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Comment Re:My experience with city-wide Wifi (Score 5, Insightful) 259

TFA is referring not to de-facto ubiquitous coverage by multiple independent access points, but by a single, centrally run mesh of access points owned and operated (at least partially) by the municipal government.

At least in the USA, this has largely been quashed by the telcos in the courts, claiming that such networks are unfair competition to their price gouging mobile data plans.

Comment Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score 1) 295

The problem is that you need jailbroken iphone...

This may be true for the moment, but now that someone is actually capitalizing on jailbroken iphones, Apple's attempts to completely restrict people from installing what they want on their devices could be construed as anti-competitive behavior by a judge. That is, if they were to secure all flaws in the phone's operating system via an update and not provide people with the availability to install software from a competing vendor, Apple could face some serious fines for effectively trying to eliminate the competition.

If this ever winds up in court, Apple might try to argue that jailbroken iphones are against the DMCA. The competing store however might argue that it was done for "compatibility" purposes, which last I recall was allowed under current copyright laws. In the end if something like this does ever happen, it'll definitely be a case worth paying attention to.

Comment PBS (Score 3, Interesting) 325

PBS had a great 1 hour segment on this not too long ago. Their segment covered the rapid decline in albatrosses due to offspring being fed the plastic from the pacific. I haven't been able to find the complete coverage of the segment I saw on my local PBS station, but I have managed to locate part of it here titled: World's Oceans Face Problem of Plastic Pollution

Comment Re:Abandon Email (Score 1) 284

While I agree that web based email clients may be the way of the future, it will be a long time before messaging services provided by sites like MySpace or Facebook replace traditional email services. The main problem with these services is their inability to relay messages to users of different sites.

From a technical POV, the move to web based email services could actually be considered a good thing since it abstracts the underlying system from the user. That is to say, users need not know how it works or how to make it work, only that it does what they expect it to do. If web based email were to completely replace desktop email clients, we would be free to modify and correct the shortfalls of the current system without having to conform to protocols imposed by existing desktop based email clients.


Submission + - KDE 4.0 Release Candidate 2 ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: December 11, 2007 (The INTERNET). The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the second release candidate for KDE 4.0. This release candidate marks the last mile on the road to KDE 4.0.

Submission + - Microbial Hydrogen Fuel Cells at Record Efficiency (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Researchers at Penn State University have built upon past attempts to generate electricity from microbes, reaching efficiencies of up to 91%. According the lead researcher, 'this process produces 288% more energy in hydrogen than the electrical energy that is added to the process.' In certain configurations, nearly all of the hydrogen contained in the molecules of source material converted to useable hydrogen gas, an efficiency that could eventually open the door to bacterial hydrogen production on a larger scale."
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone software unlocker prepares for release

Anonymous Coward writes: " is preparing to release the first ever total software driven unlocking service for the Apple iPhone. Their software is reportedly complete and they are openly accepting invitations from the media to have their iPhones unlocked for free in order to silence any possible doubters. Hopefully Slashdot will let us know just how well it works."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Wants Agreements to Stay Secret

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA is opposing Ms. Lindor's request for discovery into the agreements among the record company competitors by which they have agreed to settle and prosecute their cases together, by which she seeks to support her Fourth Affirmative Defense (pdf) alleging that "The plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have. ...As such, they are guilty of misuse of their copyrights.""

Submission + - The day the music died (or NOT?)

RetroGeek writes: "On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry's future." And this was at the behest of the RIAA. From the wbesite: "CALL YOUR SENATORS AND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW TO ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR THE INTERNET RADIO EQUALITY ACT, S. 1353 IN THE SENATE AND H.R. 2060 IN THE HOUSE!". So all you Slashdotters in the US of A, go to The SaveNetRadio Coalition, follow the links, and contact your representative.

Submission + - Anheuser Busch has USDA changing 'Organic' (

paulevans writes: "Anheuser Busch, Wal-Mart and other for-profit corporations have seeked and are getting a definition change on '95% Organic'. Such a change would allow for Anheuser Busch to "sell its 'Organic Wild Hops Beer' without using any organic hops at all".

Other changes would allow "sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" '..' to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics."

It is amazing how powerful the almighty dollar really is."

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