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Comment Wish I could mod you -1, Wrong (Score 1) 337

It is not extortion because extortion is done to make money.

Thankfully, people tend to interpret legal terms the way the law does, not the way you do -- this is a good thing, as you obviously have no clue as to what the hell you're talking about. Here's how the 8th edition of Black's Law Dictionary defines extortion (quotes removed for the sake of my tired, tired hands):

extortion, n. 1. The offense committed by a public official who illegally obtains property under the color of office; esp., an official's collection of an unlawful fee. 2. The act or practice of obtaining something or compelling some action by illegal means, as by force or coercion.

There is absolutely no chance the RIAA is making any money with all the legal fees they are spending here. Typically they ask people to settle for very small amounts. Lawyers cost hundreds of thousands or even millions just to hire a few.

Got any numbers you can cite? Any references at all to back up your supposed knowledge of the RIAA's legal expenses and profits? Or are you just making stuff up? Put up or shut up.


Behind the Magic of Anti-Censorship Software 40

Regular Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes in to say "The December 1st release of Psiphon has sparked renewed interest in the various software programs that can help circumvent Internet censorship in China, Iran, and other censored countries. (Some of this interest undoubtedly being motivated by the fact that many of these programs also work for getting around blocking software at work or school.) Have you ever wanted to understand the science behind these programs, the way that mathematicians and codebreakers understand the magic behind PGP? If you loved the mental workout of reading "Applied Cryptography", have you ever wanted a tutorial to do the same for Psiphon and Tor and other anti-censorship programs?" The rest of his editorial follows.

Microsoft's Lobbying In Massachusetts 148

Andy Updegrove writes "Carol Sliwa at ComputerWorld has posted two excellent stories just now on ODF in Massachusetts, based on over 300 emails secured under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (the local analogue of the Federal Freedom of Information Act). The longer and more intriguing article focuses on Microsoft's lobbying efforts in Massachusetts, and confirms, as I reported last week, that Microsoft lobbyist Brian Burke was spearheading an effort to bring pressure on the state's Information Technology Division (ITD) by promoting an amendment that would have taken away much of the ITD's power to make technology policy. The article goes on to describe the back-channel negotiations between State CIO Louis Gutierrez and Microsoft's Alan Yates, and the way that Microsoft played the lobbying card throughout those discussions in an effort to protect its wildly profitable Office software franchise against potential erosion by competing products that support ODF." Andy has a blog entry on the lobbying effort.

Stallman Absolves Novell 101

A few days ago we linked the transcript of Richard Stallman's talk at the Tokyo GPLv3 meeting . Now bubulubugoth writes to point us to an analysis of what Stallman said in Tokyo. In particular, these quotes: "Microsoft has not given Novell a patent license, and thus, section 7 of the GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent license that is rather limited to Novell's customers alone." And, apparently resolving the conundrum of whether GPLv2 and GPLv3 licenses can be commingled: "There's no difficulty in having some programs in the system under GPL2 and other programs under GPL3."

Jailtime For Leeching Wireless? 587

jginspace writes "A 17-year-old from Singapore is is facing three years' jailtime for accessing his neighbor's wireless network. His neighbor complained and now the unfortunate Tan Jia Luo is facing charges under the computer misuse act and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday."

NASA Avoids "Happy New Year" On Shuttle 181

ClickOnThis noted that NASA is actually avoiding a Shuttle in Space over New Years. It says "The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. 'We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another,' said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. 'We're not really sure how they're going to operate.'" You may notice some deja vu while reading this story. Sorry. Not much happens on Sundays :)

Journal Journal: If you're on my foes list...

then it's probably because you were either spamming for a free (ipod|minimac|flatscreen|pc|whatever), or you said something really, blindingly stupid. I don't like to waste time reading things like that, so I've added you to the foes list so I don't have to.

Comment Re:Isn't this illegal? (Score 1) 390

I certainly could see some authorities trying that, but hopefully most of them have higher priorities on their mind, such as fighting violent crime.

Dude, what do cops do most of their careers? They sit on the side of the road, eating doughnuts and waiting for some poor schmuck to come by who just happens to be driving a little faster than some governmental "authority" decided is acceptable. Doesn't matter that everybody exceeds the speed limit - we're all just a bunch of lawbreakers.

Something is seriously wrong when laws can be passed that make us all criminals.

Hell, I just read an article where a woman was arrested for - get this - eating a candy bar at a subway terminal where eating is prohibited. She actually took the last bite as she entered the station and threw the wrapper away. But since she was chewing it, the idiot cop followed her. When she asked, "Don't you have anything better to do?", they arrested her.

Higher priorities on their minds... Yeah, right.

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