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Comment Re:Well, yeah... (Score 1) 296

The 486 couldn't run "any program of your choosing" any more than the Kindle Fire can! If the 486 was running *nix then it couldn't run any MS executables. If it's running DOS/Windows it couldn't run Mac applications. The same holds true for the Kindle Fire. It can run Android apps because it's running Google's OS. If you were to put a version of Ubuntu, it could run a wider variety of Linux programs (probably to include your BBS application). If you can manage to load an embedded version of Windows to the Kindle Fire, you'll be able to run Windows executables. That's an issue of operating system, not the definition of a computer.

But there was nothing stopping him from installing DOS, Windows, OS/2 (back then), *nix, or any other OS of his choice, to run the programs of his choice. Good luck doing that with a Kindle.

Comment Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (Score 1) 294

No it wasn't. Reread: "In the USA, life + 70 literally means that, at best, anything created in your lifetime will not become public domain until you are 70." In other words if Lady Gaga released a new CD today, and a baby was born today, and Gaga died in a horrible accident later tonight, her CD would not become public domain until the baby was a 70-year-old man. That's best case.

True -- I was focusing on the "anything created in your lifetime" part of the statement, and missed what was intended by "at best". Oh well...

Comment Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (Score 5, Interesting) 294

Er - life + 70 means *exactly* that. You will NOT live to see the copyright expire, no matter how long you live. Assuming that a child of yours is born the day you die, *he* will see the copyright expire when he hits the age of 70.

The original poster's statement was incorrect, but so is this. Life + 70 means the creator's life + 70 years, not mine. I could very easily live to see the copyright expire on works created in my lifetime, assuming that they were created when I was very young and that their creators died shortly thereafter. All I have to do is live seventy years beyond the age I was when they died, and pray that Congress doesn't extend it further...actually, you're right, I'll never see it happen.

The Courts

"Vista Capable" Lawsuit Is Now a Class Action 225

An anonymous reader notes an update in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporting that the lawsuit against Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" marketing campaign has been granted class-action status. We discussed the company's internal misgivings with this campaign a while back. The suit alleges that "...Microsoft unjustly enriched itself by promoting PCs as 'Windows Vista Capable' even when they could only run a bare-bones version of the operating system, called 'Vista Home Basic.'" In the 2006 pre-holiday season, Microsoft had placed "Windows Vista Capable" stickers on machines to keep the sale of Windows XP machines going after Vista was delayed. Microsoft didn't lose out totally in the recent ruling — the article notes that the judge "narrowed the basis on which plaintiffs could move forward with their claims."

Submission + - CO2 the Effect and NOT the Cause (

Indy69 writes: "

In the past the assumption was made that CO2 was the driving force behind global temperature changes. After analyzing the Vostok core samples there are indications that CO2 levels may be a result of and not the cause of temperature changes. While it is difficult to determine whether CO2 or temperatures lead the advance as they seem to move together there is conclusive evidence that shows temperature declines in advance of CO2 declines.

Nature is reactive to temperature changes and small changes can impact how the environment is able to absorb CO2. It is important that the scientific community consider and research the possibility that other factors may be driving global temperature changes."

The Military

Submission + - Gabe of PA interviews his WWII vet Grandpa

Flange writes: Gabe earlier mentioned he had interviewed his grandfather's WWII Navy experiences but never transcribed and posted it. He now posts a recent interview about it: "I'm sharing it with you guys for a couple reasons. First, I hope it might motivate some of you that have veterans in your family to sit down with them and just listen for a little while. Second, his view of World War II games comes from a perspective that we don't often hear. I'm not posting this to change anyone's opinion of these games but his insight has certainly made me think about them in a different way"

Submission + - Drew Curtis of Fark attempts to trademark 'NSFW' (

Kickstart70 writes: "Drew Curtis of Fark is attempting to trademark the term 'NSFW'. It seems a little crass to me, but no word on whether he's attempting to do it as a protest against ridiculous trademark law, or if he's just joining the greedy trademark crowd (but, FWIW(TM), discussions in the subscriber-only TotalFark have been deleted)."
Data Storage

Submission + - Best tools for interviewing relatives?

An anonymous reader writes: Over the past few years I've lost a lot of relatives. Nearly all of my grandparent's generation is gone. Countless stories have passed on with them. I am determined not to lose more family history so easily. With the holidays bringing everyone back together, it would be a great opportunity to start interviewing my folks for digital preservation. Has anyone here taken on a project like this? Any advice, books or software to help organize my effort?

Submission + - Apple, AT&T sued for $360M over Visual Voicema (

LwPhD writes: Reuters and CNN are reporting that Klausner Technologies is suing Apple and AT&T in the U.S. District Court in Marshall, TX, a fertile hunting ground for patent trolls. At issue is patent number 5,572,576 which describes linking contact information with voice messages. Klausner, even though it frequently targets obvious applications and makes no pretense to developing any technology itself, has sued successfully before, most notably winning a recent settlement from Vonage.

Moreover, Klausner is also suing other companies for the same obvious feature. According to Reuters:

The company alleged in its statement that Cablevision's Optimum Voicemail, Comcast's Digital Voice Voicemail and eBay's Skype Voicemail violate Klausner's patent by allowing users to selectively retrieve and listen to voice messages via message inbox displays.

How long will such patently preposterous patent suits be allowed merely because a feature that seems obvious to technology developers may not seem obvious to judges and juries? I remember that my first college computer (a crummy low-end Packard Bell manufactured in 1995) came with answering machine software installed by default. Is there no example of prior art for using Caller ID, a modem, and a computer to tag messages before Klausner's filing date of 1994?


Submission + - eBay Still Has Login Vulnerabilities?

Atario writes: "This morning I checked my email to find several apparent eBay-alike spam messages in my Inbox. This reminded me that I needed to leave feedback for something on the actual eBay. So I went there, only to find that I could no longer log in. Long story short, I realized that those "fake" eBay emails were the real thing — and were sent from my eBay account! Horrified, I contacted their help people and got my password reset, and some mass eBay emails following up to those who had been spammed, saying that I hadn't done it. Going to my account, I saw that the attackers had sent a "visit our happy and good-spirit Chinese web site and buy electronics" spam to 30 different people. (Only the first six came to me, because those used a general "contact an eBay-er" mechanism, whereas the rest used a "ask seller a question" one; apparently the latter doesn't automatically send you a copy in email automatically.) At any rate, whoever this was was able to change my password and send messages as me; this, to me, implies that they were able to crack my password and log in as me. This would mean either (1) inside job with DB access or (2) eBay is vulnerable to brute-force login-attempt attacks, which is something so easy to defeat (increasing attempt delays), they would need to be ashamed for about aleph-null years were this the case. So, what does Slashdot think: eBay is infested with Chinese spammers as employees, or they can't get security minimally right after all these years?"

Submission + - Former MS (now FF)Security Honcho: MS Hides Holes ( 1

theranjan writes: "When Jeff Jones, a Security Strategy Director at Microsoft, decided to compare Internet Explorer security vulnerabilities with those of Mozilla Firefox, and decided to publish his results showing that Internet Explorer was more secure, he perhaps forgot that the Head Security Strategist of Mozilla, Window Snyder, was a former MS employee, in fact the security lead for the Service pack of Windows XP and Server. In a rebuttal of the study, Window Snyder said that the number of vulnerabilities publicly acknowledged was just a "small subset" of all vulnerabilities fixed internally. The vulnerabilities found internally are fixed in service packs and major updates without public knowledge. This is probably one of the first times that we have confirmation from one of Microsoft's former workers that this practice is routinely followed in Microsoft. This also confirms that the studies performed or referenced by Microsoft touting itself as the safest Operating system, comparing the vulnerabilities between OSes, needs to be taken with bucketfuls of salt. Finally, Window speaks out against the practice of counting bugs,stating plainly that "If we as an industry would just acknowledge that counting bugs is useless then vendors could feel safe talking about what they are doing to protect users" and "Were not building fixes for our PR team, were building them for our users. Go ahead and count.""

Submission + - IBM Embraces Solaris for the Mainframe (

explosivejared writes: "In an example of the computer industry's higher level of abstraction — in this case, known as horse trading — IBM has called attention to a demonstration of Solaris running on the mainframe. It's also endorsed Sun Microsystems' xVM product, its entry into virtualization for x86 servers. The endorsement is notable at a time when Sun is seeking credibility for yet another hypervisor entrant into the virtualization market. IBM's xVM endorsement is practically the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, since it invented virtualization more than 40 years ago. Sun in turn has assisted a third party, the research and development firm Sine Nomine Associates in Ashburn, Va., in getting Sun's OpenSolaris operating system to run on the IBM mainframe, something that many observers said would never happen.

"We're thrilled to be able to reach new customers and market opportunities alongside IBM," said Rich Green, executive VP for software at Sun, in a statement released during Gartner's Data Center Conference in Las Vegas on Friday."

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