pitfalls of security theater, and the actual difficulty surrounding improving security. What are your thoughts? Do you think that we can actually make air travel (and any other kind of travel, for that matter) truly secure?"
The Courts

FreeCreditReport.com Wins 1,017 Domains By UDRP 184

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-even-a-finders-fee dept.
typosquatting writes to mention that the largest domain dispute case since the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) was enacted ten years ago has been decided. The decision saw 1,017 cyber-squatting domains turned over to ConsumerInfo.com, owner of FreeCreditReport.com. The full decision can be read via the National Arbitration Forum website. "It would seem that this decision sets or reinforces a fairly strong precedent that trademark holders may be entitled to, not only to the domain name that exactly matches their trademark, but also to a wide swath of other domain names including nearly every possible misspelling or other variation of that trademark, potentially even if the trademark is comprised of generic words."
Censorship

Man Attacked In Ohio For Providing Iran Proxies 467

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the never-underestimate-stupidity dept.
David Hume writes "electronicmaji is reporting on the Daily Kos that the individual known as ProtesterHelp (also to be found on twitter) was attacked in Ohio for providing network security for Twitterers in Iran, setting up private networks to provide secure proxies, calling for media networks to remove the Iranians Twitterers' information from their broadcast, and providing counter-intelligence services (including Basiji and Army Locations) within the Twitter community. ProtesterHelp was allegedly attacked by a group of men while walking to class in Ohio. The men, who appeared to ProtesterHelp to be either Iranian or Lebanese, drove up beside him and threw rocks at him while shouting, 'Mousavi Fraud.' ProtesterHelp further reported that his personal information has been leaked, and is currently being spread both online and inside of Iran amongst the government." Relatedly, Wired is also reporting that Google and Facebook have rushed out support for Persian. This move has allowed many pro-democracy groups to connect and translate their message to a broader audience.
Image

Swedish Anti-Piracy Lawyer Gets New Name 'Pirate' 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-power-of-the-prank dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet (in Swedish) reports that Henrik Pontén, a lawyer of Antipiratbyrån, a Swedish organization against file sharing, has received a notification from officials that an application for change of his name has been approved and a new first name 'Pirate' has been added to his name. Authorities do not check the identity of persons applying for name changes. Pirate Pontén now has to apply for another change in order to revert the change."

Comment: Re:Doubt it's pirates (Score 1) 987

by chkn0 (#27958641) Attached to: What Can I Do About Book Pirates?

Change a word (or two) and release a new edition to put a damper on used textbook sales. Students will love that. Probably so much that they would actually start to pirate your book...

Actually, there's no need to change even one word. Just re-order some chapters, re-number any numbered questions/exercises/etc., and change the font, margins, or paper size so that the page numbers don't line up even within each chapter. Instructors will refuse to deal with the headache of issuing two page/exercise/chapter numbers at each reference to the textbook.

Comment: Opt out of copyright extensions (Score 5, Insightful) 987

by chkn0 (#27957631) Attached to: What Can I Do About Book Pirates?
Thomas Babington Macaulay's speech in the House of Commons, 5 February 1841 on the obscene extension of the term of copyright protections:

"I am so sensible, sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers.

At present, the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesmen of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law, and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot.

On which side, indeed, should the public sympathy be when the question is, whether some book as popular as 'Robinson Crusoe,' or 'The Pilgrim's Progress,' shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller, who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress?

Remember, too, that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find, that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living."

So these laws finally went through, and the pirates are here. Surprise!

Consider voluntarily opting out of the over-zealous protections offered by current copyright law. For example, check out O'Reilly's Open Book project. Among their options are the Founders' Copyright, where works return to the public domain after 14 or 28 years (instead of the current lifetime + 70 years). Even better, given the technological revolution between then and now, consider even less restrictive licenses that would enable your customers to get even greater benefit out of your works.

Yes, this option requires that the public make some "nice distinctions" by recognizing that your works are (would be) more freely available than the typical work, and that they should correspondingly pirate them less. If you take this path, remember to proclaim your moral highground loudly and proudly, so that people notice. Also, encouraging your coworkers, fellow authors, publishers, etc., along the same lines and increasing the number of works so available will help the public to more often encounter and understand this issue, and again reduce the incentive to pirate your works.

Comment: Thomas Babington Macaulay, uncorrupted (Score 5, Interesting) 148

by chkn0 (#27618985) Attached to: Looking Back At Copyright Predictions

Thomas Babington Macaulay's speech in the House of Commons, 5 February 1841 on the obscene extension of the term of copyright protections:

"I am so sensible, sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers.

At present, the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesmen of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law, and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot.

On which side, indeed, should the public sympathy be when the question is, whether some book as popular as 'Robinson Crusoe,' or 'The Pilgrim's Progress,' shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller, who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress?

Remember, too, that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find, that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living."

Comment: Eject still useful (Score 1) 357

by chkn0 (#27539931) Attached to: How Does Flash Media Fail?

Linux, otoh, doesn't need eject. Just umount the thing, and sync if you're paranoid.

Actually, eject is still useful in GNU/Linux.

  1. It causes the device entry in /dev to go away.
  2. It does send some kind of eject signal to the device. Most devices behave just fine if they're disconnected without receiving an eject, but some have issues. I have a Nikon camera that acts like a card reader for its own card when plugged in via USB. If I yank the plug without ejecting it gets confused, sometimes to the point that only taking the battery out and putting it back in restores the camera to normal working order.

Eject USB devices in GNU/Linux with the same old /usr/bin/eject command used for CD-ROM drives (internally, the ioctl is still named CDROMEJECT) (GUI users will probably have an 'eject' entry in a right-click menu somewhere).

Comment: /usr/bin/units (Score 1) 776

by chkn0 (#27118747) Attached to: Favorite on-screen calculator?

Things that I have apparently been curious about recently (a tour through grep units ~/.bash_history):

If a beverage has 91 Calories per 8oz serving, how many Calories are in the whole bottle?
$ units -v '((91 Calories)/(8 floz)) * 2 litres' Calories
                ((91 Calories)/(8 floz)) * 2 litres = 769.26902 Calories

How heavy is a gallon of water?
$ units -v 1gallon*waterdensity lbs
                1gallon*waterdensity = 8.3454045 lbs

How much energy does it take to run a human being for a year?
$ units -v '(2000 kcal/day) * 365.2425 days' 'kilowatt hours'
                (2000 kcal/day) * 365.2425 days = 849.55405 kilowatt hours
$ units -v '(2000 kcal/day) * 365.2425 days' joules
                (2000 kcal/day) * 365.2425 days = 3.0583946e+09 joules

About how far away is pluto?
$ units -v plutoorbit lighthours
                plutoorbit = 5.4726529 lighthours

How much energy would it take to stop the earth's rotation (Joshua 10:13)?
$ units -v '(1/2) ((2/5) earthmass earthradius^2) (1/day)^2' hiroshima
                (1/2) ((2/5) earthmass earthradius^2) (1/day)^2 = 1.0351872e+14 hiroshima

How much sideways force would you feel if the earth's rotation was gradually stopped over the course of 15 minutes?
$ units -v '2 pi earthradius /day /(15 minutes)' gravity
                2 pi earthradius /day /(15 minutes) = 0.052494189 gravity

What is the lower bound for a ping over a geostationary satellite link?
$ units -v '4 * 35786 km / c' s
                4 * 35786 km / c = 0.47747699 s

How much would it cost to leave two 19-watt bulbs on for a month?
$ units -v '2 * 19 watts * 30 days * (.126627 dollars/(kilowatt*hour))'
                Definition: 3.4645147 US$

What are minimum and maximum communication delays to Mars?
$ units -v '(marsorbit - au) / c' minutes
                (marsorbit - au) / c = 4.3551666 minutes
$ units -v '(marsorbit + au) / c' minutes
                (marsorbit + au) / c = 20.988659 minutes

If I wanted to get to mars in a week and a half, approximately how long would I have to accelerate/decelerate at 1G at each end of the trip?
$ units -v '((marsorbit - au) / 1.5 weeks) / gravity' hours
                ((marsorbit - au) / 1.5 weeks) / gravity = 2.4459665 hours

My upstream rate is about 266 kB/s. How far into the month do I get before I hit the Comcast cap?
$ units -v '250 GB / (266 kB/s)' days
                250 GB / (266 kB/s) = 10.877889 days

(Lighthours, plutoorbit, marsorbit, and hiroshima are from my ~/.units.dat.)

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

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