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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Responds To Windows Phone 7 Criticism (ibtimes.com)

gabbo529 writes: "Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows Phone program management, took time at MIX 2011 to try and apologize for some of the earlier struggles Windows Phone 7 users had when trying to update their OS. He said there was an issue with the phone manufacturer adding software to the phone; something Microsoft hadn't anticipated."

Submission + - Gun with Wireless Arming Signal Goes on Sale Soon (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Armatix has built a pistol that will disarm itself when it is taken away from a watch that sends it a wireless arming signal. The 22 caliber guns will go on sale in the US within months, and the initial price is 7,000 euro. Higher caliber models will follow. To activate the gun, users must enter a pin code on the wristwatch, and then keep it within roughly 20cm of the gun. If the person is disarmed, the gun can't be used against them. Also coming soon this year, civilians will also be able to buy three-shot Tasers, rubber bullets, as well as Heckler and Koch black rifles.
Businesses

Facebook Photos Lead To Cancellation of Quebec Woman's Insurance 645

No. 24601 writes "A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave, due to a diagnosis of depression, lost her health benefits after her insurance provider found photos of her on Facebook smiling and looking cheerful at parties and out on the beach. Besides all the obvious questions, how did the insurance company access her locked Facebook profile?"
Announcements

Submission + - Human sperm produced in the laboratory (bbc.co.uk) 1

duh P3rf3ss3r writes: The BBC is carrying a report from a team of researchers at Newcastle University who claim to have developed the first "artificial" human sperm from stem cells. The research, reported in the journal Stem Cells and Development involved selecting meristematic germ cells from a human embryonic stem cell culture and inducing meiosis, thus producing a haploid gamete. The authors claim that the resulting sperm are fully formed, mature, human sperm cells but the announcement has been greeted with mixed reaction from colleagues who claim the procedure is ethically questionable and that the gametes produced are of inferior levels of maturation.
Music

Submission + - Pandora no longer completely free

AbyssWyrm writes: Today, I received an email (alternatively, see the blog) from Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, informing me that Pandora will no longer free for all users. Instead, it will be really cheap — for those with a free account, there will be a cap of 40 hours per month, and a user may pay a one-time fee of $0.99 to resume listening to music unlimited for a month. According to the blog entry, this will affect the top 10% of listeners.

Certainly not a bad deal considering the price, and I suspect that Pandora is one of few free internet resources whose users are loyal enough to pay a small fee to keep it afloat. Hopefully this does not become a slippery slope.

Feed Engadget: Official: Vista SP1 released to manufacturing -- headed your way (engadget.com)

Filed under: Desktops, Laptops

We've been hearing rumors all morning that Microsoft would release Vista SP1 this week. Now, according to Reuters, Microsoft has just sent Vista SP1 to manufacturing. In a presentation to investors, Steve Ballmer also said that Microsoft has released Windows Server 2008 to manufacturing but won't formally launch until February 27th. Now we're just waiting for the SP1 download link and/or Windows Update package. Twiddle, twiddle... ah hell, we'll just update this post when we get it.

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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Spore available for pre-order (amazon.com)

The Iso writes: Will Wright's long awaited game Spore can now be pre-ordered from Amazon.com. The release date is 2008-03-03, so all you "next Duke Nukem Forever" jokers can help yourselves to an ample serving of humble pie.

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