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Comment John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.
Google

Submission + - The Google Phone is a Reality.

MrCrassic writes: "It appears that Google is initiating talks with well-known PDA/smartphone manufacturer HTC to make the Google phone a reality. With impressive tech specs and an already impressive concept underway , could Google be the next company to make a mark in the wireless device industry? From the main article:

However, a recent report by CrunchGear states that its own sources at mobile handset provider HTC have tipped the site off to multiple gPhone handsets being prepped for launch in the first quarter of 2008 and that the handsets will be coming out of Taiwan. There will supposedly be over 20 different handsets to choose from — some with GPS — and they will carry special versions of Google Maps, Google Calendar, Gmail, and VoIP-enabled Google Talk. Speaking of software, Google is rumored to be developing its own operating system for the gPhone. According to reports by Engadget, the OS has been in development since 2005 after Google's acquisition of a mobile software company called Android. The Android team has since developed a Linux-based mobile OS while at Google — a detail that is corroborated by the CrunchGear report — which of course comes with tight Google integration. Both sites appear to agree that their sources indicate Google isn't currently looking to develop the hardware... for now.
"
Sci-Fi

Simon Pegg to Play Scotty 233

In response to yesterday's casting news about Chris Pine possibly taking the captain's chair for the new Star Trek movie, apparently Simon Pegg will be playing the role of Scotty. Simon Pegg is known for his role as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and more recently for his leading role in Hot Fuzz. "Pegg joins Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Zachary Quinto as Spock in the film which reportedly, and logically, 'chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.' Leonard Nimoy will also put in an appearance, while Eric Bana signed up this week as the movie's villain, Nero."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Confronting pseudoscience in advertising

The Scientist reports that UK group Sense About Science is confronting advertisers about pseudoscientific claims in health products such as "Aerobic Oxygen," "Salt Lamps," and "Activ8." They called the advertisers' customer service numbers and grilled the unfortunates on the other end of the phone about their misuse of scientific language to sell products. The project,

Microsoft

EU Think Tank Urges Full Windows Unbundling 712

leffeman writes "An influential Brussels think tank is urging the European Commission to ban the bundling of operating systems with desktop and laptop computers. The Globalisation Institute's submission to the Commission says that bundling 'is not in the public interest' and that the dominance of Windows has 'slowed technical improvements and prevented new alternatives entering from the marketplace.' It says the Microsoft tax is a burden on EU businesses: the price of operating systems would be lower in a competitive market. This is the first time a major free-market think tank has published in favour of taking action against Microsoft's monopoly power."
Power

New 'Stellarator' Design for Fusion Reactors 171

eldavojohn writes "The holy grail of fusion reactors has always seemed 'just a few years off' for many decades. But a recent design enhancement termed a 'Stellarator' may change all that. The point at which a fusion reactor crashes is when particles begin escaping due to disruptions in the plasma. A NYU team has discovered that coiling specific wires to form a magnetic field may contain the plasma. This may be a a viable way to create a plasma body with axial symmetry, and a far better chance of remaining stable. Like other forms of containment this does require energy itself, but could bring us closer to a stable fusion reactor. It may not be cold fusion or 'table top' fusion but it certainly is a step forward. The paper is up for peer review in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Comment Re:Info... (Score 1) 368

"Nachrichtendienste" (news agencies!?)
That's "intelligence agencies".

and "ausländische Staaten" (other countries, apparently any that ask)
Most likely not any country that asks, but western countries who state that it's for the purposes of an ongoing investigation.
The Courts

SCO Vs. Groklaw 477

Conrad Mazian points us to an article in Forbes reporting that the SCO Group is trying to subpoena Pamela Jones of Groklaw. Except they can't find her. A few days ago PJ posted a note on Groklaw saying that she is taking some time away from the blog for health reasons; she didn't mention any SCO deposition. SCO's lawyers apparently believe that "Pamela Jones" does not exist and that Groklaw is penned by a team of IBM lawyers.
Sci-Fi

UFOs In the News 449

Several readers have let us know about a report on MSNBC that France's space agency has announced plans to publish its archive of UFO sightings in a month or so. The archive includes some 6,000 reports relating to around 1,600 incidents over 30 years. In a separate development, many readers have sent in word of the reported UFO that at least six United Airlines workers saw over Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last November. National Public Radio picked up the story with an interview with the Chicago Trib reporter who wrote about it yesterday. United is, strangely, denying that any such incident was ever brought up. The FAA admits there was an incident but is not investigating it.

Is Open Source too Complex? 356

Jason Pillai writes to tell us ZDNet is reporting that at last month's Microsoft Worldwide Parter Conference in Boston Ryan Gavin, director of platform strategy, claimed that one of the big downsides to open source is complexity. From the article: "Gavin noted that the flexibility of open-source software in meeting specific business needs also means systems integrators and ISVs have to grapple with complexity costs. 'It's challenging for partners to build competencies to support Linux, because you never quite know what you're going to be supporting,' he added. 'Customers who run Linux could be operating in Red Hat, [Novell's] Suse, or even customized Debian environments,' he explained. 'You don't get that repeatable [development] process to build your business over time.'" More than once I have had complaints that my setup is more difficult than necessary. Is open source really that much harder, or just different than what most are used to?
Debian

Journal Journal: So, About Dapper . . . 24

For the last year or so, I've been happily using Debian, with a mixture of sources so I was stable, but current, just like nearly everyone who uses Debian.

Then I tried to upgrade or something insane like that, using aptitude, and the whole thing went tits up on me. No amount of cussing, kicking things, or actual tinkering with the software could save my machine.

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