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Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 661

Perhaps you don't understand the point of my comment. I fail to see how it is idealistic or naive to acknowledge and protect your ability to do what you need without the risk of law suits. If anything, most people would consider that the polar opposite of naivete: paranoia :P. Naturally, the risk is fairly negligible for many people using many products but that doesn't negate the wisdom of wishing to cover your ass just in case. Granted there is a fair amount of idealism involved in the FOSS movement but don't let it cloud your view of the practical benefits of not being legally encumbered and supporting technologies that help defend it.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 5, Insightful) 661

H.264 is technically better format too. That's why it should be picked, not based on some religious free software views.

Not all concerns about the Freedom to use a technology are matters of obsessive fanboyism or faith. There are plenty of pragmatic concerns associated with IP that only the most reckless would choose to ignore. A technology can be 1000x better than anything else that exists but still be effectively useless or a huge risk to end-users or business management. As an end user, I don't want my choices limited by how many technologies a prospective vendor can afford to employ. As a developer, I want to be able to create or fix technologies I encounter without much bureaucracy, being hindered by secrecy or risking having all of my hard work phased out through planned obsolescence strategies. As a business owner, I don't want the items purchased by my business to be hindered by cumbersome, nuanced, legal agreements. In my view, the diversity and innovation facilitated by Free software is almost always better even in cases where proprietary counterparts have a few more features or slightly better performance. Essentially, the freedom to do what you want has its own innate value that, while hard to quantify, should be thoroughly considered before making *any* important decisions, both technology-related and otherwise. It's not always easy to predict when and how those restrictions might hinder your opportunities in the future.


Shakespeare In Klingon? 80

stevegee58 writes "As if the Klingon opera described recently here at Slashdot weren't enough, here's an interesting offering for Shakespeare buffs. The Washington Shakespeare Company (based in Arlington VA) will soon be performing selections from Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing in Klingon."

Submission + - Astrophotography Equatorial Mounts

Timoris writes: With the Perseids approaching rapidly, I am looking for a good beginner's motorized Equatorial mount for astrophotography. I have seen a few for $150 to $200, but apperently the motor vibrations makes for poor photographs. Orion makes good mounts, but are out of my price range ($350) and the motor is sold separately, adding to the price half over again. Does anyone have any good experiance with any low mid priced mounts?

Submission + - Terry Childs is denied motion for retrial (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "The former San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords for one of the city's networks was denied a new trial on Friday and is expected to be sentenced on August 6. Terry Childs had been due for sentencing Friday but the court instead heard two defense motions, one requesting a new trial and the other for arrested judgment — essentially to have his original conviction overturned."
The Internet

Submission + - BIND to remove DNS Neutrality (circleid.com)

alphatel writes: In a recent post, Paul Vixie, founder of ISC and author of MAPS (the original email RBL), has proposed a new method for BIND which "rates" domains. Opening with "Most new domain names are malicious", DNS queries would be sent to 'cooperating good guys' which can be used to filter out entire blocks of TLDs or country codes. In this new "Response Policy Zone" (DNS RPZ) method, all queries which fail to meet an unknown standard are redirected. As most people are familiar, elsewhere almost always winds up being the DNS host's advertising channel rather than the trash heap. Those fighting for net neutrality have denounced the change but ISC is already publishing a patch and would "like to hear from content providers who want to be listed by ISC as having reputation content available in this format, and also recursive DNS vendors whose platforms can subscribe to reputation feeds in this format. An online registry will follow."

Submission + - Community College Degree Curriculums?

sinthetek writes: "I am searching for CS degree curriculums that aren't heavily rooted in proprietary technologies (preferably one with transferable credit for *nix classes). Does anyone know of any community colleges or technical schools that have a selection of transferable credit courses on Open technologies anywhere in the continental US? I've only found one or two and I am having to download PDFs to even find out most of the time so any recommendations or insight would be appreciated, thanks!"

Comment Re:Source? (Score 1) 217

I believe the headline is based on this statement FTA:

Microsoft said it is investigating the flaw and looking at possible solutions, however there was no clear indication that the company intends to patch the flaw in the near future.

Granted it isn't as conclusive as the headline but it does have that connotation...


Submission + - NVIDIA GTX 460 $200 GPU Tops Value Charts (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: While $1200 graphics cards might get a lot of attention from enthusiasts, the majority of PC gamers fall into the sub-$200 world and NVIDIA's latest graphics card fits perfectly into that niche. The GeForce GTX 460 comes in both 1GB and 768MB versions and will sell for $229 and $199 respectively. Based on a new design of the existing GPU, the GF104 chip also goes through a fairly dramatic architecture shift that includes rebalancing CUDA cores (shaders) in relation to the tessellation engines and texture units. In the end though what matters is performance and value and the GTX 460 delivers on both counts handily beating the $199 HD 5830 from AMD.

Submission + - Is Cryptome.org a false flag operation ? (cryptome.org)

An anonymous reader writes: They do seem to view the demise of Wikileaks with excessive zeal. And it's been ages, if ever that they published anything of real value relating to intelligence.

Submission + - The Android Gets its HyperCard

theodp writes: Steve Jobs & Co. put the kibosh on easier cellphone development, but Google is giving it a shot. The NY Times reports that Google is bringing Android software development to the masses, offering a software tool starting Monday that's intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android phones. The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android, has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not CS majors. The thinking behind the initiative, Google said, is that as cellphones increasingly become the computers that people rely on most, users should be able to make applications themselves. It's something Apple should be taking very seriously, advises TechCrunch.

Comment Re:Incredible (Score 1) 957

I don't know how you come to this conclusion, but a guy who lives a few blocks from me was kicked off the police force for misconduct.

Getting kicked off of the police force is a far cry from "being convicted" and from what I have seen, even that is relatively rare as a result of their misconduct while on patrol. Generally speaking, that is the MOST serious punishment they get for any crime they get caught committing while on duty, whether there is hard evidence/multiple witnesses or not. In most cases they and/or their fellow officers can fairly easily fabricate testimony to "justify" any action they get caught taking.

The fact that you are unaware of this kind of thing shows how biased your information collecting skills are. Work on that.

That is hardly a fact. The truth is I have been following the Mehrsele case and, AFAIK, it is the first ever murder trial any officer in the country has ever received for his actions on duty (though there have been a number for their actions off-duty) even in cases where suspects were clearly shot in the back on video and at least one I know of where the suspect was shot for following orders and the shooting officer was caught changing his testimony at least twice (Elio Carrion Case). Much like Rodney King, the Mehrsele/Grant case is very likely only because of clear video evidence and national attention. Also much like Rodney King's assault, I doubt there will be any criminal conviction.

Also note that the officer seen clearly repeatedly punching Grant in the head without provocation (the same officer who was kneeling on his neck) had no charges filed whatsoever. Though he did eventually get fired, it was not until months after the incident occurred and, again, very likely that was due to national scrutiny (possibly in conjunction with other complaints).

Sounds to me like he said you have to bribe and be from a well connected family. He didn't say, "in some corrupt towns in the US." Is that really a statement you want to defend?

What he said is pretty much accurate. In many places you cannot even officially file a complaint. In quite a few officers try to threaten/intimidate complainers. Most DA's are completely unwilling to even bring charges against officers without VERY hard evidence because of work/gov politics and because it is difficult to convict when judges and juries nearly always side with officers over anyone else who. DA's rely pretty much solely on evidence collected by the officer in question and his colleagues. It is illustrated time and again that officers are generally unwilling to implicate their colleagues for anything they do. On top of it all, (and perhaps most significantly) admitting any form of culpability could implicate fellow officers as well as make the entire department susceptible to lawsuits for their training and/or policies.

All of these factors conspire (along with a few others) to make it near impossible to even get an officer disciplined, let alone held accountable criminally. Most of those factors are covered in the report mentioned above. While the comment I am defending might be a slight exaggeration, I think part of your problem is that you are prone to oversimplifying statements to read what you want. He is saying that it is very difficult for someone who has been unjustly treated by an officer to do anything about it in this country, especially if they are a minority, from out of town and have no money or political pull. This is pretty obvious given what he said and the context in which he said it.

The only part that even slightly conflicts with my own experiences and findings regards bribery because, AFAIK, that usually only works with the dirtiest of cops and usually pertains to ongoing criminal activity rather than withdrawing charges/tickets that have already been filed or disciplining any misconduct. While I will grant you that misconduct is less likely to occur in some places than in others, I'm pretty convinced that it exists in nearly every department in the country and nearly impossible for the average person to do anything about it in 99.999% of cases.

Comment Re:Incredible (Score 2) 957

What I'm saying is you don't seem to have a very good grasp of reality, and it is shown in your lack of ability to present evidence clearly.

Please do not mistake a lack of motivation with lack of ability. As you mentioned in your previous reply to me, and which I bore in mind in my initial reply to you (thanks in part to my previous experiences attempting to illuminate the pervasiveness and impact of police misconduct), anecdotes hardly qualify as any form of real evidence. More often than not, especially when they oppose the justice system, any form of anecdotal evidence is simply met with accusations of dishonesty or dismissed entirely. It is for this very reason that many experiences with police misconduct, my own included, continue to go unreported. Rather than attempt such an endeavor, which has proven time and again to be futile, I chose a different approach - shedding light on and challenging the attitudes and behavior that continually shield even the worst of officers from punishment and result in those who are least able to defend themselves suffering unjustly.

Besides this, why exactly should I feel compelled to provide ANY evidence refuting your claims when you've provided none to support them? Nevertheless, you asked for it so I shall present some:

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/police/uspo25.htm (Though it is a bit dated, a very insightful report. The specific section linked deals with internal affairs but there is a LOT more to the report than that, including several cases of police torturing suspects and explanations from various justice system officials of why police are rarely if every prosecuted).

And there are also anecdotes of corrupt police being convicted for what they've done. Unless you take these into consideration, you can't have a clear view of the situation.

There are virtually NO anecdotes of corrupt police being convicted and statistics reflect this. Those few cases when they are convicted rarely have anything to do with their on-duty conduct even when there is video evidence or multiple of their crimes. Your belief to the contrary clearly illustrates that it is you and not I who hasn't considered it and has a poor grasp on the reality of the situation. Read the aforementioned report and then watch some older youtube videos and look up the cases involved. You will find that by-and-large the only cases that even go to trial are those which make national headlines. Most of the rest are swept under the rug and settled out of court for undisclosed sums of PD-supplied money (when the victims are lucky enough to find a lawyer and have hard evidence).

Furthermore, the poster you are defending claims that there is no justice anywhere in the United States unless you can bribe the judge. That's just idiotic; is it really a position you want to try to defend?

Wrong. That isn't even remotely what the poster I am defending said. This absurd statement as well as your interpretation of my first reply to you very clearly indicates how biased and irrational you are. There is a big difference between "if you are from out of town or a minority" [reporting police corruption] and "no justice anywhere in the US". What he said is absolutely true and it is YOU who are idiotic for feeling as strongly as you do without properly researching the subject and considering the implications of pervasive belief that officers can't lie and only people with a record or baggy pants ever have a motive to lie about a criminal case.

Comment Re:Incredible (Score 1) 957

So essentially what you are saying is that you reject my perfectly sound argument, as well as all complaints of inappropriate behavior from LEOs, based entirely upon your own experience(s) and the evidence/testimony of LEOs who might have a conflict of interest when writing their reports or collecting/handling any evidence that might exist? Though I have multiple anecdotes that could clearly illustrate police impropriety (including perjured reports, false charges and unprovoked physical and verbal abuse), I'm not prepared to waste my time relaying them to one who is as obviously as dismissive and biased as yourself. I certainly hope that you are simply a troll but my experience tells me you are very likely, and sadly, one of the majority in society who I just mentioned; Refusing to acknowledge even the possibility that officers act inappropriately unless confronted with video evidence and then continuing to defend them as "only human" while offering no such defenses for anyone they victimize.

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