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Comment Re:Sure you can... (Score 1) 1084

The Lexmark case is really difficult to apply, because in that question the only purpose of the software in question was to restrict access; it served no purpose but to activate the hardware. That was the basis of the judgement: since the software was necessary to make the cartridge function, it was not copyrightable and duplicating it was not a "circumvention." Since there are other ways to make Pystar's hardware functional (eg. install Windows or Linux on it) that argument doesn't apply in this case.

Likewise, once you buy a disc containing OS X, you have access to all the code stored on that disc. The access control is your purchase of the disc, not the interaction between the disc an an Apple-branded computer.

Which is all well and good for the boxed copy that Pystar ships, but not for the cracked copy that they preinstall. Legally, the included shrink-wrapped copy and the on-disk cracked copy are two separate issues.


Submission + - NBC Chief, "Apple 'destroyed' music pricing (appleinsider.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: With the most colorful description yet, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker on Sunday urged colleagues to take a stand against Apple's iTunes, charging that the digital download service was undermining the ability of traditional media companies to set profitable rates for their content online.

"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business — in terms of pricing — and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side,"

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - How would you geek out a backpacking expedition?

A non-mouse Coward writes: If you were going to go on a several hundred mile, multi-day backpacking expedition across a continent, what would you take? Remember, weight is crucial and there is no electricity except for the occasional overnight in a metropolitan area. At the same time, you can stay "connected" as you near cities with wireless. Would you seek renewable energy for small compact electronic gear, such as solar, hand-cranks, or other generators? Or would you keep it minimalist, visiting a cyber cafe when the wilderness requires you to escape back into the cities?

Submission + - Matthew Szulik: The culture of Red Hat (cnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Red Hat takes community seriously, to the extent that it tries to bake open source processes and ethos into the company's operations. Matthew Szulik talks about the value of free software to the industry, and how hiring and firing the right people leads to strong open source businesses.

ODF Threat to Microsoft in US Governments Grows 269

Tookis writes "Another setback for Microsoft has cropped up in the space of document formats in government organizations. The state of California has introduced a bill to make open document format (ODF) a mandatory requirement in the software used by state agencies. Similar legislation in Texas and Minnesota has added further to the pressure on Microsoft, which is pushing its own proprietary Office Open XML (OOXML) document format in the recently released Office 2007. The bill doesn't specify ODF by name, but instead requires the use of an open XML-based format."

Cassini Returns Amazing New Imagery from Saturn 118

SeaDour writes "The Cassini spacecraft has recently entered a highly-inclined orbit around Saturn, revealing some never-before-seen images of the planet's ring system as seen from above and below the planet. 'Sailing high above Saturn and seeing the rings spread out beneath us like a giant, copper medallion is like exploring an alien world we've never seen before. It just doesn't look like the same place. It's so utterly breath-taking, it almost gives you vertigo.' The spacecraft will eventually return to its standard orbit parallel to the ring plane in late June."

Submission + - BBC to provide Top Gear and Doctor Who on YouTube

ATAMAH writes: BBC has announced that some of their shows (previews) would be available for downloading on YouTube: "The BBC has started showing promotional trailers for new programmes and clips from old hits on Google's YouTube in a bid to reach new audiences and boost sales at its commercial arm. News clips will be added in the near future when the output will have three strands, the publicly funded broadcaster said. From the BBC itself there will be content based on current hits such as Life on Mars and Doctor Who, while from BBC Worldwide there will be clips from old favourites such as Spooks and Top Gear, which are sold globally." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5 &objectid=10427063

Submission + - Colorado prison turns to inmates to run Help Desk

PetManimal writes: "A Colorado prison system has an unusual solution to handle help desk support issues in the face of antcipated budget cuts: Assigning inmates to handle telephone support, PC tracking, and PC imaging and repairs. Besides training the inmates to take over help desk duties, one of the main challenges was convincing staff to trust the help desk:

The transition wasn't entirely smooth, noted Kim Withers, a help desk supervisor for the agency. "It was a big obstacle in the beginning for the staff to call [the inmates] and ask for help," said Withers. Some corrections workers were also concerned about how much information inmates would be allowed to see on their screens during a help desk call.
The article says the agency used a software tool to limit some of the information that the inmate workers could see. No word on how much the inmates are paid, though."

Submission + - Inflatable mirrors could cut solar cost to $0.29/w

Damien1972 writes: A new technology using inflatable mirrors could dramatically cut the price of solar power to around $0.29 per watt, making the renewable energy source cost competitive with coal and other fossil fuels. The tensegrity-based concentrated photovoltaic system could open up vast areas of the United States for solar farming, whereby farmers could produce both agricultural products and clean energy. The technology has been developed by CoolEarth Solar, based in Livermore, CA.

Submission + - When Information Security Gets Physical

llamalicious writes: An article on Dark Reading gives a bit of insight into the hidden dangers of engaging in corporate security "dirty-work". A seemingly simple task provides two security contractors with an unpleasant awakening to the realities of attempting to covertly retake company property from a crooked employee.

From the article: "Our success was short lived when he turned and saw us walking out with his machine. His polished, professional demeanor changed for the worst when he saw us trying to leave the building. He raced toward us and began trying to pry the laptop from my colleague's hands, while cursing and calling us unprintable names."

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