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The Courts

Submission + - Germans reject file-sharing paranoia (arstechnica.com)

athloi writes: "German prosecutors have begun denying requests to force ISPs to identify the subscribers behind IP addresses, saying that the alleged file-sharing was a "petty offense." According to German-language Heise Online, the court said that the labels did not explain how a "criminally relevant damage" could have arisen from the alleged file-sharing. Unlike the US legal system, German law has no provision allowing for civil proceedings to obtain ISP subscriber info.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070802-file -sharing-is-a-petty-offense-say-german-prosecutors .html"

Novell

De Icaza Pleads For Mono/.Net Cooperation 262

suka writes "In a recent interview with the online edition of an Austrian newspaper, Mono project-lead Miguel de Icaza pleads for cooperation between Mono and Microsoft's .Net: 'I think that the deal should include a technical Mono/.NET collaboration, and even go as far as Microsoft recommending Mono for all of their developers looking at migration'. The whole interview has some other interesting bits, like de Icaza's thoughts on open sourced Java and information about upcoming versions of Mono."
Announcements

Submission + - Reintroducing the Metasploit Framework

hdm writes: "After nearly two years of development, the Metasploit team is happy to announce the immediate availability of version 3.0 of the Metasploit Framework. The Metasploit Framework is a development platform for creating security tools and exploits. Version 3.0 contains 177 exploits, 104 payloads, 17 encoders, and 3 nop modules. Additionally, 30 auxiliary modules are included that perform a wide range of tasks, including host discovery, protocol fuzzing, and denial of service testing. Metasploit runs on all modern operating systems, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and most flavors of BSD. Users can access Metasploit using the tab-completing console interface, the command line scripting interface, or the AJAX-enabled web interface. With over 100,000 lines of code, Metasploit is one of the largest Ruby projects in existence. Security Focus has published an interview with one of the lead developers. ZDNet, Heise, Dark Reading, InfoWorld, and many other news sources are covering this release."
Windows

Submission + - Vista Sales Numbers Don't Add Up

Overly Critical Guy writes: Vista's sales numbers don't add up according to Joe Wilcox of Microsoft-Watch. Going through the numbers and citing NPD, Gartner, and IDC, Wilcox describes the difference between licenses sold to manufacturers and actual consumer purchases, noting that there haven't been 20 million PCs sold since Jan. 30, contrary to Microsoft's numbers. In fact, only 3 million PCs have been sold since the start of the year.
Security

Submission + - Government's quantum science push moves forward

coondoggie writes: "The government's interest in all things related to Quantum Information Science continued this week with a couple contracts awarded to BBN Technologies and HRL Laboratories. First, BBN, was awarded an almost $3.5 million increment of a $14 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to continue work on military applications of quantum information science. The applications and/or contract is expected to be completed in May 2010. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1298 6"
Software

Submission + - Collaboration Equals Knowledge Gain

jamesrayge writes: How do social networks fit within the corporate structure? At first glance it might seem that communities like MySpace, designed to bring strangers together en masse, are inappropriate for the cloistered life of the enterprise worker. But the laboratory of the Web, as so often, shows the way with a new kind of social network... http://blogs.dovetailsoftware.com/blogs/main/archi ve/2007/03/27/collaboration-equals-knowledge-gain. aspx
Television

Submission + - Former USDTV Subscribers Gouged for Linux USB Keys

Former USDTV Subscriber writes: A few weeks ago, Salt Lake City-based USDTV discontinued their service. USDTV used the Hisense DB2010 as subscriber boxes, with Linux based firmware. USDTV should have released the source and binaries as required by the GPL, in order for customers to create a USB key to convert their DB2010s to FTA HDTV boxes. Instead, they chose to hand the keys to former USDTV subcontractors. Cable Communications is coming to subscribers houses and updating the boxes, but not leaving a USB key. ProServ is selling USB keys. But "Due to copyright laws you are only allowed to purchase one of these keys if you have proof of being a current or previous subscriber to USDTV." USDTV customers are being charged $30 for a service and/or files that should be freely available to anyone who has a DB2010 in their possession. There is a thread on the AVS Forum detailing the whole debacle.
Space

Cassini Probes the Hexagon On Saturn 280

Riding with Robots sends us to a NASA page with photos of a little-understood hexagonal shape surrounding Saturn's north pole. "This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet." This structure was discovered by the Voyager probes over 20 years ago (here's an 18-year-old note on the mystery). The fact that it's still in place means it is stable and long-lived. Scientists have no idea what causes the hexagon. It's nearly big enough to fit four earths inside — comfortably larger than Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The article has an animation of clouds moving within the hexagon captured in infrared light.
Games

GameStop Theorizes Wii Shortage Deliberate 163

In GameStop's quarterly public conference call, company COO Dan DeMatteo called out Nintendo on what he sees as intentional supply shortages. Along with the news that the company hit $5.3 Billion in 2006, Next Gen reports that the call contained several remarks on the next gen systems. The Wii, Dematteo thinks, has been short supplied because 'they made their numbers for the year ... [Nintendo's] new year starts April 1st, and I think we're going to see supply flowing.' They also commented on the Euro launch of the PS3, with CEO R. Richard Fontaine saying, 'I think the summary of that was that it was a very good launch falling somewhat short of what [GameStop's Euro managing directors] would call a great launch.'
Space

Submission + - Spaceport America Takes Off

SeaDour writes: "Spaceport America, being built north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is finally becoming a reality and is set to become the world's first commercial spaceport. Governor Bill Richardson recently secured 33 million dollars from the state legislature for the final design, and a proposed 0.25% sales tax increase in Dona Ana County, where the facility is to be constructed, is expected to bring an additional 6.5 million dollars per year (if approved by voters next week). Richard Branson, the head of upstart Virgin Galactic, on Monday agreed to lease the facility for 27.5 million dollars over twenty years. If all continues to go as planned, SpaceShipTwo will make its first suborbital joy ride in two to three years."
GNU is Not Unix

Introducing GNU/Linux Via Applications 223

An anonymous reader writes "A common problem with GNU/Linux for new users is not the operating system, but the switch in applications they must undertake to use it. Many who try to make the switch have little experience with the common open source applications available under GNU/Linux. The Kutztown GNU/Linux User Group, in Pennsylvania, is helping to change that on a large scale by distributing open source applications to faculty on Microsoft Windows machines first. Instead of selling GNU/Linux, the group is selling open source. Faculty at the school have been provided discs containing a number of popular open source applications compatible with Windows as part of a larger program to get more users to consider switching operating systems."
Space

Submission + - Hexagonal Vortex Spotted on Saturn

SeaDour writes: "NASA's Cassini space probe made headlines last fall when it spotted a massive hurricane-like storm at the planet's south pole. Now, through a series of thermal images, scientists have confirmed the continued presence of a bizzare hexagon-shaped vortex around the north pole which was first glimpsed by the Voyager probes. "This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet." The feature is big enough to hold nearly four Earths, making it significantly larger than Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot."

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