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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access? 495

New submitter rsanford, apropos of today's FCC announcement about what is officially consided "broadband" speed by that agency, asks In the early and middle 90's I recall spending countless hours on IRC 'Trout-slapping' people in #hottub and engaging in channel wars. The people from Europe were always complaining about how slow their internet was and there was no choice. This was odd to me, who at the time had 3 local ISPs to choose from, all offering the fastest modem connections at the time, while living in rural America 60 miles away from the nearest city with 1,000 or more people. Was that the reality back then? If so, what changed, and when?
The Courts

Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive 317

Lucas123 writes: The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies is suing Ford and General Motors for millions of dollars over alleged copyrights infringement violations because their vehicles' CD players can rip music to infotainment center hard drives. The AARC claims in its filing (PDF) that the CD player's ability to copy music violates the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. The Act protects against distributing digital audio recording devices whose primary purpose is to rip copyrighted material. For example, Ford's owner's manual explains, "Your mobile media navigation system has a Jukebox which allows you to save desired tracks or CDs to the hard drive for later access. The hard drive can store up to 10GB (164 hours; approximately 2,472 tracks) of music." The AARC wants $2,500 for each digital audio recording device installed in a vehicle, the amount it says should have been paid in royalties.

USPTO Issues 8,000,000th Patent 108

toybuilder writes "It took nearly 80 years for the first 1 million patents to issue in the U.S. On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its eight-millionth patent. This most recent 1 million patents took only about 5 years."

RIAA President Says Copyright Law "Isn't Working" 473

Kilrah_il writes "Apperantly not satisfied with the current scope of the DMCA, RIAA President Cary Sherman wants to broaden the scope of the law to have content providers such as YouTube and Rapidshare liable for illegal content found on their sites. 'The RIAA would strongly prefer informal agreements inked with intermediaries ... We're working on [discussions with broadband providers], and we'd like to extend that kind of relationship — not just to ISPs, but [also to] search engines, payment processors, advertisers ... [But], if legislation is an appropriate way to facilitate that kind of cooperation, fine.' Notice the update at the end of the article pointing out that Sherman is seeking for voluntary agreements with said partners and not to enact broader laws without their cooperation."

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