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The Almighty Buck

Call To "Open Source" AIG Investigation 259

VValdo writes "As you may recall, the citizens of the US shelled out about $85 billion to bail out AIG and its creditors (Goldman Sachs in particular) last year. But as 80% owners of AIG, we still don't know what happened, exactly. That may change. In a new op-ed piece, former prosecutors (including former NY governor Eliot Spitzer) are calling for the US Treasury to force AIG to release its treasure-trove of emails to the public before allowing AIG to 'break free' of our control. As the prosecutors put it, 'By putting the evidence online, the government could establish a new form of "open source" investigation. Once the documents are available for everyone to inspect, a thousand journalistic flowers can bloom, as reporters, victims and angry citizens have a chance to piece together the story.' Good idea?"
The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."
The Internet

Will Books Be Napsterized? 350

langelgjm writes "An article from yesterday's New York Times asks the question: will books be Napsterized? So far, piracy of books has not reached the degree of music or movie piracy, in part due to the lack of good equipment on which to read and enjoy pirated books. The article points to the growing adoption of e-book readers as the publishing industry's newest nemesis. With ever-cheaper ways to conveniently use pirated books, authors and publishers may be facing serious changes ahead. This is something I wrote about three months ago in my journal, where I called the Kindle DX an 'iPod for books.'"

Comment Sidewiki (Score 2, Interesting) 454

The easy answer to this is http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=157109 Google Sidewiki. *IF* users start using sidewiki for reviewing products on vendor sites, the vendor has no ability to moderate the reviews. Doesn't mean they won't start astroturfing the sidewiki but it would make it more expensive :)
Red Hat Software

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Released 110

An anonymous reader writes "The fourth update in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 family is released. From the press release — this version includes kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) virtualization, alongside of Xen virtualization technology. The scalability of the Red Hat virtualization solution has been incremented to support 192 CPUs and 1GB hugepages. Other updates including GCC 4.4 and a new malloc(), clustered, high-availability filesystem to support Microsoft Windows storage needs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This article covers the upgrade procedure for RHEL 5.4 from the previous version."

Comment Re:This "kid" is 27 (Score 1) 1016

What he's doing does not hurt me. What does hurt me/us/the whole country is when a vendor welds their device closed so that it cannot be modified by the rightful owner *or their agent*. He has the wrong approach. IMO, if the product is locked down so that I don't have the rights to do whatever the hell I want with it, I'd rather not buy it.

Comment Re:From the original disgruntled developer (Score 4, Insightful) 782

The answer to this is simple: If you don't like the terms of the GPL V2, you should not have released your code under those terms. To quote the GPL "You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee."

Provided they are in compliance with every other part of the GPL, the fact that you don't think they are the appropriate vendor is irrelevant; get over yourself.

Privacy

Second Swedish ISP Starts Scrubbing IP Addresses 92

Marzubus writes "Tele2, a popular Swedish ISP, has started to remove IP addresses from its logs. This is the second ISP in Sweden to adopt this new privacy protection strategy." We discussed not long ago when another ISP, Bahnhof, started doing the same. Perhaps this is the corporate equivalent of joining the Pirate Party.
Medicine

Why Digital Medical Records Are No Panacea 367

theodp writes "As GE, Google, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and others pile into the business of computerized medical files in a stimulus-fueled frenzy, BusinessWeek reminds us that electronic health records have a dubious history. Under the federal stimulus program, hospitals can get several million dollars apiece for tech purchases over the next five years, and individual doctors can receive up to $44,000. There's also a stick: The feds will cut Medicare reimbursement for hospitals and practices that don't go electronic by 2015. But does the high cost and questionable quality of products currently on the market explain why barely 1 in 50 hospitals have a comprehensive electronic records system, and why only 17% of physicians use any type of electronic records? Joe Bugajski's chilling The Data Model That Nearly Killed Me suggests that may be the case."
Google

Chrome EULA Reserves the Right To Filter Your Web 171

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, I decided to try out Google Chrome. With my usual mistrust of Google, I decided to carefully read the EULA before installing the software. I paused when I stumbled upon this section: '7.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any Service. For some of the Services, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.' Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)? Is this a carry-over from the EULAs of Google's other services (gmail, blogger etc), or is this something more significant? One would think that after the previous EULA affair with Chrome, Google would try to sound a little less draconian." Update: 04/05 21:14 GMT by T : Google's Gabriel Stricker alerted me to an informative followup: "We saw your Slashdot post and published the following clarification on the Google Chrome blog."

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