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Comment Seems to me... (Score 1) 296

that legislation, *any* legislation, is more like writing patches than rewriting laws, and, subsequently, trying to understand a piece of software by reading a patch is a very silly idea. What would be useful, is to see the patched law, and read it in proper context.

Submission + - Australian secret blacklist leaked 1

dysprosia writes: The Australian secret blacklist has been leaked at Wikileaks. There are some "interesting" choices on the list, as the Sydney Morning Herald story suggests, "...about half of the sites on the list are not related to child porn and include a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist." Not to mention, a picture of a suggestive pumpkin...

Comment Re:In practice, it's not more open. (Score 1) 315

What sort of whacked-out idea of "open" do you have? I don't have the source code to PalmOS, to WinMo, to Symbian, to the Blackberry OS, hell, even Android has closed-source components. I don't know anything about the hardware internals, so they're not open hardware either. What sort of crack are you smoking, and where can I get some?

Submission + - Kevin Rudd wins Australian Election (

gunny01 writes: "Kevin Rudd, the head of the Australian Labor Party, has defeated the Liberal Party incumbent John Howard in Saturday's federal election, with a 5.8% swing. This ends Howard's eleven year term in office, and it also appears at this stage that he has lost his seat. If this turns out to be correct, Peter Costello will be the Opposition leader in the new government.

Rudd, among other things, has promised to scrap the current governments unpopular industrial relations reforms and give Australians access to access to 100Mbs broadband and free laptops to every senior school student."

The Internet

Submission + - Sky's botched Google migration (

An anonymous reader writes: Rupert Murdoch-owned British ISP Sky is migrating their customers to the Google Apps platform, and the customer experience is terrible. Their 1m customers were told that they need to change their client settings to enable SMTP Authentication and other settings on a certain date — but not to do it before then or their e-mail would break; but if you don't do it on the date your e-mail will also break. Oh, and if you're a POP user you also need to enable that manually in the 'Skoogle' interface, as seemingly they chose not to run a system-wide command to allow it for all users. In addition, if you want help then you're pretty much on your own. One user has made 7 support calls and still not been able to access his e-mail since the migration. Hardly surprising that the story has made the papers with their helpdesk in meltdown. It does make you wonder why they simply didn't put proxy servers in place to proxy the new service by modifying the old settings in the network and give their customers time to switch over without their e-mail breaking in the meantime. Or even a simple ActiveX tool to help out the less technical users. Apparently the move is all about a greater customer experience for their users. An interesting way of showing it.
The Military

Submission + - Open-Source Warfare (

spencerh writes: "'As events are making painfully clear, Robb says, warfare is being transformed from a closed, state-sponsored affair to one where the means and the know-how to do battle are readily found on the Internet and at your local RadioShack. This open global access to increasingly powerful technological tools, he says, is in effect allowing "small groups to...declare war on nations."'. Open-Source Warfare."

Submission + - Researchers blast Vista Service Pack 1

Stony Stevenson writes: A group of researchers has described Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 as a "performance dud". Researchers from the EXO Performance Network claimed that a series of in-house benchmark tests showed that users hoping to receive a speed boost from the update will be disappointed. "After extensive testing of Release To Manufacture and SP1-patched versions of Vista it seems clear that the hoped-for performance fixes that Microsoft has been hinting at have not materialised," the group said.

Submission + - Patent for delivering a baby via giant centrifuge

Malorkus writes: The patent Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force found by Thingamababy describes

A machine that rotates muscularly under-equipped women at high speed until centrifugal forces eject their babies for them...When the infant is successfully ejected from the mother, a pocket-shaped reception net catches the infant.
Diagrams of the device are included. This is prior art showing that ridiculous patents existed at least as early as 1965.

Submission + - Microsoft retracts Patent

Anonymous Coward writes: "Here is something you don't see very often, if ever, and it was done by Microsoft, nonetheless: they have retracted a patent application. The story was first brought to light by Slashdot on Saturday. Today, Jane Prey of Microsoft announced on the SIGCSE (Special Interest in Computer Science Education) mailing list: "Many thanks to the members of the community that brought this to my attention — and here's the latest. The patent application was a mistake and one that should not have happened. To fix this, Microsoft will be removing the patent application. Our sincere apologies to Michael Kölling and the BlueJ community. Jane Prey.""

Submission + - NIDA "vandalizes" their wikipedia entry

An anonymous reader writes: Not really censorship, but more like spreading of propaganda, Politico reports That the Drug War Warriors at NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) tried to alter their wikipedia entry, trying to remove anti drugwar sentiment and outside links. Wikipedia categorized the changes as vandalism and reverted the entry to original. NIDA tried again, this time more gradually....

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