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Microsoft

Microsoft Sues TiVo 112

doperative notes that "TiVo [is accused] of infringing four patents. Microsoft is asking that TiVo be barred from importing the digital-video recorders, which are primarily made in Mexico and sold in the U.S... The four patents in the ITC case relate to program schedules and selection, controlling the interface, and a way to restrict use of the DVR based on the program’s rating."
Democrats

Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer For Solicitor General 463

Xiph1980 writes "President Barack Obama on Monday nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. to serve as the nation's solicitor general. The solicitor general is charged with defending the government before the Supreme Court, and files friend-of-the court briefs in cases in which the government believes there is a significant legal issue. The office also determines which cases it would bring to the Supreme Court for review. Verrilli is best known for leading the recording industry's legal charge against music- and movie-sharing site Grokster. That 2003 case ultimately led to Grokster's demise when the US Supreme Court sided with the RIAA's verdict."
Open Source

LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today 470

mikejuk writes "Only four months after the formation of the Document Foundation by leading members of the OpenOffice.org community, it has launched LibreOffice 3.3, the first stable release of its alternative Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Since the fork was announced at the end of September the number of developers 'hacking' LibreOffice has gone from fewer than twenty to well over one hundred, allowing the Document Foundation to make its first release ahead of schedule The split of a large open source office suite comes at a time when it isn't even clear if there is a long term future for office suites at all. What is more puzzling is what the existence of two camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type says about the whole state of open source development at this time. It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."
Facebook

Facebook To Make Facebook Credits Mandatory For Games 116

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from TechCrunch: "Facebook has confirmed that it is indeed making Facebook Credits mandatory for Games, with the rule going into effect on July 1 2011. Facebook says that Credits will be the exclusive way for users to get their 'real money' into a game, but developers are still allowed to keep their own in-game currencies (FarmBucks, FishPoints, whatever). For example, Zynga can charge you 90 Facebook Credits for 75 CityCash in CityVille. ... The company acknowledges that some developers may not be pleased with the news, explaining this is why it is announcing the news five months in advance, so it can 'have an open conversation with developers.' The rule only applies to Canvas games (games that use Facebook Connect aren't affected), and while it's games only at this part, Facebook says that it eventually would like to see all apps using Facebook Credits. It's a move that's been a long time coming — there has been speculation that Facebook would do this for a year now, spurring plenty of angst in the developer community."
Hardware

'Universal' Memory Aims To Replace Flash/DRAM 125

siliconbits writes "A single 'universal' memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory was recently invented at North Carolina State University, according to researchers. The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor, should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say."
Transportation

How Chrysler's Battery-Less Hybrid Minivan Works 347

thecarchik writes "Chrysler announced Wednesday that it would partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency to build and test prototypes of a different kind of hybrid vehicle, one that accumulates energy not in a battery pack but by compressing a gas hydraulically. The system in question, originally developed at the EPA labs, uses engine overrun torque to capture otherwise wasted energy, as do conventional hybrid-electric vehicles. The engine is Chrysler's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the base engine in its minivan line. But rather than turning a generator, that torque powers a pump that uses hydraulic fluid to increase the pressure inside a 14.4-gallon tank of nitrogen gas, known as a high-pressure accumulator."
Security

Ex-NSA Analyst To Be Global Security Head At Apple 145

AHuxley writes "Cnet.com reports that Apple has tapped security expert and author David Rice to be its director of global security. Rice is a 1994 graduate of the US Naval Academy and has a master's degree in Information Warfare and Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as a Global Network Vulnerability analyst (Forbes used cryptographer) for the National Security Agency and as a Special Duty Cryptologic officer for the Navy. He is executive director of the Monterey Group, a cybersecurity consulting firm. He's also on the faculty of IANS, an information security research company and works with the US Cyber Consequences Unit. In a 2008 interview with Forbes, 'A Tax On Buggy Software,' Rice talks of a 'tax on software based on the number and severity of its security bugs. Even if that means passing those costs to consumers. ... Back in the '70s, the US had a huge problem with sulfur dioxide emissions. Now we tax those emissions, and coal power plants have responded by using better filters. Software vulnerabilities, like pollution, are inevitable — producing perfect software is impossible. So instead of saying all software must be secure, we tax insecurity and allow the market to determine the price it's willing to pay for vulnerability in software. Those who are the worst "emitters" of vulnerabilities end up paying the most, and it creates an economic incentive to manufacture more secure software.'"
Microsoft

Italian Consumer Watchdog Sues Microsoft Over 'Windows Tax' 313

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from El Reg: "[An] Italian consumer watchdog is suing Microsoft over the 'Windows Tax' – the near impossibility of an ordinary user getting a refund if they decide to delete Microsoft's software from a new computer or laptop. The class action case says Microsoft makes it too difficult for people who buy a computer with Microsoft software on it to remove that software and get their money back. Most users do not realise that starting the software means you have accepted the end user licence."
Google

Google Adds To Mozilla's Push For 'Do Not Track' 128

AndyAndyAndyAndy writes "In a morning blog post, Google announced the release of a Chrome plug-in called 'Keep My Opt-Outs,' which hopes to block all tracking cookies. Interestingly, it is released as open-source with the hopes that it will gain quick deployment on non-Chrome browsers and find a robust foothold against ads. The story is also covered at Computerworld, which has broader insight into the issue, looking at Google, Mozilla and Firefox, and seems to indicate more rapid change is looming — potentially from the FCC itself."
Graphics

Kinect Hack Builds 3D Maps of the Real World 70

Lanxon writes "Noted Kinect-tinkerer Martin Szarski has used a car, a laptop, an Android smartphone and the aforementioned Xbox 360 peripheral to make a DIY-equivalent of Google Street View. The Kinect's multi-camera layout can be used to capture some fuzzy, but astonishingly effortless 3D maps of real world locations and objects. As we saw in Oliver Kreylos' early hack, you can take the data from Kinect's depth-sensitive camera to map out a 3D point-cloud, with real distances. Then use the colour camera's image to see which RGB pixel corresponds to each depth point, and eventually arrive at a coloured, textured model."
Mozilla

Mozilla Proposes 'Do Not Track' HTTP Header 244

MozTrack writes "The emergence of data mining by third party advertisers has caused a national debate from privacy experts, lawmakers and browser supporters. Mozilla's Firefox, a popular browser company, has proposed a new feature that will prevent people's personal information from getting mined and sold for advertising. The feature would allow users to set a browser preference that will broadcast their desire to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking. It would do this via a 'Do Not Track' HTTP header with every click or page view in Firefox."
Privacy

Domestic Use of Aerial Drones By Law Enforcement 299

PatPending writes "Aerial drones are now used by the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado; the Miami-Dade County, Florida, Police Department; and the Department of Homeland Security. But what about privacy concerns? 'Drones raise the prospect of much more pervasive surveillance,' said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. 'We are not against them, absolutely. They can be a valuable tool in certain kinds of operations. But what we don't want to see is their pervasive use to watch over the American people.'"
Government

UK Authorities Accused of Inciting Illegal Protest 371

jarran writes "Questions are being asked about the tactics being employed by UK authorities to monitor and control protest groups. Schnews reports on evidence that government IP addresses are posting messages to sites like indymedia, attempting to provoke activists into taking illegal direct action. Evidence has emerged recently that the police consider sex to be a legitimate tool for extracting information from targets, and senior police have been accused of lying to parliament about the deployment of undercover agents at protests."
Businesses

The Fall of Traditional Entertainment Conglomerates 204

Advocatus Diaboli writes "We no longer live in the era of 'plantation-type' movie studios or recording houses. However large private companies still have considerable power over content production, distribution and promotion. Technology has been slowly changing this state of affairs for almost 30-40 years, however certain new technological advances, enabling systems and cost considerations will change the entertainment industry as we know it within 5 years."
Security

New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process 760

An anonymous reader writes "There's been yet another mega-leak, this time of 1,600 papers describing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process negotiations. It's independent of Wikileaks and came to light via al-Jazeera, showing perhaps that the mega-leak meme is here to stay whatever happens to Assange. The papers show a weak Palestinian side offering ever greater concessions to Israel, which flatly rejected this as being insufficient: 'We do not like this suggestion because it does not meet our demands,' Israel's then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told the Palestinians, 'and probably it was not easy for you to think about it, but I really appreciate it.'"

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