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Australia

Australian Government Moving Forward With Anti-Piracy Mandate For ISPs 6

Posted by timothy
from the sniff-it-sniff-all-of-it dept.
angry tapir (1463043) writes Australia is moving closer to a regime under which ISPs will be forced to block access to websites whose "dominant purpose" is to facilitate copyright violations. A secret government discussion paper (PDF) has been leaked and proposes a system of website blocking and expanded liability for ISPs when it comes to "reasonable steps that can be taken ... to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement."

+ - Alternative Theories on deadly Washington state landslide->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "/. has carried a piece on the deadly Washington State landslide — http://science.slashdot.org/st... — but now alternative theories on the same landslide have surfaces

The new account from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) differs from the explanation offered by the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, which on Tuesday unveiled the first published analysis of the 22 March slide. The accident killed 43 in the little town of Oso at the edge of Washington’s Cascade Mountains

The difference revolves around a critical question:

What caused a hillside with a history of relatively minor landslides to suddenly turn into a tsunami of mud and debris that sped about a kilometer across a valley?

The findings could influence what signs scientists look for when trying to detect other potentially explosive slides"
Link to Original Source

Businesses

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs 77

Posted by timothy
from the who-pays-whom-for-what dept.
Dega704 (1454673) writes While the network neutrality debate has focused primarily on whether ISPs should be able to charge companies like Netflix for faster access to consumers, cable companies are now arguing that it's really Netflix who holds the market power to charge them. This argument popped up in comments submitted to the FCC by Time Warner Cable and industry groups that represent cable companies. (National Journal writer Brendan Sasso pointed this out.) The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), which represents many companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox, and Charter wrote to the FCC:

"Even if broadband providers had an incentive to degrade their customers' online experience in some circumstances, they have no practical ability to act on such an incentive. Today's Internet ecosystem is dominated by a number of "hyper-giants" with growing power over key aspects of the Internet experience—including Google in search, Netflix and Google (YouTube) in online video, Amazon and eBay in e-commerce, and Facebook in social media. If a broadband provider were to approach one of these hyper-giants and threaten to block or degrade access to its site if it refused to pay a significant fee, such a strategy almost certainly would be self-defeating, in light of the immediately hostile reaction of consumers to such conduct. Indeed, it is more likely that these large edge providers would seek to extract payment from ISPs for delivery of video over last-mile networks."
Related: an article at Gizmodo explains that it takes surprisingly little hardware to replicate (at least most of) Netflix's current online catalog in a local data center.

+ - Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic, boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection. What he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 1) 56

by vux984 (#47536227) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

If Verizon was really going to give her a new iPhone for nothing (but a contract extension), she should have still paid Apple the $100 to fix the screen on the old one, and then sold it immediately.

Meh... depends on what phone she had and has now. She probably has a 4S. $100 to repair it and then maybe sell it for $200... $100 net profit whooo... still worth it assuming you value your time less than whatever grief is involved dealing with putzes on craigslist. :)

+ - Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: The Good, The Ugly and The Games->

Submitted by muterobert
muterobert (2927951) writes "Paul James goes hands on with one of the first next-gen Oculus Rifts in the wild:

"After much hacking (and some kind developer linkage) I stepped into a DK2 enabled version of Technolust and lost myself utterly! The stunning attention to detail, neon on black really lets the OLED panel shine here. In fact, this experience was the closest I think I’ve ever some to presence in virtual reality thus far. Leaning in to check the myriad retro objects, gawking at the lighting and just generally being blown away by the experience. This game was fabulous on the DK1, it’s utterly compelling now.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 787

When installing software and are 'forced' to 'agree' to many paragraphs of legalese before the OK button will become clickable, do you tick "I agree" and think "I agree" or do you tick it whilst thinking "I'm only clicking 'I agree' because I've discovered that that's what's necessary to proceed to the next installation-step?"

When people cheer for a tinpot dictator, do they think "this guy is awesome" or "I'm only cheering because I've discovered that's what's necessary to avoid getting killed"?

Internalizes helplessness isn't about being deceived, that's called stupidity. Internalized helplessness is about saying "I agree" no matter what you think, because you don't think "I disagree" would go well for you. You're treating having to jump through hoops to use a software you've already purchased as a fact of life you can do nothing about. Your spirit has, in however small way, been broken; you've begun to accept the will of various institutions and forces of human creation as defining the very parameters of your life.

You're not rejecting the idea of helpless subjectdom, you're embodying it. And so do Americans as a whole, more and more every year, as the powers that be continue slipping out of their control and consequently carry their tasks out without any real oversight, to the point of insanity and beyond. That won't end well.

Comment: Re:you mean you HEAR fireworks (Score 1) 379

The reason why Hamas rockets "didn't hit a single person" is because of a combination of interceptor systems, early launch detection, and well-developed civil defense in Israel. If rockets were fired in the same manner at Gaza, given the population density there, almost every single one would have found a target. Yet that would be exactly a tit-for-tat response.

You seem to be arguing that if a guy attacks me with a knife on the street, I can't use any force to defend myself until he actually manages to land a stab on me. If that's your notion of "proportional response", it's bullshit.

Comment: Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (Score 1) 106

by steveha (#47535863) Attached to: The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

There is an upper bound to how much stuff people will tolerate in a license. If you add even one restriction too many, people will stop using the software at all. If possible, people may fork an older version of the software; if not possible, people will switch to something else, or perhaps start their own project with a different license.

For an example from history, look at what happened to XFree86 when they changed the terms of their license. Pretty much overnight, almost everyone stopped using XFree86 and switched to the then-new X.org project. I'm sure that the XFree86 guys thought that the world would just accept the changes to the license, but that's not what happened; what happened instead is that XFree86 became instantly irrelevant.

So, if RMS takes your advice and adopts the restrictions you propose, some nonzero number of users will fall away, and new forks will begin to appear of the software. Meanwhile the military users will shrug and just deal with it. There is exactly zero chance that your proposed GPLv4 will change the plans of the military, even a little bit.

So now the question becomes: what are you trying to accomplish with your proposed GPLv4? If the benefits outweigh the costs, do it. But do it with full knowledge that there will be costs, and among the costs will be increased fragmentation of open-source software projects (more forks and more new projects).

A CNC machine or a 3D printer can be used to make medical parts, or weapons. It follows that if the military contributes code to control a CNC machine or 3D printer, the contributed code could be used for good purposes. One consequence of your proposed GPLv4 license: code under such a license would no longer receive contributions from the military. Is that part of what you wanted to achieve? I don't see this as a win, myself.

Government

FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret 69

Posted by timothy
from the awfully-suggestive dept.
v3rgEz writes When federal agencies adopt new technology, they're required by law to do Privacy Impact Assessments, which is exactly what the FBI did regarding its secretive drone program. The PIAs are created to help the public and federal government assess what they're risking through the adoption of new technology. That part is a little trickier, since the FBI is refusing to release any of the PIA on its drone project, stating it needs to be kept, er, private to protect national security.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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