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Comment Re:Free speech (Score 2, Informative) 377

Constitutional monarchy doesn't really mean that, Sweden and the Netherlands are constitutional monarchies, and they have a proper constitution.
The UK doesn't really have a constitution but a collection of old laws, statues and treaties, such as the English Bill Of Rights, the Magna Carta, and the Act of Settlement; and the concept of Parliamentary Supremacy.
Under Parliamentary Supremacy anything can be changed by a mere act of Parliament, it is only because of convention and tradition (and of course threat of electoral defeat) that stops Parliament from imposing things like the death penalty for speeding.

Comment Re:Sea Boundaries (Score 1) 287

Yes, but you seem misunderstand the relationship that Switzerland has with the Vatican state. The Vatican's Swiss Guard is composed of a few hundred Swiss mercenaries. The only real relationship that the Swiss Confederation have with the Swiss Guard is that they hold Swiss citizenship, and enjoy an exception to the no-swiss-citizens-are-allowed-to-be-mercenaries rule.
A war with the Swiss Guard wouldn't be a war with Swiss Confederation.

Spam

Submission + - UK's largest domain Co's new Terms spam friendly?

Bloody Viking writes: The UK's largest domain registrant, UK Reg, has just announced new Terms of Service for its customers. Buried in all the legalese is this gem of a paragraph: "You acknowledge and agree UKREG may make publicly available, some or all of the domain registration information provided by you, for purposes of inspection such as through UKREG's WHOIS service, for targeted marketing, or for any other purpose as required or permitted by ICANN, EURID and Nominet and applicable laws."

Stripping that down a bit reveals this: "...You acknowledge and agree UKREG may make publicly available, some or all of the domain registration information provided by you... for targeted marketing..." This looks as though it means that, just by doing business with UK Reg, you agree to let them give your details to anyone else for marketing purposes and with no opt-out clause whatsoever. Is this wrong, or am I just being too picky about this?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Dept. of Energy wants zero dollars for geothermal

LotsOfPhil writes: "The Department of Energy is requesting $0 for research into geothermal energy. From 2001-2006, the average funding was $26 million. This year it is $5 million.

The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S. states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output.
The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity needs without greenhouse gas emissions.
"
Music

Submission + - EU Commissioner slams closed music ecosystems

Nonu writes: EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva has come out against DRM lock-ins like Apple's iPod-iTunes combo. Kuneva said she believes the tie-in that keeps music bought from the iTunes Store from playing on MP3 players other than the iPod was unreasonable. '"Do you find it reasonable that a CD will play in all CD players, but an iTunes song will only play on an iPod?" asked Kuneva. "It doesn't to me. Something must change."' The EU is in the midst of an effort to harmonize its consumer protection laws, and long with the question of DRM tie-ins, it is also looking at mandating "cooling-off" periods whereby customers could "return" downloaded music.
Microsoft

VMware-Microsoft Battle Looming 258

An anonymous reader writes "VMWare released a white paper detailing its concerns with license changes on Microsoft software that may limit the ability to move virtual-machine software around data centers to automate the management of computing work. Two choice quotes: '"Microsoft is looking for any way it can to gain the upper hand," said Diane Greene, the president of VMware.' And, '"This seems to be a far more subtle, informed and polished form of competitive aggression than we've seen from Microsoft in the past," said Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University. "And Microsoft has no obligation to facilitate a competitor."'"
Businesses

Is Switching Jobs Too Often a Bad Thing? 208

Career Hot Potato asks: "I've been out of school for little more than a year and I have only good things to say about the job market. So far, there doesn't seem to be any lack of demand for a good .NET developer. I've got to admit, though, I feel a little disloyal at this point. Several great job offers have come my way and I've taken them. My resume is starting to make me look a bit restless and it worries me. Until now I've just chalked it up to 'I'm just settling in,' but now another opportunity has been dropped into my lap. Would I be digging my own grave by taking this job? It'd be my fourth job in 16 months but each offered a promotion and a 30% to 40% raise. I know better than to put a price on job satisfaction but I'm pretty certain I'd be happy there. Is being branded as a 'hot potato' enough to keep you from switching? What's your price on this stigma?"
Networking

Submission + - Dreamhost down nearly 24 hours, thousands affected

dgtlmoon writes: "Following a planned power outage that went for an unplanned amount of time due to some burnt out cables discovered during the maintainence dreamhost.com hosted websites are down, some estimates are between 100,000 and 250,000 domains are affected, further-more when the power came back on they found a bunch of core routers to be dead and are having difficulty resuming normal operations, this is issue is just about to tick over to 24 hours open."
Television

Award-Winning Ad Taken Off Air In Australia 471

bol_kernal writes "An award-winning advertisement on Australian TV for the new Hyundai 4WD has been pulled from being broadcast after stations received 80 complaints from concerned parents. The ad consists of a small child, age around 2 years, cruising down the road, window down, arm out the window, in his new Hyundai 4WD. He sees a girl of the same age standing on the side of the road, pulls over picks her up, and they go to the beach together. All in all it's cute, funny, and very well done. The ad aired late in the evening (8:30 pm or later), but it was pulled due to concern from parents about the copycat risk. What I want to know is, where has the responsibility of parents gone? Is the world becoming so serious — or so frightened — that fantasy is no longer allowed?"
Television

Submission + - Living room HDTV for PC Gaming?

Goosey writes: "With the major purchases of a new HDTV, HTPC, and gaming PC setup in the near future the thought occurred that I could combine my needs (and save some money) by putting high end hardware in the HTPC and using the it with the HDTV for gaming. Big screen gaming sounds like a dream come true, but having never done any PC gaming outside of a computer desk some concerns do pop up. What little information I could find has been pretty lacking, so I ask: do any slashdotters have experience with PC gaming in the living room? Is it a viable option using a large HDTV with 1080p native resolution or does the large view distance make the experience unbearable? Is text unreadable without inducing eye strain? Are there any mouse/keyboard solutions suitable for use on the couch?"
United States

Submission + - Bill Gates on US competitiveness

avtchillsboro writes: "In a Washington (DC) Post article written by Bill Gates, he says that the US must continue to be innovative; & identifies two things that he says will keep the US competitive globally — strong US schools and lots of imported Phds. That's not exactly what he says — but I think thats what he meant when he rather disingenuously says that Micro$oft pays H-1B & US employees the same. Wasn't that just recently proven to be false? No mention of the stifling effects of DRM; overly-restrictive copyright law, & out-of-control RIAA & MPAA; a broken patent system; and defacto monopolies everywhere you look."
Privacy

Submission + - World's tiniest RFID tag unveiled - 50um

Agent Provocateur writes: "BBC has photo's of the smallest RFID's to date at 50um and that is about the width of a hair. The world's smallest radio frequency identification tags have been unveiled by Japanese electronics firm Hitachi. The minute devices measure just 50umm by 50um and to the naked eye look like spots of powder. They are thin enough to be embedded in a sheet of paper, Hitachi spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi says. RFID tags store data about the objects they are attached to, and companies are vying to create increasingly tiny versions. Recently, Hitachi unveiled another RFID tag, the Mu-chip, which measures 0.4mm by 0.4mm. But the latest chips, which are yet to be named, can hold the same amount of data as the Mu even though they are much smaller. They have one major issue, however — they need an external antenna to work, and the smallest antenna developed so far is about 80 times bigger than the tags. Hitachi says it wants to study the tags' possible uses, but it does not yet have any plans to put its latest creation into commercial production. The full link is here"
Google

Submission + - Youtube Claims DMCA Covers Public Events

simon writes: "Does the DMCA prevent you from recording public events? Apparently so, as one West Australian Citizen Journalist find out last week when YouTube removed his public recordings of the Red Bull Air Race at the request of IMG Media. From the article:

...it raises a much larger issue with respect to copyright. Are IMG Media, the people that organize the Red Bull Air Race, suggesting that they own the copyright to all free public displays of the Red Bull Air Race? What type of precedent would that set?
"

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