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Government

+ - New York Daily News Steals Empire State Building.->

Submitted by westbake
westbake (1275576) writes "A few forms, a stamp and 90 minutes were all it took to transfer ownership of the Empire State building to Nelots (stolen spelled backward) Properties.

Some of the information was laughable: Original "King Kong" star Fay Wray is listed as a witness and the notary shared a name with bank robber Willie Sutton. The massive [$2 billion] ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions. The loophole: The system — run by the office of the city register — doesn't require clerks to verify the information.

Ouch."
Link to Original Source

Comment: The point of Minority Report. (Score -1) 133

by westbake (#26133901) Attached to: In Japan, a Billboard That Watches You

Minority Report featured billboards that uniquely identified people and "personalized" their contents and occasionally calling the police. A billboard in Japan that monitors people's faces for feedback is a crude prototype of this concept. The people with ESP powers who predicted crime were a plot device used to explore the real issues of experimental ethics, privacy and criminal justice.

Linux Business

German Foreign Ministry Migrates Desktops To OSS 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the saving-some-geld dept.
ruphus13 writes "Here's another example of 'German Engineering' — The Foreign Ministry in Germany is migrating all of its 11,000 desktops to GNU/Linux and other open source applications. According to the article, 'this has drastically reduced maintenance costs in comparison with other ministries. "The Foreign Ministry is running desktops in many far away and some very difficult locations. Yet we spend only one thousand euro per desktop per year. That is far lower than other ministries, that on average spend more than 3000 euro per desktop per year ... Open Source desktops are far cheaper to maintain than proprietary desktop configurations," says Rolf Schuster, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Madrid and the former head of IT at the Foreign Ministry ... "The embassies in Japan and Korea have completely switched over, the embassy in Madrid has been exclusively using GNU/Linux since October last year", Schuster added, calling the migration a success.' The Guardian has additional coverage of the move."
The Media

BBC Brings DRM-Free Content To Linux Users 131

Posted by timothy
from the gnu-linux dept.
eldavojohn writes "The BBC is planning to release some of its programmes to users of GNU & Linux. You won't see Doctor Who or Dragons' Den on there anytime soon, but they have been working with Canonical & Collabora on getting this out there for Totem users. The developer blog mentions that the sheer number of options in the open source world actually makes this difficult to accomplish."
Microsoft

+ - M$ Has it's First Hiring Freeze.->

Submitted by
twitter
twitter writes "Network News broke the now hotly denied story of a M$ hiring freeze.

Microsoft has instituted a hiring freeze, likely spurred by the worsening economic conditions in the U.S., according to a source close to the company. ... On Friday, the software giant started sending a note to employees informing them of the decision, according to an employee who saw the letter but asked not to be named.

The denial story shows that the original email was genuine and has more details:

On Friday, some employees received a note saying that the company was re-evaluating open headcount and wouldn't be adding new headcount.

But Gellos [M$ spokesweasel] said the company intends to continue hiring new workers. "This year we expect lots of growth and that we will hire lots of people," he said. "I think the nuance is in the fact that in light of the economy it's important that we do the prudent thing and evaluate projects that we're working on."

It is important not to blame this move on the economic climate alone. Healthy companies will prosper and grow in the adversity, especially as M$ loses their ability to interfere. Companies that don't have anything people want to buy will sink into debt and fail.

Anyone think this will hurt Steve Ballmer's chances for a $20,000,000 bonus?"

Link to Original Source

Bug

Laptops With Certain NVidia Chips Failing 310

Posted by timothy
from the hardware-sucks dept.
Eukariote writes "An estimated 18 million laptops with NVidia G84 and G86 graphics chips sold in the past one and a half years are experiencing high failure rates. Various laptop models from multiple manufacturers (Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others) are affected. NVidia blames it on bad chip packaging causing thermal failure. BIOS updates that turn the laptop fan on more frequently or permanently have been released by Dell and HP. The cynical interpretation is that this is likely to only delay the problem until the warranty has expired."
Transportation

The SUV Is Dethroned 1234

Posted by kdawson
from the four-dollar-stake-through-the-engine dept.
Wired's Autopia blog documents what we all knew was coming: rising gas prices have killed off the SUV. Auto industry watchers had predicted that the gas guzzlers in the "light truck" category would lose the ascendancy by 2010; no one expected their reign to end in a month, in the spring of 2008. Toyota, GM, Ford, and now Nissan have announced they will scale back truck and SUV production and ramp up that of smaller passenger cars. Of course there will always be a market for this class of vehicle, but its days on the top of the sales charts are done. "'All of our previous assumptions on the full-size pickup truck segment are off the table,' Bob Carter, Toyota division sales chief said last week during a conference call with reporters. Translation — we have no idea how low they'll go."
Government

Open Source Cities Followup — Munich Yea, Vienna Nay 162

Posted by kdawson
from the positively-dickensian dept.
We're catching up on two stories of municipal engagement with open source software: Munich (which decided to go OS in 2003) and Vienna (2005). E5Rebel brings us news that Munich has stayed the course. But bkingaut informs that Vienna has decided to migrate back to Windows (Google translation) — to Vista no less. The migration of 720 computers used in kindergartens will cost the city about €8M. The given reason for all this is a language test application for the kids that only works with MS IE and won't be made compatible (by the producer) with Firefox until 2009.
Microsoft

Dell Documents Reveal Microsoft's Pre-launch Vista Errors 220

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-change-horses-midstream dept.
twitter writes "The New York Times has a piercing analysis of documents from the Vista capable lawsuit. The documents show that Microsoft seems to have put a wrench in Vista's driver situation only at the last minute. 'Late OS code changes broke drivers and applications, forcing key commodities to miss launch or limp out with issues,' said one slide in a Dell presentation dated March 25, 2007, about two months after Vista's launch at retail and availability on new PCs.' We have all heard the lazy vendors don't believe Vista will launch excuses but few of us have heard Steven Sinofsky, chief of Windows development, second and third opinions. 'Massive changes in the underpinnings for video and audio really led to a poor experience at RTM,' he said. 'This change led to incompatibilities. For example, you don't get Aero with an XP driver, but your card might not (ever) have a Vista driver.' Finally, said Sinofsky, other changes in Vista blocked Windows XP drivers altogether. 'This is across the board for printers, scanners, WAN, accessories and so on. Many of the associated applets don't run within the constraints of the security model or the new video/audio driver models.'
Windows

AntiPiracy Macrovision Bug is Actually Six Years Old 177

Posted by Zonk
from the making-us-safe-as-we-game dept.
twitter writes "A recently reported Macrovision bug has actually been around for six years, according to Computerworld. 'Flawed antipiracy software now being exploited by attackers has been bundled with Windows for the last six years to protect game publishers, Macrovision Corp. said today. The "secdrv.sys" driver has shipped with all versions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista ... users do not have to play a SafeDisc-protected game to be vulnerable.' The article goes on to play down danger and claim that Vista is safe, but ZDNet notes: 'Malware authors are actively exploiting a zero-day privilege escalation vulnerability ... [which] can be exploited overwrite arbitrary kernel memory and execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. This facilitates the complete compromise of affected computers.'"

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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