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Submission + - Would you install Microsoft Office if it were free 1

nicholdraper writes: "Recently I received the MSDN subscription update disk for Microsoft Office. I am the main developer for a small company and we recently let the developer go who had an active MSDN subscription. I normally install software on my home computer to evaluate it. Here's my dilemma, about ten years ago I started weaning myself from Microsoft software at home. In fact, I use open office regularly and I couldn't be happier. Sure I use word at work, I decided long ago to not waste time on that battle. But, I haven't seen a feature that wasn't in Office 95 that I would use, so I don't see the point in paying for upgrades every two to five years. I am against pirating software, so open source solved my needs. Now, I have a copy paid for by the company where I work, which I should spend time to evaluate. I'm afraid to install it and end up with files in a format for which I would have to pay for software in the future to open. Is there any reason to use MS Office? Would you install it or not?"

Submission + - WineHQ voting system hardly used, why? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I was browsing the Wine appdb tonight and noticed the top 25 link in their side bar. I thought to myself after clicking it and reading through the list, why doesn't anyone use the voting feature on the site? Is it because people that use Wine have a gimme gimme attitude or a wam bam thank you ma'am mentality? The reason I bring this up is because if the numbers are shown in the voting system it would be a great place for software companies to look and see what kind of software is doing well in Wine and has a user base on Linux already, which might spark some interest in porting their current applications to Linux. Look at #11. Photoshop CS3 (10.0), I know a lot of people in the Linux community have expressed interest in having Photoshop as a native application on Linux and yet there are only 104 people that have voted for it. I think WineHQ should work to integrate the application voting system to be a major part of wine. For instance, WineHQ could have a very large vote button on each applications page that would draw attention to the voting system. They could have an integrated vote system in the actual Wine interface that asks when you start Wine for the first time if you would like to participate in anonymous usage statistics that report what programs you run in Wine and asks you once per application on exit how well you rate its ability to run that program and if a program crashes send a bug report to wine. So what do you guys think about these ideas?
The Internet User Data Was Sent To RIAA By CBS 334

suraj.sun sends in an update from TechCrunch on a story that generated a lot of controversy a few months back, "Did Just Hand Over User Listening Data To the RIAA?" "Now we've located another source for the story, someone who's very close to And it turns out was telling the truth, sorta... didn't hand user data over to the RIAA. According to our source, it was their parent company, CBS, that did it. Here's what we believe happened: CBS requested user data from, including user name and IP address. CBS wanted the data to comply with a RIAA request but told the data was going to be used for 'internal use only.' It was only after the data was sent to CBS that discovered the real reason for the request. staffers were outraged, say our sources, but the data had already been sent to the RIAA. We believe CBS lied to us when they denied sending the data to the RIAA, and that they subsequently asked us to attribute the quote to to make the statement defensible.'s denials were strictly speaking correct, but they ignored the underlying truth of the situation, that their parent company supplied user data to the RIAA, and that the data could possibly be used in civil and criminal actions against those users."
The Courts

Do We Want ISPs Penalizing Music Fans? 263

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Noted singer songwriter Billy Bragg has written an excellent column in The Guardian, coming out against the pro-RIAA '3-strikes' legislation the big 4 record labels are trying to push through. In the article, entitled 'Do we want ISPs penalizing our fans?', Bragg writes: 'Having failed miserably in previous attempts to stamp out illicit filesharing, the record industry has now joined forces with other entertainment lobby groups to demand that the government takes action to protect their business model.' He goes on: 'Fearful of the prospect of dragging their customers though the courts, with all the attendant costs and bad publicity, members of the record industry have come up with a simple, cost-free solution to their problem: get the ISPs to do their dirty work for them. They are asking the government to force the ISPs to cut off the broadband connection of customers who persistently download unauthorized material, without any recourse to appeal in the courts.'"

Microsoft Shoots Own Foot In Iceland 476

David Gerard writes "The Microsoft Certified Partner model is: an MCP buys contracts from Microsoft and sells them to businesses as a three-year timed contract, payable in annual installments. Iceland's economy has collapsed, so 1500 businesses have gone bankrupt and aren't paying the fees any more. But Microsoft has told the MCPs: 'Our deal was with you, not them. Pay up.' The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software, taking most of the country with them. (Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)"

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