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Slashback: Sony Blu-Ray, Phone Records, Korean Cloners 158

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the look-before-you-leap dept.
Slashdot tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including a few thoughts on the McKinnon situation, New Zealand revises their views on OSS, Korean cloners facing possible jail time, the fight for .xxx continues, more details on Diebold problems, the Supreme Court sides with eBay, AT&T denied a closed hearing, and Sony's Blu-Ray demo on the level. -- Read on for details.

Mathew Bevan speaks out on McKinnon case. mrkuji writes "Ex military hacker Mathew Bevan AKA Kuji has released his comments and thoughts about the goings on of the McKinnon hacker extradition trial."

New Zealand revises their view of OSS. sam_vilain writes "As previously noted here on Slashdot, the New Zealand State Services Commission has some problems with open source software. The new version of their legal guidelines document for OSS in NZ government, however, is a breath of fresh air."

Korean cloners facing possible jail time. reporter writes "In a stunning conclusion to the saga of the Korean cloning scientist who fabricated his results, the Korean government wants to throw him in prison. The BBC reports, "The South Korean cloning scientist who faked his stem cell research has been charged with fraud and embezzlement. [...] Prosecutors claim he [, using grant funds,] bought a car and paid contributions to politicians and company officials who helped to arrange his grants. [...] The misuse of state funds carries a jail term of up to 10 years, while a violation of bio-ethics laws can mean up to three years in prison.'"

The fight for .xxx to continue? Robert writes "ICANN has played down the role that the conservative US government had in its decision to reject a plan to launch a porn-only internet domain, while the company backing the .xxx proposal said it was considering an appeal. From the article: 'Stuart Lawley, president of ICM, after spending at least two years and over $2m on campaigning for .xxx to be approved, told us he thought the deal was shot down for political reasons, and said he was weighing a response. [...] The reason people suspect that US concerns were key, and the reason that the media keeps harping on about it, is because ICANN's powers are granted under a contract with the US Department of Commerce. That contract ends in four months, and so far nobody seems to know what happens after it expires.'"

More details on the Diebold problem. An anonymous reader writes "SecurityFocus' Rob Lemos has published an article with many more details on the critical Diebold problems, implications for upcoming state elections next week, and quotes from key scientists who have detailed knowledge of how easily the flaws can be exploited." Relatedly eldavojohn writes "USA Today is reporting that Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell has resigned. From the article: "The board of directors and Wally mutually agreed that his decision to resign at this time for personal reasons was in the best interest of all parties," said John Lauer, Diebold's non-executive chairman of the board."

Supreme Court sides with eBay in patent suit. theodp writes "In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court sided with eBay in a fight over the use of its 'Buy It Now' feature, which will make it easier for companies to avoid court injunctions barring the continued use of technology after a patent infringement finding, such as the one used by Amazon against Barnes & Noble in the midst of the Christmas holiday season over its soon-to-be-reexamined 1-Click patent."

AT&T denied a closed hearing. guygee writes "According to the San Francisco Chronicle, AT&T has lost its '11th hour bid' to force closed hearings on unsealing critical documents in EFF's class-action lawsuit alleging AT&T's illegal transfer of its customer's telephone and Internet records and communications to the National Security Agency. According to the report, 'An AT&T lawyer sent a letter by fax to Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Tuesday asking that the courtroom be closed during any discussion of its trade secrets or confidential information.' EFF is also reporting the breaking news on the case." Relatedly DarkAudit writes "A commissioner for the FCC wants an investigation into whether or not phone companies broke the law by handing over their records to the NSA."

Sony's Blu-Ray demo on the level. eaglebtc writes "Gearlog.com has retracted a previous accusation against Sony regarding their alleged use of a DVD+R instead of a Blu-Ray disc in a demonstration. In the original announcement, Gearlog.com claimed that Sony was using a DVD+R to demonstrate Blu-Ray technology, in an attempt to show that Sony was not ready to market the product."

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Slashback: Sony Blu-Ray, Phone Records, Korean Cloners

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  • by Prophetic_Truth (822032) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:06PM (#15355129)
    good! he's a fraud and deserves punishment. Sounds like the prosecution has a lock case. Although I only think we're hearing about this because of all the political baggage stem cell research carries. There are plenty of people defrauding governments and companies worldwide.
  • Nice job Lance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by illuminatedwax (537131) <stdrange@@@alumni...uchicago...edu> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:14PM (#15355163) Journal
    Apparently, Lance was drunk during the event [notebookreview.com] and thought he had some kind of big scoop when really he was too wasted to understand what was going on at the event.
    • Lance was drunk during the event

      Gentlemen, I give you the next William Faulkner! With his twin ghostwriters, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels.

  • Retraction? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:14PM (#15355164) Homepage Journal

    From Gearlogs "retraction"
    The Sony rep believes I should have come straight to him when I saw the DVD+R. Had I thought this was a momentous discovery, I would have. But the fact that I found no Blu-ray disc was, to me, humorous and not some indication of bait and switch.
    The fact is, Mr. Ulanoff, you thought you had a scoop and ran off to stick it in your blog. You did seem to think this was a "momentous discovery", at least that's what your actions suggest.

    Be a man, admit you screwed up and move on.

    • Re:Retraction? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by exley (221867) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:54PM (#15355311) Homepage
      My favorite part of the "retraction" was this (emphasis not mine):

      While it's true that I did not check the drive of the second AR laptop, I thought both laptops were showing the same thing and saw no need to investigate the second seemingly duplicate setup.

      Yeah, we can't have journalists wasting any of their time doing things like investigating facts. Why would they have two identical setups side-by-side anyway? Wouldn't that warrant some kind of further study? As the original poster implied, Ulanoff saw no need to investigate further because he was too excited at having "caught" Sony doing something bad. Can we get Ulanoff a job at one of the major newspapers, or possibly in the Bush administration? Seems like he'd fit right in with those groups since they're pretty good at doing half-assed work and pushing their agendas.

      If this was Sony's big coming-out party for Blu-Ray I could understand this having been a big deal in the first place, but it wasn't -- it was just a party for the 10th anniversary of the Vaio line. All this was was another excuse for the anti-Sony Fanboys to have yet another opportunity to bash Sony. I'm less than thrilled over the price of the PS3 and some of Sony's other moves, but this is ridiculous.

      • Re:Retraction? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Oxen (879661) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @09:36PM (#15355484)
        The fact still remains that Sony's "comparison" laptop was playing a DVD+R for comparison, not the production DVD. From the pictures, it appears to be a single layer DVD, which indicates that comparison DVD was, in fact, a compressed DVD. This should raise some eyebrows, as one can tell the difference between a DVD compressed to a single layer and one which fits on a douoble layer DVD. The fact that Sony resorted to degrading the quality of the control DVD indicates that the quality difference between DVD and Blu-Ray isn't as great as they would like us to believe.
        • I've no idea why this is modded 'flamebait'. It's a perfectly reasonable question. If it was the comparison machine, then it wasn't a true comparison, as the 'DVD quality' video would have been compressed (even further) using god-knows-what settings.
        • I really, Really hate to point this out but:

          Most movies, sans menus and additional audio tracks, unless they are SuperBit, will fit on a single layer dvd+r. Let alone we don't have any confirmation if the movie was being played in it's entirity. If i wanted to do a comparison using the same movie and keep them synced up, i would burn a single chapter from each, in its original format, burned onto the respective medium (dvd+r in one case, bluray-r or whatever in the other) and set the player to loop that cha
        • That's not necessarily true at all. It stands to reason that Sony wanted to demo specific scenes from the movie and not simply play back the entire disc in either case. If this is the case, ripping a 15 minute chunk of the movie onto DVD+R would be a quick and dirty way of making the demo material easily accessible without violating their license for CSS by bypassing anti-skip functions on the real DVD.
          • sony owns a studio, this means they could copy a movie of their own without breaking the law.
            • That's what I said.

              The copying isn't a problem.

              However if they left it on the original DVD and used software on the laptop to bypass the CSS restrictions to fast forward directly to where they wanted playback to begin (bypassing the intros), they'd be breaking their licensing agreement with the CSS patent holders.
        • Does the movie in question not fit on a single-layer DVD? Perhaps without menus/special content? I have numerous DVDs which are double-layer, but where the movie itself fits on a single layer disc, and the remaining used space is taken up by menus and special features.
        • The fact still remains that Sony's "comparison" laptop was playing a DVD+R for comparison, not the production DVD.

          I get so tired of hearing this hogwash. This isn't video cassette. The movie's total run time is 119 minutes, so it will fit on a standard DVD+/-R without any further compression.

          I know it is popular to pick on Sony on here the past couple of weeks, but at least have your facts in order before trolling.
      • Re:Retraction? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888)
        Seems like he'd fit right in with those groups since they're pretty good at doing half-assed work and pushing their agendas.

        Hate to break this to you, but upon closer scrutiny, you'll find that a disturbingly large portion of the world does things half-assed. You usually only notice how bad it is when you happen to be well-versed in a particular subject or if, as mentioned above, you scrutinize someone's work or findings.
      • Yeah, we can't have journalists wasting any of their time doing things like investigating facts.

        Lance Ulanoff writes for PC Magazine, and thus, logically, is not a journalist.
    • Ulanoff clearly has an axe to grind - his past articles on Blu-Ray show that. No suprise that Slashbot morons were keen to pick up such ridiculous rubbish and run with it (AND the editors!!! WTF!?)
    • Well, he is takking the time time tested honourable way out by lying.
  • I like New Zealand! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mangu (126918) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:17PM (#15355170)
    I took a look at their paper on F/OSS [e.govt.nz] and I liked it. The people who wrote it really did an effort to understand the issues.
    • by vik (17857) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @09:55PM (#15355567) Homepage Journal
      Thanks. A lot of the credit goes to the members of the New Zealand Open Source Society http://nzoss.org.nz/ [nzoss.org.nz]

      OK, I'm a member and I helped draft the response. This isn't about grabbing credit for ego, but about the way the response was done. It was calm, didn't call for Open Sourcing everything, and didn't demonize Microsoft. The response was a coordinated, reviewed group effort containing constrictive and well-researched cristicism presented in a non-confrontational way. Coupled with a very receptive attitude by the SSC, the combination resulted in what you can see is a very reasonable and useful document.

      Vik :v)
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:23PM (#15355193)
    ... that the 'Sony used a DVD+R for their BluRay Demo' meme will float into console fanboy lore, like the Toy Story claim...
    • ... that the 'Sony used a DVD+R for their BluRay Demo' meme will float into console fanboy lore, like the Toy Story claim...

      So, they actually didn't make the Toy Story claim either?
    • Especially when Slashdot posts such rubbish directly to the front page and then hides the retraction at the bottom of a Slashback section.

      Editorial integrity on Slashdot is a JOKE.
      • Wait. There's editors on slashdot?!
        • Well, they're called editors, but they're just glorified bloggers. Slashdot is probably the most successful blog for the least amount of work - the bloggers don't even have to find their own content, and they get their name at the top of the story anyway! Talk about an easy ride...
      • Slashdot posts such rubbish directly to the front page and then hides the retraction at the bottom of a Slashback section.

        You know, that's standard operating procedure for any kind of media. No, I don't like it.

        During the Mohammed cartoon crisis the boss of the Norwegian press organization was in some kind of misunderstanding. (I think he was alleged to be one of the cartoonists). With a sly grin he commented that he had discussed the problem with the Arab media, "but if they're as bad at corrections

      • Sad but true. Here many people are upset at the journalist not checking facts, but neither are any of the people who repeated the story. That is a major problem with journalism today in general.

        I long for fact-based reporting, but it is rare these days.
      • Especially when Slashdot posts such rubbish directly to the front page and then hides the retraction at the bottom of a Slashback section.

        As opposed to traditional newspapers, which post retractions in bold headlines on the front page... </SARCASM>

        The world sucks. Get used-to it.
  • by kabloie (4638) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:24PM (#15355200)
    Errr, I thought, the guy's resigned a second time?

    No, indeed, it is not news. The 2005 date of the article is even embedded in the link. Halooooo Slashdot!!!
  • Doesn't anybody else think its a cheapshot to compare a Blu-ray movie to one on a single layer DVD? No commercial movies are that small anymore.
    • Not true (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You don't have to have the entire movie on a single layer DVD to make a comparison. More than likely, they probably only burned the necessary footage for an A & B comparison.
    • Not really, I dont see the problem. They were comparing one DVD format against another. The first one was a copy (for whatever reason) of the movie, the other a re-mastered verion presumably on BluRay.

      Remember, there are different codecs and different amounts of information here.

      Also, this is round one... and right now the HD-DVD players are slow as heck. I hope the first Sony product outperforms the horrible Toshiba machine.
      • I'd wager it more likely to say "here's how crappy your pirated version of the movie is compared to our legitimate high-def Blu-ray copy!" ;) As to the early HD-DVD players being slow, well, early adopters pay more to get into what's in effect a public beta - nothing new there.
  • HD-DVD the real Beta (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:34PM (#15355231) Homepage Journal
    I can't help but wonder if this was mistake or an intentional attempt to boost HD-DVD sales by someone for stock reasons or something. The HD-DVD camp has been very shrill in decrying Blu-Ray the Beta of the new millennia, despite Blu-Ray's larger coalition of partners than its rival this time around and Blu-Ray's much larger storage (storage being a HUGE factor in Beta's demise). Beta did come out first, so the fit with HD-DVD is the more like Beta. HD-DVD is trying to claim a 2 month head start is insurmountable for Sony and Blu-Ray, but Beta had a least a year's head start on VHS.

    I haven't seen any HD-DVD recorders yet. Do the HD-DVD notebooks have recorders or just players? Sony VIAO will come out with a read/write Blu-Ray in June I believe. If Blu-Ray is first with recorders that is the real race and death knell for HD-DVD.

    Given the FUD form the HD-DVD camp I think they know that come June it is essentially all over for them. They will unload a few more players at or below cost. Brag about being first to market. then give up shortly after Christmas.
    • I think you've got it exactly right.

      If HD-DVD can get a $200 player into stores by Chistmas and Sony is far behind and the PS3 is a no-show they have a chance.

      But as a consumer of these discs, mainly through NetFlix, I'm all for BluRay, both for its non-scratch coating and so I can get an entire Season of '24' in HD on one disc. There, NetFlix just got 6 times more convenient. That's important.
    • Wasn't Beta created by Sony? Isn't Blue-ray also being created by Sony?

      Sorry but saying HD-DVD is the "Beta" equivalent is like saying a Cucumber is the equivalent of a Banana just because they are shaped similarly. Now its true Beta was released first, but that seems to be the only real similarity it has to HD-DVD. The two formats have nearly identical capacities and likely have the exact same price as far as media and players go. The real question to ask, is whether anybody is going to be able to noti
      • As far as video games are concerned, it seems all the latest games seem to fit contently on a single DVD, a dual layer DVD could easily be the next step as video games probably won't be getting that much bigger over the next several years.

        Not only that, but some games are still on smaller media and look damn nice. Take Resident Evil 4 or Metroid Prime 2, for example. Those ship on the GameCube's mini-DVDs, and RE4 in 480p looks goddamn cinematic Cube's texture detail tends to be a little low, granted,

      • >>> And out of curiosity I just want to know if anybody on earth can actually sit down and watch a regular DVD right next to a HD or Blue-ray and be able to tell the difference, because I sure as hell can't.

        As I've posted on here before, I don't think this is the killer app for Blue-ray or HD-DVD.

        The killer app is getting the entire season of Lost, or Sex and the City, or Seinfeld, etc., on a single disc, instead of the current need for 8-10 DVDs per season.

        This will save the publishers money. Few
        • Except they won't do that, because people won't pay $50-$70 for a single disc, even if it contains everything that used to take up ten discs. It's psychological. People will think they're getting ripped off.

          (and no, studios aren't going to lower the prices of TV season boxed sets)
          • I disagree. It's all in the advertising. Of course, bundles will need to be less than the components, but that is true now.

            You can buy each season of Sex and the City, for example, on DVD for like $25. Or, you can buy the complete series on DVD at Target for $120.

            They could sell the entire series on one or two Blue-Ray for $100, make the same profit, and increase sales due to the lower cost. Or, they could sell it for $120 (obsoleting the old DVD set), and make $20 more per unit. I don't think the folks
  • So were these the same machines used to re-elect George Bush in 2004? Which states used Diebold devices then? I seem to remember some counties in Ohio did.
    • Re:Diebold (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rachel Lucid (964267)
      Georgia used Diebold (and had the fishiest results for a governor's race in ages . . .)
    • Re:Diebold (Score:5, Interesting)

      by howlingfrog (211151) <.ajmkenyon2002. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:54AM (#15356122) Homepage Journal

      So were these the same machines used to re-elect George Bush in 2004? Which states used Diebold devices then? I seem to remember some counties in Ohio did.

      Much of Ohio used Diebold machines in that election. And initial reports from one precinct in my hometown in suburban Columbus had more votes for Bush than total votes cast. The 2004 election in Ohio was shockingly corrupt. If people around the country knew about everything that went on, it would be regarded as a comparable disaster to 2000 Florida. Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, whose job it is to run a fair election, is a Diebold shareholder, headlined an enormous partisan ad campaign, and advised the Republican-controlled legislature on what ballot issues would generate the heaviest Republican turnout. Blackwell is now the Republican candidate for governor. Yay.

      • The machines which caused problems in Franklin county, Ohio were made by Danaher Corporation.

        Danaher was a contributor to Kerry and the Democrat party, and members have direct ties to the Democrate voting organization.

        During the 2004 election, the problems that made all the news were found coming from Danaher and ES&S. ES&S also has members and former Democrat congress members on its board and in positions of power.
        • How about some references to back that up? I find no mention of Danaher being a contributor to the Democrats. In fact, the news I read said that the way these machines were configured favored Bush. Also, I recall reading quite a bit more about problems with Diebold than Danaher.

          Danaher used to be known as Shooptronics, and I found searching on Shooptronics to be more relevant, as there are evidently several companies called Danaher that have nothing to do with voting. I suspect Faux News (or wherever you go
      • If people around the country knew about everything that went on, it would be regarded as a comparable disaster to 2000 Florida.

        It already is! Which is to say, no one gives a fuck. I mean, a few people (like most of us around here) care. Also a shitload of people will continually deny it even presented with the evidence, although most of them are republicans.

        It doesn't shock me or anything but I am always amazed at human stupidity. People have been stealing elections as long as there've been electio

    • If you are concerned about the legitimacy of our democratic system it is worth looking at John Conyer's report [truthout.org] on the irregulaties in Ohio's results - including three references to Diebold.

      It's about 100 pages long, covers a range of issues, including the machines, and is very objective.
  • Crazy, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chriso11 (254041) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:50PM (#15355299) Journal
    You know, I think that a significantly more secure machine could have been made using an XBox! It's absolutely a frightening indication of our priorities when the security of games is more important than the security of elections.
  • by xihr (556141)
    The false story leads in an article; the retraction is hidden at the bottom of trash day. Nice.
    • Ah, snap! I just posted the same thing. Slashdot seems a haven for knee-jerk reactionaries these days.

      • Yeah, but to be honest the original story was ripped apart. I don't think we want a whole story dedicated to a lot of people saying I told you so, and other decrying the end of journalism on slashdot/the guys blogg when neither of these represent serious journalism. Sure the original shouldn't have been given a story to itself either, but that is another issue.
  • by Heir Of The Mess (939658) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @09:40PM (#15355502) Homepage
    I think Sony are great! Years ago when the original Napster announced that they were going to have a legit subscription service I had my money ready to slap down for the wonderful range of music that Napster offered. Of course the RIAA showed me that no they didn't want my money and shut Napster down, so ok I will take my money and spend it on other things instead.

    Fast forward to last year, my girlfriend at the time was a self-employed contract graphic artist, bought music all the time, and criticised me on my stance. Her friends told her to use P2P software but she said that her computer was too important to put anything on there that might upset her work. Overall her and I sort of had this ongoing argument about it. Anyway one day I get a SMS from her, a big "Help Me". I got round to her house and her computer wouldn't boot into Windows. She's in a big panic, big job due the next day, it takes days to install all the software she needs to do her work, she's lost a bunch of work and her PC is stuffed.

    In the end it was a big disaster, the job was screwed up and she lost a customer. A few weeks later I realised what the problem was, she was running Windows XP x64 and had put in a new Sony CD that had rootkitted her machine and overwrote some 64 bit drivers with some 32 bit drivers. PWN3D!!!! Explaining to her what happened was like the best argument win ever!! of course then we split, but it was worth it.

    • Uhm, lawsuit? Sony illegally installed software on her machine, and she lost a client? Surely, she can find a lawyer to take this on contengency. (or, if you want to get back with her, find one for her)
    • wait, and you didnt have one of those insta restore partitions that would put everything back the way it was, ie when photoshop is upgraded and working, make a new backup. The restore goes and your system is back the way it should be. (data should have been stored on an external drive anyways so nothing would be lost, all settings etc would be retained. I cant even comprehend putting a machine in use without that anymore. What should have taken 20-30 minutes to fix TOPS (waiting for the copy) turned into
    • I thought that the suprime court could only rule on matters of the constitution; this doesn't really seem to be applicable to that. Do they also have the ability to rule on any matter they want to get into?
      • Do they also have the ability to rule on any matter they want to get into?

        No, they have the "ability" to rule on any federal case in which one of the parties appeals to them after having a Circuit Court rule against them.

        If you think the only function (or even the primary function) of the Supreme Court is to rule on constitutionality, you have no grasp whatsoever of how the American legal system works, and if you're a US citizen I recommend you re-enroll in a middle school civics class.

  • by pla (258480) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @07:49AM (#15356430) Journal
    AT&T has lost its '11th hour bid' to force closed hearings on unsealing critical documents

    First, why the hell didn't the EFF go public with their evidence first? Depending on the outcome of the case, we might never know whether they stumbled onto something "real", or just something trivial that the NSA could hypothetically abuse under a combination of unlikely circumstances.

    But aside from that...

    How exactly does the evidence remain under seal in an open court? Do all parties involved use vague allusions and a lot of wink-wink-nudge-nudge to refer to the evidence without revealing anything about it to the public? Do spectators swear not to reveal anything they see or hear (yeah, that would work - until about 30 seconds after the end of the first session)? Do the MiB use their magic flashing memory eraser any time someone mentions a detail under seal?



    So goddamned sick of all the secrets and lies. Who wants to join me in pushing for a constitutional amendment banning the use of secrecy or any form of "classified" designation (perhaps with a nonrenewable two-week-maximum exception for situations where revealing such information would directly threaten American lives)? Time to let these arrogant twats know who they work for!
  • "A commissioner for the FCC wants an investigation into whether or not phone companies broke the law by handing over their records to the NSA."

    In tomorrows news, FCC commissioner resigns after phone records of calls to his mistress were leaked by the NSA.

  • ok, this just doesnt make any bloodly sence.... making a single domain for the slew of porn sites would make blocking them a painless task. One would think that the far right would love that idea.

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