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ISP To FCC: Using The Internet Is Like Eating Oreos ( 229

New submitter Rick Schumann shares with us a report highlighting an analogy presented by an ISP that relates Double Stuf Oreos to the internet. Specifically, that Double Stuf Oreos cost more than regular Oreos, and therefore you should pay more for internet: The Consumerist reports: "Ars Technica first spotted the crumbly filing, from small (and much-loathed) provider Mediacom. Mediacom's comment is in response to the same proceeding that Netflix commented on earlier this month. However, while Netflix actually addressed data and the ways in which their customers use it, Mediacom went for the more metaphor-driven approach. The letter literally starts out under the header, 'You Have to Pay Extra For Double-Stuffed,' and posits that you, the consumer, are out for a walk with $2 in your pocket when you suddenly develop a ferocious craving for Oreo cookies." Of course their analogy is highly questionable, since transmitting data over a network doesn't actually consume anything, now does it? You eat the cookie, the cookie is gone, but you transmit data over a network, the network is still there and can transmit data endlessly. Mediacom's assertion that the Internet is like a cookie you eat, is like saying copying a file on your computer somehow diminishes or degrades the original file, which of course is ridiculous.

Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Submission + - Autism associated with shorter lifespan according to UK charity study

Cognitive Dissident writes: It's only one study, but the results are disturbing. An article in The Guardian describes a study by the UK charity Autistica showing that all people on the autism spectrum, not just the profoundly autistic, seem to be dying much younger than the average. There is no single definable cause, though a higher rate of suicide is one problem, but the aggregate result is a much higher mortality rate than the general population. There is no single cause, but a higher rate of suicide is noted. "Autistic people with no learning disabilities are nine times more likely to die from suicide compared to the rest of the population, the report states." Looks like something that needs more attention and research, which the charity is trying to organize.

Comment Re:Will Someone Please! (Score 3, Interesting) 370

If enough of us ask nicely, or not so nicely, the FTC might sue them.

Send your complaints about Microsoft's unfair and unethical behavior to:

This is the official address for reporting antitrust violations. I think trying to leverage the near universal presence of old versions of Windows on PCs worldwide to force acceptance of the new version qualifies as abuse of market position. The FTC might agree with enough public comment/complaint. People who have experienced the "involuntary upgrade" problem are likely to be especially influential. If you know anyone who has experienced this, pass that address along to them.

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 2) 340

Sorry, you're out-of-date. Federal Appeals Court last year ruled that border guards DO need probable cause to search such things as computers and phones under most circumstances. The only exceptions are circumstances which would also be exceptions away from the border.

The current legality of border searches of electronic property isn't fully settled (see e.g. wikipedia), but the case you're linking is completely unrelated to that issue. The decision doesn't discuss border exceptions -- from the court's perspective, it's a regular arrest and search, and they follow the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Riley v. California (requiring a warrant for searches of a cell phone found during an arrest).

Submission + - 18th Century Law dredged up to force decryption of devices ( 1

Cognitive Dissident writes: The Register has a story about federal prosecutors using a law signed by George Washington to force manufacturers to help law enforcement access encrypted data on devices they manufacture. The All Writs Act is a broad statute simply authorizing courts to issue any order necessary to obtain information within their jurisdiction.

Quoting the Register Article:
Last month, New York prosecutors successfully persuaded a judge that the ancient law could be used to force an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to help unlock a phone allegedly used in a credit card fraud case. The judge ordered the manufacturer to offer "reasonable technical assistance" to make the phone's contents available.

End quote. What will happen when this collides with Apple and Google deliberately creating encryption that they themselves cannot break?

Comment Re:Systemd (Score 1) 993

Funny how the exact same complaints were said about PulseAudio when it came out 10 years ago.. my god the complaints, and flame wars.. and bitching about how Every Single DIstro was fooling, and not smart, and ruining linux.. Funny thing is, pulse audio works pretty darn well, and has many nice features ALSA didn't have. Even solaris rus it now.....

Same Lead developer too...

I find it hilarious that some people seem think that every single diistro has not even thought about same problems they came up with in 3 minutes.. I'm sure they just latched on, because of the slick glossy sales brochures...

Comment Re:I can't see this happening (Score 1) 108

Some argue the opposite. For example, the majority of people in my area do not speak spanish. Spanish language stations essentially make nothing per subscriber (pennies). If, I was instead able to extract a few dollars a month from each person that wants to view my show.. (ie, spanish speakers in the midwest) that might (depending on the number of people) be much, much more income.

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