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+ - CRTC issues $1.1 million penalty to Compu-Finder for spamming Canadians

Submitted by zentigger
zentigger writes: Canadians rejoice! It looks like the new anti-spam regulations might actually have some teeth! Today, the CRTC issued a $1.1 million fine to Compu-Finder for violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation by sending commercial emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly. Furthermore, an analysis of the complaints made to the Spam Reporting Centre of this industry sector shows that Compu-Finder accounts for 26% of all complaints submitted.

Comment: At what cost? (Score 3, Insightful) 100

by zentigger (#49042033) Attached to: Starting This Week, Wireless Carriers Must Unlock Your Phone

There is nothing in there stating that the carriers must unlock the device free of charge. We got burned by the same sad lack of foresight in Canada: The carrier must unlock your device, and they will actually do it right on the phone with you in most cases, but not until you have paid the $75 fee!

Comment: Re:Create a $140 billion business out of nothing? (Score 1) 458

by zentigger (#48976951) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

They might have looked a bit alike on the surface, but Apple really did turn the industry inside out. All of the existing mobile vendors were struggling to implement their own proprietary protocols and develop their own in house apps, but they still considered it to be a phone with features. Kudos to Blackberry--they did some amazing stuff with the limitations they had at the time they first came to market, but they weren't paying attention to the where things were going.

Apple saw the future: just make everything use standard well developed and well understood protocols, with the new data standards at the time there was no longer a requirement to try and make every bit count in the data streams. It really extended the internet into the mobile market space, while blackberry was still trying to play gatekeeper and only give little submarine porthole views.

  They also released developer tools so anyone could produce apps for their platform, and they made sure they had a product with enough horsepower to actually do useful stuff--really it was just an extension of the iPod. At the time Blackberry was still just flogging messenger.

Apple turned the problem-space upside down. They created a pocket computer that happened to be able to make phone calls. That is about as similar to a phone that can read email as a Barbie Power-Wheels is to a Land Rover.

Comment: Re:Windfall taxes are a crap idea. (Score 1) 825

by zentigger (#48955909) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

The fix to this is to implement a really high tax rate (say 90%) on licensing fees paid to foreign companies. Suddenly it becomes less expensive for apple/google/etc. to try and funnel money out of the country and they pay US corporate taxes on money earned in the US. (also a 90% inheritance tax on inheritance over, say, $10M, would go a long way to fixing the dangerous imbalance of wealth, but that's another story...)

Comment: Bass Ack Words (Score 1) 319

by zentigger (#48776761) Attached to: MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

This is such a load of complete narrow-minded thinking by small-minded people who can't see beyond their own greed.


As long as politicians are for sale this problem will not be solved. There is simply too much profit to be made by selling guns and bombs that there is no REAL motive to solve the terrorist problem. (See what I did there? This isn't a problem of Islamists, Christians or Moonies for that matter!)

The terrorists are fighting because they have NOTHING TO LOSE.

Take a fraction of the BILLIONS of dollars that are being literally thrown away on bombs and bullets, and invest in infrastructure: roads, hospitals, communications ; justice: the real sort, not the typical highest bidder type of justice we are all becoming used to; and education. Yes, you will still have nut-jobs. They are everywhere, but if the majority of the people feel secure, and productive, they will be happy, and WAY less likely to pick up a gun and start shooting infidels.

Comment: Surprise? (Score 1) 400

by zentigger (#48717949) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

Hollywood has spewed forth a bunch of pre-digested vomitus, and re-re-recycled stories at a time when the cost of a trip to the cinema has reached epic proportions. Meanwhile Netflix, HBO and others are producing high quality ORIGINAL works with intriguing stories that we can consume at our own convenience, without waiting in lineups, and putting up with a bunch of drunk teenagers running back and forth chatting and texting. Top this off with the proliferation of Apple TVs and set-top boxes that have shifted on-line viewing to the living-room screen. Sprinkle with a dash of unemployment and a growing social trend towards cocooning, and this really should come as no surprise.

Comment: Re:Stop playing games with the courts ... (Score 1) 349

by zentigger (#48700391) Attached to: United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

Put in other terms, using the courts to enforce the practice places too much control of a product or service that the consumer paid for into the hands of the vendor. Consumer's wouldn't be very happy if business told them they couldn't resell a product at a profit just because they bought it when there was a good sale...

That, in fact, is exactly the case with airline tickets already. They are non-transferrable. You cannot buy an airline ticket at a lower price and resell it later for a profit.

So called publicly available information is not necessarily freely available information. The insidious thing about the internet is the now ever present "terms of service." It has already been tested through the courts that terms of service are enforceable contracts, so by scraping information, there is a good chance that this application violates the terms of service of the website.

Comment: Re:will be seen as a dig against science (air quot (Score 1) 100

by zentigger (#48573393) Attached to: A Paper By Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel Was Accepted By Two Journals

Unfortunately, this will just get used by anti-science folks to point out how full of shit "science" is.

Yes, but those idiots aren't actually capable of forming rational arguments. They only know how to recite dogma, and their faith doesn't require proof. Just stating something and believing make it true.

The reality is that this exposes the strength of science: Anyone can publish a pile of rubbish and call it fact, but the scientific community will quickly call it out, discuss it, and dismiss the rubbish as such.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins