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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 66 declined, 7 accepted (73 total, 9.59% accepted)

Google

+ - Chinese City Tops Malicious Email List->

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "The Chinese city of Shaoxing has earned the dubious honour of being the source of more malicious email (21.3%) than any country, other than, of course, China(28.2%) itself — although Romania came a close second at 21.1%. With the study finding that key targets of the email were 'experts in Asian defence policy and human rights activists,' it may be hard for the Chinese government to plausibly deny involvement. The study was done by Semantic while helping Google investigate suspected hacking attacks."
Link to Original Source
United States

+ - US Activist Faces Felony Charges over Twitter use

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "SteamPunk Magazine author (and, honestly, the inspiration for SteamPunk Magazine) Professor Calamity (Elliot Madison) is facing two felonies for allegedly running a twitter account. To add insult to felony charges, they raided his house in NYC for 16 hours while helicopters flew overhead. Items seized included computers, hammers, fridge magnets, copies of SteamPunk Magazine, "Curious George" plush kids toys, an embroidered picture of Lenin, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs ('martial arts training materials'???:-).

The arrest and search warrants were sealed, but press have had access to some of the details of the incident because Madison has sued the police over the legality of the search and search warrants. Their lawyer has already convinced a judge to put a stop on the police searching of their siezed personal possessions, 'because the raid is absolutely insane'."
Google

+ - Pentagon Bans Google->

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "CBC is reporting that The Pentagon has decided to ban google from their sites — but Google isn't getting tied in a knot about it — Mostly because it's physical military sites that Google is being banned from, and Google understands the security implications.

The minor bump occurred after a Google street mapping team asked for (and was given) permission to map one base. When military officials found the pictures, they decided that too much sensitive information could be gleaned from the and decided to have a friendly talk with officials from the website. According to one military spokesperson, "Google was very appreciative of us letting them know that we had a concern.""

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - MS Manufacturing Consent to OOXML fast-track

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "In Spain, Microsoft appears to be fighting desperately to make it look like they have wide-ranging support for the OOXML fast-track. The story surprised Groklaw's PJ enough that she asked for translators to make sure that she correctly understood what had happened. Apparently, technicians for the Spanish region of Andalusia had written a letter which espoused a preference for ODF, but expressed a willingness to provide technical support in the examination of document standards generally — including Microsoft's OOXML documentation.

Shortly before a meeting to vote on Microsoft's proposal, Microsoft sent off a letter with carefully chosen tidbits of Andalusia's letter designed to make Andalusia's support of ODF look like support for OOXML. Andalusia's technical team was apparently so miffed by this willful misrepresentation of their stance that they wrote an official complaint to the president of the national technical committee denouncing the misrepresentation, and re-iterating (emphasizing, even) their lack of support for OOXML."
GNU is Not Unix

+ - Skype Guilty of GPL Violation.

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "According to an article on wordpress.com, Skype was recently found guilty of violating the GPL in Germany. The court in the case ruled that Skype violated the GPL because they didn't provide users with a copy of the GPL (only a paper with links). They were also found in violation because the source code was only made available on The Internet, while the phone cannot be delivered on the 'net(!). SMC networks is the company that manufactured the phone, but Skype was sued because they were actually distributing it.

Given that Germany was once considered the soft underbelly of the GPL, this bodes ill for those who think that the GPL can't be enforced. Quite to the contrary, this case makes Germany the soft underbelly of GPL providers because Skype is the first non-german company to be sued in Germany (where lawsuits are faster and cheaper than the US) for GPL violations."
Microsoft

+ - Linspire/MS Agreement Useless to Users - Groklaw

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "Groklaw host PJ has disected the 'patent peace' agreement between Linspire and Microsoft, and has determined that What Linspire Agreed To is next to useless for many users.


"You can't share the software with others, pass it on with the patent promise, modify your own copy, or even use it for an "unauthorized" purpose, whatever that means in a software context. You must pay Linspire for the software, but then the "covenant" says to use Linux, you must also pay Microsoft. That payment doesn't cover upgrades. Linspire said it was absorbing the initial fees, but I don't know about upgrades. New functionality means you lose your coverage or presumably must pay again."
The agreement also doesn't cover various games, 'business software', GPL V3 software, server software and various other types of software (from Linspire or elsewhere), including, "other excluded products". It also allows Microsoft to interrogate you a la their normal Window EULA. ... Oh, and Microsoft can change or drop the agreement any time they want to, so you're really only safe until Microsoft decides that they really want to sue you (at which point you will be unable to get upgrades or new software without exposing yourself to their patent claims).

See the article for full details. I'm going back to my Ubuntu system."
Sci-Fi

+ - Ashes of Doohan Sent Into Space

Submitted by
Stephen Samuel
Stephen Samuel writes "The CBC is reporting that Star Trek actor James Doohan ("Scotty") achieved his hopes of having his ashes launched into space when a package containing some of his ashes, ashes of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and about 200 other people were carried into sub-orbital space by a 6 metre (20') rocket. The rocket was launched by UP Aerospace from "Spaceport America", a commercial spaceport being developed in the southern New Mexico desert."

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