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Comment Re:No different from the GPL. (Score 1) 549

The GPL is a PERMISSIVE license. This thing is a RESTRICTIVE license, and it's applied retroactively. Neither of which happens with the GPL.

GPL is a non-permissive copyleft license. GPL does not permit you to distribute copies under a more restrictive license. MIT and BSD licenses are examples of permissive (copyfree) licenses.


Submission + - Seven Arrested for Pics of Out-of-Control Officer (signonsandiego.com)

Quothz writes: When San Diego Deputy Marshall Abbott was called to a Congressional campaign fundraiser on a noise complaint, he went out of control. After the hostess refused to provide her date of birth, he decided it was time to break out the pepper spray. He then pulled out a Taser, dragged a 60-year-old woman to the floor by her arm, and called for backup. Police cars, fire trucks, a K-9 unit, and a helicopter apparently were needed, in case others chose not to reveal their dates of birth — but the real story is that seven people were arrested for photographing the cops with their cell phones and "talking back to an officer". "Most" were released at the scene. It's about time we stopped coddling these photograph-taking, back-talking, birth-date-withholding little old ladies and brought some justice to Congressional campaign fund-raising gangs.

Submission + - US govt Launches Web Site to Track IT Spending

andy1307 writes:

According to this article in the Washington Post, Vivek Kundra, the federal chief information officer, on Tuesday announced a new Web site designed to track more than $70 billion in government information technology spending, showing all contracts held by major firms within every agency. The site shows detailed information about whether IT contracts are being monitored and budgets being met. The data also show which contracts were won through a competitive process or in a no-bid method, which has been criticized by good-government advocates for excluding firms from business opportunities. Each prime contractor is listed as well as the status of that project; sub-contractors are not yet shown on the site.

The website is http://usaspending.gov/. The view dashboard link has already been slashdoted.


Submission + - Firefox 3.5 Reviewed (slate.com)

johndmartiniii writes: "Farhad Manjoo has a review of Firefox 3.5 at Slate.com this week. From the article:

"Lately I've been worried about Firefox. Ever since its debut in 2004, the open-source Web browser has won acclaim for its speed, stability, and customizability. It eventually captured nearly a quarter of the market, an astonishing achievement for a project run by a nonprofit foundation. But recently Firefox seemed to go soft." The worried tone in the beginning of the review gives way to excitement over the HTML5 features being implemented, saying that thus far Firefox 3.5 "offers the best implementation of the standard--and because it's the second-most-popular Web browser in the world, the new release is sure to prompt Web designers to create pages tailored to the Web's new language.""

Data Storage

Submission + - MegaUpload refuses payout - claims "fraud" 2

Farasha SilverSand writes: "Earlier this year, in October to be precise, LiveJournal user Cleolinda Jones updated her blog with an entry regarding a special campaign known as Project Download.

To make a long story short, Oregon resident Erin (LJ username redscorner) needed a series of brain surgeries that were both expensive and life-saving.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

To Erin, MegaUpload's download reward program must have seemed like a godsend. For five million downloads, Erin would recieve $10,000, enough to pay for her brain surgeries.

The file to be downloaded was a small .txt file, basically thanking the downloader for participating and again explaining her situation.

In December, Erin reached her first milestone — 100,000 download points, listed on the reward page as paying out $100. Instead of waiting until the five million mark to cash in, Erin decided to claim her $100 reward, just to make sure MegaUpload really meant business.

Instead of her reward, Erin received an e-mail from MegaUpload stating that they would not pay her.

Dear Erin,

Our apologies for the late reply, our rewards staff was not in during Xmas.

We have decided not to pay you because of fraud. Your reward points were earned through small 2 KB txt files which were downloaded many times from the same IP's. This against our terms of service and reward rules.


Megaupload Abuse Department

Aside from being wholly unprofessional, the e-mail is not even consistent with MegaUpload's own Terms of Service regarding their rewards program, which state:

What is a qualifying download?

Up to one download per IP address per file per day will be counted. Downloads from certain countries or territories do not qualify. Click here for the current list of qualifying countries.

Absolutely no fraud

You will be disqualified and banned if you try to manipulate the results. Automated mass downloads are easily detected and strictly forbidden.

Only files up to 100 MB

Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for the Rewards program.

The ToS do not state that files must meet a minimum requirement. They also do not state that multiple downloads from the same IP address on different dates are fraudulent and against the rules.

Erin is considering filing suit in small claims court, but since MegaUpload is allegedly based in Hong Kong, little to nothing might come from legal action.

MegaUpload's rewards program was more of a last-ditch effort than anything for Erin, and he whole situation should reiterate what most of us already know — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Submission + - Fox stealing photo content off the blogs.

rasjani writes: Remember that company that tried to sue youtube for having some of their content online ? Remember that tv network who airs copyright warnings about every 5 minutes on NFL game ? Yep, its called FOX. And to show how they really feel about copyright laws an d "re-using" other peoples content, i'll let Tracey to describe how she felt when she spotted her dog on FOX.

Earlier this afternoon I was in our kitchen doing dishes, minding my own business. Jamie was in the living room, watching some NFL football.
It was quiet.
Too quiet.
Suddenly, Jamie called to me from the other room, claiming I had to come see something. When I entered the room, he unpaused the broadcast he had been watching (thanks, TiVo!), and immediately I saw the image of an adorable pug, dressed in festive Santa gear, pop up at the bottom of the screen beside FOX's Happy Holiday's ticker. I vaguely remember Jamie saying something to me to the effect of, "Gee, that dog looks a lot like Truman, doesn't it?"


Submission + - Drew Curtis of Fark attempts to trademark 'NSFW' (uspto.gov)

Kickstart70 writes: "Drew Curtis of Fark is attempting to trademark the term 'NSFW'. It seems a little crass to me, but no word on whether he's attempting to do it as a protest against ridiculous trademark law, or if he's just joining the greedy trademark crowd (but, FWIW(TM), discussions in the subscriber-only TotalFark have been deleted)."
Social Networks

Submission + - Amazon Gift ordering patent revoked

Elektroschock writes: "The Amazon gift ordering patent was revoked today by the European Patent Office. A 100% victory. In a press release they write: "The so-called "Gift Order Patent" has been revoked by the EPO in an opposition proceeding today after a hearing involving three opposing parties and the patent proprietor, Amazon Inc. The patent relates to a method for purchasing goods over the Internet to be sent as gifts." Santa did not have lodge opposition against the patent. The opponents were Fleurop, the FFII and the German computer science society. What strikes me is that so many parties benefit that infringed upon the patent but you just need very few organisations that file an opposition. Why are not more patents opposed?"

Submission + - Why isn't privacy invasion considered "theft&#

An anonymous reader writes: Its become common practice for companies and industries to refer to a wide variety of digital actions as "theft". If you download media content without paying for it, you have stolen it. If you download a pirated copy of software to check out its suitability, you have stolen it. If you use any copyrighted material in a Youtube video without consent — well, you've stolen it. God forbid if get your hands on data a company considers "confidential" — instant arrest and imprisonment. Theft, theft, theft is the mantra and it seems that not a day goes by without some industry association reminding the world that all internet users are thieves at heart.

What about the privacy of ordinary people? Mainstream media like the BBC and CNN always uses soft terms like "privacy concerns" to make it seem like a "well it isn't very nice, but its hardly a hard crime" thing. But is this actually the case? Does having to have your likeness recorded for an unknown period of time by CCTV cameras when you go for a stroll past some shops, or having your IP logged by each website you take a glance at not "take" something from you? What about datamining, where computer algorithms try to "figure out" where you are in the world, what kind of person you are, what your interests, consumption habits and preferences look like, what you might be likely to buy or spend? Again, does this not constitute "taking" something from you that you have not voluntarily provided? Would you shop at a creepy record store or bookstore where some scientist in a labcoat follows you from shelf to shelf with a clipboard and notes down the exact time you looked at items, the sequence you looked at them in, and some information that lets the shop know that you, not some new customer is back and browsing for more? Would you consent to bricks and mortar shops coating sidewalks with a special substance that makes your shoeprints stand out in bright colors and let them figure out where you came from or where you went after you checked out?

Is it not "theft" to take something a person cares about and cannot get back once its taken? Is it not "theft" to force a person to leave an "imprint" of their presence behind with every digital step, no matter how casual or insignificant? To record someone's activities as if its "normal" that every step you take should be recorded in some way and become the property of whoever recorded it? To whisk someone's data into some database at a datacenter where the person who effectively OWNS the data will never see it again?

And would labeling privacy invasion "theft" or "stealing" in daily discourse be an effective way to corner those organizations, digital or not, that trample on people's privacy without appology? Should we remind mainstream media organizations that use fluffy terms like "privacy concerns" to add that "privacy infringement is in fact theft"? Should we treat companies that don't take privacy seriously as "thieves" and openly label them as such?

Submission + - Nanotube-Excreting Bacteria Allow Mass Production (eurekalert.org)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have found semiconducting nanotubes produced by living bacteria — a discovery that could help in the creation of a new generation of nanoelectronic devices. According to the lead researcher, 'We have shown that a jar with a bug in it can create potentially useful nanostructures.' This is the first time nanotubes have been shown to be produced by biological rather than chemical means. This research began when they observed something unexpected happening while attempting to clean up arsenic contamination using the metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella. In a process that is not yet fully understood, the bacterium secretes polysacarides that seem to produce the template for the arsenic-sulfide nanotubes. These nanotubes behave as metals with electrical and photoconductive properties useful in nanoelectronics. The article abstract is available from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Submission + - 30 Meter Telescope Has Integrated Adaptive Optics

Reservoir Hill writes: "Development and construction of Caltech and the University of California's 30 meter Telescope (TMT), the first ground-based astronomy telescope designed with adaptive optics as an integral system element is moving forward with the recent $200 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The core of the TMT Observatory will be a wide-field, alt-az Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 492 segment, 30 meter diameter primary mirror, a fully active secondary mirror and an articulated tertiary mirror. The adaptive optics will sense atmospheric turbulence in real-time, correct the optical beam of the telescope to remove its effect, and enable true diffraction-limited imaging on the ground. TMT will have 144 times the collecting area of the Hubble Space Telescope and a spatial resolution at near-infrared and longer wavelengths more than ten times better, equivalent to observing above the Earth's atmosphere for many observations at a fraction of the cost of a space-based observatory. TMT will reach further and see more clearly than previous telescopes by a factor of 10 to 100 depending on the observation and will be a fundamental tool for the investigation of large-scale structure in the young universe including the era in which most of the stars and heavy elements were formed."

Submission + - Stolen Laptop Had SSNs of 268,000 Blood Donors (itworld.com)

narramissic writes: "On Nov. 28th a laptop belonging to Memorial Blood Centers that contained personal information on 268,000 Minnesota-region blood donors was stolen as workers were setting up for a blood drive. The company is now notifying donors affected by the theft in accordance with Minnesota law. Laura Kaplan, manager of marketing and communications with the blood center, said that the laptop was protected by several passwords and that they believe the data was secure, but she would not say whether the hard drive was encrypted."

Submission + - Group hopes to rename street after Douglas Adams.

interstellar_donkey writes: "After the recent brouhaha over the renaming of 4th Ave after César Chávez, a Portland group is pushing to rename a local street after the late writer Douglas Adams. The street? Why, 42nd Ave, of course. According to their website, the renaming will reflect Portlanders' commitment to the arts, respect for the environment, desire to provide technological access to all, their passion to further education to all people, and most importantly remind Portlanders DON'T PANIC. This appears to be a serious movement, with preliminary paperwork already in the works."

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