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Comment Re:Canada too? (Score 1) 245

Visa and MasterCard debit cards in the United States are also basically directly linked to bank accounts. The logo basically just means your transaction will work as a fake "credit" transaction at Visa/MasterCard merchants who don't have debit support, or when you don't feel like entering your PIN. Or so I understand.

Comment Opportunity for improvement (Score 3, Interesting) 260

Maybe this (or the more normal work schedule of a normal series rather than the "movies"), will get some of the voice actors to return to their original form.

I think that some of the actors (particuarly Phil LaMarr, interestingly) never quite got the hang of their old characters again.

Losing the old cast would still be a death blow to the show, though.

Comment Re:Fairness in the EU (Score 5, Informative) 254

Apple uses the AAC format which is an open royalty free format designed to replace mp3. Alcatel-Lucent owns the patent on MP3. So, Apple chose the more modern and more open format. Any company can support or use AAC without paying any royalties.

You might want to check on your facts a little more.

Comment Re:A DRM ban clause should be added as a constitut (Score 1) 1127

I think Windows is officially in the fading phase of its existence: Adobe has FINALLY (After first announcing it way back in 2003) released a 64 bit Flash player - and it's for Linux, not Windows. I think that's the first time I've ever seen a major release of anything coming out on Linux first.

Could this perhaps be because no one on Windows actually uses a 64-bit browser? Mozilla doesn't even offer official 64-bit builds, and while Microsoft gives you a 64-bit Explorer, no one uses it. In the *nix world, people who use compile-from-source distros or distros which like to keep down the 32-bit binaries actually have 64-bit browsers.

That aside, in another moment of rejoicing for 64-bit browser plugins, Java 1.6 update 12 with 64-bit support is finally officially out for both Windows and Linux. Hurrah.

Comment Re:So once the big guys are down... (Score 2, Interesting) 250

An AC already covered this somewhat, but patents are meant to combat more than just others making money off of the patented invention.

Licensing is by far the most common route, but you can completely block the use of the invention by others for the duration of the patent if you so choose. Drug companies often choose this option, so you'll still have to wait a few more years for generic Viagra to hit the market.

Staying in the software realm, say you hold some software patent, and you actually make and sell a product using it. Now, Microsoft or Apple starts giving away a product that does essentially the same thing. The rights conferred to you by the patent still allow you to stop them from distributing the product, or force them to license the technology, despite the fact that they're not actually making any money off of it.

Comment Re:So once the big guys are down... (Score 4, Interesting) 250

One would think that if you posted a Wikipedia link, you'd at least have had time to read the first sentence of the article: "Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law..."

Anyway, patent trolls rarely go after free software projects because they lack the money to dole out a big settlement. The various media standards and many other fairly standard features of Linux distros are patent-encumbered up the wazoo. Some projects actually have some fear of litigation and disable features or distribute source-only (FreeType's bytecode interpreter comes to mind), but that's fairly rare.


Submission + - Utah Child Protection Registry Injunction Denied

RWarrior(fobw) writes: The Free Speech Coalition, an adult/porn industry trade group, has lost a bid before Judge Dale Kimball (of SCO v IBM fame) to get an injunction against Utah's enforcement of their Child Protection Registry law. If you sell something "harmful to minors" via email, you must pay a third-party company to scrub your mailing list. Problem? First, it's a private for-profit company. Second, it gets expensive! Third, there's no real way to know that whomever is on the list is actually in Utah, since there's no location or residence check, other than asking for a ZIP code. More about the decision at the FSC and Adult Video News Online. (Adult content in this last link.)
United States

Submission + - Small Business Owner Silenced By FBI

zyl0x writes: The Washington Post has a story online about the owner of a small Internet business and the recipient of an infamous "National Security Letter". Even though the FBI has retracted the order for information, they have yet to retract the gag order that accompanied the NSL. From the article:

Living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case — including the mere fact that I received an NSL — from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie.
The Washington Post has made a rare exception for this person, by posting their story anonymously.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - RIAA hires DJ's, then sends in the SWAT team

cancan writes: "The NY times is carrying an article about how the RIAA is hiring hip hop artists to make mix tapes, and then helping the police raid their studios. In the case of DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon (myspace warning), they were raided by SWAT teams with their guns drawn. The local police chief said later that they were "prepared for the worst." Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away "evidence"."

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