Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashback: Galileo, Backlight, Tariffs 167

Slashback tonight brings you several updates and amplifications on everything from Java in phones and a GPS system in Europe, to the future of Internet audio streaming and (related) near-unbelievable proposed tariffs on nearly anything that will hold data (in Canada). Read on below for the details.

The man is not often wrong. Doc Searls writes: "I wrote a piece piece at the Linux Journal site that you might want to check out. The very first comment is 'This needs to be Slashdotted.' I agree. And not because I'm looking for attention. I want to *call* attention to the CARP Report, which will kill Webcasting with fees. It's a big deal, and I don't see anybody else talking about it. Yet. And we need to."

Would you say that these are more 'puppies," "babies," or "mommas"? Vladimir Vuksan writes: "There are already hundreds of so called Java midlets that will presumably execute on these Nokia puppies or any other Java enabled browser. Check out"

Too bad I can't get the entire Economist free just by reading the ads. FortKnox writes: "ZDNet is running a story about generic "Ad-Free Subscription Services" being used on the internet today. The review of these services is from the 'Ad Space Buyer' and how marketing execs are not keen on the idea. Something interesting to read, seeing Slashdot is testing the services."

How about a countersuit for strong-arm tactics? iosphere writes "According to an article on Wired, the judge in BT's case issued a ruling that questions whether or not the technology that was patented is really analogous to todays definition of a hyperlink. She questions how the patent, which was written with only a single computer terminal in mind, can apply to the internet as we know it now."

Update: 03/15 00:31 GMT by T : arget writes with a few more data points: "An article at suggests that Prodigy has won a TKO in the first round. Another story at ZDNet is more neutral, but quotes an expert saying that prior art will 'come back to haunt BT's efforts.' Both articles agree that motions for summary judgement and probably a ruling will come soon."

Portable Monopoly kylus writes "Roughly a month after it was last mentioned here, the Gameboy Advance light project over at Portable Monopoly takes another step closer to fruition. While the official release date is in May, the group will begin accepting preorders on Friday, March 15th for the $35 light kit, which has been officially named 'Afterburner.' In addition to this news, they've provided some video captures of the product in action."

Remember, as reader Vito puts it, that's Portable Monopoly's warranty-voiding, solder-requiring, tech-support-suiciding Gameboy Advance internal lighting kit. :) Your own risk, et cetera.

This goes beyond disputes about how to spell "meter." meehawl writes with an update on the European Union's plans for a GPS workalike system, which we had previously reported had been scrapped.

"So after the Pentagon removed GPS's Selective Availability, the maximum GPS accuracy is typically within 10 to 20 meters. Differential GPS can reduce this to minute levels, very useful for calling in airstrikes and pinpointing installations, and so on.

So it's probably no surprise that the the European Union's plans to build their own GPS system, the Galileo Project, met such stern resistance from the U.S., with Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz asking EU defence ministers not to go ahead, saying it could complicate US satellite-assisted warfare and furthermore could be more easily used by anti-US military forces.

The EU has has now rejected the latest message from the U.S., a State Department exhortation to forgo development. Interestingly, the latest rebuff was framed as an anti-monopoly stance, that competition in satellite navigation would be good for business.

Apparently, Osama is responsible for this latest rebirth of the European space industry.

Perhaps more worryingly, in a related development a UK company was awarded the "Skynet 5" military communications system contract. Don't these people watch movies at all?"

The principle of the thing. Boone^ writes "It's been well covered, but The Tech Report has written a nice little article going through the finer points of the proposed levy and why there should be more people than just Canadians lobbying against it."

Perhaps some more apprentices will emerge from the woodwork? pynchin writes "Kyle Sallee, creator of Sorcerer GNU Linux has just announced on #sorcerer that he will no longer be involved with SGL. Some disgruntled SGL users forked the distro a few days ago -- see for details."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Galileo, Backlight, Tariffs

Comments Filter:
  • Java will save us. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Let Java be the language that saves us all from .NET lock-in. Let it be.
  • To All Canadians (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:04PM (#3165599)
    I would recommend you snail mail and email a letter to your member of Parliament, politely declaring that you will never vote for the Liberal government, in any election, and will advise your friends, family and neighbours to do the same, unless they repeal this bill.

    This money goes straight to the pockets of the Record Company. Which is very wrong, considering the amount of money they steal from musicians.
    • by bryan1945 ( 301828 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:59PM (#3165888) Journal
      How is this off-topic?!??!

      Let me explain to those twit mods that didn't read any of the articles (christ, you should have understood it from the "Tarriffs" part of the TITLE of the article!)-

      The AC is referring to the 2nd to last article in the post. It talks about a Canadian bill which would impose levies on recordable media. CD-RWs would get about $0.60 (Canadian dollars I believe), CD-Rs $1.20, DVD recordable of all types about $2, and $20/GB for harddrives in MP3 players. Think about that last one- the iPod (5GB) just jumped $100 due to this proposed levy.

      And the worst part of the bill is that it states that there will NOT be any exceptions for fair use (ie, personal copy). None. They just assume that every single recordable media unit sold will be a dent in profits. This is not a good thing.

      • Forget even "fair use" - I usually use CDRs for copying software patches or game demos or open source/open licenced software between my home PC (where I download it) and friends who have asked me to use my broadband connection to get it for them.

        I also use CDRs to copy photos between myself and my family (my camera takes photos 800k in size - at 30 photos a day while on holiday it doesn't take a long holiday to make internet download of photos unrealistic).

        Plus of course the backups of my hard disks. And the various linux distributions. etc.

        Out of the 20 CDs I've burnt this year (ok, not many) a grand total of 2 have been used for storing record industry owned IP, and both of those are basically collections of music I own on purchased CD anyway.

        ~Cederic is hoping the UK don't do this too
      • so we are talking CAN$100 which is worth like what these days, USD $62?

        It sucks, just not as badly as USD$100.
    • People should vote for the block quebecois. Than quebec should seperate, than BC would seperate than the canada would collapse and we could all join the US.

      I am glad I left canada and moved in the US...
    • I doubt I'd vote for them regardless of what they do with this bill. (However, I'd like to tell them what to do with this bill. :^)

      This is just DAT all over again. The recording industry interests are going to (try to) screw up decent distribution/backup technology for computer users. And I'm tried of buying albulms in 33.3333, tape, CD... (8-track, never heard of it. Anyone saying that I've heard of it will be hit with a massive libel suit!)

      When are they going to learn that it's all just information. Eventually they are going to run out of fingers to plug the leaks, and are going to have to deal with the problem that digital information can be copied error-free? And no I'm not going to accept equipment that has some half-assed serial number or zone limitation. I don't pirate music or movies, and I don't see why when I backup my hard drive, I have to pay the record companies payola. From friends who have worked for major labels, they're as fscked busineses as the worst dotcoms at the peak of the insanity. Just because they deal with things that spin, the world does not revolve around them!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is this, like, FUD that fits in a briefcase?
  • by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:10PM (#3165638) Homepage Journal
    Hey now! I don't mind helping out poor artists like Bryan Adams* with my Data CD purchases, but whats to keep some malicious hacker from playing their downloads on their PC's, thereby cheating the industry out of their cut? Where's the tax on Hard-drives?

    *poor as in 'low quality' not poor as in 'without cash'.
  • Quote: []

    "No one on the Lunar team was, or is, interested in harming, or competing with the Sorcerer group or its' brilliant principle, Kyle Sallee.If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery (and it is!) we hope that Kyle is flattered by our existence and we wish him well."

    That sure doesn't sound like a disgruntled user to me. Can anyone substantiate that claim?
  • GPS (Score:2, Insightful)

    How can it be a monopoly, or need competition? Normally, I'm very anti-monopoly, but I can't see how what is a universal free service, paid for by the US gov, counts. It would be different, were the US doing something half-assed (which we often do) like threatening to selectively deny it to Europe... but hell, they're just wasting their own money, and making it that much easier for psycho's to use it. And for what, national pride? Hell, if they wanted that, they could do something impressive, like go to the moon, something which sadly, the US is abandoning.
    • Re:GPS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:25PM (#3165723) Homepage
      Because it is such an important use, not only for civilian enterprises, but also for military uses, it is sort of unwise to have no control over the system used. The deifintion of 'risk' is roughly 'chance of happening' times 'consequenses if it does', and even though the chance of the US pulling the plug for europeans - or some third party managing to figure out how to cripple the system - is very small, the consequences could be devastating enough that a second, different system could be warrranted. Add to that that Europe and the US might well have different ideas of whom to cut off in conflict in the future, and it seems like a pretty good idea to have a system of our own.

      • The sattelites themselves are redundant, for just this purpose. Someone will frag the US ones, but not the euro sats? C'mon. The risk is actually increased, by having a second system. There are two potential systems to subvert/destroy/use for terrorism, and only one has to fall into the wrong hands. Doubles the chance of such an occurrence, does it not?
        • I think the point was less about destroying the satellites and more about either:

          1) The US deciding, "Hey, we're kind of angry at the UK, Europe doesn't really need that GPS thing anymore..."


          2) Some nutty terrorist/dictator type somehow getting hold of control codes for the system and, for instance, shifting all returned locations 2 miles north by north west.

          In either case, having a second, redundant system would be helpful. If the US decided to try for world domination or something, everyone else having some other GPS system to use would be good for them. On the other hand, if all the returned locations from one system were out of whack one day, important military and business applications could switch to the other system. And even in the unlikely occurance of someone trying to shoot down all the GPS satellites, having a second set would mean that the EU and the US could collaborate and do a sort of satellite sharing thing (assuming support for such were built into the new satellites) until they hunted down and pummelled the person responsible.
          • Actually a second system, if it uses a seperate set of frequencies increases the accuracy if the whole system. (Different frequencies are affected by atmospheric interference differently; and can be used to correct for problems; part of the reason the military gets higher accuracy is simply because it uses the second frequency for GPS.)
    • Too risky (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TecraMan ( 12354 )
      Think how much impact this will have on our daily lives. In the coming years, GPS will become part not only of our cars but also of our mobile phones, PDAs and watches. It will become a key part of our interaction with commerce, transport and health services and will be a secure way to get location-based services (it is passive, unlike GSM location info).

      With all that in mind, can you blame the Europeans if they don't trust the US government that this will always remain free and open?
    • Re:GPS (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > paid for by the US gov

      Paid for by the U.S. _taxpayers_.
    • Re:GPS (Score:4, Interesting)

      by andcal ( 196136 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:41PM (#3165807)
      The US government can make it less accurate (which they apparently did) or even completely turn it off any time they want to, with no fear of effective reprisal. All they have to do is say it was necessary for national security, and no one can do anything about it besides crying.
    • I guess I don't know what the big deal is. There have been two global positioning satellite-based systems for years - The US GPS, and the Russian GLONASS (see Ok, the US Gov't presumably can't control that one either.
      Of course, in the hypothetical instance that someone were denied access to the GPS, and then chose to use GLONASS or the proposed EU system to target US interests, how long do you suppose the satellites in that other system would remain un-toasted? After all, there has been an awful lot of money spent on SDI, which is designed to kill space vehicles. Satellites are sitting ducks compared to ballistic delivery systems.
      Maybe the US doesn't want to have to explain destruction of hardware belonging to other NATO nations.

    • by Goonie ( 8651 )
      It would be different, were the US doing something half-assed (which we often do) like threatening to selectively deny it to Europe...

      If it was the EU who ran GPS satellites, do you reckon the US Congress would stand for the risk to their military potency, increasing parts of their economy, and civilian safety from the vagaries of EU bureauracy?

      I don't think so.

  • more Nokia pics... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ( 89920 ) <> on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:12PM (#3165656) Homepage
    at this page []

    it's just GSM 900/1800, so i guess you americans will just have to wait...

  • Mobile java games.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Master Of Ninja ( 521917 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:14PM (#3165666)
    Some of these mobile java games look quite good actually. They have the golden oldies, as well as some other games - Street Fighter on your mobile anyone? Games seem quite basic, but i'm sure they'll get better over time.

    Seriously, J2ME looks very useful; i think i'll have to download the kit to see how it works. Some of the stuff is very useful, considering I have my phone with me practically all the time. A portable graphical calculator, a note pad, games, a dictionary/language translator, and currency convertors? This'll really cut down on all the stuff you have to carry round. Hopefully charges for connecting to the internet via mobile phones will come down so it is cost-effective to use this kind of stuff.

    P.S. Look under >graphics>adult for a *very* useful applet for your phone. Although it will be distracting to use when getting into those complicated positions ;-)
  • GPS Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by soap.xml ( 469053 ) <.ryan. .at.> on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:25PM (#3165728) Homepage

    Okay now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and I agree that a unified GPS would be a *good* thing for global communications and security etc.... however

    from the article... The US has another vital unilateralist interest; if GPS is the only global positioning network, all positioning on the planet can only be done by America, so that if the US wants to block, say, a military or civilian aircraft sale by the Europeans it can simply ban the use of GPS avionics in the aircraft's positioning system. French President Chirac is uncompromising about the consequences - this would be economic, security and technological 'vassalage'.

    This could really be a REAL concern for other nations. Granted living in the US, it doesn't conern me as much on the loss of communications end, but what does concern me is the potential for abuse, and the backlash that abuse might cause...

    Maybe a second network, but compatible network isn't such a bad idea after all.

    • Someone above pointed out that Russia has a similar network called GLOSSNASS (or something close to that), and it sounds like it's available for use.
      Just checked- post by SgtXaos, here is the link he gave:

      I haven't looked myself, though.
  • by miracle69 ( 34841 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:31PM (#3165754)
    With all the discussion we have here on Slashdot regarding copyrights and patents, especially concerning the amount of time one should be allowed to hold a patent or copyright, I found this line rather interesting.

    BT's Hidden Text patent was filed in the U.S. in 1977 and issued in 1989. Hidden Text patents filed in Europe have already expired.

    Perhaps this sort of thing should be pointed out here in the U.S. to our government. Should we allow lengthened patents, then those evil evil British Terrorists might have a patent on a technology we've based a majority of our new economy on.

  • This JSR stuff is bizarre. I cannot believe Caldera voted against Apache while stating "Caldera agrees with a lot of the concerns expressed by Apache. We would like to see more to be done to protect the interests of open source providers." What gives? If they supported Apache's position, why did they vote to approve?

    And the fact that Sun voted Yes with no comment speaks volumes.

  • by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <davep @ z> on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:37PM (#3165782)
    I'm frying my hat in butter and a little garlic as we speak. Soon, in little strips and maybe tossed into a salid it shall be headed down my gullet because something I never thought would happen obviously has.

    Europe, as a whole, as an administrative behemoth designed primarily to redistribute wealth towards French farmers, has got it. It has understood the whole concept of control of information systems to an almost Microsoft level of conception ... and it doesn't like what it sees.

    GPS gives us stuff we *need* right now. It navigates our aircraft, ships, even satellite launches themselves and control of the GPS system equates to control of these increasingly critical resources. If George Dubbya, or indeed any future US president decides that the war against terrorism suddenly includes Europe he'll be able to shut the place down with the single click of a (probably Microsoft) mouse. Let's face it, it's not that unlikely. With the whole Afghanistan thing the US has proven it is quite willing to act unilaterally in kicking anyone's arse it damn well feels like.

    Europe's take on the situation? Fuck that, we'll build our own. And using $2.2bn that was otherwise vital for Monsieur Marcaud to sit on his butt and watch Canal+ we suddenly have Europe taking control over it's own future. "if the EU went ahead with its own satellite positioning system its radio signals might interfere with US military operations based on GPS. " - I imagine it says that somewhere on the requirements document too.

    Strike one for disarming the warmongering lunatics, thank god for that.

    • Europe and other nations need to take it upon themselves to ensure that they will maintain infrastructure during times of war. This idea would apply to russia, china and the like. Allowing any single nation to basically control critical services for the world is suicide for any nationsate other than the state in control.

      I would venture that possibly control by a multi-national organization might not be that bad, however I would still feel more comfortable if my nation had its own... lucky for me.. I live in the US, and we have our own... ;)

    • NOTE TO ALL: "GPS" is a generic term. The US GPS system is NAVSTAR. The Russian system is GLONASS. The proposed Eurotrash system is Galileo.

      Let me assure you of one thing. If the US military decides that Europe is a problem and they need to disrupt GPS operations, they will disrupt GPS operations no matter how many systems are available. The only reason SA was turned off is because the military demonstrated the ability to selectively deny NAVSTAR (and possibly other) service to a more localized area.

      Simply put: if they don't want you to have it, you won't have it.
      • Aw, cut it short, ByTor,

        its a major difference if the US decides to "filter out" their own NAVSTAR over europe, which would be their best right, because they pay the bill,

        or if the US activily disrupts european infrastructur - which would be basically an act of aggression against europe.

        True aggression against europe (worlds largest econonomy, half a billion citizens, technolocal mostly equal to the US, a large military, nukes, whatever, name it) is something completely different from pulling the plug from US-NAVSTAR over europe.

        I wonder why the US fears an alternate GPS. Only high-tech-powers will depend on GPS, dont think GPS makes any difference in libyia, india or most other regions in the world. GPS is only vital for powers like the EU, US, China, Japan and so on.

        And by the way, if the US needs all GPS over one region shut down, they just need to ask and explain. Thats all.
      • they will disrupt GPS operations no matter how many systems are available.

        How pray tell would they do that? It is damm near impossible (short of a tactical nuke in the upper atmosphere) to disrupt or jam satelite communications. Oh, you could do it over a small area with a EW plane but not over a large area like Europe.

        Not to mention the US posses no ASM (anti-satelite missles) to use on these satelites which makes shutting it down slightly difficult.
        • GPS signals are quite easily jammable or disruptible. Here is an example from Defense Daily News:

          Jamming is the most common mode of intentional disruption. Russian handheld 4-watt jammers are said to disrupt the signal over an area 100 nautical miles in radius. Jamming devices are available and can be easily built, Carroll said. One-watt jammers, the size of a Coke can, can easily be moved around and deployed. "There is a fairly large GPS disruption industry," he said. (full story [])

          Using the inverse-square law, this implies that a kilowatt transmitter could disrupt GPS over an area of about 1,500 miles in radius. Admittedly, line-of-sight limitations would probably make a wide-range jammer impractical unless you could get it to altitude as you suggest -- but in any case, it would hardly take a nuclear EMP to impact the efficacy of the GPS system over a large portion of Europe.

          Here's one other thought-provoking item, from Aviation International News:

          Carroll also stressed the danger of "spoofing," where false GPS signals could slowly divert an aircraft off track, undetected by the pilot. This could be hazardous during an approach. Current civil receiver designs cannot counter spoofing and few provide immediate failure warnings, Carroll noted, so he proposed that new certification standards be developed. (full story [])

  • by spike_gran ( 219938 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:38PM (#3165790)
    On the topic of internet radio, it can be expected that large record companies will adopt such a uniform scheme.

    Here's a great idea for someone to implement: An indie label rights clearinghouse.

    Nothing in the proposal disallows an independent webcaster from using content for free with the permission of the record label. So if we can get a website up that will allow indpendent webcasters and small record labels to meet, they could agree that no broadcasting fees will need to be paid.

    Both sides win. Indie labels that weren't going to get any radio play anyway lose nothing by allowing free webcasting. Indie webcasters get to use songs for free.

    If Big Music wants too much money for you to use their stuff, then don't promote Big Music.
    • Anybody and their grandmother can create original MP3 files. There's lots of musicians who play good music nonprofessionally. If that's all that there was available on the Net, I'd gladly listen to it for free. And then maybe the record companies would wise up.
    • An indie label rights clearinghouse. ... So if we can get a website up that will allow indpendent webcasters and small record labels to meet, they could agree that no broadcasting fees will need to be paid.

      They could also agree to a payment schedule lower than the CARP calls for.

  • Nitpick (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nerds ( 126684 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:40PM (#3165803) Homepage
    The Afterburner is a front light, not a back light.

  • The basic argument is that having ad-free subscriptions reduces the amount they can charge for ads, ultimately ending up with no ads.

    They're half right. Since selling ads is really selling eyeballs, the ad-free subscription idea means less eyeballs to sell and the eyeballs are worth less. That means the site must either reduce the cost for advertisers or lose them. If they lose all their advertisers, the subscribers will stop subscribing because the ad-free version of the page is no longer less annoying than the "ad" version. That means the site has an incentive to have more and more ads, because the more ads there are on the site, the more money they make in subscriptions.

    Hell, it would be in the site's interests to even run ads at no-charge to the advertisers. Wouldn't that be an ironic twist?

  • from the zdnet link []:
    Meanwhile, advertisers will choose a site because they are interested in targeting people who are most interested in the content. And those are precisely the people who this site can no longer deliver to the advertisers.

    Slashdot's got that problem covered - even paying subscribers still see ads some of the time!
  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @08:51PM (#3165847)
    I take this as an absolute license to copy what ever i want on to media that i've prepaid the royalties on. Hey maybe this is the solution to the record companies delemma. Let bands distribute their music directly to the net, we will all pay to a big royalty pot that gets evenly distributed to all artists. Oh by the way, i just started a new group called White Noise.
    • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @11:00PM (#3166356)
      The most salient point in the article:

      Perhaps what's worse is that this government program almost encourages piracy. Think about it. If you buy blank media whose price has been increased by a levy, you've got to rip some copyrighted material to get your money's worth. The artists are getting paid from the levy anyway, so you might as well steal their music, right?

      I've tried. I really have. I've bought and paid for every damn thing of mine, all legally. I've also bought a hell of a lot of cd-r's, for backing up my legally made (ie: by me) software, photos, video, you name it. I've spent years watching everyone get in on the free ride, and I thought that somehow if I avoided it all, I wouldn't be caught in the backlash. I personally hate the recording industry, and as such, I've not bought anything released in years. Voting with my wallet, you could say. I've also voted to keep the current idiots in power AWAY from Ottawa each time (so much for that doing anything).

      And now, the Federal Government is basically telling me to fuck off and die, because it knows that I must be pirating music!

      That's it. I give. I hereby declare myself a wanton pirate, and will do my damndest to spread every bit of music that I can. Obviously the creators of it figure I pirate anyway, and would rather just make their money off of blank media, so they must not mind. The Government, having no right to even be involved in the issue, let alone taxing it, is also telling me to pirate all that I can. Fine. From hereon in, every single cdr I buy will be dedicated solely to the copying and distribution of pirated music.

      Happy now?

  • Great, now my phone will crash too, just like my browser. No thanks.
  • This is a subject I care about since I listen to a lot of internet radio. A short piece on the Radio Paradise web site discussing this issue: The Death of Web Radio? [] A fairly detailed (though obviously NOT unbiased) site dedicated to saving internet radio: Save Internet Radio [] -Phil
    • Makes you laugh when you think of all the time the recording companies spend trying to interest radio stations in their up and coming is a great way to gain interest and advertise with no real infrastructure or money required, and they can only see this as a great way to gain royalties.

      I guess they are caught on the idea that someone might capture the streams and then share the broadcasted material...that cat is out of the bag, and internet radio is not exactly the best source for artist mp3's anyway...its just too bad that more people don't know how great and easy it is to tune into these stations and hear great music that they might not have experienced before. Hell, I wonder how many people using iTunes realize the amount of music they have at their fingertips.

      Just look at some of the dedicated hardware that is coming out to connect and play music from internet radio stations...they must be trying to impose limitations before it becomes too popular to do so.

      Then again you could listen to your local stations where they play the same 20 songs over and over for 3 months or so, if thats what you like...nevermind the commercials...maybe thats the problem;)

      I just wish the RIAA and others were more forward thinking instead of so obstinate and vindictive...those just aren't qualities that make you a beloved member of any community. would be nice if people would wake up and fight back for a change as well...let's keep internet radio from becoming pirate radio:D
  • Media levy petition (Score:2, Informative)

    by mistered ( 28404 )
    There's a virtual petition against the proposed media levy increases at Sycorp []. They collected more than 25000 "signatures" when the levy was first proposed; there's 572 on the list as I write this.

    Fellow Canadians, head over and have a look, and sign it if you want to communicate your "strong disapproval with the levy on blank recording media."

    • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @10:03PM (#3166162) Homepage

      The Copyright Board will pay attention only to email sent to, or postal mail sent to the Secretary General.

      The electronic petition is a waste of your time. If you want to stop this proposal before it gets off the ground, you need to ACT FAST (you have one month) and SEND YOUR MESSAGE DIRECTLY.

      Please take the time to read the proposal [] itself. And do hit up The Tech Report [], which has provided a nice overview of the situation.

      ACT NOW! If you don't participate, you will be screwed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From looking at the painfully long opinion, it looks like part of the invention centers around not keeping everything in RAM. (See below.)

    So, just don't keep cache your documents before you view them.

    from page 11:
    "BT argues that this citation to the prosecution history merely discusses the advantages of the technology of the Sargent patent, rather than distinguishes prior art. BT further argues that the file wrapper describes a number of different "stores," and Prodigy improperly attempts to narrow the claim to only one of those descriptions.

    However, BT is incorrect. "Teaches" is a term of art in the patent world - what the patent "teaches" is the invention. Therefore, the explanations in this passage relating to the way data is stored in the system are of particular significance. In this passage, the applicant notes that the manner of storing information is the distinction between his invention and prior art.

    The parties are particularly concerned about whether this passage disclaims the use of RAM as a "main store." This quote, found in two of the applicant's appeal briefs, supports Prodigy's contention that RAM has been disclaimed. The briefs open by describing the prior art in the world of "data base storage and retrieval system[s]." (Jan. 24, 1986 Appeal Br. at 1; Jan. 5, 1987 Appeal Br. at 2.) The applicant acknowledges that the usefulness of "abbreviated keyed-in selection data is recognized in the prior art." (Jan. 24, 1986 Appeal Br. at 2; Jan. 5, 1987 Appeal Br. at 2.) In such systems (i.e., abbreviated keyed-in selection data systems), "Then one might store the necessary full address linkage data in RAM where it is readily accessible for use in translating a user's keyed-in single digit . . . into the full disk-store address of the next desired screen." (Jan. 24, 1986 Appeal Br. at 2; Jan. 5, 1987 Appeal Br. at 2.) However, this "scheme" has its disadvantages "as more voluminous and complex data bases are considered." (Jan. 24, 1986 Appeal Br. at 2; Jan. 5, 1987 Appeal Br. at 2.) These drawbacks, as stated by the applicant, are that more RAM must be used for this function, proper updating may become complicated, and inefficient use of RAM and disk storage may result.

    The applicant explains that his invention flies in the face of the conventional wisdom regarding storage of the address linkage data. "

    • Hmm. I often read (and/or skim) court rulings (especially from the Supreme Court), and usually they more or less make sense. But this one... Geez. She starts off with pages on the subject of whether a word means what it seems to mean. And then several more pages about how this applies to "computer" and other words in the hyperlink case. I can sort of see the need for all this, but no wonder patents are such a black art.

    • The important part of the ruling is as follows. The judge ruled that the the computer which stores the hyperlinked data must be a *central* computer. Specifically the central computer must be in one place. This could be very unhelpful to BT's case, since on the internet the data is stored in a distributed fashion.

      The issue about RAM vs. disk may play an important role also. This is probably also unhelpful from BT's perspective

      The ruling isn't really that long. Much of it is boilerplate text explaining how the law works in a case like this. All Markman rulings seem to be 75 percent the same.
  • As a followup, this definitely "brightens" the already vibrant homebrew development scene.

    The Visoly [] flash linker and carts are great, and available from (your friends and mine) Lik-Sang [], GameGizmo [] and Easy Buy 2000 [] (all no-referral URLs).

    The multi-boot cables (for downloading small apps to your GBA without needing to flash a cart) are cool, too, and have been exploited to turn your GBA into a handheld terminal []. Check out the PDF on that last link; much nicer than reading the page, with pictures. Wish there was someplace within the continental US to order a couple non-ugly ones from, though. Those MBV2s are just too unweildly to use in sexy handheld terminal demonstrations.

  • They web site hasn't been updated in a year, and email to the head of it doesn't get a reply! Is EFC dead? Must we depend on US groups like EFF and Slashdot to be informed and represented in our fights on the Frontiers of Cyberspace?

  • Does this mean that it's legal to download copyrighted mp3's in Canada because the artist's are getting paid?
    And if it's not legal, why the tax? ;)
    Yeah I know I'm dreamin' but just thought I'd point out the one-sided logic of the record companies.
    • Does this mean that it's legal to download copyrighted mp3's in Canada because the artist's are getting paid?
      And if it's not legal, why the tax?

      Here's an interesting analogy... if it makes any sense at all:
      1) Speeding is illegal.
      2) Speeders consume more gasoline.
      3) Speeders pay more tax because gasoline is taxed.

      Now, just because speeders pay more taxes, doesn't mean they are somehow not breaking the law. However, the people who use the roads more recklessly end up paying a higher portion of the road repair bill. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

      Of course, in the case of the Levy on recordable media, the money isn't going to help those who need it the most. Instead, it's supporting the overdue-for-extinction record companies who are too incompetent to adapt to changes in media technologies.
    • Seeing as its perfectly legal to copy any musical works for personal use, ie CD's, I assume this priviledge extends to downloading as well. I'm not joking.
  • When the entertainment industry churns out some new content, we consume, breathlessly. And we complain about the price. How many of us would be willing to skip out on Star Wars Episode II to make a point? Zero? And we'll buy the CD-RWs etc., complaining all the way home about the price we just willingly paid for a product.
  • I used to be a heavy MacFixIt user, but their new subscription system prompted me to look around for alternatives, and I ended up switching to the comp.sys.mac.system [] usenet group. Does anyone know how MacFixIt's new model is working out?

    I think there's a tendency for people to overestimate how valuable their websites are, and to employ an unsustainable number of people generating content. There isn't any information on MacFixIt that I want and can't get on usenet.

  • CD-R isn't really that good a medium for mp3 collections any more anyway, now that hard drives are so cheap (160 GB for $250 etc.). Do they want to tax those too? And how are you supposed to back them up?

    Further, do they want to tax blank video tape? After all, with a Sony digital-8 camcorder, you can record 11 GB of data on an 8mm 120 minute video tape costing about $3, from your firewire port using free software. Right now that competes with CD-R as the cheapest ($/GB) form of mass storage available to consumers. DVD-R will probably start beating CD-R costwise soon, unless the Canadian music publishing lobby can put a stop to it...

  • Okay, if they tax all media, then I'll get all my music for free. A $2 data CDR is still cheaper than a $19 CD. And since the "artists" (a funny way to spell "record labels", isn't it?) are getting paid (apparently, this is very important), I would feel ZERO moral obligation to EVER buy a CD again (well actually I don't really feel obligated now, but I do it anyway, with a tax I would feel obligated to NOT buy any more music.. why pay twice?).

    And OF COURSE every little indie label run out of somebody's bedroom with six releases is going to get their fair share, right?

    Sounds good. Music as a public good, lets pay with public funds, and the record labels can go to hell.

    Which of course isn't how it will work, the record labels will get fatter and more corrupt as they feast on the blood of the proletariate, most indie record labels will continue to operate at a loss, and CDs will grow to $24 to combat the extra "piracy" brought about by the tax, but we can pretend that life is fair...

  • This Just In... (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by Tim Macinta ( 1052 )
    This would have been appropriate for the Slashback section as well, but it was probably published too recently to have made it in, so I will bring it up...
    AOL has now actually begun testing the use of Mozilla (Gecko to be specific) as part of its software. There are articles on this at [] and 169 [].
    Go Mozilla!
  • I'm being facetious here, of course, but if the Canadian government is going to get into the business of collecting arbitrary royalties on digital media, why do musicians have more of a claim on these royalties than people who write free software?
    • I posted the same thing when this came up the other day, but I was actually serious. Why should the recording artists get all of the 'tax' when some of us aren't burning music, we're burning ISOs of our favourite distros. I want to see all the 'tax' *I* pay on CD-R's go to Debian (and the good folks at, who make a hell of a nice firewall/router, and which is residing on a few cds around here somewhere...)
  • From the official statement:

    Anyone contemplating objecting to CPCC's proposed statement must realize that the Copyright Act sets out a number of limits on what the board may or may not do. No purpose is served by objecting to the proposed statement based on grounds about which the Board can do nothing. In the following paragraphs, we summarize some of the limits imposed on the Board's powers in this matter:

    (1) The Board must certify a tariff and set a levy. (blah blah blah, everything else..)

    The board is only setting the rate of tarriff. Also, contrary to what some people think, this tax/tarrif/levy/whatever-they-decide-to-call-it-fr om-paragraph-to-paragraph applies to ALL of the described media, NOT merely that which is imported. Yes, Canadian made, Canadian sold cd media fall under the classification.
    • (1) The Board must certify a tariff and set a levy.

      There is no legal reason why a tarriff of 0% could not be set. It's set. It's just 0%. It's been done before in regard to the GST. Some goods are taxable for GST purposes but the tax is zero-rated (I believe that's the term). I think "medical devices" (eyeglasses, hearing aids and the like) fall into that category.
  • Just thought the poster should know that :)
  • So after the Pentagon removed GPS's Selective Availability, the maximum GPS accuracy is typically within 10 to 20 meters. Differential GPS can reduce this to minute levels, very useful for calling in airstrikes and pinpointing installations, and so on.

    The pentagon decided that maybe lives were worth saving, and a system that their citizens probably (i don't know) paid for with their tax dollars should not treat them as criminals. It was designed so they wouldn't keep bombing red cross shelters lol :)

    So it's probably no surprise that the European Union's plans to build their own GPS system, the Galileo Project, met such stern resistance from the U.S.

    i.e Bush pretends to like Euroupe, but when it comes to it, he'd nuke us in a second.

    with Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz asking EU defence ministers not to go ahead

    Paul Wolfowitz: "Um, err, so, um, we have this gps thing, and um we control it, but we don't want you to have one, because we are the un denied rulers of the world.. so um, could you like, um not make your own?"

    saying it could complicate US satellite-assisted warfare and furthermore could be more easily used by anti-US military forces.

    Complicate, meaning: "well sir, we we're going to bomb those euro asses with no fear of retaliation 'cause they can't pin-point our targets, but now they have their own system, so they can hit us back..."

    anti-US military forces: What? you paint GPS targets over _other_ countries for years, but when someone paints it over your country, suddenly its not ok? There is a russian system already running, what about them?

    The EU has has now rejected the latest message from the U.S., a State Department exhortation to forgo development.

    They told Bush to go shove his GPS receiver up his ass so he could read it more clearly.

    Interestingly, the latest rebuff was framed as an anti-monopoly stance, that competition in satellite navigation would be good for business.


    Apparently, Osama is responsible for this latest rebirth of the European space industry.

    Oh, so if we're not with you we are against? just because we want some freedom, and independence, we are now all terrorists?

    Perhaps more worryingly, in a related development a UK company was awarded the "Skynet 5" military communications system contract. Don't these people watch movies at all?"

    I think the name was chosen as a joke.. maybe??

    Oh, and we're not taking all this crap about it interfering with American GPS signals. If thats the best the government can come up with then...
    • I've read up about GLONASS - the russian GPS system. It uses the same number of satellites, and the government never restricted the accuracy. It also seems to be better than the American version in some ways. If this is already up, why are the Americans so worried? unless ofcourse they have the ability to block this system...
      • by Anonymous Coward
        No one on slashdot seems to understand the issues here. This is just like the astronomers who oppose Iridium: there is only a certain amount of bandwidth available, especially when you are transmitted through the ionosphere as well as air. GLONASS is already a done deal, so no one is complaining about the loss of bandwidth.
        But since Galileo is still in the planning stage some people, whether they are in US military, communications industry, or astronomers, would like to discourage its implementation so there is less pressure on what bandwidth people are using. You get the same kind of complaints whenever people are putting up a major satellite constellation. For something as important as a GPS system serving hundreds of millions, I think it these complaints should not be an overriding factor.

        There is an additional fact that Slashdotters don't understand, and the Guardian article is confused over. Like the US GPS system, this is not being planned for the benefit of private use. The Navstar system is fine for that, and will only improve with time. This has nothing to do with the possibility of the US turning Selective Availability back on.
        It is simply that everyone has seen the importance of smart bombs in military action. If Europeans want smart bombs with military accuracy, they will either have to ask the US to drop the bombs for them (as with Yugoslavia), or have their own GPS. This is all about Europe maintaining military credibility in the 21st century. For once, it is not the fault of US unilateralism. It is simply the case that if you are going to bomb someone, smart bombs are more effective and usually save civilian lives as well.
  • by epine ( 68316 )

    I run squid with an ad filter. I know I'm lucky that this works so well. Eventually the content people will invent a protocol which makes it a lot more difficult to scratch out the crap.

    But not impossible. When marketting people talk about ads, they don't mean the message. They mean blinking, scrolling, flashing, and all other forms of obnoxious behaviour that make it difficult to attend to anything else on the page.

    This kind of content I will always be able to eliminate. Simple rule: if it blinks, flashes, or scrolls, trash it.

    I'm so vehemently opposed to obnoxious inputs that I'm more likely to make a mental note to refuse to buy the product than to to be swayed that the product behind the irritation is going to solve all of my problems. One could argue that I'm doing them a favor by scraping out the ads: someone is no longer paying to have those bytes delivered, and none of those bytes are making a dime off of me.

    Here's where it has to end up: the advertiser who wants to push their blinking piece of crap under my nose is going to have to pay a very high price. My attention doesn't come cheap. If I'm such a desirable demographic, pay me for it.
  • Webcasting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday March 14, 2002 @11:15PM (#3166430) Homepage Journal

    Specifically, CARP wants to charge very steeply--punitively--for broadcasting music on the Net

    This is incorrect. The copyright office can't do a damned thing about broadcasting music on the net. Nor does CARP. All it addresses is broadcasting someone else's content to other people.

    I am pretty convinced that the part of the real reason the xxAA organizations are trying to outlaw things like camcorders and associate music file formats with crime, is that they fear competition from low-budget production, since now, thanks to the Internet, those low-budget producers have just as good of an infrastructure for distribution as the old monopolies did. But it is pure dishonesty to try to pretend that webcasting RIAA music fits into this scheme. When you're playing someone else's music, you're not part of any "creative commons." Copying ain't creativity.

    And if you are doing something creative (exactly the kind of stuff RIAA fears) CARP doesn't effect you. If you're making music, you can webcast your music. If you're helping local underground bands, then when you're talking with them at the local bar after the show, you get their permission. They're not going to charge you thousands of dollars. They're people, chat with them.

    All this whining about CARP killing webcasting, is total bullshit. If CARP effects you, then you're part of the problem. You're just publicizing the megacorps' products. I don't know why you'd want to do that, or why RIAA doesn't want you to do that, but I don't care. You're still just a tool.

    • " If you're making music, you can webcast your music."

      .. Unless you want to webcast it in MPEG4, in which case you will have to pay .25c/stream/hour.

      Hopefully that one will be beaten, as it isn't final yet either.
      • Hopefully that one will be beaten

        It already has. MPEG is still a problem when you're talking about video, but when it comes to audio, they're not a player anymore. Use Ogg and you don't have to pay anyone.

  • I'd comment on their site, but I don't trust them with my email address...

    Here's what I wrote before their system figured out that sadasdasdasd@asdasdasda.asdasd was a bad address ;)

    Advertizers can bite me, and I say that as the owner of a web site which used to depend on advertizing revenue. (actually, oddly enough it was the company that now is Zdet that was providing our ads)

    This was a year and a half ago during the final days of "we guarantee a sell out, $2.00 /CPM.

    anyhow, we went from pulling revenue of $70,000 a month to nothing inside of 30 days when ZDnet pulled the ad contract from us (new economy, nothing nefarious like content problems).

    8 Months ago we moved to a premium subscription model, now we have over 25,000 subscribers. Revenue is much more stable than it ever was during the Advertizing phase.

    We still run advertizing on the site, but it's there to mostly convince people to pay to get rid of it, since we make about 100x more off a viewer who pays than a viewer who sees the ads.

    Yes, we're an awful demographic. But in the end, the fact that we serve some 60 Million Ads a month should account for more than $3,000 revenue (which is all we get for ads these days)

    So, the advertizers can do whatever the heck they like, but untill they're willing to pay more than the individual is willing to pay me to not see the ads, the can lick at the heels of people who don't buy things online as far as I'm concerned.

    It's not short sighted. It's called comminity building. Many people will pay $2.00 a month to get rid of the ads on their favorite site. How many advertizers are willing to pay $2.00 for every viewer that comes to your site in a month?

    The advertizers can reap the seeds they sewed.

  • by phraktyl ( 92649 ) <wyatt@dra g g o o .com> on Friday March 15, 2002 @01:16AM (#3166758) Homepage Journal

    While the folks at Lunar did indeed fork, and take half of the SGL users along with them, Sorcerer Linux [] still lives on even without Kyle's leadership. Indeed, in the past week, it has undergone massive changes in management when Kyle tried to remove the distro all together, and many of us stepped up to the plate to keep the project going.

    While we are still growing into the project, we have accomplished a great deal in a week, and are planning great things for Sorcerer. It is a great distro, and we are fighting to keep it as such.

    Wyatt Draggoo
  • by Com2Kid ( 142006 ) <> on Friday March 15, 2002 @01:50AM (#3166836) Homepage Journal
    Holy shnitz, I just now realized that I spent the last 40 minutes writting this.

    Cruds, I have a final due in English too. . . .

    Ah oh well; here it goes. It is rather long mind you. I am submitting this through the petition that [] has running.

    (begin paste)

    As a citizen who believes in the rights of independent artisans to create their own works, I am highly opposed to the ideas for regulation recently introduced by the CARP report.

    Art is something that should be free to be spread to all should the artist be willing. While I do not support or condone illegal music broadcasts in any form or by any medium, I do believe that if an artist working under no other contract chooses to release his or her work to the public domain that those who seek to fulfill the artist's wishes and spread that work of art should be allowed to do so with no extra fines or fees levied upon them.
    Charging money for Web broadcasts of works in the public domain (let us ignore for the moment works that should not be distributed without proper royalties being paid) is the same as charging me money for putting up a painting in my living room and inviting my friends and family over to view it.

    In fact it is even worse then that.

    For in this case the painting is one that I was given freely by a friend, or even one that I may have painted myself.

    An enactment of the regulations put forth by the CARP report or the enactment of any regulations similar to those, would be tantamount to charging an artist a fee just for painting.

    Or charging a musician a fee just for playing their songs for free to anybody who is willing to listen.
    This is the equivalent to the long feared Thought Crimes. Except that this is a viewing crime, a listening crime. But instead of charging each individual listener, instead the creator or the distributor of the work is charged instead.

    If a United States Citizen opened up his or her house as a museum and allowed artists to freely put up works of art within the house, and allowed other fellow citizens to visit his or her house viewing these works of art, no mention of fees would be involved. In fact it would be quite likely that the citizen who worked to hard to create such a wondrous endeavor for his or her fellow citizens would have their museum granted with not for profit status and be given support by the government at a variety of levels to continue in the wonderful task that he or she is accomplishing.

    Indeed, if a citizen pays for with their own money and sets up a radio station to support local artists for no fee, then that individual would be heralded as being a good hardworking samaritan who is doing his or her best to support the arts. Indeed many of the various taxations and regulator fees that are applicable to commercial radio stations would be bypassed and declared unapplicable to this wondrous spreader of the arts.

    But under these regulations, if the same citizen guided by the same motivations sets up an online Internet webcasting station and pays for all of the equipment and server fees him or her self, if this United States Citizen dedicates their time and energy to giving freely available public domain artwork out to all for their enjoyment and enrichment;

    now this person would be charged potentially thousand of dollars a month in regulatory fees.

    This is wrong. Plain and simply, it is wrong. Dedication, hard work, and sacrifice towards an ideal should never in the lands of a free country be grounds for doing no less then what amounts to punishing a person.

    This, this, hopefully what I have said, shall help to convince you that charging fees for none commercial entities is wrong.

    But what about commercial entities?

    I have no problems with fees levied as a portion of an organizations income. And indeed if that Organization is making even a portion of their income off of works of which the rights to are owned by another organization or person, then the profiteering organization should indeed pay a portion of their income in both federal taxes and in royalty fees to those of whom's work they are making a profit of.

    But never should a company or an organization be charged more in regulatory fees or taxes or royalties then that organization is bringing in.

    Indeed we all know that it is foolishness to charge anybody at a 200% tax rate. Indeed this is detrimental to all. The government itself shall find itself of reduced income after the organization being taxed to such an exorbitant extent is put out of business. It is not good practice to raise chickens, wait for the first batch of eggs to come through, and then kill all of the chickens.

    The competitors also lose. They lose money and potential future talent. For it is by the smaller organizations, from free none profit art museums to small for profit radio stations that new and upcoming talents are revealed. The market itself can be carefully gauged from the responses that these new and upcoming artists receive.

    Indeed, if Seattle Washington had not had outlets for independent bands to play their music in and gain popularity at, then Universal Music Group (a subsidiary or Universal Studios) would itself have been shortened a few millions dollars a year in revenue for quite number of years by the band Nirvana alone. This is not even taking into account the numerous other musicians who started there way in local clubs and moved up to small independent labels until they were able to eventually make it big so to speak and infuse the U.S. economy with the money that their fans spent on their CDs, Concerts, and other merchandise.

    Had those musicians had to pay out thousands of dollars a month just for the right for other people to listen to them, then we all would be a bit poorer.

    That the independent labels existed and were fairly taxed according to their profits and nothing else was the sole criteria responsible for allowing many worthwhile artists to align themselves with the major publishers.

    The independent artistry industries are ones that we all rely on, and I dare say that one that we all need to continue to survive. My very own art teacher has yet to become a successful world renowned painter, but the money that she makes by selling her works through independent channels has allowed for her to pursue a teaching carrier in which she has the possibility, the potential, to teach artistry to someone who may very well be the next Grand Master of painting.

    We can never know if that shall happen or not, but the ever lasting hope that it can happen, that it will happen, the knowledge that it has happened before, that the next great Artists born unto this world shall be an American, is what encourages us to keep going a system which allows for free and open potential and possibility for all.

    Over taxing that industry, removing even once source of that potential, is to let that dream, that hope, those aspirations of not just the many, but those aspirations of the all; die.

    Please, vote to instead levy only fair and reasonable taxes upon Internet Music Broadcasters. Removing them from business is to remove so much more.

    *(End Paste)*

    There it is, how do you like it? :)

  • What I want to know is how the hell did this tax law get through the canadian system.
    I can understand the DMCA getting through in the USA via soft money, but we don't have soft money in canada.
    I know the canadian government is pro-tax and all.
    Can some one please explain this to me?.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982