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Submission + - Outrage as New Zealand Passes Anti-Filesharing Law-> 2

master5o1 writes: "The Pirate Party of New Zealand is disappointed that the Government used urgency to pass the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill after the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill.

"Not only is the urgency process being abused," party secretary Noel Zeng stated, "but our government is also exploiting the people of Christchurch by using their unfortunate situation to pass underhanded legislation.""

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Software

Nokia Claims Ogg Format is "Proprietary" 619

a nona maus writes "Several months ago a workgroup of the W3C decided to include Ogg/Theora+Vorbis as the recommended baseline video codec standard for HTML5, against Apple's aggressive protest. Now, Nokia seems to be seeking a reversal of that decision: they have released a position paper calling Ogg 'proprietary' and citing the importance of DRM support. Nokia has historically responded to questions about Ogg on their internet tablets with strange and inconsistent answers, along with hand waving about their legal department. This latest step is enough to really make you wonder what they are really up to."
Robotics

Submission + - Scientists closing in on perfecting a robotic hand->

Bergkamp10 writes: Artificial intelligence software is helping researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK and Jiao Tong University in Shanghai in a joint effort to create software that can learn and copy human hand movements, which will enable the robotic device to successfully mimic intricate, dexterous movements only capable today by the human hand. Honghai Liu, senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Industrial Research, said he used what he calls a cyberglove, which is covered in tiny sensors to capture data about how the human hand moves. The cyberglove was filmed in a motion-capture suite by eight high-resolution, digital charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras with infrared illumination and measurement accuracy up to a few millimeters. The device could provide help to the manufacturing industry, and could also could have significant implications for the elderly and those with disabilities. Liu says creating the perfect robotic hand is "the Holy Grail of science."
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Censorship

Submission + - Is ISP Web Content Filtering Here? 1

unixluv writes: "An ISP is testing web content filtering and content substitution software, see http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000337.html. While it seems innocent enough, is this the wave of the future? Will your ISP censor your web experience? Now consider it in the context of The MPAA asking for ISP Content Filtering on /. this week. Is the RIAA next? Will this spawn a war of web tools to circumvent ISP tools?"
Space

Submission + - Mystery About Earth's Mantle May Be Solved

explosivejared writes: "Recent observations made by the University of British Columbia may give insight to an old question about the composition of Earth's mantle, precisely why Earth's mantle doesn't resemble chondrite more. The article discusses the findings of John Hernlund about how the dynamics of magma account for the discrepancies in the theoretical composition of Earth and the actual composition of the mantle."
Education

Dvorak Slams OLPC As 'Naive Fiasco' 740

theodp writes "PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak has a unique take on the cute One Laptop per Child XO-1, deeming the OLPC project a naive fiasco waiting to unfold that sends an insulting 'let them eat cake' message to the world's poor. When it comes down to a choice of providing African kids living in absolute poverty with access to Slashdot or a $200 truckload of rice, Dvorak votes for the latter. Buy ten OLPCs if it assuages your guilt, says Dvorak, but 'I'll donate my money to hunger relief.'"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Petition to open OS/2 source, round/2-> 1

The_Wilschon writes: On September 25, 2005, OS2World.com sent a petition with 11,613 signatures to IBM, asking them to release some or all of the source code to OS/2. Oddly, given IBM's embrace of the Open Source movement, the letter was ignored. So, on November 19 of this year, OS2World.com sent a second letter. They have also opened up a second petition round in order to show even more support to IBM for their requests. In particular, the System Object Model (SOM), Workplace Shell (WPS), and OS/2 kernel could both spur new OS/2 development and provide some fresh ideas to the Free Software world.
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Microsoft

Submission + - WARNING: driver updates causing Vista deactivation->

KrispySausage writes: "After weeks of gruelling troubleshooting, I've finally had it confirmed by Microsoft Australia and USA — something as small as swapping the video card or updating a device driver can trigger a total Vista deactivation.

Put simply, your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into "reduced functionality" mode, where you can't do anything but use the web browser for half an hour.

How can this ridiculous situation occur, and what is Microsoft's response... read on."

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