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Comment: Story is Bullshit. Use Rockbox. (Score -1, Flamebait) 608

by gnutoo (#26020441) Attached to: Obama's "ZuneGate"

Obama is an iPod user and someone lent him a Zune. Shame, that was not was not spotted before Slashdot was used as another Wintel advertisement vehicle for the very failed Zune players. Knowing M$, they had W.E. slip him one so they could splash the story around for Christmas. Sorry, Steve, it won't work.

People looking for a music player should buy a used iPod and install Rockbox. You keep good quality hardware out of a landfill and get software freedom for a better price than a Zune that way.

Linux Business

Ubuntu 8.10 Outperforms Windows Vista 689

Posted by timothy
from the windows-probably-runs-more-windows-apps dept.
Anonymous writes "By now a lot has been reported on the new features and improvements in Ubuntu 8.10; it also looks like the OS is outperforming Vista in early benchmarking (Geekbench, boot times, etc.) At what point does this start to make a difference in the market place?" (And though there are lot of ways to benchmark computers, Ubuntu 8.10 with Compiz Fusion is certainly prettier on my Eee than the Windows XP that it came with.)
The Internet

Why We Need Unlicensed White-Space Broadband Spectrum 179

Posted by timothy
from the 50,000-watt-internet-stations-at-the-border dept.
pgoldtho writes "PC Mag has a story about why the 'white-space' spectrum that will be freed when TV broadcasts switch to digital should be available for unlicensed use. This would allow it to be used to deliver broadband connectivity in rural areas and create a 'third pipe' alternative to the cable/telco duopoly. The FCC is scheduled to vote on this November 4th. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed an emergency appeal to block this vote. If the NAB succeeds, the issue will be kicked into next year. Which would mean a new FCC, Congress, and Administration."
The Internet

Sprint Cuts Cogent Off the Internet 413

Posted by timothy
from the is-that-an-ectomy-or-an-otomy? dept.
superbus1929 writes "I work as a security analyst at an internet security company. While troubleshooting an issue, we learned why our customer couldn't keep his site-to-site VPN going from any location that uses Sprint as its ISP: Sprint has decided not to route traffic to Cogent due to litigation. This has a chilling effect; already, this person I worked with cannot communicate between a few sites of his, and since Sprint is stopping the connections cold (my traceroutes showed as complete, and not as timing out), it means that there is no backup plan; anyone going to Cogent from a Sprint ISP is crap out of luck."
Government

Paper Ballots Will Return In MD and VA 420

Posted by timothy
from the but-this-baby-is-soaked-in-bathwater dept.
cheezitmike writes "According to a story in the Washington Post, 'Maryland and Virginia are going old school after Tuesday's election. Maryland will scrap its $65 million electronic system and go back to paper ballots in time for the 2010 midterm elections. In Virginia, localities are moving to paper after the General Assembly voted last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out. "The battle for the hearts and minds of voters on whether electronic systems are good or bad has been lost," Brace said. The academics and computer scientists who said they were unreliable "have won that battle."'"
The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-ritchie-chaz-and-margot? dept.
dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
Google

Google Adopts, Forks OpenID 1.0 316

Posted by timothy
from the complicationism dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Right on the heels of Microsoft's adoption of the OpenID protocol by announcing their intention to enable OpenID authentication against all Live IDs, Google has announced their intention to join the growing list of OpenID authentication providers. Except it turns out they're using their own version of OpenID that is incompatible with everyone else. It seems that Google will be using their own 'improved' version of OpenID (based upon research and user feedback of the OpenID system) which isn't backwards compatible with OpenID 1.0/2.0, in hopes of improving end-user experience at the cost of protocol compatibility and complexity."
The Courts

Judge Tells RIAA To Stop 'Bankrupting' Litigants 332

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-bake-them-cookies dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Boston judge who has consolidated all of the RIAA's Massachusetts cases into a single case over which she has been presiding for the past 5 years delivered something of a rebuke to the RIAA's lawyers, we have learned. At a conference this past June, the transcript of which (PDF) has just been released, Judge Nancy Gertner said to them that they 'have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers ... to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it ...' She also acknowledged that 'there is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources,' while it is futile for self-represented defendants to resist. The judge did not seem to acknowledge any responsibility on her part, however, for having created the 'imbalance,' and also stated that the law is 'overwhelmingly on the side of the record companies,' even though she seems to recognize that for the past 5 years she has been hearing only one side of the legal story."
Displays

Samsung's New Carbon Nanotube Color E-Paper 87

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the in-living-color dept.
Iddo Genuth writes to tell us that Samsung and Unidym have shown the world's first carbon nanotube-based color e-paper. Interestingly, the new film is electrically conductive while remaining almost completely translucent and only 50 nanometers thick. "The company also mentions that the EPD [electrophoretic displays] has important advantages over conventional flat panel displays. EPDs have very low power consumption and bright light readability, which means that even under bright lights or sunlight, the user would be able to view the display clearly. Furthermore, since the device uses the thin CNT films, applications can include e-paper and displays with thin, flexible substrates. Power consumption is lowered due to the EPD's ability to reflect light and therefore able to preserve text or images on the display without frequently refreshing."
Windows

+ - Vista May Still Have Its Day -- Just Like XP-> 2

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Twenty-one months after its initial release, what do we know about Windows Vista? That home users hate it, businesses are uninstalling it and — according to Gartner Inc. — it's proof that the 23-year-old Windows line is "collapsing" under its own weight. Meanwhile, predecessor Windows XP, which Microsoft stopped shipping to retailers and the major PC makers on June 30, has belatedly become so beloved that it's garnering more calls for "unretirement" than NFL icon Brett Favre did in his wildest dreams this summer. But all of the griping about Vista and instant nostalgia for XP covers up a dry, statistical reality: XP itself was slow to catch on with users — maybe even slower than Vista has been thus far. Could it be that Vista's day is coming?"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

Three ISPs Agree To Block Child Porn 572

Posted by kdawson
from the camel's-head-and-neck dept.
Goobergunch and other readers sent in word that Sprint, Time Warner, and Verizon have agreed to block websites and newsgroups containing child pornography. The deal, brokered by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, occurred after Cuomo's office threatened the ISPs with fraud charges. It's of some concern that the blacklist of sites and newsgroups is to be maintained by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an NGO with no legal requirement for transparency. Here are two further cautions, the first from Lauren Weinstein: "Of broader interest perhaps is how much time will pass before 'other entities' demand that ISPs (attempt to) block access to other materials that one group or another feels subscribers should not be permitted to see or hear." And from Techdirt: "[T]he state of Pennsylvania tried to do pretty much the same thing, back in 2002, but focused on actually passing a law ... And, of course, a federal court tossed out the law as unconstitutional. The goal is certainly noble. Getting rid of child porn would be great — but having ISPs block access to an assigned list isn't going to do a damn thing towards that goal."

Microsoft Developing News Sorting Based On Political Bias 234

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-measure-the-magnitude-of-political-affiliation dept.
wiredog writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft is developing a program that classifies news stories according to whether liberal or conservative bloggers are linking to them and also measures the 'emotional intensity' based on the frequency of keywords in the blog posts." If you would like to jump right to the tool you can check out "Blews" on the Microsoft site.
Communications

US House Rejects Telecom Amnesty 614

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the some-no-votes-just-because-it-wasn't-firm-enough dept.
The US House has just approved a new bill that rejects the retroactive immunity to telecommunication businesses and denies most of the new powers for the US President to spy on citizens without a warrant. "As impressive as the House vote itself was, more impressive still was the floor debate which preceded it. I can't recall ever watching a debate on the floor of either House of Congress that I found even remotely impressive -- until today. One Democrat after the next -- of all stripes -- delivered impassioned, defiant speeches in defense of the rule of law, oversight on presidential eavesdropping, and safeguards on government spying. They swatted away the GOP's fear-mongering claims with the dismissive contempt such tactics deserve, rejecting the principle that has predominated political debate in this country since 9/11: that the threat of the Terrorists means we must live under the rule of an omnipotent President and a dismantled constitutional framework."
Idle

Tallahassee Tackles Toilet Troubles 2

Posted by samzenpus
The Florida legislature wants to protect you from one of the biggest problems facing mankind. They want to mandate that all eating establishment must have enough toilet paper when you go into the restroom. With a term as specific as 'enough' I'm sure nobody in Florida will have to ask the person in the next stall if they can spare a square.
The Courts

RIAA Will Finally Face the Music In Court 282

Posted by kdawson
from the discovery-channel dept.
Falstaff writes "Exonerated RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen is expected to refile her malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA today. The refiling will mark a significant watershed in the RIAA's fight against P2P users because for the first time, the group's tactics, secret agreements, and fee splitting with MediaSentry are likely to come to light, thanks to discovery. Andersen's attorney says he'll be 'digging into agreements between the RIAA, RIAA member companies, MediaSentry, and the Settlement Support Sentry. Part of that will involve looking at compensation, like how much MediaSentry gets from each settlement. "I'd love to know what kind of bounty MediaSentry got paid to supply erroneous identities to the RIAA," Lybeck says.' The judge has barred further motions to dismiss the complaint, which means the RIAA will have to face the music. 'Unlike the thousands of lawsuits filed so far, the RIAA does not have the luxury of walking away from this case if there's a real chance of embarrassing information being released. "Once discovery happens in the cases the RIAA brings, they run," Lybeck says. "This is our case now, and they can't run."'"

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