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Comment Re:What does it include? (Score 2) 219

I'd like to see what that includes on the labour side. I've seen proposals before showing massive savings in software purchases but it didn't account for anything else such as expert labour, training for the staff and the headaches and inefiencies that come with changing users world.

RTFA: "Costs that are not related to the operating system, such as staff and training costs, were identically listed at around €22 million (£17 million) in all three scenarios. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million (£27 million), while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million (£24 million). The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million (£18 million)."

Hardware Hacking

Researchers Turn Home Wi-Fi Router Into Spy Device 108

hypnosec writes "Researchers at University College of London have applied principles of radar used in defense and designed a detector using home based Wi-Fi routers to spy on people across walls. Using the principles behind the Doppler effect ... Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty, at University College London, have built a prototype unit that uses Wi-Fi signals and recognizes frequency changes to detect moving objects. The size of the prototype unit is more or less the size of a suitcase. The unit contains a radio receiver comprising of two antennas and a signal-processing unit. The duo carried out test runs and ... they managed to determine a person's location, speed, and direction (even through a one foot thick brick wall). The device could be used to spot intruders, monitor children or the elderly, and could even be used in military applications."

Comment Re:Aside from the games' rules themselves... (Score 1) 93

Chess will never be solved in a meaningful way. Sure, it may be solved for computers, but I don't need to play against computers, and the solution will be too complex for humans to memorize.

At least with the current state of technology. But wait a few decades and maybe we will all be running around with cyborg enhancements. Won't be quite as much fun if the other player has a more powerful chip in his brain.

Comment Re:worrying use of extraditionb laws (Score 1) 94

So, should a US-hosted site that (amongst other things) sells Nazi memorabilia, have its operators extradited to Germany? Etc.

I think we already have enough problems with (Neo-)Nazis and right-wing extremists as is in Germany. I don't think German law enforcement agencies are too keen on importing even more of them from other countries...

Technology

How Lasers Could Help Fingerprint Conflict Minerals 31

New submitter carmendrahl writes "Diamonds might get most of the media's attention, but they're not the only minerals being sold to underwrite militias. Two chemistry teams are developing portable instruments that can detect an elemental fingerprint in mineral ores, to verify that the samples don't come from militia-controlled mines. One technique uses laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (PDF), which vaporizes a small amount of an ore sample with a high-energy laser pulse, and detects elements in the sample by their characteristic light emission. The other technique couples the laser ablation to a mass measurement and a scanning electron microscope."

Comment Re:Demystification (Score 1) 462

If a German politician wants to end a discussion quickly he will just mention that the Nazis did it that way.

The German version of "Think of the children/what about terrorists"

Except that in Germany too, "think of the children" will get you a lot of people agreeing with your position - whereas mentioning Hitler, the Nazis and the 3rd Reich in a way that could be interpreted as positive or comparing contemporary political figures to Hitler and the Nazis will heavily damage or even end your political career (see Herta Daeubler-Gmelin and others).

Comment Re:Just withdraw from Germany. (Score 2) 215

If I were to open a US based site, as a US-only business (or not even as a business) and some users uploaded german-copyrighted material - could I be sued in Germany, just because Germans could reach the site?

Yep. German courts (just like courts in many other countries) assume that if Germans can access it, it's in their jurisdiction.

That would mean anyone putting up a site on the Internet could be sued in any country in the world.

That's the status quo. Of course that doesn't mean that foreign courts can always enforce their decisions against corporations, but they can certainly convict the company and ask the country where the company resides to help them via mutual legal assistance treaties (which exist between many western countries).
In theory, an Iranian court could sentence you to death for uploading certain videos to Youtube. And if you plan on visiting far away countries after that, you better make sure those countries that don't have extradition treaties with Iran...

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 1) 148

When a fictional universes has been around for a long time, the opinion of the creator becomes less and less important and the stories themselves and the fictional facts therein become more important.

It's the same with the Star Wars Expanded Universe, where many fans desperately wish that Lucas would stop meddling with their SW universe and leave it to the authors and writers who can capture the feel of the universe much better and have a lot more knowledge about what's happening in that world.

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