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Submission + - Windows 7 - What we know so far... (

Anonymous Anti-Coward writes: "We're still in the long dark before 7's dawn, but the earliest signs are encouraging: a new streamlined kernel, an inbuilt VM for running old software, a revised and simplified UI... there's every chance that Microsoft intends Windows 7 to rise from the ashes of Vista and be what Mac OS X was for Apple.'

Vista was released on January 30 2007 at which time it became available to one and all.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the number of people who bought Vista was much closer to 'one' than 'all'."


Submission + - EMI may cut funding to IFPI, RIAA ( 1

Teen Bainwolf writes: Big Four record label EMI is reportedly considering a big cut in its funding for the IFPI and RIAA. Each of the labels reportedly contributed over $130 million per year to fund industry trade groups, and EMI apparently believes that money could be better spent elsewhere. 'One of the chief activities of the RIAA is coordinating the Big Four labels' legal campaign, and those thousands of lawsuits have done nothing but generate ill will from record fans, while costing the labels millions of dollars and doing little (if anything) to actually reduce the amount of file-sharing going on. In fact, the RIAA freely admits that the legal campaign is a real money pit, and EMI's new ownership may be very leery of continuing to pour money down that particular rat hole.

Submission + - Flexible optic fiber for "last mile" conne

bn0p writes: According to an article on Ars Technica, a Korean company has developed a low-cost, flexible, plastic optical fiber that could help solve the "last mile" problem and bring 2.5 Gbps (bits per second) connections to homes and apartments. While not as fast as glass fiber, it is significantly faster than the copper connections in use today.

In related news, Corning recently announced a flexible glass fiber that can be bent repeatedly without losing signal strength. The Corning fiber incorporates nanostructures in the cladding of the fiber that act as "light guardrails" that keep the light in the fiber. The glass fiber could be as much as four times faster than plastic fiber.

Neither fiber is available commercially yet, but both should help improve data rates to the home when they are deployed.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - WoW Teams with Visa to Make WoW Credit Cards

LordBafford writes: "World of Warcraft Rewards Visa
The card that pays you to play.

"Blizzard Entertainment has teamed up with First National Bank of Omaha to bring you a Visa card that rewards you with World of Warcraft game time! Sign up today, and once your application is approved, you will be eligible for special card rewards and benefits." Get all the details here Who doesn't want an axe wielding Tauren on their credit card?"

Submission + - 22000 SSN's stolen from Univ. of Missouri Database

Anonymous UM Employee writes: 22000 records containing Social Security numbers have been stolen from a database at the University of Missouri. The records affected were of employees employed at any UM campus in 2004 and who had attended the University of Missouri — Columbia as students at any time before that. The compromised database was one used by IT services for tracking help desk quality. See the Press Release or the IT Services QA page for more details. This was the letter that I received:
Dear University of Missouri Employee:
A University of Missouri database was breached beginning May 3, compromising more than 22,000 names and social security numbers. Those affected include employees of any campus within the UM system during calendar year 2004 who were also current or former students at the Columbia campus.
Of those employees affected, nearly 9,000 are still employed by the University of Missouri. These employees will receive an individual e-mail outlining the specifics of the incident along with detailed instructions about how to proceed. Emails to affected employees have already been sent. If you did not already receive a separate email, you are not one of the employees affected and no further action is required.
The University of Missouri is committed to protecting the confidentiality of all employee information. A recent project has been in progress to remove social security numbers from university databases in an effort to avoid such breaches of confidentiality. As this extensive process continues, please be advised the university is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of its data.
For more information about the security breach, please access the Computer Security Web page that includes a question-and-answer section regarding the event at

Submission + - Microsoft :ODF Inferior to OOXML, Bad for Industry

Eastender writes: "Under its ongoing efforts to ensure OOXML emerges as the de-facto standard, Microsoft is accusing IBM of hampering its efforts to publish its standards and to get it ISO ratification, which would give Microsoft a leg up in its efforts to provide its standards respectability.

From the article:

In an open letter released Wednesday, Microsoft executives contend that IBM is trying to influence the standards process to limit choice. It also said that IBM is encouraging governments to mandate a document format that IBM favours.

Microsoft contends that IBM is trying "to force ODF on users through public procurement mandates," which would have a negative effect on customers and the marketplace...

"We see a level of hypocrisy in IBM's activities... They have long called on us to standardise formats, make the IP (intellectual property) freely available to the broader community, and we've done it. Now that that is done, they are putting a lot of resources to block standardisation" of OOXML, Robertson said. "IBM is fundamentally on the wrong side of the industry."

Elaborating the point, Microsoft states that IBM and other parties are banding together to foist the ODF standard on the industry and that this has negative implications on the customers and the industry as a whole.

The leading software company in the world justifies the submission of the letter by stating 'that Microsoft chose to publish the letter to "shine a light" on IBM's activities'.

This questions the entire rationale of ODF and all the efforts that have been made on it by stating we have genuinely made a better standard but we are not being allowed to publish it. t_calls_IBM_hypocritical_on_document_standards/0,1 30061733,339273643,00.htm?feed=alert"

Truth in Ratings Act Reintroduced 302

dropgoal writes "Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas (and GOP presidential candidate) has reintroduced the Truth in Ratings Act. Like the previous version that failed to pass last year, Sen. Brownback's bill would make the FTC responsible for overseeing the video game ratings system and possibly result in a unified ratings system for games, movies, and TV. The ESRB would also have to review all game footage before issuing a rating. Currently, the ESRB hands out ratings after viewing a reel with representative content prepared by the developers. Sen. Brownback thinks that's not enough. 'Video game reviewers should be required to review the entire content of a game to ensure the accuracy of the rating. The current video game ratings system is not as accurate as it could be because reviewers do not see the full content of games and do not even play the games they rate', he said."

Submission + - Charter pulls a Verisign

_peter writes: As of sometime today, Charter internet customers, at least in the St. Louis area, got their own version of SiteFinder. I just finished talking to their tech support for about an hour, and have verified that it is intentional, and the only way to ``opt-out'' is to let them set a cookie in your browser. Obviously this doesn't work for connections that aren't browser-based. When I asked to be transferred to account services to cancel, the very nice representative begged for a day to look into the issue. Perhaps any other Charter customers might want to check to see if they've received this feature as well.

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