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The Almighty Buck

$700 Billion Bailout Signed Into Law 857

Many readers reminded us of what no-one can have failed to hear: that the Congress passed and the President signed a $700B bailout bill in an attempt to avert the meltdown of the US economy. The bill allocates $700 billion to the Treasury Department for the purchase of so-called "toxic assets" that have been weighing down Wall Street balance sheets. This isn't particularly a tech story, though tech will be affected as will virtually all parts of the economy, and not just in the US. Among the $110B in so-called pork added to the bill to sway reluctant legislators are extensions of popular tax benefits for business R&D and alternative energy, relief for the growing pool of people subject to the alternative minimum tax, and a provision raising the FDIC's ceiling of guaranteed deposits to $250,000. Some limits were also imposed on executive compensation, though it's unclear whether they will be effective.

How To Kill an Open Source Project With New Funding 187

mir42 writes "The OpenSource multimedia authorware project Sophie, formerly hosted by USC Los Angeles, may just have been killed by new funding. The original funding organization, Mellon Foundation, approved a grant to redevelop the four year project from scratch in Java. The grant was awarded to a Bulgarian company based on their proposal, which is simply an exact description, including the UI and the artwork, of the current Sophie. Being an OpenSource project, this isn't strictly illegal, but let's say, not nice and definitely not innovative, coming from a former sub-sub-contractor on the project. Some of the original, now laid-off developers started trying to salvage the project. As the current version is still somewhat buggy and slow, it might just be enough to alienate all potential users of Sophie to the point that nobody will even try to use the next version. Have others faced similar situations? How would you deal with a situation like this?"

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.