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Lose Your Amazon Account and Your Kindle Dies 419

Mike writes "If you buy a Kindle and some Kindle ebooks from Amazon, be careful of returning items. Amazon decided that one person had returned too many things, so they suspended his Amazon account, which meant that he could no longer buy any Kindle books, and any Kindle subscriptions he's paid for stop working. After some phone calls, Amazon granted him a one-time exception and reactivated his account again." Take this with as much salt as you'd like.

Australia To Block BitTorrent 674

Kevin 7Kbps writes "Censorship Minister Stephen Conroy announced today that the Australian Internet Filters will be extended to block peer-to-peer traffic, saying, 'Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial.' This dashes hopes that Conroy's Labor party had realised filtering could be politically costly at the next election and were about to back down. The filters were supposed to begin live trials on Christmas Eve, but two ISPs who volunteered have still not been contacted by Conroy's office, who advised, 'The department is still evaluating applications that were put forward for participation in that pilot.' Three days hardly seems enough time to reconfigure a national network."
United States

The State of Electronic Voting In the 2008 US Elections 223

Geek Satire writes "Voting works only if you believe your vote gets counted accurately. The 2008 US elections have avoided many well-known problems of the 2004 and 2000 elections, but many problems remain. O'Reilly News interviewed Dr. Barbara Simons, advisor to the Federal Election Assistance Commission, to review electronic voting in the 2008 US elections, discussing the physical security of storing and maintaining election machines, the move from electronic back to paper ballots, and why open source voting machines don't necessarily solve problems of bugs, backdoors, and audits."

Spore Expansion Announced, Another Coming In 2009 105

EA announced this week what many suspected for a while, now: Spore expansions are on their way. The first, due out in November, will be an addition to the creature creator, offering more parts for players to use. The next, due in Spring 2009, will provide new gameplay: "The expansion will give space-faring species the ability to beam down from their ships to explore other worlds and complete missions. And along with this, the expansion will include an Adventure creator, in which players can build — and then share — their own customized missions."

iPhone Signal Strength Problems In the UK 202

An anonymous reader writes "British iPhone users, who bought the Apple phones when they went on sale in England on Nov. 9, are reporting persistent problems with signal strength on O2, the UK's only iPhone service provider. The complaints started only 2 days later. InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe says there's a debate as to whether O2 or the iPhone is at fault; it appears to be the handset, which is unusual since US users haven't reported similar problems. Some 02 customers report that getting a replacement phone fixes things; others have had to do a software restore back to version 1.1.2 of the iPhone software."

Data Loss Bug In OS X 10.5 Leopard 603

An anonymous reader writes "Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in progress. This author first came across it when Samba crashed while he was moving a directory from his desktop over to a Samba mount on his FreeBSD server."

Leopard Early Adopters Suffer For The Rest of Us 461 tallies up the minor annoyances early adopters have experienced dealing with the newest version of OS X. From a change in folder design to install issues, and beyond to lack of support for Java 6, Mac users have had more to grumble about than usual in the last week. Just the same, the article notes, there have been no major problems and (compared to other OS launches) Leopard kicked off fairly well. "Let's give thanks to the early adopters, however masochistic they may be. You can do all the QA in the world before releasing an operating system, and it's not going to compare to what happens when the unwashed masses get their hands on the product. Microsoft's Windows Vista had years of developer releases, and was released to manufacturing several weeks before it went on sale to the general public. Still, compatibility problems cropped up because it's extremely difficult to anticipate what people are running, and in what combination. It's easier for Apple because it tightly controls its hardware and software, and because there are fewer potential combinations in the wild, but it's still a Herculean task."

OS X Leopard Firewall Flawed 300

cycoj writes with a report in the German IT magazine Heise, taking a look at the new OS X Leopard firewall. They find it flawed. When setting access to specific services and programs to only allow SSH access, for example, they found that a manually started service was still accessible. From the article: "So the first step after starting Leopard should be to activate the firewall. The obvious choice to do so is the option to 'Set access to specific services and programs,' which promises more control over network traffic. Mac OS X automatically enters all shared resources set up by the user, such as 'Remote login' for SSH servers, into the list of accessible resources... However, initial functional testing quickly dispels any feeling of improved security. A service started for testing purposes was able to be addressed from outside without any difficulty. The firewall records this occurrence... Even with the firewall set to 'Block all incoming connections' ports to netbios, ntp and other services were still open... Specifically these results mean that users can't rely on the firewall."

Apple Delays Leopard to October 545

SuperMog2002 writes "Apple Insider has the sad news that Mac OS X Leopard has been delayed until October. Apparantly software engineers and QA had to be reassigned to the iPhone in order to get it out on time, costing Leopard its release at WWDC. For now the original press release from Apple can be found on the 'Hot News' part of their site, though Apple did not provide a permanent link to the story. 'While Leopard's features will be complete by June, the Cupertino-based company said it cannot deliver the quality release expected by its customers within that time. Apple now plans to show its developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship the software in October.'"

The Economist, DVD Jon On Apple's DRM Stand 425

We have two followups this morning to Tuesday's story on Steve Jobs's call to do away with DRM for music. The first is an editorial in The Economist sent in by reader redelm, who notes that as "arguably the world's leading business newspaper/magazine" that publication is in a position to influence legal and political decision-makers who may never have heard of DRM. The Economist says: "Mr Jobs's argument, in short, is transparently self-serving. It also happens to be right." Next, Whiney Mac Fanboy sends pointers to two blog entries by "DVD Jon" Johansen. In the first Johansen questions Jobs's misuse of statistics in attempting to prove that consumers aren't tied to iPods through ITMS: "Many iPod owners have never bought anything from the iTunes Store. Some have bought hundreds of songs. Some have bought thousands. At the 2004 Macworld Expo, Steve revealed that one customer had bought $29,500 worth of music." Johansen's second post questions Jobs's "DRM-free in a heartbeat" claim: "There are... many Indie artists who would love to sell DRM-free music on iTunes, but Apple will not allow them... It should not take Apple's iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM. This could be done in a completely transparent way and would not be confusing to the users."
Update: 02/08 16:28 GMT by KD : Added missing links.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer