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Comment: Re: I beg to differ. (Score 1) 370

Where I live, I am forced to pay more money to a library than I would spend if I purchased every book I want to read. On average, the people where I live are happy with this or they would not approve the taxes to support it. An area (county, city, country, what ever) is free to pass (almost) any law that they desire and then they can live with the consequences. If the people that pass the law prefer the consequences of the law than the consequences of not having the law, then it will likely stay. I am aware of a couple of companies that opted to get out of certain geographic areas because they did not care for some of the laws and the effect on the cost of doing business (for example, it might take years to shut down a branch because the government does not allow you to close based on labor laws). Some people lost jobs in those areas, some services are no longer offered by those companies. Other companies likely came in and charged more money to cover their overhead or chose to just collect less profit. A typical (but not always) result is increased cost of something. As for the government being there for the people and not the companies, that feels more like a happy wish. I chose to remove my ramblings on people looking out for themselves rather than the good of someone else since you are likely able to as easily build that argument as I; especially if you have ever worked with or in the government.

Comment: Re:Really? Give it a break. (Score 1) 92

by pitonyak (#44567855) Attached to: Fedora Core May Be Reborn

I strongly recommend that you try upgrading with 'fedup' next time around. It's far-and-away better than our historical upgrade processes and works in-place. I've personally gone from F17->F18->F19 using it with no ill effects.

I had a lot of problems with fedup from 17 to 18. They were fixable after you figured out the issues, but, it caused problems on two systems anyway. Apart from that, the update problem has been pretty tame. Things have been sufficiently stable that I no longer update with a full new install in its own partition while retaining the original so that I can backtrack. I probably should, but I don't.

Comment: Third party supplied email (Score 1) 619

by pitonyak (#36377304) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Other People's Email?
It is common for me to receive email from a company when I have never supplied an email address to them. As an example, I had my car serviced at an out of state car dealer while visiting family. I began receiving email from them to an old email address that I had not actively used in years. The same for my lawn service company. My point is that it is entirely possible that the email address is paid for by the company in question and the provided email has not been properly verified by the company the provides the message. I contacted these companies and asked how they obtained my email address and the usual response is that they have no idea at all. My general experience is that the lower level people have no idea about how this is done, don't really care, and have no ability to fix the problem. I was receiving daily phone calls from a collection agency that was convinced that my phone number belonged to a woman I never heard of. Every time that they called they said that they would fix the problem and they would not call back. After about a month my wife was overly stressed (because of the timing of the call) so when I chatted with them next I mentioned that if they called again I would contact the police. The caller told me that not even the police could stop them from calling me. So...... I chatted with the VP of the bank. Our next call was from a a rather high level manager that left his direct number and he asked very politely that he be informed immediately if we received another call and that we please do not bother the VP again. OK, so, lesson learned. If no link or general method for getting off the list is available, work your way to the top and ask why you are receiving personal information (such as billing information) for one of their customers; if you have time to kill or it really annoys you. If they blow you off, well, my guess is that there are privacy rules that they just violated and you can likely pursue that if you desire.
Image

Denver Rejects UFO Agency To Track Aliens 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the name-and-galaxy-of-origin-please dept.
Republicans weren't the only ones to win big yesterday. Aliens in The Mile-High City can breathe easier thanks to voters rejecting a plan to officially track them. From the article: "The proposal defeated soundly Tuesday night would have established a commission to track extraterrestrials. It also would have allowed residents to post their observations on Denver's city Web page and report sightings." Let the anonymous probings begin!

Comment: Planning is required (Score 1) 503

by pitonyak (#26537077) Attached to: Can a Small Business Migrate Smoothly To OpenOffice.org v3?
The non-power user is typically able to pickup and use OOo and feel comfortable in about one week. The non-power user will generally perform simple non-advanced tasks. The power user, however, usually requires closer to one month to figure out how to accomplish the "advanced" tasks in OOo rather than in MSO. As an advanced OOo user, I was asked how to accomplish a specific format in a text table in MSO. After 30 minutes, we gave up. I knew how to do this in OOo in seconds. MSO may have supported the effect, but neither of use could figure out how to make this work. To address the needs of both, it is recommended to have some sort of documentation, and perhaps even some class time, to help during the transition. It helps a lot to have a few power users learn OOo first and get them on board. A few dissenters can railroad the entire effort. The usual recommendation is that MSO be completely removed so that hold-outs are not continuing to use MSO. You should verify that at least the majority of your document's are usable/readable OOo. Having spent years moving documents between MSO and OOo, I have a handle on what is more likely to cause problems (at least for text type documents). A typical problem is related to graphics that is not anchored as a character and that is free to float around the page (this is the default use). For power point / presentation documents, there are some effects that may not translate well. Macro compatibility is not good between MSO and OOo.
Music

EMI Says Online File Storage Is Illegal 405

Posted by kdawson
from the you-will-play-only-what-you-rent-from-us dept.
WiglyWorm writes "MP3tunes CEO Michael Robertson sent out an email to all users of the online music backup and place-shifting service MP3tunes.com, asking them to help publicize EMI's ridiculous and ignorant lawsuit against the company. EMI believes that consumers aren't allowed to store their music files online, and that MP3tunes is violating copyright law by providing a backup service."

Comment: Re:The questions are interesting... (Score 5, Insightful) 543

by pitonyak (#22729406) Attached to: Air Force Cyber Command General Answers Slashdot Questions

I considered some of the answers insightful, for example: "We know money doesn't create loyalty--a sense of purpose does".

Yes, some answers lacked deep content in that they were the expected carefully worded answer. Unfortunately, these questions almost required such an answer. For example, "Why do we still confer most-favored nation trading status onto a Nation who is actively engaged in efforts to spy on and attack our government and corporate computer systems?" Although this is a very good question, General Lord seems like the wrong person to even attempt that question. The probable complaint is that the answers lacked detail. For example, from the same question "What, if anything, is being done against this type of cyber-terrorism against us and our allies?" The answer lacks detail, but it would be difficult to add detail to his answer without discussing a specific threat. I would have enjoyed that discussion, BTW, and use his answer as a start: "working to improve our ability to respond to cyber attacks, reduce the potential damage from such events, and to reduce our vulnerability to such attacks."

Thank you General Lord for your time!

Software

+ - Ubuntu Media Center to use Elisa instead of MythTV

Submitted by clevelandguru
clevelandguru (612010) writes "Canonical is working on a Media Center Editon of Ubuntu. Recently, the Ubuntu Media Center Team made a decision to use Elisa instead of MythTV. Elisa is still in development and lacks lot of features that are in MythTV, but It has a very impressive user interface. Here are some screenshots of Elisa. Elisa uses GStreamer Multimedia Framework which is legally appealing compared to FFmpeg that MythTV uses."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Judge in internet case: "What's a 'web site'?&

Submitted by
mcgrew
mcgrew writes "A British judge in the trial of three men in a terrorism case where the internet was central to the case admitted he didn't know what a "web site" was. The Reuters article says that "Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case."

"The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," the judge said.

From TFA: "Concluding Wednesday's session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison: 'Will you ask him to keep it simple, we've got to start from basics'.""
Patents

+ - Torvalds Responds To Recent Linux Patent Claims.

Submitted by
Happy To Be Free
Happy To Be Free writes "Information Week response from Lead Kernel Developer Linus Torvalds on recent Microsoft allegations that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents. Torvalds states "It's certainly a lot more likely that Microsoft violates patents than Linux does. If the source code for Windows could be subjected to the same critical review that Linux has been, Microsoft would find itself in violation of patents held by other companies," he said. It is important to note that fundemental OS theory was done by IBM over fifty years ago, and that IBM probably owned thousands of really fundemental patents. So according to him, and many of us users, Microsoft should name the patents it claims have been violated so the claims can be tested in court or so open-source developers can rewrite code to avoid the violation all together. It is widely accepted that Microsoft would rather have Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt floating through the ether than name which patents, if any, are being infriged upon. In a parting shot Torvalds posed the question, "Don't you think that if Microsoft actually had some really foolproof patent, they'd just tell us and go, 'nyaah, nyaah, nyaah!'""
The Courts

+ - OIN Stands Ready to Sue Microsoft over Patent FUD

Submitted by
Litigious Bastards Redux
Litigious Bastards Redux writes "OIN, a patent trust created by IBM, Novell and others to protect Linux, has just issued a press release saying that they stand ready to sue Microsoft to protect Linux. Although Microsoft has stirred up a lot of controversy about how Linux infringes upon their patents, they still haven't listed the actual patents they believe Linux has infringed upon. So far, analysts think that Microsoft fears the legal trouble the GPLv3 could cause for them, are only making noise so that they can make private deals with companies to slow Linux adoption, or that they are being pushed to litigate instead of competing or innovating because migrating to Vista is a pain in the ass and Office's lock-in is being broken by ODF. Only one thing is clear so far: actually litigating these patents would turn Microsoft into another SCO."
Microsoft

+ - Torvalds Responds To Microsoft Patent Claims

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Linux Torvalds has a sharp retort to Microsoft executives' statements in a Fortune article that Linux violates 235 Microsoft patents. In an emailed response to InformationWeek's Charlie Babcock, Torvalds writes: "It's certainly a lot more likely that Microsoft violates patents than Linux does." He added: "Basic operating system theory was pretty much done by the end of the 1960s. IBM probably owned thousand of really 'fundamental' patents...The fundamental stuff was done about half a century ago and has long, long since lost any patent protection.""

User hostile.

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