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Software Glitch Caused Crash of Airbus A400M Military Transport Aircraft 120

An anonymous reader writes: A software glitch caused the crash of an Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, claims German newspaper Der Spiegel (Google translation). The accident, which happened in Seville on the vehicle's first production test flight on 9 May, killed four crew members. Airbus is investigating the system controlling the aircraft's engines. The early suspicions are that it was an installation problem, rather than a design problem.

EFF Reports GHCQ and NSA Keeping Tabs On Wikileaks Visitors and Reporters 82

sandbagger writes in with a story about U.S. and British government interest and involvement with journalists visiting the Wikileaks website. "The Intercept recently published an article and supporting documents indicating that the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ surveilled and even sought to have other countries prosecute the investigative journalism website WikiLeaks. GCHQ also surveilled the millions of people who merely read the WikiLeaks website. The article clarifies the lengths that these two spy organizations go to track their targets and confirms, once again, that they do not confine themselves to spying on to those accused of terrorism. One document contains a summary of an internal discussion in which officials from two NSA offices discuss whether to categorize WikiLeaks as a "malicious foreign actor" for surveillance targeting purposes. This would be an important categorization because agents have significantly more authority to engage in surveillance of malicious foreign actors."

When Vote Counting Goes Bad 128

ZipK writes "Television singing competition The Voice disclosed on Wednesday 'inconsistencies' with the tallying of on-line and SMS-based voting. Although host Carson Daly claimed the show wanted to be 'completely upfront,' the explanation from their third-party vote counter, Telescope, was anything but transparent. In particular, Telescope claims that disregarding all on-line and SMS-based voting for the two nights in question left no impact on the final results, but they haven't provided any detail of the 'inconsistency' or their ability to predict a complete lack of impact. Sure, it's only The Voice; but tomorrow it could be American Idol, and by next month, America's Got Talent."

Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You 410

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world's communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital 'pocket litter.' It is, in some measure, the realization of the 'total information awareness' program created during the first term of the Bush administration — an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans' privacy."

US Prosecutors Have a Sealed Indictment On Assange, Say Leaked Files 328

beaverdownunder writes with news from The Age that "Leaked e-mails from private U.S. intelligence agency Stratfor indicate that American prosecutors have had a sealed, secret indictment drawn up against Julian Assange as early as January, 2011." From the article: "The news that U.S. prosecutors drew up a secret indictment against Mr. Assange more than 12 months ago comes as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned in relation to sexual assault allegations. Mr. Assange, who has not been charged with any offence in Sweden, fears extradition to Stockholm will open the way for his extradition to the U.S. on possible espionage or conspiracy charges over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked classified U.S. reports."

US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax 1306

dawgs72 writes "This week the Congressional Budget Office released a report saying that taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues, and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance. The proposed tax would be enforced through the use of electronic metering devices installed on all vehicles. The mileage tax is being considered instead of an increase in the gas tax in order to tax hybrids, EVs, and conventional automobiles equally."
The Internet

White House Wants New Copyright Law Crackdown 652

An anonymous reader writes "The White House is concerned that 'illegal streaming of content' may not be covered by criminal law, saying 'questions have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the distribution of copyrighted works.' To resolve that ambiguity, it wants a new law to 'clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances'""

Singer In Grocery Store Ordered To Pay Royalties 645

yog writes "An assistant at a grocery store in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, was ordered by the Performing Right Society (PRS) to obtain a performer's license and to pay royalties because she was informally singing popular songs while stocking groceries. The PRS later backed down and apologized. This after the same store had turned off the radio after a warning from the PRS. We have entered an era where music is no longer an art for all to enjoy, but rather a form of private property that must be regulated and taxed like alcohol. 'Music to the ears' has become 'dollars in the bank'."

US Set to Use Spy Satellites on US Citizens 513

duerra writes "A plan to use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law-enforcement missions is moving forward after being delayed for months because of privacy and civil liberties concerns. The plan is in the final stage of completion, according to a department official who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about it. While some internal agencies have had access to spy satellite imagery for purposes such as assisting after a natural disaster, this would be the first time law-enforcement would be able to obtain a warrant and request access to satellite imagery."
The Internet

UK Government To Terminate File Sharers' Net Access 411

An anonymous reader writes "New plans published by the UK Govt show that they hope to terminate internet access for people suspected of breaching copyright by file sharing. Under the proposed new laws ISPs who fail to enforce the policy will face prosecution in the courts. Users falling foul of the new law will be subject to a three strike policy: First suspected instance of illegal file sharing they would receive a warning, at the second — a suspension, and at the third they will have their Internet connection terminated. It isn't clear whether users will be prevented from ever using the internet again, or whether simply subscribing to a new ISP will reset the process."
The Media

Congress Creates Copyright Cops 533

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not satisfied with pitiful potential penalties of $150,000 for infringing upon a $0.99 song, Congress is proposing new copyright cops in the "'PRO IP' Act of 2007, specifically the creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER). They also feel that the authorities need the authority to seize any computers used for infringement and to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws. MPAA boss Dan Glickman praised the bill saying that, 'films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year,' though Ars points out that it allegedly costs the studios only $6 billion."

Promise of OOXML Oversight By ISO Falls Through 216

640 Comments Are Enough for Anyone writes "Microsoft is going back on one of their promises concerning OOXML. While they originally made assurances that the ISO would take control of the standard if it were approved, Microsoft is now reversing that position and keeping near-full control over OOXML with the ECMA. This is significant because the ECMA is the group that originally rubber-stamped OOXML. It seems unlikely that they will force changes to correct problems with the standard. In Microsoft's new plan, the ISO would only be allowed to publish lists of errata and would be unable to make OOXML compatible with existing ISO standards, while the ECMA would be the one to control any new versions of the standard."

Ballmer Suggests Linux Distros Will Soon Have to Pay Up 520

An anonymous reader writes "Via Groklaw comes comments from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer at a UK event, in which the company once again threatens Linux distributions that haven't signed up with their program. '"People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week ... Ballmer praised Novell at the UK event for valuing intellectual property, and suggested that open source vendors will be forced to strike similar deals with other patent holders. He predicted that firms like Eolas will soon come after open source vendors or users. Microsoft paid $521m to settle a patent claim by Eolas in August.'"
The Courts

Listening To The Radio At Work? Prepare To Be Sued 486

MLCT writes "The Performing Rights Society, one of the UK's royalties collecting societies, has taken a Scottish car servicing company to court because the employees are alleged to have been listening to the radio at work, allowing the music to be 'heard by colleagues and customers'. The PRS is seeking £200,000 in damages for the 'performances of the music' which they claim equates to copyright infringement. The judge, Lord Emslie, has ruled that the case can continue to hearing evidence, commenting that the key point to note was that music was 'audibly blaring from employee's radios'. Where do the extents of a 'public performance' end? Radios on in cabs?"

Big Brother Really Is Watching Us All 405

siddesu writes "The BBC has a nice high-level overview of some technologies for surveillance developed in the US and the UK. 'The US and UK governments are developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep individuals under their surveillance. When it comes to technology, the US is determined to stay ahead of the game ... But it [a through-the wall sensing device in development] will also show whether someone inside a house is looking to harm you, because if they are, their heart rate will be raised. And 10 years from now, the technology will be much smarter. We'll scan a person with one of these things and tell what they're actually thinking.'"

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer