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Books

Bible.com Investor Sues Company For Lack Of Profit 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the isn't-it-ironic dept.
The board of Bible.com claims that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than to make money on the domain name, but an angry shareholder disagrees. From the article: "James Solakian filed the lawsuit in Delaware's Chancery Court against the board of Bible.com for breaching their duty by refusing to sell the site or run the company in a profitable way. The lawsuit cites a valuation done by a potential purchaser that estimated bible.com could be worth more than dictionary.com, which recently sold for more than $100 million."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Hands-On With Halo Wars 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-a-better-title-than-halo-peace dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog got some hands-on time with Halo Wars, the upcoming RTS from Ensemble Studios. The early look is promising; concerns about the controls and the game's adherence to Halo's style have effectively been laid to rest. Now that work on the game is complete, Ensemble is shutting down, its employees splitting amongst at least two new game studios. "Thanks in large part to the game's control and Ensemble's clear consideration for the limitations of a controller when playing an RTS, Halo Wars manages to achieve a level of playability and accessibility that truly is fitting of the Halo dynasty. As Halo brought console FPS games to the masses in a way that Goldeneye couldn't, so too will Halo Wars introduce RTS games to a whole new league of gamers. ... Ensemble has done a great job at emulating what made Bungie's titles so great; from the orchestral themes to the massive battles and the ongoing drama of the Covenant war, Halo Wars is a Halo title through and through."
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 202 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the well-here's-your-problem dept.
Slashdot has one of the best discussion systems there is. It's grown and adapted over the years to meet various challenges and suit the needs of our users. A lot of time and effort has gone into it and we are always open to user input to help make it better. Some of our best ideas start as user suggestions and we appreciate the feedback. Of course they can't all be gems and sometimes the suggestions we get are unworkable or just bizarre. Here are a few of my favorite unhelpful, helpful suggestions.
The Internet

+ - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day-> 2

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement."
Link to Original Source
Media (Apple)

+ - Apple May Track IPod Thieves & You->

Submitted by
Ryan N. Kamfolt - ClickAway
Ryan N. Kamfolt - ClickAway writes "Apple may begin implementing software in its I-Tunes suite to track serial numbers of I-Pods and compare them to a stolen I-Pod database. Due to the worlds most successful and popular product being on the #1 most stolen items list. This may alert the local police to come knocking on your door, if "Your" I-Pod is in question. Weather it be stolen or legit, people are not taking this to heart kindly at all. With the right to privacy walls closing in on us ever so fast, this seems to be another push to take our privacy rights away even more, or is it? Those who have had their I-Pods stolen love the idea. Others are not so happy about the idea. Some privacy right advocates have suggested implementing I-Pods or I-Phones with owner ID verification, such as a password or other forms of verification that must be entered into the devices before they will take a charge or allow you to place songs on the device. Or offer a service that is apart of Apple iCare, which allows users who feel they may become a victim of theft, to join this database, to further protect them in the even their I-Pod is stolen."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Unencrypted passwords at "secure" sites 1

Submitted by linear a
linear a (584575) writes "I've noticed that quite a few web sites do *not* encrypt user passwords. I've gotten into the habit of hitting the "email me my password" from them to see what happens. So far I've found maybe 6 that must store passwords in clear since they were able to return the original password back to me. Clearly this is Bad Security Practice. Also, I've had notably bad progress when I ask them to fix this practice. Some of these are sites one would clearly expect to have better security (e.g., a software vendor and an online bank). Do you have thoughts on how to better encourage better password practice at these places? Also, is this is really as common as it seems to be for me?"
Security

+ - Surveillance society must be managed

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "People think there has to be a choice between privacy and security; that increased security means more collection and processing of personal private information. However, in a challenging report published on Monday 26 March 2007, The Royal Academy of Engineering says that, with the right engineering solutions, we can have both increased privacy and more security. Engineers have a key role in achieving the right balance.

One of the issues that Dilemmas of Privacy and Surveillance — challenges of technological change looks at is how we can buy ordinary goods and services without having to prove who we are. For many electronic transactions, a name or identity is not needed; just assurance that we are old enough or that we have the money to pay. In short, authorisation, not identification should be all that is required. Services for travel and shopping can be designed to maintain privacy by allowing people to buy goods and use public transport anonymously. "It should be possible to sign up for a loyalty card without having to register it to a particular individual — consumers should be able to decide what information is collected about them," says Professor Nigel Gilbert, Chairman of the Academy working group that produced the report. "We have supermarkets collecting data on our shopping habits and also offering life insurance services. What will they be able to do in 20 years' time, knowing how many donuts we have bought?"

Another issue is that, in the future, there will be more databases holding sensitive personal information. As government moves to providing more electronic services and constructs the National Identity Register, databases will be created that hold information crucial for accessing essential services such as health care and social security. But complex databases and IT networks can suffer from mechanical failure or software bugs. Human error can lead to personal data being lost or stolen. If the system breaks down, as a result of accident or sabotage, millions could be inconvenienced or even have their lives put in danger.

The Academy's report calls for the government to take action to prepare for such failures, making full use of engineering expertise in managing the risks posed by surveillance and data management technologies. It also calls for stricter guidelines for companies who hold personal data, requiring companies to store data securely, to notify customers if their data are lost or stolen, and to tell us what the data are being used for.

"Technologies for collecting, storing, transmitting and processing data are developing rapidly with many potential benefits, from making paying bills more convenient to providing better healthcare," says Professor Gilbert. "However, these techniques could make a significant impact on our privacy. Their development must be monitored and managed so that the effects are properly understood and controlled." Engineering solutions should also be devised which protect the privacy and security of data. For example: electronic personal information could be protected by methods similar to the digital rights management software used to safeguard copyrighted electronic material like music releases, limiting the threat of snooping and leaks of personal data.

The report also investigates the changes in camera surveillance — CCTV cameras can now record digital images that could be stored forever. Predicted improvements in automatic number-plate recognition, recognition of individual's faces and faster methods of searching images mean that it may become possible to search back in time through vast amounts of digital data to find out where people were and what they were doing. The Royal Academy of Engineering's report calls for greater control over the proliferation of camera surveillance and for more research into how public spaces can be monitored while minimising the impact on privacy.

"Engineers' knowledge and experience can help to 'design in privacy' into new IT developments," says Professor Gilbert. "But first, the government and corporations must recognise that they put at risk the trust of citizens and customers if they do not treat privacy issues seriously."

The full report is at http://www.raeng.org.uk/policy/reports/pdf/dilemma s_of_privacy_and_surveillance_report.pdf"
Space

+ - NASA, Virgin Galactic sign co-op agreement

Submitted by Nefarious Wheel
Nefarious Wheel (628136) writes "MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — NASA officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with a U.S. company, Virgin Galactic, LLC, to explore the potential for collaborations on the development of space suits, heat shields for spaceships, hybrid rocket motors and hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling five or more times the speed of sound.

Full text follows:



Michael Mewhinney Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. 650-604-3937/9000 Stephen Attenborough Virgin Galactic, LLC, New York +44 207-664-6030 RELEASE: 07-49 NASA, VIRGIN GALACTIC TO EXPLORE FUTURE COOPERATION MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — NASA officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with a U.S. company, Virgin Galactic, LLC, to explore the potential for collaborations on the development of space suits, heat shields for spaceships, hybrid rocket motors and hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling five or more times the speed of sound. Under the terms of the memorandum, NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley, and Virgin Galactic LLC, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, will explore possible collaborations in several technical areas employing capabilities and facilities of NASA's Ames Research Center. "As we constantly seek to build upon the advances made by explorers who have come before us, we now embark upon an exciting time in space exploration history that realizes the unlimited opportunities presented by a commercial space economy," said Shana Dale, NASA's deputy administrator. "By encouraging such potential collaborations, NASA supports the development of greater commercial collaboration and applications that will serve to strengthen and enhance the future benefits of space exploration for all of mankind." Dale is a longtime supporter of commercial space development. As the former staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, she was instrumental in the passage of the Commercial Space Act of 1998. This legislation encourages commercial space development in a variety of areas, including launch vehicles, the International Space Station and the acquisition of space and Earth science data. "This understanding with Virgin Galactic affords NASA an opportunity to work with an emerging company in the commercial human space transportation industry to support the agency's exploration, science and aeronautics mission goals," said S. Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames Research Center. "Our location in California's Silicon Valley provides a dynamic research and development platform for future potential collaborations with other such companies in support of a robust commercial space industry." "We are excited to be working with NASA and look forward to future collaborations in exploration and space travel," said Alex Tai, vice president of operations for Virgin Galactic. The agreement with Virgin Galactic was negotiated through NASA's Space Portal, a newly formed organization in the NASA Research Park at Ames, which seeks to engage new opportunities for NASA to promote the development of the commercial space economy. "This new type of private-public partnership can benefit the agency while helping to foster a new industry," said Dan Coughlin, NASA's lead for the Virgin Galactic agreement. The memorandum of understanding will be in effect for two years and stipulates that neither NASA nor Virgin Galactic will be required to pay any fees or provide funds to support the areas of possible collaboration. For information about NASA and agency programs, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/"
The Internet

+ - An end to Internet radio?

Submitted by b3gr33n
b3gr33n (1071090) writes "Yesterday the Copyright Royalty Board announced new fees for Internet Radio broadcasting: "Earlier today, the Copyright Royalty Board, the group overseeing statutory licensing for US-based internet radio stations, announced the new royalty rates for streaming radio performance rights. The board rejected the arguments made by webcasters and instead chose to adopt the proposal put forth by industry-backed SoundExchange, a royalty fee collection agency created by the RIAA." http://www.save-internet-radio.com/2007/03/02/save -internet-radio/

We listen a lot to internet radio. It brings in local stations that have poor reception and has introduced us to music around the world. In the end we've bought a fair amount of CD's based on our listening. Many of the stations like Radio Paradise are small family run operations. There is no way they can afford these fees. The Save-Internet-Radio website reports that curiously enough, broadcast stations do not pay these fees. Is that true? Is this an attempt to squelch yet another form of free media?"
Education

+ - Teacher faces 40 years in jail due to popup ads

Submitted by mikael
mikael (484) writes "The Times is reporting that a teacher faces up to 40 years in jail for exposing children to online pornography.. The images appeared while she was out of the classroom. Also, the comments in the article suggest that UNIX and Linux users are responsible for 99% of the malware and viruses that plague windows systems."
SuSE

+ - Tamil Nadu gets dual-boot Win-Linux desktops

Submitted by Nanda Krishnisoblikum
Nanda Krishnisoblikum (666) writes "The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has finalized a tender for 40,000 Lenovo desktops which can be installed with both Novell's Suse Linux and Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition depending on the needs of the organization. For instance, schools will be provided with Suse Linux desktops, while government employees who still require Windows in their work will get dual-boot machines, Umashankar, managing director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) told ZDNet Asia. According to Umashankar, users will be "encouraged" to use Suse Linux as far as possible."
Software

California Joins Open Document Bandwagon 188

Posted by kdawson
from the stretching-the-lobbiests-thin dept.
Andy Updegrove writes "A legislator in California has decided that it's time for California to get on the open formats bandwagon. If all of the bills filed in the last few weeks pass, California, Texas, and Minnesota will all require, in near-identical language, that 'all documents, including, but not limited to, text, spreadsheets, and presentations, produced by any state agency shall be created, exchanged, and preserved in an open extensible markup language-based, XML-based file format.' What type of formats will qualify? Again, the language is very uniform (the following is from the California statute): 'When deciding how to implement this section, the department in its evaluation of open, XML-based file formats shall consider all of the following features: (1) Interoperable among diverse internal and external platforms and applications; (2) Fully published and available royalty-free; (3) Implemented by multiple vendors; (4) Controlled by an open industry organization with a well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the standard.'"

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