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Comment Re: They lied, even to their own people (Score 1) 331

Assuming you're referring to Bill Clinton, he was fully impeached (a function of the House of Representatives, analogous to indictment), but then not removed from office by the Senate. The article of impeachment that passed accused him of lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice, but not lying under oath to Congress.

Comment Re: network ignorance (Score 4, Insightful) 331

One good reason would be because not all disclosure of classified information is equally broad, and rather than defining some complex standard to determine whether the information is truly and completely out of the bag, they simply require evaluation according to a set process to declassify it.

Comment Re:They've ruined their own market. (Score 5, Interesting) 193

There's always EVE Online, which is about as far from a WoW clone as one can get. It's not an alternative to WoW, but a successful, different MMO model, and I think there's a lot to learn from the differences between the two of them. For the record, I've played both extensively.

Submission + - Digital Domain Pushes "Pay To Work For Free" Model for VFX (

mark_wilkins writes: The VFX Soldier blog links to a recent talk by the CEO of high-end visual effects company Digital Domain in which he detailed their strategy for seeking funding from the state of Florida to start a school, called the Digital Domain Institute. Their goal is for 30% of Digital Domain's Florida workforce to consist of students paying a tuition that would add up to as much as $105,000 over their course there, working on feature film VFX projects in the hope of getting screen credit and shots for their demo reel that they can parlay into a job... somewhere else. This is presented as a necessary step to keep these jobs from going overseas.

Comment Re:Why should he need a license? (Score 1) 705

I'm not sure I agree. The concern is presumably that the board, presumably not experts on engineering, would interpret his work mistakenly as having been prepared by a properly trained traffic engineer and assign it more than its due weight as a result. It's possible that this problem could be cured by simply adding a disclaimer to the work to ensure that it's not misinterpreted as the product of a licensed traffic engineer. In any case, reading farther along in the article, they mention that the likely outcome is that the engineering licensing board would write him a nasty letter, which I gather would be in lieu of charging him with a misdemeanor.

Leak Shows US Lead Opponent of ACTA Transparency 164

An anonymous reader writes "Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, the secret copyright treaty, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement. A new leak from the Netherlands fingers who the chief opponents of transparency are: the United States, South Korea, Singapore, and Denmark lead the way, with Belgium, Germany, and Portugal not far behind as problem countries."

Comment Re:They now need a "pee fee" - not what you think (Score 1) 888

The "fasten seat belt" sign is just advisory. You can still get up when it's on if you need to for whatever reason.

From FAR 121.317:

(f) Each passenger required by 121.311(b) to occupy a seat or berth shall fasten his or her safety belt about him or her and keep it fastened while the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign is lighted.

So, no.

Comment "Internet TV" has always been a gimmick. (Score 3, Interesting) 277

In early 1996, I was a software engineer for Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics, in meetings to plan their first generation implementation of the ATV standard, on which current, U.S. HDTV devices are based. A huge priority for them at the time was to build a web browser into their television sets, and many ways to do this were investigated.

WebTV, which was pretty much the same idea in a set-top box, was in development at the time, and provided a model for that kind of thing, so Mitsubishi announced that they would, at some unspecified point, begin selling TVs with a feature they called "Diamond Internet" built into them.

It never happened. I don't know whether the issue was politics in the software department, or maybe just management recognition that it was a gimmick, but they never delivered such a product. Probably it came down to there just being too many other issues to manage to get an ATV set out the door.

However, it's clear that the idea's been there, lurking in people's minds, for the thirteen intervening years, and hasn't become any more useful a concept.

Incidentally, around that same time, I did buy a wonderful set-top-box by a company called Videoguide, that delivered TV schedules and news headlines to the device via unused text pager bandwidth. It was a great product, inexpensive and very useful, as even though I did have internet at home at that time, it wasn't an always-on connection. However, between shortened times to come out of sleep for laptops and PCs and the ubiquity of always-on internet connections in the home, I think the utility of a product like that isn't what it used to be. And anyway, Videoguide ended up getting bought out by Gemstar after spending tons of money.

Comment Re:Silly question (Score 1) 442

Not surprised you didn't turn up positive on the test. I'm pretty sure those target specific high explosive substances that could be used in small amounts to bring down an airplane, and are not intended to detect common low-explosive propellants like gunpowder.


Submission + - A new low in restrictive software licensing 4

Coutal writes: Licensing is usually looked upon as a burden by software customers, although one we're grudgingly used to living with. However, at times one encounters new lows which can still invoke sufficient outrage — a stealable license.
Recently, my i-go based pocket pc navigation unit was stolen. However, I still retained my valid serial number, certificate of authenticity, proof of purchase and even a backup of the software. I figured restoring my software to another device should be a matter of unit service or (tops) minimal fee for media restoration. Tech support, however, had other ideas in mind. They informed me that my license was stolen with the unit. No amount of explanation of the lack of logic in that statement made through. They insisted that my backups were also void because I no longer have the original SD card and that I am not allowed to use them (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of backup, as the device only stores extremely little other data than the original software — no more than a few points of interest and marginal settings).
The Media

Submission + - Computerworld eats babies. ( 1

Lerc writes: Computerworld has posted a response to people who called them on their use of the term Bricked in a recent article. They are standing beside their use of the term. It seems they support the idea of misleading headlines in order to gain reader attention arguing that the body of the article still provides accurate information. "The facts in the article are clear and straightforward, and if the headline gets the attention of one user who *won't* walk up to you Wednesday morning with a cheesed laptop, I think you'll agree the verbal slap upside the head is worth it."

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?

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