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Idle

Nigerian Spammers Up the Ante 7

It seems the Nigerian spammers have learned you can't always kill them with kindness. Now they just threaten to kill you. A woman in St. Louis received a mail that said, in part, "Am very sorry for you my friend, is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply. ... I don't have any business with you, my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL/ASSASINATE you and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that. Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your life, If you are not ready for my help, then I will carry on with my job straight-up."
Communications

Submission + - Canadian Class-action Cellphone Suit Is Approved (msn.ctv.ca) 2

BeanBunny writes: A Saskatchewan, Canada court has ruled that a $12 billion class-action suit can proceed. The suit alleges that "system access fees" that the cellphone companies have charged ($7-9 per month) are unfair and constitute price gouging. From the article: "It is described as the largest class-action in Canadian history, potentially affecting every cellphone user in the country. Currently, there are 7,500 complainants signed onto the suit."
Music

Submission + - Trent Reznor Says "Steal My Music" (youtube.com)

THX-1138 writes: A few months ago, Trent Reznor (frontman of the band Nine Inch Nails), was in Australia doing an interview when he commented on the outrageous prices of CDs there. Apparently now his label, Universal Media Group is angry at him for having said that. During a concert last night , he told this to fans, "...Has anyone seen the price come down? Okay, well, you know what that means — STEAL IT. Steal away. Steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'. Because one way or another these mother**** will get it through their head that they're ripping people off and that that's not right."

The YouTube link contains a video recorded by a fan that shows his full speech during the concert.

Mozilla

Submission + - Firefox poster generated from Source Code

An anonymous reader writes: This is very impressive. It's a huge poster of the Firefox logo, composed out of the Mozilla Firefox source code. The full-size PDF file is also available.
Biotech

Submission + - Nobel Laureate Craig Mello ignored by President (xconomy.com)

Andrew Koyfman writes: "Craig Mello won the Nobel Prize for RNAi last November. One of the first thing he did was to write two letters advocating more RNAi research funding by the government. He shared the letters with Xconomy. One letter went to George Bush , remains unanswered. The second letter was to Massachussetts Governor Patrick brought $1 billion in state funding for life sciences. Looks like winning the Nobel Prize is not enough to get the Whitehouse to pay any attention to you."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - IGN Leaks Bioshock, Sends threatening letters (kotaku.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IGN Entertainment(a subsidiary of News Corp) accidentally allowed pre-order customers of their service direct2drive preload, activate and thus play copies of the hotly anticipate PC-game Bioshock(due out today) this past Sunday. Because D2D isn't encrypted, anyone who had preloaded it basically had the game sitting on their harddrive, waiting for their activation keys and for the activation servers to go live. When they did, word spread, and people started buying D2D copies of bioshock to get activation keys(viewable from your purchase window or sent to you via e-mail).

Upon realizing their mistake, they cut off the preload downloads. The file was set to restrict to their download client only and could not be downloaded because it reported itself as 15EB. Anyone who went to this site(google cache, 2nd result on google for "direct2drive bioshock preload") Sunday evening and began downloading the preload, was awoken this morning by a rather pleasant e-mail. Searching for that download was disabled around the same time(you can no longer find that particular one via fileplanet search).

That letter was sent to people who *paid* for their copy of the game, mind you, and whose only crime was attempting to preload it. I can personally assure you that an activation attempt was not required to recieve one, as I recieved one, and all I did was attempt to preload the thing.

Some kotaku users paint this as a bit of an exploit in "l33t" hackerdom, in one case characterizing it as breaking into a store to grab your preordered and already paid-for copy. In actuality all you had to do was go to fileplanet, click search, and type in bioshock(or go to google and type bioshock direct2drive preload). The "security" was not linking to it off your order page, and the "exploit" was using their own site's search or google. The result was the preload(which had been reported on, to keep D2D even with steam). Alternatively you could get there by someone sending you a fileplanet link.

Is my understanding of this flawed, or is IGN asserting copyrights they don't possess, and attempting to enforce a TOS/contract that would be violated by using their service via a rather unpleasant e-mail?

Networking

Submission + - dreamhost down for 20 hours, support site DOS

An anonymous reader writes: dreamhost (www.dreamhost.com) has suffered a major failure, one of several in the last week. the current outage has lasted 20 hours as of this posting and affects thousands of domains. according to dreamhost, their support site is also down due to an ongoing DOS attack. users on the dreamhost message boards are of course loudly complaing, but perhaps the single strongest factor in driving the massive exodus of hosting customers is the company's inexplicable handling (or lack thereof) of the crisis. there is a near-complete lack of progress updates or other information. this is an example of how not to run a business.
Music

Submission + - Unforgiven: Metallica sues Red Octane, Activision, (qj.net) 1

antek9 writes: Remember Metallica? Those hairy guys that wanted to sue everyone who obtained their music minus an appropriate license? They're at it again, suing even those video game makers who legitimately licensed their music for music-centered franchises.

From the article: "[...] the counsel for Red Octane and Activision had this to say:
Our company paid a licensing fee to feature the track 'One' by Metallica in Guitar Hero III. We don't understand why Metallica would turn around and sue us, unless they've gone from insane to completely batshit insane since 2001, but we're confident that the law and our contracts will be enough to have this thrown out.

Metallica's counsel, on the other hand, explained that the band is fearful that album sales will decline because consumers can easily get hold of their songs just by purchasing video game titles. The lawyer added, "The band learned its lesson the hard way with file sharing in the late 90s. This time they want to do a pre-emptive strike before the music gets out there"."

Any lawyer using the expression 'batshit insane' is a good lawyer by default, so this should be fun.

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