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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

vivaoporto Subject bait (379 comments)

This post (like the one with the Brazuca for the World Cup) is certainly subject bait. It works because it attracts lots of tangentially on topic comments but that doesn't have anything to do with the subject matter of the article.

So please, don't fall for it. Don't spend the whole comment section arguing about causes and consequences of the conflict, who started it, who deserves is, etc.

Stay on topic and discuss the technical aspects of the missile system, at least that is what should be discussed here.

On bizarro world Slashdot, maybe ...

about a month ago
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Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

vivaoporto Long and drawn-out death but will be missed (71 comments)

Orkut is dead a long time ago but it was not always this cesspool of spam, chain letters and filth. Once upon a time it was a cool project.....

In the best of my recollection, once upon a time, in 2004, Orkut (the site) was nothing but a 20% project of some Orkut Buyukkokten dude on Google. It had a simple goal: to connect Orkut (the dude) with his close friend and to map the whole six degrees of separation thing. In an era of the web development when breadcrumbs where not in vogue Orkut (the site) had it, even two: one with the degrees of separation between you and whoever profile you were viewing (through your common friends network) and the other with the degrees of separation between you and Orkut (the dude).

And in the very beginning it worked because it was invite only and that made the invitees to be more or less part of the same socioeconomic and cultural background (even among countries). Orkut (the dude) invited his pals on Google Campus and on Stanford. Some Stanford dude invited some Brazilian dude on a federal university (UFRGS), who invited his pals on campus, who invited some pals on other federal universities (UTMG, UFV, UFRJ) and, in the invite only degrees of separation phase, everything was good and beautiful.

Everybody knew everybody else, connections were forged, Adam Rifkin gamed the system, some robot put people in jail, baby animals got lasers and everybody partied hard.

The it died, the cool kids moved away either to Facebook or completely away from public social networks. Now get off my lawn!

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

vivaoporto Re:Linux soon? (202 comments)

The organisation mentioned question is W3C, the one that approved the EME standard.

That Mozilla would cave and compromise their own mission is a natural consequence of the Prisoner Dilemma caused by this decision, It is further proof that facilitating DRM has a negative effect in organisations whose missions involve freedom instead of short term convenience.

about 3 months ago
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Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

vivaoporto Re:Linux soon? (202 comments)

Nothing will be compromised, because the distributions for people who care about FreedomLibre(tm) or whatever we're calling it this week will offer builds without the feature, perhaps exclusively.

True, but that is not the point being presented there. The concern is if it is appropriate for an organization whose primary goal is to make the benefits of the social value of the Web "available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability" go out of its way to enable an application that is inherently contradictory to that goal?

Because its existence threatens your non-DRM'ed media how?

Not at all. But on the other hand, if it doesn't advance the very reason for the group to exist, what is the motivation to include it in the standard at all? It is not only up to the developers, the stated purpose of the group is to advance a Web that is "FreedomLibre(tm) or whatever we're calling it this week".

about 3 months ago
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Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

vivaoporto Re:Linux soon? (202 comments)

Yeah, to voluntarily compromise on another freedom so people from the following areas can watch Netflix online: United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Nordic countries.

Because without it nobody would ever put videos online.

about 3 months ago
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To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

vivaoporto Re:Interstitials - on mobile! (199 comments)

To clarify, the above post refers to the ads on Slashdot when browsing on mobile, not necessarily interstitials.

about 3 months ago
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To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

vivaoporto Re:Interstitials - on mobile! (199 comments)

In some cases

For instance here on Slashdot. On Safari (for iPhone) it tries (and fails miserably) to occupy the whole bottom of the page, all over over the comments. If you zoom in it grows and occupies an even bigger slice of the screen, and on landscape mode it overflows outside the screen, to the right, preventing you from clicking the close button.

The close button is very very small and the hitbox is ridiculous, if you hit anything outside it doesn't count. If you hit anything below it it opens the ad. I can only hit it touching with the very very very tip of the finger, almost with the nail.

Every once in a while an auto playing video comes up. I didn't even knew it was possible, first time it ever came to me in an ad, many years, several iterations of IOS and slashdot was the first site to show me an auto playing video ad on mobile. On a limited plan 3G connection!

But the more annoying feature: it shows even with Ads Disabled.

Thanks again for helping make Slashdot great!

Yeah, right! Who needs enemies with friends like these. The fact it shows even with Ads Disabled (on Safari for IOS but not on Safari for Mac) implies it is an attempt to cash in on the mobile revenue, "user experience" be damned.

about 3 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

vivaoporto Commits code changes automatically (521 comments)

My IDE commits code changes automatically

TFA doesn't mention this and, if the summary writer meant "commit" as in version control commit, this would be a killer bug in the whole process.

Version control is not meant to be used as a backup, every commit should be deliberate, reviewed and well explained in the comments. Vide the post mortem of the heartbleed bug (or many other similar ones).

about 3 months ago
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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

vivaoporto Dupe (415 comments)

Dupe from a couple of months ago: Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In Posted by timothy on Saturday March 01, 2014

Time to copy all high moderated posts from the older article. Actually, there is no need: given that the purpose of posting this article is to bring the echo chamber rambling that this is why apple suck, simply posting "that's why I don't have an iPhone" is enough for +5 insightful.

about 3 months ago
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

vivaoporto Implying Slashdot isn't guilty of the same charges (180 comments)

And to cleanse yourself of the ads with autoplaying sound, you can visit the GitHub page itself.

Implying Slashdot isn't equally guilty of the same damn charge. About a week ago, while indulging myself in my daily fix while on my cellphone, I'll be damned if an ad on this very site (Slashdot) not only showed a video ad but the damn thing even autoplayed. I was not logged in at that moment so I can't confirm if it would have affected me while logged in.

This kind of behaviour is not only damn annoying but also use my precious (expensive and limited) 3G limit.

Damn Slashdot, for sure that's not the way to monetize the site. Mobile users surely get abused these days, and then when someone figures how to make an effective and pervasise ad blocker for all mobile OS the industry will come crying "we have no way to monetize the site now".

Behave now or suffer later.

about 4 months ago
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Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse

vivaoporto On this trend of supressing the right to protest (233 comments)

Creating draconian laws to supress the right to peaceful assemble and protest is an increasing (and worrying) trend.

It happens all across the globe and it is mostly as a reactive mechanism from the governments against the number of massive popular protests facilitated (but not created or organized) by the social media.

Some examples of these protests (there are others, these are from the top of my head):

February 15, 2003 anti-war protest: The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world in which people in more than 600 cities expressing opposition to the imminent Iraq War. (...) According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million.

The 2011 Egyptian protests (better known by the "Tahrir Square" protests): In February 1st alone "[t]he BBC reported the number of protesters in Tahrir Square ranged from "more than 100,000 to some 250,000-the square's maximum capacity." Egyptian security forces stated that 500,000 people participated in the protests in Cairo alone."

2011-12 Spanish protests (The "indignados"): According to statistics published by RTVE, the Spanish public broadcasting company, between 6.5 and 8 million Spaniards have participated in these protests:

2013 protests in Brazil: In June 20 alone "Protests in over 100 cities around the country rallied over 2 million people."

2013 protests in Turkey: 3.5 million of Turkey's 80 million people are estimated to have taken part in almost 5000 demonstrations across Turkey connected with the original Gezi Park protest.

Some governments like the Syrian, the Bahraini and the new (same as old) Egyptian did not tolerate and supressed with enormous amount of brutality in the very beggining their (then) peaceful protests that were organized in a similar fashion than the ones mentioned above.

The rest of the world governments watched and understood that they cannot afford the risk to let some small local matter (like increasing the bus fare in some cities in Brasil, or cutting down some trees in Turkey) to become the catalyst to mass protests.

Measures like these in Ukraine will happen more and more and won't be limited to countries with nascent democracies (like Ukraine) or repressive dictactorships (like Syria). In Spain proposals were already made to criminalize and regulate forms of protest. Thailand invoked "security laws" to curb theirs.

And without a doubt most other countries, eastern and western alike, will change their legislations, enact new laws and enforce old ones to ensure one thing: that the massive indignation and lack of confidence in the democratic process won't become a full blown revolution.

about 6 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

vivaoporto Re:Needs a lancher api. (1009 comments)

IIRC it already does.

Despite of that I believe there are plenty of dependencies and assumptions by the other software running in the machine that explorer.exe is the installed shell that it is not realistic that the replacement would be without issues.

about 7 months ago
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CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

vivaoporto Re:The internet is for porn (152 comments)

That would be the least of the concerns. Just imagine if they accidentally train it to the /b/ images.

"Oh God, what have I done!"

about 9 months ago
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Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

vivaoporto About talking to cops and the fifth ammendment (871 comments)

About talking to cops and the fifth ammendment, it is a good thing you have there in America, the right to remain silent is one of the few thin lines that separates your country from situations like this

Yet "police throughout [Iraq] continued to use abusive and coerced confessions as methods of investigations," the State Department cites in its latest report, adding, "Credible accounts of abuse and torture during arrest and investigation, in pretrial detention, and after conviction, particularly by police and army were common." The State Department says former prisoners, detainees and human rights groups detail methods including "stress positions, beatings, broken fingers, electric shocks, suffocation, burning, removal of fingernails, suspension from the ceiling, overextending the spine, beatings on the soles of the feet with plastic and metal rods, forcing victims to drink large quantities of water then preventing urination, sexual assault, denial of medical treatment, and death threats."

Confessions have long been a deliberate element in Iraqi justice, both before and after Saddam's rule. The justice system, based largely on Islamic and tribal tradition, has always placed the importance of confessions above other types of considered evidence. Here, it's called the Master of the Evidence, similar to the Latin phrase Confession est regina probationum, or "Confession is the queen of proofs," which justified the use of forced confessions during the Middle Ages.

Denying the state the incentive of extracting a confession "by any means necessary" is one of the best gifts your founding fathers left for you. Removing that safeguard from your justice system will certainly be detrimental. You may think it will never be used against the innocent but one should never forget the famous quotation by H. L. Mencken:

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

about 10 months ago
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Silk Road Shut Down, Founder Arrested, $3.6 Million Worth of Bitcoin Seized

vivaoporto Re:HOW?? (620 comments)

Actually, considering what was revealed on a previous article (DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA)

"The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated"

it is more likely than not that a very clear paper trail will be shown that it all happened by good old fashioned police investigation as you described.

It doesn't mean it was not obtained with an illicit program to begin with, only that they were able to cross the "t"s an dot the "i"s later.

about a year ago
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Why Is Microsoft Setting More Money On Fire With Surface 2?

vivaoporto That reminds me of that Monty Python scene (616 comments)

That reminds me of that Monty Python famous scene

Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what you're gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands.

Seems like that's all Steve Ballmer will leave to his heir at Microsoft

about a year ago
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Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS

vivaoporto Obligatory (510 comments)

But does it run Windows?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Creating New Online Accounts Reduce Privacy Risks?

vivaoporto That's nonsense (164 comments)

First: it only take one of your FB friends to tag a picture of you with your new profile that were tagged before in your old profile to link both accounts.

Second: why would you trust FB (or any other third party service, anyway) with your information if you want it to keep private? Social networking (and the internet in general) is for publication of info (with emphasis in the "public" part of publication).

Bottom line: keep your private things in your own disk, not in a service designed to share content with as many people as you can.

about a year ago
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Fukushima Daiichi Water Leak Raised To Level 3 Severity

vivaoporto The fate of the 1997 workers (92 comments)

Japanese experienced a level-3 nuclear event in 1997 with the fire and explosions at a fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture. 37 workers there were exposed to the leaked radioactive substances.

What was the fate of the 1997 workers exposed like that? That would be a good way to assess what kind of consequences we could expect from the current incident,

about a year ago
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Security Community Raises $12k For Researcher Snubbed By Facebook

vivaoporto Re:Probably pointless (95 comments)

Violating JSTOR's terms of service landed Aaron Swartz in a world of trouble, seems like it's enough to get you a dozen of felony indictments nowadays

about a year ago

Submissions

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Inside the precision hack

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

vivaoporto (1064484) writes "As the poll is closed and the votes are tallied, Time.com releases the result for its "World most influential person". The stunning result: moot. Ahead of heavy weights like Obama, Dalai Lama and Vladimir Puting, the founder and owner of the site the must not be named (Rules 1 and 2, respectively) was elected with 16,794,368 votes, an order of magnitude ahead of the second place.

The explanation for this unlikely turn of events is explained in a fine piece of investigative journalism called Inside the precision hack, that unveils the whole plot from the desire to give the victory to moot to the fine grained adjustment in the initial of the 21 most voted, in order to spell: "MARBLE CAKE ALSO THE GAME", an in joke in the inner circle of moot's creation."

Link to Original Source
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Parents unaware of son's 60-foot phallus

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Race of Champions em Portugal writes "Several sources such as UPI.com, Air America Media and the The Telegraph reports that a man in the British town of Hungerford and his wife were unaware their teenage son had painted a 60-foot phallus on their home's roof.

Rory McInnes, the 18-year-old son, was inspired after watching a television program about Google Earth. Even though web surfers could view the image from satellites using the Google Earth software, Rory's parents were not aware of the painting until a pilot called The Sun newspaper, which then contacted Rory's father. Mr McInnes, 54, a company director, thought the newspaper was having a joke.

"When Rory gets home he will be given a scrubbing brush and white spirit and he can go and scrub it off" McInnes said of the punishment awaiting his son, who is currently in Brazil on a gap year."

Link to Original Source
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Warner Bros launches "made-to-order" DVD s

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Race of Champions em Portugal writes "According to LA Times, Reuters and The New York Times, Warner Bros is now the first studio to open its film vault to "made-to-order" DVDs. At warnerarchive.com, the studio is now selling about 150 movies from its library, and they can be ordered directly for $19.95 each.

The on-demand service allows Warner Bros. to avoid the risk of manufacturing too many copies of old or obscure titles and shipping them to retailers because customers directly order only the titles they want to buy. The consumer who visits the site initially will find 150 classic titles from Warner Bros. Pictures, MGM and RKO that each can be ordered either as a computer download ($14.95) or as a DVD ($19.95) that arrives in the mailbox approximately five days after purchase."
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Internet explorer 8 to be released today

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

web design em portugal writes "As reported by multiple news outlets like CNET, CNN Money, PC Magazine, Computerworld, among others, Microsoft will release Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) at 9 a.m. PDT today at the MIX09 conference for Web developers and designers, in Las Vegas.

Among its new features are an attempt to provide better standard compliance, greater control over whether to save or erase the browsing history (porn mode), the Smart Address bar (equivalent to Firefox Awesome Bar). But maybe the best new feature (for web developers, at least) is that it pushes Internet Explorer 6 even further down, freeing the world of that less capable, less secure and quirk prone browser."
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30GB Zunes Failing Everywhere, All At Once

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Web design em Portugal writes "According to Gizmodo, the 30GB model of the Microsoft music player Zune "began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless. (...) The evidence seems to point to a software glitch, but simple resets aren't providing any relief."

"Zune frozen", "reset zune" and "zune troubleshooting" are the top 3 Google Trends right now, what lends credibility that this is a widespread phenomenon."
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Free Ride to Venus, Anyone?

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Webdesign em Portugal writes "Arstechnica reports that the Japanese Space Agency is now accepting proposals for a microprobe that will accompany the launch of their upcoming mission to Venus. They will provide a free ride on their rocket that will put your hardware on a trajectory towards Venus as long as you give them a probe that pass all of their requirements."
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Babies show 'social intelligence'

vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

vivaoporto writes "At the age of six months, most babies have barely learnt to sit up, let alone crawl, walk or talk. But, according to new research, they can already assess someone's intentions towards them, deciding who is a likely friend or enemy.

"By six months, babies have learnt quite a lot and they are taking things in," said Kiley Hamlin, lead author of the research. "We can't say that it is hard-wired (exists in a newborn baby) but we can say it is pre-linguistic and pre-explicit teaching," she told BBC News.

"The babies were sat on their parents' laps and shown a display representing a character trying to climb a hill. The climbing character, which had eyes to make it human-like, was either knocked down the hill by an unhelpful character (a toy of a different shape and color) or pushed up the hill by a helper cartoon figure (another shape and color)," the research noted."

Link to Original Source
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "Film rental firm Blockbuster is to rent high-definition DVDs in the Blu-ray format only at 1,450 of its US stores.

The move is viewed as a blow for the rival Toshiba-backed HD DVD format — which has been battling against the Blu-ray format, supported by Sony.

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group said Blockbuster's move was short sighted, and had been prompted by the success of films released exclusively in the Blu-ray format in early 2007 such as Casino Royale and Spider Man."

Link to Original Source
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "Reuters reports that Texas police arrested seven convicted sex offenders after MySpace handed over identity details about the former members of the Internet social network. The arrests, which occurred over a two-week period, come after authorities in several states asked MySpace to hand over information on convicted sex offenders. MySpace began working with authorities in May after tense negotiations over the legality of divulging its users' information. Most states require convicted sex offenders to register their contact information with local authorities after being released from prison. Lawmakers are now pushing for the registration of valid e-mail addresses as part of the requirement."
Link to Original Source
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "The U.S. Department of Defense said it will block worldwide access to 13 websites including MySpace and YouTube Today from the unclassified defense Department Internet(NIPRNet), according to media reports.

The ban, which takes place immediately, actually was imposed in February and was not prompted by any event or study, according to Army Col. Gary Keck, a Defense Department spokesman. He confirmed that bandwidth was the issue and said the decision is "not about content."

The new policy takes effect as the military has, ironically, aggressively turned to YouTube as a means of broadcasting what it considers to be the more positive aspects of its work in Iraq and Afghanistan as a way of countering what it considers to be negative news coverage.

The sites blocked by the Defense Department: MySpace, YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, BlackPlanet, hi5, Photobucket, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm and Live365."
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "Employees at Google's New York offices can rest easier now that Kaiser, a 3-foot-long ball python, has been captured after disappearing from his tank on Sunday, a Google spokeswoman said yesterday.

"What you have heard is true and was not an April Fool's Day joke," spokeswoman Ellen West told PC Advisor's sister title Computerworld US. "One of our Googlers lost a pet python named Kaiser in our New York office over the weekend. We are pleased to report that Kaiser was located in the office last night, Monday, 2 April. Kaiser was taken home by his owner and is no longer in the building."

Related articles on CNN Money and MSNBC sites."
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "Joshua Wolf, the freelance videographer (previously interviewed here on Slashdot) who served the longest prison term for a journalist refusing to testify to a grand jury is expected to be freed from federal prison. After reaching a deal with prosecutors, he could be freed as soon as today after posting online unaired videotape that he had refused to give federal authorities, said defense lawyer David Greene.

Under an agreement announced by Wolf's attorneys, he will not have to testify to the grand jury or identify any of the protesters shown in his video. More details here."
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto (1064484) writes "Just a few short weeks after Marvel killed off Captain America, Newyorkbusiness.com reports that Marvel unveiled plans for a $1B theme park in Dubai. Marvel is building the part with help of a regional firm, Al Ahli Group, and negotiations have been underway for the past two years. Is it possible that Cap, an icon of Americana, was killed off so there would be no American overtones to the park? Let's face it — most of Marvel's other heros could appear on any national background with little change, but good old Captain America may just be too much for an international marketplace — especially in the Mideast today. Did our current involvement in the Mideast force Marvel to kill off Cap? What do /.ers think?""
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "The Beta version of the popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu 7.04, was released today. Codenamed Feisty Fawn, the CD images can be downloaded from the Canonical Servers, and the final version is due to be released next month. Get it while it's hot! Read more about it on the official wiki"
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vivaoporto vivaoporto writes  |  more than 7 years ago

vivaoporto writes "As seen on Forbes, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, the four broadcast conglomerates (Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications and Citadel Broadcasting), which together own more than 1,500 stations, have agreed to pay hefty fines and to provide air time for local artists and independent record labels. as a settlement with the FCC. The radio chains, which didn't admit wrongdoing, are to pay a collective $12.5 million in fines and dedicate a total of 8,400 half-hour segments to independent music over the next three years. (Indie labels, for purposes of the settlement, are those not owned or controlled by one of the nation's four dominant music labels — Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Group)"

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