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Submission + - Chile forbids carriers from selling network-locked (

An anonymous reader writes: As from today, network operators in Chile are no longer allowed to sell carrier-locked phones, and must unlock free of charge all devices already sold to costumers through a simple form on their respective websites. The new regulation came into effect in preparations for the rollout of Mobile Number Portability, set to begin on January 16th. This is one among other restrictions that forbid carriers to lock in the customers through "abusive clauses" in their contracts, one of which was through selling locked devices. Now if a customer wishes to change carriers he/she needs only to have the bills up to date and the process of porting the number should only take 24hrs.

Submission + - P2P Ruled as "Completely Neutral" in Spain (

Sir Mal Fet writes: In line with previous rulings discussed here, a judge in spain has ruled that P2P technologies are "completely neutral" (original in spanish ; Google translation ), thus dismissing a lawsuit originated in 2008 from the Spanish Association of Musical Producers (Promusicae), Warner, EMI, and Sony suing Pablo Soto, a spanish man who created the Blubster, MP2P y Piolet programs to share files. The labels demanded 13 million euros in damages arguing that the mere existence and distribution of P2P technologies violated copyright, but the ruling stated the technology itself was neutral, so the creator could not be held responsible for how the software was used, and demanded that they pay for legal expenses. Promusicae said it was going to appeal the ruling.

Comment Re:I have problems with this (Score 1) 1319

From what I've heard recently, the pilgrims went to the US not to escape religious persecution, but to enable it, they went to a land where they could be free to persecute the crap out of whoever they felt like in order to keep their societies pure.

And watching the latest political news they seem to have been widly successful with that goal :P


Submission + - VP of EU Comission Questions Current Copyright Law (

Sir Mal Fet writes: In an insightful blog post Neelie Kroes, vicepresident of the EU commission, doubts of the usefulness of current copyright laws. Her arguments include that copyright laws should create a framework for innovation, not protect business models, that artist are receiving little to no money for their work, and that new ideas "often are killed stone dead by rigid, pre-digital legislation". It's nice to see common sense in authorities, so let's hope this translates into real law proposals.

Submission + - NVIDIA Teases Android 4.0 on Tegra 3, Transformer (

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA continues to tease their Tegra 3 platform with the upcoming release of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) operating system and the Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet from Asus. The company has released a video of the two working together driven by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Reportedly, the video above was recorded on November 16, just two days after the source code for ICS was made publicly available. Even though it's only an early demo, you can already see Ice Cream Sandwich is looking solid, from silky smooth transitions to impeccable 1080p playback performance. There's even a quick look at fully optimized gaming that taps into all four cores of NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor."

Comment It's all about the Risk Free Asset (Score 1) 633

Actually, this is finance, not (pure) economics. What happens is the following: In the Capital Asset pricing model (CAPM) model, which is the most simple (and therefore widely used) method to value assets that have volatility, the risk-free asset is one of the key pillars. This asset is represented as a sure bet, and is the minimum return an investor is willing to have for a given amount invested. Then any other asset is simply a function of the risk free asset, the expected return, and the risk premium of the volatility.

If there were no US treasury bonds, this risk free asset would "disappear", so the whole method of valuation of assets would be impacted. Actually, this is a real problem right now in finance, since after the discussion of the US debt the question of whether the risk free asset should be the US treasury bond or other asset (for example, the German treasury bond was an option, or a "pool" of different treasury bonds) was starting to be discussed. Google it, there are several papers about it. So, yeah, actually eliminating the treasury bond would have a much deeper impact than it would appear at first glance.

Comment Re:One company (Score 1) 461

Many authors need editors in order to produce a worthwhile product. A few don't. Expect the average quality of writing to decline.

...Or expect a service of editor-for-hire to appear. If there are freelance writers created by this change, why not freelance editors? I'll be surprised if it doesn't exist already.

Comment Military operated, but was a civilian trip (Score 4, Informative) 95

To put this in a bit of context, Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Juan Fernandez is the official name) is very isolated and mostly inhabited by fishermen, and some scientific personnel. It was heavily struck by the tsunami after the earthquake last year, so the national state TV (TVN) conducted a series of short shows about the reconstruction of the island. The flight was carrying personnel to record a follow-up show.

This was a military operated flight, but only brought civilians (two well-known TV presenters, persons from the National Culture Council, camera men, producers, and people related with the TV network, a businessman and philanthropist which had a ONG regarding the reconstruction, and personnel of said ONG) to record the show, so to answer your question, no, probably there were no problems regarding the tracking of military operations.

So far the weather conditions plus the fact that the plane crashed at sea has caused that only few bodies have been found (4 confirmed out of 21), so the signal from the iPhone was an important lead to the victims' bodies whereabouts. It certainly beats the clairvoyants they are also using (seriously).

Comment Re:Interesting group of signers (Score 1) 363

About the insurance companies: from several years they have been developing techniques to improve insurance pricing using the information available on the internet. I work in credit risk and data mining, so I've discussed the issue with some of the people working in the industry (the credit history is also used to price insurances). The main idea is that the "risky" behaviour can be detected if the browsing history of the person is disclosed, so tracking and profiling people is a potentially useful and profitable idea... to them obviously.

Submission + - Twitter to Developers: Stop Building Clients (

Sir Mal Fet writes: On a classic case of the effects of the growth a company, Twitter's platform/API leader Ryan Sarver has released an official statement in which tells developers to stop building clients, the same clients that pushed the growth of the company: "Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no.". According to the company, the idea is aimed at unifying the user experience, and does not affect services such as Foursquare. The move comes after the temporary suspension of ÜberMedia clients a few weeks ago for violating their terms of service.
One can now wonder what will be the future of these third party clients (I for one use one because of Firefox/iDevice sync), and it also sheds some light on the dangers of constructing a business model off of someone else's business.


Submission + - Twitter discards client UI community (

Antique Geekmeister writes: Twitter has just decided to discard the community of developers who've created interesting, innovative, and exciting to start-up company applications. The announcement at shows that they intend to switch from the "bazaar" model of development to the "cathedral", with much tighter control of user interfaces for "security" and "consistency".

Submission + - Spanish government to subsidize IPv6 ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Spanish government will initiate a plan to incorporate IPv6 starting in april, initially the Ministry of Industry with other ministries to follow. The biggest part of the plan is a program of subsidies for small and medium sized enterprises that will cover projects involving, among others, pilot testing, network reconfiguration, purchase of software and equipment replacement. The plan will revise registration procedures for the .es TLD to include IPv6 addressing.

Comment Re:I see self conflicting clauses... (Score 1) 293

Actually, probably this is my fault, by getting lost in the translation. The intention of the law is that the ISP cannot use your data in order to identify you for using the web, and at the same time, they must make sure that their services (servers and such, not your PC) do not get infected by viruses or other malware. What you get onto your own computer is your business, and they can't monitor that. Sorry for the faulty translation. :P
The Internet

Submission + - Chile first to approve net neutrality law

Sir Mal Fet writes: Chile has become the first country in the world to approve, by 99 votes in favor and one abstention, the law guarantying net neutrality [, in Spanish]. The law states that: "No [ISP] can block, interfere with, discriminate, hinder, nor restrict the right of any Internet user of using, send, receive or offer any content, application, or legitimate service through the Internet, as well as any activity or legitimate use conducted through the Internet" (own translation). The law also has articles that forces ISP to provide parental control tools, clarify contracts, guarantee user's privacy and safety when surfing, and forbids them to restrict any liberty whatsoever. This is a major advance in the legislation of the country regarding the web, when just until last year almost anything that was performed in it was considered illegal.

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