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Slashback

Slashback: Favoritism, Alternacy, Moo 222

Slashback with more on handheld everything-boxes, a softer review of the new Sharp Zaurus, raising money for open technologies, Gateway's singing cow, and getting around with alternative root servers -- all below. Enjoy. Update: 04/12 06:41 GMT by T : There's an update below in the part on alternate root servers, too.
A double-barrel of Mossberg. Dave Aiello (author of our recent review of Handspring's Treo all-in-one handheld) writes with nice update for anyone thinking of shelling out for one: "Walter Mossberg did a comparative overview of the Handspring, Kyocera, Samsung, and RIM integrated PDAs and phones in the first edition of 'The Mossberg Solution' (a new column he is writing)."

Speak of the devil -- Arrgh writes: "PC Magazine has posted a more favourable review (4 out of 5 stars) of the Zaurus--they had none of the sync problems Walt Mossberg wrote about."

Give money to these guys, please. Jeff Gerhardt of the American Open Technology Consortium writes after the post about this "GeekPAC" on Slashdot.

"Although the last 24 hours was one hell of a pain in the ass, at 4:00 am we were through with that second draft and in large measure due to the constructive comments from the /. community. Yes I got a lot of nutty emails about how I should be working on more important issues like global warming and ending "greed" (can you believe that one??? how the hell can we do that.), but for the most part the comments were well thought out. As a whole I think that the whole /. community should be proud.

In particular I have pages of operational suggestions and contact names across the US. The suggestion that has tickled me the most is a suggestion for a fund raising methodology for the "PAC" organization. This came from a couple guys who were debating the idea between the two of them, until it really solidified into a plan. And, we are going to do it. The plan is simple and uses the thing we love so much, technology.

We will set up a series of paypal account links, having created a category for every House or Senate member that appeals to our overall goals and objectives. If then there is a news item about an issue and one of these "good guy" politicos does something to help the cause, the PAC will write a 2-3 sentence quote that will happen to have the paypal link included inside the quote. Media sites will then be able to include the link as a part of the quote, because afterall its news right (wink wink)!!!!

This would then facilitate the people _out there_ to throw a buck at the good guy as a impulse purchase to show gratitude. It need some refinement, but I think it provides portals an opportunity to provide a political opportunity to their communities, without looking too overtly political in the process."

No more Portable Monopoly. Dr.Jones writes "...well, not really. It seems Portable Monopoly is being forced to give up their web address 'Due to legal issues with Hasbro over the usage of the word "monopoly"'. Fortunately, they will have a new site up next week (Triton Labs), and they're still on target to ship the lighting kit next month. Seems like a bit of a stretch on Hasbro's part though."

Not as much of a stretch maybe as Parker Brothers claiming the word clue.com.;)

Do cows wake up and smell the Rosen? prostoalex writes: "Newsfactor has a story on Hillary Rosen expressing dissatisfaction with Gateway's ad campaign. Who would have thought?"

... and routing around it. With a nice detailed followup to a recent Ask Slashdot post, Dr. Zowie writes: "For those who want to use alternative DNS roots but are stuck behind port-80 proxies, a simple solution may exist, thanks to several folks who wrote in to suggest it. Section 5 of RFC 2068 gently deprecates using relative URI's in HTTP requests, and in fact most web clients generate absolute URI's even though relative URI's are allowed by the standard. My ISP's not-quite-transparent proxy directs outbound port 80 packets correctly if (and only if) there's a relative URI in the request. A little 10-line local proxy that munges absolute URI's into relative URI's before emitting them to the ISP seems to solve the problem for now: I can retrieve all the nice goodies that most of you can't at www.dev.null, , www.computer.geek, and paradox.null.

Oh, and if you live near the Colorado front range and aren't a purist about routing, Peak to Peak is a pretty good outfit for dialup and DSL service. Their tech support is extremely accessible and quite good (though our views differ on the correctness of payload-switched routing)."

Update: 04/12 06:41 GMT by T : Richard Sexton writes: "While it's great to see your continued coverage of Open Roots can I just put in a quick plug for ORSC? We're older and have way more tlds.

The coordination amongst Open Roots takes place at IRON; for lack of a better term, it's the Open IANA."

Kissing and making nice. panker writes "Sun had previously given JavaRanch a cease and desist order because of a trademark issue. Sun is now backing down and being friends. Slashdot covered the first half of this issue earlier."

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

Slashback: Favoritism, Alternacy, Moo

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... could claim ownership over the word 'monopoly.'
    • Only a monopoly could claim ownership over the word 'monopoly.
      There's another article about Hasbro's questionable titles at The Onion. It's entitled "Federal Judge Rules Parker Brothers Holds Monopoly Monopoly." [htp]

      My favorite part:

      Speaking outside his green plastic Atlantic City office building, lead prosecutor Milton Bradley told reporters: "These Monopoly monopolists have been allowed to park free for way too long, and it's high time they went directly to jail. We're talking about a company so dominant, it has leveraged its board-game success into a multi-tentacled goliath with holdings in railroads, real estate, electric utilities, and water works."
      • Oops, here's the working link [theonion.com] to The Onion's article about the Monopoly monopoly. :-) And another quote:
        Prosecutors also accused Parker Brothers officials of money-laundering, both in offshore accounts and so-called "under the board" money. Parker Brothers attorneys argued that the extra funds were due to a bank error in the company's favor, but prosecutors cited tax forms showing that the company opted to pay a flat income tax, per Atlantic City law, rather than have 10 percent of its gross worth calculated. Receipts for a luxurious diamond ring taxed at $75, presented late in the prosecution phase, proved similarly damaging to the defense.
  • by xkenny13 ( 309849 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:05PM (#3326714) Homepage
    No more Portable Monopoly. Dr.Jones writes "...well, not really. It seems Portable Monopoly is being forced to give up their web address 'Due to legal issues with Hasbro over the usage of the word "monopoly"'.

    Soooo ... Hasbro has a monopoly on the word Monopoly?

  • by xiphmont ( 80732 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:08PM (#3326729) Homepage
    Lest we not forget that plugging is divine:

    theKompany [thekompany.com] released their Ogg player for the Zaurus [thekompany.com] today. Oh, right, and it plays those legacy mp3s too ;-)

    Another reason to get a Zaurus!

    Monty
    xiph.org

  • Hasbro. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by czardonic ( 526710 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:10PM (#3326739) Homepage
    Due to legal issues with Hasbro over the usage of the word "monopoly"

    In a "free" country, the only legal issue would be the punitive damages Hasbro had to pay for trying to intimidate someone from using a word that they clearly have no reasonable claim over.

    Unless, that is, Hasbro invented the word. But either way, I guess that doesn't apply around here.
    • Due to legal issues with Hasbro over the usage of the word "monopoly"

      << In a "free" country, the only legal issue would be the punitive damages Hasbro had to pay for trying to intimidate someone from using a word that they clearly have no reasonable claim over. >&gt

      True ... however, "legal issues" means they're not interested in entering into litigation, which can be costly and time consuming, and has the danger of said punitive damages.

      Hence, we're in a "free country" ... but they still have to deal with the legal issues. One side simply has bigger lawyers.

      << Unless, that is, Hasbro invented the word. But either way, I guess that doesn't apply around here. >>

      They didn't ... "Parker Brothers" might have, though. :-)

      • Threatening with a lawsuit without intent of actually filing said lawsuit to make someone do something is against the law. It's called 'barratry' and is similar to extortion, but without the criminal side.

        Maybe now's a good time for a countersuit in the name of defamation and barratry. The Cease and Desist letter alledged(sp?) that they were infringing on the copyright. They didn't get what they want, but now they aren't gonna sue over it? Stupid corporation.
        • Re:Hasbro. (Score:2, Informative)

          by Steve Hamlin ( 29353 )

          Your description about barratry is correct, however, it does not even come close to applying in this case.

          Hasbro has a trademark on the term "Monopoly" as used in connection with toys and games. They have the legal right to prevent anyone else from using that term (through C&D letters, and if persuasion doesn't work, then litigation).

          While they can't prevent someone from using "Monopoly" if it is outside of the toy & game field, I certainly think that a Game Boy Advance would fall within the protected area.

  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:11PM (#3326743) Homepage
    What? No mention of PC-EPhone? [pc-ephone.com] This is what I'm holding out for!
  • by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:17PM (#3326768)
    The Gateway commercial is fun, but their Web site is nothing but a gateway to misinformation," Rosen said.


    Do you have any idea how stupid you sound given the blatant fact biasing found in every single RIAA report?

    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it?" RIAA president and CEO Hilary Rosen asked rhetorically.


    No, nor if you gave a few million dollars to the underground artists, that wouldn't improve the quality of music available for sale would it?

    • by Raetsel ( 34442 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:48PM (#3326896)

      Point... but I like THIS better:
      • "The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has charged that a Gateway (NYSE: GTW) advertising campaign that declares support for digital music downloads uses "misleading scare tactics" to frighten consumers into buying more of the company's products."

        (My emphasis, of course.)

      This from a consortium almost as good at scare tactics as Microsoft! (Meaning when they're convincing congress they need 'protecting' -- tariffs on blank media, copyright extensions, etc...) Oh well. I guess they know 'em when they see 'em.

    • Isn't it interesting that an industry that makes its money screwing talented people over, raping their artistry for every shred of marketable value and willfully manipulates our culture to further those ends (What, you think the Back Street Boys got where they are on talent?) sees nothing wrong with bitching about another industry making money at their expense?
  • by Phigs ( 528913 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:19PM (#3326779)
    more important issues like global warming and ending "greed"
    I think he mis-read the e-mail, it was supposed to be ending Creed. I've had enough whinny music to last a lifetime.
    • I've had enough whinny music to last a lifetime.

      Now, now...if they want to canter^H^H^H^Hter to the horse market, that's their business.

  • Portable Monopoly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cdf12345 ( 412812 )
    No more Portable Monopoly. Dr.Jones writes "...well, not really. It seems Portable Monopoly is being forced to give up their web address 'Due to legal issues with Hasbro over the usage of the word "monopoly"'. Fortunately, they will have a new site up next week (Triton Labs), and they're still on target to ship the lighting kit next month. Seems like a bit of a stretch on Hasbro's part though."

    Forced to give up their website? From the news on the site, I would guess that the URL is being changed simply to avoid hassle and pricy legal bills that are necessary to fight this out in court. When will companies realise that going after companies and websites with similar words to their products does nothing but anger techies and bring them a lot of hostile PR.

    I would think Portable Monopoly would win in court in this one, it was not registered in bad faith, it has a legit function, and is not confusing to hasbro.com

    I suppose hasbro will argue that they have a portable version of their monopoly game.
  • by dJCL ( 183345 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:20PM (#3326782) Homepage
    "If Gateway truly believed that illegal copying hurts all artists and labels who make the music we enjoy, they'd be working with us to find a solution to the piracy problem," Rosen added"


    This pretty well states it all.

    • Blockquoth the poster:

      they'd be working with us

      First of all, if the RIAA was interested in "working with" digital manufacturers, they wouldn't be pushing legislation that dictates to those manufacturers.


      Secondly, how arrogant is it to assume that the only solution is going to come from the RIAA. Maybe they're entirely off the wall and working with them would be counterproductive. Maybe they misunderstand the issue so thoroughly, so disingenuously, and so deliberately, as to render them more part of the problem than of the solution.


      Maybe it's time the RIAA and MPAA face what, ultimately, is their greatest dread of the digital revolution: We don't need them anymore. Maybe we never did. Maybe this "problem" will be solved without them.

    • "If Gateway truly believed that illegal copying hurts all artists and labels who make the music we enjoy, they'd be working with us to find a solution to the piracy problem," Rosen added"

      there is no reason Gateway should feel compelled to worry about the RIAA's interests, especially when doing so would decrease their profits.

      Gateways advertising campaign, is not in support of the Napster's, Kazaa's etc of the world, it's trying to show how poor a bill the CDBTPA is...if the RIAA wants to protect material they should be responsible for it themselves, not at the expense of hardware manufacturers...

      you have to expect them to fight copying somehow though, they just wont stand pat on this subject, the big question is:

      can they come up with a anti-copying technology which also allows for fair use (ie. backup copies, loadable to a mp3 player, etc)... if they can do it, it would be the first isssue i agree with the RIAA on, because if it's possible they do deserve at least that much
    • And it's a damn shame Gutenburg didn't work with the Church to BURN HIS PRESS TO THE GROUND.
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:22PM (#3326790) Homepage
    http://www.antimonopoly.com/
    http://www.psmonopoly.com/
    http://space.monopoly.iwarp.com/
    http://www.monopolyinc.com/
    http://www.themonopolystore.com/ (not affiliated with Hasbro)
    http://www.newmonopoly.com/
    http://www.monopoly-builders.com/ (must be one of MS's consulting firms)
    • http://www.themonopolystore.com/

      I'm surprised this URL doesn't point to the White House. After all, they're the ones in the business of selling monopolies.
    • Were any of them ever using graphics similar to Hasbro/Parker Brothers' game? (I haven't seen them, but other posters claim that the portablemonopoly.com site used to have such graphics.) I'm usually against anyone being able to claim a single english word or a common phrase as a trademark, but in this case it seems reasonable:

      1) Portable Monopoly is in the game business (add-ons to GameBoy), so they are competing for consumer dollars with Hasbro.

      2) The first thing I thought of when I read "Portable Monopoly" was the board game.

      3) Although "Portable Monopoly" has a reasonable derivation unrelated to Hasbro's trademark, if the web site designers used graphics reminiscent of the board game, there's proof that they had noticed the resemblance...
  • by zama ( 244613 )
    I read "Moo" and my first thought was "Yes! News on Master of Orion!" instead of cows... You should know better than to bandy that word around Timothy.

  • Sharp Zaurus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hyyx ( 447405 ) <<cky> <at> <snpp.com>> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:30PM (#3326825) Homepage
    I would think that that this has been said before, but just in case... From the article [pcmag.com]:

    • Requires: 64MB RAM; 30MB free hard drive space; Microsoft Windows 98, 98SE, 2000 Professional, Me, NT 4.0 SP6, or XP
    So they managed to get it working with practicallly every version of Windows, but they haven't even got anything to work with Linux, which it runs?[!] That's pretty absurd.
    • Re:Sharp Zaurus (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Arrgh ( 9406 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:48PM (#3326899) Homepage Journal
      It does in fact work with Linux [ruault.com], It's just not officially documented or supported. Mac users are in the same boat for now, if not worse off--anyone know whether ethernet-over-USB is supported in Darwin/OSX?

      I'm typing this post on my 802.11b-equipped Zaurus btw... The keyboard isn't so bad--easily 2x faster than Graffiti.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    "The Gateway commercial is fun, but their Web site is nothing but a gateway to misinformation," Rosen said.

    Wait... I thought the RIAA website was the gateway to misinformation. I mean, they were the ones that tried to claim that making backup copies of CDs you have purchased was illegal, and they were just being really nice by not prosecuting you for it... I'm so confused.
  • Political Action (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:39PM (#3326862) Journal
    Michael Moore [michaelmoore.com] in his book, Stupid White Men [radiofreenation.net], points out in Chapter One (page 27) that
    [...] in most counties the local Democratic party is run by just a few people, 'cause most people would never think of showing up. Go to the next county or town Party Meeting, and bring ten friends. In most cases, your bunch will constitute a majority. Use the rules and state party by-laws (which can often be found on the Web) and seize control.

    [...]

    The one think you should definitely run for is precint delegate. Every precint in America elects delegates from each party. It may be the lowliest office, but it is the foundation on which the whole house of cards is built. Selected delgates attend the national party conventions to nominate the presidential candiidates. You should be among them.

    And so it should be relatively easy to make an impact on the political parties if you dare to get involved.

    But it would take more dedication then the usual chit chart you see in online forums, etc.

    • Re:Political Action (Score:3, Informative)

      by YeOldeGnurd ( 14524 )
      There was a glowing example of this in Massachusetts a month or two ago. Robert Reich (many people will remember him as an outspoken Liberal Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration) decided to run for governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. He had no friends in the state party having said something a few years ago (not quite a direct quote) "The Democratic party is as dead as a doornail". This disconnect with the party insiders caused most people to claim his candidacy dead on arrival. A candidate needs 15% of the party convention delegates in order for his or her name to appear on the primary ballot.

      Anyway, he entered the race after 5 other Democratic candidates, only a few weeks before the state caucuses. The entire focus of his campaign on day one was to urge activists (not party activists, any old activists) to spend a Saturday at their local caucus. Voila, people who had never been to these things suddenly found themselves selected as delegates to the state convention. It looks like Reich will have no problem getting enough delegates to be on the ballot.
    • It would be fun for Republicans to show up at the Party Meeting, exercise the Rules and By-Laws, and "seize control" of the local Democratic machine.
    • A couple of years ago, some students tried the same tactic. Germany's third- or fourth-largest party, the Free Democrats (basically a business-friendly, semi-quasi-libertarian party) have only a very small membership, but have a lot more "punch" than their size would otherwise allow, because the two big parties (the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) rarely are able to get a majority on their own.

      So some students in effect overwhelmed the Berlin office of the FDP by joining it en masse. The FDP, though, actually welcomed it (what *else* could they do) and interestingly chose to start to work with the students, and now they have been in effect absorbed into the party with little effect other than to cheer up the FDP. (Which is not really a bad thing anyway. The two big parties are full of idiots, especially the Christian Democrats.) Some of the students stayed and were assimilated, many lost interest and left, but in the end it had little real effect.

      For that matter, I also ran as a delegate in the Democratic caucus in Minnesota in 1996 (I was a Tsongas guy, if you remember him). I easily got elected because, as you say, there was hardly anyone at the caucus in my district (and those that were there were all loony-left types worshipping Tom Harkin and/or Jerry Brown). But once I got to the district level, I was simply outnumbered by the usual party hacks and had little to do other than watch them elect the delegates they always elect. So again, in the end it really doesn't seem to make a difference long-term. (Sad to say.)

      Cheers,

      Ethelred [grantham.de]

    • I wouldn't try this sort of thing around Chicago. The Scientologists do not have a monopoly on "Dead Agenting".

      I've seen many of the following tactics in action myself:

      CHICAGO RULES OF ELECTION FRAUD
      HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION

      VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN: Our election get-out-the-vote effort was pioneered by Mayor Richard Daley in 1960 when he stole the election from Richard Nixon.

      1. CEMETARY VOTERS: Read the obituaries every day. One must keep track of everyone who dies, so that they can be registered in the appropriate cemetary precinct. We have voters in the Mt. Olive Cemetary who have been voting for 100 years. Relatives will often assist as keeping the dead voter on the rolls also keep the Social Security checks coming in. If you know of someone who used to live in Chicago and who died, they are still eligible to vote.
      2. HOMELESS VOTERS: Register the homeless at the Cook County Courthouse instead of General Delivery. All they have to do is hang out at the courthouse one day a year to claim residency. Then round them up and give them free cigarettes to vote. We used to give them bottles of wine, but they couldn't remember to vote our way.
      3. NURSING HOME VOTERS: Early (or absentee) voting has greatly expanded our capabilities of increasing the turnout. Take bags full of early ballots to nursing homes, and get everyone in the home to vote...especially the Alzheimer's cases.
      4. COLLEGE STUDENTS: College kids like to screw the system, and they'll vote more than once just for the sheer pleasure of it, especially kids at Catholic universities.
      5. Voters who have moved often can vote in the precinct where they used to live, and then in their new precinct. They will not be on the rolls in the new precinct, so they'll vote a "Questioned Ballot". Not to worry.When the ballot is questioned after the election, we will have our political hacks permit the votes to be counted.
      6. VOTERS PASSING THROUGH O'HARE: Many votes can be obtained bysoliciting voter registration at our airports. They are legally residents of Chicago, at least for a few minutes.
      7. MOTOR VOTERS: Take license plate numbers of out-of-state cars passing through on the freeways, run them through DMV to get their addresses, and automatically reguister them in Chicago. Then vote them. They won't know, since they actually live in Wyoming.
      8. ILLEGAL ALIENS: Some of our most reliable voters are the thousands of illegal aliens we have in the city. In exchange for not telling INS where they live or work, one can get a solid block of votes.
      9. NEWBORNS: Our children are more and more precocious, so we register them at birth. Maternity wards are some of our best precincts.
      10. RECOUNT THE VOTES: In the unlikely event our candidates don't win the first count, then demand a recount. Fill the recount room with loyal supporters, and tow away the cars belonging to the enemy. If you can't win a recount, then you arenot a Chicago Democrat.
      http://www.bandersnatch.com/chicago2.htm [bandersnatch.com]
  • Why aren't they suing over the "Portable Monopoly" thing, too? Thought they were constantly threatening to move their operations out of the US.

    ~D
  • Rosen's full quote (Score:4, Informative)

    by FreeMath ( 230584 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:46PM (#3326890) Homepage Journal
    "The Gateway commercial is fun, but their website is nothing but a gateway to misinformation. No one has proposed anything that would 'prevent all digital copying.' If Gateway truly believed that illegal copying hurts all artists and labels who make the music we enjoy, they wouldn't be relying on these misleading scare tactics -- they'd be working with us to find a solution to the piracy problem. If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading...but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it?"
    • Thing is, Gateway's Web site has links to a site [emusic.com] that promotes legal downloading and burning, without a trace of DRM. The Elwood track is also properly licensed for burning. Gateway's not offering Gnutella and saying "Go nuts!"

      Seems to me that there are perfectly good solutions to illegal downloading that the RIAA is completely oblivious to.
      • Seems to me that there are perfectly good solutions to illegal downloading that the RIAA is completely oblivious to.

        Oblivious to? No, more like hoping they'll wither away and quit competing with the half-assed and over-priced download sites that the RIAA directly controls and profits from before Congress realizes which direction the political breeze is going and forces them to license their music libraries to anyone for a reasonable (i.e. not set by the RIAA but 'YIKES!' Congress) fee.

    • "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it?"

      If the RIAA would devote just a little bit of that money they use to fill thier jacuzzi's with hundred dollar bills to help stamp out Gateway's rivals.. sigh, but that wouldn't help them exploit more artists, would it?
  • GeekPAC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @07:46PM (#3326891) Homepage Journal
    Support the option of open source and/or free software technology development business models as a viable alternative to the close source business model.

    What the hell does that have to do with Congress? Are they now in the business of deciding what business models are viable or not? Does someone really think that some Senator from Podunk can wave a magic wand the laws of economics will change?
    • Re:GeekPAC (Score:3, Interesting)

      by John Hasler ( 414242 )
      "What the hell does that have to do with Congress? Are they now in the business of deciding what business models are viable or not?"

      Yes. They've been in that business for more than a century, and they are getting deeper into it every day. They call it 'regulation'.
    • Re:GeekPAC (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, but occassionally things like the Holling's Bill come up that pose a danger to open-source. And this PAC fights against them.
  • wtf (Score:2, Insightful)

    Last time I checked, PortableMonopoly.com had nothing to do with board games or anything remotely related to the Monopoly trademark. Also, at last glance, "monopoly" was a common English word. How the hell can Hasbro enforce this? Is the trademark on the word "Monopoly" any more legit than the trademark on the word Windows? And if so, does it justify this strong-arm action outside of the realm of board games?

    Bleh
  • Responsiblity? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tranvisor ( 250175 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @08:11PM (#3327004) Homepage
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it?"

    Said by Hilary Rosen.

    How is it Gateway's responsiblity to spend actual money to police that? Somehow I don't see Gateway having Morpheous-type software preinstalled on its systems. A computer company sells a computer to its users and provides support for the software it provides with the computer, thats it. No more. Do you actually expect Gateway, Dell, HP or any other OEM to limit its user's options? Its called capitialism Hilary, it means that people sell things to make money. If somebody uses some product you sell for an illegal use, its not your problem. Its the Polices' problem.

    While we are at it, lets sue the gun industry for making things that kill people. Lets sue the beer industry for drunk drivers. Lets sue the auto industry for making 2000 lb. objects that hit people walking on the sidewalk every once and a while. Etc Etc Etc

    Its the users responsibility to police themselves, you break the law, you go to jail, not the person who sold you the computer.
    • Do you actually expect Gateway, Dell, HP or any other OEM to limit its user's options?

      You've never tried to install hardware in a Compaq, have you? ;)
      Otherwise, I agree with you. :)

    • Re:Responsiblity? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by willfe ( 6537 )
      Hey, let's also sue the tobacco companies for causing cancer :)

      /me ducks

      Sorry, Tranvisor, I'm in full agreement with the letter and the spirit of your post. Just had to point out that sadly, our government is leaning towards that very position -- we punish the toolmakers for the bad things that come from them instead of punishing those who use the tools for bad things.

      Dammit, now I'm depressed.

      • Hey, let's also sue the tobacco companies for causing cancer :) How about instead we sue them for a century of attempting to mislead the public about the addictiveness and health risks of their product.

        Even though tobacco, unlike guns, cars, and chainsaws, has _no_ safe uses, I agree that the smokers have the primary responsibility for their lung cancers, etc. And in fact, I don't think I have ever heard of a jury awarding damages to a smoker solely on the basis that the smokes caused their cancer, heart disease, emphysema, or whatever. IIRC, the first time the tobacco companies lost a jury case, the plaintiff was a non-smoker with lung cancer who had worked her whole life in smoke-filled rooms. Now plenty of evidence has come out about tobacco companies burying reports of the harmfulness of their products, but I'm not sure if any trial based on that has gone to a jury verdict, or if the tobacco companies have settled every time...

        On the other hand, gun companies offer gun safety courses (or at least tell you how to find the NRA, whose training is as good as you can get), include pamphlets with safety tips such as "Never point the gun at yourself or anyone else", and in general do everything they can to encourage safe use of their product. Tobacco companies are in a bit of a bind there -- the only accurate and complete statement they could make about cigarette safety is "don't light it, don't eat it, and don't let the kids get it."

        So Gateway is selling equipment that has both legal and illegal uses -- and they are running ads to educate their customers to know the difference. Sounds like they've pretty well covered their arse.
    • better yey, Lets sue the music industry for people who go deaf listening to load music.
      I have yet to see a warning sticker.
  • There's nothing scarier than seeing that cow and that truck driver singing that song. I nearly shitted in my pants. Thanks a lot, Gateway! At least the RIAA is out there to protect us.
  • I got a lot of nutty emails about how I should be working on more important issues like global warming and ending "greed" (can you believe that one??? how the hell can we do that.)

    Screw greed. You should be working for peace on Earth and good will toward
    men. Or maybe a better mousetrap.

    -
    • You should be working for peace on Earth and good will toward men.

      We are the United States Government! We don't do that sort of thing.

      [...grumble, grumble, grumble...]

      All right -- I'll see what I can do.
  • Whip it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai.gmail@com> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @08:33PM (#3327085) Homepage
    (Sung by a man driving a truck, accompanied by a cow in the passenger seat...)

    The RIAA has you down?
    You must whip it
    When Mr. Rosen comes to town
    You must whip it
    When they manipulate the facts
    You must whip it
    They lobby regulate and tax
    You must whip it

    Here's a box
    For cheap
    Good speakers
    Free blanks
    Mister Rosen
    You can shove
    Senator Hollings
    Up your ass!
    We whip ya!
    We whip ya good!

    (Am I the only one here who believes that Gateway is giving the RIAA exactly what they deserve?)
  • The Recording Industry Association of America Latest News about Recording Industry Association of America Recording Industry Association of America Web Site (RIAA) has charged that a Gateway (NYSE: GTW) Latest News about Gateway Gateway Inc Web Site advertising campaign that declares support for digital music downloads uses "misleading scare tactics"

    Well if that isn't the most hypocritcal thing i've heard all week, I'll suck my toe.
  • Mossberg Must Die (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @08:46PM (#3327120) Homepage Journal
    This typifies the reason I have no time for Mossberg's columns. He makes a fetish of being technically illiterate. This supposedly allows him to critique technology from the end-user's POV. But what it really does is make him incapable saying anything really useful.

    It's like you're revising "Cooking for Dummies." The right person to do that is a good cook who knows how to talk to bad cooks. But by Mossberg's logic, you should hire somebody who can't cook and who doesn't want to learn. Then you end up with a manual on microwave and can-opener operation, padded out with complaints that fresh ingredients are overrated commodities.

    Perhaps Mossberg's sync issues really do represent some design flaw in the Zaurus. But we'll never know for sure. All we have from Walter is the silly assertion that Sharp "doesn't care about synchronization". Not likely, but I guess it's the best explanation he could come up with, given his resources.

  • Hasbro would win if this went to court for two good reasons.

    First of all, there is a Game Boy version of their board game, a "portable Monopoly" if you will. This shows that the word Monopoly as it applies to their trademark has already been introduced into this particular industry and confusion is both possible and likely.

    Secondly, during part of their "we've invented this great thing that's ready to go but we aren't releasing it for several months for no apparent reason" phase, the Portable Monopoly website used the same mint green color as Monopoly boards and the Rich Uncle Pennybags character. While it was intended as a joke, it was obviously a reference to Hasbro's Monopoly even though their product had nothing to do with it.

    Either of these facts would defeat Portable Monopoly's "good faith" claim in court.
  • While Rosen contends that digital piracy caused a 10 percent decline in record sales during 2001, the Yankee Group's Jones said he believes other factors could at least partially account for that figure.

    "Certainly, digital media has hurt the record industry, there's no doubt about that. But who knows whether it was the economy, the fact that they weren't putting out hit records, or whether it really was digital downloads," Jones said.


    Sounds like the RIAA is trying to use the same type of login the pro-Napster folks were using (when Napster was up and running, record sales were up, so Napster was good for the industry). Neither arguments are very good, since so many factors influence the way people buy music. Correlation != Causation.
  • by R3 ( 15929 )
    I believe Mr.Mossberg is not correct stating that BlackBerry 5810 will work in Europe.
    Check out the product matrix chart on RIM's web site:

    http://www.rim.net/products/handhelds/specificatio ns/index.shtml
  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @09:56PM (#3327381) Journal
    It's nice that you said that Dr. Zowie's using a 10-line proxy to be able to use alternate routes, but what's its name, where do we get it, and/or what's the source code? Thanks!
  • Well, first, I'd buy one just for the sheer curiosity of it, but I don't have $500 to spare on a PDA.

    That said, I think it's a pretty interesting gadget. I was playing with one in my local Best Buy (Hyannis, MA) today and had to say that even though I didn't get to fiddle with the keyboard it was pretty impressive. Handwriting recognition is Graffiti-like but cleaner, and the screen quality is amazingly good. A hard reboot was done mostly for amusement, but since I couldn't find a terminal, no dmesg after boot time. The salesperson told me they'd found quite a large number of games on there, and I was pretty impressed with the Snake game it came with.

    The only downside is that it's a bit on the large side, somewhat larger than an iPaq but quite a bit smaller than a Newton. I think it says a lot in Sharp's favor two; it's a trip upmarket for them into the realm of "better-quality electronics". If they pull the Linux Zaurus off, I think they get to move up into the same territory as TI, HP, Compaq, and Palm for Good Shit (tm).

    I do think that it might be wise to streamline the next version, though, and possibly make the keyboard optional. It doesn't seem like it would fit in most pockets, and I'm not about to go looking for a holster for it if I ever decide I want one.

    /Brian
  • Next time you use that phrase, you'd better damned site have this link [mossberg.com], or this link [mossberg.com] included. And for those of you wondering what to buy me for Christmas, go to the second link, and scroll down to the home security 410.

    BTW, I don't see anything here with double barrels, unless you count this [mossberg.com]. Hmm... Wonder how that works.

    • Insufficient stopping power in the .410; you're better off with a 12 gauge and triple-ought buck (use 2 3/4" shells, not 3" magnums).

      Personally, a Smith and Wesson 'Mountain Revolver' in .44 Magnum (loaded with .44 Special Silvertips) would be my choice, but I have relatively large hands and am a very experienced shooter. The bore size on that alone should be enough to make anyone rethink fucking with me.
      • Insufficient stopping power in the .410; you're better off with a 12 gauge and triple-ought buck (use 2 3/4" shells, not 3" magnums).

        Actually, for home defense, a large bird-shot shell is quite effective. Ranges are very short inside your house, and bird-shot is less likely than 000-buck to pass completely through walls. The .410 offers a lightweight long-gun with less noise and lower recoil. Follow the same tactics as a .22: Two in the chest, then one in the head. Plus, .410 handguns are available that chamber .45 Long Colt as well.
        • Ideally, I'd like the scenario to be, "One to center of mass, end of engagement".

          actually I'd like to not have to drop the hammer at all, and the sound of a shotgun slide being racked is more terrifying than a large bore handgun.

          I agree about birdshot, but I'm kinda paranoid: if I have to pull the trigger, I want no doubt about what happens.
      • I'd rather have the buckshot. Less likely to go through walls and injure family. The .44 Magnum will go through at least one wall if called into use.

  • by mttlg ( 174815 ) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @10:50PM (#3327616) Homepage Journal
    Ok, Gateway does this:

    The commercial offers a free "Sundown" MP3 download on the company's Web site and urges viewers to burn it onto a CD or load it into an MP3 player.

    And Hilary Rosen says this:

    The Gateway commercial is fun, but their Web site is nothing but a gateway to misinformation,

    Now, I'm just a well-educated engineer, but to me, it would seem that Gateway's web site is a gateway to legally downloadable free music. What illogic does it take to see otherwise? Rosen continues:

    No one has proposed anything that would 'prevent all digital copying.'

    No, just all digital copying not specifically blessed by Ms. Rosen/Fritz Hollings/etc. Some people don't like the idea of being told that they can't copy music they created or others have made freely available.

    If Gateway truly believed that illegal copying hurts all artists and labels who make the music we enjoy, they'd be working with us to find a solution to the piracy problem,

    Well, either they don't believe that illegal copying hurts the music industry, or they see their efforts to promote music that can be distributed freely as a solution to the "piracy problem," making restricted works less appealing for download (and less likely to be purchased). The "my way or the highway" attitude isn't very polite.

    the RIAA has energized its campaign in Congress with a letter to the House Judiciary Committee requesting that legislators further address widespread digital piracy.

    Ok, one letter in favor of the Hollings bill, thousands and thousands opposed. That'll win 'em over...

    The letter claims piracy has caused "serious damage to those who make and market music."

    Right, and the solution is to cause serious damage to those who make and market music without giving over control to the RIAA. Does the RIAA expect us to believe that the RIAA is the only source of music in the world? Or that nobody in the entire world WANTS their music distributed freely? Does anyone even still believe that the issue is piracy and not control over the music industry? Can Ms. Rosen make it any more obvious?

    After some intelligent comments, Yankee Group media and entertainment analyst Ryan Jones produced this gem:

    Certainly, digital media has hurt the record industry, there's no doubt about that.

    Yup, no doubt that digital media is bad for the record industry, those DIGITAL CDs aren't generating any revenue, and nobody would buy a CD when they can hunt around online for songs of questionable quality. And VCRs have killed the movie industry, the internet has killed the publishing industry, etc. Damn technology, why can't you be profitable!

    But who knows whether it was the economy, the fact that they weren't putting out hit records, or whether it really was digital downloads," Jones said.

    Wow, ya think the lack of hit records and a downswinging economy could hurt record sales? No, couldn't be, people always put crappy music ahead of food and utilities...

    • . . . support for digital music downloads uses "misleading scare tactics" . . .

      Ah, Ms. Rosen, you mean the same kind of scare tactics that you're using to paint everyone in favor of fair use as pirates? Not fun having your only weapon turned against you, is it?

      This is not to say that some people aren't abusing the fair use policies.

      If there was no RIAA, would musicians still get paid? If there was no RIAA, would musicians get paid for their talents instead? If there was no RIAA, would Britney Spears be a pop star or a porn star?

      If there was no RIAA, would there still be music?

      I love live Jazz, and will drop a Jackson in the jar before I leave. That's a CD. Straight to the artist(s). Sure, maybe not everyone is as generous, but the RIAA gets nothing. Sometimes the band will have a CD they put together themselves, no label, no contracts, just some time in a studio and some CD presses. They usually go for about $10. Sometimes I buy one. Sometimes I don't. Dunno how much a small run costs per disc, but it's got to be way more than a billion run of 'NCrap. That's the first reason we hate you, Rosen. Everything else is just gravy. And you're doing your best to drown us in gravy.

      I'm not buying new discs just to spite you now. I've got plenty of music to listen to already. I can live without most music, and what I can't, I can borrow from my deluded disc-buying friends who still believe your crap. Of course, they're not calling me anymore, because I always deluge them with this same information.

      But my father hates your tactics now as well. You and your copy-protected "CDs" that won't play on his Mac. He's never bought one, but he knows your kind of game, and he just stopped playing.

      I can't be the only one who feels like this. Maybe we need the Infect Truth people to run ads about the dangers of RIAA along with the dangers of cigarettes.

      Oh, and I applaud Gateway for beating Michael Dell to the punch to emulate Apple.

    • Ok, one letter in favor of the Hollings bill, thousands and thousands opposed. That'll win 'em over...

      Unfortunately, that's one letter from companies that not only hand out millions in campaign contributions, but also control the media and tell the sheeple what to think...
    • Some people don't like the idea of being told that they can't copy music they created or others have made freely available.

      "They created"? Eventually, it'll become impossible to write new songs. United States courts have defined copyright infringement on a musical work as the use of a "substantially similar" melody of at least four consecutive notes [everything2.com] that are substantially similar to the melody of a copyrighted musical work. Given that there are only about 36,000 possible runs of four notes under a possible model of the "substantially similar" [google.com] standard (transpose melodies to start on middle C, fold rests into previous note, fold notes outside an 11-note range inward an octave, quantize durations to short/medium/long, last note is always long), I'm afraid that the day will come when composers will no longer be able to write new music [baen.com] without accidentally stepping on a copyright.

      Ok, one letter in favor of the Hollings bill, thousands and thousands opposed. That'll win 'em over...

      Make that ten million dollars in favor of the Hollings bill and ten thousand opposed.

  • In the couple of weeks since the original article, there's been lively discusion on the Opennic [opennic.net] mailing list about how to work through bad routing proxies. The problem to be solved is that HTTP proxies masquerading as routers can't easily access machines in alternative DNS domains.

    If you find yourself behind a shitpile^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hrouting HTTP proxy, the most straightforward solution is to install your own proxy that translates all requests to numeric-IP CONNECT requests. Then your proxy can talk via direct TCP connection to the original host.

    I mentioned a short hack I used to test some ideas, but a full-featured local proxy needs more than that. Squid is a good starting point and I plan to cruft together an appropriate mod to it soon.

  • I was on Peak to Peak for a while. I didn't care for their attitude.

    I was out of town at one point so I used their webmail. Then I discovered that it put an ad at the bottom of each outgoing message. This was webmail that came with a dial-up account. I don't see how this is any different than if they put an ad on all mail that goes out through their SMTP server. When I complained (graciously, I used to do phone support) the guy gave me attitude and told me . . . wait for it . . . that this was "the industry standard." I explained that I expected such a thing from a "free webmail" account, like yahoo mail or whatever, but not from something that it part of my dial up service. He replied that I was the only one who complained.

    That very day someone on the BLUG (Boulder LUG) was complaining/apologizing that he was posting to the list from his peakpeak webmail that includes SPAM at the bottom.

    So it wasn't that no one else was complaining, it was that they weren't listening.

    That's just an example. I understand that I am a "demanding" customer (mostly because I won't buy a line of bullshit and because I usually know what the problem is before the support drone does), but I have no complaints about my current ISP, Fairplay Communications [fpcc.net] (or the ISP I had previous to peakpeak, Blackhat Networking [blackhat.net] out of Austin, whom I can't say enough good about*). Oh, and for the same price FPCC give a shell and doesn't have an auto-disconnect (which is another "industry standard" "feature" of peakpeak). So it must not just be that I'm an a-hole who hates all ISPs.

    Anyway, contrary to what the article above says, peakpeak ain't so great.

    -Peter

    * While checking my links (I'm over-qualified to be a /. editor, I spell check and check my links :-P ) I discovered that blackhat seems to be off the 'net.
  • by Bnonn ( 553709 ) <bnonny@gmail.com> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:34PM (#3327762) Homepage Journal
    ...that there's an ad on the NewsFactor article about Rosen that says, "Upgrade from NT to Sun Cobalt...at a price only Microsoft could hate."

    I can imagine it now:

    NewsFactor technician: We're getting a hundred thousand clickthroughs from...64.28.67.150...erm...resolving...oh, it's Slashdot... Dear God we're being Slashdotted!!
    NewsFactor editor: Yes! My plan worked!! Quickly, put up the ads for Cobalt! Sun will pay us millions for all the hits!

    Humm?

  • Aaargh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GooseKirk ( 60689 ) <{goosekirk} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Friday April 12, 2002 @12:23AM (#3327925) Homepage
    On one hand, I'm very excited about this GeekPAC business - this is incredibly cool, and god bless 'em, and I'm absolutely in favor of it, and all that.

    But on the other, giving congressmonkeys monetary tips for doing what we want... that is just... icky. WTF, the system done got broke somewhere if this is the only way we can get our elected representatives to represent us. What a drag.
  • .null ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by einer ( 459199 )
    I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering this. How can I get .null et al domains to display on my web browser?

    Thanks.
  • now if Hasbro would be kind enough to sue Microsoft for making people think bad thoughts about the word "Monopoly", life would be consistent...
  • I have shown my Zaurus to everyone I can find. Without fail, no one has managed to find the keyboard. I don't show them until they hand it back to me. I then pop open the keyboard and hand it back. Without fail every one of them has said something along the lines of "Sweet!", "Oh, well, that makes all the difference", or my favorite literal one, "Now, see, that is key." :)

    There was also some discussion on the zaurus-general list that the "selector circle" could prove to be a killer difference between the Z and some of the other PDAs. When programmed properly, you can run your Z entirely from that circle with your thumb. Try that with a Palm. Blackberry has it close with the thumbwheel, but the selector circle can potentially give you two dimensional cursor, not just the back-and-forth of the wheel. I haven't seen any reviews really pick up on this fact yet (probably because the standard apps aren't programmed to 100% support it).


  • Not as much of a stretch maybe as Parker Brothers claiming the word clue.com.;)


    It was Hasbro that also tried to claim clue.com and ultimately wound up losing, not parker brothers. I know the owner of clue.com personally, and got to hear all about the multi-year legal battle.

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