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Comments

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Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

jenningsthecat Optimize the process? (134 comments)

...both copyright holders, Internet service providers, and other parties are examining what they can do to optimize the process.

The solution is not to optimize the process. The solution is to scrap the process, and the DMCA along with it.

9 hours ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

jenningsthecat Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (300 comments)

...If only there was a Debian based distribution which did not force the systemd into their users.

Ubuntu doesn't use systemd. Yes, I know it might be a stretch these days to call it "Debian based", but at least it still uses Debian packages, and I've even pulled stuff in from Debian repos with no trouble so far. I've uninstalled the cutesy 'Software Center', and I either use apt/aptitude from the command line, or Synaptic, depending on what I'm doing. My Xubuntu setup 'feels' very 'Debian' to me, without the downside of systemd.

10 hours ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

jenningsthecat Re:Go back to Debian stable... (300 comments)

why I haven't addressed your specific issue with networking? I have no idea what it might be and without lots more detail -totally out of the purview of this forum- no one would.

Thanks, but I wasn't looking for that anyway. I used to love doing things TO my computer, but I've gotten to the stage where I'd rather concentrate on doing stuff WITH it, and I no longer have much patience for tracking down this kind of problem. Changing to Xubuntu was simpler, and aside from the Windows-like rebooting after updates, it's been pretty good.

10 hours ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

jenningsthecat Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (300 comments)

Missing a driver for new hardware is hardly limited to Linux... An alternative approach is to use a well supported USB network adapter to complete the install, then load an out of tree driver for the network hardware.

I considered doing that so I could install Wheezy, but I didn't really want to jump through hoops to install an older version that would have required me to try backporting for the newer versions of Kicad. And in Wheezy, Suspend functionality didn't even work on my old box, so I wasn't keen to try it on a new one.

As for Jessie, it's called testing for a reason :-)

I know, I know... But I ran what became Squeeze and Wheezy when they had only spent a few months in Testing, and I only ever had minor issues, so I came to think of Testing as being pretty solid. I guess I got complacent...

10 hours ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

jenningsthecat Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (300 comments)

I had already long-ago banished Pulse from my system - I've never liked it and always had problems with it. (Not surprising that systemd and pulseaudio are from the same developer). Anyway, I actually got desperate enough to ADD pulseaudio to try to fix the audio. It restored functionality in some programs but not others, and I was unable to sort out the 'default device' problems. (Not that I was too motivated - having broken two critical functions with one update had soured me on Jessie).

And now I'm on Xubuntu, which comes with Pulse installed by default. I don,t love it, but sound works now so I'm inclined not to dick with it.

10 hours ago
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Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat Re:Only 120mph!?!?! and its a Supercar???? (3 comments)

Yeah, I too have my doubts about a top speed of 120; OTOH, where ya gonna get anywhere near that unless you have a track or a willingness to risk losing your licence? But 0-60 in 3.4 is pretty neck-snapping acceleration. Then again, for $500K I'd rather hear a roar than a whine...

10 hours ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

jenningsthecat Re:Expert?? (433 comments)

Engineering is merely the slow younger brother of physics.

Robert Heinlein defined the difference between a physicist and an engineer as something like this - warning, mild misogyny ahead:

"Put an engineer and a physicist across the room from a beautiful woman, and tell them that if they approach the woman each step must be no larger than half the distance of the previous step. The physicist gives up because he knows he can never reach her, while the engineer starts walking because he knows he can get close enough for all practical purposes".

I once worked for an engineer who previously had a physicist working for him. The physicist couldn't understand why a couple of 6-volt lantern batteries in series wouldn't start his car - after all, they were putting out 12 volts...

2 days ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

jenningsthecat Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (300 comments)

There's more than one Linux, and it's very easy to choose a stable distro that doesn't live on the bleeding edge.

Do you mean like Debian Testing, (Jessie), that broke both my sound and my ability to suspend during the last dist-upgrade? Or do you mean like Debian Stable, (Wheezy), which won't work with my wired network hardware so I can't even install it in my new machine without a bunch of CD's and a few prayers? Or perhaps you mean Ubuntu, (I moved to Xubuntu when I got fed up with trying to get Debian working), which prompts me to reboot after updates a couple of times a week like some crappy Windows box?

I don't think I could ever really go back to Windows, (especially given my recent experiences with 8.1 on my GF's new laplet), but recently there have been days when I've toyed with the idea...

2 days ago
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Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

jenningsthecat Re:Try it! (226 comments)

Your lawyers and their lawyers can argue about fair use, while your bank account is drained.

That's why we need crowdfunding campaigns in the 'free' world that are directed at collecting money to fight 'everything you see are belong to us' law suits like the one this bit of nonsense is just begging for. And while we're at it maybe we can crowdfund campaigns to convince people to boycott organizations run by shitheads who try to claim ownership of the whole world by raising their hind legs and pissing on everything in sight like dogs that need obedience training.

BTW, the irony of a crowdfunding campaign to convince the crowd to do something is not lost on me.

5 days ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

jenningsthecat Stuff that matters? (220 comments)

I suppose this qualifies as News for Nerds, but really, don't we have better things to talk about than the "premium feel" of a gadget? I don't see much in the way of fun so far in the comments, and it's not like this latest bit of shiny is going to have any significant impact on anyone beyond Samsung's shareholders.

TFA seems more like a Slashvertisement than a news piece to me.

about a week ago
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The Danger of Over-Reliance on the Net

jenningsthecat Chicken and egg situation (2 comments)

While I agree that the loss of the 'Net could be part of the regression to a Dark Age, I suspect that it would be a secondary symptom and a component of a cascade failure of civilisation, rather than a precipitant. Even if major solar activity took down most of the Web and destroyed a lot of the infrastructure, we would be in a position to re-build it. It would cost us a lot of productivity and lives, but I think we'd return to the status quo fairly quickly.

On the other hand, the worldwide socio-political situation is highly unstable and getting worse. The result of this turmoil could eventually be the loss of a major portion of 'Net connectivity, and this would hasten the descent into further chaos from which we might not recover for decades or perhaps centuries.

So really, I think the scenario you're suggesting is a kind of a chicken and egg proposition. Personally, I'd like to see humankind concentrate on economic/social/political stability first. If we can get our shit together on that front we'll be less vulnerable to disasters such as the loss of critical infrastructure. As it stands I feel we're at a tipping point. Any major disaster - a world-wide plague or environmental catastrophe, or yes, the loss of the Internet, could put us over the edge.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

jenningsthecat Re: +1 for this Post (426 comments)

No one seems to take the other approach--raspberry pi with hostapd. You can do whatever you want with it then, including anything beyond simply routing and firewalling.

You can also do something you probably DON'T want to do with it, namely waiting for what seems an eternity while it reboots on those occasions when a reset is required or you have a brief power failure.

about two weeks ago
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City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

jenningsthecat Re:Fascist justice (133 comments)

...miniscule is too a word, stupid spellbot...

'minuscule', (with a 'u'), is the original spelling, and is still preferred: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...

about two weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

jenningsthecat Re:Good, I say (502 comments)

Anything that reduces the average home owner's reliance on the grid is good in my book...especially as the infrastructure is so dated and fragile.

Dated and fragile? Where on earth do you get that impression?... The technology of power transmission hasn't fundamentally changed in 100 years...

You said it yourself - the technology hasn't changed in 100 years. It was never designed with terrorism and climate change in mind. To continue relying on a grid that is vulnerable to cascade failures and can be taken down by an ice storm, (or a few well-placed bombs), thereby rendering a large part of the continent powerless, is silly and irresponsible.

Sure, continuous improvements are being made to the grid, and tech advances are making it more reliable and less vulnerable. But the complexity of the newer control systems constitue their own Achilles heel - see 'requisite variety' to understand why. The grid will never be as resilient and fault tolerant as widespread local power generating capacity will be.

Add in the fact that distributing solar capacity is more efficient than centralizing it, then consider the carbon footprint of coal-fired plants, and solar plus batteries starts to look damned good.

about two weeks ago
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Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

jenningsthecat Re:Bad summary of two separate issues (200 comments)

uhm, you forget all of these agencies report to the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave...

Yes, but doesn't the guy at 1600 report to the corporations and special interest groups? Truman probably didn't, but Obama, (along with most presidents since Kennedy), probably does.

about three weeks ago
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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

jenningsthecat Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (144 comments)

...I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film...

Funny, I've always thought exactly the opposite. When I read it I can visualize the movie scenes in my head, and I almost feel I could write a screenplay from it, even though I've never written one before. I can't think of any other novel that I've had that response to - especially ones written by Dick.

about three weeks ago
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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

jenningsthecat Re:Heck, we probably already fund them (125 comments)

Anyone who says Israel have left Hamas no choice is both morally _and_ intellectually bankrupt !!

You didn't watch the video, did you, Mr. Anonymous Coward? The guy in it is the son of an Israeli general who was pretty much a hero to the Israelis, and who in his later life became devoted to the cause of peace and was very much against Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. His son, (the guy in the video), lost a beloved 14-year-old niece in a Palestinian attack, yet he is critical of his own government's role in the environment that led to her death, and has managed to make friends among the Palestinians.

These are people who have a serious amount of skin in this game, yet they have risen above their own knee-jerk reactions, thrown off the propaganda they've been exposed to, and made a hard choice to try to heal the wounds and bury the hatchet. Sure, Hamas' actions are evil - but can you see that your actions might be over the top if you were forced into the shit-end of an apartheid relationship and saw your children not having enough food, water, and education as a result? If you had decades of being demeaned and treated as second-class citizens, with the same for your kids, with no end in sight?

The point here is not about who's right, who's wrong, who's better, who's worse. It's about atrocities having been committed by both parties, and about stopping that shit for the good of all of us. It's easy to stand on the sidelines and engage in name-calling. It's hard to get on the battlefield and fight. But the hardest thing by far is to forgive and to try to move forward when some of the bodies on the field belong to your family. The world needs more people who choose the hardest road - I hope I never have to make that choice, but if I do, I sure as hell hope that I take the hardest path.

Responses like yours only serve to escalate conflicts, add fuel to a fire that's already out of control, and encourage propagandists and tyrants. And don't assume that you'd be so different from Hamas if you were put into the same situation. Desperation makes people do things they never thought they would or could, and I seriously doubt you're very much different from the rest of us in that regard.

about three weeks ago
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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

jenningsthecat Re:Heck, we probably already fund them (125 comments)

...Hamas really is "the bad guys"...

Did you ever stop to wonder if perhaps Hamas are "bad guys" because the Israelis have really left them no choice?

If you watch the entire video while maintaining a little intellectual honesty, you won't be so quick to condemn Hamas as being so much worse than the Israelis. There's plenty of evil in that region, and Israel is both directly and indirectly responsible for a very large part of it.

about a month ago
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Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

jenningsthecat Re:Latest version (194 comments)

FF31 has just been released AFAIK

So whats new (or broken) in FF31 - should I upgrade from FF30 ?

Unless you like Australis, you may want to 'upgrade' to Pale Moon 24.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  12 hours 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  |  5 days 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 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 2 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  |  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
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Google proposes music store, music locker

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 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  |  about 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  |  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:

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  |  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:

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  |  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 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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