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Comment The More the Merrier (Score 1) 357

I have no problem receiving these phone books and I also am not bothered by junk mail. I think of all the jobs that they generate, from data collectors to layout artists to printers to delivery people. Particularly with the trouble the USPO is in, the junk mail is helpful; the postage prepaid envelopes in credit card ads even serve the USPO better. I find no real strain in putting such items in the recycle bin thus supporting even more jobs.

Submission + - South Carolina Taxpayer Security Breach (

Vengance Daemon writes: As many as 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers may have been exposed to a foreign hacker in the security breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Said Governor Nikki Haley, "This wasn't an issue where anyone in state government could have done something to avoid it. This is a situation where a sophisticated, intelligent individual got into a database and is unbelievably creative in how he did it, and now we're having to deal with it." She said she wanted the hacker "slammed against the wall," and announced the code number at a news conference in the state capital of Columbia and told people they could sign up directly online. She gave out a code number to use to enroll online for theft protection; apparently the number is the same for everyone. I wonder if just anyone can use the number to sign up for credit theft protection?

Submission + - Wyoming Goes Google (

Vengance Daemon writes: All of Wyoming state government's 10,000 employees use Google Apps for Government, a platform that provides extra security to Google's business app suite: Gmail, Docs, Sites, Video, and Calendar.

Comment Re:Health and life insurance (Score 1) 72

You're right, they "can't use data collected this way against your policy," but they can and will use it against you when deciding whether or not to provide you with health insurance in the first place. Not everyone gets their health insurance through their employer; some of us have to purchase it on our own, and believe me, they use whatever they can against you.

Comment It's Downhill from Here (Score 5, Insightful) 241

Our enemy has become, not the Muslim fundamentalists, but the federal government of the United States. We are spending a lot of time and bandwidth talking about and complaining about their actions. There is kind of a resigned tone to many of the comments that I hear and read. The US government has become sort of not "of the people, by the people, and for the people," but more "against the people." The corruption in congress and the White House is not helping at all.

Submission + - No Voting For You, Colorado

Vengance Daemon writes: The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the Colorado Secretary of State has announced that "A significant number of electronic voting machines widely used in counties across the state will be banned for the upcoming presidential election because they are unreliable and unsecure..." Machines from Sequoia, Hart Intercivic, and ES&S have been de-certified. Interestingly enough, he has approved all equipment made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold). The Denver Post has a few more details.
The Internet

Submission + - The Video Prince Doesn't Want You to See

Awesomely Anonymous writes: ABC News reports on what happens when a mother posts a video of her pajama clad dancing child for her friends and family to view. After 28 views, her video is awarded the honor of being taken down at the behest of Universal Music for copyright infringement. The reason: "In the video, the child is seen bouncing and swaying for the camera, as, faintly, the Prince hit "Let's Go Crazy" plays on a CD player in the background." Now this mother from Pennsylvania has issued a counter-notice and filed a civil lawsuit against Universal for abusing the DMCA. In Universal's defense they were acting on behalf of Prince: "Prince believes it is wrong for YouTube, or any user-generated site, to appropriate his music without his consent [...] It's simply a matter of principle."
The Courts

Submission + - New Attorneys Fee Decision Against RIAA 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA has gotten slammed again, this time in Oregon, as the Magistrate Judge in Atlantic v. Andersen has ruled that Tanya Andersen's motion for attorneys fees should be granted. The Magistrate, in his 15-page decision, noted that, despite extensive pretrial discovery proceedings, "when plaintiffs dismissed their claims in June 2007, they apparently had no more material evidence to support their claims than they did when they first contacted defendant in February 2005....." and concluded that "Copyright holders generally, and these plaintiffs specifically, should be deterred from prosecuting infringement claims as plaintiffs did in this case." This is the same case in which (a) the RIAA insisted on interrogating Ms. Andersen's 10-year-old girl at a face-to-face deposition, (b) the defendant filed RICO counterclaims against the record companies, and (c) the defendant has recently converted her RICO case into a class action"

Submission + - 'Opt Out' soon or Verizon will sell your CPNI 1

Rothfuss writes: "I actually opened and read one of the 'Updates to my Customer Agreement Terms and Conditions' that I received from Verizon today. I have no idea why. This one explains that they will be upgrading my service by assuming (unless I tell them otherwise) that I am willing to let them sell my Customer Proprietary Network Information or give it to anyone they choose. Apparently that will help me. However, the FCC won't let them do this without your permission — like, for example *not* calling them and opting out. If you are a Verizon customer and would like to opt out, you can do so by calling 1-800-333-9956. Ask to speak to Mr. Prosser."
The Courts

Submission + - Extortion, Conspiracy Claims Against RIAA Upheld

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "You may recall that back in June a Florida woman counterclaimed against the RIAA for Trespass, Computer Fraud and Abuse, Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices, Civil Extortion, and Civil Conspiracy involving use of unlicensed private investigators without license, unauthorized access to a protected computer system, in interstate commerce, and extortion, in UMG v. Del Cid. She amended her counterclaims in some respects in August, and the RIAA wasted no time moving to dismiss all six of the amended counterclaims. Judge Richard A. Lazzara of the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida has now issued his decision sustaining five of the six counterclaims, dismissing only the counterclaim for copyright misuse claim. Judge Lazzara's decision (pdf) rejected, in its entirety, the RIAA's assertion of the "Noerr Pennington" defense, since it is inapplicable to "sham litigations", and Ms. Del Cid had properly alleged that the RIAA's cases were indeed "sham"."

Submission + - Microsoft activation servers are down

anders writes: On Thursday I decided to rebuild my laptop and (re-)install Vista. I activated and everything was fine until sometime yesterday, when Aero stopped working and dialogs started popping up telling me I am the victim of counterfeiting. Since my copy of Vista if perfectly legit, I did a bit of googling and it turns out that Microsoft is the victim of server downtime: the WGA/activation servers are down: _server.html

Submission + - SeattlePostIntelligencer stands up to FBI (

tekel writes: This post at RawStory caught my eye:

The alert issued by FBI agents in Seattle on Monday called for the public's help in identifying photographs of two Middle Eastern-looking men who had been reported travelling on ferries exhibiting "unusual behavior."
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer refused to run the photos, explaining:

"We have no confirmation that these men's behavior was anything but innocuous, and to forever taint them by associating them with terrorism under these circumstances is not consistent with our policy," the paper said.
Not consistent with the newspaper's policy, or, you know, the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press from government interference and equal protection under the law for everyone in the United States.

The rest of my amateur legal analysis here.

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