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Submission + - VA court to review "official" email rules (

imac.usr writes: The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a case brought by a Fairfax County resident alleging that the county's school board members violated the state's Freedom of Information Act. The suit alleges that board members colluded to close an elementary school in the county through rapid exchange of emails with each other. The state's FOIA rules stipulate that such exchanges can not constitute "virtually simultaneous interaction" and that any assemblage of three or more members constitutes a formal meeting which must be announced. The article notes similar suits are popping up across the country, highlighting one of the difficulties governments face in balancing communication with transparency.

Submission + - Arlington National Cemetery: massive IT fail (

imac.usr writes: A story in today's Washington Post calls to light the utter failure of the nation's most sacred final resting place to modernize its pen-and-paper record system. According to the story, the cemetery's administrators have spend over five million dollars without managing to accomplish the seemingly-simple task of creating a database record of the site's graves. As Virginia senator Mark Warner points out, "We are one fire, or one flood, or one spilled Starbucks coffee away from some of those records being lost or spoiled.

Comment Re: (Score -1) 239

Hey! Some of us still use 56K modems you insensitive clod! (Hugs laptop affectionately) (It's okay... they didn't mean anything by it.)I remember downloading VGA porn on my C=64. First it took 10 minutes per picture. Then the processor needed about half an hour to convert the 320x 200x 256 color space downto 160x 200x 16. The image would appear one line every few seconds. And the final result was never satisfactory.Not until I upgraded to my 640x 480x 4000 color Amiga did I finally discover the TRUE

Comment Re:What do you expect... (Score 1) 158

In other words, it's not true that anybody can start a bank. You have to have enough experience in the industry so that investors will give you the startup costs. Or have a few million of your own lying around. I think that excludes the typical developer who just needs a bank that will provide him with electronic services on a small scale at a reasonable price.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 1) 804

    I've only met a few other people over the years who went as far as to publish their own newspaper. On that, I'll say "congratulations".

    I did all my work on it outside of school. I just handed out a stack to the first person and told them to pass it on. It didn't take very long before everyone in the school had read it and I heard them discussing it. At first, I didn't admit to printing it, which left people open to talk to me about it. In a small school (just a couple thousand students) it didn't take too long for someone to point the finger back to me. That was something I recognized as a possibility from the start.

    I was talking to someone recently, and we both agreed that commercial media is censored. They either do it themselves to avoid trouble, or with unofficial encouraging words. But hell, they can't even talk bad about their advertisers without endangering their revenue. Legitimate news stories will get canned because they are afraid of offending the advertisers. So that leaves it up to small publications who can't even attract major advertisers. If you went to a major company and said "We have a readership of 10,000 daily, will you advertise with us?", they'd laugh at you before kicking you out. Of course, even without the restrictions of not wanting to offend advertisers, they can still come down on you for printing something less than favorable about them.

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