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Government

Jack Thompson Claiming Games Industry in Collusion with DoD 289

mytrip brings us a Wired blog about Jack Thompson's recent press release, which claims an "unholy alliance" exists between the gaming industry and the U.S. Department of Defense. Game Politics also has a discussion of Thompson's main points. From Wired: "Jim Blank, the head of the modeling and simulation division of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, says that commercial games don't meet the demand of the military, adding, 'first-person shooter games really don't apply in this environment.' Blank's point is that game-like simulations are a valuable tool for training soldiers in situations that would be too expensive to simulate in reality."
Government

Russian Software Piracy Crackdown Restricts Free Speech 175

reporter writes "According to a report recently filed by the Washington Post, the Kremlin has finally begun to crackdown on software piracy ... with a twist. The Russian state agency is targetting political enemies with claims of piracy, including independent news media, political parties, and private advocacy groups. In particular, 'the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, one of the last outposts of critical journalism in Russia, suspended publication of its regional edition in the southern city of Samara on Monday after prosecutors opened a criminal case against its editor, alleging that his publication used unlicensed software.'" This doesn't even take into account our recent discussion of the Kremlin's grip on internet access in that country.
Education

Anti-Terrorism and the Death of the Chemistry Set 860

An anonymous reader writes "A recent unfortunate casualty of anti-terrorism laws is the home chemistry set. Once deemed the gift that saved Christmas, most Slashdotters probably remember early childhood experimentation with one of the many pre-packaged chemistry sets that were on the market. Unfortunately the FBI has decided that home chemistry sets are a threat to national security and they are rapidly disappearing from the market entirely. Those that remain are shallow boring versions of the old kits."
The Internet

ISPs Starting To Charge for 'Guaranteed' Email Delivery 288

Presto Vivace writes "Under the guise of fighting spam, five of the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. plan to start charging businesses for guaranteed delivery of their e-mails. In other words, with regular service we may or may not deliver your email. If you want it delivered, you will have to pay deluxe. 'According to Goodmail, seven U.S. ISPs now use CertifedEmail, accounting for 60 percent of the U.S. population. Goodmail--which takes up to 50 percent of the revenue generated by the plan--will for now approve only mail sent by companies and organizations that have been operational for a year or more. Ordinary users can still apply to be white-listed by individual ISPs, which effectively provides the same trusted status.'"
Communications

T-Mobile Bans Others' Apps On Their Phones 349

cshamis writes "T-Mobile has recently changed their policies and now tell their customers with appropriate data plans and with Java-Micro-App-capable T-Mobile phones: no third-party network applications. You can, of course, still use their incredibly clunky and crippled built-in WAP browsers, but GoogleMaps and OperaMini are left high and dry. Would anyone care to speculate if this move is likely to retain or repel customers?"

RIAA President Decries Fair Use 486

triskaidekaphile writes, "Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA, has an editorial on CNet responding to the Consumer Electronics Association's support of the Digital Freedom campaign for fair use. Sherman proclaims, 'The fair use doctrine is in danger of losing its meaning and value.' Like a true spinner, he indicates that fair use is indeed important, then states 'Let's be clear. The CEA's primary concern is not consumers, but technology companies — often large, multinational corporations which, like us, strive to make a profit... But to seize the mantra of "consumer rights" to advance that business interest is simply disingenuous.' Slashdotters, trollers, and pollsters one and all, what say you? Disingenuous or dissembling?"

Computer Date Glitch May Limit Next Shuttle Launch 354

n3hat writes "Reuters reports that the next Space Shuttle mission may have to be deferred if it gets too close to the New Year because the onboard computers do not handle the changing of the date in the same way as the ground computers. From the article: '"The shuttle computers were never envisioned to fly through a year-end changeover," space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale told a briefing. The problem, according to Hale, is that the shuttle's computers do not reset to day one, as ground-based systems that support shuttle navigation do. Instead, after December 31, the 365th day of the year, shuttle computers figure January 1 is just day 366."

Should Online Stores Be Subject To ADA? 546

prostoalex writes, "HTML tutorials usually mention alt tags for images and noscript tags as something optional that a Web designer should add to a site for the crawlers and users browsing with graphics or JavaScript turned off. However, a recent lawsuit against Target by the National Federation of the Blind accuses the retailer of not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since Target's online store is unbrowsable with a screen reader, the nation's 200,000 blind people who go online cannot become paying customers, the NFB contends. From the article: 'In denying Target's motion to dismiss the suit two months ago, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel... held that the law's accessibility requirements applied to all services offered by a place of public accommodation. Since Target's physical stores are places of public accommodation, the ruling said, its online store must also be accessible or the company must offer equally effective alternatives.' Does the judge's name ring a bell? Yes, it's the same Marilyn Hall Patel who handled the RIAA's case against Napster in 2001." Web builders and tools may need to start brushing up on the Web Accessibility Initiative.

The Day Against DRM 320

Qubit writes, "DefectiveByDesign.org, a campaign by the Free Software Foundation, is making Oct 3rd a Day Against DRM: 'Defeating DRM is all about awareness. The direct actions that we have taken are all about this. Today we are asking you to let the people around you know that DRM is bad for our society. Let's create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge? As our friends at Disney recognize, if there is this debate, we will have won.'" Bayboy adds an article from eWeek mentioning that members of DefectiveByDesign.org are going to descend on flagship Apple stores in New York and London to protest the company's embrace of DRM. And Another AC writes, "In honor of the Day Against DRM, DreamHost has released a new service called Files Forever (for Dreamhost customers only during beta) This seems to be basically an iTunes Music Store that anybody can sell any sort of files through... as long as they have no DRM. Dreamhost handles all the payment processing and stores the file forever, offering unlimited re-downloads to end users who buy files through the service. When somebody buys a file they're even allowed to 'loan' it to others for free!"

The GIF Format is Finally Patent-Free 369

tonymercmobily writes "Not many people noticed that the GIF file format is only now free from patents, as of the 1st of October 2006. Quick recap: first in 1999 Unisys tried to extort money from users and developers. Then, in 2003 the world hoped that the saga would finally be over. Then, in 2004, it was IBM's turn. Now, the SAGA seems to be over for real! Does anybody find Unisys' page on GIF as hilarious as I do...?"

RIAA Says It Doesn't Have Enough Evidence 208

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Elektra v. Wilke, the Chicago RIAA case in which defendant Paul Wilke has moved for summary judgment, the RIAA has responded to the summary judgment motion by filing a motion for 'expedited discovery', alleging that it needs expedited pretrial discovery because it does not have sufficient evidence to withstand Mr. Wilke's motion. The RIAA's lawyer said: 'Plaintiffs cannot at this time, without an opportunity for full discovery present by affidavit facts essential to justify their opposition to Defendant's motion.' The motion and supporting affidavit are available online."

Johnny Cache Breaks Silence On Wi-Fi Exploit 288

Joe Barr writes, "Johnny Cache — aka Jon Ellch — is chafing under the cone of silence placed over him and co-presenter Dave Maynor about the Wi-Fi exploit they presented at Black Hat and DEFCON last month. So he has finally broken his silence on NewsForge in hopes of ending the personal attacks coming from what he implies is a smear campaign started by Apple." (Newsforge and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.)

Johhny Cache writes, "If you're going to post a news story that is a rehash of my post to a mailing list, I would much prefer it if people actaully just read the post in its entirety."

EU Prepared to Fine Microsoft $2.5 Million Per Day 659

Lord_Slepnir writes "The European Union is unsatisfied with Microsoft's compliance with their anti-trust compliance from 2004, and is preparing to fine them 2 million Euros ($2.5m US) per day until they comply. Under that ruling, Microsoft must open up parts of their operating system to competitors, and change how they bundle Media Player." From the article: "On Monday, Microsoft said it had begun to provide the information Brussels had demanded, but the Commission has signaled the company acted too late. In December, Brussels informed the software giant that it had failed to comply with the original ruling it issued in March 2004."

Linux 2.6.17 Released 444

diegocgteleline.es writes "After almost three months, Linux 2.6.17 has been released. The changes include support for Sun Niagara CPUs, a new I/O mechanism called 'splice' which can improve the performance greatly for some applications, a scheduler domain optimized for multicore machines, driver for the widely used broadcom 43xx wifi chip (Apple's Airport Extreme and such), iptables support for the H.323 protocol, CCID2 support for DCCP, softmac layer for the wireless stack, block queue IO tracing, and many other changes listed at the changelog"

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