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Comment: Re:I don't know, but... (Score 1) 494

by ephesus (#29179899) Attached to: Is Typing Ruining Your Ability To Spell?

It's at best short sighted but more likely simply uninformed to think that people with baggy pants, hats on backward and cans of spray paint in their hand can't speak proper English. I'm failing to see how one's fashion sense has a bearing on their diction or grammar. You have some stereotyping issues you might want to consider.

Comment: Tax the poor? (Score 1) 913

by ephesus (#27640619) Attached to: To the extent there are taxes, I mostly favor ...

Perhaps the current American model taxes the middle class unfairly, but an income tax would be taxing the poor disproportionally as everybody must spend the a certain amount of money each year on essentials and if you make less, that amount is a larger percentage of your total income. Food costs money, that may or may not be 100% of your income.

Robotics

Robotic Girlfriend Soon For Sale In Japan, Cheap 5

Posted by timothy
from the already-have-some-names-picked-out dept.
Corrupt writes "A Japanese firm has produced a 38 cm- (15 inch-) tall robotic girlfriend that kisses on command, to go on sale in September for around $175, with a target market of lonely adult men. Using her infrared sensors and battery power, the diminutive damsel named "EMA" puckers up for nearby human heads, entering what designers call its 'love mode.'" These are closed-mouth kisses, by the way.
Quickies

+ - Geeks.com hacked, customer data stolen

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Customer data stolen from Geeks.com If you bought anything from Geeks.com in at least the last year or so, you might want to start paying close attention to your credit card statements — the company sent out an email on Friday telling former customers that they "recently discovered on December 5, 2007 that customer information, including Visa credit card information, may have been compromised." Full email after the jump. Recent = 30(+) days ago!!!"

Presidential Candidates and Online Privacy 475

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
noiseordinance writes "I'd like to know everyone's opinion about which presidential candidate seems most likely to preserve Internet privacy." We haven't officially started election coverage on Slashdot yet, but I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to start tossing out questions like this as we get closer to the primaries. Try to stay on the subject of on-line privacy- we can run more stories on other topics in the future.
Patents

Nigerian Company Sues OLPC 277

Posted by kdawson
from the split-shift-key dept.
d0ida writes on the continuing troubles at the OLPC Association. Adding to the recent difficulties — the BBC has picked up the litany — a US-based, Nigerian-owned company has now filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against OLPC. Lagos Analysis Corp. claims that OLPC "made unauthorized use of LANCOR's multilingual keyboard technology invention in XO laptops." The suit was filed in Lagos.
Censorship

+ - Canada bans complaining about speech restrictions

Submitted by Anon E. Mouse
Anon E. Mouse (796025) writes "Calling Speech Restrictors "Enemies of Free Speech" Can Now Lead to Legal Liability in Canada:

Richard Warman, a lawyer who worked as an investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, often filed complaints against "hate speech" sites — complaints that were generally upheld under Canadian speech restrictions.
Paul Fromm, a defender of various Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, has been publicly condemning Warman for, among other things, being "an enemy of free speech."
Warman sued, claiming that these condemnations are defamatory.

Friday, the Ontario Superior Court held for Warman — chiefly on the grounds that because Warman's claims were accepted by the legal system, they couldn't accurately be called an attack on free speech.

Snippets of the opinion may be found at the legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy.

Eugene Volokh writes:

It seems to me that Fromm was simply expressing opinions that the court disapproved of — that people who try to restrict "hate speech" are "enem[ies] of free speech," that people who are punished for hate speech are "dissidents," that people who for ideological reasons use the law to restrict speech they disagree with are ideologues who want only to deny freedom of speech to those with whom they disagree. Who is an "enemy of free speech" obviously turns on the speaker's view of free speech, and the view that he expects his audience to share, or that he wants to persuade his audience to share. Who deserves to be labeled with the generally positive term "dissident" depends on what dissent the speaker believes to be legitimate and morally proper.

Yet the Canadian justice system not only allows the suppression of certain viewpoints, and excludes them from free speech restrictions. With this case, it also tries to deny critics the right to label the speech they support "free speech," and the dissenters they like "dissidents."

The court is insisting that Canadians' speech not only follows the government-approved ideology on the topic of race, ethnicity, and religion (an ideology that I agree with, but that I don't think should be legally coerced). It is also insisting that Canadians' speech follows the government-approved ideology and terminology on the topic of free speech itself."
Google

Google Gives Up IP of Anonymous Blogger 386

Posted by kdawson
from the balancing-rights dept.
An anonymous reader alerts us to a story out of Israel in which Google (its Israeli subsidiary) gave up the IP address of a Blogger user without being compelled to do so by a court. A preliminary ruling was issued in which a court indicated that the slander the blogger was accused of probably rose to the level of a criminal violation. Google Israel then made a deal with the plaintiffs, local city councilmen whom the blogger had been attacking for a year. Google disclosed the IP address only to the court, which posted a message (Google says the anonymous blogger got it) inviting him/her to contest the ruling anonymously. When no response was received within 3 days, Google turned over the IP address to the plaintiffs' lawyers.
Censorship

+ - Linux Users Can't Sell On eBay-> 2

Submitted by bobintetley
bobintetley (643462) writes "Many Linux/Firefox users are reporting problems uploading images to eBay. Having tested this myself, it is indeed completely broken. Why eBay would break standard HTTP uploads by using IE specific javascript to "check the file exists" boggles the mind. This problem has been reported to eBay since late October, but so far with no resolution. eBay have since stated that only IE is supported. I guess when you have no real competition you can pull stunts like this."
Link to Original Source
Science

Student Finds 5000-Year-Old Chewing Gum 143

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ur-tree-has-a-flavor dept.
itsthebin writes "Sarah Pickin, 23, found the lump of birch bark tar — complete with neolithic tooth prints — on a dig in Finland. Ms Pickin's tutor at the University of Derby, Professor Trevor Brown, said birch bark tar contained phenols, which are antiseptic compounds. 'It is generally believed that neolithic people found that by chewing this stuff if they had gum infections it helped to treat the condition. It's particularly significant because well-defined tooth imprints were found on the gum which Sarah discovered,' he said. Ms Pickin was on a volunteer program at the Kierikki Centre on the west coast of Finland when she made the find."
Censorship

Turkey Censors YouTube 482

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tastes-like-chicken dept.
FM Reader writes "After a controversial mock-up video reportedly submitted by a Greek member about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, Turkish courts ordered the national ISPs to ban the online video service, YouTube. YouTube hostnames are currently redirected at the DNS level to a page that announces the court order."

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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