linumax writes: Michael Atkinson, South Australia's Attorney-General says it has long been a requirement that newspapers verify personal details for letters published during election periods. He says the new law, which has applied since early last month, ensures the public's right to know. "[It's really about] the right to know who's making a comment during an election period". A coalition of major newspapers has branded the new law as draconian censorship of public comment. We have previously discussed severalstoriesrelated to censorship in Australia.
linumax writes: "In a bid to boost sales of its new operating system, Microsoft has dramatically cut the price of Windows Vista in China.
The retail price of Windows Vista Home Basic in China is now 499 renminbi (US$65.80), down from 1,521 renminbi — a 67 percent reduction. The Home Premium version of Vista also got a significant price reduction, down 50 percent from 1,802 renminbi to 899 renminbi."
linumax writes: "Two more high-level Google engineers have left the Googleplex — this time to join well-known venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. According to a story on VentureBeat, Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, two of the masterminds behind Google Maps and several other Google products, have joined the firm as "Entrepreneurs in Residence." This gives them paid positions to hang out at Benchmark's offices on Silicon Valley's Sand Hill Road and think through starting a business. They have a specific idea in mind, but are secretive about it, telling VentureBeat only that it's a "consumer Internet" company. Is the final days of Google coming?"
linumax writes: "Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates launched an initiative here Thursday aimed at bridging the digital divide between technologically advanced and developing countries. The initiative, an expansion of Microsoft's "Unlimited Potential" strategy, involves offering governments a $3 software package called the Student Innovation Suite. It includes Windows XP Starter Edition, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Math 3.0, Learning Essentials 2.0 for Microsoft Office, and Windows Live Mail desktop."
linumax writes: "One of the longest-running defenses of the hotly debated H-1B temporary worker visa program is that there are simply not enough U.S. workers to fill out many corporations' programming, engineering and back-office positions, leaving them no choice but to hire workers from overseas. eWeek reports that a new Senate bill takes this argument to task, demanding that employers make a "good faith" effort to hire a U.S. worker before bringing in a H-1B worker. It would require that employers prove not only that they tried and failed to hire a U.S. worker, but that hiring a foreigner would pose no cost advantage."
linumax writes: "Microsoft has hinted that it may be close to reaching a deal with EMI to sell songs without anti-piracy protection via its Zune platform. The comments from Jason Reindorp, head of marketing for Zune, come in the same week that EMI announced a deal with Apple to sell songs without DRM protection, through iTunes stores. Mr Reindorp said: "We've been saying for a while that we are aware that consumers want to have unprotected content. This does open things up a little bit. It potentially makes the competition more of a device-to-device or service-to-service basis, and will force the various services to really innovate." Regardless of whether or not Microsoft is at it again, following Apple's lead, this is considered a move in the right direcion."
linumax writes: "The most monitored nation of the world is getting an interesting new service. According to a BBC News story, "Talking" CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.They are already used in Middlesbrough where people seen misbehaving can be told to stop via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff."
linumax writes: "Remember a recent story on Skynet's launch and all the jokes about what could go wrong and when it will become self aware? As reported by BBC "Saturday's attempt at a lift-off from Kourou in French Guiana was thwarted by a technical glitch in ground equipment at the European spaceport. There will be another attempt on Sunday to launch Britain's Skynet 5 satellite.""
linumax writes: "Officelabs is a new internal start-up that is attempting to use some of the methodologies of open-source software development to invigorate the company and generate excitement about new Microsoft products. Specifically, the people behind officelabs want to adopt the release early, release often approach that has worked well for open-source projects such as Linux and Firefox. The move echoes the announcements of Office Live and Windows Live, which both attempt to release lots of software on the web as often as possible."