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Patents

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."
Privacy

Verizon Employees Fired For Snooping Obama's Record 344

longhairedgnome writes "The curiosity in President-elect Barack Obama's phone records came with a high price tag for Verizon Wireless employees. According to CNN, the workers who snooped on Obama's phone records have been fired. 'This was some employees' idle curiosity,' a company source told CNN and added 'we now consider this matter closed.' Justice served? What about legal possibilities?" Can we expect anyone who followed a warrantless wiretap from the Bush administration to also be fired then? I mean, they violated our privacy as well.
Privacy

Obama's Mobile Phone Records Compromised, Shared 278

Tiger4 writes "Verizon has confirmed that some of its employees have accessed and perhaps shared calling records of President Elect Barack Obama (coverage at CNN, Reuters, AP). Verizon says the people involved have all been put on leave with pay as the investigation proceeds. Some of the employees may have accessed the information for legitimate purposes, but others may have been curiosity seekers and may have even shared the information around. The account was 'only' a phone, not a BlackBerry or similar device, and Verizon believes it was just calling records, not voicemail or email that was compromised. The articles do not mention the similarity to the warrantless wiretapping or hospital records compromises of recent months. But that immediately sprang to mind for me."
Government

Submission + - 'Judicial Scandal' in Pirate Bay Case (thelocal.se)

dr_d_19 writes: The Local (Swedish online news site in english) as well as others reports that Jim Keyzer, one of the police officers involved in investigating the Pirate Bay case, began working for Warner Bros a few months after 18 month investigation was finished. Peter Sunde, one of the men behind TPB calls this a 'Judicial Scandal'.
Privacy

Submission + - TPB Police investigator employed by WB

ironman_one writes: Jim Keyzer has had a leading role in the prosecution against The Pirate Bay as head of the preliminary investigation. In the upcoming trial he is expected to be a key witness and due to being a police investigator to have high credibility. Keyzer was also heading an investigation where The Pirate Bay sued some of the mayor media corporations for data trespassing. That case was recently cancelled by him. But.... New information reveals that the 39-year old investigator isn't the objective professional a police investigator should be. Since March 16 this year, he is employed by Warner Bros, one of the plaintiffs in the prosecution against The Pirate Bay. Keyzer himself confirmed the information but refused to reveal what his position within the company is. http://static.thepiratebay.org/pm/20080418_eng.txt
Space

Submission + - New GPS satellite breaks older receivers

hansg writes: "According to the Swedish Maritime Administration a new GPS satellite launched February 26-27 has broken older receivers. A pilot discovered this when a ships location did not match up with the AIS information. Information from a Swedish newspaper (in Swedish only)"
Wine

Submission + - Running MS Office 2003 on Linux with Wine 0.9.52 (blogspot.com)

twickline writes: "This is a Office 2003 on Linux with Wine 0.9.52, Guide with lots of nice screenshots and tips. The long standing error"Microsoft Office (Word or Excell) has not been installed for the current user. Please run setup to install the application" has now been properly fixed as of Wine 0.9.52 in addition to many other fixes and enhancements. If you currently use Office 2003 on Linux via Wine this should be considered as a major upgrade."

Feed Engadget: Orange to sell unlocked iPhone for 649 euro -- offer 100 euro unlocking (engadget.com)

Filed under: Cellphones, Portable Audio, Portable Video

France Telecom just announced that the iPhone will go on sale tonight at 6:30pm (18.30) at a dozen of its Orange stores across France. It will charge between €49 ($72) and €119 ($175) per month in addition to the €399 cost of the iPhone itself. After 6 months, Orange customers can unlock their iPhone for another €100 euro. The iPhone will also be sold unlocked for €649 ($957) without an Orange contract or €549 ($809) with an Orange plan, but not one of the four "Orange for iPhone" plans. Got it? Yeah, we're a bit confused too, but then again, it's definitely cheaper than the unlocked German iPhone.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Biotech

Submission + - Gene Study Supports Single Bering Strait Migration (eurekalert.org)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "One of the most comprehensive analyses of genetic variation ever undertaken supports the theory that the ancestors of modern native peoples throughout the Americas came from a single source in East Asia across a northwest land bridge some 12,000 years ago. One particular discovery is of a 'unique genetic variant widespread in natives across both continents — suggesting that the first humans in the Americas came in a single migration or multiple waves from a single source, not in waves of migrations from different sources. The variant, which is not part of a gene and has no biological function, has not been found in genetic studies of people anywhere else except eastern Siberia. The researchers say the variant likely occurred shortly prior to migration to the Americas, or immediately afterwards.' The full article is available online from PLoS."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Is SCO dead yet? Q&A with Pamela Jones of Grok (itpro.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The SCO Group's current fate can be neatly summarised by the title of Pamela Jones' very first article on the case, back in May 2003 — "SCO Falls Downstairs, Hitting its Head on Every Step." In the intervening years PJ and Groklaw can be credited with unearthing and exposing many of the flaws in SCO's case, most notably, obtaining and publishing the 1994 settlement in the USL vs BSDi case, which had been hidden from public view and played a significant role in undermining SCO's claims to the ownership of Unix. Earlier this year PJ memorably compared SCO's persistence in the face of the facts to the black knight in the Monty Python film who claimed "It's only a flesh wound". This article asks PJ about SCO, the impact of Groklaw and future of free software and the law.
Software

Submission + - CNet promotes major open source alternative apps (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: CNet is running a massive article promoting open source applications as alternatives to major commercial products, in an aim to educate the average Joe on the advantages of open source. While uber-l337 open source aficionados will already using many of these, it's an admirable pitch to put the word out that open source is ready for mainstream adoption.

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