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Submission + - U2 and Apple collaborate on non-piratable 'interactive format for music'

Squiff writes: U2 and Apple are apparently collaborating on a new, “interactive format for music”, due to launch in “about 18 months”. Bono spoke to Time about a new tech scheme which “can’t be pirated” and will reimagine the role of album artwork. Link to Guardian[] avoids Time[] paywall.


Comment Remember the original rationale for Flash (Score 2) 102

The BBC originally based their iPlayer software around windows media player and were heavily criticised at the time for using a solution that blocked non-windows platforms, including Apple, mobile and Linux. This was principally because they wanted to DRM all of the downloaded files in the interests of 'rights holders', i.e. BBC worldwide (their commercial arm). This includes automatically deleting files after a certain time from your computer amongst other things. They were ordered by the BBC commission (basically their governors) to come up with a cross-platform solution pronto and chose Flash as it covered a wide enough range of devices to get them off the hook in a hurry- bear in mind that iPlayer apps are also available for Windows Mobile; Symbian; Nintendo Wii; xBox 360; Sony PS3 etc. which can all use Flash. There have been third party solutions that made content accessible beautifully and they have all been removed due to pressure from the BBC due to 'concerns from rightsholders', i.e. sidestepping DRM. The issue is not with finding a cross-platform codec or software, the problem is the BBC wanting a cross-platform DRM in a diverse technology environment. This is why they are having to build and support all these different apps and are crapping it about Flash going away.

Submission + - Iranian nuclear facilities 'thunderstruck' by AC/DC virus (

Squiff writes: In news that's a bit more 'Rock On!' than 'James Bond' and following on from the much reported Stuxnet and recent Flame infections, we have news of a new infection where 'Iranian nuclear facilities have reportedly been attacked by a “music” virus, turning on lab PCs at night and blasting AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”.' This according to Russia Today piece citing a report made to F-Secure ( Anyone care to field Brian Johnson or another one of the gang for their take on this?

Comment Samsung have acknowledged concern (Score 1) 515

From Engadget 'official quote: "Samsung takes Mr. Hassan's claims very seriously. After learning of the original post this morning on, we launched an internal investigation into this issue. We will provide further information as soon as it is available."'

Comment GCstar (Score 1) 361

What about GCstar ? It is specifically a collection manager for things like books, comics and movies. I have a collection of 1500 movies indexed with it and it even lets you specify a location, e.g. your hard drives, from which to open the file. It is free and cross platform and I have used it successfully for several years. It would seem to cover all the criteria that you have listed

Comment Check out Hawala for a better alternative (Score 4, Interesting) 187

The elephant in the room here is the Hawala system ( quicker, far cheaper, no accounts getting suspended- as reflects it's origins as a money transfer system designed to work in a hostile environment without regulatory authorities. And it does work, has worked for centuries. The only brake is the media scare stories on 'Islamic terrorist banking'...
United Kingdom

Submission + - UK union boss proposes email tax (

Squiff writes: We've heard of initiatives like this before, but surely this one takes some beating: Hard left UK rail union leader Bob Crow has proposed a penny tax on every email in an effort to reduce the UK national debt. Despite his comments apparently being made on a comedy show, we understand that he was not joking. This may be a development of Mr Crow's proposal last year for a similar tax on SMS text messages ( which was quickly shown to be inadequate to address the size of the deficit. Maybe someone should tell him about UK uncut (

Submission + - A new file format that you can't print (

Squiff writes: The WWF have published a new file format, predictably with the extension .wwf that is (quote) 'a PDF that cannot be printed out. It's a simple way to avoid unnecessary printing' ( Some ( think that that this is more WTF than WWF and smacks of a different trio of letters- DRM- commenting that 'Predictably, the print industry is not remotely pleased.'. Some simply might not be able to comment at this point since the software is only provided for Windows and OS X. One might suppose that in the event that this did catch on, it would soon be followed by a burst of popularity for wwf editing and printing software. No mention of licensing in the FAQ....

Submission + - Is Nokia dropping Meego? (

An anonymous reader writes: An internal memo by Nokia's CEO seems to indicate that Nokia views Windows7 Mobile and Android as the only feasible alternatives.

Submission + - ACS:Law Told File-Sharing Case Must Continue (

An anonymous reader writes: A controversial law firm that sent letters to alleged illegal file sharers has been told it cannot drop its cases to "avoid public scrutiny". "I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court," said Judge Colin Birss at the Patents County Court in London.

The case stems from a letter-writing campaign by ACS:Law and its partner company MediaCAT, which sent an undisclosed number of notices to alleged file sharers demanding they pay a fine or face the prospect of costly legal action.


Submission + - Microsoft Says RIP Windows XP AutoRun (

aesoteric writes: Microsoft has finally decided to push out an update to disable AutoRun in its XP operating system, a Windows feature that had been increasingly exploited by virus writers over the years. But because Microsoft still sees AutoRun as a feature and not a security hole, it isn't calling its Windows Update a "security update" but rather an "Important, non-security update" — but it effectively disables the AutoRun feature anyway.

Submission + - Nokia losing faith in MeeGo (

jfruhlinger writes: MeeGo, a Linux-based mobile operating system, was supposed to be Nokia's way forward into the new world of advanced smartphones — but a recent memo from CEO Stephen Elop indicates that the company is losing faith in the open source OS, which has taken far too long to launch. Rumor has it that they've killed their first MeeGo phone before it launched, and that Elop — an ex-Microsoft exec — may be seeking to put Windows Phone 7 on Nokia handsets.

Submission + - Anonymous: 1- Media Industry Law Firm: 0 (

Squiff writes: A story here regarding a law firm's mishaps trying to extract fines from alleged file sharers in the UK under threat of court action. ACS Law has been covered on Slashdot a number of times previously ( In short a certain Andrew Crossley sent out threat letters to 30,000 alleged UK file sharers in November 2009. Last September his synonymous law firm attracted the attention of Anonymous by way of a DDOS attack and an unscheduled hosting of their entire email server archive on the pirate bay ( Now Judge Birss will not allow him to drop his 26 sample cases now before the court stating "I want to tell you that I am not happy. I am getting the impression with every twist and turn since I started looking at these cases that there is a desire to avoid any judicial scrutiny,". Barristers acting on behalf of the accused questioned whether an IP address — a number assigned to every device connecting to the internet — could be used to identify the person who downloaded illegal content. Judge Birss is expected to deliver his judgement on the case later in the week.

Comment Lush is not a typical 'cosmetics' store (Score 1) 109

They specialise in handmade soaps and seem to be in pretty much every high street in the UK- Example:,-0.154123&sspn=0.049163,0.154324&ie=UTF8&ll=51.518891,-0.2314&spn=0,0&z=13 You are more likely to get bath soap from them then eyeliner and you can smell the patchouli from one of their branches from quite a distance... Maybe their 'IT' team is in the same vein?

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