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Windows

+ - It's official: Vista copy protection 100% cracked

Submitted by
Slinky Sausage
Slinky Sausage writes "There's been a steady stream of 'sort of' cracks for Vista coming out of the piracy groups, but a crack has been released this morning by "Pantheon" which is doesn't avoid Vista's activation — it exploits it! Apparently despite the requirements for everyone including volume licence customers to activate, Microsoft built in the capability for OEM system builders to pre-install copies of Vista without activating it over the internet. The crack works on any Acer, HP, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard or custom machine (as long as you have the BIOS of that machine available)."
Software

+ - Is Microsoft getting paid for patents in Linux?

Submitted by
kripkenstein
kripkenstein writes "In an interview, Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project) implies that Microsoft is secretly getting paid for patent licenses on Linux-related products:

[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]

Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?"
Software

+ - Why pirated software is a problem in the 3rd world

Submitted by RockDoctor
RockDoctor (15477) writes "Dark Reading, the security-related online journal, carries an article by one Nathan Spande who works in Cambodia. Locally he finds that OpenOffice.Org and MS Office are the same price ($2), or $7-20 by downloading. He discusses why the economics of OpenSource don't work in this environment, and how it contributes to global computer security issues through the "little extras" (trojans, spambots and other malware) that typically accompany such "local editions" of software. Spande's analysis strikes me as being solid. I still remember my suspiscion of buying software in Russia (a 5-language dictionary-thesaurus-pronunciation assistant) for $10, and my utter astonishment when it's on-line activation routine actually worked and left me (well, my wife) with a computer that is still working 2½ years later. Hmm, 4 new versions of Lingvo since we got her copy — maybe we should upgrade next time one of us is in Russia.
The economics of software outside the west are very different to what most people are used to."
Microsoft

+ - DirectX10 drops Hardware Acceleration for Audio.

Submitted by
shrewd
shrewd writes ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Portables

+ - Samsug announces look-alike iphone killer

Submitted by goombah99
goombah99 (560566) writes "Samsung unveiled a prototype of their touchscreen phone. It's look, single button front, full-face touchscreen are the essentially identical to the iphone. The screen resolution is sufficiently worse that video viewing will be less of a pleasure, it's thicker, and it lacks Wi-Fi. But it has a slide-out full thumb-board, a 5 mega pixel camera, supports 3G (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access). Web connectivity however lacks the elegant full screen approach with a gestural interface of the iphone. Price, battery life and availability are not known. Read Here and here for first impressions. My impression is that hardware wise it's at the same level as the iphone so, as always, it's the apple polish of the interface that will be the deciding factor. Simultaneously, Microsoft revealed a workmanlike update of it's mobile version."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: The Onion on Vista

Journal by P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1))

Highlights from the article:

  • Microsoft Word's helpful paper-clip icon now blinks at rate of normal humans
  • Five new card-back designs for Solitaire
  • Something that Apple would never, ever dream up in a billion years
The Almighty Buck

+ - New eBay scam, without violating ebay policy

Submitted by
Bert64
Bert64 writes "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."
The Internet

+ - Walmart downloads reject Firefox, Apple browsers

Submitted by babooo404
babooo404 (1019760) writes "Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers. There was a collective, "WTF" when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has COMPLETELY turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like.

http://www.centernetworks.com/walmart-in-bed-with- microsoft-no-to-firefox"
Businesses

+ - Open Source Point of Sale software?

Submitted by
DogDude
DogDude writes "I own a brick-and-mortar retail store. We do a good volume of business, and we plan to start opening more locations soon. We've outgrown out current Point-of-Sale system (POS), and I'm shopping for a new one. There are plenty of good, mature, proprietary systems out there already. I'm looking for information on OSS POS systems that are also mature, stable, and well supported. It seems that most OSS POS projects are either tiny, relatively unsupported, and lacking many critical features, or they're so large and complex that they can only be implemented by a Fortune 500 company with a dedicated IT staff. I'm looking for something robust that will work out of the box, yet still scale appropriately for a mid-sized company. Suggestions?"

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