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Censorship

Iran May Shut Down Internet During Election 234

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-stop-the-signal-mal dept.
daveschroeder writes "'The Iranian government might block private access to the Internet for the general legislative election on March 14, two Iranian news outlets reported Monday. In 2006, the authorities banned download speeds on private computers faster than 128 kilobytes per second. The government also uses sophisticated filtering equipment to block hundreds of Web sites and blogs that it considers religiously or politically inappropriate. Many bloggers have been jailed in the past years, and dozens of Web sites have been shut down.' It would appear that Iran's own government is more a threat to the nation's internet connectivity than the fragility of the undersea cable network."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft disagrees with Dutch governement on OSS->

Submitted by
mwillems
mwillems writes "The Dutch government has recently published an IT action plan called "The Netherlands Open In Connection", and are discussing this in parliament this week. The plan is based around the adoption of open standards; ODF and Open Source in particular.

Not surprisingly, this has prompted Microsoft to respond. Microsoft Netherlands President Theo Rinsema says that since Microsoft has been seen as arrogant, "American, even", it has so far been quiet. Perhaps too quiet; too modest, as he puts it inthe linked article (Dutch).

Mircrosoft, Rinsema says, "is also in favour of open standards", but he criticises the government for ignoring widely adopted, de facto open standards that are controlled by a company, such as MP3. He is also quoted as saying "It is dangerous to become fixated on open-source. There are all sorts of mixed variants nowadays. It is no longer simply either closed-source or open-source."

He also complains about discrimination — positive discrimination in favour of open source. "You become second rate. All things being equal, the government will select open source. This excludes a large portion of the Dutch software industry. It is also in contravention of government buying rules"."

Link to Original Source
The Courts

RIAA Complaint Dismissed as "Boilerplate" 197

Posted by Zonk
from the boil-this dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The decision many lawyers had been expecting — that the RIAA's 'boilerplate' complaint fails to state a claim for relief under the Copyright Act — has indeed come down, but from an unlikely source. While the legal community has been looking towards a Manhattan case (Elektra v. Barker) for guidance, the decision instead came from Senior District Court Judge Rudi M. Brewster of the US District Court for the Southern District of California. The decision handed down denied a default judgment (i.e. the defendant had not even appeared in the action). Judge Brewster not only denied the default judgment motion but dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. Echoing the words of Judge Karas at the oral argument in Barker , Judge Brewster held (pdf) that 'Plaintiff here must present at least some facts to show the plausibility of their allegations of copyright infringement against the Defendant. However, other than the bare conclusory statement that on "information and belief" Defendant has downloaded, distributed and/or made available for distribution to the public copyrighted works, Plaintiffs have presented no facts that would indicate that this allegation is anything more than speculation.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

DOS 5 Upgrade Video 373

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the god-i-love-this dept.
Every now and then I stumble on something so ridiculous that I have to share it. This is a promotion video to upgrade to DOS 5 obviously made in a different era. Promoting features like mouse support, a graphical shell, and freeing up at LEAST 45k of memory, well, Gimme 5! Did I mention that it's all set to a hip beat? You'll love it. And by "Love" I mean "Stick forks in your eyes".
Science

Could Global Warming Make Life on Earth Better? 923

Posted by Zonk
from the makes-for-lots-of-swimming-opportunities dept.
mikee805 writes "A lengthy article in Spiegel explores the possibility that global warming might make life on Earth better, not just for humans, but all species. The article argues that 'worst-case scenarios' are often the result of inaccurate simulations made in the 1980s. While climate change is a reality, as far as the article is concerned, some planning and forethought may mean that more benefits than drawbacks will result from higher temperatures. From the article:'The medical benefits of higher average temperatures have also been ignored. According to Richard Tol, an environmental economist, "warming temperatures will mean that in 2050 there will be about 40,000 fewer deaths in Germany attributable to cold-related illnesses like the flu." Another widespread fear about global warming -- that it will cause super-storms that could devastate towns and villages with unprecedented fury -- also appears to be unfounded. Current long-term simulations, at any rate, do not suggest that such a trend will in fact materialize.'"
User Journal

Journal: I'm a man 15

Journal by $$$$$exyGal

It's time to tell the truth. I am a 55 year-old man. My name is Andy Kaufman, and I live in New York City.

I am sincerely sorry to everyone for all my lies.

--Andy

User Journal

Journal: Merry Christmas -- $$$$$exyGal

Journal by $$$$$exyGal
It's not the new year yet, but it seems like a good time to give thanks.

Long story short, I've had a good year. Great job, short commute, and dating again. I've become focused, but with great flexibility. I'm not sweating the big stuff, or the small stuff. The good stuff is in the middle.

May your holidays be commercial-free,
$$$$$exyGal

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