Microsoft Corp. is cracking down harder than ever on software piracy as it tries to boost profits, but some say the harsh repercussions facing people who use unlicensed versions of its new Windows Vista operating system could spur a backlash.
The world’s largest software maker said Wednesday that people running an unlicensed copy of Vista that it believes is pirated will initially be denied access to some of the most anticipated features of the operating system. That includes Windows Aero, an improved graphics technology.
If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager.
Hot-wired forklifts aiding in ATM thefts
Leave the gun. Bank robbers have found an easier way to make off with other people’s money: Around the country, thieves have hot-wired forklifts at construction sites, chugged up to banks and scooped up their ATMs, with all the cash inside.
ATM manufacturers have been working on ways to stop the heists, and sometimes the amount of money involved is so small it hardly seems worth the risk. But that hasn’t discouraged thieves this summer in such states as Arizona, California and Georgia.
They have pulled off or attempted such thefts at least 21 times this year in the Phoenix area alone.
The payoff for those who succeed in breaking into the machines varies widely, from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Sterling Mining will buy tailings facility
Sterling Mining Co. has agreed to buy a tailings facility in Shoshone County from a Canadian firm for $4.5 million.
Sterling Mining hopes to reopen the historic Sunshine Mine in Big Creek, Idaho, at some future date. Owning a tailings facility complements those plans, according to a press release announcing the sale.
Formation Capital Corp. acquired the tailings facility when it purchased the former Sunshine silver refinery in 2004. In addition to the $4.5 million in cash, Formation will also receive 16 acres of nearby land from Sterling.