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Tech Companies Set To Appeal 2012 Oracle Vs. Google Ruling

bedroll Only Oracle Filed (198 comments)

"This week, however, Microsoft, EMC, Oracle and Netapp have filed for appeal and seek to reverse the ruling."

This isn't quite right. The case is between Oracle and Google, the other companies have no standing. Instead, Microsoft, EMC, and Netapp have filed an amicus brief in support of Oracle. They're all companies who stand to benefit from Copyright protection on their APIs.

about 9 months ago
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Antigua Looks Closer To Legal "Piracy" of US-Copyrighted Works

bedroll Re:Time to shut down the WTO (327 comments)

They're not being overruled. The law in the US is allowed to stand and is completely unaffected by this. Instead, because the US has broken a treaty Antigua no long must abide by US Copyrights, which are considered foreign law to Antigua. It doesn't harm democracy that another country is allowed to govern itself. Why should the US law be preferred to Antigua's?

about a year ago
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British Police Foil Alleged Mall Massacre Copycat Plot

bedroll Re:British police rarely carry weapons (292 comments)

The war on drugs is only part of it. Mandatory sentencing extends beyond drug charges. Many gun violations have mandatory sentencing as well, which is in part because of the war on drugs and in part because of the proliferation of guns. Very few people are in jail due to a few grams of marijuana, that wouldn't be enough for intent to distribute. But yes, our prison industry has done very well for itself, that much is true regardless.

about a year ago
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British Police Foil Alleged Mall Massacre Copycat Plot

bedroll Re:British police rarely carry weapons (292 comments)

Good call. We have hundreds of millions of guns here in the US and we have the lowest incarceration costs in the world... oh wait.

Well at least we never have armed gunmen attack public forums... crap, that's not quite it either.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

bedroll Re:An old phone, or better an old iPad (682 comments)

I use my N7 every day. I have a profile for my son, but I only bother to let him use it when we go on trips. I think it's a little under-powered for some games, but I would actually shy away from games in this situation. The second generation N7 seems to fix the issue of being under-powered, and it's still cheap enough to be a safe bet for kids.

I agree with you on taking the device away being the best form of control, but I also think that's a bad solution in this case. You don't want a device that needs to be taken away being your main form of communication with your child. That gives the other parent an excuse to control when and how you communicate. I don't know exactly why this dad can't see his son very often (and I won't buy the claims made by AC in other threads), but it's probably best to avoid any conflict if possible. Though, I suppose I wouldn't condone some of the specific stuff the OP mentions, like any plans for this child to take a smartphone to kindergarten.

Google really does need to improve parental controls. Apple's system not only provides a better solution for parents, but also for schools. I think part of the problem is that Apple profits off device sales, but Google only profits off of device use, so anything that restricts the use of the device may harm Google's ability to make money off of it.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

bedroll An old phone, or better an old iPad (682 comments)

When my son was 4 I gave him my Droid Incredible, which was deactivated when I upgraded. He liked it, and would play angry birds sometimes. He also took pictures (the camera isn't great but it's better than pretty much any kid's camera available) and listened to music on it. It was pretty impressive the way he customized the device, too.

My friend gave his son, who is a little younger, an iPod Touch and an iPad around the same time. I know his son uses his devices more than mine.

Contrary to the bulk of these responses, both children were up to the task of having and caring for a modern touchscreen device. You'll want to slap on a good case, and you need to know you can trust your child with it, but they're fine.

As for the recommendation... Well, this is an area where Android is playing catch-up with iOS. iOS has lots of parental controls so you can lock down default apps and prevent installation of unauthorized apps. I don't think either OS is particularly easier to learn, but the ability to control some aspects of the OS might make this an easier sell to the child's other parent, or just easier to monitor for you. If you get an Android device, I suggest you get one that can use the user profile features in Android 4.3 (it was added in 4.2 but there's more control in 4.3.)

However, I'm not sure a phone is really necessary. In fact, I think a phone would be more likely to be dragged around when not needed and more easily lost. It's more likely to become a nuisance. Since your son won't be with you, you have to consider the people he will be with. You don't want the device to become a problem and be taken away.

I would suggest an older device, this way it's less of a loss if it's broken or lost. At this point, you could easily get an older iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. A first generation Nexus 7 isn't a bad choice either. I'd go with one of the tablets, personally. They're better for video chats.

about a year ago
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Massachusetts Enacts 6.25% Sales Tax On "Prewritten" Software Consulting

bedroll Re:Hey MA programmers! Move to NH. (364 comments)

This is likely a maneuver against such tax-sheltering movements. By taxing consulting you remove some of the incentive to use consultants versus having in-house employees. Not much, but it's there. Chances are if your consultancy wants to do business with an MA company they will be subject to this tax on their services.

about a year ago
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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

bedroll Re:Keep your guard up (393 comments)

What's missing from the article is a comparison of actual sales numbers. The RIAA members are bringing less revenue in but selling more music. That's because people are paying less and digital suppliers are taking a larger cut than traditional retailers. That's what the whole digital revolution was really about, people reacted not just to free music, but to the greed and abusive pricing models of the industry.

Another piece that's missing from the article is that independent music sales now make up a far larger portion of the industry. While some of these numbers are likely to be included in a report like this, many of them are not because the independent artists are not members. The overall music industry may well have eclipsed 1999 revenue a few years ago, but we wouldn't know because only the label revenues are counted.

In short, I think you're right. The industry pines for the days when buying a copy of their works required a physical copy, not just because of bundling though.

about a year and a half ago
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SSD Prices Continue 3-Year Plunge

bedroll Re:WTF?!?!?! (347 comments)

Oddly, I read this and thought the exact opposite. Most of the deals I've seen on Slickdeals since Black Friday have been in the 50- to 80-cents-per-gigabyte range. The latest deal, posted just yesterday, had an Intel 180GB SSD for $100 after rebate. That's 55-cents-per-gigabyte. That's only one deal site, so I'm sure there's other deals that I've missed.

The store doesn't matter so much as the price. Where you shop has become less important than how you shop. If you're only focusing on a few retailers, and not leveraging the Internet to comparison shop and crowdsource deal opportunities, then I'm sure SSD prices are still quite high.

about 2 years ago
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US Refuses To Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

bedroll Re:Treaties (154 comments)

And yet, none of that pertains to this treaty at all. There's not even a need to defend the US and its actions here, because this entire argument is a derailment of the primary one: whether or not the US should sign this treaty. Instead we're ranting about completely unrelated treaties on topics that hold no bearing to this discussion. The only tidbit of the entire rant we can apply is that the US does not always consider itself beholden to treaties it signs.

If we apply the only relevant part back to the actual topic what are we left with? Well, I would say that your standpoint is a great argument against signing this treaty. This is because any effort to hand control of the core systems that support the world wide web must be binding and complete. If the US is not going to honor those then what will happen when we have competing regulatory agencies and systems? I don't think it will be pretty.

It's interesting that the only useful nugget of that rant seems to work in favor the US actions, considering the rest of the rant is against it.

about 2 years ago
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The Coming Wave of In-Dash Auto System Obsolescence

bedroll Re:No change, in other words (445 comments)

I think the biggest difference is the amount of integration that the factory systems now have. For instance, in one of my cars the stereo controls the bluetooth system, and to my understanding there is not an aftermarket head unit that supports this. If I choose to put an aftermarket head unit in my car I forfeit the built-in hands-free bluetooth and steering wheel controls. For other vehicles this is even more of an issue: some are integrated such that much of the vehicle's functionality is built into the same interface. Switching out components to support newer technologies is not going to work on such vehicles. I wouldn't want an aftermarket head unit that can't control my digital HVAC settings.

Another difference is that the technologies you listed were largely application-specific technologies with set standards. Smartphones are complex systems with few set standards. Yes, the individual features that these phones support may have standards (emphasis on may), but the phones themselves likely have little more than a defacto standard and it is the manufacturer's/OS developer's whim on when those will change. The iPhone changes much more rapidly than a music-specific format does.

about 2 years ago
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Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Arrested, Jailed

bedroll Re:Good times! Clearly, he's a dirtbag (747 comments)

This is no different than the Westboro Baptists that go around protesting at military funerals. They can get away with it it because it's not threatening anybody, and that's why it is the unfortunate side of acceptable Free Speech.

WBP is half "church" half legal machine. They know the law and they work within it. They have to be very careful because they will be arrested and punished if they overstep their bounds at all. To that extent, WBP members have been arrested and I'm sure that members will be arrested in the future.

It is very common to want legal justice to enforce social norms, as is the case here and with the WBP protests. In fact, many laws are enacted to do just that. If you're going to openly eschew social norms, say by making a highly inflammatory video, then you are wise to make sure there is no way that you can be punished for it, as the WBP do. This guy clearly did not do that, and his rap sheet makes it clear that he is something of a habitual fraudster. The prison door was open and waiting for him before he did this and that was spelled out in his agreement. Should we now be weeping for him because he provided an easy excuse to push him through it?

Freedom of speech is so often used as an excuse to avoid any sort of punishment. Freedom of speech is not, and never will be, freedom from consequence. There is plenty of legal precedent for consequences to speech. You can be fired for certain speech. You can be jailed for certain speech. In this case, the consequence of his speech is that it caused media, and later prosecutors, to look into his background and expose that he was in violation of parole. He is not excused from his existing probation limitations because he created something that is constitutionally protected.

And, since I find what he created to be abhorrent, I will gleefully celebrate his further incarceration.

about 2 years ago
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Light Bulb Ban Produces Hoarding In EU, FUD In U.S.

bedroll Re:Ban is dumb (1080 comments)

The tax wouldn't be as effective as the ban. The ban was needed to push the industry forward and enable them to be profitable making the newer, more efficient bulbs. The tax would need to be exorbitantly high for cheap-to-produce incandescent bulbs to be as expensive as the more efficient bulbs. If the price isn't adjusted enough for competition then no manufacturer could invest in the infrastructure to produce the new bulb, it would be too risky, and thus adoption would be slowed. The most telling part of this: this legislation was drafted with the help of the industry.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/20/ameripac/conservative-pac-claims-democrats-banned-incandesc/

Moorhead said industry representatives were closely involved in the legislative process to develop the new efficiency standards and would never have supported a ban of incandescent bulbs. The companies, as well as the legislators who drafted the bill, were keenly aware that the new standards could be met through the development of halogen incandescent light bulbs, he said.

It's also worth noting that, while current opposition to the "ban" is primarily from Republicans, the bill was passed by a Democratic Congress but signed by a Republican President. So, the bill is not anti-consumer. It isn't anti-industry. It isn't particularly partisan, either. Now if we're lobbing complaints around we should perhaps worry about the mercury content of the CFL bulbs that are now making their way in larger quantities to landfills, at least there's some small amount of legitimate concern to that.

about 2 years ago
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Google Bans Online Anonymity While Patenting It

bedroll Re:Oh, Google is fine with anonymity... (188 comments)

Nothing's stopping Google+ from offering a secondary ID you can become, while Google still knows who you are.

A brief read of the patent tells me that this is exactly what Google has patented. It's a system in which a single identity can be used to generate anonymous secondary ones. In that case, Google, and anyone able to subpoena them, would know who the anonymous secondary identity is but third parties wouldn't be privy to the link between accounts.

about 2 years ago
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Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android

bedroll Re:Bull Shit. (352 comments)

Phones/Tablets/Whatever

about 2 years ago
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Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android

bedroll Re:Bull Shit. (352 comments)

Uh, "default app store" does not mean Google's Play store. It means the default app store for the phone in questions. If Google cuts Acer off then Acer could team up with Amazon for the default app store on their phones. Thus Amazon would earn more money because their store and apps aren't bundled on many phones right now.

about 2 years ago
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Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android

bedroll Re:Bull Shit. (352 comments)

I bet Amazon would be interested in providing the default app store.

about 2 years ago
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Let the Campaign Edit Wars Begin

bedroll Re:If Obama's BIRTH can be an issue (571 comments)

I don't think it's fair to lump the two groups together. While I will agree that both groups are petty and immature, I think there is a demonstrable difference in the zeal and desire of birthers versus whoever added the brown noser tidbit to Wikipedia.

The first difference is intent. The Wikipedia entry was made before this announcement, as opposed to the birther's claims which didn't surface until the President was at least the presumptive nominee. The Wikipedia entry doesn't reflect well for Representative Ryan. The supposed claim by the birthers would, if it had any veracity at all (hint: it doesn't and never did) disqualify him completely. The intent is not merely to smear the President, as one might think the claim about Ryan is intend, but to disqualify him for his mere personage.

The second difference is zeal. Again, this is merely an edit to a page made well before Ryan was involved directly in the race for President. Meanwhile, the birthers have been at this for the last 4 years.No amount of contrary evidence has stopped the birthers. They've filed lawsuits in multiple states and wasted countless tax dollars on their nonsense.

The third difference is hate. Birthers are more of a hate group than anyone who would put this on Mr. Ryan's page. Nobody likes a brown noser, unless perhaps its your rump causing that nose to be brown. Meanwhile, birthers are hateful racists that are determined to "other" anyone who does not fit the "traditional" mold for American leadership. As others have stated, Mr. Romney's citizenship was never questioned. Neither was Mr. McCain's. The difference is that some believe there should be an unconstitutional religious test for the presidency and that President Obama's skin isn't the right color. Yes, racism is childish and stupid, but it is a particularly hurtful type of childishness and stupidity. There is not a history of enslaving, killing, raping, and dehumanizing brown nosers, instead we promote them to middle management.

The last difference is whom is advancing the issue. The person who put this on Wikipedia did not do so as part of a conspiratorial movement. For all we know it was an old classmate poking fun. There was no fanfare about this until someone removed it for political reasons. Thus, the ones seeking to deny Ryan's status as a brown noser are making this into an issue, rather than the ones presenting that status. This is very different than birthers, who advanced the issue and were generally ignored until their petty cries and expensive lawsuits became too annoying (and the President saw a chance to win a news cycle which might have otherwise gone to other things). So far the ones being petty in this issue are the Ryan supporters who think this matters.

So, sure, you can say the two groups have similar properties but I think lumping them together denies how much dumber birthers truly are.

more than 2 years ago
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Let the Campaign Edit Wars Begin

bedroll Re:If Obama's BIRTH can be an issue (571 comments)

You're right, Obama's place of birth gives us an excellent opportunity to examine areas of Constitutional law that are commonly misunderstood. For example, where he was born means absolutely nothing because the citizenship of his mother is not in question. So, like George Romney - Mitt's father, who was born in Mexico - President Obama is a natural born citizen regardless of where he was born. The rest is racism and xenophobia.

As for the usefulness of Ryan's brown-noser status: Well it's not particularly important except that Americans like to know the personality of their prospective leaders. When Biden was picked it wasn't particularly important to note that he's a gaff machine, except in the personal context of how others will judge him. Either way, if it is verifiable and people are interested in the information as a part of his profile then it should meet the minimum standards for inclusion in Mr. Ryan's Wikipedia page.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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How a bucket brigade kept Peer 1 online during Hurricane Sandy

bedroll bedroll writes  |  about 2 years ago

bedroll (806612) writes "Barb Darrow at Gigom writes of some heroics at a downtown Manhattan data center, "When Hurricane Sandy hit 75 Broad Street in Manhattan, forcing Con Ed to cut power and then flooding the basement generators, the most customers could legitimately expect was an orderly shutdown of their equipment. But Peer 1 Hosting’s small local staff — along with friends and customers — went way beyond the call of duty, forming a bucket brigade to deliver gallon upon gallon of diesel fuel up 17 floors to keep the company’s backup generator humming — and their equipment online.""
Link to Original Source

Journals

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the value of a dupe

bedroll bedroll writes  |  more than 8 years ago Duped stories are common on /. Everyone is aware of this. However, most people seem to be enraged by dupes, I think this is really uncalled for and they actually have value. I'll go over this point by point:

  • It is possible to miss the first posting. This is especially true if you have something of value to comment on the article, but your words woulod be buried in the original thread, but may have a chance of being seen in the dupe. Remember that not everyone collects the rss feeds like old women collected beenie babies.
  • The articles referenced are often different. They may be of the same topic, but they are normally by different people who may have different information or perspectives. Sure, you could google on a topic of interest, or you could probably find links in the original article's thread, but this is handy as well.
  • If the thread isn't going to be used for discussion of the article it can be used for off topic discussion which normally would be frowned upon. Honestly, if we're not going to make dupes productive then we shouldn't be wasting mod points on the discussions. If we're a community then we should benefit from off-topic discussion sometimes.

I'll add more if I think of them. I could have sworn I had thought of more before I started writing. The point is, there is value in an article posting, even if it's a dupe.

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bedroll bedroll writes  |  about 9 years ago I joined /. because I started reading, and I was often more interested in the comments than the stories (depending on the story), and every now and then I'd throw my two cents in. Thing is, when you throw your two cents in as an AC it's really $0.00. This is, of course, because most ACs are just trolls that would have horrible karma as a registered user.

What I realized when I joined is that this doesn't mean that my contributions will be taken any more seriously than an AC posting, even if they have more likelihood of being read by others. In earnest, I tried to say what I would honestly say in such a conversation if I were to have it in person, even if I secretly feared that sometimes my jibes were remotely trolling or off-topic. I like to make snide comments about things, that's me.

Much to my surprise, it took thirty or so posts before I had a single negative moderation. That moderation, naturally, was on the first post I made with a karma bonus. Say bye bye to karma bonus. People listen better with a +2 to start, when you're heard then you're more likely to be punished or rewarded. Such is life. I got the karma bonus later anyway, through no whoring or anything like that, so my personal karma need not be bothered by the extra karma I get as a poster.

This isn't really a complaint that I've been negatively moderated, though. It's a complaint that I've been inappropriately moderated consistently. For example, half the things that I've posted that are modded highly funny are really just a rewording of the same lame /. jokes and I happened to be the first on the scene to reword them. In contrast, the only time I remember being modded redundant was on a post which not only wasn't redundant because there wasn't anything posted like that beforehand, but I couldn't find any post like that in the entire conversation.

Posts that should be informative or insightful and vice versa. Sometimes posts that aren't informative, insightful, or interesting (except in a very very narrow view) are moderated as such. It's just all over the place. I was modded informative for linking someone to the FAQ because they posted (a rather off-topic) comment about karma whoring for +5 funny. I pretentiously responded that you don't get karma for that, so someone modded me informative. I responded to my post that it was funny that post was modded informative, so that post got modded informative as well. There's humor there, but it's still an abuse of a social system that seems to ignore too much good information. It's a waste.

Naturally I wouldn't be writing all of this whining drivel if a post wasn't mis-moderated (in my opinion anyway) again. In this review they forgot to link to the actual article. Early in the replies someone pointed this out with a link to the article. I tried to follow it, and the site was thoroughly /.ed. I decided to comment, as it's just as informative that a link isn't working as it is to tell what the link is. I also decided to point out that it was kind of funny that the review didn't include the link but it ended up /.ed. This ended up moderated as a troll. How about informative? How about funny? How about no moderation at all? Why on earth is a comment that's true and not off-topic to the parent or even to the review a troll?

In the end it doesn't matter, because eventually someone appreciates my contribution and mods a post or two up. I just think that it'd be better if mod points were better used than they are, because I don't think my highly rated contributions are anywhere near the best. Oh yeah, and they're normally rated wrong anyway.

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