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Comment Define: Money (Score 1) 121

The question is ultimately what is money? The OED defines money as "Any generally accepted medium of exchange which enables a society to trade goods without the need for barter; any objects or tokens regarded as a store of value and used as a medium of exchange." Therefore bitcoins are money. Government definitions are usually somewhat less flexible. I would expect that this might go to SCOTUS regardless of the ruling.

Comment Storage no, Access yes (Score 1) 262

The cloud is no place to store your data. Clouds are, by their nature temporary and a very vapourous item. I want my data on my servers. I need to be able to access the data from anywhere. I have no trust that the cloud where I store my data will not disappear, go out of business or otherwise vanish. I might keep a backup on a cloud server (as long as only I have a password and the encryption is 256bit) but, never my primary data.

Comment Revelence in the information age. (Score 1) 174

When did the internet revolve around what the RIAA thought. It seems that their ultimate concern is that they will become irrevelant and end up with the buggy whip manufacturers. The world they were created in no longer exists and they are fighting to keep it around. What will happen if the RIAA is not around... nothing at all. Good bye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint 150

Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.

The 10 Most Absurd Scientific Papers 127

Lanxon writes "It's true: 'Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behavior,' 'Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time,' and 'Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?' are all genuine scientific research papers, and all were genuinely published in journals or similar publications. Wired's presentation of a collection of the most bizarrely-named research papers contains seven other gems, including one about naval fluff and another published in The Journal of Sex Research."

Officers Lose 243 Homeland Security Guns 125

In a screw up so big it could only be brought to you by the government or a famous athlete, 243 guns were lost by Homeland Security agencies between 2006 and 2008. 179 guns, were lost "because officers did not properly secure them," an inspector general report said. One of the worst examples of carelessness cites a customs officer who left a firearm in an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. The vehicle was stolen while the officer was inside. "A local law enforcement officer later recovered the firearm from a suspected gang member and drug smuggler," the report said.

The Broken Design of Microsoft's "Fix it" Tool 165

$luggo writes "Curious about MS Fix It, I recently went hunting in the MS knowledge base for articles that provide the new EZ-button. After locating on few, I decided to click the button to download the Microsoft Installer package containing the executable and/or files that automatically enable the DVD Library feature in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate — on my XP Media Center. 'Surely, MS will use some scripting, HTTP User-Agent sniffing, or even Genuine Windows validation to verify that I am running Vista,' I thought. It did not and I canceled the download when I received the prompt to save the file. So, I wonder: is there a Fix-it for Fix it? Because I can easily imagine someone doing what I did without scrolling to the bottom of the KB article and verifying that the article applies to their OS/version. This is a great example poor design. Why not simply use the download approach that other articles / fixes / service packs use, whereby the user must select the appropriate OS?"

Comment Creators vs distributors (Score 1, Insightful) 221

DRM is a method by which the distributors can keep charging consumers ad nauseum for access to what they already have paid for. Same goes for media format changes (LP, Cassette, CD, VHS, Beta, DVD, MP3, etc...) We are living an age where you don't purchase anything, you only rent it monthly or weekly.
When you purchase a blender you own it. You can use it as you choose, where, when and how.
Imagine if when you paid for a blender there was a EULA that stated that you actually did not purchase the blender but only a license to use it. Also by "opening this blender you agree to only blend drinks for 4 people or less" (you could purchase a license for a 4 to 8 person blender) and that you could not have any alcoholic product in the blender. And that if you violated any of the EULA that the licenser of the blender could turn off the blender remotely and you have no leave for appeal. That effectively is what the distributors of music want and DRM is the enforcement mechanism.
We have become the ultimate in consumer society, we can now pay money for items we can never own. What's next on the restricted list, cars, shoes, clothing, food... (by purchasing this potato you agree that it will used for its nutritional content only and not for use in advertising or promotion, and built into it is a chip to sense camera lights and explode the potato to prevent such uses)
We need to take back our rights as consumers, avoid DRM protected media, and challenge EULA's at every opportunity (most won't hold up in court anyway). Lets stop purchasing rights and start purchasing products.

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