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Microsoft

Child Abuse Verdict Held Back By MS Word Glitch 191

Posted by samzenpus
from the messy-verdict dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week several defendants including one high-profile TV presenter were sentenced in Portugal in what has been known as the Casa Pia scandal. The judges delivered on September 3 a summary of the 2000-page verdict, which would be disclosed in full only three days later. The disclosure of the full verdict has been postponed from September 8 to a yet-to-be-announced date, allegedly because the full document was written in several MS Word files which, when merged together, retained 'computer related annotations which should not be present in any legal document.' (Google translated article.) Microsoft specialists were called in to help the judges sort out the 'text formatting glitch,' while the defendants and their lawyers eagerly wait to access the full text of the verdict."
Robotics

+ - SPAM: Smart robot capable of hunting for its own "fo

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Ok maybe this is getting a little too close to bringing Terminator-like robots to life. For starters, eco-friendly engine builder Cyclone Power this week inked a contract from Robotic Technologies, Inc. (RTI) to develop what it calls a beta biomass engine system that will be the heart of RTI's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR). The purpose of EATR is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling — in other words it needs to "eat." According to researchers, the EATR system gets its energy by foraging, or what the firms describe as "engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable." [spam URL stripped]"
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The Courts

+ - Hookers go hi-tech, start advertising on Craigslis->

Submitted by
secretsather
secretsather writes "oday's hi-tech prostitutes are leaving the streets, and turning to the Internet to find their next 'John.' A recent prostitution sting in Chicago, Illinois, uncovered many hookers who used Craigslist, the popular online classifieds service, to advertise their special services.

Cook County Sheriff, Thomas J. Dart, participated in a 4 month prostitution sting where over 250 people were arrested, many of which were caught through their own advertisements on Craigslist.

"We have two types of prostitution," Dart said, "We have street prostitution and we have a very sophisticated ongoing process on the Internet."

Thomas J. Dart and his men searched through Craigslist, finding ads for services such as "special massages," most of which would be accompanied by photographs of the women, in little to no clothes at all.

An undercover investigator would then contact the women, and arrange to meet at a Chicagoland hotel where they would be offered money for performing sexual acts. Once the women agreed, they were arrested.

According to the Cook County Sheriff's Office, the majority of the Craigslist arrests were from out-of-state hookers, some who would fly to Chicago, to meet their Johns, before flying back home.

"There was a desire to conduct these activities away from their hometown," said Dart. "Most would come here and stay for a month and then go back."

The police report noted that the Internet prostitutes were charging between $150 and $300 per hour, well above the going street rate. (so we hear)

Sheriff Dart pledges to not just stop at these arrests, but to make these activities known, hoping Craigslist will take the initiative to better police its site.

"We are sending Craigslist a letter detailing what we found," Dart said.

However, Craigslist representative, Susan MacTavish Best, responded saying, "All illegal activity is banned by our terms of use, nor is it welcome on the site. Do remember that escort services are perfectly legal, and that the line between an escort ad and a prostitution ad is gray and somewhat non-intuitive.""

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Announcements

+ - Free Facebook app for real estate->

Submitted by
Philip Ganz
Philip Ganz writes "While we're pontificating the meaning and effectiveness of social media...I just got off the phone with Philip Ganz, a lively Massachusetts mortgage broker who also serves as president of Landbrokr, a new free real estate blogging platform. I found Phil on Facebook, where he has set up a group called "Landbrokr" that has quickly amassed more than 275 members. Ganz and his team have just released a free Facebook application that will list properties for sale or rent right in an agent's profile. The app aims to make it easy for friends on Facebook to see what listings an agent has available. To get it, go to http://apps.facebook.com/properties. Ganz said the first version, released just a few days ago, has already been installed by about 63 people. He noted a glitch that is not allowing property photos to appear alongside the agent's profile and said that will be fixed next week. www.Landbrokr.com launched 90 days ago and has attracted about 240 real estate bloggers, Ganz said, adding that the goal is to keep it a free service for the real estate community. And he swears by the power of Facebook. The company has done no traditional advertising. Ganz says he gets contacted all the time by people who think he is an agent because of his affiliations on the social network. Ganz and his team can be found attending Facebook gatherings in Boston where developers meet up to mix up ideas about new apps and plug-ins. He says they hope to grow a whole list of blogging apps for Facebook. The idea? Open source, constant contact, community, innovation."
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Announcements

+ - What did Hooters do to Dell?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "You won't find any reference to this in major media. In fact, this may be the first public discussion of it. Dell inc. recently rolled out "ethics training" to all of it's "Small and Medium Business" sales reps. Mixed in with "don't sell servers to yourself" and "don't offend your neighbor" was an unexpected announcement.... Do not eat lunch at hooters anymore. Wait.....what?? You can't tell me where I can and can't eat can you?!?! Well, that very question was posed at the "Ethics Training", the answer was, "yes, we can". This ruling from the same company that used quite busty south korean models at a recent compter model launch. link: www.engadget.com/2007/06/27/international-marketin g-101-dells-inspiron-us-vs-korean-launch/ Well, sorry Hooters, I guess you've lost my business. From now on I'm going to the place 1 more mile down the road where they dress in catholic school girl uniforms and oggle them instead."
Operating Systems

+ - Historical Look At First Linux Kernel->

Submitted by LinuxFan
LinuxFan (666) writes "KernelTrap has a fascinating article about the first Linux kernel, version 0.01, complete with source code and photos of Linus Torvalds as a young man attending the University of Helsinki. Torvalds originally planned to call the kernel "Freax", and in his first announcement noted, "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." He also stressed that the kernel was very much tied to the i386 processor, "simply, I'd say that porting is impossible." Humble beginnings."
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Power

+ - Change Google Background Color To Save Energy?

Submitted by i_like_spam
i_like_spam (874080) writes "Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings. Who is right in this debate? Should web designers also consider potential energy savings when choosing colors for their sites?"

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