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Comment Venerable? (Score 2, Insightful) 45

Return to Zork is hardly a venerable game. It was a rather poor adventure game for the era, with at least one extremely counter-intuitive puzzle, as well as a error you can make very early in the game that renders it unbeatable, and gives you no clue that you've made an error when you make the mistake.

Zork: Grand Inquisitor, the third of Activision's 90s Zork games, was the lone one of that set that can be fairly called Venerable.

Comment Re:Something is needed (Score 1) 205

Eh. I think that puts too high a bar. Generally speaking, if someone is slandering me, I'd rather just find a way to stop the slander than to have an obligation to seek damages. Which is, to my mind, the major advantage of something like the DMCA. Frankly, DMCA takedown notices are vastly superior to actually having lawsuits for damages at every single case of infringement. Now I'm all for reform and a system whereby spurious notices can be treated as the harassment they are. But on the other hand, a system in place that facilitates merely stopping the activity rather than seeking damages and punishment seems to me desirable.

Comment Something is needed (Score 1) 205

As it stands, Section 230 of the CDA offers a more or less complete safe harbor immunity to any "provider of an interactive service" for law-infringing content, with copyright currently being the only exception.

I could care less about making it easier to out anonymous commentators, and in fact oppose any effort to make that easier. But on the other hand, illegal content is illegal content, and once a provider is notified that they are hosting illegal content, I have no objection with a requirement to take it down or assume liability for it.

Television

Conflict of Interest May Taint DTV Delay Proposal 339

Anonymous writes "Ars Technica has discovered that one of the Obama transition team members advising on the digital TV transition has a conflict of interest that would benefit WiMAX carrier Clearwire over Verizon. 'Barack Obama's call to delay the DTV transition would affect not only millions of analog TV viewers, but also powerful companies with a vested interest in the changeover date — including at least one with an executive on Obama's transition team.'"

Comment Long after the train has left the station... (Score 1) 485

But for anyone still reading this (and reading at the 1 level, since one assumes this comment ain't going anywhere in moderation), if you want a sane take on naked short selling that isn't from someone with fingers all over the pie, NPR did a piece on naked short selling recently as part of their regular podcast/blog called Planet Money (which is a fantastic primer on the financial crisis in general).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2008/09/listen_up_naked_short_selling.html is the link for the piece on naked short selling, and it's absolutely worth a listen.

Education

Submission + - Citizendium, the non-free encyclopedia (citizendium.org) 4

An anonymous reader writes: Citizendium, the erstwhile competitor to Wikipedia, is about to adopt a non-free license — a CC-NC license, with the Citizendium Foundation being able to sell the content commercially. Larry Sanger claims he hasn't decided, but the question, his arguments in favor and him comparing people who disagree to Hitler make it pretty clear. There is a Wikipedia blog post that says this means Citizendium is conceding the whole Third World to Wikipedia — and Wikipedia's already won the First World.
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Slashdot Firehose

Well, I guess it's my turn to weigh in on the "new" Slashdot firehose.

I like it.

There's not that much to say, really. It provides what I consider a nice, clean interface to lots of potentially interesting stories and data from a wide variety of sources. However, there's also garbage to wade through (real men browse at Black).

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - RIAA hires DJ's, then sends in the SWAT team

cancan writes: "The NY times is carrying an article about how the RIAA is hiring hip hop artists to make mix tapes, and then helping the police raid their studios. In the case of DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon (myspace warning), they were raided by SWAT teams with their guns drawn. The local police chief said later that they were "prepared for the worst." Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away "evidence"."
Handhelds

Submission + - Are eInk displays the future?

An anonymous reader writes: This week a company called Polymer Vision, which used to be part of Philips, unveiled a fully functional and soon to be commercially available eInk display. What makes this display special, though, is its ability to be rolled up so that you can store it in a smaller package than current large screen handheld devices. The problem, however, with eInk displays is that they can only display greyscale at the moment and they don't support video either. This begs the question, will consumers be put off by non-colour screens that don't play video or will the extra battery life, small form factor and easy-to-read functionality prove too tempting an offer?
Security

Submission + - How To Protect Your PC Data

An anonymous reader writes: Former network computing editor David Strom looks at How To Protect Your PC Data, discussing methods from physical security (lock up your damn laptop) to encryption. He also collects a list of low-cost tools, ranging from PCP Desktop and MyLaptopGPS, to ZTrace and CyberAngel Security. How do you protect your notebook (other than trying to remember not to leave it at Starbucks)?
Education

Princeton ESP Lab to Close 363

Nico M writes " The New York Times reports on the imminent closure of one of the most controversial research units at an ivy league School. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is due to close, but not because of pressure from the outside. Lab founder Robert G. Jahn has declared, in the article, that they've essentially collected all the data they're going to. The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university's engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. Jahn points the finger at detractors as well: 'If people don't believe us after all the results we've produced, then they never will.'"
Censorship

Submission + - YouTube bans video containing Qur'an quotes

skraps writes: "YouTube, in a move that has caused quite a reaction in the community, has censored popular atheist commentator NickGisburne. Mr. Gisburne has built a large following on YouTube by making simple and accessible logical arguments against Christian beliefs, and had recently decided to change the focus of his videos to the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. YouTube reacted by deleting his account, along with 60+ videos, after he posted a simple slide-show video with direct quotes from the English translation of the Qur'an, containing no commentary aside from the video's title "Islamic Teachings — Cruelty from the Qur'an". YouTube's explanation was "After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down."

Do "Web 2.0" sites like YouTube fit the legal definition of a "public commons", and if so, what will it take for corporations like YouTube to start honoring constitutionally protected speech?"

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