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Submission + - Renter Sued By Landlord For Complaining On Twitter ( 1

gbulmash writes: "When Amanda Bonnen posted an angry tweet about her moldy apartment, she probably thought she was blowing off steam. But the Sun Times News Group reports her Twitter feed was public, her tweet was indexed, her landlord found it, and they claim it has so damaged their reputation they're suing her for $50,000+ in damages. Looks like another sue-happy company is going to discover the Streisand Effect."

Submission + - George Riddick: The One-Man RIAA of Clipart

An anonymous reader writes: Pages at and have been documenting and researching the activities of George P. Riddick III, previously known for his lawsuits against IMSI and Xoom at the turn of the century. In 2007 he issued a largely-ignored press release claiming the majority of clipart online infringes a copyright and has ranted about how Microsoft and Google are stealing from him. In recent months, he's apparently made a business model of going after web site operators who were using clipart they believed to be legally licensed or public domain, telling them they're infringing clipart collections he hasn't offered commercially in years and making outrageous settlement demands. He seems to have tested the waters on this some years back, but emboldened by the passage of the PRO-IP act, he's gone aggro with it. A few dodgy anonyblogs had popped up to "out" him as a copyright abuser, but these recent and reports go much deeper in documenting and researching Riddick's recent one-man campaign to be the RIAA of clipart.

Submission + - Sprint Advocates Abusing 911

gbulmash writes: "I got a couple of gross porn pics (one was poop porn) sent to my Sprint phone by a stranger using Sprint PictureMail. When I called the number Sprint said they were from, the guy on the other end denied it. So I reported it to Sprint via e-mail, figuring it warranted a little investigation. Two hours later, they e-mailed back and told me to call 911. Seriously? Sprint thinks a couple of dirty pictures sent a couple of hours ago is not only worth involving the police, but using emergency services to contact them? Is this company policy or a support rep who doesn't quite get the concept of 911?"

Submission + - What Happens When You Die?

gbulmash writes: "What happens when you die? Or, more to the point, what happens to your data? We lock everything up with passwords and encryption nowadays so that undesirables can't get into our private data. But will your family be able to access the photos and videos on your hard drive after you're dead? Will your employer, employees, or partners be able to get into your calendar and spreadsheets to get vital information? Ask Leo recently addressed the question of what happens when you die and how to prepare for it."

Journal Journal: Google Treating Entity Codes Differently?

So, I've got a blog post about a company with an ampersand (&) in its name that's been generating some odd search results. If you search Google for the part of the company's name before the ampersand, my post is the #1 result. If you search for the whole company name but use & to specify the ampersand, my post is the #1 result. If you specify the ampersand as just plain & or &, the top r
The Courts

Submission + - Legal victory for open source licensing

Internalist writes: "Advocates of open source software have hailed a court ruling protecting its use even though it is given away free. The US federal appeals court "determined that the terms of the Artistic License are enforceable copyright conditions", overturned a lower court decision which claimed that authors whose works violate the Artistic License could only be sued for breach of contract, rather than copyright infringement. Said Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig, "In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licences set conditions on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the licence disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer." BBC story here."

Submission + - MS Should Dump Windows In Favor Of Windowing Shell ( 2

snydeq writes: "Deep End's Paul Venezia offers some sage, if not polemic advice for Microsoft in the wake of new exploits that take advantage of Vista's fundamental architecture and the ways in which Microsoft chose to protect it: 'jettison nearly everything under the covers in Windows, and basically write a windowing shell on top of a UNIX-based core. ... There would be plenty of work involved in this effort, of course, but given the fact that it's already easy to run Windows apps side-by-side with Linux and Mac OS applications using VMware or Parallels, it's certainly not as large a task as it might seem. They could even write their own X11 clone and have their way with it, like they do with most other existing protocols and frameworks.'"

Submission + - Check Scams Targeting Lawyers (

gbulmash writes: "You've probably received a job scam spam, offering you a "financial representative" job where they're trying to get you to cash checks and send the money to another country. Now the crooks have started targeting lawyers for this scam. Their favorite marks are lawyers who specialize in collecting debts for foreign clients, because they're used to cashing checks for clients and wiring the funds overseas, and the crooks can pick up six figures in a single transaction. One lawyer would have been out $193,000 if his bank hadn't been smarter than he was."

Journal Journal: Predicting How Much Slashdot Effect A Page Can Take?

What's the best way to measure a CGI script's usage of system resources (processor cycles, RAM) to predict how many users you can handle at once, or within a short time period, before your server is "slashdotted"? I figure there has to be a utility for stress testing a CGI-script or even a plain web page and measuring what levels of use start degrading performance and to what degree. So, any recommendations?

Submission + - How Important Is Execution Speed?

gbulmash writes: "Recently, I found echoing 3x more data increased the execution time of a PHP script by nearly 100x. The reason I found for the slowing was that "echo" created more communications overhead to handle once a certain size was exceeded, particularly waiting for ACKs. So I wondered if the 100x increase in execution time was actually 100x more computationally expensive, or did all the waiting create holes into which other tasks could be slipped, such as processing more instances of that same script in parallel?

Is measuring the execution time a good/fair/poor indicator of a script's overall performance and processor demands? And if it's not good, are there better ways to estimate a script's demands on your server aside from massive stress-testing?"

Submission + - Barnes & Noble Too Swamped To Answer Mail

gbulmash writes: "On December 23rd, Greg Bulmash received a notice from Barnes & Noble that his order was ready to ship. Only one problem... it already arrived three days earlier. Wanting to head off a possible duplicate, he e-mailed their customer service department. Three days later, they replied that they were too busy to reply. Huh?"

Submission + - Google AdSense Meltdown Continues

gbulmash writes: "The Google AdSense reporting meltdown continued on Friday, with even worse reporting discrepancies coming to the fore and web publishers blaming it for real losses in income, while Google just says "don't worry, we're working on it" and that's it. With this problem dating back to the "scheduled maintenance" last Saturday, it's screaming toward being a week old, yet Google remains tight-lipped. Could we end up seeing some lawsuits as fallout?"

Submission + - The Internet is Your Romance

Plutonite writes: "Reuters is running a widely publicized story on the findings of a study by Zogby International, claiming that an online survey of 9,743 adults conducted between October 4-8 has revealed that people are willing to substitute "the internet" for a significant other. From the article: "A survey on the role the Internet plays in people's lives... found that 24 percent of Americans said the Internet could replace a partner for some period of time." The article also mentions a greater social-networking presence of Democrats than Republicans, and declines to mention whether the interviewed sample were geeks, or whether the romantic replacement was pornographic in nature."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Google AdSense Reporting Still Broken 1

Many web site owners use Google AdSense to help cover the costs of their sites or earn some money from them. But for nearly a week now, Google's reporting of exposures and clicks has been at least partially broken. I've been tracking this on my blog since I noticed one of my ad channels was reporting around 7% of what it should despite my

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