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The Internet

FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband 411

Posted by samzenpus
from the internet-to-the-people dept.
jfruh writes: The FCC's Lifeline program subsidizes phone service for very poor Americans; it gained notoriety under the label "Obamaphone," even though the program started under Reagan and was extended to cell phones under Clinton. Now the FCC is proposing that the program, which is funded by a fee on telecom providers, be extended to broadband, on the logic that high-speed internet is as necessary today as telephone service was a generation ago.

Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics 703

Posted by Soulskill
from the infallible-except-when-he-disagrees-with-them dept. writes: The Telegraph reports that as the Vatican forges an alliance with the UN to tackle climate change, skeptics accuse Pope Francis of being deeply ill-informed about global warming. The Pope discussed climate change with Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, who then opened a one-day Vatican conference called "The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development". Organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace, the goal of the conference is to help strengthen the global consensus on the importance of climate change in the context of sustainable development.

But a group of British and American skeptics say the Pope is being fed "mistaken" advice from the UN and that he should stick to speaking out on matters of morality and theology rather than getting involved in the climate change debate. "The Pope has great moral authority but he's not an authority on climate science. He's a learned man but the IPCC has got it wrong," says Jim Lakely of the Heartland Institute, a conservative American pressure group partly funded by billionaire industrialists who question climate change. "The Pope would make a grave mistake if he put his moral authority behind scientists saying that climate change is a threat to the world. Many scientists have concluded that human activity is a minor player. The Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age."

It was the first time the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago and has been described by the New York Times as "the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism," has traveled to Rome to try to influence a pope. "The sideshow envisioned by these organizations will not detract from the deep concern that Pope Francis has for the truth and how it relates to the environment," says Dr. Bernard Brady, Professor and Chair of the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas. "Pope Francis will probably follow his predecessor, Benedict XVI, recognizing the interrelatedness of climate change with other moral issues and calling for persons, organizations, communities, nations, and indeed the global community, to reconsider established patterns of behavior."

Comment: Re:Here's a writeup about it (Score 0) 206

Wait wait wiat... You mean mandatory minimum sentences are antithetical to common law? You mean that reason needs to be considered when delivering judgement? That MAYBE the giant overlord of the federal government doesn't know the right thing always in all cases!?

Wow. Imagine that.


-David Dombrowsky


Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English' 667

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-feel-free-to-continue-screaming-at-random-internet-commenters dept.
Pikoro writes: A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explains why the concept of a "proper" English isn't realistic. Quoting: "It's a perpetual lament: The purity of the English language is under assault. These days we are told that our ever-texting teenagers can't express themselves in grammatical sentences. The media delight in publicizing ostensibly incorrect usage. ... As children, we all have the instinct to acquire a set of rules and to apply them. ... We know that a certain practice is a rule of grammar because it’s how we see and hear people use the language. ... That’s how scholarly linguists work. Instead of having some rule book of what is “correct” usage, they examine the evidence of how native and fluent nonnative speakers do in fact use the language. Whatever is in general use in a language (not any use, but general use) is for that reason grammatically correct. The grammatical rules invoked by pedants aren’t real rules of grammar at all. They are, at best, just stylistic conventions.

Comment: Isn't "Steam on Linux" just a bunch of flash apps? (Score -1, Troll) 192

by davek (#49233857) Attached to: Steam On Linux Now Has Over a Thousand Games Available

It seems to me that the whole "Seam on Linux" thing is much ado about nothing. Aren't most Steam games just flash (or HTML5, maybe) applications, which have worked in linux forever? Maybe it's the whole payment system that's so wonderful? I just don't get the hype.

+ - Politico warns that new internet regulations will make speeds "as slow as Europe->

Submitted by davek
davek writes: “These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe. Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density,” the two wrote.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Let me get this straight... (Score 3, Interesting) 375

by davek (#48926923) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

Let me get this straight. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must:
  * gain login access to your system via SSH
  * hope you turned on X11 forwarding
  * be root or your user
  * hope you've disabled access control with `xhost +`
  * be able to run a fake screen locker program to get your password to the system he's already completely compromised

Yes, someone could still stop by your desk and put in the fake screen locker while you were getting coffee, but if you got up and didn't lock your machine, that's on you, not X11.
I'll file this one under "good enough" security.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is faulty by nature (Score 0) 161

by davek (#48737677) Attached to: Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

> It's appalling how bitcoin evangelists still didn't understand the simple issue that makes Bitcoin impossible to work: Bitcoin has zero accountability.

Much unlike the systems of government-backed currency, where government employees who commit crime, cronyism, and fraud are always held accountable?

Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency. Like gold, it's only worth what people will pay for it.

Comment: simple and effective: referencer (Score 1) 259

by davek (#48600541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

I use a little program called Referencer to manage images of bills and checks. I spent a /lot/ of time looking for a simple program where I can organize a stack of images (or PDFs) by applying 1 or more tags to each. THAT'S ALL. Referencer is made for generating bibliographies for TeX documents, but it is STILL the only simple program I know of that can manage a database of files and tags.

If anyone knows of a better one, PLEASE let me know. I have a feeling the app will soon be orphaned.

+ - Government Involved in a "Battle For The Human Soul"->

Submitted by davek
davek writes: From its very inception, the Leninist/Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union made it a central priority to dispel and subjugate religious and spiritual expression. The state was “god.” No other god could be allowed to flourish, for if the people were given license and freedom of belief in something beyond themselves and beyond the establishment, they would retain a sense of rebellion. The collectivist philosophy requires the utter destruction of all competitors; otherwise, it can never truly prevail. The New World Order, an ideal often touted by globalists and defined by their own rhetoric as a scientific dictatorship in which collectivism is valued and individualism is criminalized, seems to me to be — in its ultimate form and intention — a battle for the human soul.
Link to Original Source

+ - Most IT Pros Prefer Open Source To Proprietary Software

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Business continuity and control eclipse cost savings are the top reasons why U.S. IT professionals prefer open source to proprietary software. According to a Ponemon Institute study, more than 70 percent of IT professionals in the U.S agree that commercial open source software provides more control and ensures better business continuity than proprietary software. This research shows that cost savings are no longer the hallmark of open source in the minds of IT professionals, with the ability to lower costs ranking below quality in importance. This viewpoint is echoed by IT and IT security practitioners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy