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Submission + - The legality of publishing email addresses.

oobayly writes: Like most people I receive a fair amount of chain emails, some humourous, most downright idiotic. No matter how I try educating colleagues, family & friends, I still receive them and am now resigned to the fact that you just can't help some people.
One of my explanations of why forwarding these emails is a bad idea was that they are a perfect harvesting ground for spammers: a very high percentage of the addresses will be live. This, it turned out fell upon deaf ears. If you're stupid enough to believe that Dell will give you a free laptop then you're probably the type of person that believes that a Nigerian general wants to give you $150,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!!!).

As a bit of an experiment, I used a few tools (grep, awk, etc) to parse my Maildir for any emails that appeared to have been forwarded and extracted anything that looked like an email address. As one would imagine there were a good few (thousand) email addresses. Most of these email addresses belong to innocent by-standers. The real culprits are the people who forward them, and it takes only a little more effort to extract only those.

Part of me has decided these people who waste bandwidth, time and have caused me to lose my hair deserve to pay. What better way to do it than to publish their email addresses for spammers to harvest?

Of course, this is unethical, but is it actually illegal? By sending an email urging others to forward the content, are they not actively pushing their details into the public domain?

Answers on postcards please.
The Courts

Submission + - Has RIAA expert Jacobson contradicted himself? (blogspot.com) 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "A year and five months after examining the defendant's hard drive in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA's "expert" witness, Dr. Doug Jacobson, has issued a "supplemental report" which appears to contradict his earlier "reports" alluding to the hard drive inspection. In view of the superb job the Slashdot community and the Groklaw community did in helping first to prepare for, and then to vet, Jacobson's deposition, I humbly submit for your learned review the now three (3) versions of the "expert's" opinions based on the hard drive, for your analysis. As with almost all federal litigation documents nowadays, they are, unfortunately, in *pdf format: (a) December 19, 2006, declaration; (b) unsigned October 25, 2006, report, awaiting approval from RIAA lawyers; and (c) December 15, 2007, version. The initial observations of commentators on my blog are located here."

Games That Could Have Been 99

Gamespot, to accompany a piece on the art of pitching a game has up a companion article on a few good pitches from talented developers that never quite made it into games. My favorite of the three, from Will Wright: "I've always been fascinated with airships, and I wanted to do a game about the Hindenburg. And it was originally conceived as a cross between Myst and a flight simulator, if you can imagine that. You basically wake up on the Hindenburg. You're all alone. It's flying toward Lakehurst, New Jersey. You can walk anywhere on the ship. You can turn lights on and off. You can steer. You can adjust the engines. But every time you come into Lakehurst, it blows up. And you have to figure out why, and it becomes like this weird mystery flight simulator thing. I'd still love to do that."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Blizzard Taking It To Gold Sellers and Buyers

Samalie writes: It appears Blizzard may finally be taking a fatal shot at IGE, providers of WoW Gold & Powerleveling.

The State of Florida has issued a subponea demanding pretty much everything IGE has on their own operations, as well as account/player names for everyone they've ever sold gold or services to.

Looks like the lamighty banstick may be coming out at Blizzard....but estimates are that upwards of 25% of their monthly paying customers have at one time bought gold. Will Blizzard really chop out 1/4 of their subscriber base?

Read the subponea here, and the full article here.

UT3 Won't Feature Cross Play Capability 141

Next Generation is reporting on comments from Epic's Mark Rein, who participated in an IRC chat with some members of the Unreal community recently. In the chat, Rein revealed that Unreal Tournament 3 will not feature the ability for PS3 and PC players to compete on the same servers. Said Rein, "We looked at how this would impact our ability to respond quickly to things happening at internet speed on the PC side of the equation and realized that this would not be in the best interests of our very loyal PC userbase because we would constantly be holding on to updates to wait until they passed cert on the console platform. Our PC fanbase is of ultimate importance to us. They are our bread and butter. We can't let them down or compromise their experience in any way to accommodate cross platform play."

Submission + - Windows is Free! (tlug.jp)

Stefan Gustavson writes: "This is an excellent article by Dave Gutteridge on why Windows can keep the market dominance when there is a 100% free alternative available. Linux is free, so why don't more people use it? Because they are already using Windows and lots of other commercial software for free! Software piracy is actually helping Microsoft, and holding free software back. The article is well written and well put. You should read it."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Why We Need a $200 Linux Notebook in the US (osweekly.com)

thomasLNX writes: "Yes, a $200 Linux notebook is great for third world countries, but according to Matt Hartley, cheap PCs that run Linux are also great for the United States. Just because we are in the West, it doesn't mean we are ready to shell money for PCs that we can have for a very reasonable price. He continues, "Speaking on behalf of solutions for all income levels, I'm sincerely hoping to see the 3ePC, among other solutions yet to be released, being offered to first world nations. The belief that if you live in Europe or North America and you are able to afford a computer is insane, and it would be nice to see the manufacturers of these projects understand this. Some might argue that it just takes time. I, on the other hand, feel strongly that we have given the creators of alternative hardware plenty of time. Real people in our own countries need options now — today. Not 'someday.'"

Submission + - Let's Meet a Romanian eBay Scammer

Aaron writes: This week Broadband Reports tracked down a Romanian eBay phish & scam ring, infiltrated all of their accounts, posted photos of the scammers, and began warning potential victims they were being conned. In the process they discovered one Russian kid who had lost his entire life's savings ($2,000) in a Nokia phone scam. To help the kid out they dug up the scammers' phone numbers and called, pretended to be the kid's uncle (and part of the Russian Mob), and scared the scammers into returning the funds, in full.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison