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Google, Apple and Others Accused of 'No Poaching' Deal 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the stories-that-don't-involve-deer-and-the-king's-land dept.
lightbox32 writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, several of the US's largest technology companies, which include Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar Animation, are in the final stages of negotiations with the Justice Department to avoid a court battle over whether they colluded to hold down wages by agreeing not to poach each other's employees. 'The Justice Department would have to convince a court not just that such accords existed, but that workers had suffered significant harm as a result. The companies may not want to take a chance in court. If the government wins, it could open the floodgates for private claimants, even a class action by employees. A settlement would allow the Justice Department to halt the practice, without the companies having to admit to any legal violations.'"

Comment: Re:Should be a selling feature... (Score 1) 265

by roger6106 (#30848144) Attached to: YouTube Offers Experimental Opt-In HTML5 Video

I don't think H.264 is patented in the UK. Why can't we have a version of Firefox that supports it?

This is what I have been wondering. Wouldn't it be possible to distribute an H.264 version in areas where it isn't patented?

Also, what do decisions such as these mean for software patents in the US?

Data Storage

Garbage Collection Algorithms Coming For SSDs 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-out-the-tash dept.
MojoKid writes "A common concern with the current crop of Solid State Drives is the performance penalty associated with block-rewriting. Flash memory is comprised of cells that usually contain 4KB pages that are arranged in blocks of 512KB. When a cell is unused, data can be written to it relatively quickly. But if a cell already contains some data, even if it fills only a single page in the block, the entire block must be re-written. This means that whatever data is already present in the block must be read, then it must be combined or replaced, and the entire block is then re-written. This process takes much longer than simply writing data straight to an empty block. This isn't a concern on fresh, new SSDs, but over time, as files are written, moved, deleted, or replaced, many blocks are a left holding what is essentially orphaned or garbage data, and their long-term performance degrades because of it. To mitigate this problem, virtually all SSD manufacturers have incorporated, or soon will incorporate, garbage collection schemes into their SSD firmware which actively seek out and remove the garbage data. OCZ, in combination with Indilinx, is poised to release new firmware for their entire line-up of Vertex Series SSDs that performs active garbage collection while the drives are idle, in order to restore performance to like-new condition, even on a severely 'dirtied' drive."

+ - New AACS Processing Key Discovered

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The movie studios recently released new HD-DVDs that can no longer be circumvented using the infamous 09 F9... AACS processing key that floated around the Net last month, but today a new key has surfaced. Like hundreds of other readers of Freedom-To-Tinker's "Own Your Own Integer" story, someone named BtCB posted his "randomly generated" number in the comments, asking, "What are the odds that this is the new processing key?" As it turns out, BtCB's key was not so random, and, a week after he posted it, the hackers over at doom9 realized that it really is the new processing key. With this kind of hacker "luck," it doesn't look like AACS will last for long.

+ - Is Place-Shifting Fair Use?

Submitted by Nom du Keyboard
Nom du Keyboard writes: Major League Baseball seems to want to control where you can watch their televised games, and they've set their sights on Slingbox. While you may be allowed to watch an ad-supported, or paid cable channel, of your team in your own home, MLB (and others) don't feel that includes watching it remotely in another city through your local broadcast. Although they call this "illegal distribution" (reminds you of the RIAA lawsuits), Sling Media has taken steps to ensure that only you can watch your own content, wherever you might be. While no one has yet been bold enough to actually test this in court (losing would be a disaster), does the content industry have the right to decide not only what and when (i.e. shows that can't be recorded for later viewing) you'll watch something, but where you have to watch it as well?
The Internet

+ - Canadian DMCA Coming This Spring

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government is reportedly ready to introduce copyright reform legislation this spring, provided that no election is called. The new bill would move Canada far closer to the U.S. on copyright, with DMCA-style anti-circumvention legislation that prohibits circumvention of DRM systems and bans software and mod chips that can be used to circumvent such systems.
Hardware Hacking

+ - New Powered USB Part 3: Response to Slashdot

Submitted by
Patrick McFarland
Patrick McFarland writes: "I've written a third, and hopefully final part, to the originally two part Why Powered USB Is Needed article that was featured on Slashdot three days ago, and this response is pretty much due to Slashdot users asking smart questions and poking a few holes in my argument. The third part covers how USB 3.0 essentially needs to follow in Firewire's footsteps to truly succeed and overcome people's views on USB as just a low bandwidth bus that no one uses seriously and, combined with New Powered USB, could overtake Firewire in high bandwidth applications."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Why Powered USB Is Going to Fail

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes: Patrick McFarland, famous Free Software Magazine author (featured earlier on Slashdot), has written a two part article about why Powered USB is not taking off at home (part 2 available here). He includes a lengthy history on why USB took off in the first place, and then continues on to explain what we gain by allowing Powered USB to power all our devices.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.