CWmike writes "A federal judge has dismissed a year-old lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged antitrust violations for the 'downgrade' rules it set for Windows Vista and XP. The order put an end to the lawsuit filed by Emma Alvarado in February 2009. In her original complaint, she accused Microsoft of coercing computer makers into forcing consumers who wanted to run Windows XP to first buy Windows Vista, or later, Windows 7, before they were allowed to downgrade to XP. The judge rejected Alvarado's accusations, saying that the plaintiff had not proved Microsoft benefited from the downgrade practices that it created and that OEMs implemented."
philetus writes "New Scientist has up a story on Posey, a hub-and-strut construction kit that senses its configuration and communicates it wirelessly to a computer. From the article: 'If you gave Lego brains, you might get something like Posey, a new hands-on way of interacting with computers developed at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, US. When Posey's plastic pieces are snapped together, an exact copy of the construction appears on a computer screen. Every twist of, say, a stick figure's arm is mirrored in 3D modelling software ... Each piece's plastic shell is stuffed with chips and devices for processing these signals. They are sent wirelessly to a computer using a low-power protocol called ZigBee. This means, bending Posey's pieces can make objects on-screen respond in real time. Right now, each custom-made piece has about US$50 (£25) worth of parts, Weller estimates. But if mass produced, it could be much cheaper.'"
The SKA has 5 key science goals, one of them, called 'The cradle of life' is aimed at looking for possible life in other star systems, but I believe it is mainly focusing on studying the formation of earth-like planets (to better understand our own). I think that any real SETI efforts will be done as a sort of 'piggyback' on other projects (Although I don't think the scheduling arrangements are anywhere near ready yet!).
siliconeyes writes "Skype has suffered a massive failure that is preventing people all over the globe from signing on to the popular IM/voice application. The Skype heartbeat website has been displaying the message Problems with Skype login for over 24 hours now. The Skype forums are full of people complaining about the lack of service. Even though SkypeIn and SkypeOut are shown as working normally on the heartbeat site, one has to wonder how they are supposed to use these services without being able to log in!"