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Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

jenningsthecat What we need is viable storage and maintenance, (111 comments)

for the huge and growing number of people on this planet. I get how wonderful it is that genetic medicine might allow us all to live to the age of 150, eliminate birth defects, and cure Aunt Millie's cancer. But really, just where are we going to put all the people whose lives we save and extend while at the same time the birth rate keeps climbing? How will we feed them? How will we maintain a viable biosphere in an era of rapidly accelerating extinctions?

All that long term data will be meaningless if human society collapses under its own weight. If we're going to invest in keeping data viable so we can maintain and extend our scientific and technological reach, perhaps we should use it to help solve more important problems than our navel-gazing, narcissistic fixation on immortality and eternal youth.

2 days ago

Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

jenningsthecat Speaking as a Canadian, (318 comments)

I am truly ashamed right now. I'm pissed off too, at the Canadian government and bureaucracy that are increasingly taking their cues, and sometimes even their orders, from our Big Brother south of the border.

My country used to be better than this.

2 days ago

U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

jenningsthecat Re:confused (348 comments)

What? You don't have a brainwave recorder with filters that pass only the audio portion? Get with the times dude!

3 days ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

jenningsthecat Re:Too expensive (104 comments)

My mid-90s Dremel kicks ass.

My mid-70s Dremel kicks ass. I'm limited to only two different shank diameters because it has a pin chuck instead of a jaw chuck, but that hasn't limited its usefulness at all. And it seems that back then the bearings had tighter tolerances - the thing runs quieter and smoother than any of the new Dremel tools I've used. It also has speed regulation, so when I load it down it slows down less than newer models. I think they got rid of that feature because too many people were abusing it and burning out the motor; too bad, because the extra grunt really comes in handy sometimes.

3 days ago

Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

jenningsthecat Re:Does HFCS count? (292 comments)

...Here, they're making the distinction between "natural sugars" -- substances that are chemically sugars -- and "artificial sweeteners" -- sweet substances that contain no sugar compounds...

It would be interesting to see similar studies performed on stevia. It is a natural sugar, but is ~300 times sweetener than sucrose. Such studies might help to determine if promoting glucose intolerance is a function of artificiality, or a function of sweetness

4 days ago

What To Expect With Windows 9

jenningsthecat Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (541 comments)

...I've always wondered (and this is from a hardware-guy's perspective) wouldn't you rather have one big monitor, than two small monitors?

For some use cases, two separate monitors make sense, and I find that I actually like the conceptual separation they provide. When I'm doing PCB design I can have the schematic open on one monitor and the PCB on the other; it's convenient to just click on Maximize on each window and know that they're both going to equally and maximally fill the available real estate. Ditto for mail client and browser. Also, the total width-to-height ratio is greater than it would be on a single big monitor - that's a double-edged sword, but on thw whole I like it.

OTOH some programs don't play well with it - VLC doesn't seem to understand what's going on and I need to resize the window on some videos, and ImageMagick is pretty much unusable.

5 days ago

3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

jenningsthecat Re: it's means it is (132 comments)

...neither Local Motors nor anything associated with it are Luddite...

Since you're in correction mode, you may be interested to know that your post should have read: "...neither Local Motors nor anything associated with it is Luddite". The words "neither" and "anything" are singular pronouns.

I'm a part-time grammar Nazi, and sometimes I can't restrain myself; please excuse my pedantic impulse.

about a week ago

Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

jenningsthecat Re:How does MS get away with it in the US? (421 comments)

Not a problem because Linux comes with all drivers inbox.

Not sure if you're trolling, being sarcastic, or being serious. If it's one of the first two, then "good one". However if you're being serious, then I'll just ask, "Say what?"

Have you tried installing Linux on any up-to-date laptops recently? If WiFi, Bluetooth, and the pointing device all worked straight off after the install was done, count yourself lucky.

about two weeks ago

3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting

jenningsthecat Isometrics? (168 comments)

I wonder if there any in-place exercises, such as isometrics, that would provide at least some of the benefits of walking without having to leave the desk or workstation. Not that I'm averse to a walk once in a while, but some bosses are averse to employees not being chained to their desks...

about two weeks ago

To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

jenningsthecat A combination of electricity sources (488 comments)

In Toronto we used to have electric trolley buses powered by overhead wires. I'm not sure why they were discontinued in 1993; but it occurs to me that newer buses could use the same basic idea to operate in a 'tethered' mode for some parts of their route, (long straight runs in urban areas for example), while using battery power for other parts. I know it sounds like a bit of a throwback, but it could offer some real advantages as far as vehicle range and battery longevity are concerned.

about two weeks ago

UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

jenningsthecat Re:Complex? (198 comments)

Obviously you have never worked with HL7. One message will have hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of data.

Yeah - at least in the US and Canada, even parsing HL7 transactions can be a pain. Different rules and practices in different hospitals, inconsistent rules and practices within the same hospital, apparently contradictory transactions, out of order transactions... I predict a royal mess with NoSQL. With Relational they had at least some assurance that what was read out of the DB was an accurate representation of what was put into it.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Robotics or Electronic Kits For Wounded Veterans?

jenningsthecat Cheap kit with multiple projects (115 comments)

If you have no background in electronics at all, this might be a good place to start:

Very basic analog and radio circuits, which in my opinion is the best place to start, and at under $30 it won't break the bank. You'll go through all the projects pretty quickly - but then you can start experimenting with your own circuits. No soldering required - just connect the pre-tinned wires to the connector springs. I had a similar kit from Radio Shack when I was young and first getting into electronics, and I loved it. I even ended up stripping it of parts to use in my own projects when I graduated to building circuits on perfboard.

Whatever kit you begin with, analog or digital, you'll want a Digital Multi-Meter, or DMM. It doesn't have to be a good one, and these days a cheap one can be had for 10 or 15 dollars. Because you're just beginning, I suggest not getting an auto-ranging meter - you'll maintain a better sense of where you are and what you're doing if you have to pay attention to the range setting.

Best of luck to you sir; if electronics continues to interest you then you're in for a lot of fun!

about two weeks ago

Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash

jenningsthecat Re:Privatized=Compromised (142 comments)

What else would we expect when we privatize police activities that should clearly be done by accountable public entites?

What else would we expect when we privatize the entire government and effectively do away with accountable public entites? That's only a slight exaggeration of the current situation - soon it won't be an exaggeration at all.

It's also not entirely an issue of privatization. Even when the DEA didn't have the private-sector taint outlined in the article, they were over-zealous over-enforcers with their own political power and their own obvious vested interest in keeping drugs illegal and penalties harsh.

That said, you are right, and ruthlessly weeding out private-sector parasites like Desert Snow would be a very good place to start - presuming there's enough accountable government power left to do so.

about two weeks ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

jenningsthecat The seats get smaller, while the average person (819 comments)

gets both larger, (higher BMI, greater average height), and older, (aging population). Something's gotta give.

I know! How about some shareholders agreeing to make slightly less profit on their investments in order to increase comfort and safety for many millions of people? And how about the food industry agreeing to dial it down on the addictive, fattenning foods they make and push?

Nah, silly idea - forget I said it. What was I thinking?

about two weeks ago

FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

jenningsthecat Re:I understand the FAA's position... (222 comments)

Another good point - thanks. I guess what it comes down to is what nurb432 said:

I only know that it both scares me and pisses me off that the government can do whatever it wants

Would be a more accurate statement.

Once upon a time, I basically trusted the government to at least try to do the right thing. They were often fuckups, and occasionally larcenous or downright evil, but I never had the constant feeling I have now, that they are the enemy. So at one time I was relatively happy to let them take care of such matters; now I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.

about two weeks ago

FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

jenningsthecat Re:I understand the FAA's position... (222 comments)

Good question - in the heat of the moment when I posted I didn't think of it. I'm not sure I can give an accurate, or even a final, answer to it right now. But the following points occur to me:

- It's easy to make a grenade and have some confidence that it will work; no testing is required, so the fact that one is breaking the law needn't be obvious. Not so with UAV's.
- One can practise grenade-throwing by throwing a baseball; becoming a competent UAV controller requires a lot of practice with a real UAV under real-world conditions. So it's easier to hide grenade practice than to hide UAV practice.
- There aren't any significant peaceful uses for grenades, whereas UAV's have many peaceful uses.
- Grenades aren't usually used to spy on people.

So no, at first blush I don't feel the same about 'grenades and stuff'. The issue of UAV restrictions seems more complex and nuanced to me. That's not to say I won't eventually decide that they should be similarly regulated - just that it's a more difficult question for me to answer.

about two weeks ago

FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

jenningsthecat I understand the FAA's position... (222 comments)

On the one hand, UAV's represent a potential danger to people on the ground, and to airplanes - not to mention the privacy implications.

On the other hand, (if my understanding is correct), military and law enforcement agencies are free to fly UAV's whenever and wherever they please. This represents a further un-levelling of the playing field - the government is steadily acquiring powers which make it impossible for citizens to control/hold responsible/overthrow their own elected leaders.

I honestly don't know the answer - I only know that it both scares me and pisses me off that the government can do whatever it wants with UAV's, while my ability to use them is very, very restricted.

about two weeks ago

Shadowy Tech Brokers Deliver Data To the NSA

jenningsthecat Re:Open Many Doors (35 comments)

It is impossible to enforce the laws when you can catch all the violations.... What will happen when the slumbering public becomes aware that society gives some criminals a free pass?

I think the premise of your argument, (that the primary concern of Three Letter Agencies is stopping crimes of various kinds), is largely false. The prime directive of these agencies, (organisms if you will, because they have many characteristics of living entities), is to grow, to thrive, to gain power, and to become ever more robust and resistant to damage. For example, the last thing the NSA wants is an end to terrorism and various foreign threats. Too much money is at stake, and too many jobs, careers, and personal empires are on the line; if enough enemies don't exist in reality, they will be fabricated as required. (BTW, all that data they're gathering comprises a shitload of raw material for said fabrication). Ditto for the DEA, (that's why you'll never see legalization of drugs), the military, etc.

Wars of various kinds, (including NSA 'intelligence wars'), are simply too profitable to be 'won' or otherwise concluded; the agencies in question will continue to expand their power and reach so they can make damned sure that the wars will never end. As for the "slumbering public", your description of them answers the question you asked.

about two weeks ago



Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about a month ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Four-and-a-half years in the making, The Coupe, billed as "the first all-electric American supercar", was revealed on August 17 of this year at the Pebble Beach Concours by Silicon Valley firm Renovo Motors. Slated for availability in late 2015, the $500K-plus car does 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, and is spec'd at 500 brake horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is said to be 120 mph. The fast-charge time is 30 minutes — not surprising given the rather small 100-mile range. The car is modelled on the '64 Daytona coupe and has a Shelby chassis.

Lots of cool factor there, and lots of grunt off the line. But if you had enough money for only one supercar, would you pay more than $500K for something that only gets 100 miles per charge?"

Overzealous Management Corp Removes, Impounds Bicycles Parked on Public Property

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about a month ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an instance of apparent corporate over-reaching, $50-billion Brookfield Office Properties has been cutting locks and removing bicycles from what appears to be public property in Toronto Canada.

A bicycle owner who had locked her bike to a Toronto Transit Commission sign pole just outside the city's Hudson's Bay Centre, returned 90 minutes later only to discover that it was missing, and that it had been removed by a security guard. Brookfield Properties says that the pole is on its property, while City Manager Andre Filippetti confirms that the pole is in fact on public property.

In an email statement Brookfield says:
“As adjacent property owner, we have the right to remove a bike or otherwise affixed object to property and the TTC pole on the sidewalk outside of our building if it poses a perceived risk to pedestrians. It is our first and foremost responsibility to protect the health and safety of our tenants and all those that visit the building. There have been numerous instances at this location where pedestrians have tripped over or have otherwise been injured by bicycles affixed to the pole.”

It's unclear how many bicycles in total have been removed by the company, but three had been removed on the day in question, and a security guard working for Brookfield is reported to have said that they "get several angry cyclists a day complaining about bikes being taken". It is believed that many cyclists simply assume that their bikes have been stolen — which, arguably, they have.

It will be interesting to see if Brookfield receives anything like the legal punishment that a private citizen could expect for exactly the same actions; I suspect they won't be charged, or even very much inconvenienced."

Dying Veteran blasts Cheney, Bush in 'Last Letter'

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a public letter, Iraq war veteran Tomas Young lambastes former US Vice President Dick Cheney and former US president George W. Bush for sending "hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage". Mr. Young further accuses Bush and Cheney of "egregious war crimes" and of "cowardice and selfishness".

Mr. Young, who joined the Army two days after 9/11, was critically wounded in 2004, five days into his first tour of duty in Iraq. He then suffered Anoxic Brain Injury in 2008 as a complication of his earlier injuries. After almost ten years of what sounds like a living hell, Mr. Young is now receiving hospice care in his home while he starves himself to death.

You can read an interview with Tomas Young here"

Is it time to commit to ongoing payphone availability?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Public payphones seem headed the way of the dinosaur, as noted here on Slashdot 10 years ago, and again by the CBC earlier this year. Reasons typically cited for their demise are falling usage, (thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone), and rising maintenance costs.

But during the recent disaster in NYC caused by Hurricane Sandy public payphones proved their worth, allowing people to stay in contact in spite of the widespread loss of both cellular service and the electricity required to charge mobile devices. In light of this news, at least one Canadian news outlet is questioning the wisdom of scrapping payphones.

Should we in North America make sure that public pay phones will always be widely available? (After all, it's not as though they don't have additional value-added uses). And, should their continued existence be dependent on corporations whose primary duty is to their shareholders, rather than to the average citizen?"

One more step towards loss of Canadian sovereignty

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "The latest step in implementing the Canada — US Perimeter Security Initiative will have FBI and DEA agents pursuing suspects onto Canadian soil .

The RCMP recognizes that "this approach would raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of Canadians", so they'll "take baby steps, let's start with two agencies to test the concept, let's demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an approach might work".

In related news, a discovery that if a frog is put into a pot of water and the temperature is raised slowly enough, the frog won't hop out — he'll just boil to death."

Why Monsanto didn't expect Roundup-resistant weeds

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From NPR comes the story of how Monsanto thought Roundup was "a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance." The explanation seems to pretty much boil down to "we had a hell of a time creating Roundup-resistant crops, so we figured Mother Nature had little or no chance".

In the face of Monsanto's hubris, Mother Nature went ahead and made 20 strains of weeds, (so far), tolerant to glyphosate. Good for her!"

ICE Propaganda: Your Tax Dollars at Work

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From a story on Techdirt comes this link to aa propaganda video on YouTube, starring ICE Director John Morton

Of course, the video makes no mention of the 84,000 subdomains wrongfully seized by ICE last year as part of Operation In our Sites. Equally predictably, it self-servingly equates counterfeiting with copyright violation. Don't you just love it when the government spends your money to trample on your rights, and then wastes more of it to tell you what a great job it's doing violating them?"

Link to Original Source

Anaheim schools using GPS to fight truancy

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an effort to help chronically truant students, the Anaheim Union High School District is using GPS as part of a program to make sure that students are where they're supposed to be, and on time. (A similar scenario in Texas was discussed on Slashdot in 2008 — In addition to tracking students' whereabouts, this latest initiative also assigns them an adult coach who calls them three times each week to help keep them on track.

Indications are that such programs actually work, and that at least some students are grateful for the help. But I can't help thinking that there is something really wrong, with the educational system and/or with society itself, when we have to go to such great lengths to keep students motivated and committed to their own education."

Link to Original Source

"Money for Nothing" not fit for Canadian radio

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a move that echoes the recent sanitization of Mark Twain's works, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that the Dire Straits song 'Money for Nothing' "contravenes the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code". Twenty-five years after the song's release, it seems that a listener in St. John's, Newfoundland objected to the use of the word 'faggot' in the song's lyrics."
Link to Original Source

Your Brain on Magnets

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "An Australian scientist at the University of Sidney has been experimenting with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to temporarily induce savant-like capabilities and autistic attributes in test subjects. The research has implications for intelligence enhancement, and may hold improtant clues for understanding autism."
Link to Original Source

CRTC fines Bell Canada $1.3M

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Bell Canada has just received a fine of 1.3 million dollars from the CRTC. The fine was levied after the CRTC determined that Bell violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Bell's third-party telemarketers placed calls to people listed on Canada's Do Not Call List. Apparently, Bell also directly violated the legislation by placing automated telemarketing calls to prepaid cellular users.

As a victim of many unwanted Bell marketing calls, I applaud the CRTC's hard line stance. Now if we can only talk them into revoking Bell's recently granted right to apply Usage Based Billing to third-party ISP's..."

Link to Original Source

Meta-research debunks medical study findings

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From 'the Atlantic' comes the story of John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers, who have studied the overall state of medical research and found it dangerously and widely lacking in trustworthiness.. Even after filtering out the journalistic frippery and hyperbole, the story is pretty disturbing. Some points made in the article:

- Even the most respected, widely accepted, peer-reviewed medical studies are all-too-often deeply flawed or outright wrong
- When an error IS brought to light and the conclusions publicly refuted, the erroneous conclusions often persist and are cited as valid for years, or even decades
- Your doctor is probably prescribing drugs, treatment, and lifestyle changes that may range from ineffectual to outright harmful
- Scientists and researchers themselves regard peer review as providing "only a minimal assurance of quality"
- These shortcomings apply to medical research across the board, not just to blatantly self-serving pharmaceutical industry studies

The article concludes by saying "Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor...I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life."

I've always been somewhat suspicious of research findings, but before this article I had no idea just how prevalent untrustworthy results were. From now on I'll take my doctor's advice with a grain of salt — or is that a questionable prescription too?"

Link to Original Source

Google proposes music store, music locker

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From Billboard comes news of a Google proposal for a music download and storage locker service.

Apparently the music store would "operate like a conventional digital retailer". But in addition, (and for $25 a year), it would provide users with both the ability to have their purchases transferred directly to their lockers, and the option to let Google scan their drives for tracks that it "recognizes as music that it has licensed" to be "listed by Google as being accessible to the user from their cloud-based account". The service would also provide some social networking features, including providing playlists to other subscribers.

In the proposal, the yearly fee would be split 50/50 between Google and rights holders. 10.5% would go to music publishers, but it's not yet clear whose half of the pie this slice would be taken from.

It seems pretty clear that the recording industry won't go for this proposal as it stands. But the writing's been on the wall for long enough now, that even some industry execs may know they've been fighting an unwinnable war. And Google has already shown remarkable talent as a well-paid middle man. What do you think, Slashdotters — could Google be the next big conduit between the recording industry and the music-buying public? Or is this proposal doomed to die on the vine?"

Ghostery acquired by Better Advertising

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an under-reported tech story from the beginning of 2010, David Cancel, creator of the Ghostery plugin for Firefox, announced that he has sold Ghostery to a company called Better Advertising. The company bills itself as "a new type of company that helps to build trust between consumers and brands that advertise online".

Whether this is simply a pre-emptive strike in the online advertising privacy regulation battle,, or a real attempt to deal with consumers' increasing privacy concerns, it seems that Better Advertising has made a smart move in acquiring Ghostery. Now all they have to do is convince us that they aren't Evil, and won't be Evil in the future. (Google, anyone?)"

Organ damage in rats from Monsanto GMO Corn

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "A study published in December 2009 in the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that three varieties of Monsanto genetically-modified corn caused damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs of rats:

One of the corn varieties was designed to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides, (so-called "Roundup-ready" corn), while the other two contain bacteria-derived proteins that have insecticide properties. The study made use of Monsanto's own raw data.

Quoting from the study's 'Conclusions' section:

"Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days."

Given the very high prevalence of corn in processed foods, this could be a real ticking time-bomb. And with food manufacturers not being required by law to declare GMO content, I think I'll do my best to avoid corn altogether. Pass the puffed rice and pour me a glass of fizzy water!"

How much can Google search results be trusted?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Earlier this evening I did a Google search, using Firefox (aka Iceweasel), on my Debian box. I then performed an identical Google search on my Win2K computer, also using Firefox. Google preferences were set the same on both computers, and Personalized Search was disabled on both. Yet on the Linux computer there were only 20 results, whereas on the Windows computer there were 71! I cleared the cache on both, restarted the browsers, and re-entered the search criteria. Same results. I called a friend, who did the same search on his Windows and Linux boxes. Both of his computers came up with 152 results. Then a second friend did the same test, and also received 152 results. So thats 20 hits on one computer, 71 on another computer, and 158 on each of three other computers, all using identical search criteria and preferences. WTF?

A little Google searching, (oh, the irony!), turned up the following links (among many others):

I wouldn't have been too surprised at seeing some minor variations, and the first link above explains why this is to be expected. But a factor-of-three difference between two computers on the same Internet feed, and a factor-of-seven difference on two computers separated by only 40 miles, seems a bit much. I wonder how much I'm missing in my daily Google searches?

(Additional info for the curious: the search that got me started on this was ' firefox linux "missing font" tahoma ', and my Linux computer supplies a user-agent string that makes it look like a W2K machine, to get around Yahoo mail's insistence that their 'new' mail system 'has not been tested on my operating system')"

Canadian TV Networks, Carriers duke it out

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In Canada, the war is visibly heating up between television networks, and the telcos and cablecos that provide TV signals to more than 90% of Canadian TV-watchers. Both sides of the debate are airing TV commercials reminiscent of a political campaign, and of course each side has its own website:

TV networks, hit hard by declining advertising revenues, are scrambling to make ends meet. They claim that cable and satellite carriers, (who currently don't pay TV stations for the use of their signals), are getting an undeserved free ride; so they're petitioning the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission for new legislation that would require carriers to pony up. On the other side, the carriers point out that the TV networks already receive government funding, and are spinning the networks' pitch as a "TV tax". The cable and satellite carriers have stated that they will pass any such fees on to subscribers.

Networks have been down this road with the CRTC twice before, and have met with no success; this time they're doing their best to get public opinion behind them."

Could you be risking your unemployment benefits?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From a link I found on Techdirt, here is yet another example of a bureaucracy lagging far behind tech developments and their social impacts. It turns out that running a blog may be injurious to your financial health:

If you happen to be receiving unemployment benefits, be forewarned. If you live in New York State, (and this may apply to other jursdictions as well), even a minuscule income from, say, advertising on your web site, could cause you to lose said benefits. Theoretically such incidental income should simply result in a reduction of benefits, but it seems the state government can't get their heads around the concept of people earning money in anything other than an employer-employee relationship."

Canadian ISP's fight back (again)

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat writes "With the recent CRTC decision giving Canadian telcos such as Bell and Telus the legal right to deny third-party ISP's access to their infrastructure, smaller Canadian internet providers are again fighting for their lives, and are asking their customers for help. The ISP's are sending out e-mails asking people to go to to send either a form letter or a personalized message to the Industry Minister, the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, and optionally the respondent's local Minister of Parliament.

If the CRTC's decision is not overturned, approximately 30 ISP's will likely be forced out of business. Competition in the ADSL market will be totally eliminated, and Canadians will have only two choices for wired Internet access: the local Cableco or the local Telco. Given that Canadian taxpayers have heavily subsidized the telcos in multiple ways for several decades, this decision to hand over exclusive control of the keys to the cookie jar hardly seems fair.

To all Canadian Slashdotters: If you are in favour of net neutrality and believe competition is a good thing, please click on the link above and make your views known to the powers-that-be."


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