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The Courts

RIAA Loses Bid To Keep Revenues Secret 229

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's motion to keep secret the record companies' 1999-to-date revenues for the copyrighted song files at the heart of the case has been denied, in the Boston case scheduled for trial July 27th, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. The Judge had previously ordered the plaintiff record companies to produce a summary of the 1999-to-date revenues for the recordings, broken down into physical and digital sales. On the day the summary was due to be produced, instead of producing it, they produced a 'protective order motion' asking the Judge to rule that the information would have to be kept secret. The Judge rejected that motion: 'the Court does not comprehend how disclosure would impair the Plaintiffs' competitive business prospects when three of the four biggest record labels in the world — Warner Bros. Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and UMG Recording, Inc. — are participating jointly in this lawsuit and, presumably, would have joint access to this information.'"

Microsoft Working For Samba Interoperability 221

JP writes "Andrew Bartlett of Samba fame has written a document describing their recent collaboration with Microsoft's Active Directory team. In brief, it would seem that the sky is falling, as Microsoft's engineers seem to be really committed to making Samba fully interoperable with AD. They have organized interoperability fests and have knowledgeable engineers answering technical questions without legal or marketing drones getting in the way. However according to Andrew the Samba AD team is currently very short on manpower, so if you have network experience, now is the time to get coding."

Microsoft To Announce Jerry Seinfeld Ads Cancelled 587

An anonymous reader writes "Valleywag says the Jerry Seinfeld ads are over — In a phone call, Frank Shaw confirms that Microsoft is not going on with Seinfeld, and echoes his underlings' spin that the move was planned. There is the 'potential to do other things' with Seinfeld, which Shaw says is still 'possible.' He adds: 'People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected.'"
The Courts

Judge Rules Defense Can Get DUI Machine Source Code 270

pfleming alerts us to developments in Arizona on a subject we have frequently discussed (e.g. FL, MN, NJ): efforts in DUI cases to obtain source code to devices that analyze blood alcohol levels. On Friday a Pima County Superior Court judge ruled that the software that powers the Intoxilyzer 8000 must be revealed to defense lawyers. "Defense attorneys representing more than 20 people arrested on felony DUI charges agreed to consolidate their cases into one and to argue it before [Judge] Bernini ... The source codes are crucial because the Intoxilyzer 8000 sometimes gives 'weird' or inexplicable results ... Six other states have been battling CMI [maker of the Intoxilyzer] over the source code — Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee and New Jersey... CMI has currently racked up over $1.2 million in fines in a civil contempt order for not disclosing the source code in Florida."

Black Screens For Unauthorized Copies of Windows 762

arcticstoat writes "In a bid to deter people from using pirate versions of Windows XP, Microsoft is now updating its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool to introduce a few uncomfortable niggles for users of pirated versions of Windows. These include replacing the desktop wallpaper with a black screen every 60 minutes, although you can still replace it with your wallpaper of choice in the intervening period. As well as this, copies of Windows deemed to not be genuine will also have a translucent watermark above the system tray, which Microsoft calls a 'persistent desktop notification.'"
The Internet

Dell Loses Bid To Trademark "Cloud Computing" 146

1sockchuck writes "The USPTO has issued a 'non-final determination' refusing Dell's request to trademark the term 'cloud computing' (we discussed the application earlier), finding that the term is generic and 'therefore incapable of functioning as a source-identifier for applicant's services.' According to Data Center Knowledge, 'Dell has the option of filing a response to submit arguments to dispute the USPTO examiner's findings.'" Here is the USPTO's ruling. A week and a half ago the PTO cancelled its 'notice of allowance' for the mark, a move little remarked upon at the time.
Operating Systems

Linux For Housewives. XP For Geeks. 511

Talinom writes "ZDNet has an article sure to raise the hackles of any self-respecting geek. They report that housewives buying small laptops like the Asus EE are causing Linux usage for that demographic to spike. A reporter for Tech-On states that 'Retailers and contract manufacturers in Taiwan say that novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP.'"

IT Students Contract Out Coursework To India 642

An anonymous reader writes "Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It's causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect." The irony, of course, is that if they actually get jobs in the sector, this will be how they actually work anyway.

China Launches Antitrust Probe Vs. Microsoft 295

snydeq writes "China has launched an investigation into whether Microsoft unfairly dominates its software market, according to a state media report. A working committee of China's State Intellectual Property Office is investigating whether Microsoft engaged in discriminatory pricing and will also look at Microsoft's practice of bundling other software programs within its Windows operating system, according to the report. The probe is part of a greater sweep of operating systems and other software developed by multinational companies that cost much more in China than in the U.S. 'On the one hand, global software firms, taking advantage of their monopoly position, set unreasonably high prices for genuine software while on the other hand, they criticise Chinese for poor copyright awareness. This is abnormal,' a source said."

Submission + - Outsourcer Steals Data, Sells to Competitors (

SkiifGeek writes: "When an Indian outsourcing firm had their contract with an American client cancelled, rather than look at what they could do to improve their service delivery or retain their customers, the firm was closed and the owner is accused of taking the internal data belonging to his ex-client and selling it to the ex-client's American competitors.

While the case represents a risk that many who outsource some of their operations would prefer not happen, it does highlight what can happen when things go wrong with any business relationship and the need to keep a tight control over information being passed outside of a company. It is somewhat ironic that the affected US company was engaged in the selling of mailing and email lists as its core business as it has now experienced what it is like to have private data sold for profit by someone else."


Windows 7 Won't Have Compact "MinWin" Kernel 580

An anonymous reader points us to an interview Microsoft's Windows 7 development chief, Steven Sinofsky, did with CNet. He reveals that Windows 7 will be a further evolution of Vista, and will lose the rumored MinWin kernel. "We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they'll work the same. We're going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model. Windows Vista was about improving those things. We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel, and that has all of this work that you've been talking about. The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server 08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well."
The Courts

French Judge Orders Refund For Pre-Installed XP 663

Racketiciel writes "A French user asked for a refund after buying an ASUS computer that came with Windows XP and other software pre-installed. ASUS tried to apply a procedure which cost more money to the consumer than they will give back... The court ruled in favor of the user, who received back 130 Euro (~200 $) for the software. Here is the ruling (PDF, French). In France, this is the fourth victory for refund seekers during the last two years, and many people are now filing for refunds (in French). Two French associations (AFUL and April) published a press release on this victory the same day an important hearing happened." The English-language press release linked above gives a pretty good idea of what happened here, for those unsuited to wading through French.
XBox (Games)

Microsoft Says No New Xbox 360s In 2009 123

OrochimaruVoldemort writes "Microsoft has said to Engadget that they do not plan on making new consoles available in 2009. This comes from the same company that said it wasn't producing a Blu-ray drive for that Xbox, so it is pure speculation. Expect to see a new console within that year. Engadget also hints: 'Microsoft representative let us know today that "While we don't normally comment on rumors like this, we can tell you that we have no plans to release a new console in 2009."' The rest of us will wait and see. For now, focus on what is available."

Microsoft Prefers Flash To Silverlight 306

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft still has not adopted Silverlight, and uses Flash all over its websites. 'Despite all the controversy over Microsoft using Silverlight to take over the rich internet market from Adobe Flash, the software giant seems to be not even trying. In fact, even most Microsoft web sites are using Flash instead of Silverlight.'"

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