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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft admits benefitting from Windows piracy

Submitted by
Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil writes "An article from Information Week here covers an interesting speech given by Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes:

From the article:

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else," Raikes said. ...
"We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products," Raikes said. "What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software."

Not that we haven't known this all along, but it's nice to hear it from the horse's mouth."
Windows

+ - Vista's Speech Recognition Hole

Submitted by
clever7devil
clever7devil writes "According to an article from BBC news: "some Vista users" have already tested an exploit to allow malicious audio files to command the system through the speakers and microphone.

From the article:

"The exploit scenario would involve the speech recognition feature picking up commands through the microphone such as 'copy', 'delete', 'shutdown', etc. and acting on them," a Microsoft security researcher wrote on the team's official blog.

I want to see the victim's face right as he walks in to his computer saying "Format C:\ *.* accepted"

 "
Privacy

+ - Sex Offender Email Registry Proposed

Submitted by
Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil writes "The Roanoke Times in Virginia reported Attorney General Bob McDonnell's upcoming legislation proposal.

From the article:

Attorney General Bob McDonnell said Monday he will propose legislation that would make Virginia the first state in the nation to require sex offenders to register their online identities with state police.

By putting the information on the state's Sex Offender Registry, authorities hope to curb what they say is the escalating problem of sexual predators going online to find young victims through e-mail and Internet chat room banter


The Attorney General's office has been working closely with MySpace, as they hope to use this list to block sex offenders from using their service. You can read the Attorney General's press release here; and the MySpace press release here."
Data Storage

+ - Student Develops 450GB Storage on Paper Medium

Submitted by
Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil writes "A student, Sainul Abideen, in India claims to have delevoped a method of storing large amounts of data on plain paper.

From the article:

"Sainul, who has just turned 24, says that instead of using zeroes and ones for computing, he used geometric shapes such as circles, squares and triangles for computing which combine with various colors and preserve the data in images. An RVD [Rainbow Versatile Disc] therefore looks like a printout of modern art.

He says all kinds of data has to be first converted into a common format called "Rainbow Format."

In a demo at his college laboratory, this writer could see text typed on 432 pages of foolscap paper being stored in a four square inch paper. The writer was even shown a 45-second video clip of a Malayalam film stored on an ordinary paper.
"

The idea certainly looks promising on paper..."
Windows

+ - Allchin "clarifies" Vista security remarks

Submitted by
Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil writes "In his blog Friday, co-president of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division, Jim Allchin, took the time to explain comments he made regarding Vista's security.

From the article:

"I could certainly see that what I said wasn't as clear as it could have been, and I'm sorry for that," apologized Allchin.

But Allchin, who is slated to retire at the end of January, denied that he had recommended running Vista sans security software. "The point I had been trying to make (albeit unclearly) is that Windows Vista includes new security features that can dramatically help improve our customers' security for certain situations," he wrote. "I want to be clear, most users will use some form of antivirus software, and that will be appropriate for their scenarios."


He went on to say that his son's PC has no access to email or instant messaging."
The Courts

+ - Jack Thompson vs. Take Two... Again

Submitted by Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil (985356) writes "Jack Thompson has taken the fight back to Take Two Interactive, this time on behalf of the family of Cody Posey. The then 14-year-old Posey shot and killed his father, step-mother, and step-sister in July of 2004. He is currently in custody of the state until his 21st birthday. The suit claims that his obsessive playing of GTA: Vice City is to blame.

From the Article:

The game trained him "how to point and shoot a gun in a fashion making him an extraordinarily effective killer without teaching him any of the constraints or responsibilities needed to inhibit such a killing capacity," according to the suit.

According to the suit, plaintiffs' lawyer Jack Thompson was told by a sheriff's deputy that the game and a Sony PlayStation 2 were found at the ranch.

Posey had told police he shot his family after his father, the ranch foreman, slapped him for not cleaning horse stalls fast enough. Prosecutors described Posey as a ruthless killer, but his lawyers claimed his father had abused him for years."
The Courts

+ - Chinese software decides sentencing.

Submitted by Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil (985356) writes "Courts in China have begun using software to help them decide punishments for criminals: up to and including the death penalty.

From the article:

"Criminals in China face being sent to the firing squad by a computer after the introduction of a software programme to help decide the sentences handed out by courts.

Judges are using computers equipped with a sophisticated legal database as an aid to determining punishments for 100 different crimes including robbery and rape by tapping in details of the crime and the mitigating circumstances."


It leads one to wonder: Even if the software were "perfect", is criminal sentencing something we want to remove the human element from?"
The Internet

+ - Confessions of a Shill

Submitted by Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil (985356) writes "The Escapist has posted an interview it conducted with an anonymous "Online Guerilla Marketer" entitled I'm Evil: Confessions of an Online Guerilla Marketer

From the Article:

Jack has been living the life of a corporate-sponsored internet secret-agent for "about four years, employed by two different companies," he says. In that time he's used his clandestine tactics and marketing know-how to shill "about 20 products — mostly videogames, websites, computer hardware and a few other small products." He declines to name names for fear of damaging his reputation in the industry and those of the companies he's represented."

This would be a fun job if it weren't so despicable."

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire

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