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FCC's Net Neutrality Plan Blocks BitTorrent 303

master_p writes "The FCC's formally issued draft net neutrality regulations have a huge copyright loophole in them; a loophole that would theoretically permit Comcast to block BitTorrent just like it did in 2007 — simply by claiming that it was 'reasonable network management' intended to 'prevent the unlawful transfer of content.' The new proposed net neutrality regulations would allow the same practices that net neutrality was first invoked to prevent, even if these ISP practices end up inflicting collateral damage on perfectly lawful content and activities."

Avatar Soars Into $1-Billion Territory 782

Suki I writes " Avatar soars into $1-billion territory. 'Strong foreign ticket sales help make the science-fiction movie the fifth in history to pass the watermark. ... One of the riskiest movies of all times is now officially one of the most successful at the box office. When Avatar opened, its solid but far from stellar results left 20th Century Fox uncertain about whether the $430 million that it and two financing partners had invested to produce and market the 3-D film would pay off.'" Given that the big alternatives were Sherlock Holmes or Alvin & the Chipmunks, I think the winner was clear.
The Internet

At Current Rates, Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses 460

An anonymous reader excerpts from an interesting article at Ars Technica, which begins "There are 3,706,650,624 usable IPv4 addresses. On January 1, 2000, approximately 1,615 million (44 percent) were in use and 2,092 million were still available. Today, ten years later, 2,985 million addresses (81 percent) are in use, and 722 million are still free. In that time, the number of addresses used per year increased from 79 million in 2000 to 203 million in 2009. So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address[es]. (Even if he doesn't get re-elected.)"

Broadband Rights & the Killer App of 1900 565

newscloud writes "Tech writer Glenn Fleishman compares the arguments against affordable, high speed, broadband Internet access in each home to arguments made against providing for common access to electricity in 1900 e.g. '...electric light is not a necessity for every member of the community. It is not the business of any one to see that I use electricity, or gas, or oil in my house, or even that I use any form of artificial light at all.' Says Fleishman, 'Electricity should go to people who had money, not hooked up willy-nilly to everyone ... Like electricity, the notion of whether broadband is an inherent right and necessity of every citizen is up for grabs in the US. Sweden and Finland have already answered the question: It's a birthright.'"

Israeli Knesset Approves Biometric Database Law 303

Lord Duran writes "The Israeli Knesset approved a bill that will require every Israeli citizen to submit a visual scan of their face and a biometric scan of their fingerprints to a national database. I, for one, fail to see how this is anything but evil. TFA mentions the Israeli census was breached — I'd like to point out, for comparison, that it's still freely available on your peer-to-peer file sharing network of choice."

Car Glass Rules Could Impair Cell, GPS and Radio Signals In CA 762

An anonymous reader writes "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just passed a new regulation that requires glazed glass in automobiles that is supposed to reduce the need to use air conditioning. The catch is that the same properties that block electromagnetic sunlight radiation also block lower frequency electromagnetic radio waves. That means radios, satellite radios, GPS, garage door openers, and cell phones will be severely degraded. Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and no air conditioning.'"

Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize 1721

Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The BBC opines: "In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honoring his intentions more than his achievements. After all he has been in office only just over eight months and he will presumably hope to serve eight years, so it is very early in his term to get this award. ... The committee does not make any secret of its approach. It states that he is being given the prize 'for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.' This is of course an implied criticism of former US president George W Bush and the neo-conservatives, who were often accused of trying to change the world in their image." The Washington Post collects more reactions from around the world.
Role Playing (Games)

First Age of Conan Expansion On the Way 47

Funcom announced today that they are working on the first expansion to Age of Conan, titled Rise of the Godslayer. In addition to high-level content, it contains new objectives for lower levels as well, in an effort to fill out the leveling process. It also introduces new factions that are at war with each other: "Faction gameplay plays a large role in Rise of the Godslayer, presenting the player with choices that earn them both allies and enemies in Khitai. Through questing and adventure players can advance through faction ranks, rewarding them with treasures such as epic new armor and weapons. Players can choose to continue their adventures with existing characters, acquiring new combat abilities and spells through a robust alternate advancement system, or start over again as a Khitan — an all-new culture." A brief trailer has been posted, and Eurogamer has a more detailed preview of the new content.

Comment Re:Could be a good read (Score 1) 81

You're forgetting another critical thing....a lot of security is Cover Your Ass work, and nothing more. If you think too creatively, it means you've moved outside the scope of "best practices." Best Practices are what will Cover Your Ass when something goes wrong and you end up in court because 10k credit card numbers are in the open. Judges and managers don't want to hear that you found a totally awesome way to secure SQL server transactions by using fiberchannel instead of regular ethernet. They just want to know that you did what everybody else does, by buying brand-name firewalls, turning them on, and not changing anything.

Security is an artform only to people who have the glorious laxity of no legal responsibility. I work at a HIPAA compliant facility; if we lose a bunch of patient data, the federal government wants to know what industry standards we were following, regardless of if they make sense. If we have some weird security paradigm that's fantastic, but doesn't involve the word "Cisco", we might well be in trouble. Because, after all, why have industry standards if they aren't good?

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 1) 847

I'm drawing a distinction between "science" (see the little s?), in that you are studying a field in the attempt to better understand cause and effect, and "Science" (see the big S?), which is a following that people follow just as blindly as Christianity or Islam. Perhaps it was too subtle, sorry. However, big-S-Science and big-C-Christianity are equally valid (or invalid, as you see fit) in that true science is a disciplined persuit of knowledge, where as both Science and religion rely on followers to believe in certain precepts. Religion believes in gods, Science believes in hadrons, gravitons, the weak nuclear force. Religion attempts to further their knowledge with study, introspection, and philosophy, and Science attempts to further their knowledge with...the same things!

See my point?

little-s-science is methodology, big-S-Science is are people (are are very rarely scientists) who have -replaced- traditional religion with adherence to popular Science.

As far as religion exceeding, do a google search for "number of Americans who identify themselves as religious" or s/religion/athiest/, whatever you want to do. You'll see that GenX and GenY self-identify as the least religious generations in history.

Also, you made the false assumption that I'm religious; I assume that comes from the same superiority complex you get from being a Scientist. Congrats.

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 1) 847

We're not talking about a few centuries ago because science advances exponentially. If you want to go back that far, then I can make the same argument then as well. Four hundred years ago, the best science had to offer was to protect yourself from the plague by bleeding out with leeches and not bathing, and to drink herbal preparations to abort pregnancies. You have to compare apples to apples. Science and religion have only directly competed, in the way that we're talking about now, for the last 75-100 years. You can use Galileo as a counterexample, but even during Galileo's time, a large number of people could accept a heliocentric model and it didn't have the same fundamental hatred as modern religion does for, say, evolution or quantum mechanics.

But what you're saying is that life is better now because of science, yes? I completely agree. But there's a tremendous downside that's overlooked, and if you mention it you get called a "Luddite" or a "technophobe." Sure, our Science has invented great things....we can watch political speeches on TV from anywhere on earth, instantly. But, we can also watch five different versions of Law & Order. We have unprecedented access to medical information, but an entire field of brand-new of highly questionable mental disorders exists because of it: "cyberchondria", ADD, ADHD...these things didn't exist 50 years ago. Why? Was it because people didn't recognize them and better research has discovered it, or is it because they're not actually the problem that people are making it out to be? ADD, for instance. There's a convincing, and growing, body of evidence that 1) cases of ADD are exaggerated by a factor of 10 to 100, 2) ADD is caused by Science's modern lifestyle and 3) what people used to call "being a kid" is now simply assumed to be a mental disorder.

People, cultures, are spiritually drained. My generation (I'm 26) is almost synonymous with "disaffected". Gen-y is renown for its lack of caring about anything significant other than ourselves. Note that I'm not equating "spiritual" to "religious". This modern cult of Science has taught us that we can find the answers with a better brain scan, a deeper MRI, a broader genetic map. It's given us the ability to extend our body physically to 75, 80, 90 years old....but not our spirit, our human-ness.

The OP was saying that religion was standing in the way of science, implying that pre-screening diseases out of children was good. Is it? That's an argument for another day. In the broadest sense, I agree...it is good, IF we can prove a solely genetic link between disease A and a series of Punnett squares. But lets be honest...genetics is still in its infancy, and it's nothing more than hubris to think that Science has determined enough of the human genome, reliably, to pick a combination more valid than it's own holy grail, evolution.

So is ADD and theoretical genetic susceptibility to disease the same as your left-handed or poor? Have we, as a culture, placed such high value on the Science cult that we now completely overlook what generations before believed/knew? For example, chemical and food science has created the most effective delivery mechanisms for calories and nutrition in the history of mankind, and our food supply is well stocked with it. At the same time, computer, business, and management science has reduced the amount of work people have to do to where "going to work" today is nothing like "going to work" was even 30-40 years ago. Result? An obesity "epidemic" in the western world.

Of course, our great--great grandparents would laugh at us, because they knew 100 years ago what Science is just "discovering" now: if you eat a lot of calories and junk food, your ass has to get outside and work. Eat to live. Oddly enough, that's what the Bible, Quran, and basically every other religious text will tell you: eat to live, don't be a glutton, and value a day's work. So there you go...spirituality would have solved the problem, except that Science got in the way.

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 1) 847

Imagine all of the cultural advancements we could make if people would stop praying to the alter of Science....

This isn't a troll, it's an honest response. As Science-the-religion has advanced, and religious adherence receded, the general mental wellbeing of western citizens has declined. Across the board, people report being less happy, less fulfilled, less everything, while they have more stuff, more medicine, more knowledge than ever.

In this case, instead of going through a natural birth and childrearing process, you are now in charge of your children genetic destiny, so to speak. If they get Parkinson's, it's your fault. Fat? Your fault. Stupid? Your fault. We, as a culture, are replacing the evolutionary miracle of genetics and birth with just another calculation. Something else to induce anxiety attacks in a culture increasingly devoid of any spirituality...

And once again, Science gets in the way of humanity.


California To Move To Online Textbooks 468

Hugh Pickens writes "Last year California spent $350m on textbooks so facing a state budget shortfall of $24.3 billion, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled a plan to save money by phasing out 'antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks' in favor of internet aids. Schwarzenegger believes internet activities such as Facebook, Twitter and downloading to iPods show that young people are the first to adopt new online technologies and that the internet is the best way to learn in classrooms so from the beginning of the school year in August, math and science students in California's high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review. 'It's nonsensical — and expensive — to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form,' writes Schwarzenegger. 'As the music and newspaper industries will attest, those who adapt quickly to changing consumer and business demands will thrive in our increasingly digital society and worldwide economy. Digital textbooks can help us achieve those goals and ensure that California's students continue to thrive in the global marketplace.'"

Comment Re:Why mess with it (Score 2, Informative) 607

I seem to remember when InterNIC had sole control before they turned to IANA and the split up registration system that it cost $75/year to register a domain. And I seem to remember this because I still have the faxed receipts and my faxed domain registration submission from 1997. Lest we forget, InterNIC sucked, AND was expensive. It was also a much bigger extortion racket then we have now, where I can get a 2 year registration from Joker for $25.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman