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Submission + - A new technology called "flash memory" (

Lucas123 writes: "Reporting from CES, the Today Show revealed a new technology called "flash memory" that's poised to replace video tape. This amazing technology is a "hard wafer that stores electrical charge easily, quickly, durably and almost indefinitely" and can record up to two hours of video and is becoming cheaper all the time. What will they think of next? Cars that run on gasoline and batteries?"
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Submission + - What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft

An anonymous reader writes: What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft? Today I want to ponder the question: what if Microsoft, not Google, had created Gmail? What would be the differences in that web mail client for users today? What if we apply some of the same design rules that brought us Hotmail, for instance?
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Submission + - SCO found guilty of lying about Unix code in Linux (

mlauzon writes: "In the United States, SCO's Linux/Unix litigation has been stalled out while the company's bankruptcy trial is being dealt with. In Germany, however, several court cases have found SCO Group GmbH, SCO's Germany branch, guilty of lying about Linux containing stolen Unix code.

In the first case, reported on by Heise Online, the pro-Linux German companies, Tarent GmbH and Univention found that SCO was once more making claims that Linux contained Unix IP (intellectual property). Specifically, SCO GmbH made the familiar claims that "As we have progressed in our discovery related to this action, SCO has found compelling evidence that the Linux operating system contains unauthorized SCO UNIX intellectual property (IP)." This was followed by the usual threat "If a customer refuses to compensate SCO for its UNIX intellectual property found in Linux by purchasing a license, then SCO may consider litigation."

The German Linux companies had already successfully protested against these statements in 2003. Then they were granted an injunction against SCO from making its claims that Linux contains illegally obtained SCO IP, a.k.a. Unix source code. If SCO violated this injunction, SCO would have to pay a fine of 250,000 Euros.

Since Tarent and Univention brought the matter to the attention of the courts, SCO has taken down the offending page with its claims.

Of course, in the U.S. court system, it has already been ruled that SCO has no Unix IP. Novell, not SCO, owns Unix.

Tarent's managing director told Heise Online that he found "It disconcerting, though not surprising, to see SCO trying to do towards the end what it is really being paid for by its supporters: spreading falsities as disparaging as possible about Linux." Unlike 2003, where Linux companies had to nip things in the bud, exercising vigilance is due now where things are coming to an end: "Even though SCO has reached the end of the line in our opinion, one should not let them get away with this."

In a similar case, Andreas Kuckartz, a German Linux advocate, had been publicly stating since 2003 that "SCO IP Licenses for Linux" amounted to little more than "protection money pricelists" and that SCO is "spreading rumors about copyright violations in Linux." Further, Kuckartz claimed that "The SCO Group Inc. is probably is involved in crimes such as stock manipulation and filing a fraudulent complaint against IBM."

SCO took him to court over these claims and SCO has lost (German PDF document). The Higher Regional Court in Munich ruled, Kuckartz said in e-mails to Linux-Watch, "that my statements are allowed because none of the factual statements I made to support those accusations are false. I can now even go to a business partner of The SCO Group GmbH and tell him or her that SCO is probably involved in the named crimes."

Kuckartz claim that he believes is the most important one is that in the four years the case has dragged out, SCO never objected "to my statement that SCO has not presented any proof of copyright violations in the lawsuit SCO vs. IBM."

In the United States, however, SCO, even now, continues to drag out its unsubstantiated claims that IBM has stolen SCO's Unix IP. In the SCO bankruptcy hearing, SCO attorney Arthur Spector once more claims, "Our litigation is a tremendous asset" and "Our litigation with IBM could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars.""


Submission + - Book copies Wikipedia; Publisher aggressive on IP. ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Two pages of a book, Black Gold: The New Frontier in Oil for Investors, consist of a direct copy from the English Wikipedia article on the Khobar Towers Bombing. The book is published by John Wiley and Sons, the same publisher who, earlier this year, threatened a blogger with legal action over a clear case of fair use commentary.

Submission + - Are these the worst tech ads ever made?

thingsinyoursocks writes: The technology industry is guilty of some really terrible commercials and CNET has rounded up what it thinks are the worst of them in two installments, here's the first and here's the second. "The tech industry has a rich and hilarious history of being unable to promote itself as anything other than unutterably dorky. Originally we were going to call this 'The top ten worst tech ads', but as we hunted around we discovered these are pure gold. They are shockingly bad, but you'll derive so much pleasure from watching them it didn't seem right to use 'worst' anymore."

Submission + - Should Ubuntu Fans Root for the Boston Celtics? (

LotTS writes: "The Boston Celtics pro basketball team has adopted the African term "Ubuntu" as their rallying cry because it roughly translates to, "I am because we are." Although unrelated to the Linux distro (allegedly), should the Ubuntu community try to ride the coattails of the Celtics for free publicity, especially since they are a favorite to win the NBA championship this year?"
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Submission + - Facebook Goes 64 Bit: Expects to Grow Quickly ( 1

NewsCloud writes: "Facebook announced to developers today that they are moving to a 64 bit user ID in November (see below). At 32 bits, the current ID allows nearly 4.3 billion user accounts. Yet, despite having only 47 million users today, Facebook's move to 64 bits will allow it to have more than 18 quintillion (18,446,744,074,000,000,000) user accounts. Of course, there are currently only about 6.5 billion people in the world. Is Facebook setting their sights beyond Earth or just trying to avoid what happened when Slashdot ran out of space for comment IDs last year. Perhaps they are planning to implement personas. Anyway, do you have any idea how much Facebook would be worth with 18 quintillion user IDs? Sextillions..."

Submission + - Microsoft extends Windows XP sales to June 2008 (

LeandroTLZ writes: "Looks like customers wanting to avoid Vista have some more time to do so. A corporate vice president for Windows product management says, "maybe we were a little ambitious to think that we would need to make Windows XP available for only a year after the release of Windows Vista". System builders, or smaller companies that make and sell PCs, will still sell the older operating system until the end of January 2009."
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Submission + - What "The Sopranos" taught us about techno

BobB writes: With "The Sopranos" TV series expected to have its last hurrah this Sunday at the Emmy Awards ceremony, it's time to celebrate the HBO program's most overlooked story line: Those thugs loved technology almost as much as they loved young women, good food, money and guns. A detailed analysis of tech references on the program.
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Submission + - Make a Call with an iPhone, Get a Summons (

Glenn Fleishman writes: "John M. Stafford was driving down the road in Virginia, talking on his iPhone using its supplied headphones, when he was pulled over and issued a summons (he passed his story and the picture of the summons on to us at TidBITS). The law in Virginia makes using headphones while driving illegal; but hands-free calling is encouraged. Stafford wonders at that contradiction."

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.