Deep Thought writes: Texas Instruments, already infamous thanks to the signing key controversy last year, is trying a new trick to lock down its graphing calculators, this time directed toward its newest TI-Nspire line. The TI-Nspires were already the most controlled of TI's various calculator models, and no third-party development of any kind (except for its very limited form of TI-BASIC) was allowed until the release of the independent tool Ndless. Since its release, TI has been determined to prevent the large calculator programming community from using it. Its latest released operating system for the Nspire family (version 2.1) now prevents the calculators from downgrading to OS 1.1, needed to run Ndless. This is the TI's second major attack on Ndless, as the company has already demanded that websites posting the required OS 1.1 be removed from public download, obviously to prevent use of the tool. Once again, TI is preventing calculator hobbyists from running their own software on calculators they bought and paid for. Is TI going the way Apple did?
Hugh Pickens writes: "In hearings before Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that airlines reported revenue of $7.9 billion from baggage fees and reservation change and cancellation fees in calendar years 2008 and 2009, fees on unbundled services that once were considered part of the ticket price and witnesses from the GAO, the Department of Transportation and associations for air travel and travel agents all urged the government to require uniform pricing information from airlines to help consumers make easy comparisons. "We believe that the proliferation of these fees and the manner in which they are presented to the traveling public can be confusing and in some cases misleading," says Robert Rivkin, the Department of Transportation's general counsel. Published fares used by consumers to choose flights don't "clearly represent the cost of travel when these services are added." However, Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ben Baldanza defended the practice of unbundling, saying it allows his airline to charge lower fares (PDF) and allows the customers the choice to purchase the services or not. "Carrying more than one bag is not necessary for all travelers and we believe it is unfair to charge those customers for extra services they do not use," testified Baldanza adding that bag fees have led customers to pack less reducing total baggage on flights, lowering airline's operating costs and resulting in fewer lost or damaged bags."
UgLyPuNk writes: Video game production is in a slump, the world’s struggling with the tail-end of the Global Financial Crisis, and Activision Blizzard has spent more than US$100 million developing StarCraft II.
The sequel’s been 12 years coming, and expectations are understandably high, with analysts predicting several million units will be sold this year alone – comfortably padding Activision‘s wallet.