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SCO Group Files For Chapter 7 190

New submitter rkhalloran writes "The remnants of the failed litigation engine that was the SCO Group has finally filed for liquidation under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. 'There is no reasonable chance of "rehabilitation."' Groklaw describes the recent filing (PDF) thus: 'I will try my best to translate the legalese for you: the money is almost all gone, so it's not fun any more. SCO can't afford Chapter 11. We want to shut the costs down, because we'll never get paid. But it'd look stupid to admit the whole thing was ridiculous and SCO never had a chance to reorganize through its fantasy litigation hustle. Besides, Ralph Yarro and the other shareholders might sue. So they want the litigation to continue to swing in the breeze, just in case. But SCO has no money coming in and no other prospects, so they want to proceed in a cheaper way and shut this down in respects to everything else.' I guess that means the lawyers will suck the marrow from the carcass and leave the bones to bleach out in the sun."
The Internet

Democratic Super PAC Buys 630

netbuzz writes "The purchase of by a Democratic Super PAC — and the use of it to highlight Newt Gingrich's political weaknesses — is either amusing or a dirty trick, depending on your politics and your view of the Republican presidential hopeful. In either case, however, it is a cautionary tale about the importance of controlling your brand online, a task that is about to get more difficult for everyone thanks to the impending expansion of generic top-level domains."

Auto Warranty Robocall Scammers Busted 358

ectotherm writes "The nice people behind the recorded phone messages stating 'By now you should have received your written note regarding your vehicle warranty expiring...' — the ones who instantly hang up when you ask for the name of the company — have been busted. Fox News did a little background digging on the four people charged." Don't know about you, but I received three or four postcards in the mail from these scammers, as well as uncountable robocalls. The FTC says they cleared $10M since 2007.
The Military

North Korea Missile Launch Fails 609

An anonymous reader writes "Remember the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch by the North Koreans last night? You know, the one that went over Japan and supposedly put a 'communications satellite' into orbit. Well, according to the US Northern Command and NORAD it has been a complete and utter failure, with the second stage and payload 'falling in the Pacific.'"
The Courts

RIAA Sued For Fraud, Abuse, & "Sham Litigation" 187

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "It's been a rough week for the RIAA as massive layoffs are about to cost many employees their job. On top of that, the anti-piracy outfit is being sued in North Carolina for abusing the legal system in its war on piracy, particularly for civil conspiracy, deceptive trade practices, trespassing and computer fraud in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Moursy. Named along with the record companies as defendants on the counterclaims are Safenet (formerly known as MediaSentry) and the RIAA. This case first started out as 'LaFace Records v. Does 1-38' until the court required the RIAA to break it up into 38 separate cases, at which point it morphed into 'SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Doe.' Only after the RIAA finally got its 'expedited' discovery did it become SONY v. Moursy. And from the looks of things, it has a long, long way to go. The RIAA hasn't even filed its answer to the counterclaims yet, but is making a motion to dismiss them on the grounds of legal insufficiency. Sound like a good investment of record company resources, anyone?"

Ted Stevens Loses Senate Re-Election Bid 337

JakartaDean writes "Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, famed Internet regulator, has lost his Senate seat. The AP is reporting that 'Stevens was declared the loser in Alaska on Tuesday night after a two-week-long process of counting nearly 90,000 absentee and early votes from across Alaska. With this victory, Democrat Mark Begich (the mayor of Anchorage) has defeated one of the giants in the US Senate by a 3,724-vote margin, a stunning end to a 40-year Senate career marred by Stevens' conviction on corruption charges a week before the election.' It's probably too early to tell what this means for Internet regulation, but at least there's a > 0 chance that the next committee chair will understand something about the Net."

Wal-Mart Ends DRM Support 231

An anonymous reader writes "So, you thought you did well to support the fledgling music industry by purchasing your tracks legally from the Wal-Mart store? Well, forget about moving these tracks to a new PC! Since they started selling DRM-free tracks last year, there's no money to be made in maintaining the DRM support systems, and in fact, support is being shut down. Make sure you circumvent the restrictions by burning the tracks to an old-fashioned CD before Wal-mart 'will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from' Support ends October 9th."

FEMA Phones Hacked, Calls Made To Mideast and Asia 241

purplehayes writes "A hacker broke into a Homeland Security Department telephone system over the weekend and racked up about $12,000 in calls to the Middle East and Asia. The hacker made more than 400 calls on a Federal Emergency Management Agency voicemail system in Emmitsburg, Md., on Saturday and Sunday, according to FEMA spokesman Tom Olshanski."
Social Networks

Scrabulous Returns To Facebook, As Wordscraper 262

porcupine8 writes "Good news for those that have had a hole in their heart (and Facebook profile) since Hasbro forced Facebook to remove Scrabulous over copyright and trademark issues. The creators of Scrabulous have wasted no time in tweaking the game and have launched a new tile-based game called Wordscraper. In addition to changing the name, they have changed the board look so as not to directly copy the colors, etc of a Scrabble board, and have even made provisions for players to create their own board layout! Interested Scrabulous fans can add the application now. Only time will tell if the changes were extensive enough to keep Hasbro's lawyers at bay."

Sen. Ted "Tubes" Stevens Is Indicted 553

Many readers are letting us know about the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens on seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms. We discussed the raid on the senator's house a while back. Everyone's favorite technologically challenged senator is the longest-serving Republican in the history of the upper house. An Alaskan paper gives deep background on the probe that has ensnared Stevens and a number of other Alaska political figures.
The Courts

Monster Cables Pushes Around the Wrong Small Company 572

Alien54 writes "Audioholics has a fun read regarding a recent legal dustup involving Monster Cables. The well-known (some might say notorious) cabling company sent a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable over a supposed patent violation. What the Monster folks couldn't have known was that Blue Jeans president Kurt Denke used to be a lawyer. His response is as humorous as it is thorough. ' Let me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable. Indeed, the less my customers think my products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better ... If there is more than one such connector design in actual use by Monster Cable as to which appropriation of trade dress is alleged, of course, I will require this information for each and every such design. On the basis of what I have seen, both in the USPTO documents you have sent and the actual appearance of Monster Cable connectors which I have observed in use in commerce, it does not appear to me that Monster Cable is in a position to advance a nonfrivolous claim for infringement of these marks.'"
United States

Maryland Scraps Diebold Voting System 209

beadfulthings writes "After eight years and some $65 million, the state of Maryland is taking its first steps to return to an accountable, paper-ballot based voting system. Governor Martin O'Malley has announced an initial outlay of $6.5 million towards the $20 million cost of an optical system which will scan and tally the votes while the paper ballots are retained as a backup. The new (or old) system is expected to be in place by 2010 — or four years before the state finishes paying off the bill for the touch-screen system."

Vista Named Year's Most Disappointing Product 842

Shadow7789 writes "No surprise here, but to complete its humiliation, PC World has declared that Windows Vista is the most disappointing product of 2007. Quoting: 'Five years in the making and this is the best Microsoft could do?... No wonder so many users are clinging to XP like shipwrecked sailors to a life raft, while others who made the upgrade are switching back. And when the fastest Vista notebook PC World has ever tested is an Apple MacBook Pro, there's something deeply wrong with the universe.'"

Make it right before you make it faster.