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German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs 291

BBird writes "Deutsche Welle reports: 'Up until this year, preschools could teach and produce any kind of song they wanted. But now they have to pay for a license if they want children to sing certain songs. A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.'"

RIP, SunSolve 100

Kymermosst writes "Today marks the last day that SunSolve will be available. Oracle sent the final pre-deployment details today for the retirement of SunSolve and the transition to its replacement, My Oracle Support Release 5.2, which begins tomorrow. People who work with Sun's hardware and software have long used SunSolve as a central location for specifications, patches, and documentation."

MasterCard Hit By WikiLeaks Payback Attacks 715

An anonymous reader writes "MasterCard's website has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack. Netcraft describes how the attack uses a voluntary botnet of LOIC (low orbit ion cannon) users to swamp sites with traffic. PostFinance, the PayPal blog and Swedish prosecutors have been targeted previously."
Operating Systems

Comparing Windows and Ubuntu On Netbooks 317

Barence writes "With the arrival last month of Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, PC Pro has revisited a familiar question: which operating system is best for a netbook?. The magazine has run a series of benchmarks on a Asus Eee PC 1008HA running Windows XP Home, two versions of Windows 7 (with and without Aero switched on) and Ubuntu Netbook Edition. The operating systems are tested for start-up performance, Flash handling and video, among other tests. The results are closer than you might think."

Submission + - When does fair use turn into plagiarism?

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week, PaidContent reported that admitted to violating copyright laws by simply posting content from Dow Jones. While piracy and plagiarism are common these days, what is more unusual is the way that Dow Jones chose to use the more obscure "hot news doctrine", a rule developed after some newspapers were caught rewriting wire stories without doing any of their own research. Some aggregation sites are wondering how this applies to them. While sites like Slashdot are largely filled with original content from submitters, many of the postings at blogs like consist of a few sentences of introduction and large quotes. This story was largely written by Paul Lewis at the Guardian and judging from the time stamps,BoingBoing turned it out in four minutes. At what point does fair use turn into lazy plagiarism? Can bloggers develop rules for knowing when they're just being leeches?

Submission + - Dirty Coal And Clean Coals Future (

vbiz7 writes: Dirty Coal, Clean Future To environmentalists, “clean coal” is an insulting oxymoron? Feature story from "The Atlantic" The good news is that new technologies are making this possible.

Submission + - Anti-smartphone Phone Launched for Technophobes (

geek4 writes: A Dutch company has launched what it calls “the world’s simplest phone”, targeting users who are sick of new-generation models

Only capable of making and receiving calls, John’s Phone is dubbed the world’s simplest mobile phone, specifically designed for anti-smartphones users.

It does not provide any hi-tech features. No apps. No Internet. No camera. No text messaging. All you have to do – in fact, all you can do – is call, talk and hang up.

Named after the company that created it – John Doe, a full-service advertising agency in Amsterdam – the phone is designed for users who are fed up with smartphones and their hi-tech functions.

Its extreme simplicity is designed to appeal to technophobes, the elderly and young kids buying their first phones.


Submission + - Software to assist people who cannot read

flappinbooger writes: So having worked in the computer field for a while now I get asked lots of strange questions. The office manager tells me a customer who is a truck driver wants a laptop but also wants it equipped with software to fill out all his computer forms for him with voice input, as he cannot read.

Aside from all the other questions, such as how does an illiterate person navigate the highways and byways and safely and efficiently drive a truck, this is a pretty interesting question. The big picture answer is take night classes to learn to read, duh.

Speech to Text software is more for dictation I'm not sure it would work for this. Software for the blind comes to mind, I've worked with a blind person before and was amazed at the proficiency with which he navigated his computer. The blind-assist software was quite impressive, it would tell him exactly what was on the screen and where the cursor was. It was all keyboard input, no mouse, not sure it would work for this problem.

Is there any software that would help this person? Is there ANY way a person who cannot read will be able to perform even the most menial tasks in the near future, if not now? Most would assume janitorial work to be a pretty low barrier to entry, but even then a custodian would be expected to read the contents and safety labeling on the cleaners he or she would be using. Computer illiteracy is nearly crippling today, how much more for someone who cannot read at all....

Submission + - It's back! The Commdore 64 returns....sort of. 3

An anonymous reader writes: It's back...The Commodore 64 returns ...sort of. It looks and feels like a Commodore 64, but with new internal hardware. The new Commodore PC64 sports an Intel dual core Atom 525, Nvidea Ion2 graphics, slot or tray load DVD (Bluray optional) 2or 4 GB DDR3 memory, 1TB Hdd, multi format card reader/writer and a custom professional mechanical keyboard using genuine Cherry switches, for that authentic IBM touch and click experience. It is suppose to be available in late 2010.

Graphene Can Be Made With Table Sugar 142

Zothecula writes with this snippet from Gizmag: "There's no doubt that the discovery of graphene is one sweet breakthrough. The remarkable material offers everything from faster, cooler electronics and cheaper lithium-ion batteries to faster DNA sequencing and single-atom transistors. Researchers at Rice University have made graphene even sweeter by developing a way to make pristine sheets of the one-atom-thick form of carbon from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances. In another plus, the one-step process takes place at temperatures low enough to make the wonder material easy to manufacture."

Shadow Scholar Details Student Cheating 542

vortex2.71 writes "A 'shadow writer,' who lives on the East Coast, details how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and describes the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle Of Higher Education reviewed correspondence he had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. 'I've written toward a master's degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D. in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate credits in international diplomacy. I've worked on bachelor's degrees in hospitality, business administration, and accounting. I've written for courses in history, cinema, labor relations, pharmacology, theology, sports management, maritime security, airline services, sustainability, municipal budgeting, marketing, philosophy, ethics, Eastern religion, postmodern architecture, anthropology, literature, and public administration. I've attended three dozen online universities. I've completed 12 graduate theses of 50 pages or more. All for someone else.'"

The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater 250

tetrahedrassface writes "When I was very young, my dad took me on a trip to his parents' farm. He wanted to show me 'The Crater.' We walked a long way through second generation hardwoods and finally stood on the rim of a hole that has no equal in this area. As I grew up, I became more interested in The Crater, and would always tell friends about it. It is roughly 1,200 feet across and 120 feet deep, and has a strange vibe about it. When you walk up to it, you feel like something really big happened here. Either the mother of all caves is down there, or a large object smashed into this place a long, long time ago. I bought aerial photos when I was twelve and later sent images from GIS to a geologist at a local university. He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole. Who knows? Last week I borrowed a metal detector and went poking around, and have found the strangest shrapnel pieces I have ever seen. They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids. The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and dish-washing detergent. My second trip today yielded lots of strange new pieces of metal, and hopefully, one day the truth will be known. Backyard science is so much fun. And who knows; if it is indeed a cave, maybe Cerberus resides there."

Submission + - Help a Discerning Nerd Chose an MP3 Player 2

An anonymous reader writes: My Slashdotting brethren I find myself with a few extra dollars and am in the market for a new MP3 player. I readily admit that I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m turning to the collective wisdom for some insight. Sound quality is probably the major concern but otherwise I’m flexible on other features (as far as I can see everyone is making models with FM Radio now). I’ve stuck with Creative products up till now but the latest models seem a step backwards (slow response times and screen tearing make the cost unjustifiable) and I’d go in a different direction if so advised. The IPod Touch looked interesting, all those apps don’t you knows, but I’ve heard bad things about the sound fidelity and that has me worried. Any suggestions?

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