Antipater writes: The furor over Slashdot Beta is loud enough that even outside media has begun to notice. The Washington Post's tech blog The Switchhas written a piece on the issue, and the anti-Beta protesters aren't going to be happy about it. The Post questioned Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who believes the protests are the work of only a vocal minority or readers: "It's easy to forget that the vocal population of a community driven site like Slashdot might be the most important group, but they are typically also the smallest class of users." The current caretakers of Slashdot need to balance the needs of all users with their limited engineering resources, Malda argues — noting wryly, "It ain't easy."
Kijori writes: "Lord Lucas, a member of the UK House of Lords, has accused record companies of blackmailing internet users by accusing people of copyright infringement who have no way to defend themselves. "You can get away with asking for £500 or £1,000 and be paid on most occasions without any effort having to be made to really establish guilt. It is straightforward legal blackmail." The issue is that there is no way for people to prove their innocence, since the record company's data is held to be conclusive proof, and home networking equipment does not log who is downloading what. Hopefully, at the very least, the fact that parliament has realised this fact will mean that copyright laws will get a little more sane."
Kijori writes: "The Digital Economy Bill — the one that plans to hand big media companies the power to switch off your internet connection — is now in committee. Digitalwrong has the highlights — including the question of whether Parliament will have to be shut down if someone goes to the wrong website, who it is that gets punished when someone uses your WiFi, and an inscrutable reply from the Government involving 'fertile' defences."