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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."
Medicine

Scientists Discover Gene For Ruthlessness 300

Posted by Zonk
from the also-known-as-the-pointy-haired-gene dept.
Pioneer Woman writes "Researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have found a link between a gene called AVPR1a and ruthless behavior. These findings come from an economic exercise called the 'Dictator Game' that allows players to behave selflessly, or like national dictators and 'little Hitlers' found in workplaces the world over. The team decided to look at AVPR1a because it is known to produce receptors in the brain that detect vasopressin, a hormone involved in 'prosocial' behavior. Researchers tested DNA samples from more than 200 student volunteers, before asking the students to play the game that measured their altruism. There was no connection between the participants' gender and their behavior but there was a link to the length of the AVPR1a gene."
The Military

Nuclear Nose Cones Mistakenly Shipped to Taiwan 254

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-ok-it's-only-our-military dept.
Reservoir Hill writes "The Pentagon announced that the United States had mistakenly shipped to Taiwan four electrical fuses designed for use on intercontinental ballistic missiles, but has since recovered them. The mistaken shipment to Taiwan did not include nuclear materials, although the fuses are linked to the triggering mechanism in the nose cone of a Minuteman nuclear missile. Taiwanese authorities notified U.S. officials of the mistake, but it was not clear when the notification was made. An examination of the site in Taiwan where the components had been stored after delivery indicated that they had not been tampered with. The fuses had been in four shipping containers sent in March 2005 from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., to a Defense Logisitics Agency warehouse at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It was then in the logistics agency's control and was shipped to Taiwan "on or around" August 2006, according to a memo from Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordering Navy Adm. Kirkland H. Donald to investigate the incident."
Microsoft

Vista Shipped On 39% of PCs In 2007 321

Posted by kdawson
from the another-massive-success-could-sink-the-company dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Vista is proving far less popular than XP did with new PC buyers during the earlier OS's first year on the market. This conclusion follows from statements by Bill Gates at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. Gates boasted that Microsoft has sold more than 100 million copies of Windows Vista since the OS launched last January. Based on Gates's statement, Windows Vista was aboard just 39% of the PC's that shipped in 2007. And Vista, in terms of units shipped, only outperformed first-year sales of XP by 10%, according to Gates's numbers, while PC shipments have doubled in the years since XP's release."
Privacy

GPS Used As Defence In Radar Speeding Case 464

Posted by kdawson
from the could-be-onto-something dept.
James Thigpen writes "There is an article over at Ars Technica about an accused speeder contesting his speeding ticket based on his car's built-in GPS system's records. According to the article his car says he was going slower than the radar gun clocked him at. Contesting a ticket based on GPS data has never before been tested in court."
Networking

Halo 3 Causing Network Issues 306

Posted by kdawson
from the maybe-just-a-coincidence dept.
Recently at my university where I'm a student and a sys admin, we have been experiencing some odd outages, in particular since the 25th of September. The outages seemed to occur between 8 PM and 12:00 AM — peak gaming hours for our dorms. It just happens that Halo 3 came out on the 25th of September. Upon further investigation we found that our network routers were shaping TCP packets, but not UDP. Once we applied UDP shaping as well, all network outages ceased. Gamers complained, but university students attempting to access network resources such as our UNIX clusters were satisfied.
Security

Workers Cause More Problems Than Viruses 191

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the going-postal dept.
Technical Writing Geek writes "A new report finds that, for the first time, virus infections have slipped to the second spot on the list of computer security troublemakers. In first place— a company's own workers. 'The Computer Security Institute has just released the 2007 edition (PDF) of its long-running "Computer Crime and Security Survey," and it offers some dreary news for overworked computer security admins: average losses from attacks have surged this year. More surprising is the finding that the single biggest security threat faced by corporate networks doesn't come from virus writers any more; instead, it comes from company insiders.'"
Displays

U of CA Constructs 220 Million Pixel Display 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the wider-than-wide-screen dept.
eldavojohn writes "Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have built a 220 million pixel display across 55 high-resolution tiled screens. Linked via optical fiber to Calit2's building at UC Irvine, the display can deliver real-time rendered graphics simultaneously across 420 million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San Diego."
Security

The DRM Scorecard 543

Posted by samzenpus
from the guess-who's-ahead dept.
An anonymous reader writes "InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe put together a scorecard which makes the obvious but interesting point that, when you list every major DRM technology implemented to "protect" music and video, they've all been cracked. This includes Apple's FairPlay, Microsoft's Windows Media DRM, the old-style Content Scrambling System (CSS) used on early DVDs and the new AACS for high-definition DVDs. And of course there was the Sony Rootkit disaster of 2005. Can anyone think of a DRM technology which hasn't been cracked, and of course this begs the obvious question: Why doesn't the industry just give up and go DRM-free?"
Data Storage

Blue Blu-ray 396

Posted by kdawson
from the embracing-while-holding-their-nose dept.
TopSpin writes "Early this year the meme circulated that Blu-ray might be going the way of Betamax, and for the exact same reason: Sony's unfriendliness to the porn industry. But at Japan's recent euphemistically named Adult Treasure Expo 2007, adult filmmakers said Sony has begun offering technical support, and this was later confirmed by Sony PR. The company stated that Sony would offer support to any filmmaker working on the format, no matter their industry. Apparently, Blu-ray is now the preferred medium for Japanese adult films."

When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson

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