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Comment j2me Re:This is not going to end well (Score 1) 419

A huge range of physical phones can run java j2me based software without needing to determine device configurations etc. Sun says there are about 2.5 Billion j2me/midp enabled handsets out there.

Unfortunately the various carriers then balkanized this 'code once run everywhere' capability in order to try to capture cashflow from developers (independent testing. certification, and signing anyone?) and customers (all the many app stores).

Submission + - Open access to exercise data?

identity0 writes: A recent Slashdot article about heart rate monitors in schools got me thinking about getting one for my own exercise. It turns out there's a wide range of features, from calorie rate, pedometers, GPS, and PC connectivity. Being a geek, I wanted one that would let me look at my exercise data, and I'm curious what experiences Slashdotters have had with them. Some download data to a proprietary application, so I'm wondering if there are open source alternatives or the data format is easily readable. Others upload data to an online app, and I'm wondering if the data can be pulled off the site or it's forever trapped on their servers. While I'm not paranoid about my data being shared or an open source zealot, I would like to know that I can access my data in the future. Whatever method you guys use to monitor your exercise, I'd love to hear it!

Submission + - Google Sidewiki impacts your Customer Satisfaction (

adele2009 writes: "Google's new universal commenting system called Sidewiki is about to cause a major change to customer satisfaction, marketing, product launches, and public relations. Any company or organization that has a web site is impacted. Every organization will need to develop a social media strategy and strengthen their customer satisfaction strategy."

Comment you mean FUD right? ... (Score 1) 340

Can you provide a link to substantiate your claim? I had trouble finding anything definitive.

Also for everyone's reference here is a more complete quote of Jefferson:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Comment Not so stupid... Re:How stupid you can be (Score 1) 117

Ever notice how there was never one part of the map overlapping another? At any point there was always only ever the floor and the ceiling - at various levels, and able to raise/lower (lifts/doors anyone?). In that important sense it was 2D; a 2D map 'extruded' as a special case into 3D - not an arbitrary collection of 3D geometry. Oh and the sprites, they were bill-boarded 2D also.

Not so stupid, depending one what you mean.

Comment wrong end of the stick... (Score 2, Insightful) 201

I read the summary as them finding a way to create a p2p network of 'customers' (clients who pay to be in your p2p network where you deliver paid content) and protecting yourself from the 'customers' who 'collude' (e.g. hacked client s/w?) with non paying client s/w to allow non paying customers to get the content. I don't think it's about subverting an existing network, it's about protecting a network from subversion. If so then the techniques could presumably be used for other purposes, poisoning surveillance perhaps.

Comment cryptwitter - is there an app for that? (Score 1) 116

Maybe they/we need a crypto-twitter app?

  • Make minimal assumptions of the phone capabilities.
  • Don't rely on 'external' certificate / cert providers etc, roll your own.
  • Don't rely on the device libraries, you cannot afford to trust even the phone.
  • Phone app to include some kind of cert to authenticate itself to the service (at least make an effort).
  • ssl based coms
  • http or sms transport
  • some kind of distributed multiple redundant backend; tor-ish and resistant to dns spoofing
  • certificate based authentication of the servers to the client
  • structure social network/email/bbs style systems over that underlying safe communication channel.
  • Ensure the system and legals are structured so that breaking into it to read the clear text comes under DMCA 'circumvention of technical measures to control access to copyright material' - about the most draconian laws there are.

Does something like this exist?

Comment how about a restricted sanbox api... (Score 1) 149

If the phone had a real preemptive time sharing OS and an appropriately restricted API (enforced time/space/cpu quota, only screen, touch, and sound access) then it would be a trivial exercise to know a prog was 'safe'. At the moment they have a broad API and Apple's idea of safe and your might well not be the same (location data anyone? what exactly is the app going to do with the network access it's asking for...).


Submission + - Censordyne - net censoring gets toothpaste (

An anonymous reader writes: Toothpaste is the latest weapon mobilised to fight against the Australian Federal Government's plan to censor the internet.

Online activist group GetUp, which has already run ads slamming the internet filtering policy, today launched a new campaign — Censordyne — a parody ad playing on the Sensodyne brand of toothpaste.

Censordyne promises to offer "unproven, ineffective relief from internet nasties", protection "against fast internet" and a "fresh multimillion-dollar flavour". There is also a video on YouTube that the government attempted to have taken down.


Submission + - China's web filter: Apple exempt, others sued (

angry tapir writes: "Apple appears to be exempt from China's mandate that a controversial Internet filtering program be shipped with all computers sold in the country. Computers that do not meet the software's technical requirements are excluded from the mandate, according to one PC maker. The Green Dam Youth Escort software is not being bundled with machines at the Apple store in Beijing because the software has no Mac version. In the US, a company is taking legal action against Lenovo, Acer and Sony over their shipment of the software, which the company says stole its programming code. Solid Oak Software may also take action against other PC makers that have started shipping the software."

Submission + - 3 Years in Jail for Web Protest and Encrypted Mail (

twitter writes: "From the happy-independence-day-dept

Democracy Now has a scary interview with Andrew Stephanian. Andrew spent three years in jail for organizing animal rights protests on line. Five months of his incarceration were in a controversial new US prison system called a "Communications Management Unit" of CMU.

this war on dissent ... the evidence against him was essentially that he was associating with a website, didn't operate the website. [FBI wiretaps showed his decision and urging of others not to violate] civil injunctions that were imposed on certain demonstrations. ... the government alleges [encrypted email is] evidence of his criminal intent.

the journey that Andrew Stepanian has gone through is a frightening example of ... this incredible attempt by the government to envelop political activists, criminalize dissent, convict them and then send them to special housing units based on a political agenda.

Andrew's other dangerous activities include six years of feeding homeless people and rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I don't think limited software options were the main problem when state police labled dissidents, "terrorists" two years ago. The oppression of dissidence is systematic. It's time to get rid of these obnoxious and illegal surveillance systems and the cowardly laws that foist them on us."

Comment Issue is 'everyone has to be a copyright lawyer' (Score 1) 263

It's very complex for people to know what they could take from a work like Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan, at best the publishers over broad claim has a chilling effect at worst it might indeed be copyfraud.

It would be good for the public if the copyright notices called out exactly what they were claiming, a footer on every page would be fine and do-able. In the commonly claimed case of adding prefaces etc if would be very easy.

It's better for publishers to make broad vague claims. The exclusionary effect of the claims are supported by the huge penalties for infringement. Conversely the cost of over claiming seems small/unlikely to be called out - publishers can always 'clarify away' their over-claim if it comes to the crunch.

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You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page