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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Tennessee taxes your illicit substances

An anonymous reader writes: No, Really! you had better get your tax stamp for your smoke & shine...

From Time mag. via CNN, this story is both amusing and bemusing.
our government in action.

              "Tennessee's Unauthorized Substances Tax requires anyone in possession of a certain quantity of contraband to buy a tax stamp and affix it to the drug."

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,157 8857,00.html?cnn=yes
HP

Journal Journal: HP To Improve Chip Density Using Nanotechnology

The CBC is reporting that HP has developed a new technique using nanotechnology to increase the transistor density on their chips. The key to the new technique lies in the use of silicon nanowires to connect the transistors.
Sci-Fi

Two Stargate SG1 Films Announced 181

Presence2 noted that MGM announced that the Stargate franchise will migrate to the big screen, carrying with it the ending of the last two season's Ori plot-line. The plot summaries listed in the article don't seem like anything surprising... one even has a wacky time-line slip-up plot. Very original for scifi ;) I'll still watch it.
Windows

Submission + - Windows based installer for Linux

Verunks writes: The guys at ubuntu are working on a easier way to install linux for windows users:
"The aim of this installer is to provide an easier way for a Windows user to install Ubuntu without having to know how to burn a cd iso, set the bios to boot from cd, repartition the disks, set up a multiboot system, etc. It will not replace any of the current Ubuntu installation options, and will not require that windows is installed prior to the installation of Ubuntu."
Games

Sequels We'd All Like To See 514

Voodoo Extreme has a feature up that's a wishlist for future sequels. They run down some great game franchises that have been off the board for a little while, and wonder out loud about the possibility of new installments. Besides the usual suspects for lists like this (StarCraft, TIE Fighter, Descent, Ultima), they touch on some cult favorites that are ... less likely to show up in modern gaming. From the article: "Planescape Torment 2: The Poop -- Loved by many a forumgoer is Planescape Torment, a Dungeons & Dragons-themed RPG set in the other planes of existence. It was a dark game with evil undertones, but also lighthearted and funny at times. Just think Baldur's Gate with an M rating. The Scoop -- Odds of a sequel are equal to or greater than Elvis coming home on the mothership." Any oldies you'd like to see back on modern systems? While I really like many of the ideas listed here, the LucasArts classics Grim Fandango and Maniac Mansion are the ones I'd most like to see rehashed.
Security

Journal Journal: Your Kids Could be Exposing Your Files on the Net

Your kids could be exposing all of your confidential computer files to the entire world. WFXT (Fox 25 TV in Boston) has a video report on kids unwisely changing the sharing options in many P2P software packages, often sharing the entire hard drive without their parent's knowledge. After that, they are just a simple search from trouble. As
Games

Submission + - Gaming your way to fitness

MC Jiggles writes: Is your former self a shadow of who you currently are? Ars Technica has an article on using video games to drop those pounds gained over the holidays. Using DDR 2 Extreme, Yourself Fitness, and EyeToy Kinetic on the PS2, the author managed to lose almost 20 pounds. 'Do these games make it easier to lose weight? Of course not; these two months took a lot of hard work, and I came close to quitting more than once. There is no "easy" way to get the pounds off. They do make it a little bit more enjoyable and put weight loss in a context that was more comfortable for me than a gym or a personal trainer.'
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Illegal Substances Subjected To Taxes

s31523 writes: "In the US, drugs are considered controlled substances, and the Drug Enforcement Agency has a schedule of the controlled substances. The scheduled list of drugs contain everything from pot to cough syrup. Even though many of these "scheduled" drugs are illegal to possess or sell, Time has an article on the state of Tennessee's "Unauthorized Substance Tax", which allows people to "anonymously" buy stamps for illicit drugs, which surprisingly has generated substantial revenue for the state (3.5 million since 2004). A judge recently declared the tax unconstitutional but the state is confident that this will be overturned and is continuing with the assessments."
Censorship

Submission + - How Game Raitings have Failed

twistedsymphony writes: "Thoughthead discusses the various ways the Software rating system has failed, why various state and local governments are going after the industry the way they are and offers some suggestions as to how they might fix their various problems.
The last major stumbling block the Video Game industry has to conquer is not only the most important towards getting the government off their back but also the biggest difference between the movie industry and the video game industry is enforcement. A rating system is useless unless it is actually adhered to, without that it's just noise.
"
Announcements

Submission + - UK Petition to Ban DRM Technologies

Neil H writes: "A little while ago I raised a petition to ban Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies on the new Number 10 petitions site. To date the petition has recieved 1,264 signatures, but the deadline (January 23rd) is fast approaching. As long as the petition gathers enough signatures all signees will recieve an email response, so if you live in the UK and dislike DRM please sign the petition!"
The Internet

Submission + - Internet downloading soon to be a crime

Elektroschock writes: "Toine Manders, an influential Dutch player in the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, told a Dutch Radio station that he wants 'downloading' to become a criminal offence. His slogan: 'Downloading is heling'. Toine Manders and his colleques currently discusses a Directive on criminal measures aimed at the Enforcement of intellectual property rights ('IPRED2')."
Internet Explorer

After 100M IE7 Downloads, Firefox Still Gaining 425

Kelson writes "Internet Explorer 7 hit the 100 million download mark last week. Yet in the three months it's been available, Firefox's market share has continued to grow. InformationWeek reports that nearly all of IE7's growth has been upgrades from IE6. People don't seem to be switching back to IE in significant numbers, prompting analysts to wonder: has Microsoft finally met its match?"

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