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NH Man Arrested for Videotaping Police 1232

macinrack writes to mention a story about a New Hampshire man who was arrested for videotaping police on his doorstep, using a fairly standard security camera system. He was officially charged with 'two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device.' From the article: "The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said. On Tuesday night, Michael Gannon brought a videocassette to the police department, and asked to speak with someone in 'public relations,' his wife said and police reported. Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family's house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him."

OpenOffice.org Newspaper Ad Mockup Released 413

Benjamin Horst writes "The volunteer effort raising $10,000 to place at least two backpage ads in New York City's free daily paper Metro is now entering its second full week. We've collected over 10% of our goal already and continue to find new pledge donors at a healthy pace. Our project's purpose is to help 'cross the chasm' and bring awareness of OpenOffice.org 2.0 to the large number of computer users who stand to benefit from its broad feature set and range of useful capabilities. This is not the first time an open source project has sought a high-profile newspaper ad buy. In fact, our effort was directly inspired by the Firefox New York Times ad. Firefox's famous effort announcing its arrival on the world stage helped push it from about 10 million downloads to its current tally of over 185 million!"

Open Source About the People 91

An anonymous reader writes "InfoWorld has a nice look at what defines an open source venture. It seems that the main area of interest, and difficulty, rests with the personnel surrounding the project. From the article: 'But the muddier waters are around the personalities and commitment of the engineers who created the code. How long do they intend to stay? What is their level of commitment? These are fuzzy types of questions - but we know from history that when the core team of engineers that best understands the code up and walks out ... it tends to send a company into a death spiral.'"

Microsoft Developing iPod, iTMS Competitor 304

Software writes "Reuters reports that Microsoft is developing an iPod and iTunes Music Store competitor. Few details are available, but it's known that Robbie Bach (the man behind the Xbox) is heading up the project." From the article: "Most iTunes rivals charge monthly fees to access a catalog of entertainment, but some allow consumers to buy individual songs for about $1 each. Microsoft's service will emphasize the pay-per-download, or a la carte, model, the sources said. A subscription component will also be offered, according to early accounts of the planned service. One source, who has seen a demonstration of the service, said it was an improvement over iTunes."

Jack Thompson's Violent Game Bill Signed Into Law 368

simoniker writes "Louisiana Democratic Representative Roy Burrell's HB1381 bill, covering violent videogames, has been signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco. The law takes effect immediately, the latest in a very long line of video game-related bills specific to one U.S. State. The measure proposed by HB 1381, which was drafted with the help of controversial Florida attorney and anti-game activist Jack Thompson, allows a judge to rule on whether or not a videogame meets established criteria for being inappropriate for minors and be subsequently pulled from store shelves. A person found guilty of selling such a game to a minor would face fines ranging from $100 to $2,000, plus a prison term of up to one year. Needless to say, the ESA will likely be mounting a legal challenge to this bill in the very near future."

EU Officials Cautious on AntiTrust Issues 156

An anonymous reader writes "News.com has a piece up looking at reactions from EU officials to the iTMS antitrust case. The individuals involved are wary of cracking open the DRM that protects the music sold at the iTunes Music Store." From the article: "One of the most outspoken government advocates on the issue is Norwegian consumer ombudsman Bjorn Erik Thon, who said he would act soon depending on how Apple responds to a letter the government had sent the company. If Apple can require an iPod for songs via iTunes, then music, book and film companies might restrict their products to specific players too, he said."

Why Ballmer Should Leave Microsoft 341

An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of the announcement of Bill Gates' departure from the top spot at Microsoft, CNN Money is carrying an article arguing that Steve Ballmer should step down as well." From the article: "Since Gates stepped down as CEO in 2000 in favor of Ballmer, the company has floundered technically and strategically. As the company's chairman, chief software architect and supposed visionary, Gates deserves blame for missing the wave of Web-based software that has propelled Google and Yahoo. But Ballmer has made gaffes of his own in his longtime role as head of the company's business side. They include an undistinguished push into business applications to compete with Oracle, financial maneuvers that have failed to stir the stock - which has slumped 16 percent so far this year - and continuing antitrust problems in the United States and Europe."

Microsoft to Turn to Driver Quality Ratings System 333

QT writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft is finally trying to do something about PC driver problems. A new crash-report-driven Driver Quality Rating system will be used in Windows Vista to rate drivers. Drivers that rate poorly in real world use by users will lose their logo certification status, which would be bad news for OEMs and the device manufacturers themselves. Maybe now submitting crash reports will feel more useful? This is long overdue."

Hands on: Google Spreadsheets 257

feminazi writes "Google spreadsheets are more powerful than you might think, according to Richard Ericson. The free, Web-based service doesn't currently offer encryption, but the clean interface has standard drop-down menus, icons and buttons (just when MS is switching to "ribbons"). You can use it to work with existing files and "Formatting is simple, direct and fast. ... Sort, does precisely what you'd expect." Most importantly, it has most of Excel's functions -- including some that aren't listed or documented." We covered the launch of this program last week.

Adobe Threatens Microsoft With Suit 362

lseltzer writes "Adobe has threatened an antitrust suit against Microsoft, over PDF writing in Office 2007. Adobe wants Microsoft to separate the feature and charge extra for it. Microsoft has agreed to remove PDF writing, but won't charge extra." From the eWeek article: "In February, Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen told Reuters he considered Microsoft to be the company's biggest concern. 'The competitor I worry about most is Microsoft,' Chizen said at the time. Adobe's PDF technology lets producers create and distribute documents digitally that retain designs, pictures and formatting. "

Microsoft Claims OpenDocument is Too Slow 553

SirClicksalot writes "Microsoft claims that the OpenDocument Format (ODF) is too slow for easy use. They cite a study carried out by ZDNet.com that compared OpenOffice.org 2.0 with the XML formats in Microsoft Office 2003. This comes after the international standards body ISO approved ODF earlier this month." From the ZDNet article: "'The use of OpenDocument documents is slower to the point of not really being satisfactory,' Alan Yates, the general manager of Microsoft's information worker strategy, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. 'The Open XML format is designed for performance. XML is fundamentally slower than binary formats so we have made sure that customers won't notice a big difference in performance.'"

What Should One Know to be Truly Computer Literate? 629

rbannon asks: "Computer literacy is becoming an increasingly used term in education, and more and more schools are being asked to set computer literacy goals for their students. Unfortunately for too many, it means being able to use Microsoft products, and that's all. However, I see it much differently, and I cannot help but think that computer literacy is all about using computers to be able to communicate more effectively. With that in mind does anyone have any recommendations for computer literacy goals, and how to measure them?"

Open Source is 'Not Reliable or Dependable' 504

Exter-C writes "News.com is reporting that Jonathan Murray, the vice president and chief technology officer of Microsoft Europe has made claims that 'some people want to use community-based software, and they get value out of sharing with other people in the community. Other people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model.'"

Trojan Deletes Your Porn, Music & Warez 400

E. Vigilant writes "The new Trojan/Erazor-A has an interesting twist. In addition to deleting or disabling various security products and competing malware, it deletes any porn, warez and music in your P2P directories. While some opine that this trojan might have good intentions, remarkably few things infect the text files this trojan also deletes. No one yet knows who wrote this or why."

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