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Submission + - RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file ( 1

suraj.sun writes: RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-sharing cases:

Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers.

Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry.

ARS Technica:

The Internet

Submission + - Paul Baran dead at 84 (

gflammer writes: "Paul's group at Rand developed packet switching and companies he started and nurtured currently employ thousands. He will be remembered as the Father of the Internet and a true technology pioneer."

Comment Re:Cute, but not accurate (Score 1) 392

Therefore being exposed to 1 Sievert for a second (the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s, which is equivalent to Watts) is the same as being exposed to 1 milisievert for 1000 seconds, or 1 microsievert for 10^6 seconds.

Nope. Sieverts are J/kg. "1 millisievert for 1000 seconds" makes no sense, but "1 millisievert per 1000 seconds" does.


Submission + - Should Developers Be Liable for their Code? (

Glyn Moody writes: "They might be, if a new European Commission consumer protection proposal, which suggests "licensing should guarantee consumers the same basic rights as when they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions," becomes law. The idea of making Microsoft pay for the billions of dollars of damage caused by flaws in its product is certainly attractive, but where would this idea leave free software coders?"
The Internet

Submission + - Harvard Bookstore Bogus Legal Threat to Startup (

Jesse Maddox writes: "Recently ( received a Cease & Desist letter from Barnes & Noble, with BN threatening to sue us for "damages, profits, costs and attorney's fees" for violating and infringing Barnes & Noble's "exclusive rights in the copyrighted work." BrunoBooks collects textbook information from the Barnes & Noble website at Harvard, and uses this information to allow students to compare prices at the bookstore with those of online vendors. The problem is that the copyright claims are patently false, as explained by Wendy Seltzer from Harvard Law School's Berkman Center: "I think Barnes & Noble is deliberating misinterpreting the law...They're claiming broader protections than the law would give us." According to Seltzer, who read the cease and desist letter, copyright law only covers the selection and arrangement of factual information and not the information itself, such as textbook titles and prices. Said BrunoBooks CEO Jesse Maddox, "Perhaps Barnes & Noble would be better off devoting more resources to finding ways to reduce textbook prices, rather than hiring lawyers to harass and intimidate startups with bogus legal claims." Or did Amazon just beat them to that? ("

Submission + - More Fake Journals from Elsevier

daemonburrito writes: Last week, we learned about Elsevier publishing a bogus journal for Merck. Now several librarians say that they have uncovered an entire imprint of "advertorial" publications.

Excerpta Medica, a "strategic medical communications agency", is an Elsevier division. Along with the now infamous "Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine", it published a number of other "journals".

Elsevier CEO Michael Hansen now admits that at least six fake journals were published for pharma companies.
Linux Business

Submission + - Trademarks: The hidden menace

An anonymous reader writes: In a blog posting entitled "Trademarks: The Hidden Menace", Keir Thomas asks why open source advocates are keen to suggest patent and copyright reform, yet completely ignore the issue of trademarks, which can be just as dangerous. FTA: "Even within the Linux community, trademarking can be used as obstructively as copyright and patenting to further business ends. ... Is this how open source is supposed to work? Restricted redistribution? Tight control on who can compile software and still be able to call it by its proper name?"

Submission + - Fired for writing concerns about anti piracy to MP (

neurone333 writes: France, may, 6th 2009, Libération reported this story, now all over French newspapers : A TV executive has been fired for writing his concerns about anti-piracy law (HADOPI aka 3 strikes and you're out) to his Member of Parliament, the UMP Françoise de Panafieu.

Françoise de Panafieu forwards this email to the UMP Christine Albanel, France's Minister for Culture and Communication, author of the anti-piracy law "HADOPI".

The email was then forwarded to TF1, the largest TV network in Europe. The author of the email, Jérôme Bourreau-Guggenheim.he was called into his boss' office and shown... an exact copy of his e-mail. He was then fired for "strong differences with the strategy"... in a private email sent from a private (gmail) adress.

Irish times has an explanation for "the incestuous relationship between his government and TF1" : TF1's owner, the construction billionaire Martin Bouygues, is godfather to Mr Sarkozy's youngest son, Louis. Mr Bouygues suggested to Mr Sarkozy that he ought to ban advertising on TF1's rival stations in the public sector, which was done in January. Laurent Solly, who was deputy director of Mr Sarkozy's presidential campaign, is now number two at TF1. Last year, TF1 sacked Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, the station's star presenter for the previous 21 years. Poivre had angered Mr Sarkozy by saying he "acted like a little boy" at a G8 summit. He was replaced by Laurence Ferrari. Mr Sarkozy reportedly told Mr Bouygues he wanted to see the young blonde on the news.


Submission + - Will Visa's security protocol kill virtualizaiton? (

Julie188 writes: "Visa PCI has done more to secure IT networks, servers and applications than any other regulation but it is weirdly mute on anything regarding virtualization, reports Network World. That's unusual because PCI tends to be more prescriptive than regulations like HIPAA or GLBA or SOX. If you are an IT person, why should you care what Visa thinks about anything? If your company handles credit cards then you need to care because it leaves PCI-approved auditors to interpret and decide how virtualized servers and applications might be subject to PCI security requirements. Yikes."

Submission + - Chandler PIM reaches 1.0, loses financial support (

TuringTest writes: I was surprised to learn that Chandler, the open-source Personal Information Manager (covered on Slashdot after releasing some stable versions), has silently reached its 1.0 milestone this summer only to (or maybe because of) having its financial support removed at the end of 2008. Chandler inherits organization concepts from Lotus Agenda and is a brainchild of Mitch Kapor (of Firefox, EFF and Lotus fame). It shares an approach to unified information representation with recent PIMs like MIT's Haystack and KDE's Nepomuk. What happened to the persistent universal data storage that object-oriented desktops and metadata filesystems were never able to provide? Did it finally arrive as a userland application, and nobody cared?

Submission + - Curing Malaria with the Bugs that Cause It (

mattnyc99 writes: Six years ago, we talked about applying genetically engineered, malaria-resistant mosquitoes to the large-scale prevention of malaria, which kills two people per minute worldwide. Last year, we made progress. Now, as detailed in a great new profile of one Gates-funded doctor's quest to engineer a vaccine ASAP, it looks like money, testing and government bureaucracy may be delaying the delivery of the breakthrough drug. From the article: "It means that before Hoffman can sell the vaccine to First World tourists and Third World governments and global public-health agencies and replenish the grant money he has burned through--before he can give the vaccine a chance to prove its worth in human tests scheduled for the United States and Africa--he has to sit around and wait. The FDA has asked for additional safety tests, which should be completed by January. Safety studies are necessary but expensive. 'You have to be so assiduous,' says Hoffman. 'And it's really good. We cannot do harm. The Hippocratic oath and all that. But it is mind-boggling.'"

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