Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Amazon Pushes E-books Into the Future

Old Man Kensey writes: Amazon today announced their E-book reader, the Kindle, which allows users to read and purchase books in a form factor comparable to a typical hardback. It features an e-paper screen, but perhaps the most interesting feature is ubiquitous EVDO connectivity with no subscription fee. Kindle uses the Sprint EVDO network and Amazon pays the bandwidth fees (presumably out of the purchase cost of each e-book, or each newspaper, magazine or blog delivery subscription). No Wi-Fi may be disappointing for some, but then again in a lot of places EVDO is more reliable anyway.

Submission + - Users can edit Google Maps locations, wiki-style (

An anonymous reader writes: For those who have gotten lost, delayed or just plain frustrated on a trip due to a mistaken marker on Google Maps, the company has unveiled a potential solution. Google on Monday announced that registered Google users in the US and Australia can move incorrect markers for their homes or businesses to the correct locations. Google did note that access to some listings, such as hospitals, government buildings or businesses whose listings have been claimed through Google's Local Business Center, will be restricted. In addition, some edits, such as moving a place marker more than 200 yards (or 200 meters in some countries) from its original location requires a moderator's approval before they show up on the map, according to Google. To prevent users from deliberately moving a marker to the wrong address, there will be a "Show Original" link that will direct users to the original marker. If the new one is in the wrong place, users can fix it.

Submission + - Amazon releases Kindle 1

corsec67 writes: "Amazon has released Kindle, and it appears that the preview pictures from a previous story were correct, with the full keyboard below the screen on this e-book reader. The price is $399.00, and most of the books are $9.99. Ebooks can be downloaded via EVDO, so e-books can be downloaded in areas that aren't served by wifi."

Submission + - Comparing the Kindle, iPhone, and Sony Reader (

adamengst writes: "The new Amazon Kindle could finally bring a portable electronic book reader to the masses because of its ubiquitous network connection along with push subscriptions, although at $399, it might still be a hard sell. TidBITS compares the Kindle to the Sony Reader and the iPhone, which share a number of characteristics with the Kindle."

Submission + - Google Funded 23andMe Offers $999 DNA Test (

Tech.Luver writes: "Unlock the secrets of your own DNA. Today. Says 23andMe. Google funded 23andMe launched today and began offering a DNA saliva test for $999 per person. 23andMe is helping individuals understand their own genetic information through the latest advances in DNA analysis and web-based interactive tools. The Company's service will enable customers to gain deeper insights into their ancestry and other inherited traits which are marked in an individual's genetic code. The 23andMe service allows individuals to: — Search and explore their genomes — Learn how the latest research studies relate directly to traits identified in their genome — Compare their genomes to family and friends who are also 23andMe participants — Discover their genetic roots and find where they sit on the tree of human genetic history — Give individuals the option to actively participate in a new research approach ( )"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - FSF Releases New License for Web Services ( 1

mako writes: "The Free Software Foundation has released the Affero General Public license version 3. The license is essentially the GPLv3 with an added clause that requires that source code be distributed to users that interact with the application over a network. The license effectively extends copyright to web applications. The new AGPL will have important effects for companies that, under the GPL, have no obligation to distribute changes to users on the web. This release makes adds the license to the stable of official FSF licenses and is compatible with the GPLv3."
The Courts

Submission + - Overly broad copyright makes us all infringers ( 1

Raindance writes: "Legal expert John Tehranian has a new piece, Infringement Nation (PDF warning- also covered by Ars), that tallies the copyright liability from a 'hypothetical' law professor's daily routine to explore how pervasive and unavoidable copyright infringement has become to daily life — even without p2p. FTA:
By the end of the day, John has infringed the copyrights of twenty emails, three legal articles, an architectural rendering, a poem, five photographs, an animated character, a musical composition, a painting, and fifty notes and drawings. All told, he has committed at least eighty-three acts of infringement and faces liability in the amount of $12.45 million (to say nothing of potential criminal charges). There is nothing particularly extraordinary about John's activities. Yet if copyright holders were inclined to enforce their rights to the maximum extent allowed by law, he would be indisputably liable for a mind-boggling $4.544 billion in potential damages each year. And, surprisingly, he has not even committed a single act of infringement through P2P file sharing. Such an outcome flies in the face of our basic sense of justice. Indeed, one must either irrationally conclude that John is a criminal infringer — a veritable grand larcenist — or blithely surmise that copyright law must not mean what it appears to say. Something is clearly amiss. Moreover, the troublesome gap between copyright law and norms has grown only wider in recent years."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - LugRadio S5E5 - "A Quality Production" (

Adam Sweet writes: "In LugRadio Season 5 Episode 5 — "A Quality Production", Jono Bacon, Stuart Largefridge, Chris Proctor and Adam "Err..." Sweet interview Havoc Pennington and Colin Walters from Red Hat about the Gnome Online Desktop project, discuss whether we need rockstar programmers when there is hard, unglamorous work to do, consider whether the weirder side of Second Life is inhabited by freaks, electrocute themselves again in another quick distro round-up, behave smugly because LugRadio was chosen as the best Linux podcast in the Linux Format magazine Christmas issue and read out a dazzling array of emails to the show, with the best winning a limited edition LugRadio T-shirt, at last. You, my friend, can avail yourself of too much excitement to handle by downloading it from"."

Submission + - Open Source Linux Phone Released ( 1

andyfrommk writes: "The worlds first truly open phone has been released. the Neo 1973 has been designed for the open source hacker.
From the website

The Neo 1973 boasts the following hardware specifications

* 2.8" VGA TFT color display
* Touchscreen, usable with stylus or fingers
* 266HZ Samsung System on a Chip (SOC)
* USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered)
* Integrated AGPS
* 2.5G GSM — quad band, voice, CSD, GPRS
* Bluetooth 2.0
* Micro SD slot
* High Quality audio codec


Submission + - Spammers overcome Hotmail/Yahoo CAPTCHA systems

thefickler writes: It appears that spammers have found a way of automatically creating Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts, having already created more than 15,000 bogus Hotmail accounts, according to security company BitDefender.p>

BitDefender says that a new threat, dubbed Trojan.Spammer.HotLan.A, is using automatically generated Yahoo and Hotmail accounts to send out spam email, which suggests that spammers have found a way to overcome Microsoft's and Yahoo's CAPTCHA systems.p>

Submission + - Ubuntu Dell goes International at LinuxWorld (

mrcgran writes: " is disclosing some bits about Dell's plans for international deployment of Ubuntu: 'When Dell first announced that it would be releasing Ubuntu Linux-powered consumer desktops and laptops, some people saw it as more of a stunt than a serious business move. They were wrong. Dell has already expanded its consumer Linux line, and now it has announced that it will soon be offering Ubuntu Linux systems outside of the United States and for new businesses. Sources close to Dell indicate that the company will be announcing international sales of Ubuntu Linux consumer systems at LinuxWorld, which will be held Aug. 6-9 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. It is also likely that Dell will announce exactly how it will be offering SMBs (small to midsize businesses) Ubuntu desktop Linux systems. It is also possible that Dell will announce new Ubuntu Linux-powered PCs for SMBs at the show. While Dell has declined to announce any sales figures for its new Linux laptops and desktops, sources indicate that the sales have exceeded expectations. ' HP also seems to be wooing Ubuntu: 'Dell's initial success with Ubuntu apparently has caught Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) attention. Sources close to HP tell me the company hope to offer PCs with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed in a few months — or perhaps even a few weeks.'"
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone Review - Users Want More (

s31523 writes: "With all the secrecy surrounding the iPhone release, many would-be buyers have asked many questions about the iPhone only to have the answer "wait and see". CNET has put together a thorough review of the iPhone, which for me was pretty informative since I was(am) unwilling to drop $600 on a phone I knew nothing about. Love it or hate it, this article sizes up the iPhone pretty well."

Submission + - Mindmapping meets Wikipedia (

lystrata writes: As pages within large public wikis — such as Wikipedia — become more complex, you may be finding it harder to find exactly what you're looking for. Fortunately, Felix Nyffeneger has developed an innovative solution: to present an overview of the page's contents in the form of a mind map. He calls this intriguing new tool WikiMindmap.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Why average users don't adopt GNU/Linux

linuxguy1454 writes: "Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet has an editorial on "Five crucial things the Linux community doesn't understand about the average computer user." From the article, "It's pretty sad, but beyond a certain small segment of computer users, you can't give Linux away." Two of the most sacrilegious reasons: "On the whole, users aren't all that dissatisfied with Windows" and "Linux is still too geeky." So what do /.-ers have to say about this?"

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The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.