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The Media

+ - Erosion "caused" by global warming->

Submitted by
Grimxn
Grimxn writes "In an otherwise intriguing article about archaeological finds in Alaska, uncovered by erosion, a BBC hack cannot resist blaming the changing currents in the Chuchki Sea on climate change.



"What used to be an accreting spit — one building up — has become an eroding spit as the coastal ebbs and flows have changed their seasonal patterns, perhaps at the behest of global climate change."


Now, changing currents cause, and are caused by, changes in climate, but the implication of this piece of throw-away journalism is that there is no such thing any longer as local climate change, but that all change is global, and, by association, caused by humans. Is this the point where the press jump the shark on "global climate change"? If not, how far can they go?"

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Microsoft's Biggest Threat: Google? OSS? Both?->

Submitted by
Glyn Moody
Glyn Moody writes "Google always plays down suggestions that there's any looming clash of the titans between itself and Microsoft. Meanwhile, it is pushing open source in every way it can: directly, by contributing code to projects and employing top hackers like Andrew Morton, Jeremy Allison and Guido van Rossum, and indirectly through the $60 million fees it pays Mozilla, its Summer of Code scheme and various open source summits held at its offices. Google+OSS: could this be the killer combination that finally breaks Microsoft?"
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Education

+ - OLPC CTO Quits to Commercialize OLPC Technology

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "The One Laptop Per Child project suffered a blow Monday, with CTO Mary Lou Jepsen quitting the nonprofit to start a for-profit company to commercialize technology she invented with OLPC (the first of Jepsen's pending OLPC patents was published by the USPTO on Dec. 13). The OLPC project halted consumer sales of the cheap laptop at the end of November."
Databases

+ - MySQL's Threat to Commercial Databases->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "The odds are high that you've heard of the most popular open source database, MySQL. Financial columnists like CNN/Fortune author David Kirkpatrick are starting to notice it too and recognize it as a serious threat to ... well, every other commercial database out there. Sun CEO Scott McNealy said "If you want to save money, make the default database MySQL. It's free ... if Yahoo and Google can run their entire operations on MySQL, then certainly there's a huge chunk of your operations that could run on it as well." With press like that and the performance to back it up, is MySQL going to ruin commercial databases created by Oracle, IBM & Microsoft?"
Link to Original Source
Wii

+ - Nintendo Wii Fully Exploited

Submitted by Croakyvoice
Croakyvoice (986312) writes "The 24th Annual Chaos Communication Congress was the launchpad for the unveiling of the hacking of the Nintendo Wii via an exploit to allow homebrew to run in native Wii mode ( previously only Gamecube Homebrew was available on the Wii) which will allow access to the Wiimote, WiFi and SD Cart Slot. Tehskeen a Wii scene site has today posted an interview with the author of the exploit who has discussed the release to the public and linux amongst other things."
Data Storage

+ - MegaUpload refuses payout - claims "fraud" 2

Submitted by
Farasha SilverSand
Farasha SilverSand writes "Earlier this year, in October to be precise, LiveJournal user Cleolinda Jones updated her blog with an entry regarding a special campaign known as Project Download.

To make a long story short, Oregon resident Erin (LJ username redscorner) needed a series of brain surgeries that were both expensive and life-saving.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

To Erin, MegaUpload's download reward program must have seemed like a godsend. For five million downloads, Erin would recieve $10,000, enough to pay for her brain surgeries.

The file to be downloaded was a small .txt file, basically thanking the downloader for participating and again explaining her situation.

In December, Erin reached her first milestone — 100,000 download points, listed on the reward page as paying out $100. Instead of waiting until the five million mark to cash in, Erin decided to claim her $100 reward, just to make sure MegaUpload really meant business.

Instead of her reward, Erin received an e-mail from MegaUpload stating that they would not pay her.

Dear Erin,

Our apologies for the late reply, our rewards staff was not in during Xmas.

We have decided not to pay you because of fraud. Your reward points were earned through small 2 KB txt files which were downloaded many times from the same IP's. This against our terms of service and reward rules.

Sincerely,

Megaupload Abuse Department


Aside from being wholly unprofessional, the e-mail is not even consistent with MegaUpload's own Terms of Service regarding their rewards program, which state:

What is a qualifying download?

Up to one download per IP address per file per day will be counted. Downloads from certain countries or territories do not qualify. Click here for the current list of qualifying countries.

Absolutely no fraud

You will be disqualified and banned if you try to manipulate the results. Automated mass downloads are easily detected and strictly forbidden.

Only files up to 100 MB

Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for the Rewards program.


The ToS do not state that files must meet a minimum requirement. They also do not state that multiple downloads from the same IP address on different dates are fraudulent and against the rules.

Erin is considering filing suit in small claims court, but since MegaUpload is allegedly based in Hong Kong, little to nothing might come from legal action.

MegaUpload's rewards program was more of a last-ditch effort than anything for Erin, and he whole situation should reiterate what most of us already know — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Privacy

+ - Google tracks you on torrent and porn sites 7

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Think Google can only track you search habits? Think again. This site survey found that 40 of the top100 websites use Google-analytics as their web analysis software. Sites like mininova and youporn included. Google dominates the search engine world and now as a centralized service dominate the none-search website metrics. I am glad they do. I will be immortalized in Google databases as Google scientists of the future analyze my search habits, movies I like to see and types of girls I would like to meet."
Google

+ - Google's Algorithm allows shady tactics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google has been oddly silent about the possibility, but it seems like a very real likelihood that it is possible to damage the google search rankings for your competitor's sites by off site linking schemes that are completely out of the control of the site owners. Now it seems like many black hat seo services will offer the service..... so if you rank 11th for a valuable term, it may be possible to use black hat tactics (or pay a small fee to an expert) to get your competitors knocked out of those coveted top 10 spots."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Ebay Cancels NanoSolar's PV Panel Auction->

Submitted by Sledhead
Sledhead (666) writes ""we had put up panel #2 for auction on eBay:". "The eBay auction started at 99 cents and quickly reached more than $13,000.00, and there was still more than 6 days left. At the point where it became clear that the auction would reach thousands of dollars, we decided it would be appropriate to use the proceeds after the auction for a charitable purpose. We regret that without warning eBay today decided to delete our auction due to the promised charitable use of the proceeds.""
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google going down the drain in China->

Submitted by
gaz_hayes
gaz_hayes writes "Want to know why US web companies never seem to make it in China? Successful US websites are targeted by Chinese government backed companies who copy the site, deploy it on a .cn domain, and then DNS poison or forcefully lower the bandwidth the US site. Just a few weeks ago google.com and google.cn were DNS poisoned accross the entire Chinese internet and were being redirected to their Chinese competitor Baidu. This probably explains Google's 3rd quarter market share in China."
Link to Original Source
Windows

+ - Vista Requires More Hardware Resources than Micros->

Submitted by nitroy2k
nitroy2k (927722) writes "A new level of the absurd... Windows Vista requires more hardware resources than Microsoft's Windows for Supercomputers. Yet one operating system is designed to run on home computers while the other is aimed at the high-performance computing (HPC) market. And when it comes to the actual machines, there simply is no contest between the performance delivered by a commercially-available, off-the-shelf PC and a supercomputer. Super-Windows With Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 Microsoft made the first step into the high-performance computing market, the initial stage in a strategy set up to make HPC a mundane aspect of the commercial mainstream, in the company's vision. The availability of Windows HPC Server 2008 will be synonymous with the Redmond company gaining ground on parallel supercomputers and computer clusters. Parallel computing represents without a doubt the future direction of evolution for processor architectures, with even Microsoft anticipating the tailoring of the Windows client to multicore infrastructures. http://blog.fliiby.com/archives/2007/11/18/vista-requires-more-hardware-resources-than-microsofts-windows-for-supercomputers/"
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed

Submitted by
Billosaur
Billosaur writes "Found via BoingBoing, Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from MLB.com before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck. MLB.com, sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the MLB.com servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."

"If value corrupts then absolute value corrupts absolutely."

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