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Submission + - Volt Vandalism: Charging Cord Cut For Electricity Cost, Or Electric-Car Hate? 11

cartechboy writes: Slashed tires and broken car windows are nothing new. But electric cars have brought a new type of vandalism, and it's anything but random. Take the couple in a Florida high-rise condo who found one night that someone literally cut the charging cord to their Chevy Volt--while it was plugged in. Their OnStar app alerted them one evening that the car's charging session had been interrupted. When they investigated, they found the cord severed and the charging door bent on its hinges. The car was parked against a wall, so you couldn't see the cord unless you looked for it. Over three months, the couple used just over $25 worth of electricity to charge their Volt--and they'd gotten permission first. Was the vandalism someone's way of sending a message? And what WAS that angry message: Was it about the cost of the electricity? Or just someone who hates electric cars for political reason? They may never know--but that charging cord lists at $450.
Networking

US ISPs Using Push Polling To Stop Cheap Internet 417

An anonymous reader writes "What happens when a new ISP is started somewhere in the United States that completely blows out of the water all the other ISPs in the area, in terms of price and performance? Apparently, that question is being answered in North Carolina, where Greenlight Inc., a company started by a city government, is trying to offer faster, more reliable, and cheaper Internet service to the local residents. Time Warner and Embarq can't compete. So they are not only lobbying the state government to destroy the upstart competition, but are now using push polling methods to gain support, across the two cities that could benefit from the new ISP, for the 'Level the playing field' legislation they got introduced in the legislature." A local news outlet provides coverage more friendly to the incumbents' point of view.
The Internet

Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy 202

david_adams writes "All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections. Even if we were to be able to limit voting to legitimate, legal voters, the realities of social networking and the rise of Internet-based movements would dramatically alter the political landscape if online voting were to become commonplace."
Businesses

Drug Company Merck Drew Up Doctor "Hit List" 281

Philip K Dickhead sends in a piece from the Australian media, a couple of weeks old, that hasn't seen much discussion here. In a class-action lawsuit in Australia against Merck for its Vioxx anti-arthritis drug, information has come out that the company developed a "hit list" of doctors who had expressed anything but enthusiasm for the drug. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because it causes heart attacks and strokes. Merck settled a class action in the US for $4.85 billion but did not admit guilt. "An international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be 'neutralized' or discredited because they criticized the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced. Staff at US company Merck & Co. emailed each other about the list of doctors — mainly researchers and academics — who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action. The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words 'neutralize,' 'neutralized,' or 'discredit' against some of the doctors' names. It is also alleged the company used intimidation tactics against critical researchers, including dropping hints it would stop funding to institutions and claims it interfered with academic appointments. 'We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,' a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read to the court by Julian Burnside QC, acting for the plaintiff."
The Media

Submission + - Guardian on the Open Source schism ..

rs232 writes: ""The schism in the free/open source world has become more interesting with Stallman's release of version three of the GPL. This contains new features to prevent what's called "Tivoisation", after TiVo's use of GPL software (Linux) in a non-free system. It also aims to stop the patent licensing scheme Microsoft is using to do deals with Linux distributors such as Novell .. Either way, if GPL v3 exacerbates the split in the free/open source world, it's a good time for Microsoft to get cosy with the OSI side while trying to avoid Stallman's FSF side'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/aug/02/g uardianweeklytechnologysection.it2"

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