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Media

Remote Kill Flags Surface In Kindle 630

PL/SQL Guy writes "The Kindle has a number of 'remote kill' flags built in to the hardware that, among other things, allow the text-to-speech function to be disabled at any time on a book-by-book basis. 'Beginning yesterday, Random House Publishers began to disable text-to-speech remotely. The TTS function has apparently been remotely disabled in over 40 works so far.' But what no one at Amazon will discuss is what other flags are lurking in the Kindle format: is there a 'read only once' flag? A 'no turning the pages backwards' flag?"
Windows

Windows 7 Starter Edition — 3 Apps Only 695

CrustyFace writes "Cybernit reports that the Starter Edition version of Windows 7 will only allow the user to run 3 applications at once. Targeted at notebooks, this doesn't seem like such a bad limitation, however it is a bold move from Microsoft, and it will be interesting to see how the operating system sells."
United States

Obamas Give Queen Elizabeth an iPod 649

Ponca City, We love you writes "What did the Obamas give Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday when they arrived at Buckingham Palace? An Obama aide reported the queen was given an iPod loaded with video and photos of her 2007 trip to the United States, as well as songs and accessories. She also received a rare songbook signed by the composer Richard Rodgers. The gift issue had come up after Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the White House last month. Mr. Brown gave Mr. Obama a pen holder carved from the timber of an anti-slave ship, receiving in return a DVD box set of American movies, igniting a torrent of criticism in the British press. According to news reports, the queen gave the Obamas a silver-framed signed photograph — a gift she gives to all visiting dignitaries."
Government

Diebold Admits Flaw In Voting Software 281

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "At a public hearing in California, Diebold's western region manager has admitted that the audit log system on current versions of Premier Election Solutions' (formerly Diebold's) electronic voting and tabulating systems — used in some 34 states across the nation — fails to record the wholesale deletion of ballots, even when ballots are deleted on the same day as an election. An election system's audit logs are meant to record all activity during the system's actual counting of ballots, so that later examiners may determine, with certainty, whether any fraudulent or mistaken activity had occurred during the count. Diebold's software fails to do that, as has recently been discovered by Election Integrity advocates in Humboldt County, CA, and then confirmed by the CA Secretary of State. The flaws, built into the system for more than a decade, are in serious violation of federal voting system certification standards."
Windows

UK Greens Declare Vista Bad For Environment 290

schwaang writes "The UK Green Party says that Vista's DRM requirements will force many unnecessary hardware upgrades. Quoting: 'There will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards, and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista — except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use. That's an offensive cost to the environment. Future archaeologists will be able to identify a "Vista Upgrade Layer" when they go through our landfill sites.'"
Windows

Professor Michael Geist on Vista's Fine Print 314

Russell McOrmond writes "With Microsoft's Vista set to hit stores tomorrow, Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) looks at the legal and technical fine print behind the operating system upgrade. The article notes that in the name of shielding consumers from computer viruses and protecting copyright owners from potential infringement, Vista seemingly wrestles control of the "user experience" from the user. If you are a Canadian and think that the owner of computers should be in control of what they own, rather than some third party (whether virus authors or the manufacturer/maker), then please sign our Petition to protect Information Technology property rights."

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