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Submission + - Texas Lawmakers Steal Votes ( 4

absentmindedjwc writes: "It appears lawmakers in Texas frequently walk around the house floor casting votes for members who are not at their seat. Some members are seen on video casting as many as 4 votes. One member goes on camera to justify this practice as necessary in order to allow fellow house members time for lunch and personal time.

Watch the video and determine for yourself if you think these people are doing this as a "favor" for their colleagues, or if they might just be stealing votes."


Submission + - Change Google Background Color To Save Energy?

i_like_spam writes: Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings. Who is right in this debate? Should web designers also consider potential energy savings when choosing colors for their sites?

Submission + - Wikipedia corrects Enciclopaedia Britannica (

javipas writes: "Despite all the controversy about Wikipedia's work model, no one can argue the potential of a project that has demonstrated the usefulness of the "wisdom of crowds" concept. And that wisdom has been able to detect several mistakes on one of the most relevant references on human knowledge: the Enciclopaedia Britannica. All kind of data has been spotted as wrong, such as the birthdate of Bill Clinton or the definition of NP problems in Mathematics."

Submission + - RIAA Must Pay Attorney Fees of $68,685.23

An anonymous reader writes: The RIAA has lost its first case against a file-sharer accused of copyright infringement. The court has granted the defendant a total of $68,685.23. Has the RIAA given up? Not quite, according to a statement provided to

Submission + - Music industry still unable to adapt

mmmfugacity writes: "Given that, after around a decade of digital music sharing, the music industry still seems to have largely failed to embrace, or even adapt to, this distribution model, it shouldn't be surprising that the AP reports the industry is mad at Prince for experimenting with another alternative distribution model. Available at CNN, AP reports that "Prince has angered the music industry and stirred up trouble among British retailers by giving away his new album with a tabloid newspaper this weekend. 'Planet Earth' will be packaged with the Mail on Sunday at a price of $2.80. The giveaway has been roundly criticized as a major blow for an industry already facing rapidly declining CD sales." Why not consider moving 2.3 million copies of the CD (the Mail's reported average circulation) to be "sales?" Surely not because Prince is making money off the deal and not the industry? Yet again, with regards to the music industry (not the artists) the phrase from Office Space, "no talent *** clown[s]," comes to mind."

Submission + - No OLPCs for Cuba. Ever.

An anonymous reader writes: In a move going largely unnoticed by the developers the OLPC project now requires all submissions to the project to be hosted in the RedHat Fedora project.

While not seeming like a big deal, the implications are interesting. First, contributors have to sign the Fedora Project Individual Contributor License Agreement. By being forced to submit contributions to the Fedora repository they automatically fall under the provisions of US export law. So, no OLPC for Cuba, Syria and the likes. Ever.

But at least the OLPC project will build a nice business for RedHat The software borrows from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, with about 95 per cent of the code overlapping.

Submission + - FDA Considering Allowing Fake Chocolate

Anonymous Coward writes: "First, they replaced our cane sugar with icky, fattening high-fructose corn syrup. Now, the "great American chocolate bar" may soon be made of fake fillers so big candy companies can shave more profit off the cocoa bean.

This New York Times Op-Ed (registration maybe required) describes how "Industrial confectioners have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to be able to replace cocoa butter with cheaper fats and still call the resulting product 'chocolate.' The reason: the substitution would allow them to use fewer beans and to sell off the butter for cosmetics and such."

The issue is not whether it would be legal for them to make it this way... this is America — they can do what they want. The issue is whether it would be legal for them to package the fake chocolate AS chocolate (and not something like "diluted chocolate substitute — contains 10% actual chocolate") so that consumers wouldn't know the difference (before tasting it). Kids would ultimately be eating this stuff. Could Corporate America really go so far just to squeeze more out of a buck?"

Submission + - Is Vice President's Office Above The Law? (

Frosty Piss writes: "US Vice President Dick Cheney's office has refused to comply with an executive order governing the handling of classified information for the past four years and recently tried to abolish the office that sought to enforce those rules, according to documents released by a congressional committee yesterday. Since 2003, the vice president's staff has not cooperated with an office at the National Archives and Records Administration charged with making sure the executive branch protects classified information. Cheney aides have not filed reports on their possession of classified data and at one point blocked an inspection of their office. After the Archives office pressed the matter, the documents say, Cheney's staff this year proposed eliminating it."

Submission + - Harry Potter and the Security Exploit (

Dragoonmac writes: "A hacker/cracker/script kiddie named "Gabriel" claims to have infiltrated Bloomsbury Publishing to retrieve an advance copy of the new Harry Potter text.
He claims to have used "The usual milw0rm downloaded exploit delivered by email/click-on-the-link/open-browser/click-on-this -animated-icon/back-connect to some employee of Bloomsbury Publishing, the company that's behind the Harry crap."

He posted his spoiler synopsis to

The publishing house would not say if the posting was accurate or not.

The full spoilers post can be found here tml
Needless to say, spoiler warning."

The Courts

Submission + - Sue the First Twins!

Chalker writes: A blogger, who had his eyes on this Miami Herald article in which it described the First Twins giving President Bush a mix CD, has gone a little farther, thinking that the President's daughters illegally copied it. 'Let's assume twelve songs, copied from twelve different CDs. We'll assume for the purpose of argument that there's no problem with the original recordings being registered (17 U.S.C. 412 (2006) makes statutory damages unavailable for unregistered works) or not being marked correctly (17 U.S.C. 402 (2006)). This mix CD isn't a compilation being copied, it's one being created, so the last sentence of 17 U.S.C. 504(c)(1) (2006) doesn't apply — the copyright rights-holder may get damages for each song copied. There's a rebuttable presumption that the infringement was willful (17 U.S.C. 504(c)(3)(A) (2006)), which means that 17 U.S.C. 504(c)(2) (2006) applies: $150,000 statutory damages per infringement. That's $1,800,000 in statutory damages.'
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Ten Worst Words on the Web (

Wordsmith writes: A UK firm has compiled a list of the worst Internet words that have wormed their way into the English language. What's number one? 'UK pollsters YouGov have just completed a survey on the web's most-hated words, the abominations that threaten to turn English into a long series of "plzkthxbye" utterances. At the top of the list (and rightly so) is the word "folksonomy."' "Blog" and "Blogosphere" are also on the list, and Ars Technica adds a few of its own ("Crowdsourcing. Typing tags on other people's photos? I want in. Wait. No I don't.").

What are Slashdot readers' biggest pet peeves when it comes to vocabulary?

The Courts

Submission + - Judge Deals Blow to RIAA

jcgam69 writes: A federal judge in New Mexico has put the brakes on the RIAA's lawsuit train, at least in the US District Court for New Mexico. The case in question is part of the RIAA's campaign against file-sharing on college campuses and names "Does 1-16," who allegedly engaged in copyright infringement using the University of New Mexico's network. In a ruling issued last month but disclosed today by file-sharing attorney Ray Beckerman, Judge Lorenzo F. Garcia denied the RIAA's motion to engage in discovery. This means that the RIAA will not be able to easily get subpoenas to obtain identifying information from the University.

Submission + - New Hitman Scam Hits Internet (

Greyfox writes: "According to This CNN Story, a new "Hitman" scam is circulating around the Internet. In a nutshell the scammer says that the person being email has a contract on his life but offers to spare him if he pays the scammer a large sum of money. Investigations are difficult because most of the scammers are believed to be in a different country."

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