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Submission + - Windows genuine advantage angers China

holy_calamity writes: "Earlier this month Microsoft finally unleashed Windows Genuine Advantage on China, a country where more than 80% of software is pirated, and many users don't even realise they are using counterfeit Windows. The result is thousands of people told they are pirates by popup messages, finding their desktops turning dark, and getting angry with MS. One lawyer claimed in the China Daily that Microsoft's actions are illegal, and called it "the biggest hacker in China.""

Submission + - Chinese surfers see red over Microsoft black-outs 2

wvmarle writes: Microsoft has decided to take action against Windows systems in China that fail the "Windows Genuine Advantage" check. Since the latest automatic updates, many users find their desktop background to be changed to black. This has left many users fuming and looking for alternatives. Also Microsoft Office is targeted, and Chinese software producers supplying competing products see their downloads soar by as much as 50% already. One of the main complaints is that Microsoft is hacking end user's computers, and users are afraid that if today Microsoft changes their background, what will they do tomorrow? More news reports available here and here.
The Internet

Wikipedia's New Definition of Truth 428

Hugh Pickens writes "Simson Garfinkel has an interesting essay on MIT Technology Review in which he examines the way that Wikipedia has redefined the commonly accepted use of the word 'truth.' While many academic experts have argued that Wikipedia's articles can't be trusted because they are written and edited by volunteers who have never been vetted, studies have found that the articles are remarkably accurate. 'But wikitruth isn't based on principles such as consistency or observability. It's not even based on common sense or firsthand experience,' says Garfinkel. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is verifiability — that it appeared in some other publication, but there is a problem with appealing to the authority of other people's written words: many publications don't do any fact checking at all, and many of those that do simply call up the subject of the article and ask if the writer got the facts wrong or right. Wikipedia's policy of 'No Original Research' also leads to situations like Jaron Lanier's frustrated attempts to correct his own Wikipedia entry based on firsthand knowledge of his own career. So what is Wikipedia's truth? 'Since Wikipedia is the most widely read online reference on the planet, it's the standard of truth that most people are implicitly using when they type a search term into Google or Yahoo. On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject.'"

FBI Says Dark Market Sting Netted 56 Arrests 130

narramissic writes "A two-year undercover FBI sting operation targeting online 'carder' forums hosted on the Web site has netted 56 arrests and prevented about $70 million in fraud losses, the FBI said Thursday. was widely used by online scammers to buy and sell stolen credit card numbers, other financial information, and even the devices used to make fake banking cards. Before it was shut down earlier this month, the Web site had registered more than 2,500 members. Although Dark Market was thought to have been administered by a criminal going by the name Master Splyntr, German Public Radio reported on Monday that the FBI had been running a sting operation on the site since late 2006, and that Master Splyntr was actually an FBI agent named J. Keith Mularski." Of course, they say it in German; non-German speakers may want to consult the Babelfish.

Solyndra's Thin-Film Solar Cells Draw $1.2 Billion In Orders 131

SolarSells writes "Solyndra makes funky-looking cylindrical solar cells that resemble compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Their products are meant for office buildings, and are made from a thin coating of copper indium gallium diselenide on glass tubes. Although they might not be able to fill them till 2012, the company has already received $1.2 billion in orders. Their manufacturing tricks make the cells so cheap that they may be competitive with other forms of power even after solar subsidies are phased out."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Buffalo gets new trial on WiFi patents (

MrLint writes: Its been a long nearly 2 year of silence since CSIRO won a patent battle against Buffalo Tech, causing an injuction preventing the sale or wireless routers On September 19th, 2008 a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that CSIRO patent claims are invalid and Buffalo is getting a new trial. With any luck we can get out grubby hands on low cost wifi routers again!

Submission + - SPAM: M$ Enters Debt, Institues Hiring Freeze, Game Over

ibane writes: Citing the economy as a reason for caution, M$ hotly denied a hiring freeze after news of one leaked out. The spokesvole forgot to mention the company being written off by all sane observers, the Vista failure losses from all major divisions and the near impossiblity of them doing more with less. The death spiral of failed product, lost revenue, lost talent, failed product is accelerating.

Submission + - SPAM: Debt and Freeze, M$ Finally Going Down the Tubes.

inTheLoo writes: ESR predicted the fall of M$ if they were to lose their abilty to play games with stock options.

We can afford to pin some of our hopes on growth in Europe and developing countries and elsewhere, but Microsoft can't — the time horizon on it is too long for a company whose big challenge is to keep beating revenue expectations every quarter in a market where they have 92% share (if they don't beat those expectations every quarter, their stock tanks, the option pyramid collapses, and it's game over).

After ten years of flast stock prices and three quarters of missing expectations, is the end finally here? Twitter asks:

We've seen stories about how M$ is past it's prime, and how rejected their new OS is. Opinion of their new Office is about as low. Partners like CompUSA has gone under while others like Adobe are under full frontal attack for the remaining "profit centers". There's been a regular executive exodus. Now, after three straight quarters of missing Wall Street expectation comes news of massive losses, a now confirmed plan to go into debt buying their own stock and a hiring freeze. Is this, finally, the end of the end for M$?

Oh yes it is! Vista is a massive failure and they won't be able to do better with less.


Submission + - SPAM: M$'s Hiring Freeze - is this The End for them?

Odder writes: M$ was unable to produce a reasonable OS in five years when they were flush with talent and cash. It was long ago predicted M$ would fail if they could not keep up their stock options game. They could not and have since been losing both cash and employees and seen competition from all sides kick their ass. With rumors of hiring freezes and confirmed plans to go into debt, is the end finally here for them?
The Courts

Oregon Judge Says RIAA Made 'Honest Mistake,' Allows Subpoena 175

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Arista v. Does 1-17, the RIAA's case targeting students at the University of Oregon, the Oregon Attorney General's motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena — pending for about a year — has reached a perplexing conclusion. The Court agreed with the University that the subpoena, as worded, imposed an undue burden on the University by requiring it to produce 'sufficient information to identify alleged infringers,' which would have required the University to 'conduct an investigation,' but then allowed the RIAA to subpoena the identities of 'persons associated by dorm room occupancy or username with the 17 IP addresses listed' even though those people may be completely innocent. In his 8-page decision (PDF), the Judge also 'presumed' the RIAA lawyers' misrepresentations were an 'honest mistake,' made no reference at all to the fact, pointed out by the Attorney General, that the RIAA investigators (Safenet, formerly MediaSentry) were not licensed, rejected all of the AG's privacy arguments under both state and federal law, and rejected the AG's request for discovery into the RIAA's investigative tactics."

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