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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 34 declined, 3 accepted (37 total, 8.11% accepted)

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Submission + - Comcast to customers - we own you (

Zeinfeld writes: Comcast digital telephony customers who have unpublished telephone numbers will be receiving a letter from Comcast telling them that they will have to pay $4.95 for not having their privacy invaded in future. I received mine this morning. Perhaps not coincidentally, the quality of my Vonage over Comcast service has recently dropped to the point where it is unusable. So the net effect is that Comcast chooses to adopt telco pricing policies at the same time that their network no longer supports competition from the non-telcos.

Charging for a service according to its value rather than the cost of providing it is called functional pricing. In this case the cost of delivery is zero so we have functional pricing. Functional pricing can only be maintained when competition is restricted. It is a clear sign that a monopoly or duopoly is in operation.

Is the answer net neutrality? I don't think so. Attempting to draw up regulations to tell Comcast what to do is not going to work. The regulations are going to become obsolete very quickly and they are going to be very difficult to police. And even if one administration is willing to enforce the regulations, a successor may be more interested in serving the interests of the cable providers than the people. The answer here is competition in Internet service delivery, which not coincidentally appears to be the direction some of the Obama transition team seem to be thinking.

Net Neutrality describes a desired outcome, it is not a policy in itself. How should the US govt enable citizens to gain the same access to cheap, high speed broadband that Europeans have enjoyed for years?


Submission + - OASIS votes against encumbered XRI standard (

Zeinfeld writes: OASIS members have narrowly rejected the Extensible Resource Identifiers specification as an OASIS standard. To pass 15% of the membership must vote and there must be no more than 25% no votes. As Drummond Reed reports there was extensive lobbying in the final stages. The objections of the World Wide Web Consortium TAG were cited as the reason for the objection by many voting disapprove.

What has attracted rather less attention than it should, but certainly was a factor in one vote is the curious status of the XRI patent license. Instead of providing the normal license or open covenant to use the XRI specification in any way whatsoever, the patent is exclusively licensed to 'non-profit' which has in turn sublicensed the rights to register XRI i-names and i-numbers to commercial entities. Cordance retaint the right to sue third parties for infringement. In other words, this is not free as in speech and you should expect to pay for the beer if i-names take off.

Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Details of new iPhone leak (

Zeinfeld writes: "Fortune has a scoop on the new iPhone. While rumors abound, Fortune claims to have the details direct from a source at AT&T. The tech specs are much as expected: GPS, thinner (9.2mm), oh and something called 3G. Apple will stop shipping old model iPhones a few weeks before the launch so as to clear out the inventory and AT&T will be discounting a 'locked' version of the iPhone by an extra $200. Which is a somewhat interesting statement given that iPhones are locked today. Could it be that Apple store iPhones will ship unlocked?"
United States

Submission + - US Military proposed secretly hiring bloggers ( 1

Zeinfeld writes: "Wired reports that Dorothy Denning, one time Clipper Chip supporter wrote a report on using blogs for information warfare in 2006 (available from cryptome. Amongst the proposals were hiring bloggers directly as propaganda agents and using military media resources to 'make' a blogger posting favorable material. Notably, and most unfortunately absent from the report is the question of whether the military should be manipulating domestic media for the political advantage of the incumbent administration."

Submission + - Sony drops $49 'no crapware' fee (

Zeinfeld writes: "ZDNet is reporting that Sony have thought better of charging customers $49 extra for not loading their laptop up with unasked for and unwanted software. The best that could be said of the original plan was that Sony did at least give customers the option. 'Free' software that expires after a few months or constantly nags for an upgrade to the 'pro' version isn't even free in the beer sense of the word. Perhaps Microsoft should supply a 'reset' utility that quickly and simply returns Windows to the original OEM distribution."

Submission + - Intel tests 80 Core chip

Zeinfeld writes: Intel has announced a test chip with 80 cores. The chip has a nominal processing capacity of over a teraflop. Whether the chip actually delivers that performance over a sustained interval on real processing problems is another question. Also unmentioned is how the issue of heat dissipation is dealt with. It is probably going to be a while before such chips are production.

This marks a major departure from tactics such as introducing more parallelism into the processor core and adding more cache memory that have been the norm since 64 mainstream processors reached 64 bits.

Submission + - Boarding pass generator offline after FBI raid.

Zeinfeld writes: "Wired News reports that the boarding pass generator has gone offline. Boing Boing has details of the FBI visit.

Soghoian has not been charged or arrested at this time. If you do contact Congressman Markey be polite and point out that the site was set up to expose the vulnerability and not to help terrorists. Might also help to point out that this is the third time someone has pointed out this vulnerability, nobody took it seriously until this site was set up."

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.