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Businesses

Amazon.com To Accept Game Trade-Ins 242

Posted by timothy
from the this-game-sucks-you-try-it dept.
revjtanton writes "Amid all the discussion and argument about Gamestop's two-billion-dollar trade-in industry it seems Amazon.com is getting in on the action. Like Gamestop, Amazon asks for the games to be in good condition, however they offer just a few more dollars for your discarded game (Gamestop listed Left 4 Dead for the 360 at $24 while Amazon had it at $26.50 trade-in value). Gamestop had already ruffled feathers in the developer and distribution communities with its practice of accepting used games; does Amazon joining the practice legitimize it?"
Power

Energy Star Program Needs an Overhaul 306

Posted by kdawson
from the you-will-sleep-now-and-when-you-wake dept.
Martin Hellman writes "DeviceGuru.com ran my piece raising questions about the EPA's Energy Star program. For example, an Energy Star compliant TV that claims to draw 0.1 watts in sleep mode appears to do that — but only seems to sleep about 25% of the time that it is 'off.' The other 75% of the time it draws about 20 watts, for an effective sleep power draw from the user's perspective that is 150 times what the manufacturer claims. Based on the observations described, it is also questionable how many PC's really are sleeping when their screens are blank, even if the user has turned sleep mode on. Given the billions of dollars and tons of CO2 that are at stake, this situation demands more attention."
Cellphones

Get Out of Sprint Free 153

Posted by kdawson
from the open-door dept.
hyades1 writes in to let us know that Sprint has extended to Jan. 31 the time in which subscribers can switch carriers without paying an early termination fee. "Last month we learned that Sprint was increasing its administrative fee to $0.75, giving customers until January 1 of this year to back out without a penalty. It seems that $0.75 wasn't going to cut it as Sprint has raised its fee yet again, this time to $0.99. Customers now have through January 31 to sever ties sans-ETF, so if you missed the boat last month you're in luck. Though some customer care reps apparently aren't yet aware of the change, we did confirm it with Sprint so keep trying and as always, contacting them via chat seems to go a bit more smoothly than calling them up."
The Courts

17,000 Downloads Does Not Equal 17,000 Lost Sales 398

Posted by timothy
from the channeling-captain-obvious dept.
Andrew_Rens writes "Ars Technica has a story on a ruling by a US District Judge who rejects claims by the RIAA that the number of infringing downloads amounts to proof of the same number of lost sales. The judge ruled that 'although it is true that someone who copies a digital version of a sound recording has little incentive to purchase the recording through legitimate means, it does not necessarily follow that the downloader would have made a legitimate purchase if the recording had not been available for free.' The ruling concerns the use of the criminal courts to recover alleged losses for downloading through a process known as restitution. The judgement does not directly change how damages are calculated in civil cases."
Google

Chrome Helping Other Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the chrome-outnumbers-opera-on-slashdot dept.
Pablo Martinez-Almeida writes "Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner confirms that new entrants in the browser market are raising awareness on the mainstream Internet community about the availability of alternatives to the ubiquitous Internet Explorer. 'How has the emergence of WebKit and Chrome changed the market for you? JvT: The effect of Chrome so far has been 20 percent more downloads every day. It's fairly logical when you think about it, because the biggest hurdle we have is all those people that don't realize there's an alternative in the market. Now, with the launch of Chrome there's focus on the choice of browsers in the market.'
Censorship

+ - Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution 2

Submitted by ziggy_az
ziggy_az (40281) writes "Michael Lacey, the executive editor of Village Voice Media, and Jim Larkin, the CEO of the Phoenix-based chain, were both arrested on Thursday, the very same day their story was published in the Phoenix New Times. The New Times is a free, weekly alternative paper. "It is just without precedent," Lacey said. "This isn't us overreacting." The grand jury subpoenas in question demand "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present." Additionally, they want "Hit counts for each page..." regarding specific articles criticizing Sheriff Joe Arpaio as well as "The Internet Protocol" addresses of any and all visitors to each page...". Fair warning to the Phoenix New Times readership: Joe's gang may come-a-looking for you."

Engadget: FCC fast-tracking 700MHz open-access rule changes under intense Verizon lobbying->

From feed by engfeed

Filed under: Cellphones, Misc. Gadgets

Prepare to feel your carrier-hate well from within. Remember Verizon Wireless' lawsuit against the FCC claiming that the 700MHz open-access auction rule -- the rule enabling the likes of Google, Apple, and others to take home a slice of the spectrum pie -- "violates the US Constitution?" Well, according to "industry sources," FCC chairman Kevin Martin is "aggressively pushing" for revisions to the 700MHz open-access rule in response to Verizon Wireless' lobbying efforts. However, having been met with an internal FCC "backlash" last week, Martin is said to be preparing a "declaratory ruling" in an effort to fast-track support for VZW's claim outside of the normal public-comment process. Insiders worry that Martin is caving to VZW pressure as the auction expected to generate some $15 billion in FCC fun-money draws near. Man, nothing says free market capitalism like a little protectionist bullying -- "can we sue you now."

[Via Phonescoop]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Cyber Attack Test Destroys Power Plant Generator-> 1

Submitted by Somegeek
Somegeek (624100) writes "CNN has revealed that there was a test performed in March 2007 where the Department of Homeland Security evaluated what a cyber attack could do against a power plant. The attackers in the classified test were able to take control of the plant's control software and modify the settings of a large generator to the point where it self-destructed. The story relates that until then, they had always believed that the worst that could happen was that attackers would be able to turn something off. An economist looked at a scenario where a third of the US was without power for three months due to destroyed power plant equipment and put a price tag on the massive attack at 700 billion dollars.

They have been working on fixing the vulnerabilities that they found at power plants across the country, but how many other plant control systems need to be fixed? Is it possible to look at severing all computer connections between plant control systems and all other networks and expect them to still function?"

Link to Original Source
United States

+ - Boeing virtual fence: $30 billion failure->

Submitted by He who cares
He who cares (666) writes "The Department of Homeland Security "virtual fence" project, being built by Boeing, is in big, big trouble. The virtual fence is a high-tech network of cameras, lighting, sensors, and technology designed to intercept illegal border crossings.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The government's plans for monitoring as much as 6,000 miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders hinge on towers such as these working properly. If they prove ineffective, officials could be forced to spend billions of dollars for more traditional security measures, such as fences and more officers. The Homeland Security Department currently estimates that the virtual fence will cost about $8 billion through 2013, although the agency's inspector general wrote last November that the cost could balloon to $30 billion.

From Nation Institute:

At Congressional hearings, Boeing vice president and SBInet program manager, Jerry McElwee, took heat from Congressman William Lacy Clay who demanded information about the ballooning costs and the extension of the contract period. "You bid on these contracts and then you come back and say, 'Oh we need more time. It costs more than twice as much.' Are you gaming the taxpayers here? Or gaming DHS?" the Missouri Democrat asked.

This failure has the potential to eventually rival the UK National Health Service disaster, known affectionately as the "greatest IT disaster in history." It also brings back memories of the Airbus failure, in which multiple project segments failed to work when brought together as a finished unit. The level of planning and coordination required to complete a project like this on time and budget almost defies human capability. Why don't they break it down into smaller, simpler components, increasing the likelihood the thing can actually be built?"

Link to Original Source
Slashdot.org

+ - Syncing and backing-up files cross-platform?

Submitted by
Blakey Rat
Blakey Rat writes "I have one of those problems that you'd think would be easy to solve until you actually start solving it. I have a folder of important files I want synced and backed-up in one step across three computers: my desktop G5 tower, my iBook laptop, and my generic Windows XP SP2. The theory is that every time I save a file on one of the computers, it is uploaded to online storage somewhere (serving as a backup), and the other two computers would detect that and update their local copy of the file. With the laptop, I'd like the files available offline, as it's frequently in locations with no Internet connection, or an Internet connection so flakey it might as well not exist.

So far I've tried Apple's .Mac service, which includes iDisk syncing software. While iDisk has an offline files mode it frequently fails when copying multiple files into it, claiming it needs to resolve conflicts for thousands of files where no actual conflicts exist. I've tried setting up a WebDAV folder on my web hosting account, but OS X fails when copying files to it with mysterious "insufficient permissions" errors that I can't figure out how to solve. In addition, OS X seems to have no offline files mode for WebDAV shares. I currently use rsync to do backups, but I don't know if it can be set it up to notify me when sync conflicts occur. A friend also recommended setting up something using MacFUSE, but it's version number is still 0.2 which doesn't help me trust important files to it, and the setup seems very complicated.

I'm looking for something that's easy-to-use, can mount as a disk in OS X and Windows XP, has an offline files mode, and can resolve conflicts when they occur. Bonus points if I can use my existing web hosting account as storage, and I'm not opposed to commercial software if it gets the job done. I'd also prefer something that encrypts data traveling over the network and is at least version 1.0. Can anybody offer any suggestions?"
Space

+ - Theoretical Physics to be Turned on its Ear?

Submitted by
Bad Labrador
Bad Labrador writes "Slashdot readers may remember an article and a powerpoint presentation delivered by Alexander Franklin Mayer last year entitled "The Many Directions of Time". In it, he postulates a slight modification to General Relativity, actually correcting an error Einstein apparently made. According to Mayer, correcting this error accounts for a large number of "anomalies" in observations, including a small but persistent error in GPS locations, the apparent acceleration and deacceleration of the Voyager spacecraft and so on. The blockbusting part is when the change is applied to cosmology — according to Mayer, the expanding universe, the Hubble constant and the "big Bang" theory are no more. They are artefacts of his discovery — gravitational transverse red shift. The Universe is not expanding. The book is freely available for download at http://afmayer.net/index.html Happy Slashdotting."

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