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French Branch of Scientology Is Convicted of Fraud 622

The trial we discussed this spring has come to a verdict, and reader lugannerd was one of several to note a milestone in the fight against the Church of Scientology. "The French branch of the Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud and fined nearly $900,000 on Tuesday by a Paris court. But the judges did not ban the church entirely, as the prosecution had demanded, saying that a change in the law prevented such an action for fraud. The church said it would appeal. The verdict was among the most important in several years to involve the controversial group, which is registered as a religion in the United States but has no similar legal protection in France. It is considered a sect here, and says it has some 45,000 adherents, out of some 12 million worldwide. It was the first time here that the church itself had been tried and convicted, as opposed to individual members."

Submission + - Gizmodo serves malware and blames Linux and OS X (

JacobSteelsmith writes: The very popular, technology focused blog Gizmodo was apparently duped into serving advertisements offering 'scareware.' These advertisements notified users that their PC was infected with malware, and offered up 'antivirus' software. It's not clear whether this was a drive by installation or if it required user interaction.

In an apology, the author claims the staff would have noticed sooner 'except everyone on staff is on OS X or Linux for production machines.' They did not say whether AdBlock prevented them from seeing the advertisements, or they did not notice any installation prompts. The author says the advertisements only ran 'for a little while' and only 'a few people' should have been affected. The blog post warns to look for qegasysguard.exe if you are experiencing random popups.


Jack Thompson Facing Disbarment Trial 258

pwizard2 writes "Gamepolitics reports that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson faces the start of an ethics trial this morning, a process which could ultimately see him disbarred. The review board has set aside the entire week to hear details on the case. 'Over the weekend, Thompson turned to the Florida Supreme Court in an apparent effort to block this morning's trial from moving forward. In one court filing Thompson asserted that he was willing to accept a 90-day suspension of his license to practice law. The embattled attorney claimed that such an offer had been on the table, but that the Florida Bar was now seeking his permanent disbarment.'"

Submission + - The worst consumer tech in history (

An anonymous reader writes: CNet has named what they claim are the worst technology products in history. Probably the most controversial is the inclusion of Windows Vista which sits alongside the Sinclair C5, the Gizmondo and the Tamagotchi. "[Vista's] incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade, are just some examples of why this expensive operating system earns the final place in our terrible tech list."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - COD 4 price doubles on Steam for Australian gamers (

ginji writes: Activision has made Valve increase the price of Call of Duty 4 on Steam for Australian customers from USD49.95 (The same price US customers get it for) to USD88.50 saying that the original price was a mistake and it was supposed to be this the entire time.

For exactly the same content, delivered by exactly the same servers, at exactly the same cost to Activision, this price rise seems to be purely to make more money off the game through increased sales in brick and mortar stores, and those that are now stupid enough to buy it on Steam. The new price when converted into AUD, is above the recommended retail price of the physical media, and you don't get the manual or an actual DVD.

Portables (Games)

Submission + - Capcom's online store serves fans an Objection! (

An anonymous reader writes: Capcom recently released the third game in the Ace Attorney series, Trials and Tribulations. Several fans preordered the game through Capcom's store with the promise of receiving a free gift. On the game's release date, several people received notice that the game was backordered, and they would receive it "as soon as possible." It has now been over a month, with no game delivered. Who ever heard of a company's official store having none of its product?

Submission + - Amazon Gives Thanks for Joke of a Patent System

theodp writes: "By changing the word 'a' to 'the' and adding the phrase 'purchasable through a shopping cart model,' lawyers for have apparently managed to reinstate two of CEO Jeff Bezos' 1-Click Patent claims that were rejected a month earlier. 'Patent Owner's Rep was informed that the proposed addition to the claims appear to place the claims in condition of patentability,' writes the USPTO in its Ex Parte Reexamination Interview Summary of the 11-15 conference call that was held with five representatives of the USPTO and patent reformer Amazon."

Journal Journal: 90% of IT professionals don't want Vista 3

A survey by King Research has found that Ninety percent of IT professionals have concerns using Vista, with compatibility, stability and cost being their key reasons.

Interestingly, forty four percent of companies surveyed are considering switching to non-Windows operating systems, and nine percent of those have already started moving to their selected alternative.


Submission + - Critical .mdb flaw Found - Microsoft may Never fix ( 4

SkiifGeek writes: "When independent security researcher cocoruder found a critical bug with the JET engine, via the .mdb (Access) file format, he reported it to Microsoft, but Microsoft's response came as a surprise to him — it appears that Microsoft are not inclined to fix a critical arbitrary code execution vulnerability with a data technology that is at the heart of a large number of essential business and hobby applications.

Where should vendors be required to draw the line when supporting deprecated file formats and technology? In this case, leaving a serious vulnerability active in a deprecated technology could have serious effects if an exploit were to target it, but it is a matter of finding the right balance of security and usability such that Microsoft's users are not exposed to too great a danger for continuing to use Microsoft products."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - What to do with system that has only one error cod

Dotan Cohen writes: "The wife recently brought home some new hardware. It's mostly reliable, and kind of fun to play with, but it errs often. The problem is, gives the same error code for all faults. Sometimes in the middle of the night it will start erring with code "wawawa". Often, this means that it needs a recharge, and I pass it on to the wife. But I've discovered that the same error code could also mean that it needs a filter change. During the day, if left alone, the device seems to go into sleep mode after either some as-yet determined time, or possibly at a certain hour. If that fails, then it gives the same "wawawa" error code.

I've grepped for a log file, but I believe that it is devnulled with the filter change. Have any /.ers experience with similar devices? How to troubleshoot?"
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Halo 3 Packaging Scratches Discs (

An anonymous reader writes: All those hard-core gamers that lined up for 'Halo 3' are finding some of their games scratched. Apparently, the Special Limited-Edition packaging is scratching the disks. The Associated Press has the story. Microsoft already has a replacement form on their XBOX website.

Submission + - Microsoft to allow PC makers to downgrade to XP (

mytrip writes: "While Microsoft is still pushing Vista hard, the company is quietly allowing PC makers to offer a "downgrade" option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.

The program applies only to Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions, and it is up to PC makers to decide how, if at all, they want to make XP available. Fujitsu has been among the most aggressive, starting last month to include an XP disc in the box with its laptops and tablets.

"That's going to help out small- and medium-size businesses," Fujitsu marketing manager Brandon Farris told CNET"

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