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Submission + - Australia Outlaws Warrant Canaries (

An anonymous reader writes: In the US, certain types of warrants can come with gag orders preventing the recipient from disclosing the existence of warrant to anyone else. A warrant canary is basically a legal hack of that prohibition. Instead of saying "I just received a warrant with a gag order," the potential recipient keeps repeating "I have not received any warrants." If the recipient stops saying that, the rest of us are supposed to assume that he has been served one.
Lots of organizations maintain them. Personally, I have never believed this trick would work. It relies on the fact that a prohibition against speaking doesn't prevent someone from not speaking. But courts generally aren't impressed by this sort of thing, and I can easily imagine a secret warrant that includes a prohibition against triggering the warrant canary. And for all I know, there are right now secret legal proceedings on this very issue.
Australia has sidestepped all of this by outlawing warrant canaries entirely:
        Section 182A of the new law says that a person commits an offense if he or she discloses or uses information about "the existence or non-existence of such a [journalist information] warrant." The penalty upon conviction is two years imprisonment.
Expect that sort of wording in future US surveillance bills, too.


Submission + - Sergey Brin Demos Google Glasses Prototype (

MojoKid writes: "Folks have been clamoring for more on Google's Project Glass and Sergey Brin--one of the co-founders of Google is now burying himself in the R&D department associated with its development. Recently Brin appeared on “The Gavin Newsom Show” on The Current with the prototype glasses perched on his face. The visit was actually a bit awkward as you can see in the video, as it’s a lot of Brin and Newsom describing what they’re seeing via the glasses with no visual for the audience. However, Brin dropped a bomb when he stated that he’d like to have the glasses out as early as next year."

World's First Full HDR Video System Unveiled 107

Zothecula writes "Anyone who regularly uses a video camera will know that the devices do not see the world the way we do. The human visual system can perceive a scene that contains both bright highlights and dark shadows, yet is able to process that information in such a way that it can simultaneously expose for both lighting extremes – up to a point, at least. Video cameras, however, have just one f-stop to work with at any one time, and so must make compromises. Now, however, researchers from the UK's University of Warwick claim to have the solution to such problems, in the form of the world's first full High Dynamic Range (HDR) video system."

A Waste Gasification Plant In a Truck 148

waderoush writes "There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste, dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces. The problem is that most gasification facilities are factory-sized. Now a startup outside Boston has built a combination shredder-dryer-pelletizer-gasifier that fits into 30-by-8-by-8-foot shipping container. The so-called 'Green Energy Machine' can be backed up to a loading dock by truck, processing 3 tons of solid waste per day and putting out enough synthetic gas to run a 120-kilowatt generator or a 240-kilowatt-equivalent furnace. The makers say the machine can eliminate 540 tons of carbon emissions per year, in large part by reducing the amount of waste that goes to methane-generating landfills."

Submission + - Heavy Cable Industry Lobbying Devides FCC (

Tech.Luver writes: "The head of the Federal Communications Commission is struggling to find enough support from a majority of the U.S. agency's commissioners to more tightly regulate cable television companies.________________ The five-member commission is set to vote Tuesday on a report proposed by Kevin Martin, the agency's chairman, that would give the commission expanded powers over the cable industry after making a formal finding that it had grown too big.________________ After news reports earlier this month that Martin supported the finding — along with the commission's two Democrats — the cable industry heavily lobbied the commission and allies in Congress to kill the proposal. Those efforts may be paying off.________________ One of the Democrats, Jonathan Adelstein, recently joined with one of the Republican opponents of the measure to unsuccessfully try to postpone the vote, commission officials said.________________ ( )"

Submission + - First Evidence of Another Universe? 2

blamanj writes: Three months ago, astronomers announced the discovery of a large hole at the edge of our universe. Now, Dr. Laura Mersini-Houghton thinks she knows what that means. (Subscription req'd at New Scientist site, there's also an overview here.) According to string theory, there are many universes besides our own. Her team says that smaller universes are positioned at the edge of our universe, and because of gravitational interactions, they can be observed, and they're willing to make a prediction. The recently discovered void is in the northern hemisphere. They contend another one will be found in the southern hemisphere.

Submission + - WGA - hide in plain sight

RickJ writes: At it again. Microsoft wants to update their WGA again, this time they don't hide it, just market it like something a user would want:
Software Upgrade for Some Windows Components Required
To use Microsoft Update, you must first install the latest version of some Windows components. This will allow your computer to work with these new features on the site:

More updates: Get updates for Windows and for popular Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Office in one place.
Faster updates: The latest Windows Installer (MSI) improves the way updates are installed, delivering updates in the smallest possible packages in the shortest amount of time.
Easier navigation: Now you can find updates by priority or by product while helpful links and important messages help ensure you are installing all high-priority updates for your computer.

Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130)
1.1 MB , less than 1 minute
The Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool enables you to verify that your copy of Microsoft Windows is genuine. The tool validates your Windows installation by checking Windows Product Identification and Product Activation status.

Total: 1.1 MB , less than 1 minute
Download and Install Now

Journal Journal: Microsoft's fast track bid for OOXML standarization rejected 1

Microsoft's push for fast-track approval of its OOXML document format as an ISO standard has failed, according to a news article from PC World. The proposal now must be reworked to address comments made during the voting process and will be up for another vote by ISO members early next year. Details on the voting outcome can also be found at Groklaw, and yo

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