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Submission + - Is Microsoft Office Adware? (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft Office links to third-party commercial add-ons, includes up-spelling promos, requires cookies for certain functions, and collects technical information. While this is a normal day on the web, should the commercial office suite be judged to a different standard and possibly be considered adware?

Slashdot previously covered Microsoft trying Works as adware.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Comcast now shuts off people's connections 1

Comcast now shuts off people's connections as soon as they start up bittorrent. Even if the connection is fully encrypted.

Of course Azarus-Vuze isn't exactly subtle, since it gets all of that other stuff. The first time I tried bittorent tonight, they waited 15 minutes before shutting my connection off. The second time they did it in maybe 5 seconds. And didn't turn it on again for 15 minutes.

95 Of Every 100 Windows PCs Miss Security Updates 126

An anonymous reader writes "From Computerworld today: 'Nearly all Windows computers are likely running at least one unpatched application and about four out of every ten contain 11 or more vulnerable-to-attack programs, a vulnerability tracking company said today.' The new data comes from Secunia's free security-patch scanner the Secunia's PSI. The complete data run-down is available here."
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Apple screws Mac Pro owners on graphics upgrade (

stoppard writes: With the release of upgraded graphics cards for the Mac Pro, users rejoiced and many ordered the upgrade for their current Mac Pros but have been dissapointed to receive a call from apple claming they are incompatible with older Mac Pros. It is obvious that the reason for this is to convince users to purchase a new computer as their is no reason not allow them to be compatible because PCIE 2.0 is fully backward compatible. Apple has changed the firmware on the card to specifically dissallow backward compatability.

More information in this thread at the macosrumors forums and this thread at the Apple support discussion forums.

Feed Engadget: Sony's $400 digital noise canceling headphones (

Filed under: CES, Portable Audio

The age-old battle between the forces of digital and analog wages on, with Sony's new MDR-NC500D noise canceling headphones claiming to out noise cancel your totally old-fashioned analog pair. We don't really understand the audio alchemy explained in the press release ("the analog audio input signal is converted to a digital signal and sent through a digital equalizer to enhance the mid-range vocals and alleviate the excess bass"?) but if it means we can tune into whatever crappy movie they're playing on the plane while blocking out the roar of the jet engine and maybe even a crying infant or two, then consider our attention gotten when these things start canceling noise in February. For $400, we're expecting nothing less than a miracle.

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Submission + - Censorship: Canadian-style

Knave75 writes: The Canadian Islamic Congress has launched a human rights complaint against Maclean's, a fairly old and established news magazine similar to "Time" published in Canada. The allegation: An article that was published did not say nice things about muslims. From the mouth of the CIC's lawyer:

Faisal Joseph is the CIC's legal counsel on the matter. "In Canada, we have 750,000 law-abiding Muslims," he says. "When you read that article, it sounds to some people [like] there's an attack from the 'Muslim' world against the 'non-Muslim' world. We take real issue with that type of characterization and the implications of it."
In other words, when letters to the editor don't work, try a human rights complaint instead.

Feed Engadget: New Line confirms it'll follow in Warner's Blu footsteps (

Filed under: HDTV, Home Entertainment

As if anyone expected anything different, New Line confirmed with Variety Magazine that it'll follow Warner to the Blu-ray promise land. While this is a no brainer considering the relationship between Warner and New Line, (also owned by Time Warner, just like Engadget) other studios remain up in the air. When, and if, Universal makes the switch as well is any ones guess, but at this point we doubt many would expect otherwise. But, as we've learned in the last few days, anything's possible, but the idea of having one HD format to adopt is something even most members of the red camp can get behind.

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The Courts

Submission + - Wired: RIAA's 'misspeaking' affected verdict

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: David Kravetz of, who covered the Capitol v. Thomas trial gavel-to-gavel and in person, writes that the RIAA's recent statement — that SONY BMG's top litigation lawyer "misspoke" during the trial when she said that making a copy from one's own cd is "stealing" — may have caused a major "miscarriage of justice". Wired points out that later on in the trial, during the RIAA's examination of Ms. Thomas, "On the hard drive she [turned] over were thousands of songs Thomas said she ripped from her CDs. The RIAA's Gabriel suggested to jurors that copying one's purchased music was a violation of the Copyright Act. Gabriel, for example, asked Thomas whether she had ever burned CDs, either for herself, or to give away to friends. "Did you get permission from the copyright owners to do that?" Gabriel asked. "No," Thomas responded." Gabriel, the RIAA's lead attorney, apparently misspoke too — prejudicing jurors along the way.

Submission + - Mandatory internet filters to protect children ( 5

CaptainDefragged writes: Just announced on the Australian ABC News site Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material. ... Senator Conroy says anyone wanting uncensored access to the internet will have to opt out of the service, and will work with the industry to ensure the filters do not affect the speed of the internet.
United States

Submission + - Fox News Excludes Ron Paul from Presidential Debat (

kaynaan writes: Fox News has excluded Ron Paul from participating in the last debate the weekend before the primary election begins. The debated occurs on January 6, less than one day after two back to back Republican and Democratic debates are being held at the same location. IANAL but isn't this going too far even for FOX ??

Submission + - Film Pirates for a Better Tomorrow

hydrarchist writes: The League of Noble Peers has just released a follow-up to their documentary, Steal This Film (about piracy conflicts and culture in Sweden.) Unsurprisingly, the new documentary is called "Steal This Film 2, The Dissolving Fortress" , and tells a tale inserting wherein p2p users join a historical thread disturbing power through communications shifts throughout the ages, starting with the printing press. They're also looking for contributions, financial and in-kind, to their media effort. It is also available on the The Pirate Bay where it currently has nearly 3,500 seeds!

Submission + - Court Allows Company To Copyright Cease & Desi (

An anonymous reader writes: Techdirt has the news of a lawsuit where a company was allowed to claim copyright on a cease-and-desist letter that an anonymous blogger had posted to a blog. The company then used the DMCA to not just get the C&D taken down, but to try to find out the identity of a *different* anonymous blogger that it was accusing of libel. This could create chilling effects for anyone who tries to post a cease-and-desist letter online, as you might now face copyright violation charges on the C&D in addition to whatever the C&D was originally for.

One picture is worth 128K words.