Drive-by Wi-Fi ‘thief’ heavily fined | The Register

Ok, so a guy in Michigan used the unsecured wireless outside of a coffee shop. 

Courts fined him $400 + 40 hours of community service.  Doesn’t that seem a bit unbalanced? 

Morally, this seems like it’s more akin to him watching the nightly news outside the coffee shop.  If the shop owner had to make repeated complaints, then yeah:  the court should take action. 

This feels like the local court doesn’t really understand technology.

Drive-by Wi-Fi ‘thief’ heavily fined | The Register:

Michigan man busted for failing to buy coffee

By John Leyden → More by this author

Published Wednesday 23rd May 2007 16:22 GMT

A Michigan man who parked outside a local Wi-Fi cafe every day to check his email has been fined $400 and sentenced to 40 hours’ community service.

Sam Peterson can consider himself unfortunate since if he’d simply popped into the Re-Union Street Cafe in Sparta, Michigan, for a coffee while checking his email he’d have avoided punishment. Peterson was collared for fraudulent access to a computer network after his presence outside the cafe drew the attention of local police chief Andrew Milanowski.

Peterson admitted he was surfing the web using the cafe’s unsecured Wi-Fi network. He didn’t realise piggybacking on the network might be an offence so it must have come as a surprise when he was summoned to court, charged with offences punishable by a maximum five years’ imprisonment.

“I knew that the Union Street had Wi-Fi. I just went down and checked my email and didn’t see a problem with that,” Peterson told local station WOOD Tv.

Although Peterson escaped prison, his punishment still seems harsh, especially considering his “supposed” victim had no problem with what he was doing – other than the fact he didn’t patronise her establishment and his crime was prosecuted as a misdemeanour rather than a felony. Donna May, the owner of the Ru-Union Street Cafe, was far from aggrieved at Peterson’s supposed theft of Wi-Fi service.

“I didn’t know it was really illegal, either,” she told WOOD Tv. “If he would have come in [to the coffee shop], it would have been fine.”

WooHoo! The BlackBerry Curve’s Bluetooth Isn’t Crippled | RIMarkable

Blackberry CurveAs a huge BlackBerry fan, I was quick to jump on the 7100 when it came out, and the Pearl as soon as it was launched.  Having gotten used to OS X’s iSync capabilities, I wasn’t too upset to see that the 7100 didn’t sync w/ my Macs anymore, but the added BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) connectivity pretty much offset my syncing concerns.  It sure was nice to do it over Bluetooth on an hourly schedule though, and I didn’t like giving that up.

What I really missed was having OS X’s other Bluetooth/phone integration.  When calls came in, OS X would display the caller’s number (and name?  I don’t remember; it’s been a LONG time).  If I were in Address Book.app, I could right click someone’s number and have my phone automatically dial for me.  Since I was using a BT headset, the call would connect flawlessly and my phone could stay in my pocket.  Alternately, I could easily send and receive SMS messages w/ my Mac, which was REALLY cool.  Lastly, Bluetooth file exchange was VERY convenient.  I couldn’t do any of these things w/ the 7100, and the same goes for the Pearl (8100).

I’m glad to see RIM opening back up and allowing more Bluetooth interoperability; now we just need Apple to support the Curve.

WooHoo! The BlackBerry Curve’s Bluetooth Isn’t Crippled | RIMarkable | The official, unofficial BlackBerry Weblog:

Curve Bluetooth ProfileEver since Bluetooth debuted in the BlackBerry 7100T going on three years ago, the profile has been crippled for “securities sake”. Way back then you could do nothing more than pair a Bluetooth headset with your BlackBerry. Every BlackBerry OS release would see a new Bluetooth profile that was a bit less restrictive, but, still crippled, not supporting the golden goose for Bluetooth protocols, OBEX support.

Well, that’s all changed now. According to BlackBerry Cool insider RogersDude69 the BlackBerry Curve has an open OBEX protocol allowing you to send and receive files to and from other devices on your device and that’s not all.

Just look at some of the BlackBerry Curve’s Bluetooth services:

* Headset

* Handsfree

* Desktop Connectivity

* Wireless Bypass

* Dial-Up Networking

* Audio Source

* A/V Remote Control Target

As you can see, there’s more services for the Curve. The Audio Source Services is definitely for the Stereo Bluetooth. The A/V Remote Control Target is for using your Curve as.. A Remote Control. This has the potential to be used for your Laptop and your Presentations, and to control your home theater system in your house or in your car.

Java Juice® Extract :: Java Juice® liquid coffee extract 100% organic, kosher, shade-grown, Arabica Beans. No additive

Wooo!  Now THIS is cool!

Java Juice is apparently pure, pre-brewed, liquid coffee extract in a convenient foil traveling pouch.  I’m rarely in a situation where I don’t have access to fresh-brewed coffee, so I’m not sure I’m down for paying $1/pouch, but I can see where this would kick some serious butt if you were a camper.

The big issue here is how it tastes.  If you add it to room temperature or even cold water, you get a semi-coffee experience, but for me, the heat of a nice cuppa joe is a big part of the enjoyment.  Nice to have the option, though!

Java Juice® Extract :: Java Juice® liquid coffee extract 100% organic, kosher, shade-grown, Arabica Beans. No additives, preservatives, and sugar-free. Made in America.:

Fast, easy, and delicious. Just add water…coffee’s ready.

Java Juice® premium coffee extract offers fresh brewed coffeehouse flavor without filters, brewers, or grinders. Java Juice® guarantees a one year shelf -life provided it is stored away from of direct sunlight.

Scotty’s ashes found in New Mexico mountains after failed spaceflight

Oh no! What a disgraceful ending 🙁

Scotty's ashes found in New Mexico mountains after failed spaceflight

Filed under:

Alright, Scotty, let’s try this again. Not long after the rocket carrying James “Scotty” Doohan’s ashes into space crash-landed off-course in New Mexico, the payload container has been found in the mountains of the White Sands Missile Range. The container, which also holds some 200 other peoples’ ashes, including original Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, is reportedly in “good shape”, and the Celestis International, which runs the Legacy Flight service, is planning on returning the lipstick-sized ash capsules to the family members of the departed, along with “mementos” of the launch. Scotty’s got one more shot at space, however: later this year some more of his and Cooper’s ashes are due to make an orbital trip on SpaceX‘s Falcon 1 rocket, remaining there until they re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. Let’s hope she canna teek some more this time, eh?

[Via First Coast News]

 

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

[Engadget]

Uruguay youngsters receive batch of OLPC XOs – Engadget

When I first heard about the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, I was a little skeptical.

My first thought was that they were going to drop off a bunch of laptops in third world countries where families would immediately sell them off for cash and food.  What I didn’t realize is that this wasn’t the target audience.

Engadget ran a story this week w/ photos of kids in Uraguay getting their hands on OLPC machines, and in this scenario, I think it’s perfect.

Good job, guys.  There really is some good in the world.

Uruguay youngsters receive batch of OLPC XOs – Engadget:

Posted May 14th 2007 3:34PM by Darren Murph

Yeah, we’ve caught glimpses of the OLPC in action, but we’ve yet to see a group of school children get so hyped about receiving an educational tool like the 160 youngsters in Villa Cardal recently did. The relatively small Uruguayan town was thrown into a mild frenzy as a batch of shiny green and white OLPC XOs showed up to give the impressionable kiddos a taste of how learning should really be done. As promised, every child was gifted with their very own machine, and while we’re not sure when the curriculum will be updated to account for them, we’re giving the kids a slight edge on homework assignments for the time being. Needless to say, the experience is best described by photographs of the mayhem, so be sure to click on through for a few more select snaps, and hit the read link for the entire collection.

‘Telework’ center is agency’s first step to Fort Meade move – baltimoresun.com

Huh.  VERY interesting news to me.  Landing a job there would mean a one mile commute.  How much would that rule?

‘Telework’ center is agency’s first step to Fort Meade move – baltimoresun.com:
By Phillip McGowan
sun reporter
Originally published May 16, 2007

The Defense Information Systems Agency, one of the largest federal commands moving to Maryland as part of a national military realignment, announced yesterday it has opened a telecommuting center at Fort Meade – the first step toward moving its 4,300 workers to the Army post.

The agency is the first to establish a foothold in Maryland among those transferring here as part of the base realignment and closure process known as BRAC, which is expected to bring tens of thousands of defense jobs to Maryland over the next five years.

The “telework” center at the Army post, which opened in January, allows DISA personnel to work there rather than commute to the agency’s three sites in Northern Virginia. Defense officials said they are hopeful the center – the third for DISA employees on the East Coast – will help in its efforts to build a Maryland-centric work force as the agency moves to Fort Meade by 2011.

The military will break ground on DISA’s $500 million campus-style headquarters at the Army post by the summer of 2008, and the million-square-foot complex is expected to be done in early 2011. The deadline for agencies moving as part of BRAC is September 2011.

In all, nearly 6,000 defense personnel are relocating to Fort Meade because of BRAC.

About 4,000 DISA employees work in Northern Virginia. The big question is: How many Northern Virginians, who constitute roughly 75 percent of the DISA work force, will move with their jobs to Fort Meade?

State and federal officials are bracing for the possibility that hundreds of high-tech workers might quit rather than relocate. Historically, between 25 percent and 40 percent of defense workers have relocated as part of BRAC.

Croom noted that about 1,200 workers telecommute at least part time – most of them working from home – and that technological advances allow them to work on secret material.

Penkoske said those efforts are attracting more Maryland workers. In the past year, he said, as Virginia’s share of DISA’s work force dropped 3 percent, Maryland’s share rose by 3 percent.

City apologizes for slavery – baltimoresun.com

So my state’s capital finally apologized for having been involved in slavery:  my question is, “Does it matter?”

I know that for the people who were enslaved, it matters.  I know that if an apology came from slave owners, that would matter.

Does an apology that’s 143 years too late lose it’s meaning when it’s coming from people who weren’t even alive during the period?  In the article below, it doesn’t even seem as if they went out of their way to track down any slave descendants.

While I agree that an apology is long overdue, I also get the feeling that this merely a token gesture.  I’m torn on whether this is actually something meaningful and worthwhile, or just another scheme someone came up with to win favor w/ their constituency.

To take this to it’s logical extreme, I’d LOVE to have seen the government round up some former slave owner’s descendants and have them personally apologize to a group of slave descendants. 

Apologies lose their effectiveness when they’re insincere. 

City apologizes for slavery – baltimoresun.com:

By Nia Henderson

Sun reporter

Originally published May 16, 2007

Annapolis has joined a handful of jurisdictions across the country to officially apologize for its role in the American slave trade.

The City Council passed a resolution unanimously Monday, with aldermen Michael Christman and Julie Stankivic abstaining.

Sponsored by aldermen Richard Israel and Sam Shropshire, the measure went through substantial revisions, with the final version, drafted by Israel, expressing “profound regret” and recommending that the last week in October be a week for studying slavery.

“The citizens can be proud that Annapolis is the first municipal body to apologize for its past support of slavery and segregation,” Shropshire said.

Annapolis was one of the Chesapeake region’s earliest slave ports, yet had a large class of free blacks. Slavery was abolished in Maryland in 1864.