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Submission + - Lenovo will put Microsoft bloatware on their Android phones to avoid patent tax (zdnet.com)

LichtSpektren writes: In a deal between Microsoft and Lenovo, the latter's Android phones (and their subsidiary Motorola's as well) will begin shipping with Microsoft bloatware, including at least Office, OneDrive, and Skype.

For those who have not been following the story, for the past nine years Microsoft has been using their patents on the FAT file system and other technologies to extract somewhere between $5 and $15 per Android device sold.

Submission + - Canada's police chiefs want new law to compel people to reveal passwords (www.cbc.ca)

DaveyJJ writes: CBC is reporting that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, "...has passed a resolution calling for a legal measure to unlock digital evidence, saying criminals increasingly use encryption to hide illicit activities."

The chiefs are recommending new legislation that would force people to hand over their electronic passwords with a judge's consent. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Joe Oliver is using the usual scare tactics ... "child-molesters and mobsters live in the 'dark web'" ... in his statement today to drum up public support in his poorly rationalized privacy-stripping recommendation.

A few years ago, Canada's Supreme Court ruled that police must have a judge's order to request subscriber and customer information from ISPs, banks and others who have online data about Canadians. I guess that ruling isn't sitting too well with law enforcement and Canada's domestic spy agencies.

Submission + - Anti-Minimum Wage App launched by Employment Policies Institute

TigerPlish writes: In an example of why it is imperative to question the funding of every single Think Tank and "Resarch Organization," CNN reports the "Employment Policies Institute" — a conservative think tank funded in DC by one Richard Berman — which lobbies against minimum wage hikes for the Restaurant, Hotel, Alcohol and Tobacco industries — has launched an iOS app called Wage Engage. According to another source:

Wage Engage allows business owners to track minimum wage legislation in states relevant to them, and to offer their opinion about the impact of such increases. "You have an asymmetric battle. You have organized labor groups who can devote their entire days to advocating for a higher minimum wage. Then you have small business owners who didn't have the time, or didn't know about [the legislation]. The app lets restaurant owners tell their story in a personal way," says Michael Saltsman, the group's research director.

Please be aware that this "Employment Policies Institute" has nothing to do with the "Economic Policies Institute," which is a liberal think tank, which I'm sure also has its own agenda not aligned with helping The People.

Comment Blame Internet Brands (Score 1) 85

Both the recent VerticalScope hack and this have one thing in common: vBulletin. It is a pile of junk, and especially since it was acquired by a firm known as Internet Brands. It is awful software, and a forum about an open source product which uses proprietary components is ethically unsound.

Comment Needs to be re-thought (Score 2) 278

Reading about failures like this makes me appreciate that both Canada and the United States have mandatory systems for the interruption of programming across all broadcasters, regardless of platform, in the event of a public emergency. Apps can help disseminate information, but they should not be constitute the only distribution path besides the media.

Comment Snappy is non-free anyway (Score 4, Interesting) 170

Only the client portion is free software. It only works with a proprietary, Canonical-run package repository. Canonical does not offer source code for the server aspect, and thus, does not offer the ability to create third-party servers. The entire system is subject to Canonical's walled garden.

Comment Re:DMCA Safe Harbor Provision in Jeopardy (Score 1) 156

If Google, Facebook, and Twitter are editorializing content, such as silencing right wing views and anti-immigration sentiments (Zuckerberg met with Merkel to discuss implementation of this, for instance). Then theses companies lose their DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions which safeguard a platform provider from being liable for user generated content. Under the DMCA such media platforms are not responsible for the content posted by their users so long as they are not editorializing the content, such as filtering posts along political lines to present a political bias.

If DMCA Safe Harbor provisions are stripped from Google, Facebook and/or Twitter then THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SPREADING ISLAMIC TERRORIST PROPAGANDA AND INCITING VIOLENCE.

It's not a DMCA provision. That's a safe harbor for copyrighted material. What you really want is the Section 230 safe harbor, which states that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.". A social networking service clearly falls under this provision.

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