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XBox (Games)

Xbox Arm of Microsoft Posts Profit 81

GameDailyBiz is reporting that Microsoft has posted a rare profit for their games business. As you might imagine, the good news is courtesy of high game and console sales thanks to Halo 3. "[Entertainment Division] revenue increased primarily due to increased Xbox 360 console and game sales. Xbox and PC game revenue increased $895 million or 148% as a result of increased Xbox 360 console sales, video game sales led by Halo 3, and Xbox 360 accessory sales. We shipped 1.8 million Xbox 360 consoles in the current quarter as compared to 0.9 million consoles in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. Halo 3 was launched in September 2007 and generated approximately $330 million of revenue during the quarter."
The Courts

Submission + - Mom Sues Music Company Over Baby Video Removal 8

penguin_dance writes: A Pennsylvania mom is fighting back, suing Universal Music Publishing Group for having a home movie taken down off of YouTube. The movie, featuring her 18-month old bouncing to Prince's song, "Let's Go Crazy," was cited for removal by the Group for copyright infringement. Mom Stephanie Lenz was first afraid they'd come after her — then she got angry. She got YouTube to put the video back up and now she's enlisted the help of Electronic Frontier Foundation and filed a civil lawsuit.

"I thought even though I didn't do anything wrong that they might want to file some kind of suit against me, take my house, come after me. And I didn't like feeling afraid," she continued. "I didn't like feeling that I could get in trouble for something as simple as posting a home video for my friends and family to see."
Windows

High-Quality HD Content Can't Easily Be Played by Vista 434

DaMan1970 writes "Content protection features in Windows Vista from Microsoft are preventing customers from playing high-quality HD audio/video & harming system performance. Vista requires premium content like HD movies to be degraded in quality when it is sent to high-quality outputs, like DVI. Users will see status codes that say 'graphics OPM resolution too high'. There are ways to bypass the Windows Vista protection by encoding the movies using alternative codecs like X264, or DiVX, which are in fact more effective sometimes then Windows own WMV codec. These codecs are quite common on HD video Bittorrent sites, or Newsgroups."
Windows

Programs Cannot Be Uninstalled In Vista? 469

Corson writes "I am surprised that nobody seems to have mentioned this here yet. Possibly after one of the latest updates in Windows Vista, two strange things happened: first, the Uninstall option is no longer available in the Control Panel when you right-click on older programs (most likely, those installed prior to the update in question, because uninstall works fine for recently installed programs — the Uninstall button is also missing on the toolbar at the top); second, some programs are no longer shown on the applications list in Control Panel (e.g., Yahoo Messenger). A Google search returns quite a few hits on this issue (e.g., one, two, three, and four) but everybody seems to be waiting patiently for a sign from Microsoft. But the company seems to have no clue or they would have fixed it already. I am just curious how many of you are experiencing this nuisance."
Privacy

Vista is Watching You 458

greengrass writes "Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company."
Bug

Apple Safari On Windows Broken On First Day 595

An anonymous reader writes "David Maynor, infamous for the Apple Wi-Fi hack, has discovered bugs in the Windows version of Safari mere hours after it was released. He notes in the blog that his company does not report vulnerabilities to Apple. His claimed catch for 'an afternoon of idle futzing': 4 DoS bugs and 2 remote execution vulnerabilities." Separately, within 2 hours Thor Larholm found a URL protocol handler command injection vulnerability that allows remote command execution.
GUI

Vista Worse For User Efficiency Than XP 546

erikvlie writes "Pfeiffer Consulting released a report on User Interface Friction, comparing Windows Vista/Aero with Windows XP and Mac OS X. The report concludes that Vista/Aero is worse in terms of desktop operations, menu latency, and mouse precision than XP — which was and still is said to be a lot worse on those measures than Mac OS X. The report was independently financed. The IT-Enquirer editor has read the report and summarized the most important findings."
Spam

Jail for Selling Email Lists to Spammers 172

amigoro writes "UK will start jailing the people who trade in email addresses, or any other personal data. The current Data Protection Act only fines people who do that, but the money one can make from trading in personal information was far higher than the measly GBP 5000 one had to pay if caught. The new regulations will result in a two year prison sentence for violating the Act."
Operating Systems

Gentoo On Server Considered Harmful 372

Siker writes in to point out his blog post — Why Gentoo Shouldn't Be On Your Server — which seems to have stirred up a lot of discussion, including a thread on the Gentoo forums. From the post: "I firmly believe in updating server software only when you need to. If you don't need new features, and things are working, why change anything? If you update anything you will undoubtedly need to update configuration files. You will need to fix things that break in the upgrade process... This is hard with Gentoo. Gentoo wants you to change a lot of stuff. It wants to be bleeding edge."
Google

Google Antiphishing Site Exposed Private User Data 69

Juha-Matti Laurio writes "Google has removed a few user names and passwords posted inadvertently to a phishing blacklist it compiles and makes publicly available on the Web. This information was submitted to Google by Firefox users with the browser's internal antiphishing toolbar. This feature, developed in cooperation with Google, enables users to report potential phishing sites to Google's blacklist database. Google has reportedly implemented a new mechanism detecting login data in submitted URLs to prevent sensitive information from getting posted to the list." The article notes that news of this minor lapse may obscure the ongoing problem of sensitive data exposed on the Web and findable via Google and other search services.
Republicans

Journal Journal: Gonzales defends Bush's revised domestic spying

The Senate interrogated Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over why the warrantless wiretapping program didn't end sooner. Gonzales did his best to avoid giving any answers. He also refused to tell the Senate any details of this just-discontinued (we hope) program because all those details are classified. Ouch! http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070118/pl_nm/surveillance_bush_dc
Data Storage

Submission + - Credit Card Protection

jns137 writes: I am a freelance programmer who has recently found myself in the awkward position of having to tell a client that I will not store credit card information for them because their system is not all that secure and they will basically become hacker bait. However, since that happened I have noticed more and more that lots of places, from e-commerce sites to the local university where my wife goes to school take and keep credit card information.

My question for the (ahem, hacker) community is what is adequate security for storing credit card info, and more importantly, how do I know that the people I give my credit card info to are protecting it?
Wireless (Apple)

Submission + - Are Consumers Ready (To Pay) For the iPhone?

AndyComp writes: "Are Consumers Ready (To Pay) For the iPhone? "Even among the diehard segment of iPod shoppers who said they are very likely to buy an iPhone, only 6% said they would pay over $400." The iPhone has gotten a lot of hype since it debuted, but what will happen when it hits stores? This post reports who'll be willing to pay the high price, switch to Cingular, and several other interesting stats."
Space

Submission + - China Tests Anti-Satellite Ballistic Missile

Vicissidude writes: US intelligence agencies believe China performed a successful anti-satellite weapons test at more than 500 miles altitude January 11th, destroying an aging Chinese weather satellite target with a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile. The United States, Australia, and Canada have criticised China over the test. Neither the Office of the US Secretary of Defense nor Air Force Space Command would comment on the attack, which followed by several months the alleged illumination of a US military spacecraft by a Chinese ground based laser.

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