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Software

BSA Says Software Theft Exceeded $51B In 2009 350

Posted by kdawson
from the slinging-numbers dept.
alphadogg sends a NetworkWorld.com piece going over the Business Software Alliance's latest stats on software theft around the world. "Expanding PC sales in emerging markets is increasing the rate of software piracy, according to the Business Software Alliance and IDC. The rate of global software piracy in 2009 was 43%, meaning that for every $100 worth of legitimate software sold in 2009, an additional $75 worth of unlicensed software also made its way into the market. This is a 2-percentage-point increase from 2008. Software theft exceeded $51 billion in commercial value in 2009, according to the BSA. IDC says lowering software piracy by just 10 percentage points during the next four years would create nearly 500,000 new jobs and pump $140 billion into 'ailing economies.' ... In the United States, software piracy remained at 20%, the lowest level of software theft of any nation in the world. ... The PC markets in Brazil, India, and China accounted for 86% of the growth in PC shipments worldwide." The BSA president said, "Few if any industries could withstand the theft of $51 billion worth of their products." It's unclear whether that was a brag about the industry's robustness, or a result of the industry's low cost of goods sold.
Earth

Bill Gates Funds Seawater-Spraying Cloud Machines 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-sky-of-death dept.
lucidkoan writes "Environmentalists have long argued about whether geoengineering (using technology to alter the climate) is a good way to tackle climate change. But the tactic has some heavy hitters on its side, including Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder recently announced plans to invest $300,000 into research for machines that suck up seawater and spray it into the air, seeding white clouds that reflect rays of sunlight away from Earth. The machines, developed by a San Francisco-based research group called Silver Lining, turn seawater into tiny particles that can be shot up over 3,000 feet in the air. The particles increase the density of clouds by increasing the amount of nuclei contained within."
Internet Explorer

Corporate IT Just Won't Let IE6 Die 479

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the your-arms-bloody-off dept.
alphadogg writes "Security experts, industry analysts, and even Microsoft recommend that IT departments upgrade Internet Explorer 6, yet new research shows that while there may have recently been a mock funeral for the aging browser, IE6 is still around and doing well, especially during standard business hours." The article says that they are seeing 6-13% peaking during business hours. Around here we see less than 1.5% IE6, but since we see only 10% IE in general, I imagine we're just lucky.
Earth

James Lovelock Suggests Suspending Democracy To Save the World 865

Posted by timothy
from the summon-the-council-of-wise-men dept.
mosb1000 writes "Climate scientist James Lovelock claims it may be necessary to put democracy on hold to prevent a global climate catastrophe. He goes on to say that the best remedies may be adaptation techniques such as building sea defenses." Lovelock is famously the creator of the Gaia hypothesis.
Robotics

ISS To Get Man Cave 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the floating-cheese-curls dept.
Nancy_A writes "There might be a new favorite hang-out for astronauts aboard the International Space Station later this year. The Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) will become a permanent module on the station, and will be brought up on the STS-133 mission, scheduled for September 2010. The new module might provide a haven for astronauts to get away from it all. '"The thought is, the PMM might become sort of a 'man cave,'" said Mike Kinslow, the Boeing payload manager at the Kennedy Space Center. "It won't have all the background noise of fans, computers and other equipment running like in the laboratories, so it will be a quieter atmosphere that might appeal to the astronauts during their off-duty hours."' Plus, NASA's Robonaut 2, or R2 will be brought up on the same flight. Any chance R2 could be programmed to serve drinks or bring food into the man cave?"
Hardware

Commodore 64 Primed For a Comeback In June 330

Posted by timothy
from the new-use-old-number dept.
angry tapir writes "The Commodore 64 is getting a makeover, with a new design and some of the latest computing technologies, as the brand gets primed for a comeback. The revamped computer will be available through the Commodore USA online store, which is set to open June 1. The computer will be an all-in-one keyboard, with Intel's 64-bit quad-core microprocessors and 3D graphics capabilities."
Image

Disgruntled Ex-Employee Remotely Disables 100 Cars 384 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-think-I-saw-this-movie dept.
hansamurai writes "Over one hundred cars equipped with a Webtech Plus blackbox were remotely disabled when a former employee of dealership Texas Auto Center got hold of his employer's database of users. Webtech Plus is repossession software that allows the dealership to disable a car's ignition or trigger the horn to honk when a payment is due. Owners had to remove the battery to stop the incessant honking. After the dealership began fielding an unusually high number of calls from upset car owners, they changed the passwords to the Webtech Plus software and then traced the IP address used to access the client to its former employee."
Communications

Researchers Convert Mouth Movements Into Speech 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the mouthing-of-the-future dept.
andylim writes "According to Cellular News, researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a method for mobile phones to convert silent mouth movements into speech. As recombu.com points out, the 'potential for secret conversations just got huge.' You could pass the time by making phone calls from the cinema without disturbing anyone. In noisy places like bars and clubs you could make yourself heard without having to shout."
Crime

Examining Virtual Crimes 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-much-time-on-your-hands dept.
GamePolitics has an article about a research paper issued by the AU government's Institute of Criminology titled "Crime Risks of Three-Dimensional Virtual Environments." The paper discusses the legal questions raised by game worlds and avatars, ranging from regulation of in-game currency to a report of virtual rape. "A person controlling an avatar that is unexpectedly raped or assaulted might experience the physical reaction of 'freezing,' or the associated shock, distrust and loss of confidence in using [3D virtual environments]. While civil redress for psychological harm is conceivable, the 'disembodied' character of such an incident would invariably bar liability for any crime against the person. However, Australian federal criminal law imposes a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment for using an internet carriage service to 'menace, harass or cause offence' to another user. Further, US and Australian laws ban simulated or actual depictions of child abuse and pornography. Therefore, any representations of child avatars involved in virtual sexual activity, torture or physical abuse are prohibited, regardless of whether the real-world user is an adult or child."

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