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Comments

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Driving While Distracted More Dangerous Than Supposed

IAmTheDave Re:I have to disagree (418 comments)

Ya know, if I had my stupid "drives itself" car already, this would NOT be a problem. Lives would probably be saved. Cmon DARPA, you've figured out more complicated things than this!!

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Cingular/AT&T has blocked calling access to a free conference calling service, FreeConference.com, with varying stories as to why. With Sprint and Quest following Cingular/AT&T shortly thereafter, the CEO of FreeConference.com claims that the service carriers are blocking the free conference calling service to illegally stifle competitors of their similar pay-for services. An email mailed out to my employer — users of FreeConference.com — state that "This appears to be a coordinated effort to force you to use the paid services they provide, eliminating competition and blocking your right to use the conferencing services that work best for you." The email urges users to contact the FCC, state Attorney Generals, and their providers directly. On the flip side, Quest Communications filed a lawsuit in Iowa claiming that several companies in Iowa, FreeConference.com being one, (along with sister companies hotlivesexchat.com and callchinaforfree.com) are fraudulently and illegally routing calls that end up holding the carrier responsible for long distance fees. AT&T filed suit shortly thereafter as well."
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman admitted that he was fairly certain that one or more of his children had downloaded music illegally, but despite this direct admission of guilt, and without surprise, no lawsuits are pending. Bronfman insists that, with a fairly certain stern talking-to, his children have suffered the full consequences of their actions. "I explained to them what I believe is right, that the principle is that stealing music is stealing music. Frankly, right is right and wrong is wrong, particularly when a parent is talking to a child. A bright line around moral responsibility is very important. I can assure you they no longer do that." I wonder if all of the people currently being sued/extorted can now just admit that they "no longer do that.""
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "A California anti-pretexting bill that got unanimous support in the state senate with a vote of 30-0 was struck down after heavy last-minute lobbying by the MPAA. The bill aimed to make deceptive "pretexting" (lying) to gain personal information on another person illegal. The MPAA told legislators "We need to pose as someone other than who we are to stop illegal downloading," and thus killed the bill when it came up for a final vote. California passed a much narrower bill that "bans the use of deceit to obtain telephone calling records, and nothing else." In a final "think of the children" bid, the Califonia Association of Licensed Investigators also opposed the bill, saying it needed to be able to use pretexting to help find missing children, among other things."
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Universal suing MySpace is all the news, but what seems to have slipped everyone's radar is that Universal also filed suit against several other services, such as Grouper and Bolt.com. Universal seems to be taking the helm of the RIAA/MPAA suits and blackmail, with the recent revelation of Universal getting a cut of Zune sales, and now the MySpace lawsuit. What's interesting, however, is that Grouper was recently purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment, just before Universal filed suit. Is this the first instance of an RIAA member actually filing suit against one of its own? If the member companies of the RIAA and MPAA are ready to start infighting, does this signal some coming implosion of the entertainment industry?"
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Microsoft has agreed to pay Universal Music a fee for every Zune it sells. The RIAA has previously claimed that it should also get a fee for every iPod sold, and certain countries have considered implementing an "iPod Tax", but Apple and Jobs have stood quite firm in their position. Microsoft, however, in an attempt to undercut Apple's stranglehold on the market, has set a dangerous precedent that Universal hopes will translate over to negotiations with other DAP makers and even cell-phone makers. "We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in," said Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal."
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Despite the almost total cutting of budgetary line-items for the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program by Congress, it's long been known that TIA lived on, it's budget being moved into Pentagon and intelligence "black" budgets that are not released to the public for scrutiny. Now, the Director of National Intelligence has offered a proposal for a new TIA, called "Tangram", which will in essence restore TIA, utilizing TIA's existing database along with several other information-gathering databases from other failed or side-lined government information awareness programs (like TIPs). The proposal itself, called a "proposer's information packet" was obtained, and it's reach is unsurprisingly worrying. FTA: "The system, which is run by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is in the early research phases and is being tested, in part, with government intelligence that may contain information on U.S. citizens and other people inside the country. It encompasses existing profiling and detection systems, including those that create "suspicion scores" for suspected terrorists by analyzing very large databases of government intelligence, as well as records of individuals' private communications, financial transactions, and other everyday activities.""
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "This is the subject of an MSNBC special report that tops MSNBC's homepage this morning. Privacy rights have been debated to death here on Slashdot, but this article attempts to understand people's ambivalence towards the phenomenon. The article discusses how over 60 percent of Americans — while somewhat unable to quantify what exactly privacy is and what's being lost — feel a pessimism about privacy rights and their erosion. However, a meager 6-7% polled have actually taken any steps to help preserve their privacy. Many don't make the immediate connection between EZ-Pass and supermarket shopper cards to this loss of privacy, and even less are protective of their Social Security numbers — giving them up for anything at all, including a 50-cent-off coupon. The article also tries to quantify what privacy is, exactly, and connect the lack of a solid definition to why Americans seem so willing to part with that which they may not even know they are loosing rapidly. The article closes — for those that won't read it — with a call to action, inviting readers to finally start an open discussion about privacy rights. "...everyone has secrets they don't want everyone else to know, and it's never too late to begin a discussion about how Americans' right to privacy can be protected.""
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 8 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "The licensing company responsible for distribution of old Tom and Jerry reruns has decided to cut any scenes that glorify smoking before airing, after one viewer complained about the scenes to the British media regulator Ofcom. Although one has to question the PC machine behind removing smoking scenes, it's an interesting conundrum in light of the recent ruling in the US that Cleanflix and other companies were violating US copyright laws by cutting out scenes of graphic, violent, and sexual nature before shipping the movies to consumers. Although the UK is not the US, the US seems to place copyright at the forefront of any international trade deals these days, so do these actions violate international copyright law as well? And if removing smoking scenes from Tom and Jerry is legal in the UK, could Cleanflix just move their production facilities over seas and be exempt from the judge's ruling against their service?"
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IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 8 years ago

IAmTheDave writes "Wired has a quick overview (oddly without commentary, save the title of the article) of the recent barrage of cases against the Bush administration for what many see as a huge power-grab and as flaunting the Constitution, Geneva Convention, and other laws of the land. This round-up is a nice way to see all the major cases, their statuses, and who the players are. It's also interesting to get an overview of how many cases the administration is trying to have dismissed on the State Secrets privilege."

Journals

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Bad Day on Slashdot

IAmTheDave IAmTheDave writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I think I'm having a bad day, so my comments on Slashdot are skewed to the slightly agressive. In most places where I expected solidarity with my frustration over certain events I'm seeing none.

Further, after calming down and reading the opposing veiwpoints, I'm forced to reevaluate my own ramblings.

Just one of those days. Gonna stay away from the "reply" button for a while. Apparently I'm letting my own negative feelings slip into my comments, and am not helping anything or anyone...

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