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Submission + - Linux is now easier to use, but not for everyone (wsj.com)

willdavid writes: "Interesting article on Ubuntu on Dell by Walter S. Mossberg in WSJ Online: I've been testing one of those Dell Ubuntu computers, a laptop called the Inspiron 1420N. I evaluated it strictly from the point of view of an average user, someone who wouldn't want to enter text commands, hunt the Web for drivers and enabling software, or learn a whole new user interface. I focused on Ubuntu and the software programs that come bundled with it, not on the hardware, which is a pretty typical Dell laptop. My verdict: Even in the relatively slick Ubuntu variation, Linux is still too rough around the edges for the vast majority of computer users. While Ubuntu looks a lot like Windows or Mac OS X, it is full of little complications and hassles that will quickly frustrate most people who just want to use their computers, not maintain or tweak them. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118963540721725614.html?mod=googlenews_wsj"

Submission + - User-Privilege Flaw Hits Vista

IT071872 writes: "According to PC world, A security firm has discovered one of the first security flaws to directly affect Windows Vista, a bug that it claims allows local users to escalate their privileges.

The flaw involves Windows' system for managing user security levels, User Account Control (UAC), which was introduced with Vista. UAC is designed to limit the damage that can be caused by mass attacks such as worms by giving standard users limited privileges, a practice common with other operating systems."

Submission + - Steve Jobs: Show us your sincerity about DRM

Whiney Mac Fanboy writes: "Defective by Design have posted an open letter to Steve Jobs in response to Jobs' blog entry about DRM following attempts by European regulators to force Apple to licesnse fairplay. Defective by Design asks Jobs to show his sincerity about DRM in three ways:
1) Drop DRM on iTunes for independent artists.
2) Drop DRM on iTunes for Disney movies and video.
3) Take a public stand against DRM and legislation mandating DRM by funding a campaign to repeal the Digital Millenium Copyright Act's (DMCA) prohibitions."

Submission + - Major gene study uncovers secrets of leukemia

stemceller writes: "Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered previously unsuspected mutations that contribute to the formation of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children. The discovery not only suggests novel methods for treating pediatric ALL, but also provides a roadmap for the identification of unsuspected mutations in adult cancers."

Submission + - New Multi-Touch Interface Rivals Apple's iPhone

EMIce writes: "The excitement over last week's Apple iPhone debut was tempered a bit for me by Steve Jobs' proclamation that Apple had "filed for over 200 patents for all the inventions in iPhone and we intend to protect them". But an NYU Researcher has recently demonstrated a similar interface at TED, the annual Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference. He states that multi-touch has been around since the 80's and that research in it is booming right now. There is an article at FastCompany and a video on youtube. The demo is breathtaking. So did Apple invent the impressive multi-finger zooming and scrolling that Mr. Jobs so bluntly demonstrated?"

Submission + - HD and Bluray will not operate on some Vista PCs

gerrysteele writes: The Times http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,204 11-2536050,00.html is carryng an article about how Vista + rights restrictions with HD-dvd and Bluray will be bad for consumers and will leave them unable to legally play the disks that they paid for:

"in an interview with The Times, one of its chief architects said that because of anti-piracy protection granted to the Hollywood studios, Vista would not play HD-DVD and Blu-ray Discs on certain PCs.Virtually none of the PCs that use a digital connection have HDCP. Its up to the content providers to set the level of protection that Vista applies, but theyre likely to be pretty firm on the need to use high-definition content protection [HDCP] when using a digital connection, Mr Marsh said. At the moment HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs certainly require such protection. "

What won't you be able to do today?

Submission + - UK Government to Enact Fair Use Law

bobintetley writes: "I (and many other Slashdotters) recently signed a petition to the UK government:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format."

The UK Prime Minister's office has now responded with an encouraging:
As you may be aware, in December 2005 the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced that there would be a review of the intellectual property framework in the UK, led by Andrew Gowers.
The findings of this review have now been published and recommend the introduction of a private copying exception for the purposes of format shifting. This would allow individuals to copy music which they have legally bought on compact disc onto an MP3 player without infringing copyright.
The Government welcomes this recommendation and is currently considering how such an exception should be created in UK law.

Submission + - HBO making GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire into Series

rtrifts writes: "George R.R. Martin, the #1 NYT best-selling author of the fantahistorical series "Song of Ice and Fire" has sold the film rights to HBO. Variety reports that HBO plans to turn each novel into a season's worth of episodes. [link: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117957532.html?c ategoryid=14&cs=1 ]. The series is to be written and produced by David Benioff (Troy) and D.B. Weiss (Halo). George Martin, who Time Magazine has called "The American Tolkien", will remain involved with the HBO TV series, writing at least one episode and acting as executive producer throughout. Martin is no stranger to Hollywood, having both written and produced the genre series "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Twilight Zone". No news if Weta Digital is to be involved in the production, but New Zealand is confirmed as a likely production location and the casting posts are starting already. link:[ http://grrm.livejournal.com/11326.html%5D

Submission + - Torrent file has 1mil seeds and 1mil leechers

k1b2501tx writes: "I noticed today that the file "Billboard Top 100 of 2006" [ http://btjunkie.org/torrent?do=stat&id=6318cb34593 c5e2e7e41cd75556b01a5ea586b5dc63e ] on btjunkie.org has 904019 seeds and 963131 leechers. That means about 2 million people (that's about 0.6% of US's population) are downloading it or have already got it. The traffic generated by this torrent alone is approximately 1.2 Petabytes. RIAA's executives must be having mass heart attacks :)"
The Internet

MySpace to Offer Spyware for Parents 282

mrspin writes "Following continuing pressure from politicians (and parts of the media), MySpace is planning to offer parents the chance to download software which will monitor aspects of their children's activities on the social networking site. From a business point of view, the move appears to be a highly risky one. The young users of social networking sites are notorious for their lack of loyalty — and history suggests that a change like this could tempt many to abandon MySpace for the 'next cool thing'."

Submission + - Mossberg: Vista Is Worthy, Largely Unexciting

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes: "Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walter S. Mossberg says Vista is the best version of Windows yet, but doesn't represent a major step forward: 'Overall, it works pretty much the same way as Windows XP.' More from the review: 'Nearly all of the major, visible new features in Vista are already available in Apple's operating system, called Mac OS X, which came out in 2001 and received its last major upgrade in 2005. ... in my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers. Also, despite Vista's claimed security improvements, you will still have to run, and keep updating, security programs, which can be annoying and burdensome. Microsoft has thrown in one such program free, but you will have to buy at least one more. That means that, while Vista has eased some of the burden on users imposed by the Windows security crisis, it will still force you to spend more time managing the computer than I believe people should have to devote.'"

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