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Sony Planning Serial Keys For PS3 Games?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "Rumor has it that Sony is looking to the PC games market to help solve its growing piracy problem on the PlayStation 3 — with the introduction of serial keys to its games. According to 'a very reliable source' quoted by PS3-Sense, Sony is attempting to address the recent revelation that it failed to properly secure the private signing key for its flagship console — leading to clever tinkerers producing third-party firmware that allows unofficial software and illegitimately downloaded games to run on unmodified hardware — by looking to the PC retail market for solutions. Unlike the PS3, the PC doesn't have a hardware DRM system built in to it — despite attempts by groups like the Trusted Computing Group, formerly the Trusted Computer Platform Alliance, to introduce such a thing — relying instead on software-based DRM and a surprisingly old-fashioned guarantee of a game's uniqueness: a serial key."

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Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Florian Mueller claims to have produced new evidence that he believes supports Oracle's case against Google on the copyright side of the lawsuit. Oracle originally presented one example to the court, and that file was found to have been part of older Android distributions, with an Apache license header. Mueller has just published six more files of that kind and believes the Apache Software Foundation will disown those just like the first one because those were never part of the Apache Harmony code base. Furthermore, various source files from the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit were found in the Android codebase, containing a total of 38 copyright notices that mark them as proprietary and confidential, but Google apparently published their source code regardless."

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J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 08:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Fringe creator J.J. Abrams has said of the show's much-maligned move to Friday nights, 'Fringe deserves to live beyond season 3. If we're going to fail, let's go down doing the most bad ***, weirdest, interesting, sophisticated version of a series that we could possibly do.' Previous announcements about the move were more defensive, claiming that Fringe's shift to Fridays was an attempt to draw younger viewers back to the 'dead zone' of Friday nights. But season three has been confused enough in tone and approach that it's no surprise to hear yet another contradictory statement about its future..." Good episodes of Fringe have been great TV. I've really enjoyed the first half of the season and am looking forward to seeing what they do with it. A lot of mediocre SciFi has been shut down recently (Caprica? SGU?) and a lot of bad SciFi continues (V?) but Fringe flirts with greatness with regularity. I hope it makes it... even though on Friday it's not likely.

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The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
Pickens writes "Network World reports that in the past if you wanted to remove the outer case on your iPhone 4 to replace the battery or a broken screen, you could use a Phillips screwdriver to remove two tiny screws at the base of the phone and then simply slide off the back cover. But now Apple is replacing the outer screw with a mysterious tamper-resistant 'pentalobular' screw across its most popular product lines, making it harder for do-it-yourselfers to make repairs. What about existing products in the field? Pentalobular screws might find their way into them, too. 'Apple's latest policy will make your blood boil,' says Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. 'If you take your iPhone 4 into Apple for any kind of service, they will sabotage it by replacing your Phillips screws with the new, tamper-resistant screws. We've spoken with the Apple Store geniuses tasked with carrying out this policy, and they are ashamed of the practice.' Of course, only Apple-authorized service technicians have Pentalobular screwdrivers and they're not allowed to resell them. 'Apple sees a huge profit potential,' says Wiens. 'A hundred dollars per year in incremental revenue on their installed base is a tremendous opportunity.'"

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Duke Nukem Forever Release Date Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
stupid_is writes with news that Duke Nukem Forever has now gotten a firm US release date: May 3rd. It will release worldwide three days later. The game was resurrected last fall by Gearbox Software and 2K Games after 3D Realms' 12-year attempt at development came to an end in 2009 when the company closed its doors.

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Daniel Ellsberg On WikiLeaks, Google and Facebook
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
angry tapir writes "The Silicon Valley companies that store our personal data have a growing responsibility to protect it from government snooping, according to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Discussing the growing role of Internet companies in the public sphere, Ellsberg said companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter need to take a stand and push back on excessive requests for personal data." Ellsberg spoke as part of a panel at an event from the Churchill Club, which included Clay Shirky, Jonathan Zittrain and others discussing the WikiLeaks situation.

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Verizon Sues FCC Over Net Neutrality Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
The Washington Post reports that Verizon has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission over the net neutrality rules they adopted last month. Quoting: "Verizon argues that the FCC does not have the legal authority to mandate how Internet service providers treat content on their networks. A legal challenge was widely expected, and the FCC has said it thinks Congress enabled the agency to pursue its rules under several interpretations of telecommunications laws. The FCC's rules are supported by consumer groups and Web giants such as Google and Facebook. Verizon filed its case in the same federal court — the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — that ruled last April that the FCC overstepped its authority in trying to sanction Comcast for blocking Web traffic. 'We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,' said Michael E. Glover, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. 'We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.'"

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Electronics In Flight — Danger Or Distraction?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
another similar writes "IEEE Spectrum has a blog post revisiting the debate on whether electronic devices pose a risk to flight avionics spurred by a NY Post article about Arianna Huffington's refusal to power down her Blackberry during takeoff. The post points out the EU's removal of their own ban on cell phone use in 2007 and the likelihood of significant non-compliance daily in the US — and curiously, planes haven't been falling from the sky at a similar rate. While the potential exists for there to be a problem, it would appear the risk is low. Ever bent the rules? Is an app for landing commercial jets somewhere in our future?"

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PC Gaming Alliance's New President Talks DRM, System Requirements
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 03:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
arcticstoat writes "It's been nearly three years since the PC Gaming Alliance announced its formation at GDC 2008, promising to 'advance the PC as a worldwide gaming platform.' Since then, Activision-Blizzard has publicly left the alliance, Sony DADC – developer of the controversial SecuROM DRM software – has signed up and some people are wondering if the PCGA is really acting in the best interests of PC gamers. However, in December 2010 the alliance appointed a new president — Intel's Matt Ployhar — who's promising to make some changes. In this in-depth interview, Ployhar reveals that he wants to tempt Activision Blizzard back to the alliance, saying that 'Activision's Kotick and Blizzard's Morhaime may be more aligned with our future objectives than they may realize.' He also discusses Sony DADC's role in the alliance, and the group's stance on DRM, explaining that its research can 'really help to influence Sony DADC's and other members' awareness of key trends taking place in the PC gaming ecosystem. Given the trend of retail's diminishing presence, free-to-play, games moving towards authentication, game streaming and so on, it's really hard to divine where DRM solutions fit into this equation in the future.'"

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UK ID Card Scheme Data Deleted For £400K
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
DaveNJ1987 writes "It will cost the British government only £400,000 to destroy the data for its failed ID card initiative. The data compiled by the National Identity Register, which was scrapped last year by the coalition government, will be disposed of for the relatively small sum — in government figures — Home Office minister Damian Green confirmed."

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Australian Government Denies Microsoft Bias In OOXML Choice
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the Australian Government is not taking criticism of its decision to mandate Microsoft's Office Open XML standard lying down. 'The policy is vendor-neutral which allows its principles and standards to be used across any platform,' they said this week. Yup ... except for the fact that almost no other office suite apart from Microsoft Office supports writing to the standard. And as for Firefox? Turns out 96 percent of Australian Government desktops use Internet Explorer. Looks like bureaucracy is winning here."

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Blizzard Won't Stop World of StarCraft Mod
Posted by News Fetcher on January 21 '11 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
On Wednesday we discussed news of an impressive-looking mod for StarCraft II that transformed the game into a WoW lookalike, which quickly drew a copyright infringement warning from Activision Blizzard. The company has now released an official statement green-lighting the mod for continued development. "'It was never our intention to stop development on the mod or discourage the community from expressing their creativity through the StarCraft II editor,' Blizzard said in a statement. 'As always, we actively encourage development of custom maps and mods for StarCraft II, as we've done with our strategy games in the past.' Blizzard went on the say that it's looking forward to seeing development of the mod continue, and that it has invited Winzen to the company's campus to meet the game's development team."

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New Red Dwarf Series Threatened By the Twitter Era
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The announcement that the new series of Red Dwarf is likely to be shot in front of a studio audience, which hasn't happened for the show since 1998, has made one of the show's actors wary of the practicality of it. Commenting on his blog, Robert Llewellyn, who plays servile robot Kryten in the hit British SF comedy show notes: 'The fear among the producers now is that it's impossible to imagine an audience of around 400 people at the recording of a TV show like Red Dwarf, where nobody does a bit of a hint on Twitter, or sneaks a picture on Facebook or posts a bit of badly shot video on YouTube.'"

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FSF Announces Support For WebM
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 10:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The Free Software Foundation has signed up as a supporter of the WebM Project. They write, 'Last week, Google announced that it plans to remove support for the H.264 video codec from its browsers, in favor of the WebM codec that they recently made free. Since then, there's been a lot of discussion about how this change will affect the Web going forward, as HTML5 standards like the video tag mature. We applaud Google for this change; it's a positive step for free software, its users, and everyone who uses the Web.' The FSF's PlayOgg campaign will be revamped to become PlayFreedom."

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Australian Government Denies Microsoft Bias IN OOXML Choice
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 08:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the Australian Government is not taking criticism of its decision to mandate Microsoft's Office Open XML standard lying down. 'The policy is vendor-neutral which allows its principles and standards to be used across any platform,' they said this week. Yup ... except for the fact that almost no other office suite apart from Microsoft Office supports writing to the standard. And as for Firefox? Turns out 96 percent of Australian Government desktops use Internet Explorer. Looks like bureaucracy is winning here."

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Underwater Nuclear Power Plant Proposed In France
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 05:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
nicomede writes "The French state-owned DCNS (French military shipyard) announced today a concept study for an underwater nuclear reactor dedicated to power coastal communities in remote places. It is derived from nuclear submarine power plants, and its generator would be able to produce between 50 MWe and 250MWe. Such a plant would be fabricated and maintained in France, and dispatched for the different customers, thus reducing the risk for proliferation."

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Espionage In Icelandic Parliament
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 05:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
bumburumbi writes "An unauthorised computer, apparently running encrypted software, was found hidden inside an unoccupied office in the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, connected to the internal network. According to the Reykjavik Grapevine article, serial numbers had been removed and no fingerprints were found. The office had been used by substitute MPs from the Independence Party and The Movement, the Parliamentary group of Birgitta Jonsdottir, whose Twiiter account was recently subpoenaed by US authorities. The Icelandic daily Morgunbladid, under the editorship of Mr David Oddsson, former Prime Minister and Central Bank chief, has suggested that this might be an operation run by Wikileaks. The reporter for the Reykjavik Grapevine, Mr Paul Nikolov is a former substitute MP, having taken seat in Parliament in 2007 and 2008."

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NASA Seeks Ham Operators' Help To Test NanoSail-D
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
SEWilco writes "Despite our older headline, NanoSail-D was not 'ost in space'. It was stuck in its canister. The solar sail nano satellite finally ejected on Wednesday. The three-day countdown to sail deployment began then, so we'll have to see what happens next." And clm1970 adds "In another conventional use for an arguably unconventional hobby given the technology of 2011, NASA is requesting the help of Amateur Radio or 'ham operators' to help listen to a beacon signal of the nano-satellite. Many say the hobby is dying but for every 'death knell,' it seems another application brings it back to life to prove its usefulness."

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Eric Schmidt Out, Larry Page In As Google CEO
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
jfruhlinger writes "Google surprised just about everybody at its earnings call by announcing that Eric Schmidt, who had served as company CEO for more than a decade, would be stepping down and that cofounder Larry Page would take over. Schmidt will stay on as chairman and provide 'technology thought leadership,' whatever that is. When Schmidt, an old Sun hand, joined Google in 2001, it was seen as a move to turn the scrappy upstart into a mature company; now on his Twitter feed Schmidt proclaims that his 'adult supervision' is no longer needed."

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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '11 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
mxhf writes "I just came back from a four-week vacation to Mexico. This is the country for Aztecs and Maya Ruins and we visited plenty of them. Needless to say we took thousands of pictures with two cameras. Having arrived back home I realize that my hard-disk does not have enough space left to hold the additional 16GB that I collected on the other side of the globe. Now, my hard disk already is 250GB. I work exclusively on a laptop and do not want to change this. I know that there larger disks today. But I figured that the time has come to finally move my image collection from my laptop to somewhere else. But where should I go? So, how do you store your photo collections? And how do you keep backups?. These are obviously images that I want to keep for my life. So the need to survive fires, burglaries, etc. I think the amount of data I have rules online storage out. Should I just get two USB disks and leave one at a reasonably save location? I think this must be a common problem today? And yes — before you ask — I do know that the first thing to do is to go through your collection and dump what is not worthwhile keeping."

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