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Is Facebook Going To Buy Opera? 226 226

New submitter x0d writes with this excerpt from the L.A. Times: "The Facebook spending spree may be continuing as a new report says the social networking giant might be looking to buy Norwegian company Opera Software. Now fully under the microscope of Wall Street as well as Main Street investors, Facebook is trying to solve its mobile monetizing problems and has been gobbling up various companies in recent months to increase its presence in the world of smartphones."

Sony To Convert Online Bookstore To Open Format 107 107

Dr_Barnowl writes "The BBC reports that Sony is to convert its online bookstore to the EPUB format. While this format still allows DRM, it's supported on a much wider variety of readers. Is this a challenge to the Kindle? It's nice to see Sony opening up to the idea of open standards. Even if you still have reservations about buying a Sony device, you might be able to patronize their bookstore sometime soon."

Publishers Want a Slice of Used Game Market 664 664

grigory writes "GameStop's business model depends on a healthy flow of used games: incredibly '[GameStop] enjoys a 48 percent profit margin on used games.' Game publishers do not see a cut of the secondary sale because it falls under the first sale doctrine. Now, some publishers and manufacturers want a piece of the pie. 'One marketing executive, who did not want to be identified for fear of angering GameStop and other retailers, said the used game sale market is still depriving publishers of money because it gives consumers an all-too-easy alternative to buying a new game.' Interesting picture of companies fighting for your business, and (surprise!) complaining about being left out of the money stream."

What Filters Are Right For Kids? 678 678

WaywardGeek writes "My daughter is using phrases like 'hot guys,' and soon will have a chat about the birds and the bees. I believe in letting kids discover the world as it is, and have no Internet controls on any of our systems, which are mostly Linux based. However, it's not fair for aggressive porn advertisers to splash sex in her face without her permission. My question is: What Linux-based Internet filtering solution do Slashdot dads favor, and do they hinder a child's efforts to learn about the world?"

Portugal's Vortalgate — No Microsoft, No Bidding 312 312

An anonymous reader writes "Companies using software other than Microsoft's are unable to bid at many Portuguese public tenders. This is due to the use of Silverlight 2.0 technology by the company, Vortal, contracted to build the e-procurement portal. This situation has triggered a complaint to the European Commission by the Portuguese Open Source Business Association; the case is unofficially known in Portugal as 'Vortalgate.'"
United States

Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College 1088 1088

Zebano writes "Since changing the US constitution is too much work, the Iowa senate is considering a bill that would send all 7 of Iowa's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. This would only go into affect after enough states totaling 270 electoral votes (enough to elect a president) adopted similar resolutions."

Windows 7 To Come In Multiple Versions 821 821

Crazy Taco writes "Tom's Hardware reports on newly discovered screenshots that reveal Microsoft is planning to release their newest version of Windows in multiple confusing versions ... again. The information comes from the latest version of the Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), and shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install. Who's up for guessing what the difference is between Windows 7 'Starter' and Windows 7 'Home Basic?'"

Taxpayer Data At IRS Remains Vulnerable 62 62

CWmike writes "A new Government Accountability Office report (PDF) finds that taxpayer and other sensitive data continues to remain dangerously underprotected at the IRS. The news comes less than three months after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that there were major security vulnerabilities in two crucial IRS systems. Two big standouts in the latest finding: The IRS still does not always enforce strong password management rules for identifying and authenticating users of its systems, nor does it encrypt certain types of sensitive data, the GAO said."
The Courts

Gov't Database Errors Leading To Unconstitutional Searches? 272 272

Wired is running a story about a case the Supreme Court will be hearing on Tuesday that relates to searches based on erroneous information in government databases. In the case of Herring vs. US 07-513, the defendant was followed and pulled over based on a records indicating he had a warrant out for his arrest. Upon further review, the local county clerk found the records were in error, and the warrant notification should have been removed months prior. Unfortunately for Herring, he had already been arrested and his car searched. Police found a small amount of drugs and a firearm, for which Herring was subsequently prosecuted. Several friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed to argue this case, some calling for "an accuracy obligation on law enforcement agents [PDF] who rely on criminal justice information systems," and others defending such searches as good-faith exceptions [PDF].

Jerry Seinfeld Will Plug Vista 776 776

Barence writes "Microsoft has signed up comedian Jerry Seinfeld to its $300 million Vista PR blitz, as it attempts to turn around the negative perception surrounding its operating system. Reports suggest Bill Gates will also appear in the ads, which, given the comedy timing he displayed in his 'Bill's Last Day' video, and the deadpan manner of Seinfeld, could result in a huge hit for the company." Reader Zarmanto notes in his journal that "Mac users might be quite amused, considering that (like many other TV shows) the set of Seinfeld always had a Macintosh prominently displayed in the background."

Folders vs. Tags For Shared Email Accounts? 148 148

binarybum writes "I run a student organization with a 10-member 'board of directors.' We hardly ever all have time to attend meetings and a large part of how we interact with the student body is through email. We have a shared email account (accessible by the 10 of us on the board) right now that is typically accessed through an outlook web-access portal. We've been attempting to keep things organized in the account through a complex collection of folders that have been tacked on ad libum. It's turned into a complete mess. I have the onerous task of restructuring the folder system in hopes of achieving sustainable organization, but I'm wondering if I should just switch us over to a tagging system — perhaps Gmail. Has anyone used tags for a multi-user account successfully or does it end up being just as messy?"
The Media

Gamespot's Editorial Problems in Perspective 79 79

Sam Kennedy is a guy you can respect. As the Editor of the 1up site, he's overseen some great features and some unbelievable breaking news; he also has a great point of view on the games industry. So his massive blog entry posted today talking about Gamespot's sad state of affairs post-Gerstmann-gate is something you should take seriously. Sam runs down the sordid affair itself, the changes to C|Net and Gamespot management that led to unreal expectations at Eidos, and what this could mean for the future of game reviews. "Shortly after Gerstmann was fired, I got a call from a friend at one of the major nationwide news networks asking me what I knew about what happened, as he was considering trying to pitch a story to his editor. You want to know what it was? 'Game Reviews: can they be trusted?' Basically, 'You're a parent and you're going to buy a videogame for your kids this holiday season, but can you trust those reviews you're reading on the web?' That's why this story matters so much. Gerstmann-gate ... made him want to give the industry a nice kick in the pants. I applaud his motives, but again, it's a shame to have this sort of doubt hanging over us all."

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"