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Wine

Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."

Submission + - Depeche Mode's Martin Gore subpoenaed in WoW Suit (guardian.co.uk)

slick_shoes writes: Having unsuccessfully tried to sue (among others) Microsoft for "undue stress" over a broken Xbox 360 and Sony for banning him from the PSN, therefore violating his First Amendment rights in the past, Erik Estavillo has now filed suit against the makers of World of Warcraft. He is claiming that the game is a "harmful virtual environment" and its developers follow "sneaky and deceitful practices". Despite this, Estavillo admits he "relies on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life".

More bizzarely, he has subpoenaed the guitarist of UK gloom merchants Depeche Mode as an 'expert witness on melancholy' as "he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes". Winona Ryder's love of Catcher in the Rye has also landed her with a subpoena to testify about "how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real life videogames such as World of Warcraft.".

Estavillo is seeking $1m in damages.

Networking

Submission + - Comcast Blocking all SMTP 7

JoeRandomHacker writes: Comcast has long blocked outgoing traffic on port 25, forcing users to go through their mail servers, on the grounds that it causes too much spam, but allowed incoming traffic on port 25 for those wishing direct email delivery. Today I found that even port 25 on their mail servers was rejecting traffic, and no incoming mail has gotten through. Online chat with Comcast customer support indicates that this is a new policy, and all users are forced to go through port 587 and use authentication for email. I didn't get a specific answer on incoming email.
So much for having my own private webmail (via Squirrelmail), free from the control of corporate giants. Time to see if Verizon can do better over FIOS.
Republicans

Submission + - PayPal freezes funds meant for NH Recount (geeksaresexy.net)

boyko.at.netqos writes: "[Republican candidate] Albert Howard has also paid $2000 down, and through the work of a number of groups, including the "Granny Warriors," a group nominally supporting Ron Paul, it looked like Howard had raised at least $40,000 for the recount via the PayPal service. However, PayPal froze the account, and they have not been able to get the money out of the account before the January 15th deadline, according to a spokesman for the Granny Warriors.... Speaking with the same worker at the NH Secretary of State's office, I was told that a Democratic recount was likely to occur, and that the fate of the Republican recount was uncertain."
Security

Submission + - Lax TSA Website Exposes Traveller's Information (house.gov) 1

sjbe writes: According to a January 2008 report from the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, from October 2006 through February 2007 traveller's who utilized the TSA website to attempt to remove their name from the No-Fly list risked having sensitive data, including social security numbers, exposed due to poor security practices. The contractor responsible, Desyne Web Services was awarded a no-bid contract to design the website. The TSA's technical lead on the project reportedly had a conflict of interest having been a former employee of Desyne. The security vulnerabilities were pointed out by Chris Soghoian, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana's School of Informatics. The TSA has since taken action to remedy the vulnerabilities but no action was taken to sanction the responsible parties for the vulnerabilities.
Security

Submission + - Former TSA site vulnerable to hackers (msn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From the article... WASHINGTON — Some travelers may be vulnerable to identity theft after petitioning the government a year ago to have their names removed from lists that restrict them from flying. As many as 247 travelers who petitioned the government between October 6, 2006 and February 13, 2007 to have their names removed from those lists may be vulnerable, according to a congressional investigation.
Power

Submission + - Solar Panels at $1 per Watt are cheaper than coal (solveclimate.com)

Nesster writes: "A Silicon Valley start-up called Nanosolar shipped its first solar panels — priced at $1 a watt. That's the price at which solar energy gets cheaper than coal. So far, there have been 83 bids and the price has reached $10,300. The auction is over on December 27th at 17:13:10 PST. Essentially, they've figured out how to print solar cells on thin sheets of aluminum with a printing press."
The Courts

Submission + - Disbarment case for Jack Thompson (gamepolitics.com)

An anonymous reader writes: GamePolitics is reporting that the disbarment case for our favorite lawyer, Jack Thompson, is moving forward. The Bar has reportedly set aside a week for the hearing and Judge Tunis has until December 21st to issue a ruling.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Video of wild crow tool use caught with tail cams

willatnewscientist writes: "Scientists from the University of Oxford have recorded New Caledonian crows using tools in the wild for first time after attaching tiny cameras to their tail feathers. The wireless cameras weigh just 14 grammes and can be worn by the crows without disturbing their natural behavior. The trick has provided the first direct evidence of the birds' using tools in the wild and may represent an important development in animal behavior studies."
Education

Journal Journal: Why is US graduate school not mainly US students? 1131

I am a new graduate student in Computer Engineering. I would like to get my MS and possibly my Ph.D. I have come to find out that 90% of my department is from India and many others are from China. All the students come here to study and there are only 7 US citizens in the engineering program this year. Why is this like this? I have heard that many of the smarter Americans go into the medical or law professions and that is why there are no Americans. Is this true?

Feed Engadget: FCC fast-tracking 700MHz open-access rule changes under intense Verizon lobbying (engadget.com)

Filed under: Cellphones, Misc. Gadgets

Prepare to feel your carrier-hate well from within. Remember Verizon Wireless' lawsuit against the FCC claiming that the 700MHz open-access auction rule -- the rule enabling the likes of Google, Apple, and others to take home a slice of the spectrum pie -- "violates the US Constitution?" Well, according to "industry sources," FCC chairman Kevin Martin is "aggressively pushing" for revisions to the 700MHz open-access rule in response to Verizon Wireless' lobbying efforts. However, having been met with an internal FCC "backlash" last week, Martin is said to be preparing a "declaratory ruling" in an effort to fast-track support for VZW's claim outside of the normal public-comment process. Insiders worry that Martin is caving to VZW pressure as the auction expected to generate some $15 billion in FCC fun-money draws near. Man, nothing says free market capitalism like a little protectionist bullying -- "can we sue you now."

[Via Phonescoop]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Space

Submission + - Gas Station in Space Could Change NASA's Moon Plan (popularmechanics.com)

mattnyc99 writes: Rand Simberg has a report from the Space 2007 conference about a new proposal from Boeing that would upend NASA's expensive plan to return to the moon by building a propellant refueling depot in sub-orbital space—saving tons more time, weight and money for the new lunar base. From the article: "How the propellant would reach such a pitstop in the sky is really the beauty of Boeing's concept. NASA has been seeking ways to involve both international partners and the commercial sector — Michael Griffin, the agency's administrator, said recently that such a 'private/public synergy' was 'crucial for the future' — but NASA has been reluctant to put any partner on the critical path. The good news? Anyone can make propellant, and anyone can deliver it." Sounds like NASA and the space billionaires might finally be able to help each other...
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Heinlein archives to go online (mercurynews.com)

RaymondRuptime writes: "Good news for fans of the late SF master Robert Heinlen, 2 months after his 100th birthday celebration. Per the San Jose Mercury News, "The entire contents of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Archive — housed in the UC-Santa Cruz Library's Special Collections since 1968 — have been scanned in an effort to preserve the contents digitally while making the collection easily available to both academics and the general public... The first collection released includes 106,000 pages, consisting of Heinlein's complete manuscripts — including files of all his published works, notes, research, early drafts and edits of manuscripts." You can skip the brief article and go straight to the archives."

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