9/15/2005

Maryland Man Jailed For Selling modified Xboxes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The owner of a Maryland-based retailer has been sentenced to five months in prison and fined $247,237 for selling modified Xboxes that let players play pirated games, the Entertainment Software Association said on Thursday.

Biren Amin, owner of the Pandora’s Cube chain, is the fourth person associated with Pandora’s Cube to be convicted and sentenced for game piracy. Last month, Hitesh Patel, a store manager, was sentenced to four months in prison, four months under house arrest and two years of probation.

Source: News.com

Open Source Code Finds Way into Microsoft Product

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In a move that shows just how far Microsoft Corp. has come, and how pervasive open-source software is in certain areas, the software powerhouse is, for the first time, including open-source technology in one of its shipping products.

Microsoft plans to include the Message Passing Interface—a library specification for message passing proposed as a standard by a broad-based committee of vendors, implementers and users—in its Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, which went to public beta this week at the Microsoft Developers Conference here and is on track to ship in the first half of next year.

“MPI is key middleware that was designed by a consortia of all the supercomputing vendors in the 1990s to allow the easy portability of code. It abstracts away things like low-latency interconnect, and our focus is making it super easy for ISVs to move their code,” Kyril Faenov, Microsoft’s director for High Performance Computing, told eWEEK in a recent interview at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash.

“Actually, we are probably the first team at Microsoft that will actually ship an open-source component inside of our solution, but we haven’t made a lot of noise around this yet,” he said.

Source: eWeek

RIAA Sends Letters To P2P Services

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Recording Industry Association of America has sent letters to seven peer-to-peer companies, asking them to halt what the RIAA alleges is their practice of encouraging users to illegally distribute copyrighted material.

The RIAA’s actions follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June against P2P services provider Grokster and marks one of the first actions the recording industry trade group has taken against P2P services beyond Grokster. In a unanimous decision, the court said companies that build businesses with the active intent of encouraging copyright infringement should be held liable for their customers’ illegal actions.

The letters were mailed to seven file-sharing companies, according to a RIAA spokesperson, who declined to identify the companies.

Companies such as eDonkey, LimeWire and Kazaa were viewed as potential targets of litigation after the Supreme Court ruling because of their unrestricted file-swapping services. Under the court’s decision, these companies could face the additional burden of demonstrating they were not encouraging users to circumvent copyright laws.

Source: News.com

Microsoft Wants To Combine AOL And MSN

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In a deal that would unite two of America’s corporate giants as partners in the Internet business, Time Warner is in advanced discussions to sell a stake in America Online to Microsoft, The Post has learned.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, Time Warner is in talks with Microsoft about selling the stake in AOL and then combining it with Microsoft’s Web unit MSN.

Under the plan being considered, Microsoft would pay some money to Time Warner for the AOL stake, leaving the two companies approximately equal partners in the venture.

Talks are most advanced with Microsoft — Time Warner management’s preferred partner — but the media giant has also had discussions with both Yahoo! and Google over a sale or venture with AOL, according to a source close to Time Warner.

Source: NY Post

Roman Villa Discovered With Google Earth

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Using satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth, an Italian computer programmer has stumbled upon the remains of an ancient villa. Luca Mori was studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo, near Parma, when he noticed a prominent, oval, shaded form more than 500 metres long. It was the meander of an ancient river, visible because former watercourses absorb different amounts of moisture from the air than their surroundings do.

His eye was caught by unusual ‘rectangular shadows’ nearby. Curious, he analysed the image further, and concluded that the lines must represent a buried structure of human origin. Eventually, he traced out what looked like the inner courtyards of a villa.

Mori, who describes the finding on his blog, Quellí Della Bassa, contacted archaeologists, including experts at the National Archaeological Museum of Parma. They confirmed the find and an inspection of the site turned up ceramic pieces that indicated it was a Roman villa.

Source: nature

Google Opens Up Gmail To Students

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you are a student from from an accredited U.S. institution and you still don’t have a Gmail account and you don’t have a cell phone, Google will send you a Gamil invitation to open a Gmail account.

All you need is to fill in your .edu email address from an accredited U.S. in this form, and Google will send you an invitation to open a Gmail account.

Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Expression

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft ExpressionMicrosoft Corp., introduced Microsoft® Expression, a family of professional tools for the design and production of enhanced user experiences and rich content for the Web and Windows Vista™ platform. The announced products and their code names are Expression code-named “Acrylic Graphic Designer,” a painting, illustration and effects tool for creating graphic designs; Expression code-named “Sparkle Interactive Designer,” a user-interface design tool for modern application development using the Windows® Presentation Foundation; and Expression code-named “Quartz Web Designer,” a layout and design tool for creating Web sites.

Rudder stressed that the new tools portfolio, paired with the Windows Presentation Foundation, a powerful platform-level presentation and display engine, will help drive down the cost and effort associated with building richer, more compelling and exciting applications with unique differentiated capabilities.

“Our goal is to redefine what is considered a ‘good enough’ user experience today through integrated development and design capability,” Rudder said. “Ultimately this is about enabling mainstream adoption of user experience within both business and end-user applications, resulting in richer differentiated experiences on the Web and the smart client that promote business opportunity and productivity.”

Yahoo set to unveil new search feature

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo is set to launch a new beta feature on its search Web site on Thursday. Called Instant Search, the feature interprets what a search is likely to be as the user is typing and automatically displays what it deems the most relevant result. In many cases, instant answers will be provided in the form of Yahoo Search Shortcut results. The optional feature automatically corrects spelling, as well.

Xbox 360 to Launch in U.S. Nov. 22

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The next version of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox game console will be available in the United States two days before Thanksgiving, in time for the important holiday shopping season, the company said Wednesday.

The Nov. 22 launch of Xbox 360 in North America will be followed by a Dec. 2 launch in Europe and a Dec. 10 launch in Japan.

The releases will allow the Redmond-based software maker to get a head start over rival Sony’s PlayStation 3, which is slated to replace the market-leading PlayStation 2 next spring.

The Japanese unit will cost 37,900 yen, or about $345 - slightly less than the $399.99 the company is charging in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Microsoft had previously disclosed the U.S. price, as well as the European price of 399.99 euros.

Microsoft also is selling a scaled-back version, dubbed “Xbox 360 Core System,” for $299.99 in North America and 299.99 euros in Europe. But David Reid, director of platform marketing for Xbox, said the company had decided there wouldn’t be enough demand to immediately launch that cheaper system in Japan.

Source: AP

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