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Submission + - Online retailer Kogan.com taxes IE 7 users (bbc.com)

CannonballHead writes: Australian online retailer Kogan.com has begun adding a tax to orders placed using Internet Explorer 7. Apparently, IE 7 users represent about 3% of the Kogan.com's customer base, but his IT team had to make many changes only to make things display properly on IE 7. ""I was constantly on the line to my web team. The amount of work and effort involved in making our website look normal on IE7 equalled the combined time of designing for Chrome, Safari and Firefox," Mr. Kogan said."

Submission + - Global Warming Effect On Polar Bears Questioned (humanevents.com)

bonch writes: A report on drowning polar bears that galvanized environmentalists in 2006 and led to the bears' classification as an endangered species is under federal investigation due to questions about the math as well as the bears' cause of death. Biologist Jeffrey Gleason, a contributor to the report, told investigators that the four bear corpses, observed from an altitude of 1,500 feet during flights, were never recovered and that they likely died in a sudden windstorm rather than from drowning. Lead researcher Charles Monnett, who was placed on administrative leave on July 18, told investigators that nobody came forward with contradictory data. Said Monnett: “Well, that’s not scientific misconduct anyway. If anything, it’s sloppy.”

Submission + - Can Anonymous Really 'Kill' Facebook? 1

adeelarshad82 writes: Recent news about Anonymous taking down Facebook on Nov. 5 has gotten a lot of attention. While the entire Anonymous team may not agree with the plan, the real question is whether they can take it down even with everyone on board with the plan. Sophos senior security adviser, Chester Wisniewski, sheds some light on the issue talking about previous attempts, the type of attacks, new tools Anonymous could possibly use and whether there is a chance that they'll succeed.

Submission + - FAQ: How the IE ballot screen works (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: After an 11-month legal face-off, Microsoft and European antitrust officials signed off yesterday on the ballot screen concept that will give Windows users a chance to download rivals' browsers. But now that the battle's over and the ink has dried, it's time to look closely. Some FAQ examples: What's Microsoft promised? How will it work? How many browsers will be on the ballot? Who decides which browsers? Who will see it? Gregg Keizer delved into the agreement to provide the answers.

Maryland Town Tests New Cryptographic Voting System 227

ceswiedler writes "In Tuesday's election voters in Takoma Park, MD used a new cryptographic voting system designed by David Chaum with researchers from several universities including MIT and the University of Maryland. Voters use a special ink to mark their ballots, which reveals three-digit codes which they can later check against a website to verify their vote was tallied. Additionally, anyone can download election data from a Subversion repository and verify the overall accuracy of the results without seeing the actual choices of any individual voter."

Submission + - Singer in grocery store ordered to pay royalties (bbc.co.uk)

yog writes: An assistant at a grocery store in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, was ordered by the Performing Right Society (PRS) to obtain a performer's license and to pay royalties because she was informally singing popular songs while stocking groceries. The PRS later backed down and apologized. This after the same store had turned off the radio after a warning from the PRS. We have entered an era where music is no longer an art for all to enjoy, but rather a form of private property that must be regulated and taxed like alcohol. "Music to the ears" has become "dollars in the bank".

Submission + - Solving UK Libel Tourism?

uid7306m writes: The UK is known as the world's best place to be libeled. That is, to have someone publish a damaging falsehood about you. That's because you don't have to prove libel: you just prove damage, the defendant to prove that what he/she said was true beyond a reasonable doubt. To an extent, it is guilty until proven innocent, and UK courts have a global reach.

This is a concern to every blogger who wants to express an opinion. Unless you are very careful, what you say may harm the reputation of someone in the UK. And, they can sue you. And, if they win, you are liable for their court costs. (Recall that the UK has a "loser pays" system for legal fees.) In fact, you don't even have to libel someone who lives in the UK, merely someone who has business dealings and a reputation in the UK (e.g. here) or an UK organization like the British Chiropractic Association (e.g. here).

Now, I Am Not A Lawyer, but perhaps there is a solution, at least for people outside the UK who publish electronically. The solution may reside in the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (UK), which makes it illegal to access a computer without authorization. Penalties are strict, including prison time.

Suppose people started putting the following header on their web pages: "Access from the United Kingdom or by United Kingdom residents is not authorized. Violators may be subject to the Computer Misuse Act 1990."


Submission + - First Flight of Jet Power By Algae-Fuel (bbc.co.uk)

s31523 writes: "Today a US airline carrier conducted a 90 minute test flight using with one of its engines powered by a 50-50 blend of biofuel and normal aircraft fuel. This was the first flight by a US carrier after other airline have reported trying similar flights. In February 2008, a Virgin 747 flew from London to Amsterdam partly using a fuel derived from a blend of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts. At the end of December, one engine of a Air New Zealand 747 was powered by a 50/50 blend of jatropha plant oil and standard A1 jet fuel."
The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: Servers bog down "historic" FBI hiring spr

coondoggie writes: "The FBI this week said it was embarking on a major hiring binge — almost 3,000 jobs — but the response to the openings has apparently overwhelmed to agency's servers. Currently if you go to the FBI's Careers page you get this message: Based on the overwhelming response to our Hiring Initiative, the applicant hiring system is being enhanced to facilitate more efficient processing of your application and will be available shortly. The deadline for applications will be extended to accommodate this brief interruption. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Worlds.com Sues NCSoft Over MMO-Patent 261

Lulfas writes "Worlds.com today sued NCSoft over its patent on a scalable virtual world, filed in 2000 and granted this February. This is a very broad base patent, and there is no reason to expect they will only sue NCSoft, when they should be able to use the same patent against other companies. 'Specifically, the suit claims that NCsoft has infringed on patent 7,181,690, "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space" through its games, including City of Heroes, City of Villains, Dungeon Runners, Exteel, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage II, and Tabula Rasa.'"

FBI Issues Code Cracking Challenge 222

coondoggie writes to tell us that the FBI has issued another cracking challenge for a new cipher on their site. Tens of thousands responded to a similar challenge last year. In addition to the challenge, the FBI is also offering a few primers on the subject. There are a number of sites offering cipher challenges, but it's funny to see the FBI encouraging such behavior.
Classic Games (Games)

Resurrecting Old Games, What Works? 381

There has definitely been a resurgence of old games being made new again through various methods. Unfortunately, any time you reinvent an old classic you risk either alienating the original audience or not making it appealing enough for the a new audience. "Capcom has been at the forefront of the recent remake boom, re-imagining a number of their classic titles as downloadable games. Bionic Commando, for example, was given a high-definition 2.5D makeover, and a rockin' remixed soundtrack with Bionic Commando: Rearmed. Capcom also re-released a new version of Street Fighter II on the way, with the lengthy new title Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Interestingly, both games are coming out near new entries in their respective franchises: Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando. But the question remains, how do you decided what games will still appeal to the current gaming audience? " What games can be counted amongst the success stories, and which can be chalked up as utter failures?

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