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+ - Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a post at the Free Software Foundation, lawyer Marco Ciurcina reports that the Italian Supreme Court has ruled that the practice of forcing users to pay for a Windows license when they buy a new PC is illegal. Manufacturers in Italy are now legally obligated to refund that money if a buyer wants to put GNU/Linux or another free OS on the computer. Ciurcina says, "The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels, the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license terms of the preinstalled software.9 Therefore, if the user does not accept the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free software without having to pay the 'Microsoft tax.'""
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+ - More brainlessness from Ebola experts and government operatives

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A doctor, having just returned from Guinea where he was frequently exposed to ebola, wandered about New York City for days, thus ignoring government protocols that required him to limit his contact with outsiders.

Lo and behold, 9 days after his return he is diagnosed with Ebola.

However, this isn't the worst of it. The police, after securing the doctor's apartment, removed their gloves and masks used to protect them and dumped them in an ordinary street trash container on a public street."

+ - "Calibration" error changes Illinois touchscreen votes-> 4

Submitted by BobandMax
BobandMax (95054) writes "In a truly shocking occurrence, a Cook County, Illinois touchscreen voting device changed votes from Republican to Democrat. Voting officials removed the machine and determined that a calibration error was at fault. The voter who brought the problem to their attention, Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan, was later "allowed" to vote for Republicans. Some things never change, regardless technology."
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Comment: Let's start by closing the front door (Score 1, Interesting) 383

It would go a long way if the US refused direct commercial flights to and from the countries with outbreaks, and refused entry to anyone that has been in one of those countries in the past 3 weeks. The exception would be for US citizens and they should go through quarantine.

Comment: Chicago caught red handed gaming the system (Score 1) 397

by schwit1 (#48195289) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

Thousands of Chicago drivers have been tagged with $100 red light fines they did not deserve, targeted by robotic cameras during a series of sudden spikes in tickets that city officials say they cannot explain, a Tribune investigation has found.

The Tribune's analysis of more than 4 million tickets issued since 2007 and a deeper probe of individual cases revealed clear evidence that the deviations in Chicago's network of 380 cameras were caused by faulty equipment, human tinkering or both.

+ - Court Rules Parents May Be Liable for What Their Kids Post on Facebook->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Parents can be held liable for what their kids post on Facebook, a Georgia appellate court ruled in a decision that lawyers said marked a legal precedent on the issue of parental responsibility over their children’s online activity.

The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that the parents of a seventh-grade student may be negligent for failing to get their son to delete a fake Facebook profile that allegedly defamed a female classmate."

Link to Original Source

+ - X-37B to land on Tuesday

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "After twenty-two months in orbit, on its second space mission, the Air Force plans to bring the X-37B back to Earth this coming Tuesday.

The exact time and date will depend on weather and technical factors, the Air Force said in a statement released on Friday. The X-37B space plane, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, blasted off for its second mission aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Dec. 11, 2012. The 29-foot-long (9-meter) robotic spaceship, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, is an experimental vehicle that first flew in April 2010. It returned after eight months. A second vehicle blasted off in March 2011 and stayed in orbit for 15 months.

"

+ - Keystone Be D-mned: Canada Finds Oil Route To Atlantic

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Bloomberg reports that Canadians have come up with an all-Canadian route to get crude oil sands from Alberta to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, that would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply. The pipeline, built by Energy East, will cost $10.7 billion and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. "It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude," writes Bloomberg. "And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it." So confident is TransCanada Corp., the chief backer of both Keystone and Energy East, of success that Alex Pourbaix, the executive in charge, spoke of the cross-Canada line as virtually a done deal. “With one project,” Energy East will give Alberta’s oil sands not only an outlet to “eastern Canadian markets but to global markets,” says Pourbaix. “And we’ve done so at scale, with a 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline, which will go a long way to removing the specter of those big differentials for many years to come.”

The pipeline will also prove a blow to environmentalists who have made central to the anti-Keystone arguments the concept that if Keystone can be stopped, most of that polluting heavy crude will stay in the ground. With 168 billion proven barrels of oil, though, Canada’s oil sands represent the third-largest oil reserves in the world, and that oil is likely to find its way to shore one way or another. “It’s always been clear that denying it or slowing Keystone wasn’t going to stop the flow of Canadian oil,” says Michael Levi. What Energy East means for the Keystone XL pipeline remains to be seen. “Maybe this will be a wake up call to President Obama and U.S. policymakers to say ‘Hmmm we’re going to get shut out of not just the energy, but all those jobs that are going to go into building that pipeline. Now they are all going to go into Canada," says Aaron Task. “This is all about ‘You snooze, you lose.’”"

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