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Media

+ - RIAA Suing User for Copying CDs to Hard Drive 2

Submitted by
tigerhawkvok
tigerhawkvok writes "Everyone has some gripe about the the RIAA. Well, here's one that we can all partake in, more than usual: The RIAA has officially started suing people for copying CDs to their hard drive. Yes. You read that right. They want you to fill up your PMPs with just content downloaded from their label websites, Microsoft's marketplace, iTunes, or what have you. No CDs allowed.
No, this is not just the famous side-comment of "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Copying a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy' " as said by the Sony/BMG chick. This is an actual lawsuit.

This disgusting trend brought to your attention courtesy Engadget."
Data Storage

+ - MegaUpload refuses payout - claims "fraud" 2

Submitted by
Farasha SilverSand
Farasha SilverSand writes "Earlier this year, in October to be precise, LiveJournal user Cleolinda Jones updated her blog with an entry regarding a special campaign known as Project Download.

To make a long story short, Oregon resident Erin (LJ username redscorner) needed a series of brain surgeries that were both expensive and life-saving.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

To Erin, MegaUpload's download reward program must have seemed like a godsend. For five million downloads, Erin would recieve $10,000, enough to pay for her brain surgeries.

The file to be downloaded was a small .txt file, basically thanking the downloader for participating and again explaining her situation.

In December, Erin reached her first milestone — 100,000 download points, listed on the reward page as paying out $100. Instead of waiting until the five million mark to cash in, Erin decided to claim her $100 reward, just to make sure MegaUpload really meant business.

Instead of her reward, Erin received an e-mail from MegaUpload stating that they would not pay her.

Dear Erin,

Our apologies for the late reply, our rewards staff was not in during Xmas.

We have decided not to pay you because of fraud. Your reward points were earned through small 2 KB txt files which were downloaded many times from the same IP's. This against our terms of service and reward rules.

Sincerely,

Megaupload Abuse Department


Aside from being wholly unprofessional, the e-mail is not even consistent with MegaUpload's own Terms of Service regarding their rewards program, which state:

What is a qualifying download?

Up to one download per IP address per file per day will be counted. Downloads from certain countries or territories do not qualify. Click here for the current list of qualifying countries.

Absolutely no fraud

You will be disqualified and banned if you try to manipulate the results. Automated mass downloads are easily detected and strictly forbidden.

Only files up to 100 MB

Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for the Rewards program.


The ToS do not state that files must meet a minimum requirement. They also do not state that multiple downloads from the same IP address on different dates are fraudulent and against the rules.

Erin is considering filing suit in small claims court, but since MegaUpload is allegedly based in Hong Kong, little to nothing might come from legal action.

MegaUpload's rewards program was more of a last-ditch effort than anything for Erin, and he whole situation should reiterate what most of us already know — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
United States

+ - 57 mpg? That's so 20 years ago 6

Submitted by
maclizard
maclizard writes "I wish my car got 57 miles to the gallon.

From the article:
'The CRX HF got an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 57 mpg gallon in highway driving. Today, the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid Civic you can buy gets an EPA-estimated 34 mpg on the highway. Even today's Honda Civic Hybrid can't match it, achieving EPA-estimated highway mileage of just 45 mpg. The Toyota Prius, today's fuel mileage champ, gets 46 mpg on the highway.'"
Privacy

+ - Google tracks you on torrent and porn sites 7

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Think Google can only track you search habits? Think again. This site survey found that 40 of the top100 websites use Google-analytics as their web analysis software. Sites like mininova and youporn included. Google dominates the search engine world and now as a centralized service dominate the none-search website metrics. I am glad they do. I will be immortalized in Google databases as Google scientists of the future analyze my search habits, movies I like to see and types of girls I would like to meet."
Google

+ - The Google Enigma->

Submitted by
porkrind
porkrind writes "Nick Carr, of 'Does IT Matter?' fame, has penned an article asking the question of whether Google is a model for other companies to emulate or whether it's too much of an anomaly to be useful in a cross-industry sense. He also asks the question of whether Google's approach to management and innovation (much ballyhooed in many circles) is a cause or result of its success. The answer to whether your company should emulate Google is, perhaps unsurprisingly, "it depends." His analysis and logic leading to that conclusion are definitely a thought-provoking read. His ultimate conclusion is that Google's success is much more attributable to its leading-edge IT operations than any of the hype you may read about in glossy journals."
Link to Original Source
Programming

+ - Recruit Hot Talent by...Not Leaving Contact Info?-> 3

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Google has previously used coding competitions to locate top talent. In a new twist on the idea, an anonymous tech company is posting a help-wanted ad that challenges developers to find out who the company is. A little digging and text mashing reveals a website containing a Web 2.0 puzzle that makes notpron look like child's play. So, fellow developers, who is this company, and, well, what is the significance of the date "1-18-08 " ?"
Link to Original Source
Movies

+ - Harry Potter 5 Standard DVD Defective by Design

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many people I know — and unsurprisingly, many people online — have already written that the quality of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix standard DVD is of such poor quality that a VHS tape is a superior version. Even older DVDs from earlier movies in the series stand up with higher quality than this release. Is this a ploy by Warner Bros. to push the HD versions of the film?"
Bug

+ - Follow-up on EvE's Boot.ini Issue

Submitted by Krinsath
Krinsath (1048838) writes "CCP, publishers of Eve Online, have posted a Dev Blog detailing the circumstances leading up to the deletion of XP's boot.ini file, which was earlier covered on Slashdot. The blog is decently detailed about how the mistake occurred (a new installer from their normal one), how they responded and what CCP has learned from it. While fairly dry, it is to the company's credit that they're being open about one of the more serious bugs to crop up in gaming's recent history."
Social Networks

+ - Facebook's Beacon Possibly Illegal->

Submitted by drwxrxrx
drwxrxrx (680978) writes "An associate professor at New York Law School has published a look at Facebook's Beacon service through the eyes of the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, which prohibits "wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records". From the article: "I dug a bit into the legalities of the issue, and this is roughly what I came up with: Facebook and Blockbuster should hunker down and prepare for the lawsuits.""
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google AdSense Meltdown Continues

Submitted by
gbulmash
gbulmash writes "The Google AdSense reporting meltdown continued on Friday, with even worse reporting discrepancies coming to the fore and web publishers blaming it for real losses in income, while Google just says "don't worry, we're working on it" and that's it. With this problem dating back to the "scheduled maintenance" last Saturday, it's screaming toward being a week old, yet Google remains tight-lipped. Could we end up seeing some lawsuits as fallout?"

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