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Comment Cue Sony Parallels (Score 2, Insightful) 201

What does SEARS need with this info? Honestly, this just smells bad. I won't call them evil just yet but this is pretty serious from a privacy POV.

Also, isn't it about time we push for a law that makes these privacy agreements shorter and in english (not legalese). One thing I like about CC is that they have a layman's terms version of all their licenses as well as the legalese ones. Not only would people be more likely to read them but it makes it hard for companies to bury important info several pages deep.

I realize that the layman's version would be long as heck but it's better then nothing (and people would STILL be more likely to read it since they can understand it without thinking to hard).

United States

Submission + - BBC: Ubuntu on Dell laptops

Asok writes: BBC reports that Dell has officially chosen Ubuntu to be the linux flavor on high end Dell laptops. The compatibilty will be ensured by London based Canonical. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6610901.stm. From the article: "Dell are going to work with us to make sure Ubuntu works fully on its hardware," said Chris Kenyon, Ubuntu's director of business development. "For us it is a strong endorsement of Ubuntu and the unique support model we provide," he told the BBC. Dell has not yet confirmed which computers it will sell with Ubuntu pre-installed, only to say that it would offer Ubuntu 7.04 as an option on select consumer models in the United States in the coming weeks Reports on internet bulletin boards suggest that Dell will offer Ubuntu on an e-series Dimension desktop, a high-performance XPS desktop, and an e-series Inspiron laptop.

VeriSign To Offer Passwords On Bank Card 158

Billosaur writes "Imagine the PayPal security tool embedded on a credit card. VeriSign is announcing that a deal is in the works to provide credit cards with one-time-use passwords. By placing the technology directly on the card, it becomes more convenient and provides an extra layer of security for online credit-card transactions. A cardholder would type in their information as normal and then would be prompted to enter the passcode displayed on the card. This means a user would need to have the physical card in hand in order to use it, thus thwarting identity thieves who steal credit card information but do not possess the card itself. VeriSign said it expects to announce a major bank using its cards in May."

Submission + - Ardour 2.0 Released

Provataki writes: Ardour 2.0, the powerful digital audio workstation, is out. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video soundtracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound. Ardour capabilities include: multichannel recording, non-destructive editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a powerful mixer, unlimited tracks/busses/plugins, timecode synchronization, and hardware control from surfaces like the Mackie Control Universal. If you've been looking for a tool similar to ProTools, Nuendo, Pyramix, or Sequoia, you might have found it. And it's all free under the GPL. The new version also includes a Mac OS X universal package in addition to Linux/Unix support.

Submission + - Nintendo and the myth of console shortages

An anonymous reader writes: Chi Kong Lui of GameCritics.com writes:

"The point of business is to make money and it more or less boils down to a numbers game. Sell as many products as you can for the highest price the market will accept. From the perspective of a business owner/investor/stockholder, having media "buzz" and hype is gravy, but the idea that Nintendo would sacrifice substantial amounts of profit and market share in exchange for media "buzz" is foolish."
Read the rest of his blog here.
United States

Submission + - Who's the best 2008 candidate for cyber security?

Luke writes: "We've all seen their web site rankings, and we know that McCain's already disqualified, but which candidate has the best record in terms of cyber security? The war on terror rages in the Middle East, but I haven't heard much about steps the government has taken to guard against cyber terrorism (which many believe has the potential to be the most deadly form). What cyber security obligations should be felt by the US Government, and which candidate is the most qualified to make sure those obligations are met?"

Submission + - Music Decoded from 600 Year Old Engravings

RulerOf writes: Musicians recently unlocked a 600 year old mystery that had been encoded into the walls of the Rosslyn Chapel that was featured in "The Da Vinci Code." The song was carved into the walls of the chapel not using traditional notes, but in the form of geometric shapes known as cymatics, or Chladni patterns. After the entire song was decoded, it was set to traditional lyrics and recorded, and can be heard in a video featured here, at the musicians' website. The video also gives a visual representation of how the engravings match up to the cymatic patterns.

From the article:

"The music has been frozen in time by symbolism...They are of such exquisite detail and so beautiful that we thought there must be a message here." The two men matched each of the patterns on the carved cubes to a Chladni pitch, and were able finally to unlock the melody.

Lastly, a direct link to the video.
Data Storage

Submission + - Long Block Data standard finalized

Anonymous writes: "IDEMA has finally released the LBD (Long Block Data) standard. This standard increase the length of the data blocks of each sector from 512 bytes to 4,096 bytes. This is an update that has been requested for some time by the harddrive industry and the development of new harddrives will start immediately. The new standard offers many advantages where the improved reliability and higher transfer rates are the two most obvious. While the reliability is stated to increase as much as ten fold by some manufacturers, the performance improvements are a bit more elusive. Overall improvements include, besides the previous mentioned, shorter maintenance, time for format and more efficient data transfers due to less overhead per block during read and write operations."

Submission + - Sanity Returns to the US Patent System

chameleon_skin writes: In its most important ruling on patent law in years, the Supreme Court has taken a stand on the crippling effects that obvious patents are having on innovation in the United States. From the article:

If the combination results from nothing more than "ordinary innovation" and "does no more than yield predictable results," the court said in a unanimous opinion, it is not entitled to the exclusive rights that patent protection conveys. "Were it otherwise," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion, "patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts."

This judgement changes the standard needed to overturn a patent from "clear and convincing" evidence to simply "a preponderance" of evidence.

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