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Submission + - Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy (michaelgeist.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: For the past several months, many Canadians have been debating privacy reform, with the government moving forward on two bills involving Internet surveillance and expanded voluntary, warrantless disclosure of personal information. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada entered the debate and completely changed the discussion, issuing its long-awaited R. v. Spencer decision, which examined the legality of voluntary warrantless disclosure of basic subscriber information to law enforcement. Michael Geist summarizes the findings, noting that the unanimous decision included a strong endorsement of Internet privacy, emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the right to anonymity, and the need for police to obtain a warrant for subscriber information except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law.

Submission + - Canadian Court Sets Numerous Limits in Copyright Troll Case (michaelgeist.ca) 4

FuzzNugget writes: Law professor Michael Geist summarizes a recent ruling by a Canadian federal court that will allow Voltage Pictures to proceed against regional ISP TekSavvy, but established a series of conditions that prevents the plaintiffs from simply sending out threatening letters en masse:

1. Any "demand letters" sent out must be reviewed and approved by the case management judge.

2. Letters must include a copy of the court order and clearly state, in bold text, that no court ruling has established liability for payment or damages by the recipient.

3. TekSavvy may only disclose subscribers' names and addresses.

4. Voltage Pictures must pay Teksavvy's legal costs before the release of subscriber details.

5. Any further action brought against subscribers must be case managed.

6. Subscriber information must be kept confidential and not disclosed to the general public, the media or anyone not directly relevant to the case.

With these limitations, the court makes it clear that they take individuals' privacy seriously and intend to discourage such scare tactics employed by copyright trolls.

Comment 4K in business (Score 1) 559

I'm not sure about 4k for home use, but I think it has applications in office environments.

The small company I work for (less than 50 ppl) just bought a 65" 4K TV for use in one of our meeting rooms for collaborative computer work. I tried outputting a desktop to a number of 1080p panels and the picture quality was quite shit (unless of course you stand far away to the point the panel seems too small and you can't read much).

I'm not sure why that is... 1080p computer monitors are fine, but for some reason it just doesn't translate to TVs.

At 4k, PC picture quality is acceptable - actually quite remarkable, and so we went this route. We just got the thing so time will tell how useful it is.

Comment Re:So Much for Democracy (Score 1) 381

You can't have a democracy and a precedent for simply removing elected leaders when you are not satisfied with the outcome.

I agreed at first.

But in theory such a system might be an improved one - if we can elect people based on their platforms and then axe them when their platform proves to be nothing but lies and deceit, we might eventually end up with elected leaders that do as they claim they will.

The problem, obviously, is doing it peacefully. Maybe if the Egyptians get a few more rounds of practice at this they'll get it down to a fine art and invent* the next form of government.

*this is how you know I'm a Civilization fan.

Comment Re:Uhm (Score 1) 656

Mod parent up.

There aren't many places on the net where you can go to discuss political topics rationally without emotional/inflammatory interference. You just don't get amuch of that on Slashdot, I presume due to the above average intelligence that most Slashdotters have in common (elitist as that sounds).

It's not part of the site's mission statement, agreed, but its uniqueness in this regard is what draws people to discuss out of scope topics. I don't think it's a bad thing.


Submission + - Imagine if Google Had Been Developed in the 1960s

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Jennifer O'Mahony writes in the Telegraph about Google parody web sites including one by Designer Norbert Landsteiner that allows users to imagine what google would be like if it had been invented in the era of 'Mad Men' complete with a punch card machine, magnetic tape unit and central processor using Job Control Language (JCL), a scripting language used on IBM 360 mainframe operating systems to instruct the system on how to run a batch job or start a subsystem. To complete the theme, the search engine is quite noisy, with typewriter key clicks and bells, and constant printing and paper-loading noises. Landsteiner says the goal of the project is to “explore distances and heroism in user interfaces.” Another Landsteiner project re-imagines Google as as a BBS terminal in the 1980s."

Comment There, fixed that for you (Score 2) 308

"Here's the list of sites, including where they are hosted: Extratorrent (Ukraine), IsoHunt (Canada), Kickass Torrents (Canada), Rutracker (Russia), The Pirate Bay (Everywhere), Torrentz (Canada), and Kankan (China)."



Comment Re:More details needed (Score 5, Informative) 474

How and what, exactly, have you insulated, and where is your domicile in relation to the street?

Do you have sound dampening mats on the ceiling? If not, bear in mind that most houses and apartments are above street level, and most of the sound will be reflected off the ceiling. A layer of sound dampening material there should have the largest effect.

If you live low to the ground, sound insulating the walls that can see the street, rather than just outside walls would have a similar effect.

There are two components to the noise intrusion - the direct field and the reverberant field. Adding absorptive finishes to the room will help reduce the reverberant field, which in a best case scenario will buy you 3dB (i.e a barely noticeable improvement). Short improving the isolation (i.e windows and exterior partition construction) there isn't anything you can do about the direct field.

A few strategically placed plants or sound dividers - think cubicle walls but far less intrusive - can also help.

Massive barriers can help in outdoor noise propagation scenarios. In this type of situation, the outdoor noise is impacting the exterior facade, causing it to vibrate, and is re-radiating sound in the interior of the OP's space. This means that the source of sound is a large area, not a point source. The sound is effectively coming from "everywhere", and so you don't get the same kind of path length difference attenuation from barriers like you do when you have a point source that is far from the receiver. This is exascerbated by the fact that the intrusion is low frequency which diffracts around corners far more than higher frequency sound.

Plants are not massive enough to be of any significant help. To put things into perspective, a dense forest that's 100m in depth will only attenuate sound 2-3dB, and that's mostly a high frequency reduction.

If you must go with a noise generator (which I don't recommend), try pink noise instead of white. The sounds from the street you try to mask out are going to be mostly low frequency, and white noise will mainly add more sound energy in the higher end of the spectrum.

White noise will add equal sound energy across the spectrum. Pink noise will add more energy in the lower frequencies. We don't typically recommend noise masking for low frequency intrusions into offices and other facilities we consult on because the masking is generally perceived to be more annoying than the original problem. It's best used when there is a speech privacy problem in large open offices because there isn't ENOUGH background noise.

Upgrading your window would typically be recommended, but will only do a little for low frequency. Note that in glazed assemblies, the framing is the weak point. STC 35 is where most frames will top out (even though the glazing will advertise higher STCs into the 50s). If you want a really solid window construction you need an isolated frame assembly which is two frames in series that do not touch each other and which are isolated from the surrounding structure using 3mm thick neoprene gaskets. Each frame supports a separate pane of glass. The inside perimeter should be lined with glass-fibre to prevent standing waves in the cavity.
Overall thickness of the glazing might be 2-3"

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