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Google

+ - AdSense Disabling Arbitrage Accounts by June 1st

Submitted by
shird
shird writes "Reports of google trying to clean up its search results by cracking down on dubious Web sites that contain little content but lots of ads, sometimes known as "Made for AdSense" (MFA) sites, have been reaching the media. The Jensense blog reports "Numerous AdSense publishers have been receiving emails from Google the past couple of days stating that their use of their AdSense account is an unsuitable business model and that accounts would be disabled as of June 1st, giving publishers about two weeks notice to prepare for the loss of the AdSense accounts." Google regularly bans and rejects AdSense accounts in violation of the TOS, however this change appears to be affecting a much larger quantity of MFA sites profiting from the imbalance of AdWords costs vs AdSense profits. Currently being discussed over at WebMasterWorld."
Censorship

+ - Webcomic Author Fired for Talking About Firearms

Submitted by Plekto
Plekto (1018050) writes "Basically, this guy was talking about firearms with his friend at work. He decided to buy a gun. Nothing wrong with that — so was talking it over with his friend and decided to get a .22 for target shooting(paper targets and such at a range). This is a typical choice for someone who wants to learn how to shoot as their first firearm. His co-worker overheard and complained. Management fired him in a what's becoming all to typical knee-jerk reaction.

It's pretty appalling how low our society has sunk if you aren't even allowed to talk about your 2nd Amendment rights in public anymore.

http://threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-20

http://threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2007-04-24

He runs a webcomic and made a couple of strips about what happened. Welcome to the new America."
Windows

+ - Windows Scripting for a Unix guy...

Submitted by sn4265
sn4265 (1096991) writes "I'm a diehard Unix/Linux biggot, and happily so. Unfortunately, my new job requires support of literally dozens of Windows servers in addition to the REAL servers. Thankfully most of this work is done by the other members of my team. I have been developing an Intranet site for our organization and company that is basically a system information site for things like hardware information, user account management, and SAN details. This is pretty much a breeze on the Unix side with Perl and shell scripts, but I'm at a loss when it comes to the Windows side of this.

What is the best way to handle this kind of scripting in Windows? Perl on Windows? Windows Scripting? Powershell? Something I haven't even heard of? Are there any "must have" books out there for this?"
Businesses

+ - US Keeps All SWIFT Payment Details

Submitted by
Michael
Michael writes "I just got this email from smile.co.uk, a UK online bank which explains why every SWIFT payment is now recorded by the US even if it is not to/from America.

"As from the start of business Monday 14th May 2007, there will be a change to the way we process international payments.

What's the background?

The USA Government requires that all international transfers processed through the USA be provided with all the transfer details. As all SWIFT payments worldwide are processed through the USA, any SWIFT transfer requested by you will have the full transfer details disclosed to the USA Government. This also applies to TIPANET payments that are sent to the USA.

The Data Protection Authority in Belgium has ruled that this is a breach of the Data Protection Directive and so the sender of the money must be made aware of this and be given the option not to proceed with the transfer if they are not in agreement to this sharing.

What does this mean to me?

If you ask us to send a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA, you will need to agree to a declaration about how the transfer details could be used.

We'll need you to agree to the declaration each time you ask us to do a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA. Unfortunately, we can't process your request in these circumstances without your agreement to the declaration.

TIPANET payments to other parts of the world and euroCHAPS are not affected by this change.

What does the declaration say?

Below is the declaration that we'll need you to agree to each time you request a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA:

'In order to make this payment, personal information relating to the individuals involved in the transfer may be processed for the purposes of:

a) Complying with applicable laws, including without limitation anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws and regulations,
And
b) Fighting crime and terrorism,

And disclosure to any Government entity, regulatory authority or to any person we reasonably think necessary for these purposes. This may mean that personal information will be transferred outside the EEA to countries, which do not provide the same level of data protection as the UK.

I agree to the above: Yes/No? (Delete as appropriate)'

Additional information

If you'd like to find out more information about our foreign services, go to: http://www.smile.co.uk/foreign
For more information on Data Protection, go to: http://www.ico.gov.uk/

If you have any questions about your account, please send us a secure message.

Thanks

smile

This e-mail is intended solely for the addressee and is strictly confidential. If you are not the addressee, please do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on it or any of its attachments. Instead please e-mail it back to the sender and delete the message from your computer. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error free and The Co-operative Bank accepts no liability for changes made to this e-mail (and any attachments) after it was sent or for viruses arising as a result of this e-mail transmission. Any unauthorised reproduction, dissemination, copying, disclosure, modification, distribution and/or publication of this e-mail message is strictly prohibited. The Co-operative Bank may intercept any e-mail or other communication which you send to or receive from smile via the Bank's telecommunications systems for certain permitted lawful purposes. By so corresponding you also give your consent to Bank monitoring and recording of any correspondence using these systems. The registered office is at PO Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EP. As part of The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. , smile is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (No. 121885), subscribes to the Banking Code, is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service and is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (No.006110). Please refer to our Ethical Policy for further information.""
The Internet

+ - Pandora limits service to U.S. and U.K only

Submitted by
Felix P. Dau
Felix P. Dau writes "On May, 2nd Tim Westergren, Founder of the Pandora Radio and Music Genome Project, announced in an eMail to all listeners, that due to licencing restrictions, will cease to function for international users outside the U.S.

Here's a transcript of the eMail sent:

Dear Pandora listener,
Today we have some extremely disappointing news to share with you. Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say that we must begin proactively preventing access to Pandora's streaming service for most countries outside of the U.S.
It is difficult to convey just how disappointing this is for us. Our vision remains to eventually make Pandora a truly global service, but for the time being, we can no longer continue as we have been. As a small company, the best chance we have of realizing our dream of Pandora all around the world is to grow as the licensing landscape allows.
We show your IP address is '84.xx.xx.xx', which indicates you are listening from Germany. If you believe you are seeing this by mistake, we offer our sincere apologies and ask that you please reply to this email.
Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the people who created the music — we have always believed in honoring the guidelines as determined by legislators and regulators, artists and songwriters, and the labels and publishers they work with. In the U.S. there is a federal statute that provides this license for all the music streamed on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S. and there is no global licensing organization to enable us to legitimately offer Pandora around the world. Other than in the U.K., we have not yet been able to make significant progress in our efforts to obtain a sufficient number of international licenses at terms that would enable us to run a viable business. The volume of listening on Pandora makes it a very expensive service to run. Streaming costs are very high, and since our inception, we have been making publishing and performance royalty payments for every song we play.
Until now, we have not been able to tell where a listener is based, relying only on zip code information provided upon registration. We are now able to recognize a listener's country of origin based on the IP address from which they are accessing the service. Consequently, on May 3rd, we will begin blocking access to Pandora to listeners from your country. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.
We will be posting updates on our blog regarding our ongoing effort to launch in other countries, so please stay in touch. We will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you. We deeply share your sense of disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.
"
Apple

Steve Jobs Personally Resolves Customer Complaint 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the steve-jobs-my-dishes-need-to-be-washed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Consumerist recently published a story about an Apple customer who went through support hell with a broken Macbook. After escalating the issue up the support chain, and a month wait for his Macbook, the guy gave up and simply wrote Steve Jobs a blistering flame-mail. So, was he surprised when Jobs' executive assistant responded back the next day! He got both a brand new Macbook, as well as his old one to copy the hard drive. The guy also responded in a comment, and he turns out to be a slashdotter! He even wrote a journal entry here about the story."
The Internet

+ - Comparing Bundles Made Easy For Broadband Britons

Submitted by
tatters
tatters writes "UK Broadband comparison website Broadband Internet UK (www.broadbandinternetuk.com) has launched a new one stop service to help Britons search for and compare the various bundle combinations of broadband, phone, TV and mobile available in their postcode area.

The new service comes in response to the increasing number of bundles being marketed by the UK's broadband providers and also a recent research report from Ofcom* that found bundling to now be the second most important factor influencing a user choice of ISP.

In what's regarded as a 'first' within the comparison market, Britons can search by postcode for broadband only packages or for a range of bundles that contain combinations of broadband, landline phone, digital television and mobile.

Users have the option to sort their search results by their preferred purchase criteria that includes broadband speed, monthly download limit, contract period, cost per month or first year cost. Users can then find a package or bundle that best fits their requirements.

Steve Tattersall, of Broadband Internet UK said today:

"With the media dominated by marketing messages promoting the latest broadband, phone and TV bundles, finding the right deal for broadband buyers can be frustrating and time consuming as they trawl the net comparing supplier after supplier. This service aims to make the process of comparing the latest broadband, phone & TV bundles available from the UK's leading broadband providers quicker and simpler. Users can find the right broadband bundle for them that is available in their area, rather than wasting time searching site after site."

Steve continues, "Users can also keep up to date with all the latest broadband deals and industry developments in our broadband news section, get further information on each ISP with our impartial broadband provider reviews and use our range of broadband buyers guides if they're new to broadband or switching provider. Web 2.0 initiatives such as user generated comments and reviews on providers and their bundles are also planned."

* Research published by Ofcom in April 2007

-Ends-

Enquiries:
Steve Tattersall — PR Contact
+ 44 (0) 7941 462812
stevet@broadbandinternetuk.com
Broadband Internet UK (www.broadbandinternetuk.com)

Further Information:

Broadband Internet UK (www.broadbandinternetuk.com) is one of the UK's leading guides to high speed internet access. The site specialises in offering the UK consumer free online self-help guides, together with postcode search & comparison tools that aid people's decision making when choosing either a stand alone broadband package or a bundle that may include combinations of broadband, landline telephone, digital television and mobile. It is part of Web Offer Marketing Ltd; an independent, privately owned company based in the UK."
Media

+ - AACS challenges to DIGG.COM backfire

Submitted by msblack
msblack (191749) writes "Stories in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times talk about demanding DMCA take down letters sent to operators of DIGG.COM. Both articles were fairly clear on DIGG users' backlash to their initial stance against posts containing the 16-byte hex code. The LA Times article had an interesting reference to a DIGG post:

One Digg member, Grant Robertson, said the incident reminded him of a quote from "NewsRadio," the 1990s TV show: "You can't take something off the Internet. That's like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool."
"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft's new validation policy

Submitted by
fishyfool
fishyfool writes "Microsoft has started a new policy of authenticating the Windows operating system. Previously when a user has installed Windows they had to activate the OS with Microsoft online or by phone. One could understand why Microsoft put the activation process into place, with all the pirating that was taking place with early verisons of Windows. Now Microsoft has taken authentication of the Microsoft Validation to a whole new level. Starting now, they will be checking your operating system every month. mypcpros.com"
Communications

+ - Russian government DDoS'ed Estonian government

Submitted by Anonymous Estonian
Anonymous Estonian (666) writes "The attacks started last week after the tiny ex-soviet republic of Estonia, now a member of the European Union and NATO, decided to relocate a controversial statue of the so called "Bronze Soldier" from town centre to a nearby war cemetery. The statue has significant symbolic value to Estonia's small community of mostly ethnic Russian post-World War II immigrants; not only symbolising Soviet victory over Nazism in the Great Patriotic War, but also their claimed rights in Estonia. As such, for many Estonians the Bronze Soldier is a symbol of Soviet occupation and repression. The Russian government called the relocation of the statue "blasphemous", "inhuman" and "extremely nationalist", even going as far as to call Estonia a "fascist country". Russia has demanded the resignation of the government, started a nationwide boycott of Estonian goods, blocked the work of Estonia's embassy in Moscow and finally launched a massive DDoS attack against Estonia's governmental institutions. "It has been established that cyber terrorist attacks against Estonian governmental institution websites and that of the President's Office's have been made from IP addresses of concrete computers and by concrete individuals from Russian government organs including the administration of the President of the Russian Federation," said Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet to the press yesterday."
Music

+ - Album giveaway could ignite music revolution

Submitted by Denyer
Denyer (717613) writes "A couple of years ago, Seattle group Harvey Danger released their album Little By Little online, free, forever. Now press elsewhere are increasingly giving coverage to the idea that music serves better as the advertising for live shows and merchandise, and UK band The Crimea have thrown themselves into the ring with their second album, Secrets of the Witching Hour. What do Slashdot readers think: is there value in recordings themselves any more, or are they mostly something to be shared and attract attention to a band's other endeavours?"
The Almighty Buck

+ - e-gold response to false criminal charges

Submitted by
e-gold
e-gold writes "I'm Jim Ray. I do not speak for e-gold despite my nick here. My boss is Dr. Jackson, the "accused". I would like to direct your readers to his response www.e-gold.com/letter3.html , in particular the hyperlinks. We're especially interested in independent legal views of the transcript from the emergency hearing before Magistrate Judge Facciola on 12/29/05 and the emails between myself and the USSS circa 11/04 — 1/05, which are linked to the document. Journalists who care about these issues should contact me if they wish to contact Dr. Jackson. I do not submit many stories to Slashdot, but this is truly an injustice. I'll point out that not one G&SR employee has left. We're all here, despite the lurid allegations financed by our taxes, because we all know we're 100% innocent, not just "not guilty." Thanks for considering this, and as usual, if any readers dare to create an account, I'll click them a bit to try if they send me an account#. JMR"
The Courts

+ - IPRED2 Slips Through in Europe :-(

Submitted by
egnop
egnop writes "April 25, 2007

The European Parliament has just voted to pass the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED2) without substantive amendment, despite growing public opposition from across the European Union. The final vote of 374 to 278 with 17 abstentions points to a margin of Parliamentary support that has been narrowing ever since the Directive left subcommittee. While we are disappointed that IPRED2 was not defeated at this stage, we can see clearly the impact of the efforts of the over 8,000 Europeans who've taken action against the Directive. We were told by the two largest political parties that they felt that the Directive had not been given enough time to be properly discussed, and that our campaign had definitely contributed to the discussion.

The fight now moves to the Council of the European Union, where it will be considered by representatives of the national governments of all EU Member States. Several states have started to mount resistance to IPRED2 in recent weeks, with the UK and Holland leading the charge. Europeans worried about their right to innovate, and their ability to live under clear, fair criminal laws must now turn to their own national governments to ensure that IPRED2 doesn't set a terrible precedent for copyright law, and the EU legal process. If the Council disagrees with EuroParl's action — which we believe is in reach — IPRED2 would be returned for a second reading. We will be tracking these developments and providing opportunities to act at CopyCrime.eu.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005219.php"

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