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Windows

Submission + - Vista Reviewed by The Economist

Erik Love writes: "Esteemed British newspaper The Economist, reviews Windows Vista. They love it, but advise WinXP users to wait awhile before upgrading: "Many say Vista's problem is its sheer size and complexity. All told, the program comprises some 50m lines of computer code. And as any programmer will tell you, software contains typically five to ten errors for every 100 lines of code. So, even if 90% of them were squished during the extensive testing programme, Vista will hit the shelves with at least a quarter of a million bugs in it.""
The Internet

Submission + - vBulliten License Revoked for Moral Reasons

Drive-By Spammer writes: As weird and disturbing as loli is under current US laws it's not illegal — a point which Howard G. Spinks of Pirate Report failed to comprehend when he decided to revoke Hongfire's vBulliten license on the grounds that it's illegal (which it's not) and violates Jelsoft's AUP (which it doesn't). If you run your forum on vB, best be careful of what goes on, because even if it's not illegal all it has to be is disagreeable.

The email 'discussion' that lead up to this situation:
www.hongfire.com/vbulletin.txt

Section 502 (Subsection A and C) of the PROTECT Act excludes anime/cartoons:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi ?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ021.108.p df

Link to the AUP:
http://www.vbulletin.com/order/license_agreement.p hp
The Media

Submission + - Video on demand what is worth it?

COMON$ writes: I know this has been covered in different flavors before but I have tried software ranging from various flavors of Myth to plug-ins for Windows Media Center. Both have led me to wait patiently for a legal way to have my videos in a readily available digital format.
Enter Vongo 'www.vongo.com', this program allows for me to download movies on demand any time I want, and as many as I want. There are drawbacks, DRM, didn't play well with my remote, a questionable compression level, limited movies, and only 3 devices at a time can have the software installed. However, I was able to simply grab a movie, and have it playing in full on my TV in under 20 minutes. Which beats the pants off of netflix and blockbuster.

Which leads me to the question, what would be an acceptable media center for Joe User? Is Vongo on the right track? Personally I want a single console that will rip music and DVDs to an acceptable format, download media as needed, and work completely from a remote. I don't care much about DRM as long as I can watch/listen on my multiple media devices at any given time. I think Vongo is a start, but has a long ways to go to meet my wish list. What about you?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Hans Reiser puts Namesys up for sale

Theodore Ts'o writes: "Looks like Hans Reiser may be putting his company for sale. The article suggests this is because Hans needs to raise funds for his legal defense, but I suspect it may also be because Hans, as CEO of a small company, was also the primary salesperson and dealmaker for the company, and without someone to get grants from the Federal Government and try to get sales from new customers, there won't be any new revenue coming into the Namesys company. Although the circumstantial evidence (at least as the case has been tried in the media) is pretty suggestive, he may very well be innocent; that's for the courts to decide. But if he is indeed innocent, it's really going to suck that he's been held without bail for months now, and he may end up losing his company. Even though I've been critical of his creative use of benchmarks in the past, I do have to feel sorry for him."
Censorship

Submission + - VBulletin abuse of power?

Anthony Boyd writes: "A representative for the VBulletin software product has revoked the license from a site simply because he found the material objectionable. He initally claimed it was due to violation of law until people started quoting the law to him. Then he said they revoked the license because it violated some "morality" clause in the VBulletin license — but people looking at it are unable to find such a clause. What do you think? Was this capricious or reasonable? Is it justified in law? As a VBulletin customer, how secure do you feel about your license?"
Microsoft

Submission + - A "SAM" engagement with Microsoft

christian.einfeldt writes: "Microsoft is getting heavy-handed again with its software subscriptions by sending "Software Asset Managers" around to poke into its customers software licensing practices. From Ed Foster's Gripelog on InfoWorld about the results after such visits: "The end result? An enterprise agreement that VOIDED the several hundred thousand dollars worth of Office 2003 licenses we had and instead gave us over 4,000 Office licenses under a new Enterprise Agreement. We had to shell out well over a million dollars for licenses that we already had."
Censorship

Submission + - vBulletin revokes forum license on moral grounds!

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.digg.com/software/PirateReports_revokes _vBulletin_license_of_HongFire_com_for_moral_reaso ns Forum Developer vBulletin revokes license for Hongfire.com on moral grounds that it didn't want to be associated with a site that carried lolicon imagery. Is this a step towards the quashing of internet free speech as software developers determine how software should be used ?
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft limiting Vista Technology Guarantee

MSRedfox writes: I'm a 32 year old gamer and beta tester of Microsoft Vista. When Microsoft offered the Technology Guarantee to upgrade new systems to Vista on its release, I went ahead and built a new computer with the understanding that I would be able to upgrade to the 64-bit Vista. I picked up a copy of Windows MCE 2005 for my new system. I entered the required data on https://upgradeweb.moduslink.com/Vista to setup my update. But for MCE 2005 they didn't offer a 64-bit upgrade, only 32-bit. Both Windows XP Home and Pro have 32-Bit and 64-Bit upgrade options on the website. When I email the support and asked about the 64-Bit upgrade for MCE 2005 to Vista Home Premium I was sent this response: "Dear Customer, Thank you for your interest in the Upgrade Redemption Program. The upgrade you qualify for on this offer, is directly related to the version of WinXP that is installed on the qualifying computer. For example, if you have a 32 bit version of XP, you will get Vista 32, not Vista 64. If you want further upgrades, you will need to purchase an upgrade when Vista becomes available retail. Regards, Upgrade Redemption Center" They have successfully turned this MS Fanboy angry. So what I'd like to ask the Slashdot community, is if anyone has any advice on who to contact at Microsoft to try to get them to fix this blatant mistake. They've already taken $120 for my OEM of copy of MCE 2005, please help me from giving them more cash. Thanks.
Music

Submission + - Alabama Man Beats RIAA Motion Without Lawyer

Operating Systems

Submission + - What can't you do at the command-line?

writermike writes: I haven't worked exclusively at a command-line since DOS-days. ('tis sad, I know) Earlier today while listening to a podcast that explained in good detail how to install Slackware Linux and how it only comes up to the command-line by default, it got me to wondering: What can't you do at the command-line today? Some things are obvious, like You Tube, but what about other things? If you were sent into an O/S with a command-line, what would you be unable to do?
Displays

Submission + - Revised Dell 3007WFP-HC 30" LCD, 92% Color Gam

MojoKid writes: "Dell's UltraSharp 3007WFP has historically earned high marks as a high-end 30" panel but recently Dell has made some upgrades to the big, beautiful beast. If you're in the market for something huge, this article at HotHardware that shows Dell's new UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC might be of interest. Not only does this monitor feature a gigantic 30" panel with a native resolution of 2560x1600, but it also features ultra high 92% color gamut capability based on new backlighting technology that is currently one of the industry's best. Most other desktop LCD monitors feature a 72% to 76% color gamut. The UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC is going to be somewhat expensive, and at first will only be available with the purchase of an XPS system. Word is general availability will come in February."
Patents

Submission + - Sourceforge is displaying ads for patent attacks

RobinPeterson1968 writes: I just visited SourceForge, and they are displaying ads for www.Patent-Infringement.org, which is apparently a law firm that specializes in prosecuting patent infringements on contingency; i.e., they are a variety of patent troll. The add is coming up above the fold on about 25% of page loads on sourceforge.

So here's my question: why is Sourceforge permitting a patent troll firm to advertise on their website? Isn't this a direct attack on the open source projects using SF.net? 'Cause that has to be the reasoning behind placing the ads...the firm is presuming that someone who has a patent is looking at open source packages that might be infringing. The contingency approach will make it particularly nasty to get rid of these folks.

Just my 2 cents.
Quickies

Submission + - Hard-wearing headphones

AAWood writes: "Like many of you, I carry a portable MP3 player with me wherever I go. And, probably like many of you, I don't exactly take fantastic care of my in-ear headphones... When I'm done listening, they get shoved into my pocket until I'm ready to listen again. Inevitably, within 2 to 3 months, I go to listen one morning and I'm only getting sound in one ear, the wire having broken near where it plugs into the player. I've tried numerous brands of headphones, tried cheap things up to £40 brand-name ones, spent hundreds of pounds each year on replacements, and nothing seems to last.

Are there any manufacturers out there who make headphones more hard-wearing, especially the cables? Would I have more luck buying sports headphones? Do any of you know of any easy hacks to make my headphones last longer without breaking (short of actually taking care of them properly)?"
Google

Submission + - Google kills open source earth api.

lixao writes: "It looks like Google is only the nice company when we don't touch any of their software. They've just succeded in closing an open source project that aimed to provide a richer and open API to Google Earth. Nice guys? I think not, just another big corporation abusing of their power...

From the article:
25 November 2006, we've got the letter from Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search, requesting us to cease reverse engineering..."
Software

Submission + - MPs criticise government roadblocks to Open Source

An anonymous reader writes: UK Members of Parliament have identified Department of Education and Skills (DfES) and Becta policies as favouring proprietary software vendors thereby blocking the adoption of Open Source software by schools and colleges.

An Early Day Motion tabled by Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh, has called for a fair approach to ICT procurement in the education sector. The UK Government's own studies have shown savings of up to 60% can be made by schools and colleges using Open Source software.

Despite this clear advantage, some MPs believe the software procurement frameworks from Becta and official advice from DfES effectively locks out the use of free, Open Source software. MPs support for the Early Day Motion is the result of sustained lobbying by Open Source industry groups the Open Source Consortium (OSC) and Open Schools Alliance.

John Pugh MP, said: "Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market."

Iain Roberts, OSC Chief Executive said, "The DfES and Becta tell us they are treating Open Source software fairly but the procurement frameworks favour their established relationships with proprietary software brands." Mark Taylor, OSC President added: "Schools and colleges must keep pace with the adoption of Open Source software in industry or limit the employability of their graduates."

The Open Source Consortium is a trade body representing over fifty companies across the UK offering services around Free and Open Source Software. The Open Schools Alliance is an umbrella organisation bringing together companies, organisations and individuals concerned about ICT in UK education. These include SchoolForge-UK (representing educationalists), FFII UK (central to the recent campaign against software patents) and UKUUG (representing over a thousand IT experts across the country). The Open Schools Alliance exists to promote the greater use of Free and Open Source Software and open standards in UK education.

http://www.openschoolsalliance.org/

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