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Comments

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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

jenningsthecat An idea for repurposing prisons (407 comments)

The story before this one is about the best use of data centre space; the juxtaposition made me wonder if prisons might make good data centres. I know adding the wiring and cooling to a building not designed for it might be a challenge, but at least a lot of the security requirements are already present. Just a thought...

about a week ago
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Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

jenningsthecat Re:Analog displays are better in some situations. (155 comments)

Digital meters don't have the slow response that d'Arsonval meter movements have, unless extra circuitry is added. The inertia and magnetic delay of old-fashioned electro-mechanical meters naturally filter fast variations in the signal, and can result in a useful reading in cicumstances where the average digital meter produces a garbage reading. Of course, it's also good to know when a signal is noisy or jumpy...

I use digital meters exclusively these days - they're convenient, rugged, light, and have a higher input impedance and better resistance reading capabilities than all but the very best of the old analog FET-VOM's. But every once in a while I wish I had a well-damped analog meter to save me from dragging out the scope.

about two weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

jenningsthecat We really need a different word for this behaviour (726 comments)

In the context of the Internet, the word "troll" used to mean, (according to Wikipedia):

"...a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

The campaign that Kathy Sierra was a victim of goes far, far beyond this. How does it make sense that one word is used to describe such a wide range of behaviour? It's like calling a violent rapist a 'cad'. Trolls, (in the original sense of the word), are assholes. Auernheimer and his associates exhibited obsessive, psychopathic, downright evil behaviour and attitudes. We should never equate mere assholes and psychopaths - doing so trivializes destructive psychopathic behaviour while making assholery seem much worse than it really is. And the latter is perhaps more dangerous; it gives authorities one more excuse for implementing draconian laws in response to minor social infractions.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

jenningsthecat Re:Slashdot Response (774 comments)

My response is this: Why is this not just its own thing? Why does it have to be apart of systemd?

I've been asking myself the same question. I'd love it if somebody knowledgeable would give a credible answer.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

jenningsthecat Re:Slashdot Response (774 comments)

Slashdot Comments: NOOOO! Why is Lennart taking away my freedoms! I'm switching to BSD. It has gotten pretty clear that a lot of the hatred for systemd has nothing to do with the technical merits...

I have this wonderful big wooden horse on wheels that I'm going to park in your back yard. Pay no attention to the noises coming from inside it. What's that? You don't want it? Sorry, it's already there, and it's now holding up your house...

I agree that "a lot of the hatred for systemd has nothing to do with the technical merits"; but I think it's also fair to say that a lot of the criticism is legitimate. It seems a major portion of the Linux ecosystem is being turned into something like Debian Sid - and a lot of people don't want their toys broken arbitrarily.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

jenningsthecat Re:Why do people care so much? (774 comments)

...>systemd brings order and consistency. None of the kernel devs are bothered about the change, and most already use it. Whether you like it or not, it is now the de-facto management for all of the major distros for new installs.

Don't like it? No one cares what you think.

Is that you, Lennart?

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

jenningsthecat Targeted ads counterproductive? (249 comments)

I've always maintained that a large part of advertising's influence extends way beyond the purchase of specific products. It creates a context and a culture of expectation, desire, and need, such that an advertisement for one product may in fact sub-consciously prompt you to buy another, entirely different kind of product. If advertisers are pissing off buyers with targeted ads for items already purchased, aren't they poisoning the entire advertising ecosystem, both for themselves and for other advertisers?

about two weeks ago
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Michigan Builds Driverless Town For Testing Autonomous Cars

jenningsthecat The real test of driverless cars (86 comments)

The article is pretty short on details, but implies that the only cars in the test bed will be driverless. It strikes me that a better test would be a mix of driven and driverless cars, since that scenario is both more complex and more realistic. Algorithms developed and perfected in a 'simulated' real world stand a very good chance of falling apart in the 'real' real world - after all, public roads aren't going to be *totally* driverless for a long, long time.

about two weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

jenningsthecat Re:Simple answer (942 comments)

Beyond the reason of "I didn't write it", what was wrong with the comment that was already there which asked the same thing, to which replies have actually been left,...

I apologise if my comment was a repeat of an earlier one. If it was a repeat, then I simply missed the earlier comment. I regularly start out to post a comment, see that somebody else has said essentially the same thing, get annoyed that somebody beat me to the punch, then refrain from posting - but I'm not gonna catch 'em all, especially if they were posted while I was still composing mine, or if there are already a lot of comments.

...and is this a sock puppet to the account with the mod point that your comment received?

Nope. I don't do the sock puppet thing, (never have, it's just not my style), and I only have one Slashdot account.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

jenningsthecat Why governments hate this so much (651 comments)

Of all the politicians bleating about the dangers of home-made untraceable weapons, and (probably) exhorting us to 'think of the children', how many of them are motivated primarily by concern for their fellow man? I'm betting it's at least a minority, and perhaps a vanishingly small one. No, I think most of them are reacting primarily out of fear - fear of losing their power over the citizenry; fear of primal, animalistic human urges that they want to see only on football fields and battlefields; and fear for their own skins.

I'm very much anti-gun and am strongly in favour of gun control. As a Canadian I contrast the level of gun violence here with that in the US and am thankful my country's traditions are so different. I really don't want to live in a crazy, bullet-riddled land. But in the face of rapidly-growing government power, and rampant governmental abuses of citizens, I'm starting to see the wisdom of people having access to guns. I'd like to think we can find a better way though.

about three weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

jenningsthecat Re:Simple answer (942 comments)

...The very point of the Fahrenheit scale is its comprehensibility, and it is indeed good for that...

Beyond the reason of 'that's what I grew up with', how is the Fahrenheit scale more comprehensible than the Celsius scale?

about three weeks ago
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eBay To Spin Off PayPal

jenningsthecat So eBay would survive (76 comments)

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

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

jenningsthecat Re:Science is not about trust (460 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?

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

jenningsthecat Re:Maybe these people.. (460 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.

about three weeks ago
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When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

jenningsthecat Why hacking and making are so important (175 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...

about three weeks ago
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Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory

jenningsthecat Re:Webmail (116 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.

about three weeks ago
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Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

jenningsthecat Re:Second the recommendation (267 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.

about three weeks ago
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Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

jenningsthecat Second the recommendation (267 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.

about three weeks ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

jenningsthecat Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 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.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 months 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?"
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Overzealous Management Corp Removes, Impounds Bicycles Parked on Public Property

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 months 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."
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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"
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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?"
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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."
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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!"
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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
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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 — http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=truancy). 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
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"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
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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
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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
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Meta-research debunks medical study findings

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 4 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
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Google proposes music store, music locker

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 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?"
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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?)"
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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:

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

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!"
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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):

http://www.4psmarketing.com/googles-results-vary.html

http://www.askdavetaylor.com/google_search_results_vary_based_on_which_computer_i_use.html

http://www.windmeadow.com/node/36

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1162050

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')"
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Canadian TV Networks, Carriers duke it out

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 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:

http://localtvmatters.ca/

http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/

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."
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Could you be risking your unemployment benefits?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 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:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/07/blogger-google-unemployment-personal-finance-google-adsense.html

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."
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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 http://www.competitivebroadband.com/ 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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