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Submission + - Open Source coding as a Charitable Tax Deduction

An anonymous reader writes: Here's my Ask Slashdot (no links to my blog or homepage, as I don't want my server to die):

Speaking for U.S. tax law only, there is something called an "in-kind contribution of professional services." This allows people with particular skills to perform a service (design, coding, carpentry, etc.) for a registered not-for-profit, receive a letter from the NFP stating the market value of the service provided, then itemize that value in the charitable donations section of their Federal income tax return. Is there any reason why coders on open source projects who choose to donate their personal copyright (i.e., their coding) to the main project (as long as it is a registered non-profit) couldn't claim a tax deduction for a gift of in-kind professional services? If so, this could provide a measure of compensation to open source coders.

Submission + - Is SMS message content stored by US telcos? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Does anyone know if US telcos store the content of SMS/text messages? Can it be retrieved for evidence in legal matters? Both the source and recipient are T-Mobile subscribers.

Submission + - $10 AT&T DSL - Success! (rizzn.com) 1

Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins writes: "I finally was able to get a hold of the $10 DSL from AT&T that was talked about everywhere about a month ago, and live blogged the whole process as well as the results (and how-to). It's been a two week long process getting it jumping through AT&T's hoops, but I distilled it down to a quick and easy guide where people can get signed up from scratch in less than a week or so. The most interesting but yet not surprising discovery during the process? That if you mention on the phone that you're after the $10 DSL deal, you are scads less likely to get the answer you're looking for. The bottom line is that with the $1 of taxes and tariffs and the $7 for the land line, it comes out to right at $18 a month total."

Submission + - Putting Piracy in Perspective

An anonymous reader writes: Over the past year, Slashdot has pointed to many industry claims and governmental pressure (here, here, and here) arguing that Canada as a piracy haven. Canadian law prof Michael Geist has produced Putting Canadian "Piracy" in Perspective, a video that demonstrates how the claims are hugely exaggerated. For example, it shows how despite the MPAA's claim of movie piracy, Canada was the industry's fastest growing market last year. Similarly, while the recording industry says Canada is the world's top P2P country, the data shows that the Canadian music industry is experiencing record gains and that most of the decline from the major labels is due to retail pricing pressures.
The Internet

Submission + - Morality and Domain Ownership (holyjuan.com) 3

HolyJuan writes: "I got laid off a few weeks ago. A year ago, when I still had a job, I mentioned to my boss that our company should buy its "actual" domain name. His current domain name was shortened version of the company name. He thought that was a great idea and would think about it. I sent him reminder e-mails. I talked to him again in person. Nothing came of it. So I bought it myself and politely forwarded the traffic to the company's webpage. Now they have laid me off and I'm wondering what I should do with the domain. http://www.holyjuan.com/2007/07/i-own-my-ex-compan ys-domain-name-what.html"

Submission + - New Web Exploit at 1,000 Machines and Growing (trendmicro.com)

JoergVader writes: Trend Micro has been receiving several reports of a new batch of hacked Italian Web sites that trigger a series of malware downloads once a user visits them. These infection series begin with a malicious IFRAME tag. Trend Micro detects Web pages hosting the said malicious tag as HTML_IFRAME.CU. All the compromised sites are hosted in Italy and, to date, Trend Micro identifies 1,174 affected Web sites.

Submission + - A good mobile phone with no camera?

SuperG writes: It seems like every mobile phone out there has a camera on it these days. The only ones without cameras are low-end models with poor battery life, poor reception, and minimal features. And low-end means the cool factor is nonexistent as well. I often visit facilities where phones with cameras are not allowed, so I end up being incommunicado with my current camera phone. Is there a good (in terms of battery life, call quality, build quality, and style points) phone without a camera out there in the US market?

Submission + - Myspace eliminates "Gay" option

ishboo writes: "Just recently myspace abolished the option to select "Gay" as a sexual preference in your profile while still leaving bi and lesbian. This comes form chairman of News Corps. (Myspace's parent company) Rupert Murdoch who made this choice based on "Personal Family Values" who has a history of being accused of being homophobic. http://rawstory.com/news/2007/MySpace_deletes_abil ity_of_users_to_0503.html"

Submission + - Wikipedia admins go on rampage

joeszilagyi writes: After their passwords got cracked: At least four different Wikipedia administrators have had their weak passwords taken in the past 24 hours. They deleted the home page repeatedly, and one person even put Tubgirl on the "Site notice", which is a global header for all of en.wikipedia.org. How did it happen? Weak logon security measures — there is no CAPTCHA; crappy passwords, and on top of that, while there is an encrypted SSL logon page, it's hard to find. The scariest thing is that people with passwords of "password" are entrusted as sysops and administrators on one of the Top 10 websites on Earth. They even blocked Jimbo Wales repeatedly from his own website!

Submission + - Nanotech tablecloth that charges your laptop

moscowde writes: Research scientists at the University of Tokyo have come up with a unique sheet-like material that can transmit electrical energy over a large area to nearby devices without the need for direct contact, so it can be made into a tablecloth or wallpaper and your appliance can be anywhere on a surface to get charged. The system uses organic molecules as transistors, microelectromechanical switches, and miniature copper coils to transmit energy using electromagnetic induction. http://www.justchromatography.com/general/world-wi thout-wires

Submission + - Business 2.0 forgot backups, looses its June issue

Trevor Linton writes: "From an article on IHT, "Business 2.0, the technology-aware magazine published by Time, periodically reminds readers of the importance of backing up computer files. A 2003 article likened backups to flossing — everyone knows it's important, but few devote enough thought or energy to it. Last week, Business 2.0 got caught forgetting to floss. On the night of Monday, April 23, the magazine's editorial system crashed, wiping out all the work that had been done for its June issue. The backup server failed to back up.""

Submission + - Google adds 'Compose Mail' feature to Gmail gadget

mnath77 writes: "I just noticed that Google has added 'Compose Mail' feature on the Gmail gadget on Google personalized pages. This is a nice feature to compose mail directly from the personalized page instead of going to gmail and then compose."

Submission + - Single human gene gives mice tri-color vision

maynard writes: "Scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute working in collaboration have published a study in the peer reviewed journal Science showing that mice transgenetically altered with a single human gene are then able to see in full tri-color vision. Mice without this alteration are normally colorblind. The scientists speculate that even mammalian brains from animals that have never evolved color vision are flexible enough to interpret new color sense information with just a simple addition of new photoreceptors. Such a result is also indicated by a dominant X chromosome mutation that allows for quad-color vision in some women. From the article:

The experiments were designed to determine whether the brains of the genetically altered mice could efficiently process sensory information from the new photoreceptors in their eyes. Among mammals, this more complex type of color vision has only been observed in primates, and therefore the brains of mice did not need to evolve to make these discriminations.

The new abilities of the genetically engineered mice indicate that the mammalian brain possesses a flexibility that permits a nearly instantaneous upgrade in the complexity of color vision, say the study's senior authors, Gerald Jacobs and Jeremy Nathans.

Submission + - Flixster Grabbing Users' AOL and Gmail Passwords

Talaria writes: The social networking movie review site Flixster is grabbing their users' AOL, Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail passwords, and using them to access their users' address books and send "invitations" to join Flixster to everyone in the address book, making it appear to be from the user. The password prompt screen looks very compelling, and even includes the ISP's logo right next to the password prompt. Rather than hiding this little "feature", Flixster brags about it in an interview following their receiving $2million in venture funding earlier this year.

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]