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Submission + - Australia proposed new restrictions on technology export and pubblication

An anonymous reader writes: Australia is starting a public consultation process for new legislation that further restricts the publication and export of technology on national security grounds. The public consultation starts now (a few days before Christmas) and it is due by Jan 30th while a lot of Australians are on holidays. I don't have the legal expertise to dissect the proposed legislation, but I'd like some more public scrutiny on it. I find particularly disturbing the phrase "The Bill includes defences that reverse the onus of proof which limit the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty" contained in this document, also available on the consultation web site.

Submission + - US Suspends Trade Preferences With Bangladesh (

sourcing journal writes: The US is moving to suspend trade privileges with Bangladesh, following concerns about labor rights and worker safety violations. The concerns have persisted since the emergence of the apparel sector in the country, but the recent Rana Plaza disaster, the garment industry’s deadliest ever, has moved many to take action.

Plants Near Chernobyl Adapt To Contaminated Soil 293

lbalbalba writes "In April 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine exploded and sent radioactive particles flying through the air, infiltrating the surrounding soil. Despite the colossal disaster, some plants in the area seem to have adapted well, flourishing in the contaminated soil."

First Human-Powered Ornithopter 250

spasm writes "A University of Toronto engineering graduate student has made and successfully flown a human-powered flapping-wing aircraft. From the article: 'Todd Reichert, a PhD candidate at the university's Institute of Aerospace Studies, piloted the wing-flapping aircraft, sustaining both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds and covering a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour.'"

Submission + - Passware breaks Microsoft BitLocker encryption

wiedzmin writes: Passware, a Mountain View corporation that focuses on providing commercial "password recovery tools" says it has come up with a way to access files on drives secured with Microsoft Windows BitLocker encryption. The vendor claims its Kit Forensic software is now capable of retrieving BitLocker encryption keys and getting "full access" to the contents of encrypted disks. Person wishing to use the software in order to defeat BitLocker encryption and gain access to drive contents, will need physical access to the target system, according to the company spokesperson, Nataly Koukoushkina. While company claims to cater primarily to forensic investigators and law enforcement agencies, there is nothing preventing the toolkit from being used for malicious purposes.

Submission + - On the Web, Children Face Intensive Tracking

theodp writes: In the latest installment of their online privacy investigation, the Wall Street Journal reports that children face intensive tracking on the web, finding that that popular children's websites install more tracking technologies on personal computers than do the top websites aimed at adults. In an analysis of 50 sites popular with U.S. teens and children, the WSJ found that Google — whose execs recently lectured parents on online child safety — placed the most tracking files overall. A Google spokesperson didn't seem particularly concerned that Google's got more than a lone engineer snooping on kids' online activities, suggesting that children like 10-year-old Jenna who 'don't like everyone knowing what I'm doing and stuff' should adjust the privacy settings on their browser or use Google Ads Preferences to limit the search giant's data collection efforts (don't forget to opt out each time you clear your cookies, Jenna!).

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