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Submission + - How the Aussie government "invented WiFi" and sued its way to $430 million (

An anonymous reader writes: US consumers will be making a multimillion dollar donation to an Australian government agency in the near future, whether they like it or not. After the resolution of a recent lawsuit, practically every wireless-enabled device sold in the US will now involve a payment to an Australian research organization called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, which hired US patent lawyers who told a very lucrative tale in an East Texas courtroom, that they had "[invented] the concept of wireless LAN ... [and] when the IEEE adopted the 802.11a standard in 1999—and the more widely-used 802.11g standard years later—the group was choosing CSIRO technology. Now CSIRO had come to court to get the payments it deserved."

Comment Re:Barring? (Score 3, Insightful) 416

is the same as a store giving employees 40% off if they buy and wear the store's goods

In fact, it could be worse -- MS is paying for the equipment. Most clothing retailers require employees to wear the company's clothes while at work and to purchase said clothing with their own money (discounted, of course).

Comment Re:Sounds funky but (Score 1) 131

Perhaps GP was referring to this cap Sprint instituted around October or November of 2011 on tablets, hot spots, and tethered mobile phones. Still unlimited data for untethered phones (I think).

From the announcement on Sprint's website:

Data usage limits when using 3G/4G Mobile broadband devices

If you have a mobile broadband device such as a tablet, netbook, notebook, USB card, connection card or Mobile Hotspot device, effective beginning with your next bill following notification, your on-network monthly data allowance will no longer include unlimited 4G.

Comment Re:It's all the customers' fault... (Score 1) 406

Funny, when AT&T first offered GSM service (around 1999 or 2000), they gave me so many free perks (minutes, upgrades, etc.) for staying with them through their growing pains that it was impossible for me to imagine leaving. I ended up leaving them because somewhere during the AT&T->Cingular->AT&T shenanigans, they'd essentially done a 180 with regard to how they treat their customers. Now I'm with Sprint and have few, if any complaints.

Comment Re:code documents itself (Score 2) 545

Yes and no. Well written code tells fellow developers on the project how something works and shouldn't require a lot (if any documentation). However, if I'm using someone else's code I don't always want to have to read through it to figure out what it does. Documentation (like Javadoc) should be used to explain what the code does (without getting into the details of how). In some cases, a few real world examples may be enough.

This is my problem with many open source projects. Usually the only way to use it in your own project is to open up their source code and start reading through it. And if there is any documentation, it's frequently woefully lacking and/or out of date. And tweaking their sample code doing "trial and error development" sucks.

Comment Anything outside is public? (Score 2) 405

I have an expectation of privacy in my backyard. I have a 7 foot high privacy fence and trees which prevent/block views from my neighbors' 2nd floor windows. A drone flying above my house can easily look into my private backyard. So could a manned vehicle, I realize, but unless the FBI, local cops, etc. are using a U2 or something similar, I assume I'd know they're there visually or audibly. Drones can be much smaller, quieter, and even look like a bird.

Comment Re:Expecting honesty from politicians?!???!?!! (Score 1) 630

but is better than nothing

I disagree. Usually "nothing" would have been better. The compromise rarely, if ever, fixes the original issue and just creates new loopholes, issues, etc. that need to be patched. One of the reasons we're in the mess we're in is not because Congress cannot agree on legislation it's that they agree too often on bad legislation.

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