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The Courts

Pirate Bay Day 3 — Defense Requests Dismissal 685

Hodejo1 writes "Yesterday was a big day for the Pirate Bay when half of the charges against them were dropped leaving only the lesser charges of assisting making copyrighted material available in place. TorrentFreak is following the English twitter feed of the trial in the wee hours of the night, documenting more missteps by the prosecution. 'The Pirate Bay trial is moving forward rapidly and again the day in court has ended early. On the third day the prosecution presented the amended charges. The defendants all called for acquittal while Carl Lundström's lawyer scored points with the already legendary "King Kong" defense.'"
Security

Microsoft Caves, Will Change UAC In Windows 7 249

CWmike writes "Reacting to intense criticism of an important security feature in Windows 7 (which we discussed a few days back), Microsoft today said it will change the behavior of User Account Control in Windows 7's release candidate. In a blog post, two Microsoft executives responsible for Windows development, John DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky, said 'We are going to deliver two changes to the Release Candidate that we'll all see. First, the UAC control panel will run in a high integrity process, which requires elevation. Second, changing the level of the UAC will also prompt for confirmation.' They said the changes were prompted by feedback from users, including comments on an earlier post Thursday by DeVaan in which he defended the modifications Microsoft made to UAC in Windows 7."
Government

Washington State Wants DNA From All Arrestees 570

An anonymous reader writes in to say that "Suspects arrested in cases as minor as shoplifting would have to give a DNA sample before they are even charged with a crime if a controversial proposal is approved by the Legislature. "It is good technology. It solves crimes," claims Don Pierce, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Under the bill, authorities would supposedly destroy samples and DNA profiles from people who weren't charged, were found not guilty or whose convictions were overturned. Others believe that this is just another step in the process to build a national DNA database with everyone in it."
Government

RIAA and BSA's Lawyers Taking Top Justice Posts 377

An anonymous reader writes "Following the appointment of RIAA's champion Donald Verrilli as associate deputy attorney general, here's a complete roundup of all the RIAA and BSA-linked lawyers comfortably seated at top posts at the Department of Justice by the new government. Not strange, since US VP Joe Biden is well known for pushing the copyright warmongers' agenda in Washington. Just in case you don't know, Verrilli is the nice man who sued the pants off Jammie Thomas."
Networking

All Korea To Have 1Gbps Broadband By 2012? 386

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that while 60 Mbps may be enough to get us excited in the US, Korea is making plans to set the bar much higher. The entire country is gearing up to have 1 Gbps service by 2012, or at least that is what the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is claiming. 'Currently, Koreans can get speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is still nearly double the speed of Charter's new 60 Mbps service. The new plan by the KCC will cost 34.1 trillion ($24.6 billion USD) over the next five years. The central government will put up 1.3 trillion won, with the remainder coming from private telecom operators. The project is also expected to create more than 120,000 jobs — a win for the Korean economy.'"
Cellphones

Apple Planning Video-Call iPhone 268

An anonymous reader writes "The recently awarded iPhone patent contains hidden claims which indicate Apple is planning to bring video calling and recording features to the iPhone, according to InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe. Buried within the 'embodiments' section of patent number 7,479,949 is this: 'In some embodiments, the functions may include telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, blogging, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing, and/or digital video playing.' Wolfe also cites language indicating Apple is aware that having a rear-facing camera is an impediment towards video calls (and also taking pictures of yourself.): 'In some embodiments, an optical sensor is located on the front of the device so that the user's image may be obtained for videoconferencing while the user views the other video conference participants on the touch screen display.' Screen caps of the patent drawing are also available."
Businesses

Making the "Free" Business Model Work In a Tough Economy 188

Randy Savage writes "With venture capital on hold and advertising revenue down, the WSJ discusses where online business models might go. 'Over the past decade, we have built a country-sized economy online where the default price is zero — nothing, nada, zip. Digital goods — from music and video to Wikipedia — can be produced and distributed at virtually no marginal cost, and so, by the laws of economics, price has gone the same way, to $0.00. For the Google Generation, the Internet is the land of the free. '"
Security

Security Hole In Windows 7 UAC 388

An anonymous reader writes "A prolific blogger is warning of a possible security hole in the latest beta version of Windows 7. Long Zheng has posted both a description and a proof of concept for an issue that could allow an attacker to skirt the User Account Control component in the new version of Windows. The problem, explains Zheng, is that UAC itself is controlled through system settings. This can allow an attacker to completely disable the protections without user notification. Zheng notes that the issue can be easily fixed by changing the UAC setting to notify users when Windows settings are altered, and that Microsoft could remedy the problem by prompting the user when the UAC setting is altered."
Privacy

More Claims From NSA Whistleblower Russell Tice 271

eldavojohn writes "Russell Tice, former NSA employee & whistleblower, has revealed yet more details claiming that wiretapping was combined with credit card data to target civilians. He also suggests the CEOs of major companies hold the truth: 'To get at what's really going on here, the CEOs of these telecom companies, and also of the banking and credit card companies, and any other company where you have big databases, those are the people you have to haul in to Congress and tell them you better tell the truth.' Will Congress follow his suggestions?" This adds to information revealed by Tice last week that the wiretaps targeted journalists in particular.
Robotics

Smart Robot Capable of Hunting For Its Own "Food" 191

coondoggie writes "Ok, maybe this is getting a little too close to bringing Terminator-like robots to life. For starters, eco-friendly engine builder Cyclone Power this week inked a contract from Robotic Technologies, Inc. (RTI) to develop what it calls a beta biomass engine system that will be the heart of RTI's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR). The purpose of EATR is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling — in other words it needs to 'eat.' According to researchers, the EATR system gets its energy by foraging, or what the firms describe as 'engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable.'" We can only hope they don't team up with the Multi-Robot Pursuit System project to "search for and detect a non-cooperative human."
Games

Simulating Emotions Within Games 47

Gamasutra is running an opinion piece about the way video games handle simulated emotions. Most often, an non-player character's emotional state is used to either tell a story or to drive gameplay. The author suggests that as both concepts become more complex in modern games, the simulation of emotions must also become more dynamic to remain interesting. Quoting: "Most of our emotional simulations use a simple sensation/calculation/behavior loop. Someone says or does something to a character; this influences his emotional state; he acts upon his feelings. His emotional state then reverts to a more neutral state over time (I was angry half an hour ago, but I've calmed down now), or changes again in response to another sensation. If these systems are really simple they produce absurd results: a character is furious one moment and cheerful a second later, like a Warner Brothers cartoon character. This is the kind of thing you get with finite state machines. This approach doesn't take into account the fact that behavior itself changes emotions. Behavior is not merely an output to be exhibited; it also affects how we feel. It feeds back into our emotional state."
PC Games (Games)

Fallout 3 DLC and Games For Windows Live Woes 121

A reader writes with news that the Operation Anchorage downloadable content for Fallout 3 has been released. Rock, Paper, Shotgun details the extensive difficulties encountered by users of Games for Windows Live while trying to locate and install the new content. This is the first in a series of three DLC releases, and they are exclusive to the PC and Xbox 360. The last, Broken Steel, will allow players to continue within the game once the main story is finished. Unfortunately, Bethesda apparently doesn't plan to patch that ability into the PS3 version.
Data Storage

WD's Monster 2TB Caviar Green Drive, Preview Test 454

MojoKid writes "Today Western Digital is announcing their WD20WEADS drive, otherwise known as the WD Caviar Green 2.0TB. With 32MB of onboard cache and special power management algorithms that balance spindle speed and transfer rates, the WD Caviar Green 2TB not only breaks the 2 terabyte barrier but also offers an extremely low-power profile in its standard 3.5" SATA footprint. Early testing shows it keeps pace with similar capacity drives from Seagate and Samsung."
PC Games (Games)

Windows 7 Gaming Performance Tested 179

Timmus writes "Gamers holding onto Windows XP may not have to fear sluggish performance when Windows 7 debuts. While Windows Vista's gaming performance was pretty spotty at launch, the Windows 7 beta build seems to handle most games well. Firingsquad has tested the Windows 7 beta against Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 on midrange and high-end gaming PCs across 7 different games. While the beta stumbles in a couple of cases, overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP, actually outrunning XP in multiple benchmarks."

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