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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 3 accepted (10 total, 30.00% accepted)

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Submission + - France Considers ‘Google Tax’ to Pay C (

D Ninja writes: We have discussed compensation for creators of digital works many times here on Slashdot. France is now looking "[tax] Internet advertising revenues from online giants such as Google, using the funds to support creative industries that have been hit by the digital revolution." This tax would apply to companies who have offices outside the country, also affecting Bing and Yahoo.
The Media

Submission + - PBS Just Gave You...Everything (

D Ninja writes: In a recent blog post, Verne Gay points out that PBS has launched its own video portal featuring thousands of hours of television shows. This includes full seasons of Antiques Road Show, Frontline, and many others. From his post:

Unlike the commercial networks which, in most cases, simply put up certain episodes or certain programs, PBS will be putting up complete seasons of almost all programs. Ultimately, thousands of hours of PBS video will be included — extensive archives & back-catalog, content from PBS broadcast TV spanning all its genres, as well as from local PBS stations, feature-length films and documentaries, live events and performances, exclusive web-only content, and more.


Submission + - Would You Pay For YouTube? (

D Ninja writes: A story at CRN brings up the question: would you pay for YouTube?

YouTube Thursday told users that it is testing a new program that lets its partners decide if they want to charge users for their videos or make them available for free. On the YouTube blog, the Google-owned subsidiary presented the news as a positive, saying that users who buy videos "receive a permanent, offline copy of the file in return." To buy videos, users have to pay a "small fee" through Google Checkout.

Do you think this a viable option for bringing networks (CBS, NBC, etc.) to YouTube? Is it worth paying, especially when there are applications out there that already grab the FLV files?


Submission + - NSC Calls for Mobile Phone Ban While Driving (

D Ninja writes: The National Safety Council (NSC) is now looking for an all-out ban of cell phones while driving. Interestingly enough, this also includes hands-free systems. From the article:

The National Safety Council, which campaigned to get U.S. states to enforce seatbelt laws, is taking on mobile phones, saying on Sunday it was starting a campaign to ban all use of mobile phones while driving. Even so-called hands-free devices should be banned, because studies show they do not make it any safer to talk on the telephone while driving, the group said.

While I do understand improving the safety of cell phone use while driving, the complete removal of cell phones while driving seems a bit short-sighted, especially as their use continues to grow.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Obama to Appear in Spiderman Comic (

D Ninja writes: According to Canwest News Service, Barack Obama will be appearing in a Spiderman comic. From the article:

Obama is set to appear in Marvel Comics' Spider-Man series, in a special insert titled, "Spidey Meets the President!" where he will team up with the "Wall Crawler" to defeat Spidey nemesis the Chameleon who has designs on stopping Inauguration Day.


Submission + - Talk to the Dead with Virsona (

D Ninja writes: A company called Virsona recently released a beta version of their product that allows friends and relatives to talk to you after you have died. By submitting information to a journal and "collecting a personal footprint" from social networking sites, Virsona attempts to figure out the your responses (based on your footprint) to someone who is "communicating with you" via the service's instant message interface. The service is free (upgraded, paid services are available), but is still pretty hit or miss regarding the responses.

Submission + - Google Gets Lively (

D Ninja writes: Niniane Wang, a Google Engineer, just announced Lively, a 3D virtual world, somewhat akin to SecondLife. In her blog post, Niniane details some of the Lively experience which includes, "playing YouTube videos in virtual TVs and showing photos in virtual picture frames inside our rooms." Additionally, the gadgets found in the Lively rooms can be run on the user's desktop.

Submission + - Gmail Labs Released (

D Ninja writes: Yesterday, Google released Gmail Labs which allows Gmail developers to decide what to include in the next feature releases of Gmail based on user feedback. As ZDnet has pointed out, essentially users are guinea pigs for these new features. Participants will vote on their favorite new features and the ones that are voted the highest will stick around and the ones that are least popular will disappear. From the Gmail blog:

The result of this loosely-directed chaos is 13 Labs features, with more on the way. Some of them we've found really useful, like Quick Links, which lets you save searches and any other views in Gmail. Kai and Julie wrote Superstars, which gives you different types of stars. Dave wrote Old Snakey, which lets you play an old school style computer game when you press "&". I'm just going to go out and say it: Old Snakey is probably a bad idea. But Dave wanted to do it, so Dave did it and anyone who uses Gmail can use it. And now you can help decide whether it's a good idea.


Submission + - Gates Gives Final Publicly Scheduled Speech

D Ninja writes: Bill Gates gave his final, publicly scheduled speech as a Microsoft employee at the TechEd Developers Conference on June 3rd. He attributes the success of Microsoft to its "relationship with developers." Per his usual speeches, Gates touched on the future of Microsoft and various technologies and products that the company will be working on, including IE8 scheduled for beta release this August. Included in the presentation was an MIT "Ballmer-bot" which was developed using Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio.

Developers, developers, developers, developers," the robot repeated over and over in an homage to Ballmer's famous rant. The robot also raised his arm, showing how he [had] the ability to "throw eggs," according to the MIT student controlling his movements.

Submission + - Lockheed Martin Awarded GPSIII

D Ninja writes: Yesterday, Lockheed Martin was awarded the $1.4 billion Air Force contract to build the next-generation global positioning satellite system. This occurred after a series of delays as the Air Force decided between Lockheed and the competing bidding contractor, Boeing Co.

GPS III, will give new navigation warfare (NAVWAR) capabilities to shut off GPS service to a limited geographical location while providing GPS to US and allied forces. GPS III will offer significant improvements in navigation capabilities by improving interoperability and jam resistance. The procurement of the GPS III system is planned for multiple blocks, with the GPS IIIA portion currently underway. GPS IIIA includes all of the GPS IIF capability plus up to a ten-fold increase in signal power, a new civil signal compatible with the European Union's Galileo system, and a new spacecraft bus that will allow a growth path to future blocks.

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