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Communications

Verizon Sues FCC Over Net Neutrality Rules 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-not-the-boss-of-us dept.
The Washington Post reports that Verizon has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission over the net neutrality rules they adopted last month. Quoting: "Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks. A legal challenge was widely expected, and the FCC has said it thinks Congress enabled the agency to pursue its rules under several interpretations of telecommunications laws. The FCC's rules are supported by consumer groups and Web giants such as Google and Facebook. Verizon filed its case in the same federal court — the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — that ruled last April that the FCC overstepped its authority in trying to sanction Comcast for blocking Web traffic. 'We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,' said Michael E. Glover, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. 'We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.'"
Google

Ars Thinks Google Takes a Step Backwards For Openness 663

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the logic-has-many-letters dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over at Ars Technica, Peter (not so) Bright gives a long-winded four pages of FUD about how Chrome dropping support for H.264 is a slight against openness. 'The promise of HTML5's video tag was a simple one: to allow web pages to contain embedded video without the need for plugins. With the decision to remove support for the widespread H.264 codec from future versions of Chrome, Google has undermined this widely-anticipated feature. The company is claiming that it wants to support "open codecs" instead, and so from now on will support only two formats: its own WebM codec, and Theora. ... The reason Google has given for this change is that WebM (which pairs VP8 video with Vorbis audio) and Theora are "open codecs" and H.264 apparently isn't. ... H.264 is unambiguously open.'"

Comment: Re:Pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 728

by jgeada (#34144954) Attached to: Considering a Fair Penalty For Illegal File-sharing
As a technical point, I don't understand why the person that put up the file isn't counted as a single copy. After all, they didn't make all the other copies: the downloaders created those other copies themselves. Why is the original sharer being made guilty for the copies others made? Is it fair to blame one person for the acts of others? How on earth did the lawyers hide this little fact from the jury?
Youtube

+ - The fashion industry as a model for IP reform

Submitted by Scrameustache
Scrameustache (459504) writes "In this TED talk (15 minutes), Johanna Blakley talks about a subject alien to most slashdotters, fashion, but in a way sure to grab our attention: How the fashion industry's lack of copyright protection can teach other industries about what copyright means to innovation, and yes, she mentions open source software. If you want to know more, or if you prefer text, the Ready To Share project's website should give you all the data you crave on the subject."
Books

California Moves To Block Texas' Textbook Changes 857

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wurds-our-hard dept.
eldavojohn writes "Yesterday the Texas textbook controversy was reported internationally but the news today heats up the debate as California, a state on the other side of the political spectrum, introduces legislation that would block these textbook changes inside California. Democrat Senator Leland Yee (you may know him as a senator often tackling ESRB ratings on video games) introduced SB1451, which would require California's school board to review books for any of Texas' changes and block the material if any such are found. The bill's text alleges that said changes would be 'a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings' and 'a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.'"
Privacy

Mass. Data Security Law Says "Thou Shalt Encrypt" 510

Posted by timothy
from the some-serious-micromanagement dept.
emeraldd writes with this snippet from SQL Magazine summarizing what he calls a "rather scary" new data protection law from Massachusetts: "Here are the basics of the new law. If you have personally identifiable information (PII) about a Massachusetts resident, such as a first and last name, then you have to encrypt that data on the wire and as it's persisted. Sending PII over HTTP instead of HTTPS? That's a big no-no. Storing the name of a customer in SQL Server without the data being encrypted? No way, Jose. You'll get a fine of $5,000 per breach or lost record. If you have a database that contains 1,000 names of Massachusetts residents and lose it without the data being encrypted, that's $5,000,000. Yikes.'"

Comment: Offices for developers, shared areas managers! (Score 2, Informative) 520

by jgeada (#31965142) Attached to: Best Seating Arrangement For a Team of Developers?
Development requires utter concentration. As far as I am concerned, the optimum arrangement for developers is one enclosed office each with plenty of bookshelves to stash away reference books and surfaces put up enough monitors. A nearby conference room with lots of whiteboards and chairs for the occasional brainstorming meeting would also be very helpful. However, management, as I've been told, relies on communicating with people. Maybe they should be the ones put around that circular table in the middle of the room that is now available ... :-)
Censorship

ACTA Treaty Released 205

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the shrouded-in-mystery dept.
roju writes "The full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released today. It differs from the earlier leaks in that the negotiating stance of each country has been scrubbed. Preliminary analysis is up at Ars, which warns that 'Several sections of the ACTA draft show that rightsholders can obtain an injunction just by showing that infringement is "imminent," even if it hasn't happened yet.'"
Crime

9 MA Cyberbullies Indicted For Causing Suicide 709

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-why-you-don't-listen-to-the-internet dept.
Raul654 writes "Massachusetts teenager Phoebe Prince committed suicide on January 14. After her death, it was revealed that she had been the target of cyberbullying for months (and that her teachers were aware of it and did nothing). Today, nine of her classmates were indicted on charges including harassment, stalking, civil rights violations, and statutory rape. Prince's suicide echoes the earlier case of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after being cyberbullied by a classmate's mother."
Government

10% Tax On Custom Software, $100M Tax Cut For Microsoft 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the since-they're-so-strapped dept.
reifman writes "Last week, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill which would impose a 10% tax on custom software while all but eliminating a $100 million yearly tax obligation that some say Microsoft is wrongfully avoiding by routing large chunks of business through an office in Nevada. 'I believe we've got an issue of justice and fairness here,' said Rep. Maralyn Chase. 'Most of the custom software purveyors are small businesses. It's a question for me of how we fairly distribute the tax burden.' 'It means that a 5 person team of entrepreneurs building a cool custom software suite, or a group of system integrators, would face a 10% tax on their services while keeping the exact same project in-house would not be taxed,' wrote Rep. Reuven Carlyle. 'It would be a massive blow to the entrepreneurial community in our state.' The bill won't become law until the House and Senate work out how best to raise another $300 million in taxes. A sales tax increase on consumers is also being considered."
Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats 542

Posted by timothy
from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.
krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"

Comment: Re:But wait! (Score 1) 631

by jgeada (#31546126) Attached to: Company Sued, Loses For Not Using Patented Tech
Good tie in to the health care debate: I don't give a damn how unsafe you want to make your life as long as you don't show up at an emergency room when the inevitable catastrophe happens. If you intend to make use of the emergency room, then you'd better have fully paid up health insurance. But the odds are that you're also the overconfident idiot that thinks he won't need health insurance either. So, since the sane among us don't want to fork out for your stupidity, it is easier to guard (somewhat) against your ability to incur costs on us. Thus seat-belt, airbag, helmet laws. And yes, American table-saws are extremely unsafe. Heck, virtually none even have riving knives (required in European table saws), which means there are a significant number of standard cuts that can't be made with the saw guards in place: ie the saws are designed to be unsafe for normal use. Table saws cause more industrial accidents than any other tool, and maybe this type of judgement is a wake up call to the manufacturers.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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