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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.

Data Storage

US District Court Says Calculating a Hash Value = Search 623

bfwebster writes "Orin Kerr over at The Volokh Conspiracy (a great legal blog, BTW) reports on a US District Court ruling issued just last week which finds that doing hash calculations on a hard drive is a form of search and thus subject to 4th Amendment limitations. In this particular case, the US District Court suppressed evidence of child pornography on a hard drive because proper warrants were not obtained before imaging the hard drive and calculating MD5 hash values for the individual files on the drive, some of which ended up matching known MD5 hash values for known child pornography image and video files. More details at Kerr's posting." Update: 10/28 16:23 GMT by T : Headline updated to reflect that this is a Federal District Court located in Pennsylvania, rather than a court of the Commonwealth itself.
Linux Business

Submission + - My Experience today at the Obama Campaign Office

hoffmanjon writes: I went down to my local Obama Campaign office today to see about getting a yard sign, bumper stickers and to see what I could do to volunteer (yes me volunteering for a political cause, never thought that would happen). I told them I not interested in door to door knocking or phone calling for personal reasons and then told them I do Computer Programming and System Administration for a living (that got some people excited). They brought me back to talk with one of the field organizers who brought be back to a room that had a number of computer in it. He said they had a number of hardware "guys" but no one that could do the software side and asked if I could install operating systems on these computers so they could use them. I told them I would be glad to do that. Now here comes the good part, he told me that they would prefer to have Linux with open office, skype and Firefox installed and ask me if I knew anything about Linux (if you do not know, I am a hugh Linux and Open Source advocate). I told him I have worked with Linux/Unix for over nine years and more familiar with Linux then probably any other operating system. I had known that the Obama Campaign used Linux for their Web Pages but I did not know that they preferred it in their local campaign offices as well. That means they will be showing/teaching their volunteers how to use Linux and Open Office. I am now an even bigger supporter of Obama knowing that he (and his campaign) use Open Source software, this means he will carry that philosphy into the White House and be more likely to support Open Source and Open Standards rather then proprietary software. I was just excited to hear that the Obama Campaign supported Open Source software and wanted to share my experience.
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.

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