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The Courts

Legal Troubles Continue To Mount For Diebold 115

dstates writes "The State of Maryland has filed a $8.5M claim against Premier Election Systems (previously known as Diebold), joining Ohio in seeking damages from the company. The claim alleges that election officials were forced to spend millions of dollars to address multiple security flaws in the machines. Previously, Diebold paid millions to settle a California lawsuit over security issues in their machines. The dispute comes as Maryland and Virginia prepare to scrap the touch screen electronic voting systems they bought after the 2000 presidential election. California, Florida, New Mexico, and Iowa have already switched to optical scanners, and voters in Pennsylvania are suing to prevent the use of paperless electronic voting systems in their state. Meanwhile, Artifex Software is suing Diebold for violations of the GPL covering the Ghostscript software technology used in the proprietary voting machines."

Amazon Kindle Endorsed By Oprah 197

Oprah Winfrey enthused about the Amazon Kindle on her show today — it's her "new favorite thing" — and had Jeff Bezos on to announce a $50-off offer good till Nov. 1. A plug on Oprah is ordinarily a sign that a product has crossed over into the mainstream. But her show's audience has been slipping lately, and it's unclear how many cash-strapped citizens will be willing to part with $309 (after the special offer) for a new techno-gadget, for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

Dell Colludes With RIAA, Disables Stereo Mix 377

RCTrucker7 writes with a link to a Maximum PC story, which begins: "Details of Dell's surreptitious collusion with RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) have emerged. Apparently, the computer manufacturer disabled the Stereo Mix/Mono Mix/Wave Out sound recording function on certain notebooks to assuage RIAA. The hardware functionality is being disabled without any prior notice and one blogger has even alleged that he was asked by Dell's customer support staff to [shell] out $99 if he desired the stereo mix option. Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to RIAA at the expense of their customers' satisfaction and disabled stereo mix without warning." (There are some workarounds posted in the comments of the linked article.)

Digital Media Archiving Challenges Hollywood 155

HarryCaul writes "Movies are moving to digital, but what about long-term archiving of the master source materials? Turns out it's harder for digital media than for contemporary analog. Data is being lost, and studios have to learn to cope. Phil Feiner of the AMPAS sci-tech division says when he worked on studio feature films he 'found missing frames or corrupted data on 40% of the data tapes that came in from digital intermediate houses' How to deal with it? Regular migration from old media to new media. Grover Crisp, says Sony has put in a program of migrating every two to three years. Other studios are following suit, but what about indie features? Will we lose films like we lost the originals of the 20s?"

Zune Sales Continue to Weaken 566

Dak RIT writes "Market share data for the first month of Microsoft's Zune sales is now available, and appears to confirm that after the initial hype, sales have fallen off dramatically. Microsoft came in fourth for sales during the month of November with only 1.9% of the market. Apple remained unchanged at 62.2%, and SanDisk even managed to increase to 18.4% (looks like the Zune might not even be able to compete with the rest of the market, let alone the iPod). The one surprise though is that the brown Zune is apparently not only being bought, but more popular than the white model."

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