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Submission + - Microsoft patents spy tech for Skype (computerworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A newly patented Microsoft technology called Legal Intercept that would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls is stoking privacy concerns.

"Data associated with a request to establish a communication is modified to cause the communication to be established via a path that includes a recording agent."


Submission + - CyanogenMod 6.0 Released In To The Wild 8

Jeagoss writes: CyanogenMod is the leading open source replacement ROM for Android based phones. With the 6.0 release, a targeted 8 models of phones have been hit with version 2.2 (Froyo) of Google's Android operating system for mobiles. Have a rooted phone? Been wanting a reason for rooting your phone? Head on over to http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ and check out the forums. I think you'll be quite surprised.
The Almighty Buck

Should Good Indie Games Be More Expensive? 150

spidweb writes "Indie gaming blog The Bottom Feeder has an article on why independent games should be more expensive. The enforced low prices on XBox Live, Amazon, and iTunes might feel good now, but they'll kill off the variety and depth gamers are hoping indie developers can provide. From the article: 'Every year, life is getting more and more expensive. Insurance. Rent. Food. And, at the same time, games are getting cheaper and cheaper, sometimes as cheap as a dollar, as we engage in a full speed race to the bottom. This is not going to help developers stay in business. This is not how a healthy industry is maintained.'"

Spotify Releases a Linux-Only Client Library 96

f0rk writes "Spotify, a popular music streaming service, has just recently released libspotify. An official, binary-only, only for subscribers, library to 'enable and inspire you to build some really cool stuff.' The first release only has support for x86-32 Linux, the only major platform Spotify does not run on. It looks like the Spotify team is trying to be nice to the Linux community and hope someone will use their restricted binary-only library to write a Linux client."

Locating the Real MySQL 335

An anonymous reader writes "In a blog post, Patrick Galbraith, an ex-core engineer on the MySQL Server team, raises the question: "What is the official branch of MySQL?" With Monty Widenius having left Sun and forked off MySQL for MariaDB, and Brian Aker running the Drizzle fork inside of Sun, where is the official MySQL tree? Sun may own the trademark, but it looks like there is doubt as to whether they are still the maintainers of the actual codebase after their $1B acquisition of the code a year ago. Smugmug's Don MacAskhill, who is the keynote at the upcoming MySQL Conference, has commented that he is now using the Percona version of MySQL, and is no longer relying on Sun's."

Texas Vote May Challenge Teaching of Evolution 1306

tboulay writes "The Texas Board of Education will vote this week on a new science curriculum designed to challenge the guiding principle of evolution, a step that could influence what is taught in biology classes across the nation. The proposed curriculum change would prompt teachers to raise doubts that all life on Earth is descended from common ancestry. Texas is such a large textbook market that many publishers write to the state's standards, then market those books nationwide. 'This is the most specific assault I've seen against evolution and modern science,' said Steven Newton, a project director at the National Center for Science Education, which promotes teaching of evolution." Both sides are saying the issue it too close to call. Three Republicans on the school board who favor the teaching of evolution have come under enormous pressure to reform their ways.

German Police Union Chief Wants Violent Game Ban After Shooting 518

A recent shooting in Germany has raised the ire of many politicians and officials, and they're turning to video games as a scapegoat after it was revealed that the shooter was a fan of Counterstrike and played Far Cry 2 the night before the rampage. First, a major retailer decided to drop mature-rated games altogether, and then the Minister for Social Affairs suggested restricting "addictive games," such as World of Warcraft, to adults only. Despite an unfavorable reaction from gamers and game developers alike, the chief of Germany's national police union has now spoken out against violent games as well, saying, "The world would be no poorer if there were no more killergames."

Want a Science Degree In Creationism? 848

The Bad Astronomer writes "In Texas, a state legislator wants the ironically-named Institute for Creation Research to be able to grant a Masters degree in science. In fact, the bill submitted to the Texas congress would make it legal for any private group calling themselves educational to be able to grant advanced degrees in science. So, now's your chance: that lack of a PhD in Astrology and Alchemy won't hold you back any longer." The Institute for Creation Research made a similar request to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board last year, but were shot down.

Amazon Uses DMCA To Restrict Ebook Purchases 409

InlawBiker writes "Today, Amazon invoked the DMCA to force removal of a python script and instructions from the mobileread web site. The script is used to identify the Kindle's internal ID number, which can be used to enable non-Amazon purchased books to work on the Kindle. '...this week we received a DMCA take-down notice from Amazon requesting the removal of the tool kindlepid.py and instructions for it. Although we never hosted this tool (contrary to their claim), nor believe that this tool is used to remove technological measures (contrary to their claim), we decided, due to the vagueness of the DMCA law and our intention to remain in good relation with Amazon, to voluntarily follow their request and remove links and detailed instructions related to it.' Ironically, the purpose of the script is to make the Kindle more useful to its users."
The Internet

How To Keep a Web Site Local? 297

Cornwallis writes "The universal accessibility of the Internet is one of its attractions. But what do you do when you don't want your board to be Slashdotted? Back in the day it was great to run a local BBS where friends and neighbors could dial in using their 9600-baud modems to pick up mail or share games or stories. Now, my Web-based board gets slammed by people from all over the world who have no reason to access it, can't possibly take advantage of the locally focused services it offers, and generally take up my time because I have to block their accounts or explain to them why they can't have access. This despite the fact that the board explains quite clearly that it is for local use only and couldn't possibly be of interest to them. Other than putting thousands of entries in my hosts file to block IP ranges, what options do I have to restrict access to locals only? Or isn't that feasible?"
The Internet

South Korea Joins the "Three Strikes" Ranks 278

Glyn Moody writes "For years, the content industries having been trying to get laws passed that would stop people sharing files. For years they failed. Then they came up with the 'three strikes and you're out' idea — and it is starting to be put into law around the world. First we had France, followed by countries like Italy, Ireland — and now South Korea: 'On March 3, 2009, the National Assembly's Committee on Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting & Communications (CCSTB&C) passed a bill to revise the Copyright Law. The bill includes the so called, "three strikes out" or "graduated response" provision.' Why has the 'three strikes' idea caught on where others have failed? And what is the best way to stop it spreading further?"
Data Storage

What To Do With Old USB Keys, Low-Capacity Hard Drives? 546

MessedRocker writes "I have at least a few USB flash drives around that I haven't needed since I got my 16GB flash drive, a 40GB external hard drive which I haven't needed since I upgraded to 500GB, and a couple of SATA hard drives I have pulled out of laptops which are either as large or smaller than the one I have in my laptop now. Furthermore, I don't really know anyone who needs any hard drives or flash drives. What should I do with my small, obsolete storage devices?"

DirectX 10 Coming To Linux and Mac 152

twickline writes "Jeremy White posted the 2009 roadmap for Crossover, and wrote, 'We've just shipped a lot of those "under the hood" improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2. We're really pushing Direct X 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on Direct X 10. ... In addition to our normal work of broadening and deepening our application support in Wine, we're going to try to dramatically improve the CrossOver GUI itself. First, the Linux version will get a fresh new look. But both versions are going to get an interface that we hope will bring the power of the Compatibility Center right into the installation view. The key idea is to make it easier to distill the gathered wisdom on unsupported applications and make it far easier to use.'"

Warner Music Playing Hardball With Rock Band 86

We recently discussed the fight brewing between the music industry and the popular music games, such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, over the licensing fees paid for songs used within the games. Well, Warner has stepped things up and denied access to future songs without a payment increase. "Once the already-agreed-upon music runs out in the Summer however, the two companies will have to hammer out a new deal that's amenable to both. If MTV Games ends up giving Warner a larger slice of the pie, you have to think that the rest of the labels will begin asking for the same cut." The Rock Band games have seen a steady stream of DLC additions to their song libraries, the most recent being Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood album. Activision has been busily working on new Guitar Hero content as well, revealing details for Guitar Hero Greatest Hits, which is due out in June. Ben Heck (of Xbox 360 laptop fame) has just put together a breath controller for Guitar Hero World Tour's bass drum, for those unable or unwilling to use the standard pedal.

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