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Submission + - IBM Goes Dutch to Cut Tax Bill

theodp writes: "What does IBM, Bono, Sun Microsystems, and Keith Richards have in common? An affinity for the Netherlands. The NY Times has the scoop on how IBM formed a new Netherlands subsidiary to buy back 8% of its U.S. parent's shares, allowing Big Blue to save an estimated $1.6 billion in U.S. taxes. Two days after IBM pulled off the largest accelerated stock repurchase ever, the IRS moved to shut so-called 'Killer B' corporate-tax loopholes."

Submission + - Microsoft calls an IIS 5.0 vulnerability a feature (

rumith writes: The Inquirer tells us that Microsoft has posted details on a vulnerability (or rather, a feature) in IIS 5.0 that allows an anonymous user to bypass authentication and access documents he shouldn't be able to. The good part: they've already taken down the specifics of the exploit. The bad part: they claim that this behavior is by design, and the only way to fix it is to upgrade to IIS 6.0, which is shipped only with Windows Server 2003, the cheapest edition of which costs only $399. Isn't this called "money extortion"?
The Courts

Submission + - Use our product or we'll sue ... (

An anonymous reader writes: Two manufacturers of digital rights management (DRM) systems, Media Rights Technologies (MRT) and, "have issued cease and desist letters against Apple, Microsoft Real and Adobe for not including their technological protection measures in products like Windows, iPod and Flash Player." (TechnoLlama, May 12; Louisville Music News, May 16, whose headline we have borrowed). Explains Podcasting News (May 12): The companies are using an unusual interpretation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to make their case. The DMCA, signed into law by President Clinton in 1998, makes prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology that is designed for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure which effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or which protects the rights of copyright owners. According to the firms, mere avoidance of an effective copyright protection solution is a violation of the DMCA.

Submission + - Harry Potter's screaming book now a reality.

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC is reporting that researchers from Mid Sweden University have managed to create paper that talks when you touch it, using pressure-sensitive inks and printed speakers. At the moment it really only works for billboards, because it requires a cardboard backing, but before long we can expect to see it in packaging and probably in children's "talking books" too.

The key to the billboard's capabilities is a layer of digital paper that is embedded with electronics.

This is printed with conductive inks, which, when applied with pressure, relay information to a micro-computer that contains recorded audio files. Sound then streams out from printed speakers, which are formed from more layers of conductive inks that sit over an empty cavity to form a diaphragm.

This functional layer is sandwiched between a thick sheet of extra-strong cardboard and another sheet of paper that is printed with the billboard's design.

Submission + - Olympic Logo Design and Seizures

Palmzombie writes: The 2012 London logo again created controversy because it reportedly has caused seizures for photo sensitive individuals. With the proliferation of media and animation across the internet, what resources are available to "test" your designs potential problems like this. What is the graphics designer's ultimate liability? I'm reminded of the book Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson and the distribution of malicious code via a visual interface.

Submission + - Hardware failure brings down RBS cash machines (

Liam Cromar writes: "An IT hardware problem brought down the Royal Bank of Scotland's online, telephone banking and cash machines at the weekend, RBS has confirmed. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which includes the Nat West bank, has a UK customer base of more than 22 million. RBS has refused to give details of the hardware problem.

In other news, the RBS has warned that 62000 customers may be at risk of having their identity stolen, following the RBS losing a disc containing customer personal details in the postal service. Sounds like the RBoS has enjoyed better 24 hours."

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