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United States

US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here 706

The second U.S. Presidential debate kicks off in about a half-hour (9PM ET, 6PM PT, 0100 UTC) from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will take questions from an audience of allegedly undecided voters. A live stream of the event will be available from a number of sources (C-SPAN, CNN, ABC, and PBS), and it will be broadcast nationally on the major networks. The flash-less and television-less can use rtmpdump to catch the debate from C-SPAN. It won't preempt the more important telecasts, like playoff baseball. Candidates from smaller parties again went uninvited (e.g. Gary Johnson from the Libertarians, Jill Stein from the Greens, Virgil Goode from the Constitution Party, and Rocky Anderson from the Justice Party). In fact, Jill Stein was arrested for attempting to enter without credentials (her side of the story). Assuming she's out of jail by Thursday, she and Gary Johnson will be participating in an online debate hosted by IVN.us. While tonight's debate is in progress, Politifact will be fact-checking the candidates in real-time (while CNN has demonstrated their journalistic capabilities with a debate drinking game). Feel free to weigh in with your commentary on the debate below — it would be helpful to provide timestamps or other context when referring to particular statements. As before, we're posting this here in a vain attempt to keep the political discussion out of other story threads tonight. If either of the candidates spontaneously concedes the election or catches fire, we'll do our best to update you.
Microsoft

Microsoft Details FOSS Patent Breaches 576

CptRevelation writes "Microsoft has released more detailed information on the patents supposedly in breach by the open-source community. Despite their accusations of infringement, they state they would rather do licensing deals instead of any legal action. 'Open-source programs step on 235 Microsoft patents, the company said. Free Linux software violates 42 patents. Graphical user interfaces, the way menus and windows look on the screen, breach 65. E-mail programs step on 15, and other programs touch 68 other patents, the company said. The patent figures were first reported by Fortune magazine. Microsoft also said Open Office, an open-source program supported in part by Sun Microsystems Inc., infringes on 45 patents. Sun declined to comment on the allegation.'"

Policy Wonk Castigates Net Neutrality 322

An anonymous reader writes "Tom Giovanetti, president of the Dallas, Texas based public policy think tank Institute for Policy Innovation envisions a chaotic world as a result of Net Neutrality. He says a flood of undiscriminated traffic to and from Youtube, Coldplay, and Victoria's Secret will bring down the Internet, leading to failures of IPTV, VOIP, and emergency services which depend on VOIP. Is he right or wrong?." From the article: "... government should be about fostering a dynamic and risk-taking economy, not preserving the certainty of anyone's business models. Net neutrality regulations would severely restrict broadband providers' right to enter into contracts and to try new business models while protecting the business models of Google and Ebay." Compare this with George Ou's commentary on this subject from yesterday.

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