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Security

Microsoft Links Malware Rates To Pirated Windows 348

CWmike writes "Microsoft said today that computers in countries with high rates of software piracy are more likely to be infected because users are leery of applying security patches. 'There is a direct correlation between piracy and the malware infection rate,' said Jeff Williams, head manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. Highlighting research that showed worms to be the most prevalent computer security problem today, Williams said the link between PC infection rates and piracy is due to the hesitancy of users of pirated software to use Windows Update. China's piracy rate is more than four times that of the US, but the use of Windows Update in China is significantly below that in this country. Same for Brazil and France. But Microsoft's own data doesn't always support William's contention that piracy, and the hesitancy to use Windows Update, leads to more infected PCs. China, for example, boasted a malware infection rate — as defined by the number of computers cleaned for each 1,000 executions of the MSRT — of just 6.7 per thousand, significantly below the global average of 8.7 or the US's rate of 8.2. France's infection rate of 7.9 in the first half of 2009 was also below the worldwide average."
Transportation

Car Glass Rules Could Impair Cell, GPS and Radio Signals In CA 762

An anonymous reader writes "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just passed a new regulation that requires glazed glass in automobiles that is supposed to reduce the need to use air conditioning. The catch is that the same properties that block electromagnetic sunlight radiation also block lower frequency electromagnetic radio waves. That means radios, satellite radios, GPS, garage door openers, and cell phones will be severely degraded. Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and no air conditioning.'"
Media (Apple)

Why Won't Apple Sell Your iTunes LPs? 306

jfruhlinger writes "Over the weekend there's been a bit of controversy over the fact that Apple has effectively shut indie artists out of the iTunes LP market by charging $10,000 in design fees. But the real question is why Apple is in charge of designing the new iTunes LP at all, since the format is based on open Web design technologies. There's at least one iTunes LP already available outside the iTunes store. Why won't Apple sell it?"
Books

100 Years of Copyright Hysteria 280

Nate Anderson pens a fine historical retrospective for Ars Technica: a look at 100 years of Big Content's fearmongering, in their own words. There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music ("What of the national throat? Will it not weaken? What of the national chest? Will it not shrink?"). There was the photocopier after World War II. There was the VCR in the 1970s, which a movie lobbyist predicted would result in tidal waves, avalanches, and bleeding and hemorrhaging by the music business. He compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler — in this scenario the US public was a woman home alone. Then home taping of music, digital audio tape, MP3 players, and Napster, each of which was predicted to lay waste to entire industries; and so on up to date with DVRs, HD radio, and HDTV. Anderson concludes with a quote from copyright expert William Patry in his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars: "I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."
Government

California Publishes Television Efficiency Standards For 2011 265

eldavojohn writes "It's been nine months since California announced their intentions to create new standards on energy-consuming televisions in their state, but yesterday the California Energy Commission finally released the first draft of the regulations. (More information straight from the horse's mouth.) If you live in another state, you may be unfamiliar with California's history of mandating power usage among anything from dishwashers to washing machines to other household appliances. This has also led to California pushing to ban incandescent light bulbs. From their FAQ on TV Efficiency Standards: 'The proposed standards have no effect on existing televisions. If approved, they would only apply to TVs sold in California after January 1, 2011. The first standard (Tier 1) would take effect January 1, 2011, and reduce energy consumption by average of 33 percent. The second measure (Tier 2) would take effect in 2013 and, in conjunction with Tier 1, reduce energy consumption by an average of 49 percent.' The Draft from December 2008 is available on their site (PDF, with a shorter 'Just the Facts' flier for those of you without two hours to burn). There's no indication whether that's what they're going with, or if it's been updated since then."

Comment Re:Health Insurance: Broken Incentives Abound (Score 1) 419

> 1. Hospitals must publish a public domain price list for services. It must be posted in an obvious manner. The
> hospital is not allowed to charge different customers or insurers different rates.

The problem with this is that insurance companies demand a discount from participating physicians.
The physicians compensate by overcharging non-insurance patients, so that the insurance company receives the required "discount," which is no discount at all, really.

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