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Comment Re:Virgin Mobile (Score 2) 319

If you have line of sight, you might consider reading 'Diary of a Not-spot' posted on The Register.
Hopefully some of what he's tried and gone through could be of help to you.

Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband
Diary of a Not-spot: The readers speak
Diary of a Not-spot – the final chapter
Diary of a not-spot: Breaking the BT barrier

Submission + - Slashdot Sued For Patent Infringement? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: According to this story, Slashdot is among a group of sites sued for patent infringement (well, technically Slashdot's parent corporation, Geeknet, but it's over Slashdot). Other sites in the lawsuit include aggregators Digg, Reddit, Fark and Delicious, as well as the blog TechCrunch. What could all of those sites possibly done to infringe on a single patent? The patent is for "a system and method for structured news release generation and distribution." The problem, according to the lawsuit is that all of these sites "has and/or require and/or directs users to access and/or interact with a system that receives and stores separately specified portions of a new or press release and that assembles a news or press release in a predetermined format." Uh yeah. That patent was filed for in 1999, well after Slashdot existed.

Submission + - FBI failed to break the encryption of hard drives (

benoliver writes: Not even FBI was able to decrypt files of Daniel Dantas (Brazilian banker accused of "financial crimes" by the Brazilian justice). Hard drives were seized by the feds during Operation Satyagraha, in 2008. Information is protected by sophisticated encryption system. The hard drives seized by federal police at the apartment of banker Daniel Dantas, in Rio de Janeiro, during Operation Satyagraha. The operation began in July 2008. According to a report published on Friday (25) by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, after a year of unsuccessful attempts, the U.S. federal police returned the equipment to Brazil in April. According to the report, the fed only requested help from USA in early 2009, after experts from the National Institute of Criminology (INC) failed to decode the passwords on the hard drives. The government has no legal instrument to compel the manufacturer of the American encryption system or Dantas to give the access codes.

Submission + - Can Sounds Mimic The Effect of Drugs? (

Beetle B. writes: "For decades, parents, doctors and school administrators have worried about the dangers of drugs. In the digital age, they've got a new arena for concern: Sound waves that, some say, affect the brain like a drug — and cost only 99 cents on iTunes and"

Comment Re:Goodbye Flash (Score 2, Interesting) 325

Unless this in itself can be extended using plugins, this means a great majority of people who browse the web will be limited to viewing those h.264 datastreams.

I wonder how many of those viewers and publishers will be correctly licensed? There have been blog posts from mainstream sites pointing out that some licenses (even for very expensive video editing software) don't actually cover people for everything they think it covers them for in h.264 production and distribution.

IIRC there was even some real stupidity where one end violated their license if the other end had been done without an official license (license violations when viewing with a licensed viewer videos that were made without a license?)

Comment Re:Problem (Score 1) 256

I do understand that there may be a difference between information that a person picks up in their day to day life and information that a company gathers in the course of doing business, so it may be that facebook's default position is more restrictive than a private person's.

Among other things the California Constitution defines privacy as an inalienable right, and the courts generally have ruled widespread invasion of privacy by corporations as illegal. You're right, though, that there's no specific set of laws that covers this, AFAIK, but rather interpretations thereof.

Ad revenue is irrelevant as that is external to to the facebook/user relationship.

Is it really? The fact that you will be advertised to is mentioned in the terms of service, so I don't think that's external to the relationship at all.

In fact, one can use facebook without providing any information about yourself.

Not entirely. I would argue that merely having an account means that other people you know can find you, and thus are more likely to remain users (which brings in ad revenue). Thus, even if you provide no more information than the bare minimum (name and email), you are still providing something of value to Facebook---your connections with other people.

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