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Comment Re:We gotta buy them. (Score 1) 77

Though I am a long time Microsoft basher (with very good reason) I have to totally disagree with you. A small company with nothing to lose run by a moron (SCO anyone?) is much more likely to try the kind of Hail Mary that any such attempt would constitute. Microsoft, while wrong in many ways, is not that phenomenally stupid. They actually have something to lose, and would be going up against Google, Motorola, HP, IBM, and thousands of other companies single handedly, and even they can't t weather the ill will such a stupid move would garner circa 2011. If it gets in the hands of another Darl McBride, it is still a non-issue, because they are guaranteed to lose, whether you think it is because we are right (which we are of course), or because big money talks. Any way you slice it, worrying about said trademark and who owns it is tantamount to complete foolishness.

On the other hand, it would make a perfect "nuke", if you will, to strike back at multiple competitors for Microsoft to use when the end is drawing near.

PC Games (Games)

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine 724

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Eurogamer: "Gamers who download upcoming PC exclusive The Witcher 2 illegally could receive a letter demanding they pay a fine or face legal action. If gamers refuse to pay the fine, which will be more than the cost of the game, they could end up in court, developer CD Projekt told Eurogamer. 'Of course we're not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies,' CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiski said. 'In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, "Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine." We are totally fair, but if you decide you will not buy it legally there is a chance you'll get a letter. We are talking about it right now.' Interestingly, The Witcher 2 will be released free of digital rights management – but only through the CD Projekt-owned digital download shop GOG.com. That means owners will be able to install it as many times as they like on any number of computers – and it will not requite an internet connection to run."
Transportation

Bruce Schneier vs. the TSA 741

An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier has posted a huge recap of the controversy over TSA body scanners, including more information about the lawsuit he joined to ban them. There's too much news to summarize, but it covers everything from Penn Jillette's and Dave Barry's grope stories, to Israeli experts who say this isn't needed and hasn't ever stopped a bomb, to the three-year-old girl who was traumatized by being groped and much, much more." Another reader passed along a related article, which says, "Congressman Ron Paul lashed out at the TSA yesterday and introduced a bill aimed at stopping federal abuse of passengers. Paul’s proposed legislation would pave the way for TSA employees to be sued for feeling up Americans and putting them through unsafe naked body scanners."
The Internet

Like Democracy, the Web Needs To Be Defended 108

climenole tips a great article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in Scientific American. Quoting: "The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles. The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments — totalitarian and democratic alike — are monitoring people's online habits, endangering important human rights. If we, the Web's users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands. We could lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want."
Patents

RuneScape Developer Victorious Over Patent Troll 89

An anonymous reader writes "Gamasutra reports that a US District Court judge has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought against RuneScape developer Jagex discussed previously on Slashdot. Judge David Folsom last week dismissed online chat company Paltalk's claims that Jagex infringed on Paltalk patents relating to online network communications. The judge's ruling only resolved Jagex's case. Microsoft settled with Paltalk for an undisclosed sum in 2009 after the online communication technology company sued over the patents in a $90 million claim. That settlement opened the door to Paltalk's claims against other game companies, including Blizzard, Turbine, SOE and NCSoft. Paltalk alleged in the Jagex-related suit that it had suffered 'tens of millions of dollars' in damages. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard said in a statement, 'It is exceedingly unfortunate that the US legal system can force a company with a sole presence in Cambridge, UK to incur a seven-digit expense and waste over a year of management time on a case with absolutely no merit,' and that Jagex 'will not hesitate to vigorously defend our position against any patent trolls who bring lawsuits against us in the future.'"
Supercomputing

Submission + - The problem with the Top500 supercomputer list (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Like Hollywood's Academy Awards, the Top500 list of supercomputers is dutifully watched by high-performance computing (HPC) participants and observers, even as they vocally doubt its fidelity to excellence. Many question the use of a single metric — Linpack — to rank the performance of something as mind-bogglingly complex as a supercomputer. During one panel at the SC2010 conference this week in New Orleans, one high-performance-computing vendor executive joked about stringing together 100,000 Android smartphones to get the largest Linpack number, thereby revealing the "stupidity" of Linpack. While grumbling about Linpack is nothing new, the discontent was pronounced this year as more systems, such as the Tianhe-1A, used GPUs (graphics processing units) to boost Linpack ratings, in effect gaming the Top500 list."
Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

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