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Portables (Apple)

Hands-On With the New MacBooks 128

Posted by timothy
from the nice-look-see dept.
Paige Philuer writes "Macworld has a hands-on article examining the new MacBook and MacBook Pro — not a quickie look from Tuesday's event, but a lengthy, in-depth look with laptops they actually have in their offices. Some interesting observations: No FireWire on the MacBook; the TrackPad doesn't feel like you're running your finger across a pane of glass, though that's what it is; and switching between graphics cards in the MacBook Pro requires you to log out." Reader Bourbon contributes three links at CNET related to the new models, too: a positive written review (giving a score of 8/10 to the new MacBook), a video review, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the new models are machined.
The Almighty Buck

Report Indicates Widespread H-1B Visa Fraud 397

Posted by kdawson
from the imagine-our-surprise dept.
Vrst1013 notes a Business Week account of a government report examining fraud in the H-1B program. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services just released a report to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee examining issues with fraud and technical violations within this program. Based on a sample size of 246 H-1B petitions, 13.4 percent showed fraud and 7.3 percent showed technical violations, for an overall violation rate of 20.7 percent. There was slso evidence of payment below the prevailing wage, offers of non-existent jobs, and fraudulent documentation. "'The report makes it clear that the H-1B program is rife with abuse and misuse,' says Ron Hira, [a professor] at the Rochester Institute of Technology ... However, both Presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, have said they support expanding the program."
Oracle

International Spam Ring Shut Down 243

Posted by kdawson
from the spamhaus-top-ten dept.
smooth wombat writes "An international spam ring with ties to Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and the US is in the process of being shut down. Finances of members in the US are being frozen using the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 while the FBI is pursuing criminal charges. The group sent spam advertising male enhancement herbs and other items using a botnet estimated at 35,000 computers, and able to send 10 billion emails per day. The Federal Trade Commission monitored the group's finances and found that they had cleared $400,000 in Visa charges in one month alone."
Sci-Fi

Paul Krugman Awarded Nobel Prize For Economics 425

Posted by kdawson
from the too-smart-fr-government dept.
zogger writes in his journal, "The guy who put together the concept of geographical location combined with cheap transportation leading to 'like trades with like' and the rise of superindustrial trading blocs has won the Nobel economics science prize. He's a bigtime critic of a lot of this administration's policies, and is unabashedly an FDR-economy styled fella. Here is his blog at the NYTimes." Reader yoyoq adds that Krugman's career choice was inspired by reading Asimov's Foundation series at a young age.
Displays

Asus Launches Touchscreen Eee Desktop 157

Posted by kdawson
from the smearing-the-peanut-butter-and-jelly dept.
Barence writes "Asus has launched an Eee-branded 15.6" touchscreen desktop PC as a budget rival to HP's TouchSmart. Available for pre-order now on Play.com for £399.99 ($749), it shares much of the same specification as the Eee PC, but with a larger 160GB hard disk. Interestingly, it's listed as coming with XP installed, so we'd guess Asus will be using some sort of proprietary touchscreen interface — yet the image on the site clearly shows Linux on the screen, which may be a better bet for an easy-to-use touch system."
Microsoft

Microsoft and OLPC Agree To Put XP On the XO Laptop 530

Posted by Soulskill
from the sliding-down-a-slippery-slope dept.
Apro+im points out a NYTimes report which states that Microsoft and the OLPC project have officially agreed to put Windows XP on the XO laptop. While Microsoft has been working toward this for some time, analysts began to think a deal was more likely after Walter Bender resigned from the project and was replaced by Charles Kane. Former OLPC security developer Ivan Krstic had a lot to say about Windows on the XO as well. From the Times: "Windows will add a bit to the price of the machines, about $3, the licensing fee Microsoft charges to some developing nations under a program called Unlimited Potential. For those nations that want dual-boot models, running both Windows and Linux, the extra hardware required will add another $7 or so to the cost of the machines, Mr. Negroponte said. The project's agreement with Microsoft involves no payment by the software giant, and Microsoft will not join One Laptop Per Child's board. 'We've stayed very pure,' Mr. Negroponte said.
The Almighty Buck

+ - Choosing a USB Hard Drive

Submitted by
PunkOfLinux
PunkOfLinux writes "I'm looking at getting an external hard drive (USB) for use with my laptop. When I look online, I see so many options that I have no idea where to start. Does anyone here on slashdot have experience with any particular models, or any recommendations?"
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."
Democrats

+ - Barack Obama's Internet Incursion

Submitted by
Petey_Alchemist
Petey_Alchemist writes "There's nothing new about interactive politics on the Internet. YouTube videos helped unseat George Allen in Virginia; Howard Dean's ill-fated run was predicated on Internet fundraising.

But Barack Obama (D-IL), who just announced his candidacy for President today, is going the next step. He first announced his exploratory commission in a video on his website, and soon after supporters made a Facebook group supporting him.

The Sun-Times says:

"The Obama campaign New Media Director is Joe Rospars, a veteran of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign, which in its day was seen as an innovative leader in using the Internet as a critical campaign tool. At 11:25 p.m. on Thursday Rospars blogged on the site, "I'm writing now because we're making the final tweaks on the initial set of tools and functionality that will hopefully help a lot of people like you hit the ground running and start this campaign off with the culture of self-organizing that Senator Obama wants to build.," Rospars blogged ."

Indeed, Obama's website now boasts a built-in social networking site, where users can post pictures, blog, send messages, and organize meetups with other Barack supporters. This openness has been and will be abused, but it will be interesting to see how this new expansion into the Internet will play out."
Graphics

+ - Feng-GUI : Feng Shui for graphic user interfaces

Submitted by
Feng-GUI
Feng-GUI writes "http://www.feng-gui.com/ is an online heatmap generator of how people look at your website? Designers, Photographers, Web Developers, Creatives ! Find out how people View your website or image and which areas are getting most of the attention. The ViewFinder Heatmap service, simulates human visual attention and creates an attention heatmap."
Censorship

Teens Prosecuted For Racy Photos 740

Posted by kdawson
from the protecting-from-whom? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a story on CNet about two teens who were prosecuted under anti-child-porn laws in Florida for having made and emailed racy photos of each other. Both were under 18 years old, so the resulting pictures are clearly illegal; but the teens' intent was not to share the pictures with anyone else. An appeals court majority opinion found that emailing the photos from one of the kids to the other was a careless act that should, it seems, bring down the full weight of the law. A minority opinion argued that the laws were intended to protect children from exploitative adults, not from other children.
Media

+ - Italian judge says P2P OK if it's not for money

Submitted by Paolo DF
Paolo DF (849424) writes "Two italian students have been recently condemned (at a three months and ten days confinement) for creating a p2p network sharing movies and music with other students, because they violated two articles of the Italian Copyright Law. Now, the "Corte di Cassazione" wikipedia entry (court of last resort, born to "ensure the observation and the correct interpretation of law") cleared their charges, since that law is about copying for profit, while they weren't making money out of the p2p network.
Here is the story, from the major Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera""

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