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Communications

Consumer Reports Gives AT&T Lowest US Carrier Rank 187

tekgoblin writes "Consumer Reports has just released results for consumer satisfaction across all US cell phone carriers. The survey covered around 58,000 Consumer Reports subscribers. Over half of the respondents who used AT&T used the iPhone when taking the survey. According to Consumer Reports, iPhone users were less satisfied with AT&T than other users with different phones. An AT&T spokesman responded by citing independent speed tests, as well as higher subscriber numbers and a dropped call rate within 0.1% of the industry leader." Update: 12/07 01:49 GMT by S : Corrected last sentence to indicate the 0.1% dropped call rate statistic is the difference between AT&T and another carrier, not 0.1% overall.
Cellphones

iPhones, FStream and the Death of Satellite Radio 397

Statesman writes "Only a little over a year ago, the FCC approved the merger of XM and Sirius satellite radio companies and the combined stock was trading at $4 a share. Despite being a monopoly — or perhaps because of it — the company is failing. They are losing subscribers, the stock is now trading around 22 cents a share (a 97% decline), and they have written off $4.8 billion dollars in stock value. So, what happened? The CEO is blaming pretty much everyone except himself and his business model. But is pay-for-bandwidth even a viable business plan anymore? With millions of iPhone and gPhone users out there, free streaming audio applications like FStream, and thousands of Internet radio stations to access, the question is: why would anyone want to pay for proprietary hardware and a limited selection of a few hundred stations all controlled by one company?" Read on for the rest of Statesman's thoughts.
iMac

New 20" iMac Screens Show 98% Fewer Colors 470

Trintech points us to an AppleInsider article about another class-action lawsuit directed against Apple Inc. This one claims that the displays on new 20" iMacs are only capable of 6-bit-per-pixel color, 98% fewer colors than Apple advertises. Rather than the 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens used in 24" iMacs and earlier 20" models, "[t]he new 20-inch iMac features a 6-bit twisted nematic film (TN) LCD screen," according to the article, "which the [law] firm claims is the 'least expensive of its type,' sporting a narrower viewing angle than the display of the 24-inch model, less color depth, less color accuracy, and greater susceptibility to washout." Apple recently settled a very similar class-action suit about the displays on MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
Security

More Mac Vulnerabilities Than Windows In 2007? 329

eldavojohn writes "A ZDNet blog reports stats from Secunia showing OSX averaged 20.25 vulnerabilities per month while XP & Vista combined averaged 3.67/month. Is this report card's implication accurate, or is this a symptom of one company turning a blind eye while the other concentrates on timely bugfixes? 'While Windows Vista shows fewer flaws than Windows XP and has more mitigating factors against exploitation, the addition of Windows Defender and Sidebar added 4 highly critical flaws to Vista that weren't present in Windows XP. Sidebar accounted for three of those additional vulnerabilities and it's something I am glad I don't use. The lone Defender critical vulnerability that was supposed to defend Windows Vista was ironically the first critical vulnerability for Windows Vista.'"
Media

MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed 299

Billosaur writes "Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from MLB.com before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck. MLB.com, sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the MLB.com servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."
Security

OS X Leopard Firewall Flawed 300

cycoj writes with a report in the German IT magazine Heise, taking a look at the new OS X Leopard firewall. They find it flawed. When setting access to specific services and programs to only allow SSH access, for example, they found that a manually started service was still accessible. From the article: "So the first step after starting Leopard should be to activate the firewall. The obvious choice to do so is the option to 'Set access to specific services and programs,' which promises more control over network traffic. Mac OS X automatically enters all shared resources set up by the user, such as 'Remote login' for SSH servers, into the list of accessible resources... However, initial functional testing quickly dispels any feeling of improved security. A service started for testing purposes was able to be addressed from outside without any difficulty. The firewall records this occurrence... Even with the firewall set to 'Block all incoming connections' ports to netbios, ntp and other services were still open... Specifically these results mean that users can't rely on the firewall."
Upgrades

Leopard Upgraders Getting "Blue Screen of Death" 542

Z80xxc! writes "Some Mac users upgrading to Apple's new Leopard operating system are encountering long delays on reboot — an experience they liken to the Windows 'Blue Screen of Death.' While some of those upgrading were able to access their computer after waiting for as long as several hours, others were forced to do a complete reinstall. Some suspect that a framework called 'Application Enhancer' by Unsanity LLC may be causing the problem, but there has been no official word from Apple at this point."
Patents

USPTO Rejects Amazon's One-Click Patent 166

igdmlgd writes "A while ago I filed a reexamination request for the Amazon.com one-click patent and recently checked out the USPTO online file wrapper -it seems they have rejected all the claims I requested they look at and more!" And it only took many many years to remove what would have been obvious to the most incompetent web developer.
Communications

Does the UK iPhone Plan Add Up? 280

An anonymous reader writes "Is it just me or is the UK iPhone deal seriously more expensive than the US deal? If you look at what AT&T offers compared to what O2 offers, you get significantly less for your money in the UK than you do in the States. It's also significantly more expensive than other non-iPhone deals in the UK, which offer similar services. Steve Jobs response to the more expensive UK iPhone is that 'it's more expensive to do business in the UK', but what does that mean? As a UK resident I'm disappointed that we didn't get the same plan as the AT&T plan, particularly the free mobile-to-mobile calls. Is there some element of the UK iPhone service that I'm missing here?"
Security

Dateline NBC Mole Outed At DefCon 573

An anonymous reader writes "Dateline NBC allegedly attempted to infiltrate the DefCon hackerfest with a producer using a hidden camera. The show hoped to tape hackers admitting to illegal activities, but DefCon got wind of the plot and displayed the would-be-mole's photo before every presentation. Dateline refused to deny the planned infiltration. 'All journalists covering DefCon sign an agreement upon registering for the conference that outlines the rules, but the DefCon organizers say the mole apparently registered as a regular attendee, thereby bypassing the legal agreement. Dateline NBC is best known for its controversial To Catch A Predator series, which uses hidden cameras to tape men who are allegedly seeking to have sex with minors they met online.'"
The Courts

RIAA Directed To Pay $68K In Attorneys Fees 192

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Capitol v. Foster, in Oklahoma, the RIAA has been directed to pay the defendant $68,685.23 in attorneys fees. This is the first instance of which I am aware of the RIAA being ordered to pay the defendant attorneys fees. The judge in this case has criticized the RIAA's lawyers' motives as 'questionable,' and their legal theories as 'marginal' (PDF). Although the judge had previously ordered the RIAA to turn over its own attorneys billing records, today's decision (PDF) made no mention of the amount that the RIAA had spent on its own lawyers."
Security

Crackers Cause Pentagon to Put Computers Offline 260

Anarchysoft writes "As many as 1500 Pentagon computers were brought offline on Wednesday in response to a cyber attack. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reported of the fallout both that the attack had 'no adverse impact on department operations' and that 'there will be some administrative disruptions and personal inconveniences.' When asked whether his own e-mail had been compromised, Gates responded, 'I don't do e-mail. I'm a very low-tech person.'"
News

Serious Magnet Failure at CERN's New Accelerator 193

GrepNut writes "CERN is reporting that the giant magnets that steer the particle beam in the new and highly anticipated Large Hadron Collider have just failed catastrophically in a stress test, apparently due to a design oversight. It doesn't help that the magnets were designed and built by CERN's US competitor Fermilab." While safety precautions were followed, and no one was injured nor were any rifts in the space-time continuum opened, it's still a rather large setback for the project.
Censorship

NFL Caught Abusing the DMCA 357

Implied Oral Consent writes "You know how the NFL puts up those notices before every game saying 'This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience, and any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited?' Well, Ars Technica is reporting that Wendy Seltzer thought that that was over-reaching and posted a video of the notice on YouTube. Predictably, the NFL filed a DMCA Take Down notice on the clip. But Ms. Seltzer knows her rights, so she filed a DMCA Counter Notice. This is when the NFL violated the DMCA, by filing another Take Down notice instead of taking the issue to court — their only legitimate option, according to the DMCA. Unfortunately for the NFL, Ms. Seltzer is a law professor, an EFF lawyer, and the founder of Chilling Effects. Oops!"

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