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Stalwarts Claim Asus eeePC Violates GPL 247

WirePosted writes "Members of the Linux community have complained that the hot new sub-notebook from Asus, the eeePC, may have violated the spirit of the Linux General Public License (GPL). Some Linux advocates claim the eeePC has not included required source code with the installed Xandros Linux distribution and does not easily enable users to install another distro. However, there are indications that eeePC fans probably don't care."

RCMP Won't Go After Personal Filesharers 405

mlauzon writes "The RCMP announced that it will stop targeting people who download copyrighted material for personal use (Google translation). Their priority will be to focus on organized crime and copyright theft that affects the health and safety of consumers, such as copyright violations related to medicine and electrical appliances, instead of the cash flow of large corporations. Around the same time that the CRIA successfully took Demonoid offline, the RCMP made clear that Demonoid's users don't have to worry about getting prosecuted, at least not in Canada. 'Piracy for personal use is no longer targeted,' Noël St-Hilaire, head of copyright theft investigations of the RCMP, said in an interview. 'It is too easy to copy these days and we do not know how to stop it.'"

Justice Department's Bio-terror Mistake 477

destinyland writes "University professor and artist Steve Kurtz publicizes the history of chemical weapons with performance art pieces. The day his wife died of a heart attack, 911 responders mistook his scientific equipment for bioterrorism supplies. After he was detained for 22 hours, Homeland Security cordoned off his block, and a search was performed on his house in hazmat suits, they found nothing. Now they're prosecuting him for "mail fraud" for the way he obtained $256 of harmless bacteria."

Upcoming Firmware Will Brick Unlocked iPhones 605

iCry writes "It was rumored last week, and Apple has now confirmed it: 'Apple said today that a firmware update to the iPhone due to be released later this week "will likely result" in SIM-unlocked iPhones turning into very expensive bricks... So what are users of SIM-unlocked iPhones to do? Not run the latest software update, that's for sure. Users can instead pray to the hacking deities — the famed iPhone Dev Team that released the free software unlock, and iPhoneSIMfree, which released a commercial software unlock — to write applications that will undo the unlocks, as it were, if those users want to run the latest iPhone software.'"

Word 2007 Vs. Open Office 2.3 Writer 492

hairyfeet writes "Bruce Byfield of Linux.com has just posted his third Office shootout between Microsoft Office and Open Office. This is the first version comparing the new Microsoft Word 2007 with Writer from the latest version of Open Office. The verdict: while Microsoft Office beats Open Office in a few categories, overall Open Office wins — but by not as large a margin as in the past." Linux.com and Slashdot share a corporate overlord.

MS Moves R&D To Canada Due To Immigration Problem 765

telso writes "Microsoft will be opening a new software development center in Vancouver because of difficulties getting workers into the US. The company said the center will 'allow the company to continue to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by the immigration issues in the US' It seems possible that shrinking immigration quotas have affected America's tax and knowledge base."

Does GPL v3 Alienate Developers? 430

An anonymous reader writes "Via Wired, a blog post in which BMC Software's Whurley and Google's Greg Stein agree that the GPL v3 is currently on a path that will alienate developers. Stein has an interesting theory called 'license pressure' which is similar to 'pricing pressure'. 'Due to pressure from developers, all software is moving towards permissive licensing" translation, the GPL and developers are moving in opposite directions ... Developers care about the licenses on the software they use and incorporate into their projects, they like permissive licenses, and they will increasingly demand permissive licenses.'"

Posting Porn Link Judged Unlawful in Hong Kong 146

hkxforce writes "Can you imagine posting a link to a website that would get you arrested by the police? In Hong Kong, a middle-age man has been heavily fined for posting a porn link in an adult discussion forum. 'A court in the Kwun Tong district of the city heard that Woo provided a hyperlinked message on the forum which, when clicked, would enable other forum users to access an overseas pornographic website showing the photos. But Internet Society chairman Charles Mok Nai-kwong said the court case raised several concerns. 'In this case, the court has given a new direction to the public concerning the responsibility of internet users,' he said. Mok added that he also believed the case could damage the freedom of information on the internet. 'This man posted a link on the internet which now becomes an act that constitutes the breaking of law, and my question is whether a link is being regarded as the 'obscene article,'' he said.'"

Jack Valenti, Dead at 85 650

saforrest writes "Jack Valenti, a man whose influence in both Washington and Hollywood was profound, died today at age 85. He first became famous as special assistant to Lyndon Johnson: he can even be seen in the famous photo aboard Air Force One. In 1966, he quit this job to become president of the MPAA, from 1966 to 2004."

Sony Officially Dropping 20GB PS3 in North America 144

An anonymous reader writes "Sony has just announced they're officially ditching the 20GB model of the PS3. 'Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America. In addition to the larger internal hard drive, the 60GB PlayStation 3 features added storage media slots and built-in Wi-Fi not found in the 20GB system. Based on retailer and consumer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model.'"

Kremlin Seeks to Control Online Media 220

reporter writes "According to a disturbing report just published by Bloomberg, 'As the Kremlin gears up for the election of Putin's successor next March, Soviet-style controls are being extended to online news after a presidential decree last month set up a new agency to supervise both mass media and the Web.' However, unless the Kremlin pursues Chinese-style/Turkish-style blocking of the Internet-Protocol addresses of web sites like 'The Economist', even the Kremlin cannot control the online media. If Putin pulled the plug on an anti-Putin web site inside Russia, the anti-Putin web site could simply be migrated offshore to a server in, say, the United States."

A Step Towards an Invisibility Cloak 172

An anonymous reader alerts us to work out of Purdue University in Indiana, where researchers have produced a design for a method of cloaking objects of any shape and size at a single wavelength of visible light. The math for such an invisibility effect was worked out last year at Duke and in the UK, but the new work, to be published in Nature Photonics this month, is the first practical design. The lead researcher, Vladimir Shalaev, notes that even though the current design works only at a single wavelength, and so would not convey true invisibility, it could still be useful — against, for example, night-vision goggles or laser target designators. Shalaev calls the technical challenge of producing an all-wavelengths cloak "doable in principle."

Linux Starts to Find Home on Desktops 364

WSJdpatton writes "The much-hyped notion that Linux would be a viable alternative to Windows to run desktop and notebook PCs for corporate users seemed dead on arrival a few years ago. But the idea is showing some new vital signs as companies look for cheaper alternatives to Microsoft products. The Wall Street Journal outlines several firms that are reaping savings and stability on their workplace desktops by rolling out Linux distributions. 'Auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroën last month said it will start using Linux on 20,000 of its workers' PCs. Novell Inc., which sells a version of Linux and is supplying it to Peugeot, says it has recently signed up several large U.S. financial institutions that are installing Linux on some employee PCs. Sales of Linux PCs are showing a really nice uptick at Novell, says Ronald Hovsepian, chief executive of Novell.' Not everyone is a convert, though. 'The State of Illinois recently consolidated its IT systems onto Microsoft software -- and has no interest in using Linux, says Paul Campbell, director of the state's Central Management Services department. "We don't have time for science projects in state government," he says.'"

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923