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The Media

Submission + - Congress Creates Copyright Cops (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Not satisfied with pitiful potential penalties of $150,000 for infringing upon a $0.99 song, Congress is proposing new copyright cops in the "PRO IP" Act of 2007, specifically the creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER). They also feel that the authorities need the authority to seize any computers used for infringement and to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws. MPAA boss Dan Glickman praised the bill saying that, "films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year," though Ars points out that it allegedly costs the studios only $6 billion. However, even with the support of most of the top members of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill may require more work before it passes: USIPER needs a cooler acronym that doesn't sound like a combination of usurper and Lucifer."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Who Are the Heavy Clickers? 3

Reservoir Hill writes: "While focusing on clicks makes a lot of sense in search advertising, since the audience has already been highly qualified by their search term and is "hand-raising" — announcing their interest in a particular product or service or activity — what about banner ads on Web pages where the audience is not in an active search-and-buy mode? Dave Morgan has an interesting post on his blog about research done analyzing behavioral and click data to determine who clicks on banner ads, and whether they are different than the Web population in general. Ninety-nine percent of Web users do not click on ads on a monthly basis. Of the 1% that do, most only click once a month. Less than two tenths of one percent click more often. That tiny percentage makes up the vast majority of banner ad clicks. Who are these "heavy clickers"? They are predominantly female, indexing at a rate almost double the male population. They are older. They are predominantly Midwesterners, with some concentrations in Mid-Atlantic States and in New England. Not surprisingly, they look at sweepstakes far more than any other kind of content. They are the same people that tend to open direct mail and love to talk to telemarketers. Morgan makes the point that focusing banner ad campaigns to optimize on clicks means skewing campaigns to optimize on middle-aged women from the Midwest."

Submission + - Microsoft Gets Patent for Audio Watermarking (

narramissic writes: "Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a digital-watermarking technology, dubbed 'stealthy audio watermarking,' that inserts and detects watermarks in audio signals identifying the content producer. According to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trade Organization, the technology provides 'a signature that is embedded in the audio signal and cannot be removed.' While the technology doesn't encrypt files or prevent unauthorized use, it 'can be used to prove who owns the content of the digital file by encoding a file with a unique digital signature. That means illegally traded songs could be tracked back to the original purchaser, allowing authorities to identify illegal sharers and serving as a deterrent. The technology could also be used to track files for royalty distribution.'"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Stallman: are you ready to fight for freedom?

E5Rebel writes: "Are you ready to fight for freedom or are you too lazy to resist? That is the challenge Richard Stallman throws down to the open source community in this major interview. He also spells out his views on Microsoft, Linus Torvalds and much more"
The Media

Submission + - High gas prices lower obesity. ( 1

klaasb writes: Higher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.
Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years.


Submission + - Getting hired with a criminal record.

24601 writes: Hello fellow Slashdot nerds. This is a very hard question to ask, but I figured you guys would probably have the best advice. I am finding myself in my young, soon to be post college career with a brand new criminal record. To make matter's worse, it's for a sex crime (was mislead by someone about their age. Nothing violent or involving children). Yes I will have to register, be on probation for quite a while, and currently reside in a certain very conservative state in the south famous for a certain cartoon mouse. I completely accept the stupidity of what I have done and very much want to grow and move on past it. I'm a graphical artist by trade, but with a lot of web design experience as well. Also have a good deal of IT experience, was thinking of getting a certification in something. What I want to know, however, is how hard is it to get a job in the tech industry with this kind of Scarlet Letter? I have every intention of being upfront and honest about my past with any potential employer, and making every effort to communicate my regret for my past, the fact that I'm not a threat to anyone, and my desire to prove myself. Are more technical employers willing to look past such things and give you a chance? Is there any advice people can give me on properly presenting this issue, and finding understanding employers? thanks!

Submission + - School uniforms to track kids using GPS

Gary writes: "Trutex a school uniform maker based in Lancashire, UK is considering adding satellite tracking devices to its clothing range so parents will know where their children are. The move comes after Bladerunner another English clothing company revealed it was selling stab-proof t-shirts, hooded tops and school blazers to parents worried about their children being attacked."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Copy Protection Goes Too Far ( 2

Synner writes: Anti-piracy is squeezing the legitimate user once again. The new Bioshock game from 2K Studios only allows you to install the game twice, no ifs ands or buts. Even though the "Update" for the article says that 2K has replied with a solution, if you read the following forum posts, users have tried the fix and has not been confirmed to work. You might want to hurry before the thread is locked and or deleted, like so many others. This might fuel the fires of piracy, to give legitimate customers a work around until they get the official company line.
The Internet

Submission + - Sigbritt is 75 years old and has 40 Gbps at home (

Xemu writes: "Swedish 75 year old Sigbritt has got what every nerd desires: her 40 gigabits per second home internet connection was setup by her son, Peter, who is working for the Swedish University Network. Peter installed a $300,000 Cisco CRS-1 router in his mother's garage. Sigbritt, who never previosly had internet, says she has tried to surf the net, but that she mostly uses the router to dry her laundry, because it gets hot. True story!"

Submission + - Highway Safety Agency silences engineers (

nbauman writes: Nichole R. Nason, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, put a new rule into effect that NHTSA officials, including scientists and engineers, are no longer allowed to be quoted by reporters, according to the New York Times ff-the-record-at-nhtsa-almost-everything/. If the officials want to say anything, it has to be off the record. Most reporters refuse to work under those conditions. The only one they can quote is Nason herself, who is a lawyer. However, she refused to be interviewed about the no-attribution policy. NHTSA conducts extensive traffic safety research, and over the last 30 years its engineers and scientists, who were proud of their work, used to talk to anybody.

Submission + - Google Proxy Hacking: 3rd Party Site Deletions (

cheekygeek writes: "After sitting on this information for over a year (with no fix from Google) this guy is releasing the information publicly in the hopes that it will force Google to act to fix it. He says: "In June of 2006, while working to resolve some indexing issues for a client, I discovered a bug in Google's algorithm that allowed 3rd parties to literally hack a web page out of Google's index and search results. I notified a contact at Google soon after, once I managed to confirm that what we thought we were seeing was really happening. The problem still exists today...""

Submission + - (

hweimer writes: "The question how ideas from classical physics may be incorporated into the quantum realm is a long-standing topic in theoretical physics. Together with some colleagues, I have written a paper describing how the concepts of work and heat turn out in quantum mechanics. As a result you get some remarkable things, like a machine that both works and does not at the same time, but this may also help towards a better understing of thermodynamic properties of quantum computers."

Submission + - Virgil Griffith and the Wikipedia Scanner (

starexplorer2001 writes: With all the controversy about corporations, media outlets and government officials messing around with Wikipedia entries, HowStuffWorks has a backgrounder on How the Wikipedia Scanner Works and the method beyond the madness from WikiScanner's creator, Virgil Griffith. Now about that edited lightsaber entry...

Submission + - User Review: Dell Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu (

wehe writes: "After two weeks of using the new Dell Inspiron 1420N with pre-installed Ubuntu, Starry Hope decided it's time to write down some of his thoughts about this new Linux offering from Dell: "Unfortunately, Dell and Ubuntu's parent company Canonical have not worked together closely enough to make this a first-rate offering. While I think the 1420N is a great computer overall, the lack of attention to detail (and unbelievably bad driver support) keep these latest Linux offerings from being ready for the general public. Hopefully Dell and Canonical will resolve these problems and make a truly great product that I could feel comfortable recommending to family members who are not familiar with Linux. ... With just a little extra work and closer attention to the pre-installed software and drivers, they could be shipping the perfect Linux notebook. The way it is now, I wouldn't recommend this notebook for anyone who's not a seasoned Linux geek." One special detail: the pictures illustrating his review are showing the Windows Key of the laptop, which is sort of a bummer on an Ubuntu machine. The official Dell wiki about the Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu 7.04 pre-installed doesn't provide much details about the Linux compatibility of the laptop. Most Linux laptop installation guides from average Linux users provide much more information."

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