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Comment Re:Patent and disclosure... (Score 3, Interesting) 487

Weirdly, Shazam have published a fairly thorough paper on how their search algorithm works. While devoid of any actual code, it doesn't seem as though the blog in question has given away any trade secrets that aren't easily derived from this paper and other bodies of work online.

Of course, by threatening the guy Shazam & LDS have created their very own Streisand Effect; this is front page on /., Digg, Reddit, YCombinator, etc., which means millions of people have now seen the "infringing" code, with many saving it or tweaking it. I'm certain someone will mirror it in a country that doesn't validate software patents as well. One also wonders if they're going to sue Google or demand they clear the cache.

As for me, I won't be using their software, and I will be contacting them to register my disgust, though it probably will make no difference in their attitude.

Comment Full text of the provision. (Score 2, Interesting) 285

You can read the full text of the bill on the Library of Congress website. Here is the offending piece:

Section 493:

29 The institution certifies that the institution

A has developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through the use of a variety of technology-based

B will, to the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property, as determined by the institution in consultation with the chief technology officer or other designated officer of the institution.

That said, language about it has been in there since the very first draft in 2007, Section 485:

An annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;

2 a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws;

3 a description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system; and

4 a description of actions that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on the institution's information technology system.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. George Miller, doesn't appear to get any funding at all from the RIAA/MPAA according to OpenSecrets, so I'm guessing that language was put in place by one of the other 29 cosponsors, or by committee. I'd love to find out where that provision originated.

Comment Re:No, Seriously... (Score 1, Interesting) 651

What I have not doped out yet to my own satisfaction is whether the tepid response from Washington is the fault of the current administration, confusion regarding the digital nature of the breach and assets, or a little of both.

Oh for fuck's sake...

What you see as tepid, I see as extremely diplomatic. There's an open investigation into this, the Dept. of State surely doesn't have all the details yet. What would you prefer they do, issue a hawkish, threatening letter? Or perhaps demands?

8 years of poor foreign policy and unnecessary demands got us very little sympathy or friends on the global stage. I think maybe you should give the Dept of State time to process all the details before they issue an ultimatum.

Comment Re:A comment from Tynt (Score 3, Insightful) 495

Why not an opt in?

Do you really need to ask? Because no one would opt-in for it! But just do it without telling anyone, and most people outside of tech groups don't even know what it is or that it's operating in the background.

Quoth Grace Hopper, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."

Comment Is this necessary? (Score 1) 295

in an increasingly competitive market, advertisers have realised that it is more important than ever to create attention for their product. The first clips will [...] show adverts by the drinks company Pepsi.

So Pepsi needs to create attention for their product? Is there anyone on this earth over the age of 2 that doesn't know what Pepsi-Cola is? I mean, I rarely drink cola as it is, but if I open up a magazine and a Pepsi ad starts shouting at me, you can be damned sure I will never drink that brand again.

Comment Re:Customer is a sucker... do the math (Score 1) 248

Besides, $109k for any car that does 0-60 in less than 4 (and has a chassis designed by lotus) is not a bad a deal

It's actually a terrible deal, considering you can buy a used Lotus Elise for under $40,000 USD, and then add a turbo kit by Force Fed for around $10k. That puts it in the 4.0 or less area for less than half the cost of a Tesla.

Similarly, a BMW 1 or 3 series (x35i) with modified boost will run at those speeds, for even less. You can pick up a base 135i for under $40k, then add in a JB3 unit from Burger Tuning for $600.

Frankly, I think the Tesla Roadster is vastly overpriced. I'd love to own one, but it's just so far out of the realm of possibility, it's ridiculous. I could even afford an Elise/Exige, but not the all-electric equivalent. Shame.

Comment Tired of scare tactics. (Score 5, Insightful) 358

They know where you and your family it's time to turn the tables so that you know where they live and can make better decisions about where to allow your kids to play.

That's great for the very stereotypical creepy, mustachioed child molester, but ever-increasingly the phrase, "sex offender" has nothing to do with children at all. That same title now applies to people convicted of statutory rape, even if they were 17 & 18 at the time. It applies to people who streak, people who are caught skinny-dipping, people who are caught having sex in public (including in their car), and even people who happened to urinate behind a tree in some places. Yet they have the same social stigma & registration entries in the database as people who raped children.

So yeah, it might help protect your children, or it might just show you the house of a guy who really needed to take a leak, and happened to get caught. But hey, feel free to use it and get extremely paranoid at the rapidly growing number of people it shows...

Wireless Networking

Verizon FiOS/DSL Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Across US 168

Glenn Fleishman lets us know that Verizon is finally offering nationwide Wi-Fi access to its high-speed Internet customers, long after Cablevision's similar service went live. While Cablevision is building out an in-house network of hotspots, Verizon is relying on a deal with Boingo Wireless — a strategy with both strengths and drawbacks, as Wi-Fi Net News points out. Neither Verizon's nor Boingo's announcement reveals the mechanics of how existing Verizon DSL and FiOS customers will get access, but an AP report spells it out: "To use a hotspot, the customer must install software that works only on computers with Windows Vista or XP installed. Phones, iPods, and Macintosh computers with Wi-Fi can't access the hotspots."

Comment Remember the "Home on iPod" feature? (Score 1) 314

Back when 10.3 was coming out, Apple announced a feature entitled "Home on iPod", that would let you take your home settings, etc., with you on the iPod, so that you could recreate your home operating environment on any mac. It was in developer builds, and then was suddenly dropped. For those of you who don't remember it, here's a bit on it from Apple Insider.

There was a lot of speculation at the time that it disappeared because it was overheating iPods, but Apple said nothing about it. I can't help but wonder at this point if that's exactly what happened.

Comment Nice biased link in the summary. (Score 4, Interesting) 433

That link to Babula Blog...really, we couldn't find a non-partisan site talking about this event? Instead, we have to read this kind of crap:

The results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya's favor, ensuring he could go ahead and illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted to. ACORN, I'm sure, is taking notes.

It doesn't matter what Zelaya's politics were, if this is true then he clearly had no problem with electoral fraud. People on both sides of the political spectrum, from the extremists to the moderates, have shown time & time again that they will do whatever they can to stay in power. It is not limited to only the left or only the right, and making silly jabs at the "other" side like that is not only distasteful but juvenile as well.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer