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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 4 accepted (11 total, 36.36% accepted)

Power

Submission + - Ice Block Air Conditioning (yahoo.com)

JumperCable writes: The AP has an interesting article on the use of ice blocks as air conditioning in New York high rises. The concept is pretty basic. Overnight during off peak energy pricing hours & during the coolest part of the 24 hour day, the system freezes water in storage tanks into giant blocks of ice. These storage tanks are located in the basement (coolest location). They are frozen with ethylene glycol.

Given that most of the brown outs occur during the summer months due to high electric demand for air conditioning, I wonder how much of an effect this system would have in reducing brownouts if it's use was more wide spread. The article mentions it is only cost efficient for large companies. But how much of this is profit padding? Couldn't a smaller system be worked out for home use? CALMAC is one of the producers of these systems.

Patents

Submission + - EFF: Patent Busting -- Prior Art Needed for VOIP

JumperCable writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking to bust an overly broad patent by a company called Acceris. Acceris claims patents on processes that implement voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) using analog phones as endpoints. These patents cover telephone calls over the Internet.

Specifically, the claims describe a system that connects two parties where the receiving party does not need to have a computer or an Internet connection, but the call is routed in part through the Internet or any other "public computer network". The calls must also be "full duplex", meaning that both parties can listen and talk at the same time, like in an ordinary phone call.

To bust these overly broad claims, we need "prior art" — any publication, article, patent or other public writing that describes the same or similar ideas being implemented before September 20, 1995.
Censorship

Submission + - Free Website Speech on a Budget

JumperCable writes: When it comes to free speech on the internet things become a little hairy when you run your own website in the US. Satire, parody and truth are all fine defenses in theory, but do little to protect you from a DMCA shut down request. Even if you do find a good US hosting service, everyone knows you can be sued for anything. If a hobbyist doesn't have enough money for a decent lawyer he/she can be shut down & taken to the cleaners in no time flat. Even current & future employment can become an issue since most states provide little or no protection for freedom of speech.

A practical defense, I believe, is to make it more difficult for them to identify who you are and to host off of US soil. Services like Domains By Proxy are fine until they get subpoenaed. I don't think entering in fake domain registration information is a good idea since it is illegal for US residents. Tools like freenet are nice in theory, but of little value since it is not used by the general public.

I realize that no matter what, I will have to take chances and assume some risk or face the frigid confines of the chilling effect. How do I take reasonable steps to minimize my risk? They make it to expensive for it to be worth your while to fight them. I want to make it too difficult to be worth their while to go after a small time pundit.

Are there any decent suggestions for proxy domain name registration & web hosting overseas that won't toss you to the US lawyer wolves at the drop of a hat and are still trustworthy?

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