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Wireless Networking

French Woman Gets €800/month For Electromagnetic-Field 'Disability' 397

An anonymous reader writes: If you were dismayed to hear Tuesday's news that a school is being sued over Wi-Fi sickness, you might be even more disappointed in a recent verdict by the French judicial system. A court based in Toulouse has awarded a disability claim of €800 (~$898) per month for three years over a 39-year-old woman's "hypersensitivity to electromagnetic waves." Robin Des Toits, an organization that campaigns for "sufferers" of this malady, was pleased: "We can no longer say that it is a psychiatric illness." (Actually, we can and will.) The woman has been living in a remote part of France's south-west mountains with no electricity around. She claims to be affected by common gadgets like cellphones.

Comment Re: Fallacy of Climate Control (Score 1) 248

I want to add if the rains never return to Calif, this will be very serious.

It seems unlikely that the rains will never return. The more serious threat of climate change over the longer term is that drought patterns may be exacerbated.

Those claiming that rains will not only find themselves discredited when the rains return (as they assuredly will), they will have provided more ammunition to those determined to stymie meaningful action on anthropogenic Global Warming. Don't do it!

Comment Re:Never understood (Score 1) 430

I'd say that leverage in negotiations sort of comes into play, but consider that I may have hired a person for 100K and I was told that I can hire someone else, but I only get 80K this time because that's all that can be justified with the number of accounts we have. So, I hire someone at 80K.

If Ms. 100K and Mr. 80K start talking, there are all sorts of possible problems, but in the end, though, I was only given 80K to hire someone. If you didn't accept that, I can't hire you. Would you prefer to have not gotten the job? That will depend on if you were in demand, I suppose, but I'd usually say that if 80K was acceptable to you, then you're not losing out.

That's why you probably shouldn't talk to other people. You might well be convinced you should be making 100K, but if you'd insisted on that number, I couldn't hire you, so you'd probably not have a job. Also, Ms. 100K may have been hired while the company was doing very well and was able to be generous. Instead of dropping her salary or laying her off in a slump, we kept her on. We can't afford 100K people anymore, but we want to be fair to her and maintain our word when it comes to what she makes. Should we have instead laid her off or knocked 20K off her salary so that you could feel better about yours?

You need to find a number that works for you, and you need to insist on it. If you get it, you should be able to do everything you wanted to do with that salary. Don't worry what other people make, someone is always going to make more than you. Understand what you are happy with and get that. If you need to adjust, then it should come from your own needs and not a comparison between you and someone else except in the most basic of fashion (such as salary research for your job description) to get a basis for what is reasonable.

At a previous workplace the opposite happened. They tried to hire an inexperienced new guy for a secret, higher salary than the experienced veterans were making, because they needed more capacity quickly. The experienced people found out, it destroyed their trust in the company, and most of them left within days. They had been working knowingly under their value because they knew and trusted the company, and liked the work. Squandering trust can be very expensive.

And that's what irks me most about your post. It's a bit arrogant for the salary-setting entity to believe they are smarter than the people working for them, that they know best, and that it is in everyone elses best interest not to know what's going on. The implication is not to trust people.
Me, I'd rather work with people I trust. I've worked at a really good place that was very open about money and why we weren't making that much of it. I still do contract work for these guys and I know exactly why they pay me what they do. They have a very good set of very skilled developers who are all knowingly making less than they might make elsewhere, but simply happy where they are. The access to all this information doesn't make them unhappy. It makes them smart, informed people making the correct work/life balance decisions for themselves. I love working with them.

In your particular example I'd much rather you'd come out and say "normally we'd pay 100.000 but we're very low on budget so we have only 80.000", to which I could then reply "I can accept 80k for a 1 year trial period by which time we can both assume either your strategy and my work will have brought the company profits up so that you can start paying me 100k, or I am free to pursue other options". I'm sure an arrangment like that open and above board makes everyone happier.

Comment Re:Aussie freedoms are inferior (Score 1) 337

And as to your opinions of my needs

My opinion merely agrees with yours: Australia and you are a poor match. In the event, I was also agreeing with your main point, to wit, that Australians enjoy too few civil rights. But that's merely incidental, this is all about YOU.

I told you that you'd find my views incomprehensible

And in that you could not have been more wrong. You are (at least in respect of this topic) an open book. A book, notwithstanding your quirky self-image as "DANGEROUS," read many times before. The only thing approaching "baffling" is how someone who so compulsively writes about themselves can imagine they are any less transparent than a clear plastic bag. You're a legend in your own lunchtime mate.

Comment Re:Aussie freedoms are inferior (Score 1) 337

Its what I need to immigrate. Without that... I refuse. You're not offering me real citizenship in my opinion if you don't offer me a reasonable set of iron clad rights in the package.

We're not offering you citizenship at all. This is for wealthy and successful business people and by invitation only. And with all due respect, if you have such a great need to be DANGEROUS ... fine, just please do it elsewhere thanks. You'd also hate, I'd hazard, the duty to vote which pertains to Australian citizenship.

OTOH a Bill of Rights (along the lines of the 4th and 5th rather than the 2nd) for Australia might be a good thing. A basket of "iron-clad rights" would be nice just about now. Unfortunately changing the Australian Constitution is exceedingly difficult and a Bill of Rights is unlikely to make it past a population which harbours a (to me) baffling scepticism regarding such instruments.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

If other judges follow this precedent, it will be the death knell of civil litigation involving the internet in any way. I don't like how trolls do business, but I don't think changing the rules like this is a good idea overall.

This isn't changing the rules. This is following the rules.

See my article in the ABA's Judges Journal about how judges had been bending the rules for the RIAA. "Large Recording Companies v. The Defenseless: Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigation". The Judges' Journal, Judicial Division of American Bar Association. Summer 2008 edition, Part 1 of The Judges Journals' 2-part series, "Access to Justice".

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

Remember, Malibu Media can just change venues too and start this all over again... This judge didn't do anything worth while for you and me and opened himself up to an appeal where he obviously will be slapped. About the only thing he accomplished is getting Malibu Media out of his courtroom and off his docket, for now. Nothing else will change.

I beg to differ.

Malibu Media can't choose the venue, or the judge.

If Judge Hellerstein's decision is followed by other judges, it will be the death knell of the present wave of Malibu Media litigation.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

I fully appreciate your perspective and I agree that the waters are getting pretty muddy when you start trying to tie an IP address to a person, but the issue here is the issuing of the subpoena and not letting Malibu Media pursue discovery. They must be allowed to protect their rights in civil court, and that means they must be allowed to subpoena third parties for information so they can move from "John Doe" to an actual name and in this case, that takes a subpoena from the court.

While your argument for discovery has some logic to it, it is based on a false assumption of fact : that Malibu Media, once it obtains the name and address of the internet account subscriber, will serve a subpoena on that person in an attempt to find out the name of the person who should be named as a defendant.

Malibu Media's uniform practice, once it gets the name and address, is to immediately amend the complaint to name the subscriber as the infringer/defendant and then serve a summons and amended complaint, not a subpoena, on the subscriber.

This is in every single case .

Submission + - Adblock Plus Reduces University Network Bandwidth Use By 40 Percent

Mickeycaskill writes: Simon Fraser University in British Colombia, Canada claims it saved between 25 and 40 percent of its network bandwidth by deploying Adblock Plus across its internal network.

The study tested the ability of the Adblock Plus browser extension in reducing IP traffic when installed in a large enterprise network environment, and found that huge amounts of bandwidth was saved by blocking web-based advertisements and video trailers.

The experiment carried out over a period of six week, and involved 100 volunteers in an active enterprise computing environment at the university. The study’s main conclusions were that Adblock Plus was not only effective in blocking online advertisements, but that it “significantly” reduced network data usage.

Although the university admits there are some limitations of the study, it suggests that the reduced network data demand would lead to lower infrastructure costs than a comparable network without Adblock Plus.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91

I'm not so sure I agree that this make sense...

You didn't read the judges 11 page opinion then, where he makes his reasons very clear. Among other things, the trolls claim that they need the information to take people to court, but they never do; they just abuse the courts as a cheap way to get information for their blackmail scheme. The point that an IP is not an ID is exactly the point here, because the copyright troll wouldn't have any right to the name of anyone than the copyright infringer. And the fine judge found out that these copyright trolls have in several instances just ignored court orders and have just lied to the courts.

Well said

Comment Re:Copyright trolls going down is a good thing (Score 4, Informative) 91

Hi Ray, nice to see the NYCL moniker around here again. I have a few questions if you're willing. First, you indicate that a judge has denied discovery due to several factors, one being that an IP address does not identify any particular individual. Can you speak to the weight or breadth of this specific Court's opinion here, in layman's terms? I see references to the Eastern and Southern districts of New York, might this decision influence cases outside of those jurisdictions?

It's not binding on anyone. But Judge Hellerstein is a very well respected judge, so it will probably have a lot of 'persuasive authority'.

Second, this business of "if the Motion Picture is considered obscene, it may not be eligible for copyright protection." I've read about certain cases where the Court stated that obscenity has no rigid definition, but "I'll know it when I see it." Does that have any bearing on the Malibu case? Was this some kind of completely outrageous pornography, where any community standard would likely find it to be obscene, or was it just run-of-the-mill porn? Would it matter either way? Would the opinion have likely been the same if the case involved a blockbuster Hollywood film instead of a pornographic and potentially obscene film?

I haven't researched that question yet, and I may well be litigating that issue in the near future, since I have several cases against Malibu Media which are now in litigation mode... so all I can say is, stay tuned.

Lastly, I'm curious whether or not you've kept up with developments in the case regarding Prenda Law, and how you might compare this case to that one, if at all. I try to read Ken White's PopeHat blog every once in awhile to see how poorly the Prenda copyright trolls are faring. It doesn't look good for Prenda, and I wonder if you would put Malibu in the same proverbial boat.

The Prenda people are a bunch of strange people who, based on reports I've read, may well wind up doing jail time. I know nothing about the Malibu Media people. If I did find out something really bad about them in would probably wind up in my court papers if relevant to the case or to their credibility.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!