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Submission + - Aussie ISP proposes piracy authority (

daria42 writes: "In the wake of its victory over a number of film and TV studios in a BitTorrent piracy case in Australia's Federal Court, broadband provider iiNet has proposed the creation of an independent body to administer allegations of copyright infringement by internet users, including the power to issue fines and demerits to those who had purloined television shows, films and music online. Sounds a bit like getting a speeding ticket — and definitely less painful than having your Internet permanently disconnected."

UK Teen Banned From US Over Obscene Obama Email 555

British teenager Luke Angel has been banned from the US for sending an email to the White House calling President Obama an obscenity. The 17-year-old says he was drunk when he sent the mail and doesn't understand what the big deal is. "I don't remember exactly what I wrote as I was drunk. But I think I called Barack Obama a p***k. It was silly -- the sort of thing you do when you're a teenager and have had a few," he said. The FBI contacted local police who in turn confronted Luke and let him know that the US Department of Homeland Security didn't think his email was funny. "The police came and took my picture and told me I was banned from America forever. I don't really care but my parents aren't very happy," Angel said.

Apple Fails To Deliver On Windows 7 Boot Camp Promise 279

SkydiverFL writes "For those fans of Apple's Boot Camp package, it looks like you might be waiting on the next 'end of year' to use Windows 7 on your shiny silver boxes. Back in October of this year, Apple published a rather short, but affirmative promise stating quite simply that, 'Apple will support Microsoft Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) with Boot Camp in Mac OS X Snow Leopard before the end of the year. This support will require a software update to Boot Camp.' The support page has no updates regarding the new version. Maybe they're waiting for iSlate?"

Comment Re:Fair Use? (Score 5, Insightful) 527

the act of doing so isn't funny, that doesn't mean someone can't make a joke. Learn the difference.

Consider the case of Tiger Woods for a current example:

Difference between a Cadillac and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball over 300yds.

Why did Phil Michelson call Elin? To find out how to beat Tiger

Where was Elin the night Tiger crashed? Out clubbing.

and on it goes. Humor is a way of dealing with the awful. We'd all be happier if it didn't happen in the first place, but if it did happen, we might as well derive something positive from it.

Comment It is quite simply fiction (Score 1) 149

The problem with the /. lead-in and the SD article quoting an astronomer is that THEY ARE BOTH PROBABLY WRONG! I have this problem all the time when I see shows on the Discovery Channel or the Science Channel where they explain how the sun *will* die in 5 billion years (The implicit assumption is that the current natural laws of physics will apply for that period -- and within an intelligent species framework that may be completely false. What they SHOULD be saying is "The sun, if allowed to continue on its natural evolutionary course, will die in 5 billion years." But qualified it, of course, sounds less dramatic. IMO, the probability of that occurring, is nearly zero. Why? Because our solar system is inhabited by an intelligent technological species and if we could stop talking about the next great iPhone app or global warming [1] for just a minute we might begin a discussion about how to develop real molecular scale nanotechnology [2] and the best way to approach dismantling the sun so it never becomes a red giant.

For the unaware, we are "dismantling" planets *now* -- what do you think launching satellites to explore foreign bodies (that don't return to earth) or crashing them into foreign bodies (where some of the material ejected may reach escape velocity for said body) is??? Now given the influx in asteroid/comet/solar ion debris I suspect the Earth is still in a net mass gaining state -- but we know how to invert that situation should we choose to do so. We do understand the physics involved and have the technology to manage it.

What most people are unaware of is that there has been some thought devoted to planetary dismantlement. Freeman Dyson did some (in discussing in 1960 in Science the dismantlement of Jupiter to create a Dyson shell) [1]). David Criswell [3] thought of some more/better paths to dismantlement.

So the answer is very clear -- we dismantle the sun at a rate which slows its aging -- so the 5 Billion years number becomes ENTIRELY fictional -- we cannot predict what a technological civilization would do. But there are significant odds that it might dismantle the sun to the point where its lifetime is on the order of that of a red dwarf (several hundred billion years or more with no red giant phase). Ample time to decide when and how to move to a new star with a new lease on life.

1. In a molecular nanotechnology enabled world, there isn't really a "global warming" perspective to worry about. It is too simple to take the CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it in some inert form. People who are in the hard-core "global warming" camp should ask themselves why when I wrote the paper "Sapphire Mansions" in 2001, did I not instead call them "Diamond Mansions"? [4] It was because I did not wish to encourage the sucking of CO2 out of the atmosphere to the extent that all plants would DIE!
2. Molecular scale Nanotechnology has been defined and reviewed since 1992 (Drexler, Nanosystems) -- over 15 ago!. During that period nobody has said it is "incorrect", nobody has said it violates "laws of physics", at the most people may have said it is "hard". But if I can point out 4+ paths to get there -- so one has to wonder if it is simply not a lack of technological imagination that keeps us from already being there (and as a species having such methods in our technology toolbox).
3. David R. Criswell from Interstellar Migration and the Human Experience, Eds.: Ben R. Finney and Eric M. Jones, University of California Press, 1985, Chapter 4, pp 50-87. 4. It may be worth noting that the "Sapphire Mansions" phase of human development I consider to probably be limited to a few decades -- while the "Matrioshka Brains" phase lasts the life of our engineered sun (or longer).

Comment Re:What nonsense! (Score 1) 496

There's a lot of "If I don't need it, no one needs it" arrogance in the OS community.

That's pretty amazing. Precisely that attitude is one of the major reasons why I abandoned the proprietary world. I found that within OS, I could generally find at least someone that actually had somewhere near the problems I had, and had started trying to solve them.

I'm not saying you're wrong... but my experience is pretty much the diametrical opposite of what you're describing. Perhaps it's related to the exact problem set, rather than a general attitude, hmm?

Comment Re:Patents aren't the problem (Score 1) 392

So does Martin Goetz though. For instance he argues about hardware implementations versus software implementations. Implemented in hardware something would be patentable so if instead it's implemented in software it should also be patentable.

I know. PoIR does not, hence the confusion.

Implemented in hardware something would be patentable so if instead it's implemented in software it should also be patentable.

I know, but I can't say I agree with the argument. Supposing someone made a printing press that could only print one book. You'd give them a patent on the machinery that does the printing (setting aside prior art for a second) but not on arrangement of the letters. If someone later came along with a movable type press that could set any book, you wouldn't allow that since you could patent a press that printed any single book, you should also be able to patent books, since any book could be reduced to a static press that could be patented.

It's a bogus argument. The hardware ought to be patentable, sure. But if someone finds a way to move the software component out of the hardware, that ought not to be covered by patents.

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