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Submission + - Former Senator Chris Dodd Set to Head MPAA

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Hill reports that former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is set to become the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America taking over the $1.2 million position and the job of coordinating the policy goals of the various member studios. Interim CEO and president Bob Pisano says that organization's unwavering focus on its top priority will remain increasing the federal government's efforts to stop online film piracy. The MPAA is optimistic about its legislative prospects this Congress, thanks to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (headed by Dodd's close friend Senator Patrick Leahy) last year before stalling in the full Senate. The bipartisan bill would make it easier for the Justice Department to shut down websites that traffic pirated music, movies and counterfeit goods. While a member of the Senate, Dodd was an adamant opponent of the the FISA bill that granted retroactive immunity to telecoms who engaged in warrantless wiretapping. As to what type of organization will await Dodd when he begins, an MPAA spokesman acknowledged the organization sustained a 20 percent budget cut during the height of the recession but said the MPAA's decision was not unlike those taken by many peer trade groups."

Comment Re:Yes it is (Score 2, Insightful) 253

It has been proven time and time again that if everybody drove the same speed, as indicated by people who are smarter then you, traffic would flow a lot more smoothly

You do realize the posted speed limit is lower than the speed recommended by people who are smarter than [i]you[/i], right? (Do you automatically assume that we're all dimwitted?)

Ignore the above point, really, I don't care about surface streets. On most surface streets, I stick to the posted speed limits anyway. However, state speed limits (IE max of 65 in california) has [i]nothing[/i] to do with road conditions. Do you even know why they put that speed limit, or are you just being a righteous prick? (Here's a hint, it wasn't added for safety). Freeway speed limits are detrimental.

Comment Re:Lawful reason (Score 1) 491

It's not so much the laser point as the reason behind removing it.
It is, in essence, a "protecting us from ourselves" reasoning that was used by the Great Grandparent.
"not the sort of thing you want drunken kids playing with" is a very dangerous justification, and one that could EASILY be bent to a lot of other things (If it was the U.S., for example, the same could be said of firearms).

Submission + - U.S., Aussie Officials Yank GHB-Metabolizing Toys 1

theodp writes: "Questioned about concerns over China-made toys, Toys 'R' Us CEO Jerry Storch predicted 'this will be the safest holiday season ever.' Oops. On the same day Fortune ran Storch's interview, Toys 'R' Us joined other North American and Australian retailers to pull millions of Chinese-made toy bead sets from shelves after scientists found they contain a chemical that metabolizes into the date-rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads."

Juror From RIAA Trial Speaks 918

Damon Tog notes a Wired blog posting featuring quotes from a juror who took part in the recent RIAA trial. Some excerpts: "She should have settled out of court for a few thousand dollars... Spoofing? We're thinking, "Oh my God, you got to be kidding."... She lied. There was no defense. Her defense sucked... I think she thought a jury from Duluth would be naive. We're not that stupid up here. I don't know what the f**k she was thinking, to tell you the truth."
The Courts

Submission + - Judge bars RIAA prez from testifying in P2P case ( 3

Eskimo Joe writes: A federal judge surprised observers in the Captiol v Thomas file-sharing trial today by barring RIAA president Cary Sherman from testifying. 'After a brief recess this afternoon, plaintiffs' counsel Richard Gabriel and defendant's counsel David Toder made their cases before the judge as to the relevance of Sherman's testimony. Toder argued that Sherman's testimony was not relevant to the question at hand, the fact of whether Thomas was liable for copyright infringement. Gabriel said that Sherman would be able to tell the jury why this case was significant, and more importantly, describe the harm the RIAA believes piracy has caused to the music industry. "I don't want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry," Toder argued in response.' Testimony wrapped up today with closing arguments expected Thursday morning.
The Courts

Misleading Data Undermines Counterfeiting Claims 91

An anonymous reader writes "Canada has been the home to a growing debate on counterfeiting with politicians, law enforcement, and copyright lobby groups all pushing for stronger copyright and anti-counterfeiting laws. Writing in the Toronto Star, Michael Geist reports that the claims are based on fatally flawed data. The RCMP, Canada's national police force, has been claiming that counterfeiting costs Canadians $30 billion per year. When pressed on the issue, last week they admitted that the estimate was not based on any original research but rather on 'open source documents found on the Internet.'"
The Internet

Canadian MP Calls For ISP Licenses, Content Blocks 273

An anonymous reader writes "A member of Canada's ruling Conservative party has pledged to "clean up" the Internet with new bill that would mandate ISP licensing, know-your-subscriber rules, and allow the government to order ISPs to block content. ISPs that fail to block would faces possible jail time for the company's directors and officers."

Submission + - Jack Thompson blames VT killings on Video Games

Kaessa writes: "From Kotaku:

"School shooting expert" Jack Thompson appeared on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews today to ramble incoherently further about the gossamer-thin connection between Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui's actions and the Half-Life mod Counter-Strike. According to Jack — and no one else — Seung-Hui might have played Counter-Strike in high school at some point making him a calm and efficient killer. While Jack defends that connection in the most what-the-fuck way possible, Matthews takes him to task for his massive leaps in "logic." on-gets-hardballed-253501.php"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Death of Open Source in Russia?

Alexander Ufimtsev writes: "CNews reports that the Russian Ministry of Information and Communication has come up with an ingenious plan to prevent Alexander Ponosov-like cases once and for all by purchasing a blanket software licenses for all schools in the country (English translation).

From the article:

The ministry has negotiated with major producers of software on the possibility of a single centralized procurement. According to the minister, as a result of discussions producers have agreed to the unique conditions of licensing for the school...

After studying the needs of regions, Ministry of Information and Communication formed the a unified list of software for school computers. This list includes operating system, office, graphical editors and antivirus software...
With this communist era plan looking very likely to be approved, soon we could be witnessing beginning of the end of open source movement in Russia."

Submission + - Vonage Receives Temporary Stay

Jedi Holocron writes: A slight reprieve...

Vonage Receives Temporary Stay In Verizon Patent Litigation, Continues to Sell Service

HOLMDEL, N.J., April 6, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — Vonage today secured a temporary stay from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC. The stay enables Vonage to continue to sign up new customers until the Appellate court can hear Vonage's request for a permanent stay. The Court's ruling allows Vonage to continue to provide phone service to existing customers.

Earlier today the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. indicated it would enter an injunction against Vonage effective April 12, 2007 in connection with certain Verizon technology on which it was found to be infringing. The Court indicated that Vonage would be barred from acquiring new customers during its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. In response, Vonage filed for and received an emergency stay of the injunction from the Federal Circuit.

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In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.