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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 4 declined, 0 accepted (4 total, 0.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Debian 6.0 Released (debian.org)

Tubal-Cain writes: The Debian Project has announced the release of version 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze") of their popular operating system. This version, the first first since they adopted a release schedule a year and a half ago, features KDE 4.4.5, Gnome 2.30, X.org 2.7, and the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. They are also introducing a port to a FreeBSD kernel on x86 and x86_64 platforms. Accompanying this new version is an updated layout for their websites, bringing a bit of consitency between their home page, wiki, package search, etc.

Submission + - SPAM: Correspondence w/ Congresscritter RE: PRO-IP Act

Tubal-Cain writes: I recently (for extremely large values of recent) emailed my personal congress-critter Devin Nunes (R-CA) in regards to the PRO-IP Act, and I have just recieved a response from him. While I could reply with a goatse, I might get better results by crafting a coherent response. I might be able to to a better job if Slashdot would help me with this. Here is the letter:

Dear Tubal-Cain,

Thank you for taking the time to email me to express your concerns with S. 3325, the Prioritising Resources and Organisation for Intellectual Property Act. I welcome the opportunity to provide clarity.

I believe intellectual property (copyrights, patents, and trademark) is critical to out fiscal health and to American strength in the world economy. Unfortunately, this valuable property is also vulnerable and subject to numerous types of theft and misappropriation. In fact, American businesses lose $250 billion a year to intellectual property theft; the motion picture industry alone estimates that it loses more than $3.5 billion because of piracy annually.

With this concern in mind, Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 3325 to strengthen both civil and criminal laws against counterfeiting and piracy. Specifically, this legislation increases statutory damage awards in civil counterfieting cases, strengthens remedies availiable in the procecution of criminal cases involving counterfeiting and piracy, and enhances resouces (personnel, training, and equipment) for Department of Justice program that combat IP theft.

With that said, it is important to stress that counterfeiting costs America hundreds of billions of dollers a year and has harmful effects throughout the economy. Moreover, fake products can expose consumers to serious health and safety risks while the government loses out on tax revenues and is forced to divert law enforcement resources. While this legislation does not hinder innovation, it does provide law enforcement resources and tools to combat piracy and counterfeiting.

You should know that this legislation passed the Congress with large support and has since been signed into law by the President.

In closing, I would like to address your concern about my website and encryption. I have been in touch with our website provider and forwarded your concerns. Currently House Systems does not require encryption on Member's websites. For this reason, I encourage folks never to email me sensitive information, such as social security numbers of health records. However, I will continue to monitor this situation.

Again, thanks for taking the time to email me. If you should have any outstanding questions, please feel free to contact me. Please also take a moment and visit my website at [spam URL stripped] for an update of my work in Congress

Sincerely, Devin Nunes
Member of Congress

While some things to mention are obvious (the use of the $250 billion figure, the fact that copyright infringement is a civil issue rather than a criminal one, the RIAA's extortionist tactics, etc.), there probably are subtler issues I haven't noticed (and those that I did notice I might have a hard time expressing effectively).

The Media

Submission + - How does Slashdot get unbiased political news? 3

Tubal-Cain writes: Political candidates make many statements, often contradictory to their opponents'. Government websites are such a pain to navigate for checking on someone's voting record or what the text of a bill is. As far as I know, there are no wiki-like transcripts of politicians' speeches (with citations). So what unbiased sources does Slashdot use to check the truthfulness of a politician's claims?

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