beadfulthings writes "After eight years and some $65 million, the state of Maryland is taking its first steps to return to an accountable, paper-ballot based voting system. Governor Martin O'Malley has announced an initial outlay of $6.5 million towards the $20 million cost of an optical system which will scan and tally the votes while the paper ballots are retained as a backup. The new (or old) system is expected to be in place by 2010 — or four years before the state finishes paying off the bill for the touch-screen system."
nem75 writes: "What has been highly discussed when the Megan's Law database of sex offenders was introduced seems to have come true in Lakeport, CA. The L.A. times reports about Michael A. Dodele, a convicted rapist, found murdered in a Lakeport trailer park. He moved there after having been released from prison just 35 days before. A 29-year-old construction worker has been arrested who explains that he attacked the suspect to protect his son from child molestation, after he found out on the internet about Dodele being a sex offender convicted of crimes involving minors. Only thing is, the public entry for Dodele in the database was wrong — though he was found guilty of committing crimes against adult women, he was in fact no child molester. Dodele's entry in Megan's Law DB has been removed recently."
coop247 writes: In what has to be the worst news yet for HDDVD, Blockbuster will
only rent Blu-Ray disks for stores nationwide. FTFA, "Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time."
john-da-luthrun writes: A French court has ruled that Sony's CONNECT Store infringes French consumer law, reports the TechnoLlama IP blog. Under French law, it is illegal to tie the purchase of a service (such as downloading a music file) to the purchase of a another product, so Sony were held to be breaking the law by selling music files that required a Sony player in order to access them. The court also found that Sony had failed to inform customers that its ATRAC 3 files can only be played on Sony digital players. A similar case in France involving Apple's iTunes/iPod tie-in is ongoing.