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Google

Gaia Project Agrees To Google Cease and Desist 323

Dreben writes "Gaia, an opensource project to develop a 3D API to Google Earth, has decided to comply with a request from Google. The search giant's Chief Technologist, Michael Jones, contacted the project with a request to cease and desist from all past, present and future development of the Gaia project. Amongst other things, they cited 'improper usage of licensed data,' which Google licenses from assorted third party vendors. They are going so far as to request anyone who has ever downloaded any aspect of Gaia to purge all related files. From the post to the freegis-l mail list: 'We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia).' How does such a request, likely to have turned into a demand, affect fair usage? While the API is intended to interface with the the Google Earth service, Google Earth is nothing without the data. Yet at the same time, Google openly publishes their own API which uses the same data in the same manner."
Mozilla

Submission + - ThunderBird 1.5.0.8 fails to show, deletes, e-mail

An anonymous reader writes: ThunderBird, the open source e-mail application, contains a mail handling issue (BugZilla, please change your referrers) which is causing some e-mails to fail to display. The e-mails have been received, but as they are invisible they may as well not have been. In addition, the recommended practice of compacting folders will cause the invisible e-mails to actually be deleted permanently. The issue, which was discovered well over 2 weeks ago, has been patched for the 1.8.0 branch of ThunderBird — but there has been no word of an official new release or patch before the regularly scheduled December release of version 1.5.0.9.
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - US Copyright Office grants abandonware rights

reagor writes: http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/23/us-copyright-off ice-grants-abandonware-rights/ joystic.com Here's something abandonware enthusiasts can be thankful for: the Library of Congress yesterday approved six exemptions to US copyright. The one most pertinent to gamers is that, for archival purposes, copy protection on software no longer being sold or supported by its copyright holder can be cracked.
Google

Submission + - Google pressures google earth client offline

cycoj writes: Recently some some Russian developers reverse engineered the Google Earth protocol and released an open source client. As of today the source code is not available anymore and the page states the following:

"25 November 2006, we've got the letter from Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search, requesting us to cease reverse engineering and improper usage of licensed data that Google Earth use. We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia)." Is Google starting to "do evil"?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Open Source Gift Guide

Jason Striegel writes: "MAKE Magazine put together a huge list of open source hardware and software gift ideas. It's a great start for spreading a little open source cheer this season, and I'm betting the Slashdot community could contribute a little to the list.

From the article:
There are hundreds of gift guides this holiday season filled with junk you can buy — but a lot of the time you actually don't own it, you can't improve upon it, you can't share it or make it better, you certainly can't post the plans, schematics and source code either. We want to change that, we've put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source.
There's everything from MP3 player project kits to Linux based GSM phones.

It begs the question: what are you getting your favorite alpha geek this year?"
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Geek holiday list

Ricochet writes: "It's that time of year again when computer geeks everywhere won't get what they truely want on their holiday list. It's really hard to ask your loved ones for an ARM Single Board computer with 32M of RAM, 8M of flash, Compact Flash, USB, Ethernet, 2 serial, 20 digital I/O, optional analog I/O, RS485 and a compass in the stock. Without getting that "You'll poke your eye out" stare back at you. So what toys are you looking for this holiday season?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft hands over technical data to EU

hankwang writes: Reuters reports that Microsoft has handed over technical documents to the EU in order to enable the competition to make interoperable software. So far, the EU has imposed fines of €497 and €280 onto Microsoft for abuse of its monopoly. The deadline for this documentation was today. According to Microsoft, the documentation is over 8500 pages.
Power

Submission + - The Biggest Solar Park To Be Installed In Spain

Aloriel writes: A solar park capable of supply 23.2 megawatts will be constructed in Extremadura, one of the poorest regions of Spain. The park will become the biggest, with as the actual one is in Leipzig (Germany) and can supply up to 5 MW of energy. It will have an extension of 65 hectares and have more than 120,000 solar modules. Extremadura became world-known by adopting open source software.
Announcements

Submission + - French parliament migrating to Linux

fbattail writes: According to Agence France Presse (in french, please use online translation tools if needed) the French parliament (Assemblée nationale) is migrating to Linux workstations.

Details are not known but Linux, OpenOffice and Firefox are part of the software package.

Deputies will soon realize that reading a DVD with a free and open source software is a delict; thanks for the DADVSI bill (French equivalent of DMCA) they voted this summer.

Why Google's New Products Need Not Succeed 235

RJS writes "There have been some industry analysts lately who have called into question Google's real success, claiming that while Google's search remains a big winner, it has missed the mark when it comes to generating profitable, secondary products. BusinessWeek has just such an article ("So much fanfare, so few hits") but others argue that success relative to the size of Google's bread-and-butter (search) ultimately doesn't matter because it doesn't cost Google much extra to keep these secondary services — like Gmail — operational: the Google grid is on and growing regardless of what services are being run on top of it."

VirtualDub Author Stymied by Trademark Troll 102

trifish writes "The author of VirtualDub wrote on his blog that 'someone has registered "VirtualDub" as a "word mark" in Germany as of June 6, 2006 and is now sending out notices to people in that country demanding money for so much as mentioning the program and linking to the SourceForge download from their website.' Well, I confess that only now I fully understand why Linux, Mozilla, TrueCrypt, and other open source projects register their names as trademarks."

McAfee Quietly Fixes Software Flaw 65

Chris Reimer writes "The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that McAfee fixed a serious design flaw months ago in their enterprise product without notifying businesses and U.S. government agencies until today." From the article: "McAfee said its own engineers first discovered the flaw, which lets attackers seize control of computers to steal sensitive data, delete files or implant malicious programs. McAfee produced a software update in February but described it only as offering new feature enhancements. Many corporations and government agencies are reluctant to update software unless necessary because of fears that doing so might introduce new problems."

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