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Comment Maybe they can change IEEE's pro-swpat stance (Score 2, Interesting) 45

In the Bilski case, IEEE filed a brief pushing *for* software patents. Maybe specific groups in IEEE, like the 802 group, should push for a change in this position. Having the whole wifi industry paying a tax to CSIRO for a wifi patent must make this group a little more clued in about the harm caused.

Comment How will this affect HTML5 video??? (Score 1, Troll) 145

This is terrible news.

His swan song even talks about the "great satisfaction" of working with "Inventive people who write more software patents per capita than anywhere else".

HTML5 already has big problems with software patents forcing it to exclude all video format recommendations. What influence will this guy have in W3C?

Comment download.com has no magic wand (Score 0, Troll) 255

> see if it's on download.com...this can only prove that it isn't malware

Proof? Dude, what do you think the download.com guys do?

They get given a binary, they run some black box testing on the output of it, then shrug their shoulders and say "looks okay".

The closest you can get to "proof" is if the source code is online as free software, there are developers that don't work for the same company, and there are plenty of users. In those situations, malware tends to be found and removed.

Failing that, the simplest criteria is just that it be free software. That doesn't guarantee anything, but there are almost no cases of free software containing malware. ...or maybe you meant that being on download.com is just a proof that the software isn't *too* bad.

Comment The demand is weaker than it seems (Score 0, Troll) 307

Calling for publication of the text is good.

The other provisions of this demand are pretty weak. Some example points:

#2 - no basis? Here's the basis: 2008-04-14: EU: negotiating guidelines for ACTA formally adopted by the Council

#10 - "subsidiarity" etc. - no problem, that's why the EU keeps pushing the words "Those measures, procedures and remedies shall also be effective, proportionate and deterrent" into the ACTA text (see March 1st leaked draft)

And the criminal sanctions are EU okay because the treaty will be handed to the member states for implementation.

Still a great move. Just don't starting thinking we win with it.

Comment 23 days is the norm here (Score 1, Informative) 234

In the two coutries that I've lived in in Europe, the minimum number of days leave of your choosing is 23. I've usually had more. I'm not sure if that minimum is in the law or in the workers collective contracts (things negociated by the unions and which apply to everyone even if no one in your company is part of the union - unless your company exlicitly opts-out).

In addition, there are usually 11 public holidays.

Comment I block to protect my privacy, remove distractions (Score 0, Troll) 1051

I started using an ad blocker just a few months ago, and my use has nothing to do with advertisements.

* One, my privacy is harmed because ad providers like Google/DoubleClick are logging my use of most of the websites I use.

* Two, some sites use flashing images for ads, and that interferes with my reading.

Print and TV ads never did either of these to me. Ars, any thoughts on these issues?

Comment Ad blockers will just stop announcing themselves (Score 0, Troll) 1051

If you block browsers that have "with Mega Ad Blocker" in the browser string, then those programs will just stop mentioning their presence in the browser string. Or if the server detects if the ads were downloaded or not, then the Ad Blocker will starting downloading the ads (lowest priority), but still not showing them.

Comment links the the relevant pages (Score 2, Informative) 208

page 27 requires that "the online service providers act expeditiously, in accordance with applicable law, to remove or disable access to infringing material or infringing activity upon obtaining actual knowledge of the infringement" - i.e. upon receiving a cease-and-desist letter.

Page 3 has the current working text about "n order to a party to desist from an infringement" and which the EU wants to be written as "The Parties shall also ensure that the right holders are in a position to apply for an injunction against intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right."

Page 30 contains the Japanese proposal which is the current working text: 3 ter. Each Party shall enable right holders, who have given effective notification to an online service provider of materials that they claim with valid reasons to be infringing their copyright or related rights, to expeditiously obtain from that provider information on the identity of the relevant subscriber.

Comment Actually, most of the world's getting it (Score 4, Informative) 208

Worse, it's in the ACTA treaty:

Their goal is to conclude the ACTA agreement by the end of 2010. Countries involved are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States (US) - and others will be pressured to join afterward.

Comment Shuttleworth called it like it is (Score 3, Insightful) 244

Microsoft is FUDing, and Mark Shuttleworth called them on it:

Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won't say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: "It's an unsafe neighbourhood, why don't you pay me 20 bucks and I'll make sure you're okay," that's illegal. It's racketeering.

To fix the patent situation, we need that kind of vocal support of executives. Will we get that support from Matt?

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