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Comment Re:Absolutely! (Score 1) 474

I'm surprised I hadn't heard about Dijskstra's telescope analogy before. People (especially family) assume that computer science means "fixing computers" and "making websites for their dog". I've been looking for a good way to explain what CS really entails.
Communications

How Networks Interact — Peering and Transit Explained 92

Raindeer writes to share his article about peering and transit between networks, which begins: "In 2005, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre famously told BusinessWeek, 'What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that...Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?' The story of how the Internet is structured economically is not so much a story about net neutrality, but rather it's a story about how ISPs actually do use AT&T's pipes for free, and about why AT&T actually wants them to do so. These inter-ISP sharing arrangements are known as 'peering' or 'transit,' and they are the two mechanisms that underlie the interconnection of networks that form the Internet. In this article, I'll take a look at the economics of peering and transit in order to give you a better sense of how traffic flows from point A to point B on the Internet, and how it does so mostly without problems, despite the fact that the Internet is a patchwork quilt of networks run by companies, schools, and governments."
The Courts

5 Years of RIAA Filesharing Lawsuits 148

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "David Kravets of Wired.com, who provided in-person gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Capitol v. Thomas trial last year, takes stock of the RIAA's 5-year-old litigation campaign, concluding it is 'at a crossroads', and noting that 'billions of copies of copyrighted songs are now changing hands each year on file sharing services. All the while, some of the most fundamental legal questions surrounding the legality of file sharing have gone unanswered. Even the future of the RIAA's only jury trial victory — against Minnesota mother Jammie Thomas — is in doubt. Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.'"
IBM

IBM Suspended From US Federal Contracts 136

theodp writes "IBM has been temporarily banned from receiving future contracts with federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed on Monday. The suspension went into effect last Thursday due to 'concerns raised about potential activities involving an EPA procurement,' the agency said in an e-mailed statement. Under a reciprocal agreement among federal agencies, when one issues a ban, the others follow it. The EPA said it will not comment further on the matter. An IBM spokesman said he had no immediate comment. 'You don't see this very often, particularly for large companies,' commented a stunned industry analyst, mentioning a bankrupt MCI as a notable exception. IBM earned an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue from federal prime contracts in fiscal 2007."

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