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Comment Re:issue is not privacy.... (Score 1) 238

Keep in mind that the court generally won't restrict the police if the technology is generally available. So if a technology with surveillance capabilities is commonly used by the general populace, then you can't usually prevent the state from employing it. Besides, think about it: the idea that someone driving the highway can link cars, by tag, to individuals and their home address is kind of creepy. Automated stalking.

Submission + - The Morality Police (techdirt.com) 1

denissmith writes: It seems that DOJ is putting the financial squeeze on legal businesses in industries that it does not like, pressuring banks to close customer accounts. techdirt has the story.

Comment Don't give away the farm (Score 2) 212

First- you need a market strategy. Who are you selling to (retailers, clubs, direct to the public). Pick you staff appropriately. Second - don't offer partnership at the outset, offer shares and partnership on a conditional basis. Make the offer fair to the people you want to bring on and CLEARLY structured in terms of performance metrics. Third- you will need to offer a draw against a commission. Make a percentage of sales deal with sweeteners (such as aforesaid partnership) for milestones. Put it in writing. Stick to it. Fourth- If you can find a marketer with experience with the retail segment and the specific retailers they will probably give you the best results quickly, but they may not be the best partners. Only you can gauge what the sales volumes need to be, and therefore only you can set the targets. The marketer can tell you if they feel the targets are way off. Also remember, in any game all the players rate the percentage due to them too highly.

Comment Re:The kill switch would be the biggest threat (Score 1) 339

Technically the US Government would adopt rules that require switch manufacturers to include features that would allow the government to assume control in an 'emergency'. Phone companies are required to keep call logs and allow wiretaps, it would extend the same model. In normal day to day operation there would be no filtering. Or maybe only the filtering that the MPAA requested. If the authorities ever felt threatened in a way that was construed as 'national security' they would kick in their control. They would not do a complete shutdown like Egypt, in all likelihood. They might route all DNS requests to servers they controlled and you would get 404 messages to sites you visit that are being taken off-line. Stuff like that. Right now, no - they don't have that control, but if they require it in the infrastructure it will go in without a whiff of protest from the manufacturers. They would see increased sales and price rises. And the Iranians would be happy because they could upgrade, too, and take advantage of easier friendlier control of information. The real point for me is something I heard Steven Breyer say once on a roundtable discussion. "The first thing I ask when someone wants to hide information is 'Why?'" Basically, if the government - ours or Egypt's or any other - feels it needs to take control of information to keep control of its citizenry it is almost by definition admitting its own illegitimacy.
The Military

Scientists Turn T-Shirts Into Body Armor 213

separsons writes "Scientists at the University of South Carolina recently transformed ordinary T-shirts into bulletproof armor. By splicing cotton with boron, the third hardest material on the planet, scientists created a shirt that was super elastic but also strong enough to deflect bullets. Xiaodong Li, lead researcher on the project, says the same tech may eventually be used to create lightweight, fuel-efficient cars and aircrafts."

Nearby Star Forecast To Skirt Solar System 135

PipianJ writes "A recent preprint posted on arXiv by Vadim Bobylev presents some startling new numbers about a future close pass of one of our stellar neighbors. Based on studies of the Hipparcos catalog, Bobylev suggests that the nearby orange dwarf Gliese 710 has an 86% chance of skirting the outer bounds of the Solar System and the hypothesized Oort Cloud in the next 1.5 million years. As the Oort Cloud is thought to be the source of many long-period comets, the gravitational effects of Gliese's passing could send a shower of comets into the inner Solar System, threatening Earth. This news about Gliese 710 isn't exactly new, but it's one of the first times the probability of this near-miss has been quantified."

Pictures of Kuril Islands Volcano From ISS 65

KindMind writes "The Daily Mail has cool pictures of the Sarychev Peak (Kuril Islands) volcano eruption taken from the ISS back on June 12. From the article: 'A chance recording by astronauts on the International Space Station has captured the moment a volcano explosively erupted, sending massive shockwaves through the atmosphere. Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, had been sitting quietly in the Kuril Island chain near Japan for 20 years, when it suddenly sprang to life on June 12. Fortuitously, the International Space Station was flying overhead at the time, and managed to capture this spectacular image of the ash-cloud tearing through the atmosphere, sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle.'"

Comment Why not make it a democracy? (Score 1) 503

Why not remove it from control of any nation by chartering it as an independent entity funded by levies to governments, but controlled by representatives elected by users divided into regions. This way no government could control the election of representatives, which would minimize outright threats to censorship. The rest could be handled by the charter itself. This is just an idea - maybe we could all stop the recriminations for a while and work it out. No... on second thought recriminations are too much fun.

Carbonite Stacks the Deck With 5-Star Reviews 197

The Narrative Fallacy writes "In the aftermath of disclosures that Belkin employees paid users for good reviews on Amazon, David Pogue reports in the NYTimes that Carbonite has gone one better with 5-star reviews of its online backup services written by its own employees. Pogue recounts how Bruce Goldensteinberg signed up for the backup service, and all went well until his computer crashed and he was unable to restore it from the online backup while Carbonite customer support kept him on hold for over an hour. Frustrated, Goldensteinberg started reading Carbonite reviews on Amazon and a few of them seemed suspicious. 'They were created around the same date — October 31, 2006 — all given 5 stars, and the reviewers all came from around the Boston, MA area, where Carbonite is located,' including a review by Swami Kumaresan that read more like a testimonial. 'It turned out that Swami Kumaresan is the Vice President of Marketing for Carbonite. His review gives no indication that he is employed by the company.' Another review posted by Jonathan F. Freidin extols Carbonite without mentioning Freidin's position as Senior Software Engineer at Carbonite. 'It doesn't matter to me that Carbonite's fraudulent reviews are a couple of years old,' writes Pogue. 'These people are gaming the system, deceiving the public to enrich themselves. They should be deeply ashamed.'"
The Internet

How the US Lost Its China Complaint On IP 167

An anonymous reader writes "The World Trade Organization yesterday released its much-anticipated decision involving a US complaint against China over its protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The US quickly proclaimed victory, with newspaper headlines trumpeting the WTO panel's requirement that China reform elements of its intellectual property laws. Yet the reality is somewhat different. As Michael Geist notes, the US lost badly on key issues such as border measures and criminal IP enforcement, with the international trade body upholding the validity of China's laws."

Windows 7 To Come In Multiple Versions 821

Crazy Taco writes "Tom's Hardware reports on newly discovered screenshots that reveal Microsoft is planning to release their newest version of Windows in multiple confusing versions ... again. The information comes from the latest version of the Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), and shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install. Who's up for guessing what the difference is between Windows 7 'Starter' and Windows 7 'Home Basic?'"

Toward Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft Technology 137

coondoggie writes with a NetworkWorld piece that begins, "Researchers at Purdue will soon experiment with an unmanned aircraft that pretty much flies itself with little human intervention. The aircraft will use a combination of global-positioning system technology and a guidance system called AttoPilot ... to guide the aerial vehicle to predetermined points. Researchers can be stationed off-site to monitor the aircraft and control its movements remotely. AttoPilot was installed in the aircraft early this year, and testing will begin in the spring, researchers said."

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