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The Courts

Submission + - Child Porn Viewer Told to Pay $200000 Restitution (nzherald.co.nz)

Brian Ribbon writes: "In a landmark ruling, a man convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography has been forced to pay $200000 to a subject of images which he possessed but did not distribute. The lawyer of a woman who was once depicted in some of the images claimed that "the victim is a victim of sexual exploitation caused by this defendant," despite the fact that the defendant downloaded the images almost ten years after they had been produced. Ernie Allen, of the state-funded advocacy organisation NCMEC, argued that "every time they are downloaded, every time they are distributed, the victim in that image is revictimised"."

Submission + - Finnish ISPs blocking w3.org as child-porn (maraz.be) 1

shazzle writes: "A few Finnish ISPs started blocking w3.org as a child-porn site. Although one of them has lifted this hasty block, there's another ISP that applied the secret list with a little delay. Here's the evidence. I think we can all agree on the fact how dangerous this kind of haphazard censorship is to free speech as well as legitimate business. Let us not forget how these kinds of mistakes are applied much easier, than corrected afterwards."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - New Dungeons & Dragons Declares War On Open Ga

mxyzplk writes: "Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast shocked the role-playing game industry today by announcing that anyone wanting to publish material for the new Fourth Edition of D&D, expected out in June of this year, must forgo open licensing entirely as part of their new Game System License.

With the launch of the third edition of the popular game eight years ago, Wizards had sponsored an open licensing scheme. This license, called the Open Gaming License, or OGL, was a kind of open source license designed for game publishers. The result was an explosion of third party game companies supporting D&D and establishing their own game lines. Many of these companies became quite large and successful, notably Paizo Publishing, Green Ronin Publishing, and others.

Now, however, Wizards has stated that any company hoping to publish products for their new edition must agree to discontinue any currently open licensed products and produce no further open products at all — Dungeons & Dragons related or not. A number of companies had leveraged the OGL for their indepedent games, for example the pulp game Spirit of the Century.

In response to questions about this policy, Scott Rouse, D&D Brand Manager for Wizards of the Coast, says that "We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?"

It seems to me that this is the equivalent of Microsoft telling people "If you want to make and sell software for Windows Vista, you can't make and sell any Linux/open source software!" Since this is a small niche market without the visibility of a Microsoft, this play to muscle out competition by making them choose "between us and open licensing" will probably succeed. Some other game companies are rebelling; Paizo Publsihing, for example, has declared their intent to move forward with the open-licensed previous version, essentially 'forking' the Dungeons & Dragons code base. But small gaming companies are small indeed, and Wizards of the Coast is owned by Hasbro (a recent development likely not unrelated to this change of heart)."

Submission + - NH Primary Hand Counts != Diebold Machine Counts

isdale writes: There are several reports showing the hand counts in New Hampshire Primary are quite different from the machine counts:
* Hand Count Shows 15% For Ron Paul
* Diebold favors Hillary, hand count for Obama

BlackBoxVoting.org has an article claiming Director of Sales and Marketing of the one and only contractor servicing the Diebold machines uses exclusively in NH has a criminal record.

Just thought the SlashDot folks would be interested.

Submission + - Pixel: Photoshop for the Linux Crowd (wired.com)

palegray.net writes: "Wired News reviews a competitor to the Gimp. Targeted at multiple platforms (including Windows, Linux and MacOSX), Pixel offers a more Photoshop-like environment for image editing, and offers many of the tools and features available in Photoshop. According to the software's license agreement, it allows users to evaluate the downloadable version for an unlimited time, and redistribution to anyone you like is permitted. The software's site includes screenshots of the application in action, running on BeOS, Windows, MacOSX, eComStation, and more!"

Submission + - Cool Curved Wrap Around Monitor from CES (pressthat.com)

theGZA writes: This sweet doublewide curved DLP display with LED illumination from Alienware will reportedly be available in the second half of '08. It looks cool but I bet it will expensive.

Journal SPAM: 5-Year-Old Boy Detained as US National Security Threat 1

It's a case of a mistaken identity for a 5-year-old boy from Normandy Park. He had trouble boarding a plane because someone with the same name is wanted by the federal government. "When his mother went to pick him up and hug him and comfort him during the proceedings, she was told not to touch him because he was a national security risk. They also had to frisk her again to make sure the little Dilling


Submission + - Best non-crippled cellphone?

heretic108 writes: The Nokia 6288 has been an excellent cellphone in all respects except one — its crippleware OS-based restrictions against 3rd party Java MIDP applications. I'm aware that Nokia are not alone in this practice. But what about other cellphones? I'm looking to buy something other than Nokia next time, but want something with similar features, such as large hi-res color screen, 2megapixel or better camera, 3G, memory card expansion, multimedia and small form factor. Can anyone recommend any brands/models of cellphones meeting these criteria, but which are more open to 3rd party application development, and don't require developers to mess around with an expensive and complicated certification process? Or will I have to wait for the first Android phones?

Submission + - Pandora UK To Be Taken Down (pandora.com) 1

thetartanavenger writes: In what is another foot in the grave for the music industry, pandora.com will shortly be forced to be taken offline in the UK.

In July Pandora was forced to close it doors to the rest of the world, however it clung to that little piece of hope that they would be able to keep it running for the UK. However, despite long attempts to work out an affordable deal with the record companies, Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, has sent out this email to all of it's UK listeners. Just how long is it going to be until this will happen to those of you in the states too?

RIP Pandora UK. You will be missed.

Feed Techdirt: In Case You Didn't Know, Revealing Your Bank Info Isn't Very Smart (techdirt.com)

In the wake of various huge data leaks in the UK, TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson wrote a column telling people it was no big deal and revealing his bank account information -- insisting that the only thing anyone could do with that info was put more money into his account. It turns out (not surprisingly) that's not quite true... and Clarkson discovered that after someone used his bank details to donate £500 of Clarkson's money to a charity without his knowledge. To Clarkson's credit, he has apologized:

"I opened my bank statement this morning to find out that someone has set up a direct debit which automatically takes £500 from my account. The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again. I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake. Contrary to what I said at the time, we must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy."
Add this story to the one about the CEO of an anti-identity-fraud company whose advertisements published his social security number... until that social security number was used for identity fraud.

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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Western Digital Controlling Your Media (informationweek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Western Digital is hitting new ground with some web file sharing software built into their latest NAS devices, but side with Hollywood and do not allow potentially copyright infringing file formats to be shared over the internet. Anyone see a backlash on the way?

Submission + - OpenDocument Foundation closes down

Munchkinguy writes: "First, they dropped support for their namesake OpenDocument Format and switching to W3C "Compund Document Format". Then, W3C's Chris Lilley says that CDF is "was not created to be, and isn't suitable for use as, an office format". Now, the Foundation has mysteriously shut down, leaving the following message:

The OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. is closed. We sincerely wish our friends and associates in the OpenDocument Community all the best and much success going forward. Good-bye and good luck.
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA's Sherman Attacks NewYorkCountryLawyer 4

The Courts

Submission + - Judge bars RIAA prez from testifying in P2P case (arstechnica.com) 3

Eskimo Joe writes: A federal judge surprised observers in the Captiol v Thomas file-sharing trial today by barring RIAA president Cary Sherman from testifying. 'After a brief recess this afternoon, plaintiffs' counsel Richard Gabriel and defendant's counsel David Toder made their cases before the judge as to the relevance of Sherman's testimony. Toder argued that Sherman's testimony was not relevant to the question at hand, the fact of whether Thomas was liable for copyright infringement. Gabriel said that Sherman would be able to tell the jury why this case was significant, and more importantly, describe the harm the RIAA believes piracy has caused to the music industry. "I don't want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry," Toder argued in response.' Testimony wrapped up today with closing arguments expected Thursday morning.

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