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The Courts

EC To Pursue Antitrust Despite Microsoft's IE Move 484

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-try dept.
snydeq writes "The European Commission will proceed with its antitrust case against Microsoft regardless of Microsoft's decision to strip IE from Windows 7 in Europe. Europe's top antitrust regulator said the EC would draw up a remedy that allows computer users 'genuine consumer choice,' noting that stripping out IE from Windows 'may potentially be positive,' but 'rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.' Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, whose complaint to the European Commission at the end of 2007 sparked the initial antitrust investigation, said Microsoft is 'trying to set the remedy itself by stripping out IE. ... Now that Microsoft has acknowledged it has been breaking the law by bundling IE into Windows, the Commission must push ahead with an effective remedy,' he said."
Medicine

Wii Boosts Parkinson's Treatments 122

Posted by kdawson
from the name-was-inevitable dept.
mmmscience writes "Scientists are investigating the use of Wii Sports as a form of treatment for Parkinson's sufferers. After a four-week study, researchers found that rounds of tennis, bowling, and boxing improved rigidity, movement, fine motor skills, and energy levels as well as decreasing the occurrence of depression. It is thought that combining exercise with video games helps to increase levels of dopamine, a chemical that is deficient in Parkinson's. The therapy is gaining notoriety under the name Wii-hab."
Television

DRM Group Set To Phase Out "Analog Hole" 417

Posted by kdawson
from the next-we-encrypt-the-output-of-your-optic-nerve dept.
eldavojohn writes "In yet another bid to make your life a little more annoying, our DRM overlords at the AACS Licensing Authority have released a new AACS Adopter Agreement. The riveting, 188-page PDF will inform you that — in the name of Digital Rights Management — there will be new limitations set on devices that decrypt Blu-Ray discs. HDMI already has the awesome encryption of HDCP between the device and the display unit. But Blu-Ray still has the Achilles heel of analog players that allow someone to merely re-encode the analog signal back to an unencrypted digital format. So if you have an analog HDTV, hang on to those analog decoders and hope they never break; by 2013 you won't be able to buy a new one. Ars points out the inherent stupidity in this charade: 'Particularly puzzling is the fact that plugging the so-called "analog hole" won't stop direct digital ripping, enabled by software such as AnyDVD HD. And even the MPAA itself recommends using a camcorder pointed at a TV as a way to make fair use copies, creating another analog hole.' And so the cat and mouse game continues. On that subject, DVD Jon's legit company just brought out a billboard ad for his product doubleTwist next to Apple's San Fransisco store. It reads, 'The Cure for iPhone Envy. Your iTunes library on any device. In seconds.' So while he's busy taunting Apple, I'm certain there are others who might have some free time to look at Blu-Ray and the 'uncrackable' AACS."
HP

Web Servers Getting Naked, For Weight Savings 101

Posted by timothy
from the community-standards dept.
1sockchuck writes "Cloud computing is causing servers to get naked. HP today announced a 'skinless' server optimized for customers packing thousands of servers into cloud or HPC environments. This follow the lead of SGI/Rackable, which ditched the cover when it introduced bare bones servers for its CloudRack (previously discussed here). HP says the skinless design makes servers far lighter, which is apparently an issue when shipping them by the rackload."
Privacy

+ - Personal data exposed! Can legislation fix it?

Submitted by
rabblerouzer
rabblerouzer writes "Millions have had their personal information stolen because of lax security and may not even know it because of the patchwork of state laws that fail to mandate timely notification of victims. Boston-based law firm Mintz Levin is seeking feedback on what you would like to see included in draft legislation. You have a stake in this; speak up."
Privacy

No Passport For Britons Refusing Mass Surveillance 790

Posted by kdawson
from the and-you-thought-Sweden-was-bad dept.
UpnAtom writes "People who refuse to give up their bank records, tax records & details of any benefits they've claimed, and the records of their car movements for the last year, or refuse to submit to an interrogation on whether they are the same person that this mountain of data belongs to — will be denied passports from March 26th. The Blair government has already admitted that this and other data will be cross-linked so that the Home Office and other officials can spy on the everyday lives of innocent Britons. Britons were already the most spied upon nation in Western Europemore so even than Sweden. Data-mining through this unprecedented level of mass-surveillance allows any future British government to leapfrog even countries like China and North Korea."
Music

+ - Canadian Music Industry Says Its Never Sued Anyone

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Lies from the recording industry probably doesn't count as news, but this whopper from the Canadian Recording Industry Association is striking for how deluded the industry has become. More than two years after it filed suit against 29 alleged file sharers, CRIA President Graham Henderson told an industry conference that "we've never sued anyone.""
Media

+ - Why the RIAA is Bad - In a Nutshell

Submitted by
JeremyDuffy
JeremyDuffy writes "This is probably the best summary of who the RIAA is and what they stand for that I've ever heard:

The RIAA is like the Prohibitionists of old. In their view, the law cannot allow for something completely reasonable such as legal circumvention because it could be abused. Millions of people are thereby punished. Yet this is not how a civil society typically functions. Life is full of potentially dangerous products, services, and ideas. It's up to individuals to take responsibility for their actions, because we all know that catering to the lowest common denominator does not give birth to a free society, let alone an intelligent one. Yet the RIAA will stop at nothing to make sure that you and I never have the chance to make such decisions for ourselves.
By "legal circumvention", he refers to the the practice of circumventing Data Rights Management (DRM) for legal purposes such as making personal backup copies, educational uses, and other Fair Use practices. The RIAA is against it because they know that all it takes is one user with a DRM-free copy to post a song online for it to be shared everywhere in the world."
United States

USPTO Peer Review Process To Begin Soon 116

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-like-every-einstein's-dream-come-true dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As we've discussed several times before on Slashdot, the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents. It's nowhere near as open as Wikipedia, but there are still numerous comparisons drawn to the well-known project in this Washington Post story. Patent office officials site the huge workload their case officers must deal with in order to handle the modern cycle of product development. Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees. 'The tremendous workload has often left examiners with little time to conduct thorough reviews, according to sympathetic critics. Under the pilot project, some companies submitting patent applications will agree to have them reviewed via the Internet. The list of volunteers already contains some of the most prominent names in computing, including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, as well as IBM, though other applicants are welcome.'"
Google

+ - Google Searching

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "It appears that Google has taken steps to make smaller blogs harder to search. First, when you do a general search, it does not include a 'More results from X' (in other words, a site search) option unless the site is large enough. This is different to how it used to be because my blog used to get this function, which was great for searching for stuff within it quickly. Next, you can try to do a specific 'site search' on your blog. Then what Google does is it finds the post, but the associated link directs you back to the front page of the blog. I don't know why it would do this except to suppress the contribution from obscure voices???"
Privacy

The Pentagon Wants a 'TiVo' to Watch You 256

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-the-shulmans-are-particularly-funny-this-week dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Danger Room, a Wired blog, today cites a study of future electronic snooping technologies from Reuters, written by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board. More than anything, it seems these outside advisers want a surveillance system that would put Big Brother to shame, and they're looking at the commercial sector to provide it. 'The ability to record terabyte and larger databases will provide an omnipresent knowledge of the present and the past that can be used to rewind battle space observations in TiVo-like fashion and to run recorded time backwards to help identify and locate even low-level enemy forces. For example, after a car bomb detonates, one would have the ability to play high-resolution data backward in time to follows the vehicle back to the source, and then use that knowledge to focus collection and gain additional information by organizing and searching through archived data.'"
Spam

+ - Free Email Sercives Cashing in on Spam?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I dont't know if you noticed, but whenever the traffic on a free email account on sites like hotmail or yahoo decreases, the level of spam delivered to the inbox increases. Is there a profit-motive there? Or pure coincidence? Going from about 1 spam-mail to about 6 in am month could make you wonder."
Encryption

+ - Final AACS key found

Submitted by julie-h
julie-h (530222) writes "The PowerDVD AACS private key for playing Blu-Ray and HD-DVD's have been found. This was the last key needed. What does this mean? We don't have to sniff/snoop Volume IDs anymore. We can create a program that can decrypt (or play if you will) a disc without any need for WinDVD or PowerDVD. So no sniffing/extracting of keys anymore. And more over: it can work on all platforms... In other words: we can make our own independent, user friendly player (or decrypter)."
The Courts

+ - Take Action: Norwich, CT Julie Amero Porn Case

Submitted by aurispector
aurispector (530273) writes "Here's a link to an article about the Julie Amero porn case in Norwich, CT providing information, links and suggestions on how to help. http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070228/tc_pcworl d/129226 If you had any doubts about how wrong this is, the article includes copies of emails from a juror and a detective involved in the case. Included are the email addresses of people in government with actual power to do something about the conviction."
Censorship

Google Ads Are a Free Speech Issue 148

Posted by kdawson
from the free-as-in-not-speaking dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "A US Federal Court recently ruled that ads displayed by search engines are protected as free speech. In the case at issue, Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft were sued by an individual demanding under the 14th Amendment that the search engines display his advertisements concerning fraud in North Carolina. The Court flatly stated that the search engines were exercising their First Amendment right of free speech in deciding what ads they want to display."

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll

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