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Submission + - Open Source coding as a Charitable Tax Deduction

An anonymous reader writes: Here's my Ask Slashdot (no links to my blog or homepage, as I don't want my server to die):

Speaking for U.S. tax law only, there is something called an "in-kind contribution of professional services." This allows people with particular skills to perform a service (design, coding, carpentry, etc.) for a registered not-for-profit, receive a letter from the NFP stating the market value of the service provided, then itemize that value in the charitable donations section of their Federal income tax return. Is there any reason why coders on open source projects who choose to donate their personal copyright (i.e., their coding) to the main project (as long as it is a registered non-profit) couldn't claim a tax deduction for a gift of in-kind professional services? If so, this could provide a measure of compensation to open source coders.

Submission + - Blu-ray Backers Launch Deceptive Hi-Def News Site

An anonymous reader writes: You'd have thought that Sony would have learned the lessons of disclosure when their bogus PSP blog backfired on them last christmas, but they've gone and done it again. Hitting a new low in deceptive internet marketing, Sony along with several other movie studios backing the Blu-ray format today launched a content web site called "Hollywood in Hi-Def." The site claims to be a "comprehensive online resource created for consumers interested in high-definition home entertainment," but — what do you know — all of the content just happens to be positive to the Blu-ray format. Although the site's "About Us" page mentions that it is "supported by" Sony, Fox and Disney "among other companies," it doesn't disclose that all of those companies back the Blu-ray format, and that the mission of the site is to promote the format, not "cover" it. The site's editor explains as much in an article published this morning by Video Business Magazine, saying that "A lot of the companies that are supporting Blu-ray got together and decided to do something different and more *credible* than a promotional web site."

Submission + - Red Hat Linux gets top government security rating

zakeria writes: "Red Hat Linux has received a new level of security certification that should make the software more appealing to some government agencies. Earlier this month IBM was able to achieve EAL4 Augmented with ALC_FLR.3 certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, putting it on a par with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Trusted Solaris operating system, said Dan Frye, vice president of open systems with IBM."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Iraqi insurgent engineers designing better IEDs (time.com)

nbauman writes: Saif Abdallah says his inventions have helped kill or maim scores, possibly hundreds, of Americans. For more than four years, he has been developing remote-control devices that Sunni insurgents use to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the roadside bombs that are the No. 1 killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The only time he ever felt a pang of regret was in the spring of 2006, when he heard that the Pentagon, in a bid to fight the growing IED menace, had roped in a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Abdallah, an electronics engineer by training, once dreamed of studying for a Ph.D. there. "I thought to myself, If my life had gone differently, who knows? I might have been on that team," he says, his eyes widening as he imagines that now impossible scenario. Then he shrugs. "God decided I should be on the other side," he says. Abdallah, 28, "fits every geek stereotype," according to Time http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1632 805,00.html, with thick glasses, acne and a flash drive on his key chain. His bedroom workbench in Baghdad has soldering irons, old printed circuit boards, discarded TV remotes, etc. that he uses to build remote control detonators.

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