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EU Patent Wars to Resume 184

replicant108 writes "Ciaran O'Riordan of the FSFE gives a concise analysis of why the EU Software Patent Wars will resume this winter. Apparently the pro-patent side have changed their strategy — this time they plan to bypass the legislative powers and target the judiciary instead. The goal is to transfer power from the national courts (which often rule against software patents) to a specially-created European Patent Court which will be controlled by the pro-software patent EPO!"

An Early Look at Freespire Linux 171

An anonymous reader writes "DesktopLinux.com takes an early look at Freespire Linux in a recent article. Linspire will be releasing their first version of Freespire, the first community Linux distribution to include many third-party proprietary codecs, drivers, and software. From the article: 'While I still have my doubts about the long-term wisdom of using proprietary software and drivers with Linux, I must say that if you feel you need to use such programs, Freespire makes it much easier than any other Linux distribution. And, when is all said and done, that's really what Freespire is all about -- making Linux as easy as possible for users.'"

Stephen Colbert Wikipedia Prank Backfires 701

Vicissidude writes "The champion of 'truthiness' couldn't resist making fun of a website where facts, it seems, are endlessly malleable. But after making fun of Wikipedia on Monday night's "Colbert Report," Colbert learned some hard truths about Wikipedia's strength in resisting vandalism. Here's how the segment started: 'Colbert logs on to the Wikipedia article about his show to find out whether he usually refers to Oregon as "California's Canada or Washington's Mexico." Upon learning that he has referred to Oregon as both, he demonstrates how easy it is to disregard both references and put in a completely new one (Oregon is Idaho's Portugal), declaring it "the opinion I've always held, you can look it up."' Colbert then called on users to go to the site and falsify the entry on elephants. But Wikipedia's volunteer administrators were among those watching Colbert, and they responded swiftly to correct the entry, block further mischievous editing, and ban user StephenColbert from the website."

Ruling to Make Reporters Act Like Drug Dealers? 376

netbuzz writes "A 2-1 New York appeals court ruling yesterday will require two reporters to cough up their telephone records over a property-seizure case unless it gets reversed on appeal. As the dissenting judge noted, this kind of erosion of press protections will have reporters 'contacting sources the way I understand drug dealers do to reach theirs -- by use of clandestine cell phones and meeting in darkened doorways.' It's long past time for a federal shield law."

How to Become Invisible 336

mdm42 writes "Looks like a theoretical physicist at St. Andrews University in Scotland believes that invisibility may be possible. And its not going to be a potion or a cloak, but will come in the form of a device. " Let's just hope that when the invisible woman arrives, she's played more convincingly than Jessica Alba.

Spanish Region Goes Entirely Open Source 219

greengrass writes to tell us TechWorld is reporting that the Spanish region of Extremadura has decided to go completely open source with their day-to-day operations. While the region has long been a supporter of open source software, within a year it will be a requirement that all officials use the ODF and PDF formats for all documents. From the article: "Extremadura, Spain's poorest region, made headlines following a 2002 decision to migrate about 70,000 desktops and 400 servers in its schools to a locally tailored version of Debian called gnuLinEx. The government has estimated that the total cost of this project was about 190,000 euros (£130,000), 18 million euros lower than if the schools had purchased Microsoft software. "

Project Orion to Bring U.S. Back to the Moon 399

ganjadude writes "Thirty-seven years ago yesterday, Project Apollo put the first humans on the surface of the Moon. The next time the U.S. launches its astronauts to Earth's natural satellite, they will do so as part of Project Orion." From the article: "Under Project Orion, NASA would launch crews of four astronauts aboard Orion capsules, first to Earth orbit and the International Space Station and then later to the Moon. Two teams, one led by Lockheed Martin and the other a joint effort by Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Co., are currently competing to build the CEV. NASA is expected to select the winner in September."

Legal DVD Burnable Downloads Launched 218

rogabean writes to tell us that Hollywood studios have taken a large step into the future by launching their new program with CinemaNow which allows users to legally download and burn DVDs. While the current of offerings seems to be just the dregs, studio execs hope to expand the list quickly and offer a new way to find niche or older films that are difficult to locate.

Tougher Hacking Laws Get Support in UK 189

rainbowhawk writes to tell us BBC News is reporting that new laws outlining harsher punishments for computer crimes are gaining support in the UK. From the article: "The move follows campaigning from Labour MP Tom Harris, whose ideas are now being adopted in the Police and Justice Bill. There will be a clearer outlawing of offenses like denial-of-service attacks in which systems are debilitated."

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