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Comment Portland (Score 2, Informative) 143

Portland has been doing such a thing for a few months now through an iPhone app appropriately named "City of Portland Citizen Reports". Allows users to upload photos with descriptions and tag them with GPS coordinates. The description pulled from the iTunes page:

Citizen Reports is a direct result of Mayor Adams and the City of Portland’s call for more open data and interactions with the citizens of Portland. Citizen Reports is used by citizens to report and request service calls to city assets and infrastructure, including issues with parks, pot holes, traffic lights, street lights, catch basins, and graffiti. Additional city assets and service request types will be added over time.

Using an iPhone, citizens can access this easy-to-use interface to the City of Portland’s issue reporting infrastructure. Citizens select the type of issue to report, take a photo (or upload an existing one), geo-locate the issue via GPS or interactive map, add comments, and send their report directly to the responsible bureau for resolution. Citizens can also view issues they have previously submitted and check the status or resolution of the issue.

Citizen Reports is a small but important step in allowing citizens to participate in expediting the City of Portland's awareness and resolution of various issues. Citizen Reports is available for free within the Apple App Store.

Comment Meddling West (Score 2, Insightful) 541

Great, one more thing that Iran could accuse us of... meddling in their election, providing support to protesters in hopes of influencing their electoral process, just what we need! Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea, and I'm all for helping but it's just one more thing. Don't we have enough to worry about on our home soil?

Microsoft Patents the Crippling of Operating Systems 394

theodp writes "On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted US Patent No. 7,536,726 (it was filed in 2005) for intentionally crippling the functionality of an operating system by 'making selected portions and functionality of the operating system unavailable to the user or by limiting the user's ability to add software applications or device drivers to the computer' until an 'agreed upon sum of money' is paid to 'unlock or otherwise make available the restricted functionality.' According to Microsoft, this solves a 'problem inherent in open architecture systems,' i.e., 'they are generally licensed with complete use rights and/or functionality that may be beyond the need or desire of the system purchaser.' An additional problem with open architecture systems, Microsoft explains, is that 'virtually anyone can write an application that can be executed on the system.' Nice to see the USPTO rewarding Microsoft's eight problem-solving inventors, including Linux killer (and antelope killer) Joachim Kempin, who's been credited with getting Microsoft hauled into federal court on antitrust charges." Sounds like the mechanism by which Microsoft sells one version of Vista to all users, and lets users upgrade to higher-tier flavors of the OS after cash changes hands.
The Courts

RIAA, Stop Suing Tech Investors! 114

The RIAA isn't just suing tens of thousands of music consumers; they've also begun filing lawsuits naming the directors of and investors in tech companies that they believe contribute to copyright infringement. NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "ZDNet urges the big recording industries to stop suing tech investors, and cites the draft legislation that I posted, which would immunize from secondary copyright infringement liability any work done by a director in 'his or her capacity as a member of the board of directors or committee thereof,' and any conduct by an investor based solely upon his or her having 'invested in any such corporation, including any oversight, monitoring, or due diligence activities in connection therewith.'"

Comment Re:Perry Hater (Score 1) 272

...he's solely in the position for money and power (the worst type of politician IMO)
What other kind is there? Cite examples of living people, please. There isn't much upside to the job otherwise.
That's the thing, not sure I can. I just didn't want to get too preachy by saying that all are greedy and self-serving, that our political system is broken and needs a major revamp, that I'm sick of being stuck with only two parties, etc, etc... that's just begging for a flame war. :P

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