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Submission + - Cyprus bailout crisis shakes markets (guardian.co.uk)

Dainsanefh writes: Eurozone finance ministers demanded on Sunday that Cypriots pay up to 10% of their bank deposits in exchange for a €10bn (£8.5bn) bailout, prompting panic across the island as people rushed to cash machines to withdraw their savings.

Submission + - Google Drive goes titsup for MILLIONS of users (theregister.co.uk) 1

iComp writes: "Google Drive has been titsup for the last few hours with many users being greeted by 502 error messages when they attempt to access the online storage service.

For many, it remains stubbornly offline for now.

Google confirmed that there was a problem with Drive about two hours ago after users complained about service disruption.

In the last hour the ad giant posted a little more detail about the outage on its Apps Status Dashboard:

        We're aware of a problem with Google Drive affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Drive."


Submission + - Electronics Arts CEO ousted in wake of SimCity launch disaster (ea.com) 2

mozumder writes: The disastrous launch of SimCity took it's first major toll, with EA CEO John Riccitiello being fired from his position and removed from the Board of Directors. It is unknown what effect this may have on the SimCity franchise or any future DRM of EA games, but clearly someone didn't think their cunning plan all the way through when they decided to implement always-on connections for single-player gaming.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Villians & Vigilantes Creators Win Lawsuit, Rights to Game

rcade writes: Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, the creators of the old-school super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes, have won a copyright and trademark lawsuit over the game's publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court of Arizona ruled that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with Bizar. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions, which are a big deal to tabletop publishers these days. Too bad this judge didn't hear Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's case.

Submission + - New insights help shed light on star's death that created Kepler's Super Nova (wired.com)

skade88 writes: Wired has a good article that covers the origins of the white dwarf super nova Johannes Kepler observed in 1604.

'Up until now, it was unclear what lead to the star's explosion. New Chandra data suggests that, at least in the case of Kepler’s remnant, the white dwarf grabbed material from its companion star. The disk-shaped structure seen near the center suggests that the supernova explosion hit a ring of gas and dust that would have formed, like water circling a drain, as the white dwarf sucked material away from its neighbor. In addition, magnesium is not an element formed in great abundances during Type 1a supernovas, suggesting it came from the companion star. Whether or not Kepler’s supernova is a typical case remains to be seen. '

The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: Anti-Piracy Co. Runs Afoul of Swiss Telecom Law

narramissic writes: "The Swiss: so civil, so reasonable. Anti-piracy company Logistep, which provides information on suspected file sharers to law firms around the world for use in copyright violation cases, has until Feb. 9 to respond to Switzerland's Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) on charges that its tactics violate the country's telecommunication law. FDPIC's legal advisor Marc Schaefer notes that under Swiss law, a computer's IP address is considered 'personal' information and so the identity of a subscriber to an ISP can only be revealed during the course of a criminal case, not a civil one."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Submission + - SPAM: Identity theft nets fraudster 16 years in prison

coondoggie writes: "A United States District sentenced Isaac Allen this week to a 16 ½ years in the slammer for identity theft and bank fraud. According to court documents, Allen and Pasco, along with other members of their ring, defrauded a series of banks in Florida, including Fifth Third Bank, BB&T, Bank of America and other financial institutions, by stealing names, social security numbers and other personal identifying information of individuals and then posing as these persons to obtain credit cards and credit lines from these financial institutions, the DOJ stated. Pasco and Allen then used the credit cards, drew down the credit lines and absconded when payment was due. They stole more than $150,000 through this scheme. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

EU Regulators Open New Microsoft Investigations 64

The New York Times is reporting on two new investigations into Microsoft business practices opened by EU antitrust regulators. The new cases center on the company's positioning of Office and Internet Explorer, and were apparently partially prompted by Microsoft's earlier heel-dragging. "'It would have been preferable if these issues could have been resolved amicably with Microsoft,' said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes. 'But that has not proved to be the case. Therefore we have opened these formal investigations. That does not prove there is a violation. We will only be able to come to a conclusion after investigations.' The legal battle that ended last year involved the bundling of a media player with Windows and the availability of information required to make rival software operate smoothly with Microsoft products. In September, the Court of First Instance, Europe's highest after the European Court of Justice, endorsed the commission's 2004 decision to impose record fines on Microsoft."

McDonald's UK CEO Blames Video Games for Childhood Obesity 321

BoingBoing is reporting that Steve Eaterbrook, McDonald's UK CEO, says that video games are leading the charge in obesity. He does have the decency to at least admit fatty foods are a part of the problem, but points the finger at interactive games for keeping kids indoors and not out burning off energy. "According to The Times, McDonalds UK is 'on the brink of its best year for two decades'. The firm has enjoyed six per cent like-for-like sales growth in the last year. More than 88 million visits were made to McDonald's restaurants last month, up 10 million on the previous year." Don't forget, we have known for ages that video games make us fat and mean.

Submission + - Social Security may not be broke. (blogspot.com)

boomka writes: I am sure you have all heard the story before: Social Security is so unprepared to deal with its future liabilities that it is completely broke for all practical purposes. Well, one person decided to sit down and actually do the numbers on his own, and documented the calculations in his blog. His conclusion? Social Security is not broke. The blog makes for a fun read for the number crunchers among us.

Submission + - Microsoft Patents Frustration-Detection System (arstechnica.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Microsoft has patented a frustration-detection help system that would monitor your computer use and biometrics like your heart rate to figure out when you were frustrated. It could then offer to pair you up with someone else doing exactly the same thing who might be able to help you out. Interestingly, they don't appear to use speech recognition to detect abnormal levels of swear words, but that could be due to their past difficulties with speech recognition."
The Courts

Submission + - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, GoDaddy subpoenaed

Stony Stevenson writes: Grisoft has filed subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Internet domain registrar GoDaddy. The antivirus company is seeking the identities of search advertisers responsible for fraudulently promoting AVG antivirus products through sponsored text ads. It is also seeking domain registration information associated with these search advertisers in order to identify those behind the sites selling counterfeit AVG software.

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