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Comment Re:As a former employee... (Score 1) 286

I've had a similar bad experience with Comcast contractors. They came to my house in an unmarked pickup truck, wearing baggy jeans and Roc-A-Wear shirts (unprofessional, IMHO). They they proceeded to start drilling a hole through my living room floor to run the cable without checking what their drill was going to hit. I stopped them before they drilled a hole right into my heating duct.

When I tried to get cable at my new place, the cheapest option was $63 a month. I told them to screw off and I've lived without cable since. Honestly I don't miss it. Luckily I can borrow wireless from my neighbors (with their permission!) so I don't have to deal with Comcast at all.

Comment Re:The 13 votes (Score 2, Insightful) 477

Firstly, If you have representatives, its not a democracy, its a republic.

Representatives in a republic do face the difficult choice of doing what they think is right versus doing what the majority of their constituents want. It's a fine line to walk between doing what is right and doing what is popular.

However, simply voting based on your perception of the majority of your constituents desires is essentially reverting back to mob rule. Sometimes a representative must vote for what they personally think is right, even if it goes against the will of the majority. To blindly state "do what the majority wants or resign" is a bit simplistic, IMHO.

If all representatives did was parrot their majority of their constituents, then the US would never have passed women's suffrage, civil rights legislation, etc.

The check on this is that, ultimately, its up to the people to decide whether to re-elect a representative that votes contrary to the desires of the majority.

Submission + - Antitrust case against RIAA reinstated ( 2

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In Starr v. SONY BMG Music Entertainment, an antitrust class action against the RIAA, the complaint — dismissed at the District Court level — has been reinstated by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In its 25-page opinion (PDF) , the Appeals court held the the following allegations to sufficiently allege antitrust violations: 'First, defendants agreed to launch MusicNet and pressplay, both of which charged unreasonably high prices and contained similar DRMs. Second, none of the defendants dramatically reduced their prices for Internet Music (as compared to CDs), despite the fact that all defendants experienced dramatic cost reductions in producing Internet Music. Third, when defendants began to sell Internet Music through entities they did not own or control, they maintained the same unreasonably high prices and DRMs as MusicNet itself. Fourth, defendants used [most favored nation clauses (MFNs)] in their licenses that had the effect of guaranteeing that the licensor who signed the MFN received terms no less favorable than terms offered to other licensors. For example, both EMI and UMG used MFN clauses in their licensing agreements with MusicNet. Fifth, defendants used the MFNs to enforce a wholesale price floor of about 70 cents per song. Sixth, all defendants refuse to do business with eMusic, the #2 Internet Music retailer. Seventh, in or about May 2005, all defendants raised wholesale prices from about $0.65 per song to $0.70 per song. This price increase was enforced by MFNs.'

Submission + - Challenge to US government over seized laptops (

angry tapir writes: "The policy of random laptop searches and seizures by U.S. government agents at border crossings is under attack again: The American Civil Liberties Union is working with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to find lawyers whose laptops or other electronic devices were searched at U.S. points of entry and exit. The groups argue that the practice of suspicionless laptop searches violates fundamental rights of freedom of speech and protection against unreasonable seizures and searches."

Submission + - US DOJ: Kindle in classroom hurts blind students ( 2

angry tapir writes: "Three U.S. universities will stop promoting the use of's Kindle DX e-book reader in classrooms after complaints that the device doesn't give blind students equal access to information. Settlements with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Pace University in New York City and Reed College in Portland, Oregon, were announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice. The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind had complained that use of the Kindle devices discriminates against students with vision problems."

Submission + - 11 Incredible Music Albums you can Download for Fr (

rjnagle writes: You may have heard about Jamendo , a free and legal music sharing site that offers more than 29,000 music albums for free download. Over the last 3 years I've listened to 2200+ albums and chosen the 11 Best Music Albums from Jamendo which you can download for free . Given the fact that Jamendo is reported to be experiencing financial difficulties , Jamendo may not be around for much longer. Is Jamendo too important to the music community to fail? What can it do to make it more attractive as a business model? And where will listeners go to find free & legal music if Jamendo were to disappear?

Submission + - Gmail Moves to HTTPS by Default (

clone53421 writes: Although Gmail has long supported HTTPS as an option, Gmail announced their decision yesterday to switch everyone to HTTPS by default:

We initially left the choice of using it up to you because there's a downside: https can make your mail slower since encrypted data doesn't travel across the web as quickly as unencrypted data. Over the last few months, we've been researching the security/latency tradeoff and decided that turning https on for everyone was the right thing to do.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the reports of Chinese users having their accounts hacked? ‘Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves,’ said David Drummond in that blog update. That does sound like it perhaps could be a result of insecure HTTP traffic being intercepted in transit between the users and Gmail’s servers.

Comment Re:Stamps are still necessary out here in the stic (Score 1) 297

I'll second this. I use Bank of America and I can pay anyone that has a mailing address. I set up all my payments to go out automatically via their online banking system. The ones that have electronic delivery go that way, otherwise they print a check and mail it on my behalf. They also accept e-bills from many companies so I don't have to receive paper bills in the mail.

It's super convenient, and free. I can't believe people still spend time every month "paying the bills".

Comment Re:Unfortunate (Score 1) 800

Ticket scalping isn't exactly a proper analogy either. There's a limited number of tickets to an event, so someone snapping them all up and then selling them for a profit means that some people aren't going to be able to go. The scarcity of tickets is the issue.

There's an unlimited amount of domain names, however, so there's no scarcity in that sense. It really is more like real estate...there's plenty to go around, but if you can snap up the "best" properties early, then you stand to make a profit. If someone doesn't want to pay, there's always other real estate to purchase, although it might not be as nice.

It's not even as serious as real estate squatting, since, as an earlier poster pointed out, a good domain name is becoming less and less important since most people are just going to type search terms into google and find your site that way. I rarely remember URLs anymore, but instead remember the search terms that I used to find a particular page.

Comment Re:I have a bad feeling about this (Score 1) 288

The problem with Active Desktop wasn't the Javascript language, it was the mixing of the OS and the Browser and the security problems that came from that mixing. Javascript had nothing to do with it; in fact, many of the malware related to ActiveDesktop was written with VBScript, not JS.

The article is talking about using Javascript as a scripting language to help build GTK applications. This is no different than using any other scripting language, such as Perl or Python. Just because it's Javascript doesn't mean it has anything to do with a web browser or the DOM.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley