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Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 354

There is an old Japanese proverb that goes, "Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher." This week's mail is all about teaching. Whether it is about the seriousness of psychic ability, a short history of trolls or explaining how much free time and malice your dad's attorney has, these people just want to impart information. If what they sent me is any indication, they had a lot of sick days. Click on the link below to become enlightened.

Physics Nerds Rap About the LHC 91

Engadget has pointed out a small band of people even we can consider nerdy that decided to cut loose and demo CERN's fancy new toy, the Large Hadron Collider. The resulting music video is certainly enough to "rock you in the head," and maybe even enough to cause a rip in space-time. Between Alpinekat and Dr Spatzo, I think my iPod just got a new entry.
Graphics

NVidia Reportedly Will Exit Chipset Business 173

xav_jones sends along a story from X bit Laboratories claiming that NVidia is ready to quit making chipsets. That story links one from DigiTimes, which reports that NVidia has denied that it's getting out of the business. "[NVidia] is about to quit chipset business, which automatically means that the company's much-hyped multi-GPU SLI technology is either in danger or re-considered. Moreover, several mainboard makers have already ceased making high-end NVidia-based mainboards. [NVidia has]... reportedly decided to quit core-logic business to concentrate on development of graphics processors and following failure to secure license to build and sell chipsets compatible with Intel Corp.'s microprocessors that use Quick-Path Interconnect bus."
Bug

Dell Colludes With RIAA, Disables Stereo Mix 377

RCTrucker7 writes with a link to a Maximum PC story, which begins: "Details of Dell's surreptitious collusion with RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) have emerged. Apparently, the computer manufacturer disabled the Stereo Mix/Mono Mix/Wave Out sound recording function on certain notebooks to assuage RIAA. The hardware functionality is being disabled without any prior notice and one blogger has even alleged that he was asked by Dell's customer support staff to [shell] out $99 if he desired the stereo mix option. Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to RIAA at the expense of their customers' satisfaction and disabled stereo mix without warning." (There are some workarounds posted in the comments of the linked article.)
The Courts

First Guilty Verdict In Criminal Copyright Case 278

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Brooklyn man has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by a federal jury in Virginia. He now faces up to five years in prison, a quarter-million-dollar fine, and three years of parole, not to mention the 'full restitution' he has to make to the RIAA. The charges against him stem from his role as 'Dextro,' the administrator of one of the Apocalypse Production Crew's file servers — APC being one of the release groups that specialize in pre-release music. While he's the 15th member of APC to be charged under the US DOJ's Operation Fastlink, he's the first to be convicted. He will be sentenced on August 8th. For those wondering when infringement became a criminal matter, you can thank the NET Act, which was signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton."
Software

AOL Opens Up the AIM Instant Messaging Network 209

AVIDJockey writes "In a pleasantly surprising move, AOL has changed its tune when it comes to third-party access to the company's chat network. America Online has recently launched a service called OpenAIM 2.0, which provides open, uninhibited access to services like Meebo, or all-in-one IM clients like Pidgin, allowing them to freely and easily use the AIM instant messaging network. 'At the moment, multi-platform IM desktop clients like Pidgin or Adium (the popular Mac client) generally rely on hacking and reverse engineering access to chat networks run by AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. Not only is that bad for developers since it means more work, it also means that such clients often can't use all the features of a particular network.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Dealing With a GPL Violation? 204

Sortova writes "For many years now I've been maintaining OpenNMS, a free and open source network management framework published under the GPL. A couple of years ago it came to our attention that a company called Cittio was using OpenNMS as part of their proprietary and commercial network management application. I talked with Jamie Lerner, the Cittio founder, and he assured me that Cittio was abiding by the GPL. However, we were recently contacted by a potential client who was also considering Cittio's Watchtower, and it appears that they are not disclosing that they are using GPL'd code or at least not in the clear and concise fashion required by the GPL, including the offer of source code for all of the code they are including and any changes being made to that code. Since the copyright for OpenNMS is held by a number of commercial companies, the Software Freedom Law Center is not able to help us defend or even investigate a potential violation. I was curious if anyone here on Slashdot had experienced anything similar or has any advice?"
Programming

Open Source Code In a Closed Source Company 286

An anonymous reader writes "I have code that I've written for my current company that I'd like to open-source. The only problem is that my company has the usual clause that says that anything I write belongs to them. Now that they've decided to abandon my code for another product that replaces its function, I'd like to continue working on my project as well as open it up to the world. The easy part is cleaning it up and posting it on SourceForge and Freshmeat. The hard part is making sure that I am free of any legal complications in the future. I've looked online to try to find a legal document I could present to my employer to get them to sign off on it, but I'm not having any luck. Has anyone else been in this boat or can refer me to some legal documentation that may help out?"
Government

Jack Thompson Claiming Games Industry in Collusion with DoD 289

mytrip brings us a Wired blog about Jack Thompson's recent press release, which claims an "unholy alliance" exists between the gaming industry and the U.S. Department of Defense. Game Politics also has a discussion of Thompson's main points. From Wired: "Jim Blank, the head of the modeling and simulation division of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, says that commercial games don't meet the demand of the military, adding, 'first-person shooter games really don't apply in this environment.' Blank's point is that game-like simulations are a valuable tool for training soldiers in situations that would be too expensive to simulate in reality."
Government

Russian Software Piracy Crackdown Restricts Free Speech 175

reporter writes "According to a report recently filed by the Washington Post, the Kremlin has finally begun to crackdown on software piracy ... with a twist. The Russian state agency is targetting political enemies with claims of piracy, including independent news media, political parties, and private advocacy groups. In particular, 'the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, one of the last outposts of critical journalism in Russia, suspended publication of its regional edition in the southern city of Samara on Monday after prosecutors opened a criminal case against its editor, alleging that his publication used unlicensed software.'" This doesn't even take into account our recent discussion of the Kremlin's grip on internet access in that country.
Education

Anti-Terrorism and the Death of the Chemistry Set 860

An anonymous reader writes "A recent unfortunate casualty of anti-terrorism laws is the home chemistry set. Once deemed the gift that saved Christmas, most Slashdotters probably remember early childhood experimentation with one of the many pre-packaged chemistry sets that were on the market. Unfortunately the FBI has decided that home chemistry sets are a threat to national security and they are rapidly disappearing from the market entirely. Those that remain are shallow boring versions of the old kits."
The Internet

ISPs Starting To Charge for 'Guaranteed' Email Delivery 288

Presto Vivace writes "Under the guise of fighting spam, five of the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. plan to start charging businesses for guaranteed delivery of their e-mails. In other words, with regular service we may or may not deliver your email. If you want it delivered, you will have to pay deluxe. 'According to Goodmail, seven U.S. ISPs now use CertifedEmail, accounting for 60 percent of the U.S. population. Goodmail--which takes up to 50 percent of the revenue generated by the plan--will for now approve only mail sent by companies and organizations that have been operational for a year or more. Ordinary users can still apply to be white-listed by individual ISPs, which effectively provides the same trusted status.'"
Communications

T-Mobile Bans Others' Apps On Their Phones 349

cshamis writes "T-Mobile has recently changed their policies and now tell their customers with appropriate data plans and with Java-Micro-App-capable T-Mobile phones: no third-party network applications. You can, of course, still use their incredibly clunky and crippled built-in WAP browsers, but GoogleMaps and OperaMini are left high and dry. Would anyone care to speculate if this move is likely to retain or repel customers?"

RIAA President Decries Fair Use 486

triskaidekaphile writes, "Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA, has an editorial on CNet responding to the Consumer Electronics Association's support of the Digital Freedom campaign for fair use. Sherman proclaims, 'The fair use doctrine is in danger of losing its meaning and value.' Like a true spinner, he indicates that fair use is indeed important, then states 'Let's be clear. The CEA's primary concern is not consumers, but technology companies — often large, multinational corporations which, like us, strive to make a profit... But to seize the mantra of "consumer rights" to advance that business interest is simply disingenuous.' Slashdotters, trollers, and pollsters one and all, what say you? Disingenuous or dissembling?"

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