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grouchyDude (322842) writes "The isohunt web site used to index BitTorrent content seems to be doomed to shut down after losing a legal battle with the MPAA. This is a consequence of a legal ruling back in March, but now it seems over due to a lost appeal reported by Wired. The Canadian operator Gary Fung posted a goodbye message on the sire and has also agreed to pay $110 million. MPAA Chris Dodd said it "sends a strong message." The message might be "you can make enough running a site like this to pay a $110M" fine, or it might be "even a public index isn't safe from big company legal action, no matter what the law used to say."" Link to Original Source top
Canada plans removal of protections for fish habitats: scientists p.o.'d
grouchyDude writes "A senior Canadian government biologist has leaked proposed changes that would weaken Canada's protection for fish habitats, and thus the environment in general. Over 600 (real) scientists, many with very senior academic credentials, have signed a petition to complain about what they refer to as a highly destructive planned policy. The government responded that existing policies "do not reflect the priorities of Canadians" (what baloney!), but the suspicion is that this is one step in clearing environmental obstacles to the oil sands pipeline. This has gotten very little press and warrants real attention before it's too late." Link to Original Source top
grouchyDude (322842) writes "A Canadian man was sentenced to serve hard time for recording a couple of movies with a video camera and uploading them to a free movie sharing site. He is supposed to be the first sentenced to jail in Canada for this kind of thing, and is being paraded as an example for North America. In fact, at least one government official has claimed he is one of the biggest pirates of this kind in the world. Apparently this official hasn't been to China recently (or Chile, or Brazil, of Greece, or any subway station outside the USA and Canada). It's sad to think this guy will be in jail beside actual violent criminals for uploading a few movies." Link to Original Source top
grouchyDude (322842) writes "In a CNBC interview, the CEO of McGraw-Hill, the publishing conglomerate, let slip a bunch of details about the imminent Apple tablet. The mentions they have been working closely with Apple, and that is runs the iPhone OS (which is, of course, a UNIX variant not so different from OS X). The interview has been picked up by several sites and provoked some chatter." Link to Original Source top
Bell Canada starts hijacking domain lookup failure
grouchyDude (322842) writes "Bell Canada via their Sympatico ISP arm has started hijacking DNS lookup failures to redirect to their own "service". Presumably the intent here it to allow them to push advertising and links to people who mistype a domain name. This kind of interference and information harvesting seems inconsistent with the obligation of a common carrier. More serious than the annoying advertising, the by returning their page they fail to return an NXDOMAIN failure message, needed by various types of software including spam detection and other utilities. Oh and they provide a cookie-based opt out, which is of course useless for any automated tool (such as spam detection) since the cookie mechanism they use depends on on returning an NXDOMAIN error: whose lam-brained idea was that? You can comment on this service at the following link [ http://www.domainnotfound.ca/bellassist/dnsassist/content/contactus/_iceUrlFlag=15?_IceUrl=true ]" top
grouchyDude (322842) writes "In the new version of the Hasbro Monopoly (known as "MONOPOLY Here and Now"), the Atlantic City street names that defined the game have been replaced by the names of major international cities. Picking the cities was, of course, tricky and an internet poll involving millions of respondents was used. Of course, in classic Monopoly the best property has always Boardwalk. In this new edition, the city of Montreal, Canada occupies that spot with New York way down the list. Some of the other cities that made it onto the board are a bit surprising.
As a kid, my own strategy for playing Monopoly was always to buy cheap properties first, but winning was contingent on getting some of the big expensive ones like Boardwalk. I presume this is a universal truth." Link to Original Source top
grouchyDude (322842) writes "After weeks of false starts and bogus claims, a real software only unlock for the iPhone has been released into the wild (for free), according to several reports including this one and other more direct sources that don't want to be slashdotted. This makes SIM unlocking far more accessible than the tricky hardware unlock that was released a few weeks ago. The software unlock was announced for sale, based on more-or-less open development work. Within a day if the first commercial packages being distributed, a free public solution turned up. It's not clear if the public solution is a hacked version of the commercial solution, or vice-versa, or if both solutions both simple feed of the same pool of knowledge. At any rate, the solution is out there on many web sites." top
grouchyDude writes "CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, has a feature on consumer robots on their on-line edition today. It includes articles discussing the destiny and state of consumer robotics, as well as the need for investment in robotics research and the robotics industry to stay in competition. Their listing of both consumer robots
and fictional robots is quite incomplete, but they get to most of the important ideas and issues in the multiple parts of the feature.
It also covers bit on robot lore (i.e. notable robots from
fiction) as well as a popular robotics quiz." top
grouchyDude (322842) writes "Trandy Trower, the head of Microsoft's robotics software group pitches Microsoft Robotics studio to a group of robotics specialists, and announced veruon 1.5 beta. It was reported that his pitch was not that well recieved and he got a fairly spirited rebuttal which included support for an open source robotics development system. Tandy suggested that Microsoft was not looking to own the nascent robotics software market, but rather was interested in doing something good for the community. Concerns that came up included the fear that microsoft's entry into the robotics software field would kill off smaller players."