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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Amazon asserts right to adjust prices after sale

An anonymous reader writes: On December 23, Amazon advertised a "buy one get one free" sale on DVD boxsets, but did not test the promotion before going live. When anyone placed two boxsets in their cart, the website gave a double discount — so the "grand total" shown (before order submission) was $0.00 or something very small. Despite terms stating that Amazon checks order prices before shipping, Amazon shipped the vast majority of orders. Five days later (December 28), after orders had been received and presumably opened, Amazon emailed customers advising them to return the boxsets unopened or customers' credit cards would be charged an additional amount. (You can read more threads about this here and here.) Starting yesterday, Amazon has been (re)charging credit cards, often without authorization. On Amazon's side, they didn't advertise any double discount, and the free or nearly-free boxsets must have cost them a mint. But with Amazon continually giving unadvertised discounts that seem to be errors, is "return the merchandise or be charged" the new way that price glitches will be handled?
Security

Submission + - Security Researchers Targeted by DDoS Malware

httptech writes: "Recently I was targeted for a DDoS attack by a custom-compiled DDoS trojan. During the course of my investigation into the attack, I not only learned which malware author was behind the attack, but that similar attacks have been taking place targeting anti-rootkit developers and anti-spam researchers- particularly those involved in exposing pump-and-dump stock spam. Though similar in nature, the attack patterns are different, meaning there seems to be a growing trend among a few virus authors/stock spammers to try and silence those who stand in the way of their profits."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Captain Copyright Expires 114

The Canadian superhero Captain Copyright has finally expired, not due to pirates, but because "the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful." The cartoon was intended to provide an education in copyright law for children, but it became a focus for criticism when even the Canadian Library Association condemned it for lacking of balance in how it ignored issues like Fair Dealing (Canada's v

Privacy

Submission + - Congressman calls for email and IM monitoring

An anonymous reader writes: vnunet.com covers a story on a bill introduced to the US House of Representatives that would require ISPs to record all users' surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely. ynot.com has the same story.
IBM

Submission + - IBM launching an open desktop solution

DJ_Maiko writes: "IBM just announced their intent to release an open desktop solution which they're calling "Open Client Offering." The new offering will make it possible for big businesses to present their employees with a choice of running Linux, Macintosh or Windows software on desktop PCs, using the same underlying software code, which will cut the cost of managing Linux or Apple relative to Windows. If this project succeeds, it will make it unnecessary for companies to pay Microsoft for licenses for items that don't rely on Windows-based software. IBM plans to also roll this out in-house to 5% of their 320,000 employees worldwide. This sure seems like a promising endeavor.

From the article:
  "We worked with the open source community and found a way to write software once that will work regardless of operating system. It will run on Windows, Macintosh or Linux," said Scott Handy, IBM's vice president of Linux and open source.

So what do you guys think, will this (finally) displace Windows as the flavor du jour in the business marketplace?"
Enlightenment

Submission + - Have You Heard The Good News

fishdan writes: "This Sunday, many Christians of varying denominations will be doing something that will surprise many /. readers. They will hold special services celebrating Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Their purpose? Refuting creationism, which claims the biblical account of creation is literally true, and which is increasingly being promoted under the guise of "intelligent design".

"For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science," says Michael Zimmerman, founder of Evolution Sunday and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis. In the Clergy Letters, Zimmerman goes on to state: "Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts."

I'm not Christian, but I think I might attend one of the services (listed on the first link) near my house to show my support for rational religion."
Space

Submission + - Second chance for winner of space trip

smooth wombat writes: As a follow-up to this previous story, it appears Brian Emmett has been given a second chance at being flown into space.

He will now be employed as a consultant by Benson Space Co., a Poway-based, California upstart founded by rocket entrepreneur Jim Benson. In exchange for serving as a "test passenger" on the company's first scheduled flight for paying customers, sometime in 2008, Emmett will provide feedback during the testing phase of the project.
Programming

Submission + - Viacom claims copyright on Irrlicht video.

stinkytoe writes: Nikolaus Gebhardt, developer of the cross-platform game engine library irrlicht, recently had one of his video tutorials taken off of youtube. From his blog:
"Viacom, the corporation behind MTV, DreamWorks and Paramount is now claiming they own the copyright on a video of an Irrlicht tutorial. Which is completely ridiculous, of course: The whole thing has been written by me and the Irrlicht team, even textures and skins and logos have been created by me, and an Irrlicht Engine user (veegun?) simply filmed and published it on Youtube.com. Here is a screenshot of the tutorial, it's really just a 2D GUI rendered using the 3D engine, nothing special at all."
Here is a thread on irrlicht's forum which contains a copy of the takedown notification. Makes me wonder what exactly about the video tweaked Viacom's interest.
United States

Submission + - British Newspaper Releases Classified U.S. Video

Thwomp writes: The Sun newspaper has released leaked confidential video footage of the moment that two U.S. aircraft opened fire on a British convoy in Iraq. It resulted in the death of Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull. The U.S. was unwilling to release the video for the British inquest into the incident, but since entering the public domain it is now admissible as evidence. While the pilots do seem remorseful it does highlight again problems with the U.S. armed forces' ability in identifying friendly units in a combat situation. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how this affects Anglo-North American relations.
The Media

Submission + - Fox Shuts Down Family Guy-Inspired Play

tommertron writes: "The Toronto Star has an article about Fox demanding that a Canadian independent theatre company shut down their production of "Swiss Family Guy Robinson", a retelling of the famous story featuring characters from Family Guy. The odd thing is that Fox was aware of and never shut down another recent and popular show called "MacHomer" merging the story of Macbeth with Simpsons characters. Usually on Slashdot, we see a lot of stories about corporations battling file-sharers, but this is also an interesting battleground in the intellectual property-rights arena."

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