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eBay To Spin Off PayPal

jenningsthecat So eBay would survive (69 comments)

in the admittedly unlikely but highly desirable eventuality of PayPal going down in flames.


Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

jenningsthecat Re:Science is not about trust (445 comments)

Science is about reproducible results. Publish the details of your experiment, so I can perform your experiment (and variations on it) myself. Your claim is strengthened if I get the same results you do.

+1, Insightful. How in the hell did you get modded down for this comment?

2 days ago

Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

jenningsthecat Re:Maybe these people.. (445 comments)

Are more interested in discovering new things or proving old things wrong, than trying to make friends with everyone.

As they should be. However, when much of their funding comes from the public purse, perhaps it's appropriate for scientists to acquaint the people paying the bills with the reasons for and the importance of their research. Also, I'm all for everyone becoming more scientifically-minded. 'Elite' science may be for those who have studied hard and made it their life's work; but 'day-to-day' science is the province of everyone, and ought to be encouraged as such. A scientific framework promotes curiosity, rationality, and logic - qualities sorely lacking in a large percentage of citizens.

2 days ago

When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

jenningsthecat Why hacking and making are so important (171 comments)

Just as Digital Restrictions Management and various schemes for 'protecting' 'intellectual property' have not been unqualified successes, this trend also will be undercut, to some extent, by people who hack, make, reverse engineer, re-purpose, and repair hardware, firmware, and software. It just remains to be seen how the legislative and enforcement aspects play out. And that depends largely on Joe and Jane Average's opposition to A) basically renting or leasing most of the stuff in their lives, and B) paying to be spied upon, advertised to, and held hostage by corporate interests.

If even a large minority of citizens refuse to put up with this crap and instead have old stuff fixed and new stuff modified or boutique-built, then it will be hard for governments to justify what will otherwise be a very heavy hand in favour of laws enforcing corporate control. I'm not optimistic that people who have been lulled into thinking there is no alternative, (or that planned obsolescence and corporate nosiness are somehow right and inevitable), will do anything other than cave and roll over. But there is some hope.

I volunteer as a fixer for an organisation called Repair Cafe - we run events wherein once a month people bring items in to be fixed for free. Not just computers, printers, phones, earbuds, and the like, but also household appliances, clothing, books, etc. Many of these people aren't bringing things in because they can't afford replacements; rather, they recognize the quality is better in their older items, and they hate the wasteful and controlling aspects of planned obsolescence. So we may yet see large numbers of average citizens who reject the dystopian plans of those who call their greed-driven view of the future 'Utopia'.

In the category of 'not likely', but still worth considering, is the possibility of simplifying our lives. All of these technological innovations are cool, and they drive our economies, and some of them are significant. But really, how many new shinies contribute to our fundamental sense of worth, fulfillment, happiness, and meaning? I would argue that they tend to undermine those values - and many sociologists and psychologists would agree with me. It's probably too late to try stuffing that genie back in the bottle though...

2 days ago

Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

jenningsthecat Re:Webmail (115 comments)

...Yahoo is my shitbox.

This, exactly. I use Yahoo accounts as spam-catchers - I don't even use spam filtering on my 'real' email address, as I don't need it.

...they finally permanently retired the "Web 1.0" interface which was faster, showed more mails and allowed to open them in tabs...

AdBlock and NoScript fix that crap to a large extent. It's annoying to have to click on the 'proceed without updating JavaScript' link every time I log in, and it's annoying to have to temporarily re-enable JS when I want to send an attachment; but the result is an interface that is (just barely) useable, and devoid of ads. If I couldn't turn off all the shitty 'features' that Yahoo has introduced to 'improve' their service, I'd have left long ago - the current stock interface is simply unuseable.

...At least, when I'm logged to Yahoo I'm only logged to Yahoo. No Microsoft account, no Google account (which follows you on Google and Youtube like the plague!)...

I've stuck with Yahoo the same reasons; plus, I find the GMail interface to be not much better than the stock Yahoo interface.

2 days ago

Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

jenningsthecat Re:Second the recommendation (257 comments)

...the main character is depicted almost as lacking emotions...

That may be why I liked it. I've read and enjoyed a lot of books with more fully realized characters and more nuanced plots; it was refreshing to read a stripped-down actioner that had a lot of geeky ingenuity and kept me reading waaay past bedtime. Plus, as far as I could tell it got the science and tech mostly right.

2 days ago

Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

jenningsthecat Second the recommendation (257 comments)

"The Martian" by Andy Weir is one of the best SF books I've read, and I highly recommend it. Even if you're not into SF, if you're a member here, there's a good chance you'll like it.

3 days ago

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

jenningsthecat Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (595 comments)

...However, the Phillips doesn't dim correctly...

Odd - I have three Philips 60W bulbs in a diningroom fixture on an old, cheap, standard dimmer. The dimming is non-linear and a bit jumpy, (not unexpected given the difficulties in designing a dimmable, flicker-free LED bulb), but otherwise just fine.

4 days ago

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

jenningsthecat Re: I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (595 comments)

...This is why dimmers often cause radio hash...

This is also why dimmed incandescent bulbs often squeal - the waveform is rich in harmonics and causes the filament to vibrate audibly, sometimes into the kilohertz range.

A rheostat would be the blunt-instrument approach and not only is bulky, but also gets hot, since it's a resistor carrying a lot of wattage.

Before thyristors were created, light dimmers were in fact wire-wound rheostats. I've seen one or two wall-mounted rheostatic dimmers - big units with noticeable resistance to being turned. In high school I spent some time manning the theatre lights in the auditorium - banks of drum pots with levers and wooden handles that were hot enough to give a nasty burn when they had been in use for a while.

4 days ago

Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

jenningsthecat The commoditisation of space exploration? (200 comments)

I see this story as a symptom of a seemingly natural progression in scientific and technical endeavours. The cost of advanced technology in general is being driven down by market forces, so the barrier to entry is lower than it used to be even for space shots. And people are starting to sense economic opportunities in space. So the cost is coming down as the capabilities and sophistication are going up - that's the story of the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath.

It may not be long before there will be a viable business model based on salvaging space junk - especially if man-made objects orbiting Earth continue to proliferate.

5 days ago

Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

jenningsthecat Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (383 comments)

Please people, before you mod damn_registrars up, take a look at his comments. He's just harassing samzenpus.

I agree that damn-registrars is being over the top; but I have to say when I read the headline and then read TFS I did a double-take - the two do not jibe.

"Wasting food" is almost universally understood to mean that the food is being used for some other purpose than that of sustaining sentient life. It's NOT generally understood as specifically being 'put into the garbage bin' as opposed to being 'put into the compost bin' - I'm pretty sure most people view either of these fates for food as 'waste'. If I let food spoil when I could have eaten it, or if I take perfectly good food and incinerate it, it is still 'wasted' even though it doesn't "become waste" by virtue of being put into municipal landfill.

If you're goint to take damn_registrars to task for attacking samzenpus I suggest you do it on the basis of his attack and his hyperbole, not on the basis of his otherwise sound reasoning.

about a week ago

Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

jenningsthecat What we need is viable storage and maintenance, (113 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.

about two weeks ago

Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

jenningsthecat Speaking as a Canadian, (324 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.

about two weeks ago

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

jenningsthecat Re:confused (358 comments)

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

about two weeks ago

Dremel Releases 3D Printer

jenningsthecat Re:Too expensive (105 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.

about two weeks ago

Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

jenningsthecat Re:Does HFCS count? (294 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

about two weeks ago

What To Expect With Windows 9

jenningsthecat Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (545 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.

about two weeks 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 two weeks 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 three 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 and a half 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 2 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  |  about 5 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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