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Operating Systems

Submission + - Once free software no longer free (irradiatedsoftware.com)

An anonymous reader writes: TwoUp is/was a piece of free (as in beer) software that offers similar functionality to a Windows 7 feature where you can drag a window to the side to automatically resize and easily compare two windows, but it is keyboard-based and runs on OS X. The developer has "discontinued" TwoUp (read, removed all download links from his site) in order to "concentrate on Cinch and SizeUp," his or her pay-to-play offerings. While you get more features, you have to pay for functionality that once was free.

Question is: am I free to (legally) distribute the application file (rather, disk image) that I currently have on my machine? I downloaded it when it was free, and anyone at the time could have done the same. Currently there is no file available from the developer directly, but I could provide the once-free file, much as if the developer had decided to close up shop or other similar circumstance. In general, it seems like a pretty low move to offer a piece of software for free, let it get noted on blogs and news sites, then pull the rug out from under people who didn't get it in time and force them to pay because they didn't want all the fancy features you had to offer.

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft wins Windows XP WGA lawsuit

Rish writes: A lawsuit that accused Microsoft of misleading consumers to download and install an update for Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) under the guise that it was critical security update has been tossed out. Last month, a federal judge refused to certify the lawsuit as a class action, which would have meant anyone who owned a Windows XP PC in mid-2006 could join the case without having to hire an attorney, and on Friday the same judge dismissed the case completely.

Submission + - Is Internet Explorer 6/7 support actually required (frozenrails.eu) 3

k33l0r writes: Following Google's announcement ending support for Internet Explorer 6, has me wondering whether we (web developers) really need to continue providing support for IE6 and 7?

Especially when creating web sites intended for technical audiences, wouldn't it be best to end support for obsoleted browsers? Would this not provide additional incentives to upgrade?

Recently I (and my colleagues) had to decide whether it was worth our time to try and support anything before IE8, and in the end we decided to redirect any IE6/7 user-agent to a separately set up page explaining that the site is not accessible with Internet Explorer 6 or 7. For us this was easy once we saw from our analytics that under 5% of visitors to the site were using IE at all.

Have you had to make choices like this and, if so, what was your reasoning behind the decision?

Submission + - Conroy orders ISPs to "monetise" downloads or else (smh.com.au)

CuteSteveJobs writes: Australian Censorship Minister Steven Conroy has threatened new legislation that would make ISPs liable for customers downloading torrents. Conroy was responding to a coaltion of 34 corporations including Disney, Universal and Kerry Stoke's Channel 7 losing a case against Australian ISP iiNet. Conroy is calling for the ISPs to "work out or to monetise a solution" for copyright holders. But Monash Law School Dr Rebecca Giblin says it's little wonder Australians download shows: An Aussie buying a legit movie or TV show through iTunes will pay up to 45% more than Americans, and have to wait longer before they can see the latest episodes. Giblin points out these are controlled by the same corporations that tried to sue iiNet. The court decision doesn't seem to be holding back Nintendo, who just fined gamer James Burt $1.5M for pre-releasing a Nintendo game on his web site. Media giants are still betting they can win the day using "lobby and sue".
Businesses

Submission + - Steve Jobs the Most Powerful Man in Technology?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Chris O'Brien writes in the Mercury News that with the iPad Apple CEO Steve Jobs thinks he's in a position to dictate the rules of the technology industry and define his opponents in a way he hasn't been able to since his early days at Apple of decades ago when he was a famous and fearsome presence right up until Apple's board shoved him aside in 1985. "Jobs has been rebuilding his power base block by block over the past decade," writes O'Brien. Since the release of the iPod and iTunes, Apple has had the music industry under its thumb and with the iPhone, Apple was able to change the balance of power between device makers and phone companies. Now with the iPad Jobs is flexing his growing power and influence: For the first time, Apple has built its own homegrown microprocessor for a product potentially setting up a new rivalry with Intel in the mobile computing business; Jobs has secured a a 3G wireless plan from AT&T for $29.99 per month, about half what it costs from rivals; and Apple's new bookstore will let publishers charge more, already sparking a competition that will let publishers leverage concessions from Amazon. Apple's control isn't total. TV networks and movie studios haven't capitulated to iTunes' pricing plans and selection on iTunes for video content is still weak but stay tuned. "If [the iPad] is a hit with consumers, they may have no choice," writes O'Brien. "and Jobs will likely cement his role as the most powerful man in technology."

Comment Re:Stupid!! (Score 2, Insightful) 298

For most people, a word processor is a fundamental part of the operating system. Some people also do not have access to the internet. This means that there WILL be some people who want to use a word processor before they are able to access the internet, which means they won't have a change to download open office or be able to use google docs. This is why an off-line, light weight alternative should be included.

Comment Re:Stupid!! (Score 1) 298

The situation with the gimp was different. They identified the fact that not everyone needs a tool shed, so could just use a toolbox. With this issue, a user of the OS would be reasonably confident that they have a word processor by default, which they wouldn't if they did not have a connection to the internet. Although I don't know of a total replacement for all of open office, abiword is an example of a possible light weight word processor.

Submission + - Hi-tech exam cheating increases says Ofqual

Alex Clarke writes: More than 4,400 people were caught cheating in last year's GCSEs and A-levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the exams watchdog says. The main way pupils cheat is by using mobile phones.
Schools are being sold detection equipment to trace devices being used secretly in exam rooms. But pupils are also being targeted by websites openly selling "exam cheat equipment", including concealed ear-pieces to receive information.
Tackling cheats who try to use mobile phones is a difficult challenge for examiners.

The jamming of signals is not allowed, because that might interfere with other equipment. And there have been doubts about the practicality of other tactics, such as sealing rooms with materials which block mobile phone signals. There have also been suggestions that exam halls could have CCTV cameras installed.

Submission + - Parliament: Record companies "blackmail" users

Kijori writes: "Lord Lucas, a member of the UK House of Lords, has accused record companies of blackmailing internet users by accusing people of copyright infringement who have no way to defend themselves. "You can get away with asking for £500 or £1,000 and be paid on most occasions without any effort having to be made to really establish guilt. It is straightforward legal blackmail." The issue is that there is no way for people to prove their innocence, since the record company's data is held to be conclusive proof, and home networking equipment does not log who is downloading what. Hopefully, at the very least, the fact that parliament has realised this fact will mean that copyright laws will get a little more sane."
Education

Submission + - NZ school goes open source amid Microsoft mandate (cio.com.au)

Dan Jones writes: Those inventive Kiwis are at it again, this time building an entire school IT system out of open source software (in less than two months) despite a deal between the New Zealand government and Microsoft that effectively mandates the use of Microsoft products in the country's schools. Albany Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Auckland has been running an entirely open source infrastructure since it opened in 2009. It's using a range of applications like OpenOffice, Moodle for education content, Mahara for student portfolios and Koha for the library catalogue. Ubuntu Linux is on the desktop and Mandriva provides the server. Interestingly, the school will move into new purpose-built premises this year, which includes a dedicated server room designed based on standard New Zealand school requirements, including four racks each capable of holding 48 servers for its main systems. The main infrastructure only requires four servers, suggesting an almost 50-fold saving on hardware requirements.

Comment Re:TOO MANY LINKS man! (Score 2, Informative) 415

I saw Chrome's "process manager" for the first time the other day and was quite impressed. The fact that Google collects information via Chrome, and its limited extension/plugin repository (which doesn't provide the functionality I want) has so far kept me from giving it much of a serious look, but now, I'm having second thoughts.

You should look at iron then: http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php
It's google chrome minus the google.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Princeton University Blocks IPv6 on Wireless (dailyprincetonian.com) 1

cwolfsheep writes: In a move meant to provide "faster, more reliable wireless service," network administrators at Princeton University have begun filtering out IPv6 traffic on their wireless access points. OIT Support Services Director Steven Sather stated that since IPv6 is not in use at the university, the network traffic (generated largely by an influx of Apple hardware) is considered "wasted." It should be noted that recent Linux & BSD-based distributions, as well as Windows Vista and 7, all enable IPv6 support and/or use it to some degree.
The Courts

A New Libel Defense In Canada; For Blogs Too 146

roju writes "The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has created a new defense against claims of defamation, allowing for reporting in the public interest. They specifically included bloggers as eligible, writing: '...the traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists. These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets.' and 'A review of recent defamation case law suggests that many actions now concern blog postings and other online media which are potentially both more ephemeral and more ubiquitous than traditional print media. ... [I]t is more accurate to refer to the new defense as responsible communication on matters of public interest.'"

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