An anonymous reader writes: Did you ever think you would live in a world where there would be illegal knowledge and culture? Where powerful corporations could dictate what music you could listen to or what books you could read? Where those same unaccountable corporations could dictate what kind of art could be produced in the first place? It might surprise you to learn that you are already living in such a world.
With only some exceptions, everything on this site violates copyright laws. However, if you do look at it, you just might ask yourself why this should be, and you may wonder how our individual rights have been jeopardized, and may be jeopardized further with the invocation of even more draconian Intellectual Monopoly (property) laws.
A day after Michael Geist talks about Dealing with Unlawful Content, now the question is how do you deal with Unlawful Content that shouldn't be unlawful?
arthurpaliden writes: "A French space-surveillance radar has detected 20-30 satellites in low Earth orbit that do not figure in the U.S. Defense Department's published catalogue, a discovery that French officials say they will use to pressure U.S. authorities to stop publishing the whereabouts of French reconnaissance and military communications satellites.
"They told us, 'If we have not published it in our catalogue, then it does not exist.' So I guess we have been tracking objects that do not exist. I can tell you that some of these non-existent objects have solar arrays.""
mgv writes: "Whilst EMI thinks hesitantly about DRM free downloads, Amie Street delivers. What sets Amie Street apart is its pricing model. Downloads start as free, but increase as they become more popular. (Maximum price is 98 cents). All music is mp3 format at 192 kbps, which is about the same quality as iTunes 128 kbps AAC format. Seriously worth a look if you would consider buying music knowing that the money is going to the artists, and not the RIAA. Oh, and they are currently offering some free credit whilst they are upgrading the site..."
keyero writes: The New Yorker has posted an Editor's note, correcting for a story they published in July about Wikipedia and expertise. In the article, they quoted User:Essjay who is a a bureaucrat, arbitrator, and other roles including checkuser. He was described as "a tenured professor of religion at a private university" with "a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law." Turns out, he is twenty-four and holds no advanced degrees, and that he has never taught. Nonetheless, Jimmy Wales has brushed this aside and recently appointed Essjay to the Arbitration committee. He also hired Essjay to serve as "Community Manager" on Wikia.
wooha writes: Watching Google Inc. rake in advertising revenue was a wake-up call within Microsoft," the company's top technical executive, Ray Ozzie, said Tuesday. But he said Microsoft plans to do more than simply mimic Google by rolling out Web-based versions of desktop programs or following its particular search and advertising model.
Ozzie, who has only made a handful of appearances since his promotion last June to replace Bill Gates as chief software architect, told analysts and investors at a Goldman Sachs conference in Las Vegas that he has been laying the groundwork for programmers across the company to build Internet-based software.
Some interested person called the Nashville (TN) Electrical Service and under the Freedom of Information Act asked for the Academy Award Winning Ex-VP's energy bill. Apparently the publicly dull persona has quite the party life going at home. His usage last year? 221,000 kWh, that's a $30,000 bill, more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone he used 22,619 kWh, more than you or me (even with those massive 1000W PS' ru
An anonymous reader writes: The CBC reports
that Canadian Internet service providers are passing along
thousands of copyright infringement notifications from U.S. copyright lobby groups such as the Business Sofware Alliance to subscribers under
a system called notice and notice. Michael Geist comments
that unlike the U.S. takedown approach, the Canadian system is proving
effective while protecting privacy and free speech.
beerdini writes: "It seems like most people I talk to in the IT industry have a sour impression of Microsoft. How is it that if 90% of the world uses their products, many of the business IT administrators always talk about it with disgust and frustration? If superior, better cost effective alternatives exist, what was the reason for implementing a Microsoft solution over that alternative. I know many companies have one major piece of software that most likely runs on a MS system, but if a complete overhaul of the network is being implemented more companies are migrating from their current systems (Novell, Mac, etc) to Microsoft than the other way. Are the people that are expected to maintain the system (IT dept.) even a part of the decision making process to migrate or is a management decision that falls to brand name familiarity? Why is it administrators allow the implementation of a product that they know will provide endless frustration and "what do you expect, its Windows/Microsoft" types of support issues, and probably subject themselves to an intense product training (probably out of their own pocket) just to keep their job?"
Jeff writes: I'm a physicist working on several different projects at the moment. The basics are all the same, build a model, and history match a sparse poor quality multiparameter dataset to find a range of solutions. The idea is to map out all the solutions in parameter space that satisfy my requirements. Easy in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions, since the parameters are all orthogonal. But what about problems with 8, 10, 12 or more parameters. Is there any GPL software out there capable of representing something like this? If not, could anyone recommend a text, paper, or publication that deals with how best to represent results like this so that people not used to thinking in n-dimensional space can understand them?
For blind people, crossing the street is becoming even more of a challenge.
Michael Osborn, a blind marketing consultant from Laguna Beach, Calif., and his guide dog, Hastings, were in the middle of an intersection one morning last April when the yellow Lab stopped short. Mr. Osborn took the cue and halted — just in time to feel the breeze from a car passing right in front of them.
"Half an inch and it would have hit us... it wasn't making any noise," says Mr. Osborn, 50, who has been blind for 12 years. Witnesses say the car was a Toyota Prius, a hybrid vehicle.
perpetual_motion writes: A Vancouver company called D-Wave is supposed to demonstrate its new "adiabatic quantum computer" today, a machine that could become the "x86" of the quantum computing world, according to Ars Technica. The site has a nice writeup on what's being announced, and some analysis on why it only needs to be "good enough". From the article: "The adiabatic system they're using may not wind up being the "best" in terms of its practicality or ability to solve a wide range of problems (the academic world is primarily working with other systems) but it's apparently ready for some sort of usage now. And that may be all D-Wave needs. If they can convince others to work with their system — code additional algorithms, provide high-level interfaces to Orion, work around its limitations — their approach may not have to be the 'best' in any sense."