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Submission + - How Can I Contribute to Open Source? 2

rtobyr writes: "I work for a state government agency. That means we can't donate money, because it's a "gift of public funds." I had the idea to put up a web page stating that we "use the following free software to save tax dollars" as a way to help spread the word about Open Source software, but management calls this "endorsement." A mirror server is a no-go as well. I'm certainly not a talented enough programmer to help with development. I've donated $10 here and there out of my own pocket, but I'm hoping you Slashdotters have some creative ideas about how my organization could give something back to the teams that create free software we benefit so much from."

Submission + - Anti-Piracy Group Refuses Bait, DRM Breaker Goes T (

coaxial writes: In Denmark, it's legal to make copies of commercial videos for backup or other private purposes. It's also illegal to break the DRM that restricts copying of DVDs. Deciding to find out which law mattered, Henrik Anderson reported himself for 100 violations of the DRM-breaking law (he ripped his DVD collection to his computer) and demanded that the Danish anti-piracy Antipiratgruppen do something about. They promised him a response, then didn't respond. So now he's reporting himself to the police. He wants a trial, so that the legality of the DRM-breaking law can be tested in court.

Submission + - First The Leak, Now Windows 7 Activation Cracked ( 1

CWmike writes: "Pirates have cracked Windows 7's product activation just one week after the operating system made RTM and a week before it's slated to reach users, Microsoft confirmed today. The product key posted on the Web purportedly comes from Lenovo, one of Microsoft's major OEM partners, and allows users to activate downloaded copies of Windows 7 Ultimate, which leaked to the Internet last week, shortly after Microsoft announced it had finished the operating system. How it happened: A Lenovo disk image of Windows 7 is believed to have been leaked to a Chinese Web site, then moved to English-language domains. Pirates proceeded to retrieve the master OEM key and the OEM activation certificate from the .iso file."

Submission + - How Wolfram Alpha Could Change Software (

snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister suggests that Wolfram Research's claim to copyright of results returned by the Wolfram Alpha engine could have significant ramifications for the software industry. 'While software companies routinely retain sole ownership of their software and license it to users, Wolfram Research has taken the additional step of claiming ownership of the output of the software itself,' McAllister writes, pointing out that it is 'at least theoretically possible to copyright works generated by machines.' And, under current copyright law, if any Wolfram claim to authorship of the output of its engine is upheld, by extension the same rules will apply to other information services in similar cases as well. In other words, 'If unique presentations based on software-based manipulation of mundane data are copyrightable, who retains what rights to the resulting works?'"

Submission + - National Ban Sought on Texting While Driving

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that states that do not ban texting by drivers could forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway funds under legislation introduced in the Senate. Under the measure, states would have two years to outlaw the sending of text and e-mail messages by drivers or lose 25 percent of their highway money each year until the money was depleted. "Studies show this is far more dangerous than talking on a phone while driving or driving while drunk, which is astounding," said New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, one of four Democratic senators to introduce the proposal. Currently, texting while driving is banned in 14 states, including Alaska, California and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia. However the Governors Highway Safety Association, a group that represents state highway safety agencies in every state, opposes texting while driving but does not support the proposed legislation. "We oppose sanctioning states since there is not yet a proven effective method for enforcing a texting or cellphone ban," says association spokesman, Jonathan Adkins. Safety advocates respond that such concerns about enforcement were raised about seat belt laws but argued that the value of such laws — even if they could not be enforced all the time — created awareness about the issue and set societal guidelines for the behavior."

Submission + - Fermi Paradox = Fewer than 10 ET Civilizations? ( 5

Al writes: "The Fermi Paradox focuses on the existence of advanced civilisations elsewhere in the galaxy. If these civilisations are out there--and many analyses suggest the galaxy should be teaming with life--why haven't we seen them? Carlos Cotta and Álvaro Morales from the University of Malaga in Spain add an another angle to the discussion about the speed at which a sufficiently advanced civilisation could colonise the galaxy. Various analyses suggest that using spacecraft that travel at a tenth of the speed of light, the colonization wavefront could take some 50 million years to sweep the galaxy. Others have calculated that it may be closer to 13 billion years, which may explain ET's absence. Cotta and Morales study how automated probes sent ahead of the colonisation could explore the galaxy. If these probes left evidence of a visit that lasts for 100 million years, then there can be no more than about 10 civilisations out there."

Submission + - Optimal Key Mapping for FPS Gaming (

Devil writes: "Here is a useful article about optimizing weapon and movement keys for First Person Shooters. It goes into technical details about why certain keys are better than others.

"I grew tired of getting into conversations with players that were new to FPS gaming and wanted to know what were the best key binds to use. Not because I hated the question but because the answer can be complicated due to a variety of dynamic factors. I needed a way to actually show them how they should decide for themselves what to map and more specifically why. The question comes up so frequently that it's one that must be added to our Wiki. If nothing else it will serve as a reference to point fellow gamers in the right direction. "

If you are an FPS gamer it's worth at least reading over once. There is something for all FPS gamers of all skill levels in there."


Submission + - America's 10 most wanted botnets (

bednarz writes: "Network World ranks America's 10 most wanted botnets, based on an estimate by security firm Damballa of botnet size and activity in the United States. The leader is Zeus, with 3.6 million compromised PCs so far. The Zeus Trojan uses key-logging techniques to steal user names, passwords, account numbers and credit card numbers, and it injects fake HTML forms into online banking login pages to steal user data. At the bottom of the list is Conficker, which despite its celebrity status has compromised just 210,000 U.S. computers so far."

Submission + - The world's most toxic video game consoles (

SwiftyNifty writes: "Is the world's addiction to cheaper and more affordable gaming consoles ruining our environment? Greenpeace have cited Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as among the worst environmental offenders, when it comes to using toxic materials in their manufacturing. According to Greenpeace, the world's most popular video game consoles are also among the world's most toxic. And the effects of these seemingly harmless materials on our bodies might not be so benevolent after all. Gamers might want to take note."
The Internet

Submission + - Why Did UK Anti-Piracy Group FACT Get Computers Fr (

Coco Lambucca writes: "Why Did UK Anti-Piracy Group FACT Get Computers From A Criminal Investigation... And Keep Them? It seems troubling enough that private industry reps were allowed to be so closely involved in a criminal investigation where they have clear bias, but it gets worse. The police seized various computers and equipment as part of arresting the Vickerman's, and then allowed FACT employees to inspect the computers and the information found on them — which, again seems to be granting way too much access to a private group. Then things got even more bizarre: the police gave a bunch of the equipment to FACT to allow FACT to continue to examine the equipment."

Submission + - Zero-day exploit in the wild

mcgrew writes: "The AP is reporting that there is a zero-day exploit that has been attacked for the last week, and Microsoft "has taken the rare step of warning about" it.

The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software.

It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked

Unsurprisingly, it involves Internet Explorer, although you don't have to run IE to be cracked.

There is a temporary fix that disables the hole on Microsoft's web site."


Submission + - It's Back to Court for US Patent Rules Changes (

bizwriter writes: Last March, it looked as if the decision in the Tafas v. Doll suit over US Patent and Trademark Office changes in rules for patent applications might possibly have settled the issue. Nope. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has agreed to rehear the case before all the appellate judges. This case has been thorny and set corporations in opposition, as the proposed rules changes could give an advantage to large tech companies and make business-as-usual more difficult for other industries like biotech and pharmaceuticals. But don't expect massive tomes being filed by lawyers. The court order states that "[a]dditional briefs shall contain no more than 7,000 words and any additional reply brief no more than 3,500 words." At least they'll save a forest or two.

Submission + - Spider builds life-size decoy of itself

Smivs writes: "The BBC are reporting on a species of spider that makes life size relicas of itself, possibly to distract predators.The arachnid's behaviour also offers one explanation for why many spiders like to decorate their webs with strange-looking ornaments. Many animals try to divert the attentions of predators by becoming masters of disguise. Some try to avoid being seen altogether by using camouflage to blend in against a background, such as the peppered moth evolving motley wings that blend into tree bark, or stick insects that look like sticks.The spider may be the first example of an animal building a life-size replica of its own body."
The Internet

Submission + - Net neutrality doesn't exist, CRTC told (

The_AV8R writes: "The CBC reports on hearings where Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is trying to determine what traffic management practices are "acceptable" under the Telecommunications Act. So far, Don Bowman, chief technology officer for the network technology company Sandvine Inc., urged the CRTC not to impose internet traffic management guidelines, saying "Things evolve over time. Your guidelines may become outdated." These hearings are to continue through July 13."
The Internet

Submission + - RIAA Seeks Web Removal of 'Illegal' Recordings (

suraj.sun writes: The Recording Industry Association of America on Monday demanded a federal judge order Harvard University's Charles Nesson to remove from the internet "unauthorized and illegal recordings" of pretrial hearings and depositions in a file-sharing lawsuit headed to trial.

"The idea that a court is being asked by them to order educational material to be removed from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society website seems a questionable intrusion both on my liberty and the public interest," said Nesson in a telephone interview. "I certainly don't agree that I am violating any law."

The case concerns former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who Nesson is defending in an RIAA civil lawsuit accusing him of file-sharing copyrighted music. Jury selection is scheduled in three weeks, in what is shaping up to be the RIAA's second of about 30,000 cases against individuals to reach trial.

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