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PS3 Lines Already Forming In America 452

Wowzer writes "Nine days until Sony's PlayStation 3 launches in America, and lines are already forming. From the article: "Someone went to Best Buy this morning and saw about 7 people waiting outside. He went inside and one of the workers told him that they had been there since Monday. It must be a tough job being such big PS3 fans and being the butt of many passer-by jokes like 'Where is the line for PS4? Is it on the other side?'"

Wal-Mart Threatens Studios Over iTunes Sales 415

Y-Crate writes "It seems Wal-Mart is threatening retaliation against studios who decide to offer movies on iTunes. The Bentonville, AR retailer seems a bit miffed that someone would dare to undercut their prices. This wouldn't be the first time they've turned on a supplier for dealing with Apple." From the article: "Last year when Disney announced it would begin offering episodes of the hit shows 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' on Apple's iTunes, the reaction of the world's largest retailer sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. Wal-Mart, worried that offering the shows for viewing on iPods would cut into DVD sales at its stores, sent 'cases and cases' of DVDs back to Disney, according to a source familiar with the matter."

Continued Opposition To Laptops in Schools 528

theskeptic writes "The WSJ has an article about opposition to programs that provide laptops to 6-8th grade kids. Detractors say that the kids are wasting too much time online browsing dangerous sites, instant messaging friends, and posting to Myspace. Parents are worried that serious learning is being neglected in the quest to 'dazzle up presentations with fancy fonts instead of digging through library books.' Some parents however are 'enthusiastic laptop proponents,' one saying the laptop has helped her twelve-year-old son 'master critical professional skills like how to compile a PowerPoint presentation.'" Gaaah.

Is Simplified Spelling Worth Reform? 1183

digitalhermit writes "I guess many folks are of very little brain, and big words bother them... There's a push for simpler spelling. Instead of 'weigh' it would be 'way.' 'Dictionary' would be 'dikshunery' and so forth. Dunno if it's a joke, but it seems in earnest. Mark Twain must be spinning around somewhere." Twain is often credited with the satirical call for spelling reform called "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling," though according to Wikipedia, Twain was "actually a supporter of reform," and the piece may have been written by M.J. Shields. Benjamin Franklin was another champion of spelling reform, and even came up with a phonetic alphabet to implement such reform.

Microsoft Says Vista Most Secure OS Ever 440

darryl24 writes "Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia opened up TechEd 2006 in Boston Sunday evening by proclaiming that Windows Vista was the most secure operating system in the industry. But a bold statement can only go so far, and much of this week's conference has been spent reinforcing that point. Microsoft also acknowledges that nothing is infallible when it comes to computer security. In turn, the company has employed black hat hackers for what is called a penetration, or pen, test team."

Symantec AntiVirus Hole Found 241

Hotwater Mountain writes "eWeek has a story about a gaping security flaw in the latest versions of Symantec's anti-virus software suite that could put millions of users at risk of a debilitating worm attack. According to eEye Digital Security, the company that discovered the flaw, the vulnerability could be exploited by remote hackers to take complete control of the target machine 'without any user action.'"

Microsoft's IE7 Search Box Bugs Google 803

tessaiga writes "The New York Times reports that Google is crying foul over a new IE7 search box feature that defaults to MSN Search. Although the feature can be modified to use Google or other search engines, Google asserts that "The best way to handle the search box [...] would be to give users a choice when they first start up Internet Explorer 7." Google goes on to assert that the move "limits consumer choice and is reminiscent of the tactics that got Microsoft into antitrust trouble in the late 1990s". I notice that in my version of Firefox the search box defaults to Google, and that the pulldown menu of pre-entered options doesn't even include MSN Search, but Google seems to have been oddly quiet on that front for the many years prior to IE7 that Firefox has made this feature available."

Rockers Sue Sony Over Download Royalties 360

Ohreally_factor writes "According to an AP article, groups Cheap Trick and The Allman Brothers allege that Sony is paying them less than what they deserve for music downloaded from popular download sites such as iTunes. Because Sony counts such sales as the equivalent of a physical phonorecording sale, they deduct costs for packaging (20%) and breakage (15%) from the artists' royalties, just as they would if they were selling CDs through more traditional means. Seeing as how there is no physical packaging, nor physical inventory that might suffer breakage, one wonders how Sony will defend against these charges."

New 25x Data Compression? 438

modapi writes "StorageMojo is reporting that a company at Storage Networking World in San Diego has made a startling claim of 25x data compression for digital data storage. A combination of de-duplication and calculating and storing only the changes between similar byte streams is apparently the key. Imagine storing a terabyte of data on a single disk, and it all runs on Linux." Obviously nothing concrete or released yet so take with the requisite grain of salt.

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