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Comment Frustrating item at the end (Score 1) 52

The last thing the book talks about is how a man discovered a lot of partially processed secret materials and he had to find a way to get rid of all of it, a considerable pile, and discovered a useful way. Which it doesn't tell us, other than to say the explanation is hidden in the message, using an innocent intervention, or something like that.

So, given that it has something to do with purloined letter methods, my guess is they took the lot of paper down to a processing center, where the paper absolutely has to be clean, and they ground up and processed it to make newsprint, where the formerly classified material has been so destroyed that it could be used to print the next day's newspapers. Would be sort of ironic that way, and would fit with his emphasis on 'innocent' information systems.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Prediction of Barack Obama's election?

The BBC World Service Saturday summary of their daily radio program The Strand has a section about a book (presumably in Portugese) from Brazil, by Monteiro Lobato called "The Black President," it's the story of how a white woman and a black man are fighting it out for election as President of the United States, and the black man wins, then fol
Operating Systems

Submission + - Linux kernel internals from Process Birth to Death

An anonymous reader writes: The creation and management of user-space processes in Linux have many principles in common with UNIX but also include several unique optimizations specific to Linux. Here, review the life cycle of Linux processes and explore the kernel internals for user process creation, memory management, scheduling, and death.

Submission + - Netbooks popular enough for C&D from Psion (

Kevin C. Tofel writes: "After watching the netbook industry explode from nothing to 14 million sales in year, the time is right for Cease & Desist letters. Psion, a U.K. computer company that years ago sold a small sub-notebook called a netBook, is starting to protect the term. At least one netbook enthusiast site received a C&D for using the "netbook" term and others are sure to follow. The site was given three months to stop using the term. Ironically, it isn't the enthusiast sites that coined the popular term. In the spring of 2008, Intel dubbed these devices netbooks to help define a market for their low-powered Intel Atom CPU."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Self-Assembling Optics (

Ostracus writes: A group of researchers led by Peidong Yang, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, have recently created nanoscale particles that can self-assemble into various optical devices. These include photonic crystals, metamaterials, color changing paints, components for optical computers and ultrasensitive chemical sensors, among many other potential applications. The new technology works by controlling how densely the tiny silver particles assemble themselves.

Comment Typical Organized Medicine slams (Score 1) 713

I would agree that the way homeopathy is done most of it is worthless, but there are a number of non-medicinal remedies that do work (anyone care to claim that use of Vitamin C and Zinc are ineffective on colds?)

But this book is basically just another of organized medicine's slams on anything that threatens its cartel-like powers to control the delivery of sick care (we do not provide health care in this country, most doctors are too busy treating symptoms of problems, not preventing illness). A large part of what is claimed by the book is probably either misleading or is simply 'tarring with the same brush' ineffective practices with things that might have value.

One example, the claims by manufacturers of FDA unapproved products that 'this product is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any disease'. They are required to say this because if they make any claims at all not proven by double-blind studies their products are subject to seizure and fines. If a seller of limes (the fruit) was to announce their product cures scurvy - absolutely known to be true since the British Navy started giving limes to sailors, hence their nickname - the company would be in violation of FDA rules and its crops would be seized and destroyed, because federal law makes it illegal other than for a manufactured drug which is licensed for distribution by the FDA to claim it can cure any disease, even though the statement is true.

Some of these practices - especially chiropractic - may have use in some cases. But this is an old, old rivalry; MDs hate chiropractic and have been trying to have it outlawed for decades. There are many people who have had relief for various conditions as a result. But since it can't be patented, nobody is going to spend huge amounts of money to do double-blind tests on these various methods, because organized medicine - as well as pharmaceutical companies, who, if people use other methods, they get less money - sees it as cutting into their profits, and it's best that there be no evidence available to argue in their favor.

The Courts

Submission + - Morpheus to be ordered to reduce infringement 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In an 83-page decision (pdf), the court in MGM v. Grokster has ruled that Streamcast, the operator of Morpheus, will be permanently required "to use the most effective means available to reduce the infringing capabilities of the Morpheus System and Software, while preserving its noninfringing uses as feasible". The court also indicated it will appoint a permanent "Special Master" to supervise compliance with the injunction once it is issued."

Submission + - AT&T To Drop Early Termination Fees (

An anonymous reader writes: AT&T on Tuesday announced new policies that apply to customers changing calling plans or exiting contracts early. Starting next month, customers who change a wireless calling plan will no longer be required to extend their current contact with AT&T or sign a new contract. Customers who terminate a contact early will no longer have to pay a flat early termination fee. The fee will be lowered during the term of the contact. The early termination policy, however, will go into effect early next year and will apply to new and renewing customers who sign a one or a two-year contract.

Submission + - Why Can't I buy a cablecard ready set top box? ( 1

Al E Usse writes: "Ars Technica does a write up of the problems that haven't been solved by the July 1, 2007 integration ban on integrated security in your cable box. Three months after the ban went into effect, digging up a third-party, CableCARD-ready set-top box can be an exercise in hair-pulling frustration. The companies who make the boxes don't seem interested in selling to consumers, cable companies still push their own branded devices, and Best Buy employees... well, the less said the better. We've heard the pain of our readers on this issue. One of them described his own epic (and fruitless) quest to secure such a device. His conclusion? "Although I should be able to buy a set-top box of my own, nobody will sell me one. I am standing on the doorstep, wad of cash in hand, yelling, 'Please take my money! I want to buy!' but am turned away."
The Internet

Submission + - Creative Commons sued for deception (

An anonymous reader writes:

A while ago, I ended up in a flamewar on the CreativeCommons mailing list, regarding a suitable licence to allow sharing and redistribution, but which enabled me to restrict certain 'freedoms' to prevent derivatives of work appearing without my knowlege (no consent, I might add — I just needed to know *what* revisions were being made). Of course, religion being what it is, I was flamed left, right and centre, with only one ally defending my POV.

Now it looks like CC is being bitten back — yet what impressed me with all there licences was a "click-and-choose" approach. Is it time we revisited the licence issues, forging a middle path between the evangelical, and the general user? There does seem to be a paralell here between BSD & GPL...

The Courts

Submission + - Motley Fool : RIAA hitting brick wall

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Motley Fool business site says that the RIAA's litigation campaign is in the end game. Monday it reported that "the music industry's lawsuit crusade against defenseless college students and housewives appears to have hit the skids", predicting as to the RIAA's tactics that "that's all about to change". Today it writes that "the change is happening in Internet time, which is somewhere between "instantly" and "yesterday"", noting that the RIAA's abandonment of its "making available" theory shows that the end is near: "In a nutshell, that claim used to be a central pillar in the RIAA strategy, because it's fairly easy to show that some files were made available for download from a given IP address. Easy money if the lawsuit were to go anywhere. But few of them ever did, and many suits have been thrown out because it isn't actually illegal to have a pile of files ready for others to download. Someone actually has to download them, which is a much harder point to prove.""
The Internet

Submission + - FCC decides 4.6 billion minimum bid for Spectrum (

ChainedFei writes: From Wired News, In a surprising turn for the Spectrum auction, the FCC have stated that the minimum bid for the C-block spectrum being offered in the auction will be $4.6 billion, which coincidentally was the amount that GOOG fronted as a minimum bid to endorse certain open standards for the spectrum being sold.

It is essentially a move to shut out smaller possible competitors while also maximizing the money the auction will generate for the grade-A areas of the spectrum. In addition, any single bidder wishing to purchase the entirety of the spectrum must front a minimum of $10 billion.


Submission + - AT&T proves Net Neutrality fears well founded

LinearBob writes: "The Chicago Tribune has an article describing in detail how AT&T censored a live concert by Pearl Jam. Here is a link to the Chicago Tribune article. u_jam_0809aug09,1,6237615.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

The following was quoted from the Tribune article:

"A live Internet broadcast of Pearl Jam's performance at Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival Sunday went off without a hitch — until singer Eddie Vedder criticized President Bush.

Lyrics critical of the president didn't make it past editors of the show's Webcast, the band complained Wednesday on its Web site.

The performance, sponsored by AT&T Inc. and carried on AT&T's "Blue Room" site, omitted the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home" as part of a version of the song "Daughter," according to the Pearl Jam Web site.

An AT&T spokeswoman confirmed the omission Wednesday, saying that it had been a mistake made by someone working for the agency hired by AT&T to handle its Blue Room content.

"We don't have a policy in place to censor," said AT&T's Tiffany Nels. "We have a policy on excessive profanity. This was an honest mistake. There was no censorship intended."

Nels said that there is a delay of a few seconds between the performance and its streaming to the Web so that an editor can cut out profane language because the Web site is available to all ages and AT&T doesn't want foul language going out.

End quote

Perhaps there was no censorship intended, but censorship IS what AT&T did here. I find AT&T's explanation for the missing lyrics to be disingenuous at best. To me, this is a clear case of censorship, and is precisely why we need "Net Neutrality" now."

Submission + - Porn to be blocked by Australian Goverment (

wallior writes: In a bid to swing voters, John Howard is promising $189 million (AU) on 'cleaning up the internet'. Blocking pornography, removing terror sites and scouring MySpace and Facebook for online predators. Also included will be free internet blocking tools available for all families. The presentation was primarily aimed at Christian voters.

"...the federal Government will enter an unprecedented partnership with service providers to filter pornography at the source..."

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