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Does A Company Deserve the Same Privacy Rights As You? 379

An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an important case to determine whether or not AT&T deserves 'personal privacy' rights. The company claimed that the FCC should not be allowed to distribute (under a Freedom of Information Act request) data it had collected concerning possible fraud and overbilling related to the e-rate program. The FCC argued that the information should be made public and that companies had no individual right to 'personal privacy,' the way individuals do. As it stands right now, the appeals court found that companies like AT&T do deserve personal privacy rights, and now the Supreme Court will take up that question as well. Given the results of earlier 'corporation rights' cases, such as Citizens United, at some point you wonder if the Supreme Court will also give companies the right to vote directly."

Comment Re:All well and good, until... (Score 1) 431

Its 2010 and the fact you still have to explain to people how a digital connection works is getting old.

Yes, the data going through the USB may be digital, but as I have shown, the USB power, not data can cause interference.

For a vinyl ripper, the USB power has the ability to interfere with the audio while it's still analogue, before its conversion to digital prior to being sent over USB.

One would hope a vinyl ripper would use an external source of power and shield the USB well.

Comment Re:All well and good, until... (Score 1) 431

Uh, what? USB means that the ADC is outside the computer, which means that you get less possibility of EM noise from the electronics in the case interfering with the analogue signal.

In theory, maybe, but in practice I get noticeable EM noise from USB.

I have a USB-powered speaker (uses a normal 3.5 mm jack for audio) for my computer which also has an earphone port on the side, which is handy. It used to be part of a HP LCD monitor (L1740 if you must know), which had a USB port for plugging the speaker into for power. Why you would design the speakers to get their power off a monitor they were specially designed to be an accessory for with USB I do not know -- surely a normal DC plug would have done the job. But I digress.

Anyway, I no longer use that monitor, but kept the USB speakers. To power them, I now plug them directly into my desktop PC's USB port for the power. Now when I plug my earphones into the side of the speaker bar, there is a noticeable hum that is directly correlated with the CPU usage. Normally it's like "bzzt zzt zzt". But if I drag a window around or compile something, it goes like "BZZT THH ZZT THH ZZT TTH ZZT".quite loudly.

It does that with two separate motherboards with two separate PSUs. However, it does not do that if I plug the USB power into my Eee PC (laptop) instead.

So there you have it. USB does suffer from EM noise. If you have a solution, I'd like to know -- it drives me batty some days.


Submission + - Are work web blockers a waste of time? (

Barence writes: Are attempts to filter or block personal web access at work counterproductive for both employers and employees? Palo Alto Networks’ Franklyn Jones insists that “the very idea of trying to apply web filtering to control end users is misguided and ineffective,” not least because internet-savvy employees can easily circumvent them to get access to the applications and sites they want. A Palo Alto Networks survey of companies with multiple security technologies to control users and applications found "oethat unwanted applications, threats, and bandwidth consumption were widespread”. Kevin Harrington, a director at Sodexo Motivation Solutions, also warns that that companies run greater risks by blocking personal web access. "oePeople will find a way around it,” Harrington said. “Companies blocked Facebook, Vodafone promoted a free phone application and staff still got their Facebook messages – but were now beneath the radar.”

Comment Reading comprehension fail (Score 1) 442

If you're going to spend money why don't you just buy a damn SBS and use AD?

The GP did use AD. Re-read this quote from the GP, my friend:

This meant it had to be AD.

If that doesn't convince you, read this quote, then read up up on the description for the likewise-open package.

The first thing I tried was likewise-open which I had a number of problems with.

If the GP wasn't using AD, then what the heck were they doing using a tool that provides "authentication services for Active Directory domains"?

Comment Re:Why it was made big (Score 1) 267

But the truth is, sometimes you *have* to break the back button. Sometimes, you have to update portions of a page in order to keep it "fresh". Sadly, doing so breaks the back button.

A bit like how Gmail, Twitter, or many other sites don't use the document fragment identifier to do such a thing. Or a bit like how there's no such thing as history.pushState() to implement that (and because it doesn't exist, it doesn't work in Google Chrome, but if it did, it would work perfectly).

Yep, sometimes you have to break the back button.

Comment Re:The one real data model: XML (Score 1) 208

The issue isn't that it's not possible, the issue is that HTML5 seems to tend towards HTML markup over XML markup.

I don't get why that is an issue. If you want to write clean markup, write clean markup. And today's browsers are perfectly capable of handling all manner of weird and wonderful markup.

The only situation I can think of where lax HTML5 markup would cause you a problem is if you're deploying to a custom mobile device or custom-written browser for a specific deployment. But in that case, you'd likely have control over both the input and output, in which case what I said above -- just write damn clean markup -- still applies.

If I saw problems with my browser struggling to render all the HTML5 content out there, I'd agree with you. But the reality is that browsers are mature, and can deal with the markup out there. And those that are writing markup are testing. It's a cycle that is working in practice, not just theory.

Comment Re:The one real data model: XML (Score 5, Informative) 208

There is nothing stopping you from using well-formed XML in your HTML5, or serving your document as application/xhtml+xml (explicitly stated in the HTML5 spec). Serving HTML5 as proper XML is dubbed "XHTML 5". It uses the same doctype. All the new tags -- video, audio, section, header, etc. are supported, but obviously the lax markup features of HTML5 (like being able to omit most tags) no longer apply.


Happy Towel Day 122

An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."
Linux Business

Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source 74

As promised when the Humble Indie Bundle hit $1 million in donations the other day, indie developer Frictional Games has released Penumbra: Overture's source code. "The code for Penumbra: Overture is a continuation of the one used for the tech demo + some addition for the not so long lived Robo Hatch project. It also contains some code from Unbirth, giving it quite some history." The release also includes the HPL1 engine. "This is engine that has powered all of the Penumbra games and it even includes the stuff used to create the 2D platformer Energetic. The engine code was started in December 2004 and was actively developed until early 2008." The repositories are available at github.

Comment Mod parent up (Score 1) 572

That's a very encouraging statistic. To the GP: Jeff Rosen (one of the guys behind Wolfire) wrote an enlightening blog post ("Linux users contribute twice as much as Windows users") on the subject too.

You should definitely read more of the Wolfire Blog. One of my favourite posts is about their reasoning for why you should support Mac OS X and Linux.

Comment Re:But, for now.. (Score 1) 572

Mac OS X optionally includes a case-sensitive file-system, so as with OpenGL, once ported to OS X, it should be trivial to port that area to Linux.

That said, one of the Adobe CS versions crash when installing on a case-sensitive file system (find a link yourself -- I can't be bothered at this time of the morning), and Haiku won't build unless you build on a case-sensitive file system.

Classic Games (Games)

OpenTTD 1.0.0 Released 107

Gmer writes " reports that OpenTTD, the open source clone of the Microprose game Transport Tycoon Deluxe, has reached a milestone. OpenTTD 1.0.0 has been released 6 years after work started on the first version, with the help of hundreds of contributors and thousands of testers/players. Over 30 language translations are considered complete, and OpenTTD is available for *BSD, Linux, Solaris and Windows. OpenTTD is a business simulation game in which the player is in control of a transport company and can compete against rival companies to make as much profit as possible by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea or air."

Comment Re:The issue is metadata (Score 1) 158

Where did you get that number? The IETF slides say something like 0.07%.

I don't have that Google statistic, but I do know that Wikimedia run similar tests on Wikipedia. Here are the test results, updated daily. As of today, 2010-03-28, an AAAA breaks the request 0.39% of the time for Wikipedia users.

Those tests are done in the background to users at random by a snippet of JavaScript on Wikipedia articles.

This Google presentation says Google would lose 0.1% of traffic if they added AAAA, though it's not presented particularly prominently, so take that with a grain of salt.

Either way, adding AAAA's will break your website for some people. In my opinion, though, the number is so small it's not worth worrying about, but each to his own, I guess. All this pain will be over soon anyway. Hopefully.

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