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Businesses

RIM Accuses Motorola of Blocking Job Offers 353

theodp writes "Taking a page from the insanely-jealous-husband-playbook, Motorola management has adopted an if-I-can't-have-you-nobody-can stance on its fired employees, reportedly blocking RIM from offering jobs to laid-off workers. In a complaint filed in state court, Motorola is charged with improperly trying to expand a previous agreement 'to prevent the RIM entities from hiring any Motorola employees, including the thousands of employees Motorola has already fired or will fire.' Through its Compete America membership, Motorola has repeatedly warned Congress that failing to accommodate the lobbying group members' 'principled' demand for timely access to talent would not be in the United States' economic interest and would make the US second-rate in education and basic research."
United States

Maryland Scraps Diebold Voting System 209

beadfulthings writes "After eight years and some $65 million, the state of Maryland is taking its first steps to return to an accountable, paper-ballot based voting system. Governor Martin O'Malley has announced an initial outlay of $6.5 million towards the $20 million cost of an optical system which will scan and tally the votes while the paper ballots are retained as a backup. The new (or old) system is expected to be in place by 2010 — or four years before the state finishes paying off the bill for the touch-screen system."
Communications

Upcoming Firmware Will Brick Unlocked iPhones 605

iCry writes "It was rumored last week, and Apple has now confirmed it: 'Apple said today that a firmware update to the iPhone due to be released later this week "will likely result" in SIM-unlocked iPhones turning into very expensive bricks... So what are users of SIM-unlocked iPhones to do? Not run the latest software update, that's for sure. Users can instead pray to the hacking deities — the famed iPhone Dev Team that released the free software unlock, and iPhoneSIMfree, which released a commercial software unlock — to write applications that will undo the unlocks, as it were, if those users want to run the latest iPhone software.'"
Announcements

Submission + - Linux.com :: Software Freedom Day: Taking open sou (linux.com)

moquist writes: "The approach of Software Freedom Day 2007 brings to mind a question that begs to be asked: what are you doing to inform people in your community about Software Freedom? What kind of event can you imagine holding that would attract the sorts of people who otherwise wouldn't ever hear about or try Linux, Firefox, or OpenOffice? Post your ideas here, or better yet, register a Software Freedom Day team and actually try them out in your community this year!"
The Internet

Submission + - U.S. Lobby Groups Criticize the World on Copyright

An anonymous reader writes: The International Intellectual Property Alliance — a group that brings together several U.S. lobby groups including the MPAA, RIAA, BSA, the ESA, and publisher groups, has just released its Section 301 recommendations, criticizing 60 countries for their copyright laws. While the report leads to dire media coverage, Michael Geist has just debunked the lobby campaign demonstrating how "the U.S. approach is quite clearly one of 'do what I say, not what I do' (fair use is good for the U.S., but no one else), criticizing country after country for not enacting a DMCA, and blasting national attempts to improve education or culture though exceptions or funding programs."
Programming

Submission + - Heavy criticism of "Linux Driver Development F

Stephan A. Rickauer writes: "The newly announced "Free Linux Kernel Driver Development FAQ" initiated by Linux Kernel Developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, working for Novell, has provoked more negative reactions from prominent Free Software projects, e.g. OpenBSD. Project leader Theo de Raadt writes to Greg: "It is a fucking farce. You are trying to make sure that maintainers of code — ie. any random joe who wants to improve the code in the future — has LESS ACCESS to docs later on because someone signed an NDA to write it in the first place. You are making a very big mistake." Though the short term goal of getting Linux drivers more easily seems to be understandable in the first place, signing NDA's will hurt all Free Software projects in the long run. This short-sighted strategy will lead to the situation where companies are even less motivated to reveal free programming documentation. They will point with fingers to NDA'ed GPL code, which needs to be reverse engineered agin. Theo summarizes: "It is people like you who are closed."."

Is Wikipedia Failing? 478

An anonymous reader writes "A growing number of people are concerned about where Wikipedia is heading. Some have left Wikipedia for Citizendium, while others are trying to change the culture of Wikipedia from within. A recent essay called Wikipedia is failing points out many of the problems which must be solved with Wikipedia for it to succeed in its aim of becoming a reputable, reliable reference work. How would you go about solving these problems?"
Portables

Submission + - GPS in your shoes

nithinraju writes: "Introducing Quantum Satellite Technology, a new line of $325 to $350 sneakers arriving in stores next month. Whats so special about these high-priced shoes? Because of embedded GPS technology, the wearer can be located anywhere in the world."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Amazon asserts right to adjust prices after sale

An anonymous reader writes: On December 23, Amazon advertised a "buy one get one free" sale on DVD boxsets, but did not test the promotion before going live. When anyone placed two boxsets in their cart, the website gave a double discount — so the "grand total" shown (before order submission) was $0.00 or something very small. Despite terms stating that Amazon checks order prices before shipping, Amazon shipped the vast majority of orders. Five days later (December 28), after orders had been received and presumably opened, Amazon emailed customers advising them to return the boxsets unopened or customers' credit cards would be charged an additional amount. (You can read more threads about this here and here.) Starting yesterday, Amazon has been (re)charging credit cards, often without authorization. On Amazon's side, they didn't advertise any double discount, and the free or nearly-free boxsets must have cost them a mint. But with Amazon continually giving unadvertised discounts that seem to be errors, is "return the merchandise or be charged" the new way that price glitches will be handled?
Security

Submission + - Nationwide fined $1.9 million for stolen data

JamesD_UK writes: "The BBC reports that the UK's Nationwide Building society has been fined £980,000 ($1.9 million USD) for failures that led to details of 11 million customers being compromised from an employee's stolen laptop. Financial Services Authority found that the employee had put the data on the laptop without the knowledge of Nationwide and that investigations into the loss did not start until three weeks after it was reported. It is not publically known exactly what information was lost; the laptop is still missing."

Slashdot Posting Bug Infuriates Haggard Admins 262

Last night we crossed over 16,777,216 comments in the database. The wise amongst you might note that this number is 2^24, or in MySQLese an unsigned mediumint. Unfortunately, like 5 years ago we changed our primary keys in the comment table to unsigned int (32 bits, or 4.1 billion) but neglected to change the index that handles parents. We're awesome! Fixing is a simple ALTER TABLE statement... but on a table that is 16 million rows long, our system will take 3+ hours to do it, during which time there can be no posting. So today, we're disabling threading and will enable it again later tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. We shall flog ourselves appropriately. Update: 11/10 12:52 GMT by J : It's fixed.

Dvorak On Microsoft/Novell Deal 218

zaxios writes, "John C. Dvorak has weighed in on the recent Novell-Microsoft pact. Among his insights: 'Microsoft has been leery of doing too much with Linux because of all the weirdness with the licenses and the possibility that one false move would make a Microsoft product public domain at worst, or subject to the GPL at best.' But now, 'the idea is to create some sort of code that is jammed into Linux and whose sole purpose is to let some proprietary code run under Linux without actually "touching" Linux in any way that would subject the proprietary code to the GPL.' According to Dvorak, it's only a matter of time before Linux is 'cracked' by Microsoft, meaning Microsoft figures out a way to run proprietary code on it."

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