method9455 writes "Barack Obama has edited his official website on many issues, including a huge revision on the technology page. Strangely it seems net neutrality is no longer as important as it was a few months ago, and the swaths of detail have been removed and replaced with fairly vague rhetoric. Many technologists were alarmed with the choice of Joe Biden before, and now it appears their fears might have been well founded." Update: 09/22 18:07 GMT by T : Julian Sanchez of Ars Technica passed on a statement from an Obama campaign representative who points out that the changes in wording highlighted by Versionista aren't the whole story, and that more Obama tech-plan details are now available in a PDF, saying "there is absolutely no substantive change to our policy - folks who want more information can click to get our full plan."
I agree that speeding up the early levels is something that needed to be done (and had already been done) since it's now very very old. But it's also clear that they're testing the water here, and have been for a while. If they can charge people for major player enhancements in endgame, without causing an uproar, then I have no doubt they will.
An anonymous reader writes to point us to an article on the meaning of a new law that President Bush signed on Oct. 17. It seems to allow the President to impose martial law on any state or territory, using federal troops and/or the state's own, or other states', National Guard troops. From the article: "In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law. It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions." Here is a link to the bill in question. The relevant part is Sec. 1076 about 3/4 of the way down the page.
ashshy writes "A UN treaty under proposal could lead to unprecedented restrictions on free speech and fair use rights around the world. Ars Technica pulls together what you need to know from multiple sources." From the article: "The proposed broadcasting treaty would create entirely new global rights for broadcasting companies who have neither created nor own the programming. What's even more alarming is the proposal from the United States that the treaty regulate the Internet transmission of audio and video entertainment. It is dangerous and inappropriate for an unelected international treaty body to undertake the task of creating entirely new rights, which currently exist in no national law, such as webcasting rights and anti-circumvention laws related to broadcasting."
McSnarf writes "It's not Windows. It's not distro wars. Sometimes it's just the arrogant attitude that keeps people from switching from Windows. 'As I spoke to newbies, one Windows user who wanted to learn about Linux shared the encouraging and constructive note (not) he received from one of the project members. The responding note read: "Hi jackass, RTFM and stop wasting our time trying to help you children learn.""
An anonymous reader writes "According to New Scientist, Philips has filed a patent for technology to force viewers to watch the ads in a program. Basically they plan to add extra flags to the Multimedia Home Platform that would stop controls from working until the ads are finished." From the article: "Philips' patent acknowledges that this may be 'greatly resented by viewers' who could initially think their equipment has gone wrong. So it suggests the new system could throw up a warning on screen when it is enforcing advert viewing. The patent also suggests that the system could offer viewers the chance to pay a fee interactively to go back to skipping adverts."
Cadef writes "According to a story on CNet News.com, Nicholas Negroponte says that Linux has gotten too fat, and will have to be slimmed down before it will be practical for the $100 laptop project. From the article: 'Suddenly it's like a very fat person [who] uses most of the energy to move the fat. And Linux is no exception. Linux has gotten fat, too.'"
imashoe writes "BonaFideReviews has published an interesting article stating that a Microsoft buyout of Sony is quite possible sometime in the not-so-far future. From the article: 'All this added up, you have to ask yourself. Will the next Playstation you purchase post-PS3 run a Microsoft operating system and have backwards compatibility for PS1 PS2 PS3 Xbox and Xbox360? Putting your rabid love for Sony aside, this doesn't seem as far fetched as it once did, when the Sony name wasn't covered in enough red tape to fill the Grand Canyon.'"
boarder8925 writes "An MIT student accused of copyright infringement has been documenting her struggles with the RIAA. Upon trying to negotiate her settlement, a representative told her that "the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements.""
dtjohnson writes "A new Swedish study has found that heavy users of cell phones had a 240 percent increase in brain tumors on the side of their head that the phone was used on. The study defined 'heavy' use as more than 2,000 total hours, or approximately one hour of use per workday for 10 years. An earlier British study was previously discussed here that didn't find an increased risk, although that study covered fewer subjects and only followed one type of brain tumor for a shorter period of time. Or course, the biggest epidemiological study of all is the one we are all participating in whenever we use our cell phone. The results from that study won't be available for a while."
bagsc writes "BBC News reports Twentieth Centruy Fox confirms The Simpsons are going to the movies! Should hit theatres in 2007." From the article: "A 25-second trailer for the film has been shown to US audiences at screenings of Ice Age: The Meltdown, promising to introduce 'the greatest hero in American history'. It then cut to Homer Simpson, wearing only his underwear, who admitted: 'I forgot what I was supposed to say.'"
This is my first entry, which I'm only writing, because I have no prior entries. That is all.