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Comment: Re:Must be nice (Score 5, Informative) 401

by chowells (#41967537) Attached to: Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

As of 2006, the licence fee *is* considered a tax.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldbbc/128/128i.pdf

"Parliament and not Government should set the level of the licence fee. In January 2006, the Office of National Statistics classified the licence fee as a tax for the first
time. We are very concerned about the consequences that this decision will have for the BBC’s independence."

Comment: Re:Oh Boeing... (Score 1) 403

by chowells (#40788161) Attached to: Flight 4590 Didn't Kill the Concorde; Costs Did

No, Concorde *was* really loud. I used to live around 40 miles west of Heathrow, under the flightpath of Concorde. I don't know what speed an altitude Concorde was doing at that point (40 miles gives it a reasonable margin after takeoff to gain some height and speed) but twice a day, inside buildings, conversation would stop because the noise of Concorde drowned out the conversation. Unless you wanted to start shouting at each other.

Image

User Charged With Taking ISP Tech Hostage 327 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the to-kidnap-or-not-to-kidnap dept.
User AttheCoalFac pointed us to an interesting tech support story from Canada. Halifax actress and playwright Carol Sinclair was arrested and is now facing criminal charges after a repairman says she threatened to hold him hostage until he fixed her Internet connection. Mrs. Sinclair denies the allegations and says that she merely stated, 'I don't want to hold you hostage, but would you mind hanging around until the other technician arrives so that the two of you can sort it out.' She was arraigned in Halifax Provincial Court Friday and is now free on conditions including that she have no contact with the repairman or any employee from her ISP. Having a lot of experience on both sides of this issue, I'm not sure who I'm cheering for.

Comment: Re:Always. (Score 3, Interesting) 627

by chowells (#23931793) Attached to: When Is a Self-Signed SSL Certificate Acceptable?

I don't know of any instances of SSL certificates being subverted in the way described by the GP, but there are instances of phishing sites using correct-looking certificates, such as http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2006/02/the_new_face_of_phishing_1.html

"By what other method do you suggest that I prove to my satisfaction that when I go to www.mybank.com.au that I am actually at mybank's website"

Not very easily, but you can use two factor authentication to make sure that even if scammers find out the static username, password, and whatever, it's useless without a second bit of information generated by an electronic device. So the device generates a pin number which is based on time, or generated in a sequence. I have used Cryptocards in the past - they can generate a 7 digit pin number which is valid for one time only - the server knows the order that the card should generate the pin and it can be easily tied into existing infrastructure using by authing using RADIUS. Some UK banks have sent out devices which you need to insert the debit card into in order to generate the code. It's far less likely that the scammer is going to have the debit card, *and* the electronic device, *and* the static username/password.

Linux Business

Why Linux Doesn't Spread - the Curse of Being Free 1243

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-get-what-you-may-or-may-not-pay-for dept.
Vlad Dolezal tips us to a philosophical take on why Linux hasn't grown to challenge Windows as the most popular operating system. According to the author, the reason is simple; Linux is free, and humans tend not to equate free things with being valuable. "Here's what Compy McNewb sees. He can get both OS's for free. But one of them is worth over three hundred dollars, while the other one is worth nothing. 'That's not true!' I hear you scream. 'Linux is worth a lot! It's just being offered for free!' I know it's not true that Linux is worth less than Windows. It's far more valuable to the end user in terms of getting things done. But that's not what Average Joe Computer Newbie sees. He sees a free product versus a three-hundred-dollar product he can get free. It's all about the perception!"
Operating Systems

Startup Offers Instant-Boot Windows Alternative 286

Posted by Zonk
from the o-hai-dere dept.
Lucas123 writes "A Silicon Valley startup named Device VM has a product that circumvents the boot-up process, according to a story in MIT's Technology Review. Device VM recently released a tiny piece of software that gives users the option to boot either Windows or a faster, less-complex operating system called Splashtop. The company is partnering with PC OEMs and consumer electronics companies to integrate its core technology into desktops, notebooks, ultra-mobile PCs, and other devices."
Books

The Home Library Problem Solved 328

Posted by kdawson
from the ask-and-it-is-given dept.
Zack Grossbart writes "About 18 months ago I posted the following question to Ask Slashdot: 'How do you organize a home library with 3,500 books?' I have read all the responses, reviewed most of the available software, and come up with a good solution described in the article The Library Problem. This article discusses various cataloging schemes, reviews cheap barcode scanners, and outlines a complete solution for organizing your home library. Now you can see an Ask Slashdot question with a definitive answer."
The Courts

Judge Orders RIAA to Show Cause in DC Case 104

Posted by Zonk
from the and-all-the-other-little-cases-as-well dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's 'bumpy ride' in its 'ex parte' litigation campaign against college students just got a whole lot bumpier. After reading the motion to quash filed by a George Washington University student, the Judge took it upon herself to issue an order to show cause. The order now requires the plaintiffs to show cause, no later than November 29th, why the ex parte order she'd signed at the RIAA's request should not be vacated. She's also requested information showing why her ruling should not be applicable not only to John Doe #3, but to all the other John Does as well. p2pnet called this a 'potentially huge setback' for the recording companies."
Encryption

WWII Colossus Codecracker Outdone by a German 182

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-irony-you-are-so-sweet dept.
superglaze writes "The Colossus codecracker contest was a short-lived ordeal. Not only has it been outdone in a cipher-breaking challenge, but — irony of ironies — it was beaten by a German! From the story: 'The winner was Joachim Schüth, from Bonn, who completed the task using software he wrote himself. "[Schüth] cracked the most difficult code yesterday," said the museum's spokesperson on Friday. "We're absolutely delighted. He used specially written software for the challenge. Colossus is still chugging away, as we got the signals late. Yesterday the atmospheric conditions were such that we couldn't get good signals.'"
Music

Gene Simmons Blames College Kids For Music Industry Woes 860

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pointing-fingers dept.
drcagn writes "Gene Simmons has blasted 'college' kids and claims that they have destroyed the music industry, with the labels also to blame for not properly suing them out of existence when they had the chance. When asked about Radiohead and Trent Reznor's recent support of a different direction in music distribution, he says "that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say 'Come on in and pay whatever you want.' Are you on f---ing crack?" When asked about music being free and making money off of merchandise, he says, "The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care?" even though earlier in the interview he brags that he believes that KISS's merchandise is more profitable than Elvis's or the Beatles.'"
Announcements

Mass OLPC Production Begins 167

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the slow-starters dept.
eldavojohn writes to tell us that mass production of the first XO laptops has officially started. "The commencement of mass production means children in developing nations could have the rugged, open-source laptops in hand starting this month. The OLPC has already announced orders for kids in Uruguay and Mongolia. (Residents of the U.S. and Canada participating in the Give 1 Get 1 program--which donates an XO to a child in a developing nation for every machine sold online--are expected to start getting laptops in December.)"

Vinyl To Signal the End for CDs? 883

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the wtb-10-disc-changer-for-my-car dept.
PJ1216 writes to mention that vinyl seems poised to make a comeback in the music industry. Some are even predicting that this comeback coupled with the surge in digital music sales could possibly close the door on CDs. "Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs. Although CDs have a wider dynamic range, mastering houses are often encouraged to compress the audio on CDs to make it as loud as possible: It's the so-called loudness war. Since the audio on vinyl can't be compressed to such extremes, records generally offer a more nuanced sound. Another reason for vinyl's sonic superiority is that no matter how high a sampling rate is, it can never contain all of the data present in an analog groove, Nyquist's theorem to the contrary."
Windows

Standard Web Fonts 'Updated' In Vista 452

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-leave-well-enough-alone dept.
BladesP9 writes "Beginning with Vista, Microsoft has updated the standard Web Core Fonts that it has used since the late 1990s. 'With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has unleashed something quite new on the Web — the "C" fonts; Cambria, Calibri, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel.' The article goes on to state that 'if you're a web designer and not using Vista then this download is mandatory since it will let you see your page as your Vista users see it.' The article includes a PDF document offering visual comparisons of the old and new fonts (pdf)."
The Internet

Adobe Intends To Move All of Its Applications Online 283

Posted by Zonk
from the online-photoshop-is-like-magic dept.
E1ven writes "Adobe has announced their intention to transition their entire suite of software to web-based applications This includes their popular offerings Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. '[Adobe Chief Executive Bruce] Chizen answered a question about whether a complete shift to Web delivery would take five or 10 years and he indicated it would be closer to a decade. Like many traditional software makers including Microsoft Corp., Adobe must fend off rivals delivering competing applications over the Web and it also needs to adopt a new business model after years of selling software in boxes. Chizen expects professional customers of products like Acrobat document-sharing or Photoshop for editing images would opt to pay for subscriptions versus facing a steady stream of advertising to use tools critical to their jobs.'"

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