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Submission + - SPAM: Québec politician vows to nationalize internet

Pig Hogger writes: Québec (Canada) official opposition Parti-Québécois leadership candidate Martine Ouellet says that she would nationalize ISPs if they fail to be able to deliver consistent high-speed (in the gigabit range) for an affordable price.
It is, however, doubtful that they would be able to achieve this, because in Canada, telecommunications are solely regulated by the federal government.
But, nevertheless, it’s a good acknowledgement that Internet is being recognized as a necessity.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Canadian Medical Association completes divestment from fossil fuels

mdsolar writes: The Canadian Medical Association’s General Council, held last week in Vancouver, may well be remembered as the moment that Canadian MDs made climate change — dubbed “the biggest health threat of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization — a priority.

First, the diagnosis of climate change as a health emergency was laid out in detail by one of Canada’s most well-respected doctors, Dr. James Orbinski, who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) in 1999. The Canadian Medical Association then confirmed it had in fact completed the divestment of its organizational funds from fossil fuels.

The meeting kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. Orbinski, one of Canada’s most noted humanitarians. “There is no question that climate change is the biggest health threat of our time,” he said, adding that "we cannot possibly live, we cannot possibly survive, we cannot possibly thrive” without a functioning biosphere. He spoke of the disproportionate impacts on Canada’s North, where temperature increases are already in the range of three degrees Celsius, and about the risks of extreme weather, wildfires, flooding and changing patterns of infectious disease.

One of the most passionate moments of Dr. Orbinski’s speech came when he was discussing the malnutrition and food-security risks of climate change.

“In 2011, climate-change driven drought affected 13 million people and 500,000 people died, in the Horn of Africa. This is utterly unacceptable," he said. "That we simply know this and we allow it to continue. It requires that we see ourselves differently in relation to others in the world. This is the consequence of climate change. It is profound and it is utterly unacceptable.“

Link to Original Source

Submission + - US Appeals Court Dismisses AT&T Data Throttling Lawsuit (

An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court in California on Monday dismissed a U.S. government lawsuit that accused AT&T Inc (T.N) of deception for reducing internet speeds for customers with unlimited mobile data plans once their use exceeded certain levels. The company, however, could still face a fine from the Federal Communications Commission regarding the slowdowns, also called "data throttling." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it ordered a lower court to dismiss the data-throttling lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sued AT&T on the grounds that the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier failed to inform consumers it would slow the speeds of heavy data users on unlimited plans. In some cases, data speeds were slowed by nearly 90 percent, the lawsuit said. The FTC said the practice was deceptive and, as a result, barred under the Federal Trade Commission Act. AT&T argued that there was an exception for common carriers, and the appeals court agreed.

Submission + - SETI has observed a "strong" signal that may originate from a Sun-like star ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia has detected a strong signal around 11 GHz (which is very unlikely to be naturally-caused) coming from HD164595, a star nearly identical in mass to the Sun and located about 95 light years from Earth. The system is known to have at least one planet.

If the signal were isotropic, it would seem to indicate a Kardashev Type II civilization.

While it is too early to draw any conclusions, the discovery will be discussed at an upcoming SETI committee meeting on September 27th.


How Microsoft Plans To Get Its Groove Back With Win7 612

shawnz tips a blog post up at thebetaguy that details Windows 7's huge departure from the past, and the bold strategy Microsoft will be employing to maintain backward compatibility. Hint: Apple did it seven years back. There are interesting anti-trust implications too. "Windows 7 takes a different approach to the componentization and backwards compatibility issues; in short, it doesn't think about them at all. Windows 7 will be a from-the-ground-up packaging of the Windows codebase; partially source, but not binary compatible with previous versions of Windows."

Firefox 4 Will Push Edges of Browser Definition 501

Chris Blanc writes "Mozilla Lab's push is to blur the edges of the browser, to make it both more tightly integrated with the computer it's running on, and also more hooked into Web services. So extended, the browser becomes an even more powerful and pervasive platform for all kinds of applications. 'Beard wants the new online/offline, browser/service to be more intelligent on behalf of its users. Early examples of this intelligence include the "awesome bar," which is what Mozilla calls the new smart address bar in Firefox 3. It offers users smart URL suggestions as they type based on Web searches and their prior Web browsing history. He's looking to extend on this with a "linguistic user interface" that lets users type plain English commands into the browser bar. Beard pointed me towards Quicksilver and Enso as products he's cribbing from.'"

Microsoft Brand In Sharp Decline 399

Amy Bennett writes "A recent poll of about 12,000 US business decision-makers by market researcher CoreBrand found that Microsoft's brand power has taken a dive over the past four years. According to the study, Microsoft dropped from number 12 in the ranking of the most powerful US company brands in 2004 to number 59 last year. In 1996, the company ranked number 1 in brand power among 1,200 top companies in about 50 industries. The CEO of CoreBrand said: 'When you see something decline with increasing velocity, it's a concern.' To add some historical context, IBM suffered a much faster and more severe decline in brand power in the early 1990s and it took them 10 years to rebuild the brand's reputation."

US Broadband Policy Called "Magical Thinking" 287

eWeekPete writes "Is the pipe half full or half empty? Not surprisingly, the talk at the second annual Tech Policy Summit was decidedly mixed. 'The US is still the most dynamic broadband economy in the world,' said Ambassador Richard Russell, the associate director of the White House's Office on Science and Technology Policy. 'As opposed to being miles ahead, though, we're only a little ahead.' But Yale Law School's Susan Crawford called Russell's position 'magical thinking. We're not doing well at all.' She proceeded to call the White House's effort 'completely inadequate on broadband competition.'"

NVIDIA's Drivers Caused 28.8% Of Vista Crashes In 2007 344

PaisteUser tips us to an Ars Technica report discussing how 28.8% of Vista's crashes over a period in 2007 were due to faulty NVIDIA drivers. The information comes out of the 158 pages of Microsoft emails that were handed over at the request of a judge in the Vista-capable lawsuit. NVIDIA has already faced a class-action lawsuit over the drivers. From Ars Technica: "NVIDIA had significant problems when it came time to transition its shiny, new G80 architecture from Windows XP to Windows Vista. The company's first G80-compatible Vista driver ended up being delayed from December to the end of January, and even then was available only as a beta download. In this case, full compatibility and stability did not come quickly, and the Internet is scattered with reports detailing graphics driver issues when using G80 processors for the entirely of 2007. There was always a question, however, of whether or not the problems were really that bad, or if reporting bias was painting a more negative picture of the current situation than what was actually occurring."

iPhone's Development Limitations Could Hurt It In the Long Run 452

ZDOne writes "Apple might have finally come around to allowing third party developers to create applications for the iPhone, but only up to a point. ZDNet UK claims Apple is leaving itself vulnerable to the competition and to a loss of lustre by blocking background tasks on the device. The author notes, 'Perhaps it doesn't trust application designers or users very much. Perhaps it wants the best software for itself, where it can limit what it can do in order not to upset its telco friends. Whatever the reason, it reflects badly on Apple. The iPhone is not an iPod; it's a smartphone connecting to a universe of fast-changing data on behalf of innovation-hungry users. The sooner it stops pretending to be a 1981 IBM PC, the better it will be for everyone.'"

MacBook Air First To Be Compromised In Hacking Contest 493

Multiple readers have written to let us know that the MacBook Air was the first laptop to fall in the CanSecWest hacking contest. The successful hijacking took place only two minutes into the second day of the competition, after the rules had been relaxed to allow the visiting of websites and opening of emails. The TippingPoint blog reveals that the vulnerability was located within Safari, but they won't release specific details until Apple has had a chance to correct the problem. The winner, Charlie Miller, gets to keep the laptop and $10,000. We covered the contest last year, and the results were similar.

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