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Submission + - Texas judge tosses out patent claim against Linux (

netbuzz writes: "A federal judge in Texas, presiding over a district notorious for favoring patent trolls, has summarily dismissed all claims relating to a case brought by Uniloc USA against Rackspace for allegedly infringing upon Linux patents. Red Hat defended Rackspace in the matter and issued a press release saying: “In dismissing the case, Chief Judge Leonard Davis found that Uniloc’s claim was unpatentable under Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. This is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter.”"

Submission + - Proposal To Kill Wisconsin University Broadband (

twoallbeefpatties writes: via BoingBoing, a bill designed to give state universities more freedom gained an additional line at the 11th hour that would dismantle WiscNet, a nonprofit broadband system that serves schools and libraries in Wisconsin. The line could force the state to return stimulus funds that were planned to go to WiscNet's expansion, including money already spent. It's possible the line was the result of lobbying from AT&T, who would gain business by forcing more use of a more expensive private-public system.

Submission + - DC Comics Revamp Underway; New No. 1's (

An anonymous reader writes: Bob Wayne, Senior Vice President of Sales at DC Comics, has written to comic book retailers today, outlining much of what Bleeding Cool has been telling you, as well as addressing all DC books going day-and-date-digital.

"Many of you have heard rumors that DC Comics has been working on a big publishing initiative for later this year. This is indeed an historic time for us as, come this September, we are relaunching the entire DC Universe line of comic books with all new first issues. 52 of them to be exact."


Submission + - Lodsys ignores Apple, sues iOS developer (

An anonymous reader writes: Well that was quick. Just one week after targeted iOS developers felt they were in the clear after Apple issued a strongly worded response to Lodsys over alleged claims of patent infringement, the patent troll has decided to move forward with its plans regardless and has filed suit against iOS developers.

Comment Re:And nothing of value was lost (Score 1) 264

You don't use a torrent to grab a three or four meg file: swarming protocols work best for sharing large files.

You don't or you shouldn't? With torrents people generally look for the album many of which are small enough that they aren't even compressed. From there they can download a single track listed in the torrent (bad for the sworm) or just download the whole album and delete the songs they don't want. If the album is well seeded, the benefit of a higher downloads speed and selection is often worth dealing with torrents, even for small files. Then you have the private trackers like jpopsuki that seed singles and package files so you can download them individually.

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

I don't necessarily agree with this. I think that the number of people already on facebook is definitely an obstacle, but just look at its own history. You just need to create momentum, which is difficult to do but not impossible. When I first joined facebook, hardly anyone I knew outside of one specific circle of friends were on it. But I would tell my other friends about it, and eventually they'd try it out, and presumably do the same to others. I don't doubt it would change, but I doubt it would change like facebook did, at least in regards to privacy. The set-up alone would make that seem like a non-starter. All facebook needed to do was change its TOS. That doesn't seem like it'd work here. What I think their biggest challenge is going to be is to make it as easy to use/join as the more centralized social networks. Anything that starts out by saying "allows you to set up your own node" is going to turn off a vast majority of people.

Comment Re:Oh No! (Score 1) 269

I love how mixed up people are these days, and the mere idea of hallucinating is associated with the most harmful of effects any chemical could have on your brain. When in reality, there are several natural, human made substances (like DMT, check it out) that cause you to hallucinate (near-death experiences anyone?). If magnetic fields do cause people to hallucinate, there aren't inherently any health problems. There may be health problems with hanging out in that much magnetic field, but if there's not, then this would be really awesome, and there's no reason on earth why we should "think of the children"
I know you were being sarcastic, but people really do think that way :P

Comment Re:if you're in the intersection and it's red (Score 1) 976

The yellow light is just meant as a margin of error before the traffic starts going in the other direction. You're most certainly not supposed to count on the length of the yellow to clear the intersection before the red light.

The yellow light (inter-green time) is not just a margin of error, it is supposed to be a warning. If it just turned red you would have people applying emergency braking levels to avoid entering the intersection. This would lead to a lot of accidents. There is a margin of error typically 2 to 3 seconds that is built into an all red period where no lane is supposed to move, this also allows slower pedestrians to clear.

The light timing specifically for yellow lights is highly variable and is based on a number of inputs including typical traffic type, sight distance, reaction time, and speed limit to name a few. In the case of TFA it is entirely possible to "short" the light, whereby they do not allow a reasonable reaction time or allow enough distance to stop with normal braking. Reference any highway design text or specifically HCM2000 chapter 16.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter what country you are in... (Score 1) 667

I would argue that it isn't that the Constitution hasn't kept up with the time, but that our government has failed to live up to the Constitution.

When the federal government wishes to grow, it should do so by amendment - there is a process in place for that, and it works.

As for the "services" you mention, the Constitution fully supports the FBI as a federal enforcement agency. As for the standing army, we *technically* don't have one - we have an appropriations bill go through Congress that authorizes the continued expenditure of federal funds to maintain it. If Congress wanted to do away with it, all they would have to do is not pass a bill, and the funding evaporates. While I don't think this was the intent of the Framers, it certainly falls within the bounds of the authority granted to the federal government.

The rest... well, they are unconstitutional. They should be either authorized via amendment, or they should be repealed. I acknowledge that some of these programs are now part of the fabric of the American culture, but that doesn't make them right - it just makes them hard and slow to repeal.

I'm no Paulite. While I think he's got the right idea on domestic and monetary policy, he "bring them home tomorrow" foreign policy is insane. Indeed, he seeks to restore constitutional government - a noble goal - in many arenas, but he seeks to do so overnight. That would be catastrophic for this country.

As for the Second Amendment. I'm sure you're aware that the Supreme Court recently shot down the collectivist interpretation of the Second in Heller. As for the "civic purpose" part - well, yes and no. Yes, individuals were expected to be able to serve as militia to fend off attackers and to keep the peace - but that is not the rationale for the amendment, that is only it's primary use. " ... necessary to the security of a *free* state ... " is the rub - our Framers recognized that a state whose citizens where unable to purchase arms was not a free state.

Finally, as for effectiveness --- having a gun does not make you an effective fighter any more than having a hat makes you a cowboy. It takes motivation, mindset, training, and practice to become proficient in the use of firearms, and to maintain that. I agree that both sides of the argument are guilty of inflating statistics and hyperbolizing (is that a word? It is now!), but in the end, the effectiveness of the weapon is not relevant to it's status as a natural right.


Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project Screenshot-sm 687

garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

Comment Re:Business As Usual (Score 2, Insightful) 175

I can give you the best security tools

Well according to this article, it seems the vast majority of your peers cannot even be irked to do that much. Blaming users for not knowing how to use software they were never given in the first place takes a special kind of jackass.

Also, password expire times are idiotic that probably do more to reduce password security than increase it.

Comment Re:Does anyone beiieve this number? (Score 1) 175

Have you worked in health care...recently?

I think it was only regulations that made us do it. Well, made them do it. When they came to me and asked if I installed their encryption product, I told them that I had been encrypting my drive for over 3 years on my own, and unlike most others, my job really is easier if I run linux than windows, and then I tossed the key size and encryption mode at them (figured if I made their eyes gloss over they wouldn't want to continue the discussion) and told them I would be happy to talk to whoever I have to to get proper approval to use this instead.

They gave me the check mark and moved on. Good thing too, had to send the laptop to the shop a couple of years ago, and they replaced it/kept the old one with hard drive. Had I not been encrypting, that would have been a much bigger deal.


Comment Re:Oh God, not the bourbon. (Score 1) 766

How is patent encumbered food products a win for environmentalism?

One of the craziest aspects of all this is patented genomes.

I saw an incredibly sad documentary on GM crops where a farmer was forced to give up his family's seed bank developed over decades because the crops had been contaminated with Monsanto GM pollen from an adjacent farm (wind pollination).

If you think software patents are bad, genome patents are far worse. They are corporatism incarnate. The practical aspect for farmers is that instead of planting their own seed season after season, they're forced to buy new seed each year from the megacorps.

Comment Re:Business As Usual (Score 1) 175

90% users are plainly and loudly annoyed by common access password expire time and complexity requirements. They are simply not intellectually ready to manage encryption of fixed and removable media.

I have complained to my corporate IT-droids about this before. My issue isn't the expiry (90 days is perfectly reasonable), it's the ridiculous policy they enforce which means that about 70% of the RANDOMLY-GENERATED passwords I try to use won't even work. They enforce: (1) At least one of each of: number, upper case, lower case, symbol; (2) No two consecutive characters a repetition; (3) No two consecutive characters may be adjacent on a QWERTY keyboard; and (4) No three or more consecutive characters are allowed to form ANY dictionary word (if you've ever played Scrabble you'll know how many ridiculous 3-letter combinations get caught by this)?).

The net effect of this (aside from the fact that it dramatically reduces the valid search space for brute-forcing) is that once people have a pattern which actually complies with the rules they then WRITE IT DOWN AND PUT IT ON A POST-IT ON THEIR MONITOR and then just increment the digits they invariably put on the end every 90 days. Net result: LESS security, AND more complaints to IT. Utterly stupid.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.