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Submission + - SPAM: Poll: The new decade starts...

selven writes: 1) In 2010
2) In 2011
3) On Dec 21, 2012
4) On Jan 19, 2038
5) A new period of 10 years starts every Jan 1
6) I use Ksecs and Msecs, you insensitive clod!
7) When we get flying cars, goddammit.
The Almighty Buck

EA Abandons Efforts To Take Over Take-Two 98

Erik J writes "Electronic Arts has abandoned plans to absorb Grand Theft Auto IV publisher Take-Two Interactive, the company announced earlier today. Following over half a year of hostile buyout offers by EA, the pair went into talks under a confidentiality agreement in late August. From the official announcement: 'EA continues to have a high regard for Take-Two's creative teams and products, [but] after careful consideration, including a management presentation and review of other due diligence materials provided by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., EA has decided not to make a proposal to acquire Take-Two and has terminated discussions with Take-Two.' The announcement caused Take-Two's stock to drop by 30%, and analysts expect a bidding war to ensue for employment of the GTA creators."

Scribbling On Digital Photos 134

JagsLive notes a patent application filed in the US by Nokia for a way to 'scribble on the back' of digital photos. Nokia's approach is similar to the iPod's Cover Flow, except that Nokia users will be able to flip through their snaps, select one, and then turn it over and annotate the back just using SMS-like text entry. The scribble becomes an integral part of the saved photo.
The Military

Spy Agencies Turn To Online Sources For Info 140

palegray.net sends us to US News and World Report for an article about increased spy agency use of online sources. Turning to well-known destinations such as NPR and Wikipedia, folks in the intelligence world are increasingly filling their reports with information gleaned from the public domain. "A few days ago, a senior officer at the Pentagon called his intelligence officer into his office. The boss had heard a news report about China while driving to his office and wanted some answers. It wasn't a tough assignment, given the news coverage, but there was a hitch. 'There was plenty of information in the public domain about the topic,' recalls the intelligence officer, a 10-year veteran. 'And yet, if there wasn't some classified information cited in my report, the boss would never believe it was accurate.'"

Redesigned, Bulkier Honda Insight to Challenge Prius 638

In what probably amounts to good news for consumers eyeing a hybrid for their next vehicle purchase, Honda is resurrecting the "Insight" name, this time in the form of a five-seat, Prius-like hatchback. The automaker's announcement included the tantalizing statement that the cost would be "significantly below [that of] hybrids available today," but provided no further details on pricing. Although Honda may have some trouble unseating Toyota's dominance of this particular hybrid market, hopefully the Insight's reintroduction will help to make hybrid cars even more affordable to consumers. This is also welcome news to folks like myself who, after the initial flurry of excitement when the now-retired original Insight was introduced in '99, were left scratching their heads at Honda's hybrid strategy as Toyota picked up their dropped ball and ran with it.

"Perfect" Mirrors Cast For LSST 114

eldavojohn writes "The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (which was partially funded by Gates & Co.) announced a world record casting for its single-piece primary and tertiary mirror blanks, cast at the University of Arizona. From the announcement: 'The Mirror Lab team opened the furnace for a close-up look at the cooled 51,900-pound mirror blank, which consists of an outer 27.5-foot diameter (8.4-meter) primary mirror and an inner 16.5-foot (5-meter) third mirror cast in one mold. It is the first time a combined primary and tertiary mirror has been produced on such a large scale.'"

Linux Not Supported For Democratic Convention Video 794

bucketoftruth writes "If you browse to the Democratic Convention website and attempt to check out any of their upcoming streams, you bump into the following limitation: 'We're sorry, but the Democratic Convention video web site isn't compatible with your operating system and/or browser. Please try again on a computer with the following Compatible operating systems: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, or a Mac with Tiger (OS 10.4) or Leopard (OS 10.5). Compatible browsers: Internet Explorer (version 6 or later), Firefox (version 2), or, if you are on a Mac, Safari (version 3.1) also works.'"

Yahoo Blocks Venerable Email List Over False Positives 358

RomulusNR writes "Yahoo has stopped delivering This Is True, Randy Cassingham's 14-year-old mailing list, because too many Yahoo readers have mistakenly or carelessly flagged it as spam. Yahoo readers make up over 10% of True's readership, slashing the ad revenue that keeps it going. And Yahoo doesn't negotiate with spammers. As Randy describes it: 'The yahoos... ask to be put on True's distribution, then confirm that request, and... then click the "This is Spam" button when they don't recognize the mailing or simply don't want it anymore. Yes, those yahoos have screwed thousands upon thousands of others who really do want my newsletter. Too bad: Yahoo is listening to the yahoos instead: they're blocking it. To them, we're "spammers" and no protestations from "spammers" count.' The irony is that This is True is one of the first profitable mailing lists, predating Yahoo! Mail by almost three years."

Israel Moves Toward a National Biometric Database 476

An anonymous reader writes "Israeli's government has approved the creation of a biometric database which would contain fingerprints and facial photos of all Israeli citizens. If the bill becomes law — and it is at an early stage — the biometric information of each citizen would be embedded in their passport and national ID card. Israeli citizens would be required by law to submit to biometric testing upon request by government employees, soldiers, and policemen, so that their biometric info can be compared to the info embedded in their ID card / passport. The declared purpose of the bill is to combat forgery of passports and ID cards, and also to aid identification 'in cases of a mass disaster.' The bill was approved over objections from civil rights groups and the Israeli Bar. The article notes that no other democratic country has a comprehensive biometric database of all citizens."
The Courts

Where To Draw the Line When Punishing Email Snooping? 124

CWmike writes "While it might seem like a practical joke or a harmless, furtive glance, e-mail snooping could land you in more hot water than you'd ever expect — you could be charged with a federal crime. The recent case of a Philadelphia TV news anchor charged with breaking into his co-anchor's e-mail accounts shines a light on the seriousness of such snooping. Scott Christie, a former federal prosecutor who headed up the computer hacking section at the U.S. Attorney's Office, said, 'You look over someone's shoulder and read a personal letter and that's not a crime, so how can it be a crime to access someone's e-mail? It's not the same thing, of course... What you're doing when you're accessing e-mail is affirmatively exceeding your access to electronic documents and systems.' He adds: 'Usually, you're doing that by pretending to be that person to break into their account.'" It's worth noting that the Philadelphia man accessed his co-worker's email over 500 times, and his use of the information he found was hardly harmless. However, the rules and conventions for email privacy are much less familiar to most people than the laws regarding snail mail. At what point does a privacy breach demand punishment?

How Do You Fix Education? 949

TaeKwonDood writes "Carl Wieman is the 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Physics but what he cares most about is fixing science education. The real issue is, can someone who went through 20 years of science education as a student, lived his life in academia since then and even got a Nobel prize get a fair shake from bureaucrats who like education the way it is — flawed and therefore always needing more money?"

What Gore Didn't Say About Solar Cells 574

AmericanInKiev writes "Computer World posted a piece on Al Gore and his claim that solar cells will improve at the same rate as microprocessors. Vinod Khosla on the other hand has expressed disappointment that the doubling rate for price/performance of PV is 10 years rather than 18 months for transistors. Which of these two has the facts on their side?" Before anyone has him inventing the Internet again, note that Gore's claim as related in the article is much milder than that Moore's Law applies to solar cells per se -- namely, he's quoted as saying "We're now beginning to see the same kind of sharp cost reductions as the demand grows for solar cells." An optimistic statement, but not a flat-out silly one.

Nukes Not the Best Way To Stop Asteroids, Says Apollo Astronaut 367

MajorTom writes "Right now, we are not tracking many of the asteroids that could destroy earth. But within the next decade, new telescopes will make that possible, and leave us with the tough decision of what to do about objects with an alarming chance of hitting our planet. Last year, NASA said that the best option is to nuke them. This week, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, explained that there are far better options, and he has started an organization to prove that they can work."

Submission + - Al Gore wrong on Solar and Moores Law (computerworld.co.nz)

AmericanInKiev writes: Computer World posted a piece on Al Gore and his claim that Solar cells will improve at the same rate as Microprocessors. Vinod Khosla on the other hand has expressed disappointment that the doubling rate for price/performance of PV is 10 years rather than 18 months for transistors. Which of these two has the facts on their side?

FSF's "Defective By Design" Targets Apple Genius Bars 838

mjasay writes "At OSCON this year, MySQL's Brian Aker made this bold statement: 'Microsoft is irrelevant ... We're more worried about Apple.' The Free Software Foundation appears to have caught the hint, and has turned its attention to all-things-Apple with a 'denial of service' attack on the Apple Genius Bars. The idea is to completely book all Genius Bars and then ask the 'geniuses,' over and over again, a few questions about Apple's proprietary ways (while, apparently, real customers with support issues are left to flounder). Lost in this anti-Apple fervor, however, is the Free Software Foundation's complete and conscious failure to protect the web. Richard Stallman has long felt that software that doesn't sit on his desktop doesn't affect his freedom, but isn't the opposite true? Why is the FSF focused on Apple when the bigger concern should be Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, and other web players, a point made by Tim O'Reilly recently at OSCON?" Defective by Design is just one of many FSF projects, remember; it hardly seems fair to say that the FSF has been ignoring the implications of software as a service.

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