Sunday, June 12, 2005

A couple of interesting stories from Techdirt

A couple of notables from Techdirt this week.

In case you weren't aware of this, Accuweather wants our National Weather Service prohibited from freely feeding weather information to the public, because of course, it means fewer people will actually be paying Accuweather for information that they could get free from NWS. Updating this story, Accuweather Spins Weather Service Laws reveals: "Accuweather is now sending out emails to many of its subscribers telling them to speak up in support of the bill. Of course, they (so convenient of them) skip the part where the bill bans the NWS from giving out the info to the public for free and instead focuses on the part that would force the NWS to provide real-time, rather than delayed, info -- but only to certain commercial providers, such as (you guessed it!), Accuweather. Funny how that works..."

And in the less aggravating, more funny department, computer users in Romania are actually in favor of their computers getting infected with a particular virus because it searches "for files containing the names of Romanian gypsy music singers," and then deletes them (which means it deletes gypsy music mp3 files). These users are against the protection against this virus issued by their security provider BitDefender. Some customer comments:
One customer, whose details have withheld, said: "I appreciate your rapid reaction when new viruses are released… Nevertheless, when socially useful viruses are released, I think you could wait at least one day… This is not a virus, this is a utilitarian tool". The message concluded: "If you know the author of this virus, please give him my e-mail address; I'm ready to offer him food and drinks for at least 2 weeks".

Another customer was also hoping detection signatures were delayed but he went on to wish for a variant that could attack legacy systems: "Couldn't you guys wait two or three more days, until my whole neighbourhood was infected? Is there a version of this virus that can erase the cassettes played in cars that are stopped in traffic?"

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