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Education

Submission + - UK teachers will be able to discipline pupils

moranar writes: "The BBC and others report on a new law that will give teachers in UK schools the power to use force to break fights, and to sequester cellphones if they've been used to bully other students. It also allows them to punish students with Saturday detention without consulting the school board or the parents."
Patents

Microsoft Getting Paid for Patents in Linux? 377

kripkenstein noted an Interview with Jeremy Allison where the interviewer asks 'One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.' and Jeremy responds "Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record."
Microsoft

Submission + - DirectX10 drops Hardware Acceleration for Audio.

shrewd writes: ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Books

Jonathan Lethem On Plagiarism 186

tmalone writes "This month's Harper's Magazine includes an excellent essay by the novelist Jonathan Lethem titled 'The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism,' in which he discusses the public commons of ideas and the absurdity of restricting other peoples' right of second use. 'Artists and their surrogates who fall into the trap of seeking recompense for every possible second use end up attacking their own best audience members for the crime of exalting and enshrining their work.' Taking issue with the idea that any work is 'untainted' by others' ideas, he declares, 'Any text is woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony.' Later on he argues that 'Contemporary copyright, trademark, and patent law is presently corrupted. The case for perpetual copyright is a denial of the essential gift-aspect of the creative act.' Lethem finishes up with simple request: 'Don't pirate my editions; do plunder my visions.' The best part of the essay is at the end when he provides a key to all of the sources he stole his ideas from."

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