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Submission + - #Kony2012 and its critics (

An anonymous reader writes: A new 30-minute documentary calling for the arrest of Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony has gained over 7 million views since being released on March 5. For over 20 years, Kony has led a brutal insurgency against Uganda’s government, and is notorious for his use of child soldiers. As support for the “Kony 2012” campaign grows, its founders have also faced backlash online for their portrayal of the conflict in Central Africa and endorsement of US military involvement.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot - The legality of licensing extorsion? 1

firegate writes: We've come to rely on a piece of specialty software that costs $7000 per license, with a 10-year expiration on each license. The software checks licensing at startup against an online activation server, and each copy has a $750 annual maintenance agreement to cover updates and support. With support generally unable to solve issues and no product updates in ages, we chose to let the maintenance agreement lapse. A couple of months later, one copy of the software displayed a licensing conflict at startup. The software vendor refused to correct the issue, which was on their end with the licensing server, until we agreed to pay out the annual maintenance fee — despite the fact that we are only one year into the 10-year license window. Are their actions legal, and is there any recourse in situations where software vendors hold licenses hostage in this manner?

Submission + - Smashwords Now Vows to Fight Paypal Censorship, Start "a Fire" (

Miracle Jones writes: "Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, has negotiated a delay with PayPal regarding their recent pressure on ebook publishers to delete legal erotic content and now intends to fight this decision. Said Coker: "PayPal is asking us to censor legal fiction. Regardless of how one views topics of rape, bestiality and incest, these topics are pervasive in mainstream fiction. We believe this crackdown is really targeting erotica writers. This is unfair, and it marks a slippery slope. We don't want credit card companies or financial institutions telling our authors what they can write and what readers can read. Fiction is fantasy. It's not real. It's legal." Some Smashwords writers are spitefully tagging their own books with the objectionable concepts that PayPal wants deleted. Stephen Fry recently tweeted about the situation, calling it "madness." "Let's start a little fire, shall we?" said Coker."

Comment anonymous != bad (Score 1) 271

I don't think that anonymous means a bad thing, but I do think that the days of centralised stuff should end. Everybody is just moving from one central problem to another, and I exclude me on this one, even while apparently I already am on g+ even if I have never signed there, all I have is a gmail account which I am closing for obvious reasons. It is worth to rescue the idea of a decentralised network that will respect your privacy, not demand your full details only to sell advertising, yes the platform may be very cool and all, but there are limits. I am proposing to the anonymous group to use our communication protocol which allows you to exchange messages with any platform in an (if you want) anonymous way, or 'not demanding every single detail about you' way. or if you want to look With all the power of open source why is everybody just running like crazy to the new 'control/restrict me' website? I just don't get people.

Submission + - Facebook Apps Denied Directory Access

JazzcatCB writes: "There has been a Facebook bug that has remained open and unresolved for over two years. This bug concerns apps not appearing in the Facebook App Directory. Despite hundreds of pleas from disenfranchised app developers over the last two years, Facebook has adamantly refused to fix this bug. Consequently, hundreds of apps remain largely unknown to the Facebook community because they cannot be found in the App Directory.

As one app developer, Chris Barnhill, has stated of "Rails Across Europe", his rail-empire building game app: "I have committed hundreds of hours toward developing and perfecting this tremendously fun game, yet sadly enough, very few users know it exists. The only way to locate it is to search for it by name, which presupposes that the user already knows the app exists. I try to advertise, but I don't have sufficient funds to run a large campaign. I don't make any money from Rails Across Europe. It would be nice if I could, but with nobody even knowing that the game exists, the opportunity to successfully monetize the app is so minuscule that it's not worth the effort."

A number of these app developers have speculated on Facebook's motives for refusing to fix this bug. The most frequently voiced accusation is that Facebook is stalling on this bug intentionally, expecting these app developers to pay for advertising. But this is not an option for many app developers like Mr. Barnhill, who don't have the capital or the resources to advertise.

For now, Facebook seems content to allow these "lost apps" to remain anonymous. Perhaps they will change their policy once the unfairness of this situation is made known to the Facebook community. A public outcry definitely seems in order."

Comment Re:Hard to do. (Score 1) 96

There are many many of them, the difference is that they are not registered, big companies like hp will patent ever the way they fold a paper when the contents are important, open source companies don't. But take for instance bittorrent, this system is great and I remember a few years back when M$ 'invented' a peer-2-peer system to distribute their updates and where claiming it was their own invention, even when they where reminded of bittorrent. Same thing here, I don't know if /. does, but if it was a company like google, they would probably be getting patents on every single algorithms or the way they receive 'scoops' from the readers. There are many many many innovations that come from the open source community beginning with the distributed contribution model in which most applications are developed (there is an article here about how torvalds is responsible for this)

Comment Great advice (Score 1) 96

Thanks to everyone for the great input, what I am getting is that we can be fine with just publishing it and having some piece of mind that our innovations (if there are any) will be protected. presidenteloc: our business model will be based in Costa Rica I guess, which is where we are located. I don't think that we can talk about just one legislation, which is part of the problem here, the us may change the rules, but what about the rest of the world? UE I guess will not give much problems, but there should be a better way to protect stuff. kimvette: that was part of the question actually, where would a clerk like this look? Is there a pool of this innovations somewhere? The links provided here are great, but they don't really provide a solution for new innovations, they are working (as far as I was able to see) on current registered innovations in some countries (us mostly), that is actually part of the questions: Do I HAVE to register my inventions? can't I just do something like a GPL license, include it in my code and live goes on. bennomatic: I will start documenting everything, I will try to provide a platform or repository for this cases, and I hope that it becomes useful for others someday.

Submission + - Flying car 'Transition' gets road approval from NH (

arisvega writes: Terrafugia’s car/plane vehicle called the Transition, has received approval from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) clearing the way for delivery to customers sometime next year. Last year it received approval to fly as a “light sport aircraft” from the Federal Aviation Administration, but not before being given a special exemption to fly 110 pounds heavier than other’s in its class. This time around it had to convince the NHTSA to allow a special exemption for its Plexiglas windows and aircraft landing capable tires. The current price of $250,000 may or may not be the final price.

Submission + - Open Patent Licences, are there any?

felipe13 writes: "We are working on a new piece of code that will be protected under a GPL license, this is fine for the code it self, but what about our 'innovations'?

Are there any 'Open Patent License' models similar to the GPL or Creative Commons?

We have google patenting the highlight of search occurrences, fb protecting the word 'Book' and apple registering body movements. This is becoming ridiculous to a point. Now the patent trolls are making a killing as well.

Does the open source community has a good way to protect its innovations and inventions?

There are some initiatives to buy patents and release them to the public or at least place them is a protected area, but where would my very small company register a new way to include titles in a private message? Where could Drupal patent the use of 'hooks' to let developers interact with the core of the application? (if they invented this, I am not really sure)
You get the idea of what I am trying to say.

I don't want to wake up in 10 years and discover that X huge company patented my innovation and that now I actually have to pay them for it.

Similar cases are arising with trademarks (see

Is it time to start a new initiative?"

Submission + - Dropbox sued for Trademark Infringement (

NorbMan writes: seems to be suing Dropbox, Inc. for trademark infringement. The complaint alleges that FilesAnywhere has been using the term "DROPBOX" since 2004 as part of it's service, and that Dropbox, Inc. has also closely duplicated one of it's logo designs.

Submission + - Microsoft releases source code for low-level WiFi (

mikejuk writes: To avoid the problems that Google and Apple have had with collecting WiFi data and privacy issues Microsoft has just release the source code used in its mobile data collection system. The code shows how the phones that it drives around don't collect any personal data just WiFi and cell tower identification so that they can be used in geolocation. The source code is a great educational resouce but as to proving that Microsoft is don't the right thing it just doesn't work. First off, it isn't complete and second who is to say that it IS the code used in the phones. Thats the point of software — its easy to change.
Now if only we can provoke them to release large chunks of Windows or Windows Phone 7....

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