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Submission + - Valve loses Australian court battle over Steam (

angry tapir writes: Valve Software has lost court action launched against it by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The Australian court case centred on the refund policies of Valve's Steam digital distribution service. Some of Steam's refund policies contradicted the statutory guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law, the court found. A hearing on penalties is yet to be held.

Submission + - Oracle seeks US$9.3 billion for Google's use of Java in Android (

angry tapir writes: Oracle is seeking as much as US $9.3 billion in damages in a long-running copyright lawsuit against Google over its use of Java in Android, court filings show. Oracle sued Google six years ago, claiming the search giant needs a license to use parts of the Java platform in Google's market-leading mobile OS.

Submission + - How Microsoft changed its tune on open source (

angry tapir writes: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once infamously described Linux as a cancer. These days, however, the company is a lot more positive about open source software. The company's open source chief, Mark Hill, acknowledges that Microsoft may have said some "silly things in the past" about open source, but now the rise of cloud computing has brought about a dramatic attitude change at the company.

Submission + - DARPA funds a program so computers can read thoughts (

angry tapir writes: In the future, computers may be able to read your thoughts through a connection with the brain. DARPA wants to create a device that could help make that happen. The device, which will be the size of two stacked nickels, will translate information from a brain into digital signals for use on a computer. The device is being developed as part of a four-year, US$60 million research program funded by DARPA

Submission + - The blockchain could 'fundamentally change' financial system (

angry tapir writes: The head of ASIC, Australia's corporate regulator, believes the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin could "fundamentally change" the global financial system by improving the speed of financial transactions, reducing transaction costs, disintermediating third parties, and improving market access.

Submission + - Xerox PARC creates self-destructing chip (

angry tapir writes: Engineers at Xerox PARC have developed a chip that will self-destruct upon command, providing a potentially revolutionary tool for high-security applications. The chip, developed as part of DARPA’s vanishing programmable resources project, could be used to store data such as encryption keys and, on command, shatter into thousands of pieces so small, reconstruction is impossible.

Submission + - ICANN seeks comment on limiting anonymized domain registration (

angry tapir writes: Privacy advocates are sounding the alarm over a potential policy change that would prevent some people from registering website addresses without revealing their personal information. ICANN, the regulatory body that oversees domain names, has asked for public comment on whether it should prohibit the private registration of domains which are "associated with commercial activities and which are used for online financial transactions."

Submission + - New Zealand ISPs back down on anti-geoblocking support (

angry tapir writes: A number of New Zealand Internet service providers will no longer offer their customers support for circumventing regional restrictions on accessing online video content. Major New Zealand media companies SKY, TVNZ, Lightbox and MediaWorks filed a lawsuit in April, arguing that skirting geoblocks violates the distribution rights of its media clients for the New Zealand market. The parties have reached an out-of-court settlement.

Submission + - Why the US Navy warfare systems command is paying millions to stick with Win XP (

angry tapir writes: The U.S. Navy is paying Microsoft millions of dollars to keep up to 100,000 computers afloat because it has yet to transition away from Windows XP. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which runs the Navy's communications and information networks, signed a US$9.1 million contract earlier this month for continued access to security patches for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003.

Submission + - Australian ISPs will be forced to block (some) pirate websites (

angry tapir writes: Senators representing Australia's two main political blocs have issued a report backing a bill that will allow copyright holders to apply for a court order forcing ISPs to block access to piracy-linked websites. The proposed law has met with a less-than-enthusiastic from anti-censorship activists and consumer advocates. Even the federal parliament's human rights committee has been concerned about whether the law is a proportionate response to piracy.

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