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Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 485

While the point your making is certainly valid, I don't believe the RIAA or MPAA would be stupid enough to go after the kind of "low-hanging fruit" that can't even install a DVD drive in their computer because it would take a disproportionate amount of funds to pay/bribe the techs in order to catch people. Also, it would probably be a large waste of time because different jurisdictions have varying laws about the required certification needed to "investigate" the files on your computer (e.g. Texas requires a P.I. license now, AFAIK) and the act of paying/bribing the techs elevates them from being tangentially involved (concerned citizen/burglar breaking into your house) to directly involved (friend of a cop that was told to do so).

Wait, who am I kidding? This plan is right up the **AA's alley!

Comment Re:I know what's gonna happen now (Score 1) 662

It isn't that ./ is late to the party but that ./ is reporting on a new development in the story. All the previous actions have been media "echo-chamber" reporting. Not including the removal of the game from Amazon, this is the only part of the story that has been YRO-worthy (or even newsworthy, in my opinion).

Comment Re:i always find this topic humorous (Score 1) 212

Your argument doesn't do your opinions much justice.

I agree with your assertion that some people freak out about mundane things (for various values of mundane) when they probably should not. I also think getting too overworked about these things is hilarious. However, may I ask, what is the harm in the small, vocal minority of people that do freak out about every-little-thing in doing so? Would it be more beneficial for society to not have these watchmen, or - in your opinion - loonies, voice their concerns? You do, after all, have the ability to ignore them like they have of you.

In all of the posts that I have read under this article, not one of them would I attribute to the crazy, tin-foil hat societal fringe you describe slashdot as being comprised of. This book may, or may not, happen to have been written by one of these excessively paranoid people you and I find funny, but many of the posts on slashdot about this category of Big Brother and descent-into-fascism are well-reasoned and well-grounded in the reoccurring nature of history. One of the reasons why so many slashdotters make posts about Big Brother is because the technology being used to monitor us falls under one of their areas of expertise. Another reason they may post is that they feel we, as a people, should learn from fiction and history so that we do not repeat our past mistakes - or make them in the first place.

Specifically, on the subject of traffic and transit cameras, we feel that having a multitude of cameras everywhere in society does not foster an atmosphere of privacy and assumed innocence. Maybe we are overreacting now - maybe the amount these cameras can help society far outweighs the damage the may cause. However, reset the scenario for the generation after this technology was introduced when the next big advancement in surveillance technology occurs - assuming it does, of course. Are the next generation's fears that this new surveillance technology may be overreaching unjustified too? In addition to the future, we must also think about past technological innovations. Were concerns at the time these technologies were being implemented justified? If these technologies were abused, in what way were they and how did we correct for these abuses? Were the corrections successful? Etc.

The furthest out on the fringe are definitely hilarious. The paranoid, loony people that think the CIA are personally out to get them because they know about the Illuminati vampire plot to use the resurrected corpse of FDR to take over the world are just too absurd not to find funny. But the people on slashdot, for the most part, are not these people. Do not paint them with such a wide brush because their fears, while sometimes overstated and dramatic, are nonetheless relevant and justified.

College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior 1079

FutureDomain writes "The Boston College Campus Police have seized the electronics of a computer science student for allegedly sending an email outing another student. The probable cause? The search warrant application states that he is 'a computer science major' and he uses 'two different operating systems for hiding his illegal activity. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.' The EFF is currently representing him."

Comment Re:A drop of good in a torrent of bad. (Score 2, Informative) 117

Did you link the right article for your assertions? I didn't see anything of what you claim in that article. Summary provided by the first paragraph of your link:

President Barack Obama's initiative to raise new tax revenue to pay for major policy changes likely will focus in the short run on tightening enforcement against businesses and wealthy individuals. In the long run, some experts believe it could lead to sweeping changes in the tax code itself.

If what you claim is true, it would be huge. So, I searched for more links to provide support or refute your claims.
Money.Cnn's article says more or less the same thing as WSJ.
So does Bloomberg. From Bloomberg: the recommendations from the tax reform task force are "to be submitted to Congress in February 2010".

Why all the outrage? We have 10 months to discuss the ramifications of any hypothetical proposed changes. In other news, the IRS has given me the task to inform you that you've exceeded your yearly allotment of hyperbole. You've been warned, comrade.

Comment Re:Recourse (Score 1) 689

Once the record has been sealed or expunged, it no longer exists and cannot be used against you for civil or criminal reasons. If your (future) employer asks one of these "Were you ever ..." questions about your criminal record, you may give a truthful response, "Yes, ...", or a lawful response, "No, ...", because all that matters is what is on record. Of course, I need to make the disclaimer IANAL, etc.

Submission + - Journalist Test Drives The Pain Ray Gun (

Fantastic Lad writes: This machine has the ability to inflict limitless, unbearable pain. When turned on, Raytheon's 'Silent Guardian' emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation — similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker — that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings. It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile. Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury. The demo model looks like a small speaker. (Image) With practical application is just around the corner, I wonder if anybody at that trade show was selling Faraday body suits. . ?

Submission + - NBC Joins ABC in Allowing Free Show Downloads (

reabbotted writes: From Gizmodo, "NBC just announced free DRM'ed downloads of popular shows like Heroes, Conan, The Office, 30 Rock and the Bionic Woman that will last a week. Windows now, but upgrades such as Mac compatibility, HD, and portable player support coming soon." Do they finally get it?
The Internet

Submission + - AT&T to Help MPAA Filter the Internet (

Save the Internet writes: "Ars Technica is reporting that the MPAA is trying to convince major ISPs to do content filtering. Now, merely wanting it is one thing, but the more important point is that "AT&T has agreed to start filtering content at some mysterious point in the future." We're left to wonder about the legal implications of that, but given that AT&T already has the ability to wiretap everything for the NSA, it was only a matter of time before they found a way to profit from it, too."
The Courts

Submission + - Is a signed document that's scanned to .pdf legal?

NotYetOldPhart writes: Is a signed document that I've scanned to .pdf legal? Like most contractors, I frequently need to submit to Background Investigations (BIs), for Client Access. Part of the process invariably requires that I fill out Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) Form I-9, plus others that are moderately standardized. I have two customer HR Departments that insist on not accepting a signed .pdf. The question for the community is — in your experience — have you sucessfully handed over a filled-out & signed form in .pdf format ? Is/Was there any court decision that you were able to cite?

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