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The Courts

Submission + - Man jailed for trolling ( 1

Xest writes: A man in the UK has been jailed for just over 4 months for trolling, and has also been given an order banning him from using social networking sites for 5 years. The trolling in question involved insulting a person who committed suicide by jumping in front a train by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank with the deceased girls face in place of Thomas'.

Is it about time trolling to this extent saw this kind of punishment, or is this punishment simply too harsh for someone who perhaps didn't realise how seriously his actions would be taken by the authorities?

Submission + - Android takes 2nd place for the quarter (

Xest writes: For the quarter July, August, September Android has now pushed into second place for handset sales accounting for 25% of all phones sold, with Apple taking 3rd place and RIM taking 4th. Symbian is of course still king, largely due to it's massive userbase of low end phones in places like Africa, India, and China where handsets such as the iPhone and high end Android devices are simply unaffordable to many. The article notes that sales by smaller handset manufacturers such as HTC, Huwaei, and ZTE who often develop phones on behalf of other companies to brand themselves now account for a third of phone sales. With devices like the Orange San Francisco developed by ZTE selling at £99 without a contract and sporting an AMOLED screen whilst also being able to run some of the most popular games and applications today such as Angry Birds, perhaps even Symbian will see itself displaced over the next few years to be replaced with some of the highly competitive Android devices beginning to trickle out.

Submission + - A brighter future for freedom in Britain? (

Xest writes: Over the last decade on Slashdot since the events of 9/11 we have constantly been bombarded with stories reporting the continued deterioration of freedom and civil liberties in the West as governments come up with their new latest and greatest scheme to track down terrorists and criminals however negative the effect is on the rest of the law abiding population.

Today, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of Britain's new coalition government who came to power just last week outlined the new government's vision for the future of British civil liberties. The government has so far confirmation that they will be abolishing Britain's ID card database, abolishing the National Identity Register, abolishing the ContactPoint database, look into reforming libel laws to protect freedom of speech, will be restoring protections for the right to peaceful protest, and will improve the fairness of the DNA database to ensure innocent people's DNA is no longer held on it. This all begs the question; is the tide finally turning against deterioration of our rights and freedom?

The results of this rhetoric are yet to be seen, but if they are sincere in their aims, and truly even wish to allow citizens to recommend laws for removal as stated, then might we perhaps even see the dreadful Digital Economy Act repealed? Right now it's too early to tell, but a positive vibe on civil liberties from people now in power is often news in itself when taken in the context of the last decade of mostly doom and gloom for civil liberties and freedom.


Submission + - PS3 plagued by similar problems to the XBox 360s i (

Xest writes: More and more reports are appearing of Playstation 3 consoles failing in a similar way that the earlier models of the XBox 360 did, except for Sony, it's the Yellow Light of Dead. The BBC has an interesting article, which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the earlier XBox 360 models to fail — poor soldering connections. From the article:

"Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints."

But it's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook on the issue that Sony have been following, whilst they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5million (a convenient 0.5%) of systems have failed, they refuse to release full figures of failure rates citing them as being commercially sensitive. Unfortunately one rule Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft on is an extended warranty, stating that if it fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK however at least, the Sale of Goods act would disagree with that statement.


Submission + - Microsoft announces "YouTube for Games"

Xest writes: At this years Game Developers Conference, alongside the announcement of Gears of War 2 due for release this November, Microsoft have announced another interesting feature — homebrew game sharing. Utilising XNA, developers and gamers will be able to share games that they have created over XBox live and rate them in a similar manner to YouTube's video sharing service. Microsoft have released 7 games to showcase the capabilities of the service at the event.

If this idea is extended to Windows users through Microsoft's Live for Windows program and with XNA Game Studio being a nice environment for amateur and professional game developers alike this could provide a powerful new path to mainstream users for indie game developers.

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