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Comment Re:Blacklisted (Score 2, Informative) 265

There seems to be a disconnect with "businesses" that make their living primarily off of a government license or special status. As we saw when they dissected the banking crisis, many "financial" businesses are quasi-governmental in nature and as such should have much less latitude to declare themselves "purely private" entities with freedom of choice.

Having said that, I do not believe that banks should have any latitude to deny service to anyone who is not causing a direct problem for the bank. (i.e. breaking laws that involve the bank, refusing info required to meet regulation, abusive to the staff, etc.) Most businesses operate this way - it's only when you get self-righteous employees involved that start to treat the business like they own the whole thing that you get nonsense like this. It is not the bank's place to discipline a business for conduct that is neither illegal nor causes problems for the bank.

Submission + - The USOMB is seeking public comments on copyright.

Photographer writes: "The USOMB is seeking public comments on copyright enforcement.

The Federal Government is currently undertaking a landmark effort to develop an intellectual property enforcement strategy building on the immense knowledge and expertise of the agencies charged with enforcing intellectual property rights. By committing to common goals, the Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the Government, through the office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (``IPEC''), invites public input and participation in shaping an effective intellectual property enforcement strategy.

You can go here for the summary or just send an email here:"
The Internet

Submission + - Four type of Americans have no Internet (

markmark57 writes: The Federal Communications Commission announced plans to launch its National Broadband Plan next month, which will provide high-speed Internet connections to over 93 million Americans who currently don't use Internet.

In a survey conducted by the FCC in November last year, it found that only 78 percent of U.S. adults are Internet users and 65 percent are broadband adopters. Incredibly, six percent of Americans still use dial-up access and four percent have no broadband at home at all. The report showed the main reasons why some users are resistant to set up the Internet is because they lack the knowledge or financially unable. This can then be further divided into four profiles of those who are yet to adopt broadband, and in some cases, Internet.

The Internet

Submission + - WiMAX vs. HSPA+

adeelarshad82 writes: Current 3G networks which offer speeds of 1-2 megabit range are great for web surfing. However, given today’s multimedia craze, networks are shifting towards faster speeds. This is where WiMAX and HSPA+ come in. PCMag's Sascha Segan recently tested out Sprint's Xohm WiMax (aka 4G) and T Mobile's recently announced HSPA+ network to see which is faster. According to the test WiMax offered an average of 2.25 megabits down and 628 kilobits up, with peaks of 5.13 down and 1.17 up. Although Sprint pledges that their WiMAX delivers 3-6 megabits of downstream bandwidth, with peaks up to 10 megabits. On the other hand HSPA+ got average download speeds of 3.12 megabits/sec and 1.26 megabits/sec up, with peaks of 7.65 megabits/sec and 2.02. However, theoretically HSPA+ networks are suppose to have download speeds of 21 Mbps and upload speeds of 5.8 Mbps. While HSPA+ is clearly much faster than WiMax, one clear disadvantage HSPA+ has is its 5GB which is not a problem with the WiMax network.

Submission + - Scientists want you to spot and track solar storms (

coondoggie writes: It's not everyday you can get deeply involved in a space program by sitting at your computer. Space scientists at The Royal Observatory, Greenwich have started up a crowd sourcing project that lets anyone with a PC spot and track solar storms. The project, known as Solar Stormwatch uses real data from NASA's STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) satellites, which are currently in orbit around the Sun and provide researchers with constant details about activities on the Sun's surface.

Submission + - Foxconn iWonder Android tablet to sell for $100 ( 1

Xacid writes: "Looking to spend some quality time with Google Android, but don’t feel like plunking down the cash for a smartphone and then shelling out more money each month for a data plan? I already told you about one relatively affordable option this week: The Archos 5 Internet tablet which starts at just $250. But Taiwanese PC maker Foxconn has an Android-powered tablet that cuts that price in half twice."

Interesting competitor to the iPad. Definitely not a prize fighter, but certainly a viable option for those looking for a similar device on a budget.

More details on the gadget here:

Comment Re:That would be all well and good (Score 3, Interesting) 461

Consumers squeeze corps, corps squeeze consumers - agreed

Corps have industry trade groups and lobbyists, consumers have (in the USA) representatives and senators.

When it comes down to it, people decide what's ok and what's not. Corps are not people, consumers are. (except when it comes to campaign financing)

Having minimum standards sucks from the supply side, but their absence is much more damaging on the demand side. To use your analogy - ways to make flights cheaper would include doing away with seatbelts and emergency exits (the seals are a maintenance issue). Nobody uses them anyway. Also, would you even notice if aircraft inspections were reduced? The average consumer wouldn't either.

Comment Re:Multilayer WTF? (Score 2, Interesting) 926

One problem with this whole thing is that if the luggage owner doesn't know there is contraband in it, they will act differently than someone who knows what they're carrying.

Observing "suspicious behavior" is a big part of picking this stuff out.

I think this should be enough to invalidate their test unless they were intentionally isolating the behavior observation methods out.

Comment Re:Innovation! (Score 1) 525

BBV8s will likely be replaced by supercharged small block v8s in sports cars and diesel engines in trucks. At least until battery technology is developed to get 300 miles per 5 minute charge time with a $30k price point and a 100k mile lifespan. Electric motors are superior technology to the internal combustion engine - it's powering them that's the problem.

Look at the electric sports cars that are coming out - the Karma and Roadster have some decent performance characteristics. On the other side, there are a lot of industrial machines that use electric already for large amounts of power such as fork lifts, locomotives - even the Navy's ships. In all cases, the delivery of electricity to the motor is the difficult part.

Comment And as usual...... (Score 1) 268

Who is representing the consumer's interests? Does any of these people have a grasp on topics such as "fair use" - you know, that thing that the DMCA wasn't supposed to hinder (DMCA sec 1201(C)(1)). Well, I guess some do, but they're the ones trying to destroy that concept.


Comment Re:All admins (Score 1) 502

I don't have a perfect understanding of law, but I thought that police had to charge you with an actual crime to keep you in the cage - not violation of employer's policy - as much as some employers think their word is law, it's just not so. Now, having said that, I have to believe that there is a credible accusation of a crime in order to keep him there - otherwise he's a political prisoner and the city should be under state/federal investigation on civil rights charges.

If this proves to be as much of a farce as it appears, I hope he bankrupts the city.

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