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Microsoft hands out free Windows 7 keys after servers fail

cracked windows seven logoMicrosoft has begun handing out unlimited free license keys for the Windows 7 beta, after its license servers were unable to handle a huge surge in applications.

Notebook PC explosion: battery manufacturer dropped safety tests

laptop battery bursts and catches fireThe manufacturer of a notebook PC battery that was seen exploding in dramatic TV footage apparently skipped safety tests when it tested newer battery models.

Video of the notebook PC exploding in flames shocked viewers and drove down the share prices of its manufacturer, LG Electronics, and battery maker, LG Chem.

SCO deleted information from its own Wikipedia entry

An internet connection owned by SCO, the firm at the center of a legal battle over the open source operating system Linux, was used to delete information from SCO's Wikipedia entry last month.

Contributors to online discussion groups have now suggested that the same individual later went on to remove substantial amounts of unfavorable information from the Wikipedia entry, but the evidence they have so far offered to support this view is not strong, and appears to be circumstantial, at best.

Digg fights user revolt over HD-DVD ban – Digg founders took HD-DVD sponsorship.

The founders of Digg.com – which has been rocked by an unprecedented user revolt over the release of an HD-DVD decryption code – accepted sponsorship from the organization behind HD-DVD last year. (See also our exclusive new report for the latest news on this issue, and our latest story, which describes how Digg has seen a huge rise in readership during the HD DVD furore ).

Episodes of the DiggNation video show were sponsored by the HD DVD Promotion Group. DiggNation is produced by Revision3, a company run by Digg founders, Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose. Rose is also a co-host of the DiggNation show. The image below shows the HD DVD logo displayed at the beginning of one such episode.

China shuts down more than 4800 pornographic websites

China has closed more than 4,800 pornographic websites in little over a month, the government has claimed.

More than 270 website operators have already been arrested, and police had been called in to investigate possible illegality in 1,170 cases, according to the public security ministry. The ministry began a new campaign against online porn on April 15.

Ebay's market share plummets in China

eBay logo modifiedEbay has lost half its market share in China in only three months as the online auction giant struggles to get to grips with local competition in the world's largest market. News of the shocking reversal comes less than a month after eBay CEO, Meg Whitman, claimed Chinese operations were 'going well'.

High ceilings promote creativity, researchers find

The height of a room's ceiling has a direct impact on the thought processes and mood of people in the room, new research has confirmed.

“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly. They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics,” says Professor Joan Meyers-Levy of the University of Minnesota.

MySpace now available in China - minus politics and religion

UPDATED: MySpace, the world's largest social networking website, has finally come to China, the world's most populous nation. After months of delays, China's 1.3 billion citizens are now able to create their own pages on the Chinese-language version of MySpace. But unlike MySpace in other countries, sensitive topics like religion and politics are nowhere to be found on the Chinese site, and users are asked to report 'subversive' activity.

Red Hat shrugs off Microsoft and Oracle competition, analysts say

Analysts expect Red Hat's launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL5) to solidify its position as the leader in commercial open source software. Red Hat appears unaffected by competitive pressure from Microsoft and Oracle, say analysts from WS Hambrecht and Co.

“We continue to believe the release of RHEL5 should solidify Red Hat's position at the forefront of the Open Source movement,” commented Hambrecht analysts, Robert Stimson and Jason Ko in a note to investors this morning.

MySpace loses out on key domain names in China

Updated March 26: MySpace has failed to register its Chinese language domain name, despite being just days away from launching its service in the world's most populous market.