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Comment: ICE thugs (Score 1) 964

by DankNinja (#35934658) Attached to: Bizarre Porn Raid Underscores Wi-Fi Privacy Risks

An elderly relative of mine who apparently had his wifi wide open was raided by ICE agents who didn't find anything. After terrorizing them for 4 hours and trashing their home, the agent actually conceded that it was probably one of their neighbors. ICE has a shoot now, ask questions later policy that is despicable. Since, their warrants are all sealed and the innocents almost never talk, these thugs will probably continue to get away with this behavior.

The Courts

Worlds.com Sues NCSoft Over MMO-Patent 261

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the very-bad-ideas dept.
Lulfas writes "Worlds.com today sued NCSoft over its patent on a scalable virtual world, filed in 2000 and granted this February. This is a very broad base patent, and there is no reason to expect they will only sue NCSoft, when they should be able to use the same patent against other companies. 'Specifically, the suit claims that NCsoft has infringed on patent 7,181,690, "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space" through its games, including City of Heroes, City of Villains, Dungeon Runners, Exteel, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage II, and Tabula Rasa.'"
Sci-Fi

30 Years of Star Wars Technology 146

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everything-i-need-to-know-i-learned-from-star-wars dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, Computerworld Australia checked out the exhibition of 30 years of Star Wars history at Sydney's Powerhouse museum. They also have a pictorial look at what's on display: one of the largest collections of Star Wars memorabilia combined with real-life examples of how such technology is being applied for business and social advancement."
Government

Obama Wants Broadband, Computers Part of Stimulus 901

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-would-stimulate-me dept.
damn_registrars writes "President-elect Barack Obama announced in his radio address that his administration's economic stimulus package will include investing in computers and broadband for education. 'To help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.' He also said it is 'unacceptable' that the US ranks 15th in broadband adoption." No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. You know... for the kids.
Censorship

Australian Judge Rules Simpsons Cartoon Rip-off Is Child Porn 612

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-we-can-all-rest..-hey-wait dept.
An anonymous reader was one of several to note a bizarre story in which an Australian judge ruled that drawings can be child porn. In this case, it was knock off drawings of the Simpsons doing naughty things. Good thing they're going to be censoring the Down Undernet soon. Who knows what damage this could cause.
Science

Science's Alternative To an Intelligent Creator 683

Posted by kdawson
from the theory-of-anything dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Discover magazine has an interesting article on the multiverse theory — a synthesis of string theory and the anthropic principle that explains why our universe seems perfectly tailored for life without invoking an intelligent creator. Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse. While most of those universes are barren, some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life. The idea that the universe was made just for us — known as the anthropic principle — debuted in 1973 when Brandon Carter proposed that a purely random assortment of laws would have left the universe dead and dark, and that life limits the values that physical constants can have. The anthropic principle languished on the fringes of science for years, but in 2000, new theoretical work threatened to unravel string theory when researchers calculated that the basic equations of string theory have an astronomical number of different possible solutions, perhaps as many as 101,000, with each solution representing a unique way to describe the universe. The latest iteration of string theory provides a natural explanation for the anthropic principle. If there are vast numbers of other universes, all with different properties, at least one of them ought to have the right combination of conditions to bring forth stars, planets, and living things." So far xkcd is simulating just one single universe.
Patents

Some Schools Welcoming Patent Firm, Others Wary 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-by-firm-i-mean-troll dept.
theodp writes "Intellectual Ventures (IV) will be setting up shop at the top of a Four Seasons this week as Headline Sponsor of the Ready to Commercialize 2008 conference hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. It's the patent firm's 100th university deal, though some, such as Professor Michael Heller at Columbia University, warn against such deals. '... their individual profit comes at the cost of the public ability to innovate. The university's larger mission is to serve the public interest, and some of these deals work against that public interest.' It's a follow-up to the conference IV sponsored last summer for technology transfer professionals entrusted with commercializing their universities' intellectual property, and should help IV, a friend of Microsoft, snag even more exclusive deals (PDF)."
Software

Apple Quietly Releases Safari 3.2 129

Posted by kdawson
from the new-shinies dept.
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF writes "Yesterday Apple quietly slipped out an update to their Safari Web browser to version 3.2. The notable feature is that it finally adds anti-phishing technology, an area where Safari has lagged behind competitors. Aside from that, it provides some security fixes, improved JavaScript performance, and a slightly newer version of Webkit, pulling their Acid3 score up to 77." Apple forums across the Net are reporting frequent crashes in Safari 3.2, some possibly caused by 3rd-party add-ons, others perhaps related to the anti-phishing feature.
Image

Woman Admits Sending $400K To Nigerian Scammer 857

Posted by samzenpus
from the headdesk dept.
svnt writes "Janella Spears wiped out her husband's retirement account, remortgaged their paid-for house, and took out a lien against the family car in an attempt to cash in on the deal. A undercover officer involved with the investigation called it the worst example of the scam he's ever seen. Thoughtfully, Spears has gone public with her story as a warning to others not to fall victim."
Hardware Hacking

D.I.Y. Home Security 377

Posted by kdawson
from the try-this-at-home dept.
theodp writes "The NYTimes reports that pre-wired home security installations by alarm companies are on the way out. Thanks to wireless window and door sensors and motion detectors, installing and maintaining one's own security system is becoming a do-it-yourself project, with kits available from companies like InGrid and LaserShield. Time to start cranking out some new iPhone and Android apps, kids?"
Networking

Behind the Cogent-Sprint Depeering 325

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-an-ectomy dept.
An anonymous reader brings an update to Sprint's depeering with Cogent, which we discussed a few days back — namely, Sprint's side of the story. According to them, no free peering contract had ever existed, Cogent refused to pay the bills to exchange traffic, and after a year Sprint gave Cogent 30 days notice of their intent to disconnect. During this 30-day period, when one or two connections (out of ten) per week were shut down, Cogent made no alternate arrangements to alleviate the impact on their customers — but they had a press release ready when Sprint snipped the final wire. It will be interesting to see how Cogent responds.
Google

Google Apps Gets a 99.9% Guarantee 155

Posted by kdawson
from the outlook-cloudy-try-again dept.
David Gerard passes along a posting on Google's official blog announcing that they have extended the three-nines SLA for the Premier Edition of Google Apps from Gmail alone to also cover the Calendar, Docs, Sites, and Google Talk services. 99.9% uptime translates to 45 minutes a month of downtime, and the blog post puts this in context with Gmail's historical reliability, which has been between three and four times as good over the last year (10-15 min./mo.). It also claims, based on research by an outside group, that Gmail's historical reliability beats that of in-house hosted solutions such as Groupwise and Exchange, on average. Reader Ian Lamont adds an article in The Standard that digs down into the details of the SLA, revealing for instance that outages of less than 10 minutes aren't counted against the monthly 45 minutes.
Classic Games (Games)

10th Year of the International Nethack Tournament 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-did-this-potion-eat-my-legs dept.
Dr. Zowie writes "The 10th annual Nethack Tournament just started over at nethack.devnull.net, so put on your Hawaiian shirt, grab an expensive camera, and head for the dungeon. The tourney runs through the month of November each year, with volunteer game servers dotted around the world. Fewer than 1% of contestants actually finish the game by retrieving the Amulet of Yendor and ascending to demigodhood, but take heart: there are many prizes for intermediate goals, and prizes for team effort. For those too young to remember games older than Halo, Nethack is the apotheosis of the Roguelike genre of role-playing games, rendered in ASCII. Gameplay is phenomenally complex, and the game is somewhat sadistic; there are no 'checkpoints,' so if you manage to kill yourself somewhere in the dungeon you must start over from the beginning. The dungeons are quasi-randomly generated, so every game is different."

BASIC is to computer programming as QWERTY is to typing. -- Seymour Papert

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