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The Courts

RIAA's $222k Verdict Is Likely To Be Set Aside 224

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Apparently the RIAA's 'big gun' didn't fare so well this morning in Duluth, when he tried to persuade the judge in Capitol v. Thomas that the part of the Copyright Act which says 'by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending', can be disregarded. According to an in-person account by Wired.com the Judge indicated that he is likely to grant a mistrial, setting aside the $222,000 jury verdict based upon his incorrect jury instruction, and that he will probably hand down his decision in September. Just yesterday some of the same lawyers got rebuffed by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in their attempt to argue that Cablevision's online storage for its customers constitutes a copyright infringement, in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings. There, too, the content owners had argued that the wording of the Copyright Act did not mean what it said. There, too, the Court politely but firmly disagreed."
The Courts

Submission + - SPAM: Identity theft nets fraudster 16 years in prison

coondoggie writes: "A United States District sentenced Isaac Allen this week to a 16 ½ years in the slammer for identity theft and bank fraud. According to court documents, Allen and Pasco, along with other members of their ring, defrauded a series of banks in Florida, including Fifth Third Bank, BB&T, Bank of America and other financial institutions, by stealing names, social security numbers and other personal identifying information of individuals and then posing as these persons to obtain credit cards and credit lines from these financial institutions, the DOJ stated. Pasco and Allen then used the credit cards, drew down the credit lines and absconded when payment was due. They stole more than $150,000 through this scheme. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Software

Journal Journal: OpenOffice 2.2

At OpenOffice's web site we can get the new release of the suite. Bug fixing and new features, specially for Base and Calc are now present, including the ability to import Excel Sheets with Pivot tables from external data, among other thing, according to the release notes.

Science

Australia Outlaws Incandescent Light Bulb 944

passthecrackpipe writes "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent light bulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard light bulbs will no longer be available for sale in the shops in Australia (expect a roaring grey market) and everybody will be forced to switch to more energy efficient Fluorescent bulbs. In this move to try and curb emissions, the incandescent bulb — which converts the majority of used energy to heat rather then light — will be phased out. Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first. A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Have you been Robbed Recently? Check Ebay!

fistfullast33l writes: "A man from Great Neck, Long Island has been arrested on charges of stealing electronic equipment and selling it on Ebay. The police were tipped off when one of his alledged victims was searching for a replacement GPS device and found a perfect match — almost too perfect. A quick check of the serial number (note to cybercriminals: don't post that) showed that it was the exact device that had been stolen. What else gave the theif away? From the article: "Police and prosecutors were hesitant to provide details of how they determined all the devices had been stolen, but at least two of the laptops were stamped "Property of St. John's University.'' Detective Ray Cote noted that the GPS devices specifically had the addresses of the legitimate owners programmed in and police were now contacting those victims to eventually return the items.""
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Games on Vista Will Connect to Xbox Live

nmb3000 writes: There has always been a separation between PC games and their cousins on game consoles, and one of these defining barriers has been the inability to play networked games that mix PC and console clients together into a seamless cross-platform experience. It seems, however, that this may be about to change with a new lineup of games coming of Windows Vista in 2007. Microsoft recently announced at CES that games for Vista utilizing DirectX 10 will be able to connect and participate fully in Xbox Live's services. This includes online game play and all related features such as voice communication. This means popular online games such as Halo 2's multiplayer will no longer be limited to console owners; from the article: "In addition, "Halo® 2" for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed "Halo 2" campaign — a first for any "Halo" title on any platform."
Handhelds

Submission + - Nokia announces N800, developer device program

Sunspire writes: Today at CES, Nokia's CEO announced the immediate availability of the Nokia N800 Linux-powered Internet tablet. Compared to its predecessor the 770, the N800 sports twice the memory, dual SD slots, the same brilliant 225 DPI screen and a beefier ARMv6 core. Nokia also cited partnerships with both Skype and Rhapsody to bring the services to the tablet. Nokia also announced a Developer Device Program at their developer site maemo.org, whereby 500 Open Source developers in the Maemo community will be able to buy a N800 for just $99. The company has been busy grabbing prominent developers from the Open Source community and is now one of the a key backers of the GNOME software stack, including GTK, D-Bus and GStreamer, supporting the projects through both sponsorships and code. The tablets are a strange fusion of proprietary and Open Source software, and so far it seems to be benefiting all parties involved.
Patents

Submission + - Google and Apple sued over online video patent

Oddscurity writes: "El Reg reports Intertainer, Inc. filing a lawsuit against Google, Napster and Apple. The company alleges their 6925469 patent for a 'Digital entertainment service platform' is infringed upon by the offerings of the named companies, and seeks an injunction and unspecified damages.

The suit was filed with a Texas court, of course. Too bad Intertainer hasn't been made aware that software patents put an industry at risk, happily announcing their intention to become Yet Another Patent Troll (tm). But as noted in the article: "Intertainer did not file the application for the patent in question until 2001, five years after the company was founded and after some companies were already offering video and audio material for download. That delay in filing could complicate the company's claims.""
User Journal

Journal Journal: Nearing critical mass for funding open nVidia drivers

I was just made aware of a pledge drive attempting to raise $10,000 USD to help fund a project working on open-source nVidia drivers. This would provide full 3D-acceleration to open-source operating systems, and could potentially sidestep the persistent debate between "partial support with open-source drivers" vs. "full support with proprietary drivers." It appears that the organizers intend to use the FSF as an intermediary to transfer the f
The Internet

Submission + - Chacha people-powered search engine

KindredHyperion writes: "Just discovered this new "people-powered search engine", called ChaCha. The idea is that when you search for a term you get allocated a guide who is a supposed "internet expert" who will then work with you live through a chat window to find the result you're looking for. So far my experience with it has been mixed. But if the right people sign up as guides, it could become a very useful search system. The question is whether anyone would actually be bothered to give up their time to help other people use the engine... certainly something to watch. This article is from the Sydney Morning Herald, and was posted on the inventor, Scott Jones' website."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Angband GPL dream almost real

konijn writes: Angband is together with Nethack and ADOM one of the 5 big roguelikes. Ever since january 20, 1997 the maintainers have been dual licensing their code and now we are looking to find the last of the missing contributors to get it 100% GPL. We need your help to find these last people and get them to support our GPL initiative! You can find more information here : http://entai.co.uk/projects/angband/opensource/ , the list of missing people is here : http://entai.co.uk/projects/angband/opensource/lis t.html
Sony

Submission + - Sony's SIXAXIS Controller Wins Emmy

MeanderingMind writes: Via Next Generation and 1up comes the news that Sony's SIXAXIS controller will be receiving the Technology and Engineering Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Technology. The award will be given tonight at CES.
XBox (Games)

Gears of War Updated, New Maps Wednesday 45

Microsoft's biggest seller for 2006 (2.7 million sold in eight weeks) is certain to be a series we'll see around for a long, long time. In the immediate future, though, the game is getting a much-needed update today, with new maps available this Wednesday. The new maps are multiplayer only, and are entitled 'Raven Down' and 'Old Bones'. From the update: "Fixed rare situation where players could get stuck after chainsawing in multiplayer. Reduced Grenade Tag melee distance (Z: thank you!). Enabled 'Strict' NAT check on host to prevent possible connection issues. Optimized server browser queries to return results more quickly and prevent scroll bars from hiding quality of service icons. Reduced number of possible revives in Execution to match Warzone. Removed host name from Ranked match server browser. Disabled security cameras in Ranked matches." It's great that the game is getting an update, but that innocuous looking 'removed host name from ranked match server browser' means it is now even more difficult to hook up with friends for a Ranked match. Boo, Epic. Boo.
Television

Submission + - Sling streams iTunes content to TV

Vitamin_Boy writes: Sling has a new product out, the "SlingCatcher." It sends video from the PC to the TV and does it for $200. Oh, and it apparently works with iTunes. Will this undercut Apple's iTV? This Ars Technica article thinks it might: "The SlingCatcher, on the other hand, is media-agnostic. It doesn't care what codec videos are encoded with, nor whether or not they have been purchased from an approved online store. It is designed to take video output and stream it, which means that you could use the SlingCatcher with video purchased from other online services, such as the iTunes Store or CinemaNow. In this way, the SlingCatcher may turn out to be a one-size-fits-all solution in a field populated with specialty products."

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