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Submission + - A Glimpse of Star War episode 7

Midnight Thunder writes: The Star Wars episode 7 trailer is now out. This is the first real opportunity to get a feeling of whether childhood dreams will be crushed or that Disney, with the help of JJ Abrams, is able to breath new life into the story, without making it feel like a merchandising excuse.
Government

UK Man Prevented From Finding Chipped Pet Under Data Protection Act 340

Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."

Submission + - When to Round

An anonymous reader writes: My company does a rather complex tax calculation involving a more then a dozen steps, like multiplying taxes by various rates and factors. These steps are shown in various reports with values rounded to the nearest cent, but aren't rounded during the calculation. Should only the input taxes and output taxes be rounded, should rounding be done after each step that is shown in the reports or is it worth rounding at all?
Government

We Were Smarter About Copyright Law 100 Years Ago 152

An anonymous reader writes "James Boyle has a blog post comparing the recording industry's arguments in 1909 to those of 2009, with some lovely Google book links to the originals. Favorite quote: 'Many and numerous classes of public benefactors continue ceaselessly to pour forth their flood of useful ideas, adding to the common stock of knowledge. No one regards it as immoral or unethical to use these ideas and their authors do not suffer themselves to be paraded by sordid interests before legislative committees uttering bombastic speeches about their rights and representing themselves as the objects of "theft" and "piracy."' Industry flaks were more impressive 100 years ago. In that debate the recording industry was the upstart, battling the entrenched power of the publishers of musical scores. Also check out the cameo appearance by John Philip Sousa, comparing sound recordings to slavery. Ironically, among the subjects mentioned as clearly not the subject of property rights were business methods and seed varieties." Boyle concludes: "...one looks back at these transcripts and compares them to today's hearings — with vacuous rantings from celebrities and the bloviation of bad economics and worse legal theory from one industry representative after another — it is hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia. In 1900, it appears, we were better at understanding that copyright was a law that regulated technology, a law with constitutional restraints, that property rights were not absolute and that the public would not automatically be served by extending rights out to infinity."

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