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Caldera

Stay Lifted, Novell Vs. SCO Can Go Forward 161

A number of readers suggest we check out Groklaw, where PJ is reporting that a bankruptcy judge has granted Novell's request to lift the stay so that its trial against SCO can proceed in Utah. The judge concluded that Judge Kimball is the best one to decide how much SCO owes Novell, and that SCO cannot make any "reorganization" plans — including any "fire sale" of assets — until it knows this figure.
Security

UK Government Loses 15 Million Private Records 339

bestweasel writes "The BBC reports that a UK Government department has lost discs with details of 15 million benefit recipients, including names, addresses, date of birth and bank accounts. The head of the department involved, HM Revenue & Customs, has resigned and his resignation 'was accepted because discs had been transported in breach of rules governing data protection' so someone thinks it's not a trivial matter. The Chancellor will try to evade responsibility in the House of Commons at 3.30 GMT. A similar leak of a 'mere' 15,000 records from the same department happened a month or so ago. At that time, they refused to say 'on security grounds' whether the information was encrypted." We just recently talked about Britain's consideration of legal penalties for situations like this. I imagine this incident will weigh on that decision.
HP

Italian Judge Tells HP To Refund Pre-Installed XP 225

Paolo DF writes "An Italian user asked for a refund after buying a Compaq computer that came with Windows XP and Works 8 pre-installed. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.' The court ruled in favor of the user (Google translation from the Italian), who received back €90 for XP and €50 for Works. Here is the ruling (PDF, Italian)."
Privacy

Telecom Companies Seek Retroactive Immunity 177

kidcharles writes "Newsweek reports that a secretive lobbying campaign has been launched by telecommunications companies who are seeking retroactive immunity from private lawsuits over their cooperation with the NSA in the so-called 'terrorist surveillance program.' Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has claimed that lawsuits could 'bankrupt these companies.' The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over their cooperation in the domestic spying program. EFF legal director Cindy Cohen said of the lobbying campaign, 'They are trying to completely immunize this [the surveillance program] from any kind of judicial review. I find it a little shocking that Congress would participate in the covering up of what has been going on.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft's EU anti-trust appeal thrown out

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes: "The EU's highest court has today rejected Microsoft's appeal against the European Commission's anti-trust case. The decision is being celebrated by FSFE, who've worked on the case since 2001 supporting Samba. Microsoft was always going to have to publish some interoperability specs, and thanks to the work of FSFE and Samba, free software developers will not be blocked from using that information."
Microsoft

Submission + - EU Court Upholds Microsoft Antitrust Judgment

de la mettrie writes: The European Court of First Instance has denied Microsoft's appeal of an EU antitrust order to share communications code with rivals and sell a copy of Windows without Media Player. In upholding the $613 million fine, the court decided that European Commission did not err in finding Microsoft guilty of monopoly abuse. The judgment, accessible online on the court's website, can be appealed to the European Court of Justice within 2 months.
Businesses

Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux 1018

Tikka writes "Today I visited PC World (London, UK) because my 5-month-old laptop has developed a manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Anyone in the know will know that this is due to the joint inside, and it means that in time the screen will separate from the keyboard. Repair was refused, because I have Gentoo Linux on my laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided my warranty and there is nothing they will do for me. I spoke to a manager, who said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed. I feel this has really gone against my statutory rights and I will do everything I can to fight it. I will review comments for your advice."
Windows

Vista Pirates To Get "Black Screen of Darkness" 873

jcatcw writes "Microsoft has just turned on Reduced Functionality mode, worldwide, and sent a letter to OEMs explaining the consequences of Vista piracy. These include a black screen after 1 hour of browsing, no start menu or task bar, and no desktop. Using fear as a motivator, the email warns resellers to 'make sure your customers always get genuine Windows Vista preinstalled.'"
The Courts

RIAA Trying To Avoid a Jury Trial 183

Joe Elliot writes "Faced with a jury trial set to begin on October 1, the RIAA has filed a motion for summary adjudication of specific facts: that the RIAA owns the copyrights to the songs in a file-sharing case; that the registration is proper; and that the defendant wasn't authorized to copy or distribute the recordings. If the judge rules in their favor, Ars notes that it may turn into a Novell v SCO situation where the only thing left to be decided are the damages. There are some significant problems with the copyright registrations — they don't match up. 'Thomas argues that since she lacks the financial means to conduct a thorough examination of the ownership history (e.g., track the ownership of "Hysteria" from Mercury to UMG) for the songs she is accused of infringing the copyright to, her only opportunity to determine their true ownership is either via discovery or cross-examination at trial.' Ars also notes that the RIAA's biggest fear is of losing a case. 'A loss at trial would be catastrophic for the RIAA. It would give other defense attorneys a winning template while exposing the weaknesses of the RIAA's arguments. It would also prove costly from a financial standpoint, as the RIAA would have to foot the legal expenses for both itself and the defendant. Most of all, it would set an unwelcomed precedent: over 20,000 lawsuits filed and the RIAA loses the first one to go to a jury.'"
Microsoft

de lcaza calls OOXML a "Superb Standard" 615

you-bet-it's-not-out-of-context writes "A blogger on KDE Developer's Journal has found an interesting post by Miguel de Icaza, the founder of GNOME and Mono, in a Google group dedicated to the discussion of his blog entries. Six days ago Miguel stated that 'OOXML is a superb standard and yet, it has been FUDed so badly by its competitors that serious people believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with it.' In the same post he says that to avoid patent problems over Silverlight, when using or developing Mono's implementation (known as Moonlight), i's best to 'get/download Moonlight from Novell which will include patent coverage.'"
The Internet

Spotlight on Facebook Groups Affects Microsoft 150

NewsCloud writes "After Slashdot reported Facebook Exposes Advertisers To Hate Speech, the company removed its F**k Islam group for a day (it's back up now). According to the New York Times, 'Facebook declined to comment on Friday on the subject of hate speech or on what steps had been taken.' It turns out that Microsoft is the digital advertising provider for Facebook serving up ads for companies such as NetFlix, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and Coca Cola. But for now, the Microsoft-served ads for all Facebook group home pages (even those complying with Facebook's Terms of Use) appear to have been taken off the site. For its part, NetFlix told me to address any concerns about its own ad placement along obscene speech with Facebook. T-Mobile said they would look into it."
Power

New Wonder Weed to Fuel Cars? 484

Hugh Pickens writes "Jatropha, an ugly, fast-growing and poisonous weed that has been used as a remedy for constipation, may someday power your car. The plant, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content that when crushed can be burned in a diesel car while the residue can be processed into biomass for power plants. Although jatropha has been used for decades by farmers in Africa as a living fence because its smell and taste repel grazing animals, the New York Times reports that jatropha may replace biofuels like ethanol that require large amounts of water, fertilizer, and energy, making their environmental benefits limited. Jatropha requires no pesticides, little water other than rain and no fertilizer beyond the nutrient-rich seed cake left after oil is pressed from its nuts. Poor farmers living close to the equator are planting jatropha on millions of acres spurred on by big oil companies like British Petroleum that are investing in jatropha cultivation."
Google

Google Sued Over Deceptive Search Results 246

biggles266 writes "Internet goliath Google claims to rank search results by relevance, but the search engine engages in deceptive conduct by selling off the top positions to commercial partners, a Sydney court has heard. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is taking world-first legal action in the Federal Court against Google Inc over allegedly deceptive conduct related to sponsored links on its websites. The ACCC has brought a two-pronged case against Trading Post and Google — including subsidiaries Google Australia and Google Ireland — for potentially misleading consumers. The consumer watchdog alleges Google does not do enough to differentiate "organic" search results — those ranked by relevance — from sponsored links which appear at the top of the results page."
Handhelds

Turned Off iPhone Gets $4800 Bill from AT&T 951

Tech.Luver writes "Jay Levy says he has been stung by Apple's iPhone pact with AT&T after he took an iPhone on a Mediterranean cruise. They didn't use their phones, but when they got back they had a 54-page monthly bill of nearly $4,800 from AT&T Wireless. The problem was that their three iPhones were racking up a bill for data charges using foreign phone charges. The iPhone regularly updates e-mail, even while it's off, so that all the messages will be available when the user turns it on. ""
PHP

PHP5 Vs. CakePHP Vs. RubyOnRails? 469

OldJavaHack writes "If you could start a website (with MySQL for persistence) from scratch and you had a choice of PHP5, CakePHP, or RubyOnRails — which would you choose and why? Things to consider in your decision: 1. Maturity of solution; 2. Features; 3. Size of community of skilled users (to build a team); 4. Complexity/ease of use (for neophytes to master); 5. Greatest strength of your choice, and the greatest weaknesses of the other two. Here is a comparison of capabilities."

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