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Feed Techdirt: Sens. Feinstein And Durbin Specifically Try To Carve Citizen Journalists Out Of (

There was a lot of reasonable concern earlier this year when a much needed federal shield law proposal appeared to ignore participatory journalists and only cover those employed by major media companies. After people complained about this we were relieved to see Senators Chuck Schumer and Arlen Specter change the bill to cover participatory journalism as well. As they realized such a law should be about protecting acts of journalism not some arbitrary definition of journalists.

Unfortunately, it looks like some other Senators disagree. Karl Bode alerts us to the news that Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Durbin are specifically trying to limit the bill to only covering major media journalists. It's hard to see any rationale for such a move, but it does seem rather obnoxious. One of the fundamental points of a strong media is the ability to protect their sources. Without that, it's that much harder for the media to actually hold anyone accountable, since sources will be more afraid to reveal important information. Why would Senators Feinstein and Durbin be so against protecting the process of journalism?

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Submission + - Sexism or Not 2

realsilly writes: "I am a Business Systems Analyst. I am often asked to write documentation beyond requirements. These stem from Scope documents to How To guides and beyond. Now I'm fairly organized in taking capturing information, I tend to ask questions to get information correct and I'm fairly knowledgeable with many of the the MS Office tools so I see these as selling features of when I'm trying to look for employment. I am basically a Jack Of All Trades, except, I'm a girl. I recently took a new position a company where I'm a rare female among many male engineers and developers. The few females on my floor are engineers themselves and in a different department. So when I joined there was a department secretary who helped to support our team, but she moved to another building, and suddenly, I'm being asked to take notes in meetings where I have no business being. I'm receiving calls from strangers to check on availability of meeting rooms, I'm being asked to help with presentations that need quick easy to access (imo) information. I've was told in front of several male counterparts during a lunch session, "...since we don't have and Admin, I'm going to pull you to set up xyz...." where xyz is sometimes considered an Admin task.

Now all of these request could be because I'm quick organized and efficient and I'm only 300% booked by comparison to my fellow coworkers who are more booked than I, or some of these requests are what they appear to be, blatant sexism. I'm looking for some feedback from the Slashdot community, of both Women and Men."

Submission + - UK's DEB criticised by webgiants (

DangerFace writes: Major players, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay, have written to Peter Mandelson asking him to remove Clause 17 from the proposed Digital Economy Bill. The consortium believe that if Clause 17, is approved it will give "any future Secretary of State" the ability to amend copyright laws as they see fit. "The law must keep pace with technology, so that the Government can act if new ways of seriously infringing copyright develop in the future," said a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Submission + - SPAM: Racing to reverse engineer the human brain

destinyland writes: Citing competing teams on both sides of the Atlantic, this article describes the race to develop cognitive computing by reverse engineering the brain. While IBM is using the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer, the same supercomputer is also being used by the Blue Brain project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (The head of the project notes the difficulty in "recreating the three-dimensional structure of the brain in a 2-D piece of silicon... It's not a brain. It's more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has.") Meanwhile IBM still hopes "to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging." With rapidly accelerating advances in supercomputer architectures, can a simulated human brain be far off?
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Comment Re:The "free market" is "people"! (Score 1) 249

Generally, I'm against the free for all suggested by libertarians, but here I must disagree with you. Information is the key to power. The proper way of handling this is to hand the power back to the people. What we need is to redesign the whole thing so that it's completely unblockable. For example, suppose devices were communicating directly with each other and you had just a bunch of interconnected wi-fi routers forming a global network with no large-scale infrastructure. This is the kind of thing we should be looking to build instead of asking governments to protect our right to free information.

Comment Re:Why implants? (Score 2, Insightful) 314

That's a very widespread myth. Primitive people had to pretty much work from dawn to dusk every day in order to just barely survive. No weekends, no vacations, leisure time very limited because you have to prepare food, shelter, etc. It's only in highly advanced civilizations that people started having so much leisure time. Seriously.

Comment Re:legal signature? or a computer generated sig.? (Score 1) 857

In my country (Poland), legal documents like acts prepared by a notary are required to have a "readable signature", which means your real name hand written legibly. Technically, that means you could sign with block letters if you like, but they have to be able to read your name.

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