Repost: City Sues Man for Canceling Trash Service

City Sues Man for Canceling Trash Service

SAN CARLOS – A man who claims to have reduced his waste to nearly nothing out of concern for the environment now faces a lawsuit from San Carlos for cancelling his garbage-collection service.

The lawsuit, filed by San Carlos Deputy City Attorney Linda Noeske in San Mateo Superior Court on Jan. 22, seeks a permanent injunction forcing House to maintain garbage service. City officials are also seeking to recoup from House the costs of the lawsuit.

I think this is a misunderstanding – the city thinks he’s using a different service, which is against their contract with the garbage collection company, while he maintains that he just doesn’t make that much trash.

I, personally, think that in this time and age, unless he lives in a very special area that has farmer’s markets, etc. that it’s impossible to not create trash. A couple on Discovery TV tried it and got it down to minimal, but they couldn’t quite manage it.

The ideal solution to this is to have the cost based on the amount of trash someone creates – and heavy fees for those who create more trash than Pigpen. We only have one world, after all. How? Cameras with passive recording, on which the collectors could make digital marks to point out the large amounts of trash. I’m sure that with today’s technology and facial recognition, they can make trash recognition – trash cans only come in a few different shapes after all.

But companies are lazy, and won’t do it because the income potential could be risky and as we’re all becoming more aware, people would end up paying less over time. Won’t happen, but it should.

On a side note, this is the first and only post I’ve ever had a complaint about “theft” of “paid services”. Most sites like having links and mentionings.  So… I’ve cut out the middle man from the content of this post, because I realized I was sending hits to a [enter your favourite insult here].

Clue: ads are blocked more and more, didn’t you notice that? Get out of the 90’s.

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Repost – run greasemonkey scripts in all browsers

run greasemonkey scripts in all browsers

* Greasemonkey, an extension for Firefox. Make sure to restart the browser before trying to add the script.
* Trixie, one of the best Greasemonkey-like plug-ins for Internet Explorer
* SIMBL and GreaseKit for Safari
* no additional software for Opera, but you need to enable the feature from Opera’s interface
* Konqueror Userscript for Konqueror
I mentioned my doubts on Greasemonkey scripts working in all these browsers as GM scripts use GM-only commands. The Trixie looks promising (but don’t say I said that)

Google turns the page… in a bad way.

I was actually a bit disturbed when I read the whole article (which is long)… here’s the short version:

“Google and Dell have teamed up to install some software on Dell computers that borders on being spyware. I say spyware because it’s hard to figure out what it is and is even harder to remove.”

“The screenshot below shows what the Dell-branded Google search results page looks like when you make a typo in your address bar. You can’t even see the search results in the picture (800×600 resolution) because the entire top of the page and right side are plastered with ads.


This page isn’t being shown to Dell owners just because they have the Google Toolbar. In fact, uninstalling the Google Toolbar won’t get rid of it. Dell and Google are now installing a second program on computers that intercepts all sorts of queries (requests / questions) that the browser would normally try to resolve (answer). This program has no clear name and is very hard to uninstall. In some circles, people would call this spyware.”

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A Mac User’s View of Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)

After my less-than-thrilling experience with Windows Vista I decided to take the plunge and download the latest release of Ubuntu with the intent to see just how far Linux has come in the last year or so. Last time I used Linux was for a server setup which worked very well but I was not all that impressed with the desktop implementation back then, which was about a year ago. Since then Ubuntu has emerged as a major force on the Linux desktop front with several solid releases that have much of the internet buzzing about how Linux might be finally ready to give the folks in Redmond a run for their money. So what does a die hard Mac fanboy have to say about the latest release of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 7.04) Feisty Fawn? Quite a bit actually… Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Ways Bush Resembles History’s Tyrants

by Sherwood Ross | May 12 2007 – 9:48am |  permalink
article tools: email | print | read more Sherwood Ross
As public sentiment begins to build for impeachment, it might be illuminating to examine the many ways President Bush operates in a manner reminiscent of history’s tyrants. Here are 10 areas that come readily to mind.

First, tyrants tend to see themselves, as Hitler did, at the head of some kind of “master race.” President Bush and his backers would deny it, but their drive for a “New American Century” betrays them. They’re world-beaters, and won’t sign the global warming treaty or any other cooperative document. Republicans at their last Convention jeered the very mention of the words “United Nations.” Those who see it differently get slandered. Recall how Bush’s hatchet men impugned Senator Kerry’s Vietnam War record. This was reminiscent of Nazi claims Germany’s Jewish veterans of the Great War did not deserve their medals. Another manifestation is Neocons would reduce gay and lesbian Americans to second-class citizenship status. Bush’s backers are convinced of their superiority at home and globally.

Second, tyrants tend to be congenital, brazen liars. Bush lied about Iraq’s threat to America just as Hitler lied when he claimed Poland attacked Germany first in 1939. The UN told Bush there was no WMD in Iraq, yet Bush said there was and made war. He knew better. As many as 600,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, 2-million have fled, and a nation is being destroyed before our eyes.

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Court: Microsoft, Best Buy must stand trial for racketeering

SAN FRANCISCO
May 4, 2007 10:46am

•  Customers say the companies secretly signed them up for MSN
•  Tapped buyers’ bank accounts

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) must stand trial on charges they violated the federal anti-racketeering laws, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The two companies are accused of secretly signing up buyers of computers and cell phones for Microsoft’s MSN Internet service.

In reversing a U.S. District Court ruling that had tossed the lawsuit, the court of appeals says there is enough substance to the complaints to bring the companies to trial under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, often called the “RICO” act.

The case started after James Odom bought a PC-based laptop at a Contra Costa County Best Buy store. Data about the purchase was sent to Microsoft as part of a joint marketing agreement between the companies. Microsoft then signed Mr. Odom up for its MSN Internet service and, after a free trial period, began billing him for it.

That was all done without his knowledge or agreement, he says.

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Australia hands over man to US courts

Australia hands over man to US courts

Kenneth Nguyen
May 7, 2007

Hew Raymond Griffiths has been extradited to the US following copyright infringement piracy and consiracy charges.Hew Raymond Griffiths has been extradited to the US following copyright infringement piracy and consiracy charges.
Photo: Richard Gosling

BEFORE he was extradited to the United States, Hew Griffiths, from Berkeley Vale in NSW, had never even set foot in America. But he had pirated software produced by American companies.

Now, having been given up to the US by former justice minister Chris Ellison, Griffiths, 44, is in a Virginia cell, facing up to 10 years in an American prison after a guilty plea late last month.

Griffiths’ case — involving one of the first extraditions for intellectual property crime — has been a triumph for US authorities, demonstrating their ability to enforce US laws protecting US companies against Australians in Australia, with the co-operation of the Australian Government.

“Our agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly to nab intellectual property thieves, even where their crimes transcend international borders,” US Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said.

In some corners of the Australian legal community, however, there is concern about Griffiths’ case. In a recent article for the Australian Law Journal, NSW Chief Judge in Equity, Peter Young, wrote: “International copyright violations are a great problem. However, there is also the consideration that a country must protect its nationals from being removed from their homeland to a foreign country merely because the commercial interests of that foreign country are claimed to have been affected by the person’s behaviour in Australia and the foreign country can exercise influence over Australia.”

Griffiths, a Briton, has lived in Australia since the age of seven. From his home base on the central coast of NSW, he served as the leader of a group named Drink Or Die, which “cracked” copy-protected software and media products and distributed them free of cost. Often seen with long hair and bare feet, Griffiths did not make money from his activities, and lived with his father in a modest house.

But Drink or Die’s activities did cost American companies money — an estimated $US50 million ($A60 million), if legal sales were substituted for illegal downloads undertaken through Drink or Die. It also raised the ire of US authorities.

In 2003, the US Department of Justice charged Griffiths with violating the copyright laws of the US, and requested his extradition from Australia. Senator Ellison signed a notice for Griffiths’ arrest and Australian Federal Police arrested him at his home.

Griffiths fought the prospect of extradition through the courts for three years, in which time he was denied bail and detained in prison. He indicated that he would be willing to plead guilty to a breach of Australian copyright law, which meant he could serve time in Australia.

Last year, Griffiths ran out of avenues for appeal in Australia. His fate lay in the hands of Senator Ellison, who had the power to refuse Griffiths’ extradition. But in December, Senator Ellison issued a warrant for extradition — a decision welcomed by the US Government. Griffiths’ extradition in February is believed to be the first out of Australia for a breach of intellectual property law.

“This extradition represents the (US) Department of Justice’s commitment to protect intellectual property rights from those who violate our laws from the other side of the globe,” US Assistant Attorney-General Alice Fisher said.

But Justice Young described as “bizarre” the fact that “people are being extradited to the US to face criminal charges when they have never been to the US and the alleged act occurred wholly outside the US”.

Griffiths appears to have been singled out by US authorities. British-based members of Drink or Die were reportedly tried in Britain. Last month, in news that slipped the local media’s radar, Hew Griffiths pleaded guilty in a US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, to criminal copyright infringement offences. According to US authorities, Griffiths admitted to overseeing all the illegal operations of the now-disbanded Drink Or Die.

On top of a possible 10-year jail term, Griffiths could be fined $US500,000. (By way of comparison, the average sentence for rape in Victoria is six years and 10 months.)

Any Australian who has pirated software worth more than $US1000 could be subject to the same extradition process as Griffiths was. “Should not the Commonwealth Parliament do more to protect Australians from this procedure?” Justice Young asked in his article. Others, however, argue that extradition is necessary to prevent internet crimes that transcend borders.

Griffiths will be sentenced on June 22.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/05/06/1178390140855.html