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Comment Don't Just Withdraw Support (Score 1) 204

Withdrawing support is all fine and good. But companies who don't like SOPA shouldn't just rest at not supporting it. They should be actively against it, and make it clear in public statements, along with why they're against it. Whether they believe in free speech not being infringed (unlikely), don't like that SOPA will break the internet in the long run, or they just say they don't support it because it will cost them money, they need to say so. Any of these reasons are valid, and public awareness would increase.

Nixing support is most likely for the last reason, but this too can show the unaware that SOPA is NOT just about "protecting copyright." It's about incurring real financial costs in order to support the whims of a chosen few. Then it can be further explained that the monetary cost is only the beginning, and that it will be abused to silence dissent in ways that make the DMCA look like a jaywalking fine.

Everyone, not just the techies, needs to be made aware of exactly what SOPA and it's evil twin are, and the threat they represent. If you have non-techie friends, explain it to them in terms they will identify with. Going into all the talk about protocols, blocklists, etc, will probably garner the same reaction it got in the House...i.e. "I don't understand this because I'm not a nerd." But if you show them how it will impact their daily lives, they'll get the picture.

It's a pretty grim picture given that congress doesn't listen to the people they supposedly represent. But if enough of those people start voicing their disagreement with it can still be stopped. That's why the word needs to go out to everyone. Forget Linux on the desktop, make 2012 the year SOPA is buried in a deep-dark hole never to be seen again.

Submission + - How NOT To Treat Your Customers

FSWKU writes: Courtesy of Penny-Arcade, Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing provides a perfect example of what not to do when interacting with customers, especially if you are doing so on behalf of another company. Name dropping, an ego trip worthy of Charlie Sheen, and even what appears to be a promise to commit libel. Other outlets are already picking up the story and running with it.

Comment Re:toys with molten metal (Score 4, Insightful) 292

You don't need "tools" or "toys" - when I was 5, I tested what this "it's HOT! you'll BURN YOURSELF!" stuff was all about with my index finger on an iron. Lost the fingerprint on the tip of that finger - and yet, I lived.

And sadly enough, it would be a completely different story for a kid today. The mother would scream her lungs out and floor it to the ER in her SUV (endangering tons of people along the way). Once there, she would scream at the charge nurse for having to wait behind a multiple-GSW patient who is bleeding into his lungs. After finally seeing a PA, she would get the same advice most people used to take for granted - put some ointment on it, keep it cool and dry, and make an appointment with the family doctor if it doesn't get better in a couple of days.

Oh yeah, and you better believe she would call for a MASSIVE lawsuit against the manufacturer of the iron because it was "too hot" and her precious little snowflake is now "permanently disfigured."

Comment Five before you count helping coworkers... (Score 1) 192

On a typical day, I usually end up using five different keyboards.
  1. My computer at home
  2. Video capture/editing system
  3. Audio recording system in broadcast room (only because the above doesn't have a line from the mixing console)
  4. Laptop recording from FOH console in Audacity and running Sennheiser WSM to monitor on-stage mics (RF levels, battery life, frequencies, etc.)
  5. System controlling audio/video in the atrium

That's not counting the servers I interact with through vSphere. Although I guess those would count on the rare occasion I have to go down to the server room.

Piracy

Ubisoft Blames Piracy For Non-Release of PC Game 424

New submitter Azmodan sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "Ubisoft is known for laying the blame for many problems on the unauthorized downloading of its games. Stanislas Mettra, creative director of the upcoming game I Am Alive, confirms this once again by saying that the decision not to release a PC version is a direct result of widespread game piracy. However, those who look beyond the propaganda will see that there appears to be more to the story than that." Another Ubisoft employee made similar comments about upcoming Ghost Recon games. Regarding Ghost Recon Online being free-to-play: "We are giving away most of the content for free because there’s no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you’re asking for. We’ve listened to you – we’re giving you this experience. It’s easy to download, there’s no DRM that will pollute your experience.'" Regarding Future Soldier having no PC version: "When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game. So we said okay, we have to change our mind."
Government

Plate Readers Abound in DC Area, With Little Regard For Privacy 268

schwit1 writes "More than 250 cameras in Washington D.C. and its suburbs scan license plates in real time. It's a program that's quietly expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago. Some jurisdictions store the information in a large networked database; others retain it only in the memory of each individual reader's computer, then delete it after several weeks as new data overwrite it. A George Mason University study last year found that 37 percent of large police agencies in the United States now use license plate reader technology and that a significant number of other agencies planned to have it by the end of 2011. But the survey found that fewer than 30 percent of the agencies using the tool had researched any legal implications. With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles."
The Internet

France To Tax the Internet To Pay For Music 209

bs0d3 writes "A new tax in France is aimed at ISPs. The new government tax on ISPs is to help pay for the CNM (Centre National de la Musique). Already in France there is a tax on TV, to pay for public access channels. It's similar to the tax in the United kingdom which pays for the BBC. This ISP tax will be the musical equivalent to that. President Sarkozy comments, 'Globalization is now, and the giants of the internet earn lot of money on the French market. Good for them, but they do not pay a penny in tax to France.' This all began after the music industry accused French ISPs of making billions of dollars on their backs. Now the music industry must also get their hands in their pockets."
Encryption

Full Disk Encryption Hard For Law Enforcement To Crack 575

If you'd rather keep your data private, take heart: disk encryption is a lot harder to break than techno-thriller movies and TV shows make it out to be, to the chagrin of some branches of law enforcement. MrSeb writes with word of a paper titled "The growing impact of full disk encryption on digital forensics" [abstract here to paywalled article] that illustrates just how difficult it is. According to the paper, co-authored by a member of US-CERT, "[T]here are three main problems with full disk encryption (FDE): First, evidence-gathering goons can turn off the computer (for transportation) without realizing it's encrypted, and thus can't get back at the data (unless the arrestee gives up his password, which he doesn't have to do); second, if the analysis team doesn't know that the disk is encrypted, it can waste hours trying to read something that's ultimately unreadable; and finally, in the case of hardware-level disk encryption, tampering with the device can trigger self-destruction of the data. The paper does go on to suggest some ways to ameliorate these issues, but ultimately the researchers aren't hopeful: 'Research is needed to develop new techniques and technology for breaking or bypassing full disk encryption.'"

Comment Re:Better Place (Score 1) 378

900 miles in a day... ouch... that's trucker distance... 900 miles / 60 mph = 15 hours... jesus.

And it amazes me how they do it day in and day out. I drove from here to Austin, TX last year in about the same amount of time. Even stopping for a couple hours to meet up with a friend for breakfast (since I left home at 5am), I was fighting the urge to run idiots off the road by the time I passed Waco. I don't see how they deal with that kind of stress and annoyance all the time.

But to keep things on track, this trip would not have been possible with an EV. Even with the supposed 320 mile range of a Tesla S, I would have had to stop several times to recharge, and the trip would have taken closer to three or four days. I'm glad they're working on options to decrease charge time to something in the range of a petrol fill-up, since that's going to hold EV's back as much as anything else will. The technology WON'T be widely available yet, nor will any quick-swap stations. But unless they start working on the technical issues and logistics NOW, it will never happen at all. Every new technology has to go through similar growing pains, and I'm hoping this one survives them and helps us burn less oil and spend less to transport goods and people.

In my own little ideal world, all electricity would be from fusion/wind/hydro/solar (i.e. "clean" energy), all passenger cars/trucks would be electric (with the same range/performance as petrol), and the only reason we would need to burn anything for propulsion would be long-haul freight or air travel. But I'm realistic enough to know that won't happen in my lifetime. Maybe for my children or grandchildren...

Comment Note to Nissan & Ford... (Score 2) 151

This car has range and performance similar to the Leaf and the upcoming Focus, yet will cost less than 1/5 what either of those overpriced toys go for, and also looks better. What's your excuse?


(Sidenote, if I can get a tax credit of up to $7500 from Uncle Sam for purchasing an EV, does that mean I actually MAKE $500 to drive this thing? They'll probably cite the "up to" part and give me a whopping $20 for this, but I can dream, can't I?)

Comment Yet Another Erosion Of Privacy (Score 1) 113

Every time they act like they're adding more privacy controls, along comes yet another feature that makes it that much more difficult to control who sees what. The annoying ticker on the right was bad enough, but now being able to see who's unfriended you at any point? I expect this will start a LOT of drama over "OMFG Y U UNFRIEND ME!??!?!?" type stuff from people who normally wouldn't give a crap. Most likely it will be the "friend-whores" who just collect friends to have a higher number. One drops and they have no idea who it was. But now they'll be able to see who decreased their precious friend count, and start all kinds of crap over it.
Android

Does Android Violate the GPL? Not So Fast 186

jfruhlinger writes "Patent gadfly Florian Mueller's latest post has made a fairly bold claim: that virtually all Android licensees are violating the GPL because of their failure to redistribute the code, and have thus lost their rights to redistribute Android. Mueller here is mostly promoting ideas put across by patent lawyer Edward J. Naughton. But others in the community are skeptical of the claims. Software Freedom Conservancy head Bradley Kuhn says he's never heard from Naughton. 'Don't you think if he was really worried about getting a GPL or LGPL violation resolved, he'd contact the guy in the world most known for doing GPL enforcement and see if I could help?'"

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