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Comment Re:And who ... (Score 1) 297

I completely agree. Remove the word "lawful" from all sections and I'll be much more supportive of their efforts. If all content and application communications were protected under the First Amendment then word "lawful' would only serve to restrict that right in the future by designating specific things as "unlawful". The last thing we need is government overview of what applications or content are considered "lawful".

Comment Re:Science =! Public Policy (Score 1) 899

I blame the sorry state of US public education, where the science teachers can make the fascinating into something as dull as watching paint dry.

When it comes to schooling, we sure as hell don't get what we pay for.

The missing element is competition at the primary and high school level. We still have competition at the university level, and the USA still has world-class universities. When students have a choice of where to go, incompetence isn't rewarded.

Setting the question of whether government should fund schooling aside, it's quite obvious that granting public schools a monopoly on the disposal of taxpayer funds has been a disaster. When they fail, they beat their chests and demand more funding. It's asinine.

-jcr

Comment Re:My experience with city-wide Wifi (Score 5, Insightful) 259

TFA is referring not to de-facto ubiquitous coverage by multiple independent access points, but by a single, centrally run mesh of access points owned and operated (at least partially) by the municipal government.

At least in the USA, this has largely been quashed by the telcos in the courts, claiming that such networks are unfair competition to their price gouging mobile data plans.

Comment Re:Bye Bye Monopoly (Score 1) 295

The problem is that you need jailbroken iphone...

This may be true for the moment, but now that someone is actually capitalizing on jailbroken iphones, Apple's attempts to completely restrict people from installing what they want on their devices could be construed as anti-competitive behavior by a judge. That is, if they were to secure all flaws in the phone's operating system via an update and not provide people with the availability to install software from a competing vendor, Apple could face some serious fines for effectively trying to eliminate the competition.

If this ever winds up in court, Apple might try to argue that jailbroken iphones are against the DMCA. The competing store however might argue that it was done for "compatibility" purposes, which last I recall was allowed under current copyright laws. In the end if something like this does ever happen, it'll definitely be a case worth paying attention to.

Comment PBS (Score 3, Interesting) 325

PBS had a great 1 hour segment on this not too long ago. Their segment covered the rapid decline in albatrosses due to offspring being fed the plastic from the pacific. I haven't been able to find the complete coverage of the segment I saw on my local PBS station, but I have managed to locate part of it here titled: World's Oceans Face Problem of Plastic Pollution

Comment Re:Abandon Email (Score 1) 284

While I agree that web based email clients may be the way of the future, it will be a long time before messaging services provided by sites like MySpace or Facebook replace traditional email services. The main problem with these services is their inability to relay messages to users of different sites.

From a technical POV, the move to web based email services could actually be considered a good thing since it abstracts the underlying system from the user. That is to say, users need not know how it works or how to make it work, only that it does what they expect it to do. If web based email were to completely replace desktop email clients, we would be free to modify and correct the shortfalls of the current system without having to conform to protocols imposed by existing desktop based email clients.

KDE

Submission + - KDE 4.0 Release Candidate 2 (kde.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: December 11, 2007 (The INTERNET). The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the second release candidate for KDE 4.0. This release candidate marks the last mile on the road to KDE 4.0.
Power

Submission + - Microbial Hydrogen Fuel Cells at Record Efficiency (nsf.gov)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Researchers at Penn State University have built upon past attempts to generate electricity from microbes, reaching efficiencies of up to 91%. According the lead researcher, 'this process produces 288% more energy in hydrogen than the electrical energy that is added to the process.' In certain configurations, nearly all of the hydrogen contained in the molecules of source material converted to useable hydrogen gas, an efficiency that could eventually open the door to bacterial hydrogen production on a larger scale."
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone software unlocker prepares for release

Anonymous Coward writes: "Iphonesimfree.com is preparing to release the first ever total software driven unlocking service for the Apple iPhone. Their software is reportedly complete and they are openly accepting invitations from the media to have their iPhones unlocked for free in order to silence any possible doubters. Hopefully Slashdot will let us know just how well it works."

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