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The Courts

Submission + - SPAM: Internet Fraud: Many Complaints, Few Repercussions

narramissic writes: "Unless you're peddling child porn, there's not much chance you'll see the inside of a courtroom for Internet-related crime, according to research released Tuesday. The Center for American Progress and the Center for Democracy and Technology compared the number of complaints that state attorneys general offices receive to how many lawsuits the states bring against spammers, spyware creators and other online fraudsters. Not all states report such numbers, but the 20 that do said that they received 20,000 Internet-related complaints in 2006 and 2007. Yet during that same time period, attorneys general brought only 168 Internet-related cases to court, with 60 percent of those related to child porn, the researchers found."
Link to Original Source
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Breaks Law with Policy on iPhone Unlocks (phonenews.com)

Anonymous Coward writes: "Apple's recent decision to void warranties for folks that unlocked their iPhones may wind up with Apple in some hot legal waters. Apple appears to have broken a key warranty law relevant to SIM unlocks.

It appears that Apple will have to change its policy on SIM unlocks, or be in clear violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act... a law decades old."

Programming

Submission + - Apple Discourages iPhone Unlocking Programs

Hugh Pickens writes: "Apple has released the following statement on the iPhone:

Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (www.itunes.com), later this week. Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty.
"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - A Bank For Geeks

An anonymous reader writes: I just received a notice from my current bank indicating that they are forcing upon me a new privacy policy. The only reason that they've sent me this notice is because it is the law. And they're certainly meeting the absolute bare requirements for meeting the requirements of this law: I can opt-out, but only if I mail them a letter with all of my personal details, including my account numbers and social security number! As a geek, this is obviously the last straw and I'd like to make the switch to a legitimate bank. What are other geeks using?
Google

Submission + - Google sued for $5b for crimes against humanity (theregister.co.uk) 2

mytrip writes: "A Pennsylvania crusader has slapped Google with a $5bn lawsuit, claiming that the world's largest search engine is endangering his personal safety.

With a suit filed in federal court, Dylan Stephen Jayne insists that the company is guilty of "crimes against humanity" because its name turns up when his social security number is scrambled and turned upside down.

By calling itself Google, Jayne argues, Google has exposed him to attack by an army of culturally diverse, net-savvy terrorists. "A person regardless of race or religion that wishes to cause acts of terrorism would look for social security numbers that are made readily available on the public use databases," his suit reads.

And he's adamant that if Google claims ignorance, many people could end up dead or buck naked. "The 'I don't know' defense obviously is a waste of money, time, and puts the lives of Americans and illegal aliens at risk of death or serious undress.""

Businesses

Submission + - Programmers and overtime

Maximum Prophet writes: Programmers and System Administrators typically don't get overtime. Here's and article about a lawyer who's challanging that:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20908975/

From the 2nd page:

Computer workers of various stripes, for example, have commonly not been paid for their extra hours. ... But under California law, the exemption applies only for workers whose primary function involves "the exercise of discretion and independent judgment." In numerous lawsuits, Thierman and other plaintiffs' attorneys have alleged that legions of systems engineers, help desk staff, and customer service personnel do no such thing. Of programmers, Thierman says, "Yes, they get to pick whatever code they want to write, but they don't tell you what the program does.... All they do is implement someone else's desires."
The takeaway: Everyone start recording your hours now. Even if you don't sue, someone else might, and documentation about your overtime will go a long way. towards getting your piece of the pie.
Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate: Vista requires 250GB to 1TB of storage (computerworld.com) 1

Lucas123 writes: "Seagate is saying the increased demands of the Windows Vista OS and the increasing storage of songs, pictures and videos, means to fully leverage your OS you need 250GB to 1TB of hard drive storage. "And with the need for backup, that becomes 500GB to 2TB," says Pete Steege, a senior marketing manager with Seagate. Not surprisingly, Seagate's just launched an education program for channel partners dubbed "Learn, Market, Sell," to help partners "assess the right storage options based on customer needs.""
Software

Submission + - Discovering hidden information on your PC 2

KermitJunior writes: I was recently approached by a colleague at work who seems to think that his wife might be cheating on him or engaging in otherwise "not quite right" behavior. He has asked me to investigate his computer and find any "pictures, movies, emails, browser history, bank accounts, etc." that might clue him in to a "second identity." Aside from the standard file searches and poking around settings, does anyone in the slashdot crowd know of any free forensic software out there that might help in the search? (Like recovering deleted cache, etc?) The computer is running Win98, I think. I can slave to linux, too, if that will assist.
Music

Submission + - RIAA backtracks after embarrassing P2P defendant (arstechnica.com)

Harmony writes: When the RIAA sued Sgt. Nicholas Paternoster, it included a screenshot of a shared folder with over 4,600 files — some of which were pornographic images unrelated to the case. Last week, the RIAA got permission from a judge to, as a 'professional courtesy,' swap out the original exhibit for one with only the 350+ songs the defendant is accused of sharing on Kazaa. The RIAA's carelessness may come back to haunt it, however: 'After the suit was filed — and the exhibit made public — Sgt. Paternoster decided to fight back, filing a counterclaim accusing the RIAA of violating his privacy and seeking to "shame Counter-Plaintiff... into giving in to their unreasonable demands regarding their copyrighted materials."'
Biotech

Submission + - Plant grown insulin could be a diabetes cure. (ucf.edu) 2

MamaEri writes: "In a study by UCF professor Henry Daniell, he found that by genetically splicing insulin into Tobacco and Lettuce plants, these produce an insulin laced plant. Then he gave a freeze-dried powder of these plants to mice with diabetes. After 8 weeks the mice had normal sugar levels and were producing their own insulin."
Portables

In Search of the Cheap Linux Laptop 421

mr_mischief writes "According to Hot Hardware's recent review, Asus is getting ready to unleash a $199 compact notebook running Linux. This is entirely different from this recent $150 Linux laptop story which many Slashdot readers believed to be a scam. There's a dual-mode menu which offers a simple system for novice computer users, and a slightly more advanced version for others. It's not aimed squarely at the same market as the One Laptop Per Child project's XO, and is expected to be sold to end users worldwide. It's targeted at new users who don't own a computer or at people who want a cheap, small laptop for basic tasks. The reviewed version has a 7" screen and a cramped keyboard to match, but a 10" version is available for $100 more. It offers built-in wired and wireless networking, four USB 2.0 ports, and a three-hour battery life. The storage options are a bit cramped, as you only get 4 GB of on-board storage (8 GB on the $299 model) and no optical drive. As the review says, though, USB 2.0 can make up for that if you like, and the lack of moving drive parts makes the machine run dead quiet."
The Almighty Buck

British Columbia To Charge Recycling Fee 172

An anonymous reader writes "Next week the province of British Columbia will begin adding a recycling fee to new computers and TVs to pay for their free electronics recycling program. The list of what is acceptable for recycling is short, namely computers, printers, and TVs — you cannot recycle personal audio players or cell phones. What is unclear is whether the definition of 'desktop computer' includes self-built computers, and if so, their plans for adding fees for individual components such as motherboards, etc." The article notes that the recovered e-waste will not be sent to developing countries for processing. But one report says that the e-waste won't be recycled at all, but rather burned in a smelter.

Change Google's Background Color To Save Energy? 519

i_like_spam writes "Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings."
Wireless Networking

Cell Towers Not Responsible For Illness 355

drewmoney notes a BBC article on a major UK study of whether cell towers (or "mobile phone masts" as they are called in the UK) cause illness. The study concluded strongly that symptoms of illness caused by mobile phone masts are all in the mind. People claiming sensitivity to radio emissions showed more symptoms in trials, according to the article, whether signals were being emitted or not. Quoting: "Dozens of people who believed the masts triggered symptoms such as anxiety, nausea and tiredness could not detect if signals were on or off in trials. However, the Environmental Health Perspectives study stressed people were nonetheless suffering 'real symptoms.' Campaign group Mast Sanity said the results were skewed as 12 people in the trials dropped out because of illness."

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