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The Courts

Pirate Bay Trial Ends In Jail Sentences 1870

myvirtualid writes "The Globe and Mail reports that the Pirate Bay defendants were each sentenced Friday to one year in jail. According to the article, 'Judge Tomas Norstrom told reporters that the court took into account that the site was "commercially driven" when it made the ruling. The defendants have denied any commercial motives behind the site.' The defendants said before the verdict that they would appeal if they were found guilty. 'Stay calm — Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing whatsoever. This is just a theater for the media,' Mr. Sunde said Friday in a posting on social networking site Twitter." Update: 04/17 12:16 GMT by T : Several updates, below.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Gears of War 2 Patched To Fix Matchmaking Issues, Problems Persist 34

When Gears of War 2 was released, one of the biggest complaints about the game was that its matchmaking system didn't work properly for multi-player games, leading to unreasonably long wait times. After trying to placate players with mostly useless suggestions, Epic finally released a patch to address the matchmaking issues. Unfortunately, now that players have had a chance to try it out, it seems a large segment of the Gears 2 population is still having problems.
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone purchase won't require a contract

nerdstrap writes: "According to, the iPhone will be sold in Apple stores without AT&T activation. onal-atandt-activation Therefore, waiting in line will net you the hottest product out there to sell on eBay. Apple is most assuredly aware of what the ramifications of this are... If the iPhone starts getting $1,000.00, $1,500.00, $2,000.00, etc... prices on eBay, then the news outlets are going to go crazy! More free press! I'm not interested in switching to AT&T for any reason, but who can pass this opportunity up?"

Submission + - Sony VAIO OS ugrade invalidates warranty

steenbras writes: My company has attempted to purchase some VAIO laptops (VGN-FE48G) from a local South African vendor. When the first of these arrived preloaded with Vista Home, I was surprised to find out that this OS will not allow connections to domains. We contacted the vendor to request that the remaining laptops have either XP Pro installed, or at least Vista Enterprise, and were told that this could not be done; these laptops are only available with Vista Home.

I then enquired as to the possibility of upgrading these ourselves to Vista Ultimate (a supported upgrade path — Vista Home does not support upgrading to Vista Enterprise) and was told that this would invalidate the warranty on the laptop.

I quote from a mail received by the vendor:

Spoke to ... Head of technical at Sony HQ. At the moment OS Upgrade is not allowed and warranty will be voided if done. Sony is in talks will Microsoft to approve upgrades on Vista Software, but till that date it is not allowed.

The implication of this mail is that the problem lies with Microsoft. It is certainly one of the most bizarre things I have heard of — that an OS upgrade invalidates the supplier's warranty.
The Courts

Submission + - YouTube May Not Qualify for DMCA Safe Harbor

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "According to a judge in California, YouTube may not qualify (pdf) for the "safe harbor" protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). The "safe harbor" protects an online service provider who follows certain procedures and complies with "takedown" notices, but only if it did not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, if it had the right and ability to control such activity. The Court in Tur v. YouTube, 06-4436 (C.D. CA), denied YouTube's motion for summary judgment of dismisal since it found there was insufficient evidence in the record, pro or con, on the issue of whether YouTube had the right and ability to control the infringing the activity. For the same reason the Court denied (pdf) Mr. Tur's motion for an order determining the defense to be inapplicable."

Submission + - Unicode Encoding Implementation Flaw Widespread

LordNikon writes: According to CERT "Full-width and half-width encoding is a technique for encoding Unicode characters. Various HTTP content scanning systems fail to properly scan full-width/half-width Unicode encoded HTTP traffic. By sending specially-crafted HTTP traffic to a vulnerable content scanning system, an attacker may be able to bypass that content scanning system.". Proof of concepts affecting IIS are already being posted to security mailing lists, and Cisco IPS and other IDS products are also affected.

Submission + - Labor Union Files Suit Agains TSA Over Lost Drive

madsheep writes: "Recently on Slashdot there was a story about how TSA lost a hard drive "containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees." Well now a federal labor union has filed a suit against TSA over the lost drive. A quote from the article: "TSA's reckless behavior is clearly in violation of the law," said John Gage, AFGE's national president. "TSA must be held liable for this wanton disregard for employee privacy. A DHS agency that cannot even shield its own employee data is not reassuring." In the wake of the numerous embarassing privacy issues hitting the both the commercial and federal sectors, will this lawsuit bring about even more change?"
Input Devices

Submission + - Tech Tools: Should The Boss Or Worker Provide Them

bandmassa writes: "As a workplace trainer, my role is to train my colleagues in using audio recorders and digital cameras. Most of these people have perfectly good units of their own that are often more compatible with work systems than the official tools provided, and are easier for the reporters to use than gadgets provided by the boss.

As a trade unionist all my life it galls me to think that the best way to get people using tools-of-trade properly is to require them to get their own, but I'm starting to think "the boss" (or the IT department, anyway) doesn't have a clue about usability and production needs when it comes to digital audio recorders and still cameras for news gathering.

What do /.ers think?"

Submission + - One tech's experience with Vista and Malware

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently, UAC isn't all that it's cracked up to be! Here's one person's experience with it. A choice quote: 'I thought long and hard about re-enabling UAC, because, it seems really ineffective if the user just clicks "Allow" to anything and everything, and it made fixing the system that much more of a pain in the ass. I enabled it anyway and told the guy to not let his wife go on random "Allow" sprees.'

Submission + - A Professional PSP Video Converter writes: "Sothink DVD to PSP Video Converter Suite consists of DVD to PSP Converter and PSP Video Converter. It can super fast convert Video to PSP Video and rip DVD to PSP movie with high quality.

Sothink PSP Video Converter, a psp movie converter tool, converts various video to PSP video/PSP movie (MP4 format for Sony PlayStation Portable). This psp movie converter software supports a wide variety of source video formats to PSP video format including but not limited to MPEG, MPG, MPE, DAT, VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV, ASX, DV, RM, RMVB, MOV, QT, MP4, 3GP, 3GP2, 3G2, 3GPP; Load the converted mp4 movie to your PSP; Automatically create correct folders and file names for the created mp4 video files on your PSP (Memory Stick); Easy-to-use Crop & Trim function to edit source video before conversion and set start/end time of the created PSP video as you like; Provide different zoom modes ("LetterBox", "Pan&Scan", "Stretch"). You can choose to make the converted PSP video fit your PSP screen perfectly; Support conversion into wide-screen formats (16:9) with no doubt; Supports batch conversion.

Sothink DVD to PSP Converter can convert DVD to PSP movie/video (MP4 format) for Sony PSP PlayStation. The DVD to PSP Converter provides you 200% fast conversion speed to rip DVD to PSP video/movie and better picture quality than other DVD to PSP Converters under the same settings; convert DVD to PSP in MP4 format with just a few clicks. You can rip the different contents such as movies, clips, and extras into a whole MP4 file or multiple PSP movie files; load the converted PSP movie/video to your Sony PSP (or Memory Stick); Free to specify audio sample rate, channels, dimension, frame rate or select different preset configuration profiles for convenient DVD to PSP Conversion; choose and remove movie, videos, audios and subtitles freely before starting DVD to PSP conversion; provide audio gain control customization to adjust volume and get better audio quality on your PSP."
The Media

Submission + - NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse

PoliSciASU writes: "MSNBC has established draconian rules regarding the use of the Presidential Primary Debates on the internet. Kevin Bondelli talks about why this is shameful and wrong. Voters are missing out on the ability to actually have an engaged conversation about the candidates and their debate performances because of NBC's greed."

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