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Privacy

Ubuntu's New Firefox Is Watching You 330

sukotto writes "Ubuntu recently released an unannounced and experimental 'multisearch' extension to Firefox alpha 3, apparently in an effort to improve the default behavior of new tabs and of search. In a response to one of the initial bug reports the maintainers mentioned that the extension's other purposes were 'collecting the usage data' and 'generating revenue.' Since this extension installs by itself and offers no warning about potential privacy violations, quite a few people (myself included) feel pretty unhappy. The only way to opt out is to disable the extension manually via Tools > Add-ons." Most posters to this Ubuntu forum thread are not happy about multisearch.
Businesses

What's It Like For a Developer To Go Into Sales? 85

An anonymous reader asks: "I've worked for a single, very large technology company since graduating from college in '89. My degree is in Computer Science, and I've written everything from embedded machine code for big iron to applications with Smalltalk. I'm still in development, but since '99 my programming tasks have been replaced by project management, some customer-facing work (technical-ish presentations, demonstrations, training, and the like), helping our marketing people position my team's work, and other things that programmers generally don't like to do. Are you a former developer who went into sales? If so, what were your experiences like from a professional and personal perspective? What advice would you give to a developer considering a new career in sales?"
Microsoft

Gates Foundation Revokes Pledge to Review Portfolio 236

NewsCloud writes "After the LA Times reported that the Gates Foundation often invests in companies hurting the very communities Bill and Melinda want to help, the Seattle Times reported the foundation planned 'a systematic review of its investments to determine whether it should pull its money out of companies that are doing harm to society'. Shortly after that interview, the Gates Foundation took down their public statement on this and replaced it with a significantly altered version which seems to say that investing responsibly would just be too complex for them and that they need to focus on their core mission: 'There are dozens of factors that could be considered, almost all of which are outside the foundation's areas of expertise. The issues involved are quite complex...Which social and political issues should be on the list? ... Many of the companies mentioned in the Los Angeles Times articles, such as Ford, Kraft, Fannie Mae, Nestle, and General Electric, do a lot of work that some people like, as well as work that some people do not like. Some activities might even be viewed positively by some people and negatively by others.'"
Media (Apple)

Apple is DRM's Biggest Backer 400

parvenu74 writes "Arstechnica is running an article pointing out that while some pockets of the entertainment industry are experimenting with DRM-free distribution, Apple Inc, which announced that they have now sold over 2,000,000,000 songs on iTunes, is now the strongest pro-DRM force in digial media. From the article: 'DRM is dying. It's a statement being echoed with increasing frequency around the Web over the last few weeks, and is perhaps best articulated in this Billboard article. But there's a powerful force standing in the way of this DRM-free panacea, and it might not be the one you expect: Apple, Inc.'"
Microsoft

Dark Cloud Over Good Works of Gates Foundation 325

theodp writes "Justice Eta, a Nigerian infant, has an ink spot on his tiny thumb to show he was immunized against polio and measles thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But Justice still faces respiratory trouble, which locals call 'the cough' and blame on fumes and soot spewing from 300-foot flames at a nearby oil plant owned by Itallian energy giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Part one of an L.A. Times investigation reports that the world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants aim to help. With the exception of tobacco companies, the foundation's asset managers do not avoid investments in firms whose activities conflict with the mission to do good."
Novell

Hubert Mantel Returns to Novell 68

Krondor writes "Hubert Mantel, SUSE Co-Founder, has confirmed in an interview with Data Manager Online that he has returned to employment with Novell. When asked why he left Novell to begin with, Hubert responded that he was 'burned out' and 'following unpleasant experiences with our investors needed some time off.' Slashdot had reported previously Hubert's departure from Novell approximately one year ago shortly following Novell's acquisition of SUSE and subsequent layoffs. Hubert also provides his opinions on the Novell-Microsoft Agreement, which he characterizes as 'a good thing.'"
Technology

Military Tech for Daily Life 234

PreacherTom writes "It is nothing new to see technology from military and governmental endeavors change daily life profoundly. One only has to look at the fruits of the space program (from computers to microwave ovens to Tang). New military gear is on the horizon that promises to do the same, including biosensors, bandages that clot blood using soundwaves, and the ubiquitous Swiss Army Pen."

Apple Gives In to Absurd Patent Claims 162

gottabeme writes Apple has settled with a small Oregon company that claimed patents on simple aspects of iTunes, such as sorting and searching tracks, copying tracks to media players, and just plain choosing a track to play." From the article: "In the 10-page suit, lawyers for Contois said that David Contois, the owner, conceived of and developed a computer interface for playing music on an internal or external computer-responsive music device, which he then exhibited at the 1995 COMDEX trade show and the 1996 NAMM music industry trade show. According to the suit, persons who were at the time employed by or later became employed by Apple were present at both trade shows and viewed Contois' software. The suit charged that Apple later 'copied' the invention and used the design ideas in the interface for iTunes."

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