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Submission + - Pay for your own tea and coffee, IBM tells staff

Stony Stevenson writes: FREE tea and coffee are necessities in an office, but if new cost-cutting measures get the nod at IBM, staff will be paying for their own. IBM worldwide has begun cost cuts that will scrap office amenities such as tea and coffee, and even company-funded home internet access, as the IT services giant battles the effects of the global financial crisis. From May 1, IBM will cease to reimburse internet access for staff working from home. Direct-pay corporate managed and contracted home internet services will also be scrapped.

Google Pulls Map Images At Pentagon's Request 217

Stony Stevenson alerts us to a little mixup in which a Google Street View crew requested and was granted access to a US military base. Images from inside the base (which was not identified in press reports) showed up online, and the Pentagon requested that they be pulled. Google complied within 24 hours. The military has now issued a blanket order to deny such photography requests in the future; for its part Google says the filming crew should never have asked.

New Lock Aims To End Chip Piracy 312

Stony Stevenson writes "Pirated microchips based on stolen blueprints could soon be a thing of the past thanks to computer engineers at Rice University and the University of Michigan. The engineers have devised a way to head off this costly infringement by giving each chip its own unique lock and key. The patent holder would hold the keys, and the chip would securely communicate with the patent holder to unlock itself. The chip could operate only after being unlocked. The Ending Piracy of Integrated Circuits (Epic) technique relies on established cryptography methods, and introduces subtle changes into the chip design process without affecting performance or power consumption. With Epic protection enabled, each integrated circuit would be manufactured with a few extra switches that behave like a combination lock."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Survey finds Apple users have sense of superiority

Stony Stevenson writes: Mac users are more likely to be open minded and liberal than the rest of the population, according to research conducted at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week. Mindset Media, which operates an online ad network that targets people with the personality traits that fit its clients' brands, has released a Mindset Profile of Mac users. The survey of 7,500 users revealed that people who are highly open minded or, in Mindset Media parlance 'Openness 5s', are 60 percent more likely than the general population to have purchased a Mac. These purchasers are also more liberal, less modest and "more assured of their own superiority than the population at large", the company said.
The Courts

Submission + - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, GoDaddy subpoenaed

Stony Stevenson writes: Grisoft has filed subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Internet domain registrar GoDaddy. The antivirus company is seeking the identities of search advertisers responsible for fraudulently promoting AVG antivirus products through sponsored text ads. It is also seeking domain registration information associated with these search advertisers in order to identify those behind the sites selling counterfeit AVG software.

Submission + - Intel admits defeat with Viiv

Stony Stevenson writes: Intel is set to roll back its Viiv brand, bringing an end to Viiv label PCs and limiting the platform to a sub-brand of Intel CPUs. Starting in 2008, the brand will become 'Intel Core 2 with Viiv'. Some analysts blamed the rise of sites such as YouTube and Facebook for turning consumers off of media-centric PCs.

Submission + - Turn in a software pirate, collect $500 1

Stony Stevenson writes: The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is offering consumers up to $500 for reporting software counterfeiters who sell their goods on online auction sites like eBay. Under the plan, anyone who unwittingly buys fake software from an online fraudster can receive up to $500 if they report the scam. SIIA said the program is a "don't get mad, get even" approach to stopping software piracy. It's "a way for unsuspecting buyers to get even with auction sellers who rip them off," said SIIA VP Keith Kupferschmid. The campaign, launched December 13, is slated to run through January 30, 2008.

Submission + - OpenOffice online now available for beta testing

Stony Stevenson writes: In the latest challenge to Microsoft's dominance of the productivity software market, a group of Linux developers has begun testing an online version of a free office applications suite. Developers at online software provider Ulteo said in a message posted on their Web site site that a hosted version of 2.3 that they plan to offer is now available for public beta testing. The trial version of the software can be launched from within Ulteo's Online Desktop package, which is itself currently in beta testing. The Ulteo Online Desktop aims to offer users a range of open source, Web-based applications and services. The project is led by Mandriva Linux creator Gael Duval.

Submission + - FireWire spec to boost data speeds to 3.2 Gbps 1

Stony Stevenson writes: A new set of specs for data transfer technology will quadruple top speeds to 3.2 Gbps. Formally known as IEEE 1394, the technology is called FireWire by Apple and i.LINK by Sony. The new version is called S3200 and builds on the earlier specification approved by the IEEE, according to the trade association that is preparing to unveil the details this week. The technology will be able to use existing FireWire 800 cables and connectors while delivering a major boost in performance. "It will probably go into storage products first," said 1394 Trade Association spokesman Richard Davies in an e-mail Wednesday. "It should turn up in set-top boxes and maybe Blue-ray devices, too. It's too soon to tell how fast consumer electronics makers might adopt it."
The Internet

Submission + - Google keeps what erases

Stony Stevenson writes: This week launched its new AskEraser program to eliminate a users' IP addresses, user IDs, session ID cookies, and the complete text of search queries if users ask for it. In some cases, however, gone from an server does not mean gone for good. AskEraser may remove user search query data from's servers, but deleted data may live on, in part at least, on Google's servers. That's because Google delivers the bulk of the ads on, based on information provided by Ask..

"We pass information to Google, including the IP address and the search query, in order to get search results on the site," explained Doug Leeds, senior VP at Ask. Google uses that data to fight click fraud and to present contextually relevant ads. It may well use the information for other purposes, such as measuring the responsiveness of its systems. However, Leeds said he could not disclose the specifics of the contractual relationship between Ask and Google.

Submission + - US whistleblower's details exposed on the web

Stony Stevenson writes: A US court had ordered that the personal details of a Californian man be removed from the web, ruling that the information was posted online in retaliation for him blowing the whistle on a bankruptcy fraud case. Within weeks of notifying authorities of what he believed to be bankruptcy fraud, Glenn Hagele, of Sacramento California, learned that archived government documents with his private identity information were being published on the internet. In a civil lawsuit, Hagele alleges Lauranell Burch, a staff scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH), used secure government computer resources to manage and hide ownership of the websites controlled through a Thailand intermediary. Hagele, who is founder of the Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance, said: "My name, date of birth, driver's licence number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, samples of my signature, and worst of all, my Social Security number, were on the internet for anyone to see."

Submission + - Microsoft files 52 lawsuits against global pirates

Stony Stevenson writes: As part of its effort to crackdown on the use of illegally copied software, Microsoft has filed 52 lawsuits against businesses and individuals around the world for using illegitimate versions of its Windows, Office, and other products. The company also referred 22 additional cases to local law enforcement authorities in foreign countries, Microsoft said Monday. Of the lawsuits filed, 15 involved software that's been traced to a Chinese syndicate that Microsoft said is the world's largest ring of counterfeiters. The gang was busted earlier this year through a joint effort involving Chinese authorities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Microsoft. Microsoft estimates that counterfeiting costs the software industry about $40 billion per year worldwide.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Apple Leopard users hit with 'weird green flashes'

Stony Stevenson writes: Computer users are suffering from a rainbow of problems. Beyond the well-known "blue screen of death" that's long afflicted Microsoft Windows, reports emerged earlier this week that Vista has a tendency to display a purple variant. Now, Apple Leopard users say their systems have taken to randomly flashing the colour green.

A poster to Apple's support forum named "Matthew Hickey1" recently reported that his Leopard-based PowerBook displays the green flashes whenever he tries to close applications. Numerous follow-up posts indicate that the problem isn't unique to Hickey's machine. Other users of Leopard say they've experienced the weird green flashes. Some users suspect that the glitch may be due to graphics card manufacturers not having properly tweaked their drivers to run with Leopard, which has been on the market for less than two months.

Submission + - Iran builds supercomputer from banned AMD parts 2

Stony Stevenson writes: Iranian scientists claim to have used 216 microprocessors made by AMD to build the country's most powerful supercomputer, despite a ban on the export of U.S. computer equipment to the Middle Eastern nation. Scientists at the Iranian High Performance Computing Research Center at the country's Amirkabir University of Technology said they used a Linux-cluster architecture in building the system of Opteron processors. The supercomputer has a theoretical peak performance of 860 giga-flops, the posting said. The disclosure, made in an undated posting on Amirkabir's Web site, brought an immediate response Monday from AMD, which said it has never authorized shipments of products either directly or indirectly to Iran or any other embargoed country.

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