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Businesses

Lawsuit Shows Dell Hid Extent of Computer Flaws 272 272

Geoffrey.landis writes "According to an article in the New York Times, documents revealed in a lawsuit against Dell show that the computer maker hid the extent of possible damages due to a faulty capacitor in the computers it shipped from 2003 to 2005. Dell employees were told, 'Don't bring this to customer's attention proactively,' and 'emphasize uncertainty.' (PDF) 'As it tried to deal with the mounting issues, Dell began ranking customers by importance, putting first those who might move their accounts to another PC maker, followed by those who might curtail sales and giving the lowest priority to those who were bothered but still willing to stick with Dell.' In other words, the most loyal customers got the worst treatment."
Encryption

British Teen Jailed Over Encryption Password 1155 1155

An anonymous reader writes "Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool has been convicted of 'failing to disclose an encryption key,' which is an offense under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and as a result has been jailed for 16 weeks. Police seized his computer but could not get past the 50-character encrypted password that he refused to give up. And just to get it out of the way, obligatory XKCD."
The Internet

Bittorrent To Replace Standard Downloads? 591 591

Max Sayre writes "Have you ever tried to download an operating system update only to have it fail and have to start all over? What about patches for your favorite games? World of Warcraft already uses Bittorrent technology as a way to distribute large amounts of content at a lower cost to the company and faster speeds to all of their clients. So why haven't they replaced the standard downloading options built into any major OS? Companies like Opera are including the downloading of torrents in their products already and extensions have been written for Firefox to download torrents in-browser. Every day Bittorrent traffic is growing. Sites like OpenBittorrent already exist and DHT doesn't even require a tracker. So why isn't everyone doing it? Is it finally time to see all downloads replaced with Bittorrent?"
Music

Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other 131 131

An anonymous reader writes "We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others' work as those who are downloading illegal media."
Microsoft

66% of All Windows Users Still Use Windows XP 931 931

An anonymous reader writes "Almost one year after the introduction of Windows 7 it appears that the hype surrounding it has faded. The overall market share of Windows has turned into a slight decline again. Windows 7 is gaining share, but cannot keep pace with the loss of Windows XP and Vista. Especially Windows XP users seem to be happy with what they have and appear to be rather resistant to Microsoft's pitches that it is time to upgrade to Windows 7."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Tax is 1/3 Price of French Laptop-> 1 1

kripkenstein writes: According to a recent court case in France, almost one third of the cost of a particular Acer laptop goes to Microsoft, while another portion goes to other software vendors:

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?

Link to Original Source
Windows

Windows XP SP3 Build 3205 Released w/ New Features 286 286

jBubba writes "Windows XP SP3 build 3205 is the first official & authorized release of the next Windows XP service pack; and has been made available to testers as a part of the Windows Server 2008/Windows Vista SP1 beta program. NeoSmart Technologies has the run-down on the included 1,073 patches/hotfixes including security updates. Contrary to popular belief, Windows XP SP3 does ship with new features/components, most of which have been backported from Windows Vista. Some included features: 'New Windows Product Activation model: no need to enter product key during setup. Network Access Protection modules and policies have been brought to XP after being one of the more-well-received features in Windows Vista. New Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module - the Windows XP SP3 kernel now includes an entire module that provides easy access to multiple cryptographic algorithms and is available for use in kernel-mode drivers and services. New "Black Hole Router" detection - Windows XP SP3 can detect and protect against rogue routers that are discarding data.'"
Music

+ - RIAA loses counterclaim lawsuit->

An anonymous reader writes: This is the case in which the Court had sustained 5 of the 6 counterclaims interposed by Ms. Del Cid.

The court sustained defendant's counterclaims for

-trespass to defendant's personal property based on the RIAA's having accessed files on Ms. Del Cid's computer without her permission,
-violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act based on the RIAA's unauthorized intrusion into defendant's computer,
-violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act,
-a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, and
-conspiracy to commit extortion, since defendant sufficiently alleged "a peculiar power of coercion possessed by Plaintiffs [by] virtue of their combination, which an individual alone would not possess".

Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Judge bars RIAA prez from testifying in P2P case-> 3 3

Eskimo Joe writes: A federal judge surprised observers in the Captiol v Thomas file-sharing trial today by barring RIAA president Cary Sherman from testifying. 'After a brief recess this afternoon, plaintiffs' counsel Richard Gabriel and defendant's counsel David Toder made their cases before the judge as to the relevance of Sherman's testimony. Toder argued that Sherman's testimony was not relevant to the question at hand, the fact of whether Thomas was liable for copyright infringement. Gabriel said that Sherman would be able to tell the jury why this case was significant, and more importantly, describe the harm the RIAA believes piracy has caused to the music industry. "I don't want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry," Toder argued in response.' Testimony wrapped up today with closing arguments expected Thursday morning.
Link to Original Source
Space

Will China Beat the United States Back to the Moon? 482 482

MarkWhittington writes "During an address on the space economy to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the space age, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made the assertion that China would beat the United States back to the Moon. 'Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China's introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to other nations that appear to be at the top of the technical pyramid, and they want to do deals with those nations. It's one of the things that made us the world's greatest economic power. So I think we'll be reinstructed in that lesson in the coming years and I hope that Americans will take that instruction positively and react to it by investing in those things that are the leading edge of what's possible."'"
The Internet

The US Rural Broadband Crisis 586 586

Ian Lamont writes "Rural US residents don't have the same kind of access to broadband services as those who live in urban or suburban areas. According to the federal government, just 17% of rural U.S. households subscribe to broadband service. But the problem is more than a conflict between Wall Street and small-town residents wanting to surf the 'Net or play Warcraft — the lack of broadband access prevents many businesses from growing and diversifying rural economies, as it's expensive or impossible to get broadband. From the article: 'Soon after moving to Gilsum, N.H. (population 811), [Kim] Rossey learned that he couldn't get broadband to support his Web programming business, TooCoolWebs. DSL wasn't available, and the local cable service provider wasn't interested in extending the cabling for its broadband service the three-tenths of a mile required to reach Rossey's house — even if he paid the full $7,000 cost. Rossey ended up signing a two-year, $450-per-month contract for a T1 line that delivers 1.44Mbit/sec. of bandwidth. He pays 10 times more than the cable provider would have charged and receives one quarter of the bandwidth.' The author also notes that larger businesses are being crimped, from a national call center to a national retailer which claims 17% of its store locations can't get broadband."
Printer

+ - Apple acquires CUPS-> 1 1

mikesd81 writes: "Michael R. Sweet, the creator of CUPS, has posted on the CUPS website that:

"Apple Inc. acquired ownership the CUPS source code and hired me (Michael R Sweet), the creator of CUPS.

CUPS will still be released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms, and I will continue to develop and support CUPS at Apple. ""

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