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The Internet

Journal Journal: Mouseovers - as bad as popups? 8

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am by words and phrases in web articles that pop up boxes because my mouse pointer happened to cross them, temporarily hiding the content I was reading in the first place? I didn't click on anything, and consequently, I don't want a context change. I find these annoying to the point of noting what the site is and not going back. Anyone else feel the same? Anyone have a defense of the practice?

United States

Submission + - US copying laptop hard disks+password upon entry

Flo writes: "According to Fefe, a German blogger, U.S. officials copy hard disks of laptops upon entry. They even insist on the disclosure of passwords so they can decrypt files. Allegedly they even take people into coercive detention to retrieve the passwords. Fefe's sources are one member of the (German) Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and one employee of SAP. He also claims to have received confirmation for this from "two other large companies"."
Censorship

Copyright Law Used to Shut Down Site 206

driptray writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an Australian mining industry group has used copyright laws to close a website that parodied a coal industry ad campaign. A group known as Rising Tide created the website using the slogan "Rising sea levels: brought to you by mining" in response to the mining industry's slogan of "Life: brought to you by mining". The mining industry claimed that the "content and layout" of the parody site infringed copyright, but when Rising Tide removed the copyrighted photos and changed the layout, the mining industry still lodged a complaint. Is this a misuse of copyright law in order to stifle dissent?"
Businesses

Submission + - Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More

Arun Jacob writes: "The NYT has an interesting article — Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More — on online tools that can help in salary negotiations. Link here (Free registration required).

To summarise, the article talks about the websites that provide information on standard compensation packages for your position and role. Using this information, it should be easier to negotiate your pay with a fact-based approach rather than "feelings-based" approach. The sites profiled are —
Salary.com (Data available only for US)
Payscale.com (International)"
Software

Submission + - US Air finds database hard to swallow!

bbsguru writes: Anyone who has ever tried to combine two IT departments following a takeover or merger knows a version of this story:

The 2005 merger of US Air and West Holdings Group finally got to the point of combining flight reservations systems, with calamitous results.

FTA: "US Airways' kiosks at Charlotte and four regional hubs couldn't communicate with the reservation network for several hours after the systems were unified as part of a 2005 merger of the two airlines, causing lines and missed flights."
Power

Submission + - Free Solar coming soon or is CitizenRE vaporware?

AmericanInKiev writes: CitizenRE is a new Multi-level-marketing concept (or Pyramid Scheme depending on the reader) which promises to install Solar Energy on your roof for FREE. In short you agree to pay the same price for energy as today, and CitizenRE will install a solar system on a rental basis. If this sounds too good to be true, bear in mind they have over 7,000 "customers", 700 "affiliates", but have so far failed to install even a single system. Is this celebrity-backed pyramid scheme the "Moses" that will lead the chosen ones to the promised land and free them from the bonds of evil energy companies and solar installers? or does CitizenRE mark the entrance of faith-based solutions to mitigate the collective guilt of fossil fuel. You decide.
Patents

Submission + - E-auction Company Uses Patent to Sue Nashville PD

Synistar writes: GovDeals, an Ebay-like government auction company, is using a patent that they were awarded on a "tiered method for auctioning government assets over a computerized network, such as the Internet"to sue the Nashville Police Department . Apparently GovDeals was rejected in their bid to become a contractor for the city government. They warned the city that they were in process of obtaining a patent and that the city would be in violation of it if they did not hire GovDeals. When they lost the bid and were awarded the patent they then turned around and sued the Police Department for violating it. So were patents intended as a means to wrangle government contracts and punish those who don't hire you?
Media

Submission + - Why the RIAA is Bad - In a Nutshell

JeremyDuffy writes: "This is probably the best summary of who the RIAA is and what they stand for that I've ever heard:

The RIAA is like the Prohibitionists of old. In their view, the law cannot allow for something completely reasonable such as legal circumvention because it could be abused. Millions of people are thereby punished. Yet this is not how a civil society typically functions. Life is full of potentially dangerous products, services, and ideas. It's up to individuals to take responsibility for their actions, because we all know that catering to the lowest common denominator does not give birth to a free society, let alone an intelligent one. Yet the RIAA will stop at nothing to make sure that you and I never have the chance to make such decisions for ourselves.
By "legal circumvention", he refers to the the practice of circumventing Data Rights Management (DRM) for legal purposes such as making personal backup copies, educational uses, and other Fair Use practices. The RIAA is against it because they know that all it takes is one user with a DRM-free copy to post a song online for it to be shared everywhere in the world."
United States

Submission + - Wireless Net Neutrality

monkey_dongle writes: NPR "On The Media" had an interesting broadcast this weekend about how wireless providers are crippling handsets in order to maintain control over their customers and revenue streams, all at the expense of innovation and lower prices. Columbia University law professor Tim Wu wrote a paper on this issue and presented it to a Federal Trade Commission hearing on Internet access this month.

(NPR OTM-http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2007/03/ 02/04)

(Professor Wu abstract-http://www.timwu.org/log/archives/92)
(Professor Wu paper-http://www.newamerica.net/files/WorkingPaper 17_WirelessNetNeutrality_Wu.pdf)

Also, the Washington Post has a story on this here — http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content /article/2007/02/08/AR2007020802169_pf.html)
Encryption

Submission + - Final AACS key found

julie-h writes: The PowerDVD AACS private key for playing Blu-Ray and HD-DVD's have been found. This was the last key needed. What does this mean? We don't have to sniff/snoop Volume IDs anymore. We can create a program that can decrypt (or play if you will) a disc without any need for WinDVD or PowerDVD. So no sniffing/extracting of keys anymore. And more over: it can work on all platforms... In other words: we can make our own independent, user friendly player (or decrypter).

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