Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - Google Surrenders in the "Nymwars" (

derGoldstein writes: According to the EFF blog: "Proponents of pseudonymity scored a major victory today, when Google executive Vic Gundotra revealed at the Web 2.0 Summit that social networking service Google+ will begin supporting pseudonyms and other types of identity."

Comment A living constitution would adapt to circumstances (Score 1) 367

The strict constructionist would say that the text of the Constitution did not protect the founders' iPhones, therefore it doesn't protect your iPhone. I'm not sure precisely what "effects" meant at the time of the ratification, but I'm pretty sure it didn't refer to handheld electronic devices. The "living constitution" folks would say that today's iPhone is the modern equivalent of papers and effects, and therefore should be protected. The idea of the living constitution is to adapt the broad principles of the constitution to modern circumstances. Seems like we could use more of that in this case.

Comment Maintaining the PSTN isn't feasible (Score 1) 305

While I understand many commenters are sad to see the PSTN go, I hope all acknowledge that it is simply not feasible to keep it running. Even today we're shelling out somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-15 billion a year in subsidies through the universal service and intercarrier compensation systems to rural telcos to keep the PSTN running. As PSTN subscribership continues to drop steadily (and it will), the required subsidy levels will only go up. Sure the PSTN had its merits, but ultimately it could not compete with IP networks in terms of efficiency and capabilities, and hence both service providers and customers are abandoning it in droves. Unless we are all happy to shell out tens of billions of dollars a year in subsidies, the PSTN is going to die and die quickly.

Data-Mining Ban Struck Down By US Supreme Court 176

smitty777 writes "The Supreme Court struck down in Sorrell vs IMS Health a Vermont law banning data mining which has been in place since 2007. The court ruled that the data on medications prescribed by doctors is protected by the First Amendment and can be used for marketing by the pharmaceutical companies. This follows similar declarations in Maine and New Hampshire."

Comment Headline vastly overstates the opinion's impact (Score 5, Informative) 134

As an actual telecom attorney, I'd just like to clarify that this ruling applies very narrowly to the use of entrance facilities (wires running into telco offices) for the purpose of interconnection. The dispute centered on an order from the FCC that excluded these facilities from regulation under one part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that requires unbundled access to network elements that are necessary for competing service providers and would impair their ability to provide service if they were denied access. A separate section of the Act requires telcos to provide cost-based access to network facilities for the purpose of interconnection. AT&T claimed that the order meant that they did not have to provide access to entrance facilities under either statutory provision. A competing provider, took them to court over it, the FCC filed a brief stating that AT&T was required to provide the facilities for the purpose of interconnection, and the Supreme Court endorsed the FCC view. That's it. This opinion does not expand the rights of competitors to unbundled access to incumbent networks in any general sense.

Submission + - Google & Verizon's Real Net Neutrality Proposa ( 3

langelgjm writes: Announced this afternoon in a joint conference call held by CEOs Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg, Google and Verizon have released a joint net neutrality proposal in the form of a "suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers." This comes on the heels of last week's assertion (and subsequent denial) that Google and Verizon were close to concluding talks that would permit Verizon to prioritize certain content in exchange for pay. A look at the actual text of the framework shows some positive net neutrality principles, but there is also some more curious content: "Wireless broadband" is singled out for exclusion from most of the agreement, and providers would be permitted to prioritize "additional online services... distinguishable in scope and purpose." Public Knowledge, a watchdog group based in Washington, has criticized the agreement for these provisions.

Comment Re:Should we have a... (Score 1) 371

Sorry to distract you from the "But teh labour is too expensive in Amercia" rant but a $3/h repair job in China is fine when you're on US$40K a year but when you're on US$2K it's just as expensive as the "hyper inflated cost of labour in America".

Economy scales, you're paying roughly the same in the US as the Chinese are in China. Any differences can be attributed to skill shortage/abundance. For a Chinese person, Chinese labour is not cheap.

This is nonsense. Manufactured goods are not radically cheaper in China than in the US. Labor is. Think about what you're saying for a second. Manufactured goods are highly transportable. If the exact same goods sold in China for a fraction of the price they sell for in the US, how long would it take for large importers to make a fortune arbitraging that price difference until the prices balance out? In fact, Walmart has already done this. The fact that China keeps its currency devalued against the dollar only exacerbates the matter. Labor is cheap in China. Goods and services that are labor-centric and based on local market pricing are cheap (food, housing generally) compared to a Western nation. But prices for manufactured goods are pretty similar to what they'd be anywhere else. Labor is cheap in China, EVEN FOR CHINESE PEOPLE. In that sense, a Chinese company will simply throw more manpower at something that in the US we would instead deploy more machinery and technology (e.g., construction, agriculture). And people in China do repair everything because taking it to a repairman is cheaper than buying a new one.

Comment You have a bad sales model (Score 2, Insightful) 438

If you can only sell 50 copies a week a $1, but can move 25k copies per week at $0, you need to find a way to make money off of $0. Find a sponsor, insert some advertising. That's a 50,000% difference in market reach between $1 and $0. Even if you can only figure out how to make $0.01 per customer, you've increased your revenue by 500%. This is the trap that the traditional media companies fall into--thinking they need so many units of product at the same prices they've always charged. It's a different platform, you need a different model.
The Internet

Submission + - Wake up and smell the broadband!

Anonymous Coward writes: "Today the formal notice of funds availability (NOFA) was published outlining the terms and conditions for the award of grants and loans thru the NTIA and USDA to support broadband in rural, unserved areas of the country. This has been the talk of town in most broadband provider circles as the grants are for %80 of a total project's cost, which finially makes bringing fiber out to the boonies a real viable possibillity, enabling lower cost higher speed services more readilly available."

Comment Yes, Greenspan is a libertarian. (Score 4, Informative) 2369

So, Greenspan who ran the government monopoly of money supply, was a libertarian? I had no idea.

Actually, yes. Greenspan is well-known to have been a lifelong libertarian. The man was a close personal friend of Ayn Rand, for gods sake. Wikipedia:

During the 1950s, Greenspan was one of the members of Ayn Rand's inner circle, the Ayn Rand Collective, who read Atlas Shrugged while it was being written. Rand nicknamed Greenspan "the undertaker" because of his penchant for dark clothing and reserved demeanor. Although Greenspan continues to advocate laissez-faire capitalism, some Objectivists find his support for a gold standard somewhat incongruous or dubious, given the Federal Reserve's role in America's fiat money system and endogenous inflation. ... However, when questioned in relation to this, he has said that in a democratic society individuals have to make compromises with each other over conflicting ideas of how money should be handled. He said he himself had to make such compromises, because he actually believes that "we did extremely well" without a central bank and with a gold standard.

This is why it was shocking to many when Greenspan made the concession before Congress last week that his ideological model of how the markets worked was flawed.

Submission + - Obama, Huckabee win Iowa caucuses

An anonymous reader writes: Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, have been declared the winners of their presidential caucuses in Iowa, the first test in the race for the White House. Obama, who had been in a tough three-way battle against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former senator John Edwards, won convincingly. Vying to become the first black president, Obama had 37 per cent support among Democrats. Edwards appeared headed for second place with Clinton finishing a close third.

Submission + - GSM Association Backs LTE for Mobile Boadband (

Tech.Luver writes: "The board of the GSM Association voted to back LTE (3GPP Long Term Evolution) as the mobile broadband standard to succeed HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), the CEO of the group said Tuesday. The vote is an indication that GSM operators are unified in their support for LTE, and gives them a united front as LTE competes with Qualcomm's UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) and with WiMax, backed by the computer industry, to become the next mobile broadband technology. LTE is several times faster than HSPA and could help spur demand for more downloading over cellular networks. Japan's NTT DoCoMo may become the first operator to widely deploy the new technology, which is expected to be ready by the end of this decade. Rob Conway, CEO of GSMA, announced the association's backing of LTE during a speech at the GSM Association's Mobile Asia Congress in Macau, China, and called on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the leading United Nations agency for communication technologies, to ensure the industry wins the spectrum needed to offer mobile broadband. ( )"

Submission + - Comcast Just Won't Learn

JjcampNR writes: Moments after announcing the availability of Tivo powered Comcast DVR boxes, the serial port on most Comcast digital cable boxes manufactured by Motorola were disabled. After a large volume of calls to Comcast by a hoard of angry Tivo users (most Series 2 Tivo boxes use the serial connection to change channels on the cable box) word from Comcast support is that new firmware was the reason for the crippling of the serial port. While Comcast is currently blaming the issue on Motorola for releasing the firmware, the timing of this awfully convenient. My Tivo Series 2 box has worked perfectly through the serial port on a number of Motorola cable boxes over the last few years. With the current list of dirty tricks growing longer by the day, increased pressure from Verizon, and revenue down 50% for the last quarter, how long can Comcast continue to ignore customers to make up for their own shortcomings?

Submission + - Obama calls for National CTO (www.icstars.orghttp)

EmperorKagato writes: "Google Inc.'s Headquarters Mountain View, California: Presidential Candidate Barrack Obama talked about his plans to connect Americans through technology.

"Together, we could open up government and invite citizens in, while connecting all of America to 21st century broadband. We could use technology to help achieve universal health care, to reach for a clean energy future, and to ensure that young Americans can compete and win in the global economy"
Obama, a strong supporter of Net Neutrality, expects to achieve this goal by appointing a Chief Technology Officer that would ensure that every government agency is meeting 21st century standards."

Slashdot Top Deals

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.