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TSA Subpoenas Bloggers Over New Security Directive 379

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that TSA special agents have served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott demanding that they reveal who leaked a TSA directive outlining new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the Detroit airliner incident. Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo outlining new security measures that would be apparent to the traveling public. 'It literally showed up in my box,' Frischling told The Associated Press. 'I do not know who it came from.' Frischling says he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect. The leaked directive included measures such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline. In a December 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them."

Comment Re:Where will the next one be ? (Score 2, Insightful) 102

But seriously, now that Hotel Pennsylvannia will be turned into millionaire's housing, maybe this thing can be moved to a cheaper and more accessible part of the country. Especially in light of the economy, we should focus on a place that is central and is a big Greyhound hub. Having everyone all camp out might be a bit of a stretch,
So it's not cheap, but more accessible and more of a Greyhound hub than NYC? Does such a place actually exist? NY has 3+ airports, good connections by bus and train and is central for the East Coast (which has half of the US population). Even the center of US population is right around the Mississippi.

Perhaps some people could get together to organize a complementary conference, to be held in January (cheaper travel and most time separation from the real Hope). I suggest we put it in some place like Albequerque or Los Cruces, which might be bearable at that time of year, and is generally cheap.
There are alot of hacker conferences in the US other than Defcon (Las Vegas) and HOPE (although those are the two biggest). Off the top of my head there is also Summercon (Atlanta), Notacon (Cleveland), Schmoocon (DC), Carolinacon (NC), and ToorCon (San Diego). Further abroad there is the Chaos Computer Camp in Germany. Obviously you can go off and start your own, but I'd take a careful look around first.

Submission Last 'Hackers on Planet Earth' Conference in July 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Last H.O.P.E. ('Hackers on Planet Earth') Conference is set for July 18-20, 2007, at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The organizers have announced their supplemental speaker list, adding on to their initial list. Topics will include 'Crafting a Security-Enhanced Wikipedia', 'VoIP (in)security: Italians Do It Better', 'AntiSocial Networking: Vulnerabilities in Social Nets', 'SWF and the Malware Tragedy', 'Simulating the Universe on Supercomputers', and my personal favorite, 'RIAA Litigations: How the Tech Community Can Help'."

Submission Hacker Radio and Digital Music Night at HOPE->

LexIcon759 writes: Posted 5 June 2008 06:06:08 UTC

Hacker Radio To Be Featured At Tech Conference

At The Last HOPE conference, hackers will broadcast their minds and their iPods.

In the center of the summer's top hacker event will be a small isolation booth. "Radio Statler!" as the station is called, will send out a three day broadcast of all-original material. From the center of Manhattan, around the clock, discussions of the past, present, and future of technology, creativity, and humanity itself will be transmitted.

The first night of the conference, July 18th, the station will carry a program called Digital Music Night, hosted by Peter Kirn, editor of The three hour live concert will feature a convergence of artists and musicians using custom, original tools for performing live in new and bizarre ways, including:

        * Houseplants hooked up to live computer visuals and music
        * A mutant trumpet, halfway between the digital and acoustic worlds
        * Packets of data visualized as three-dimensional eye candy
        * An animated digital art sketchpad controlled by Wii remote
        * A set of digital gloves for gestural DJing
        * A robotic drummer
        * Computer-generated vocals that sing your spam folder to you
        * Live digital art made from vintage game consoles and computers

The station will give additional talk and interview time to the conference's speakers, broadcast the keynotes and other popular seminars, and offer attendees who don't speak at the podium a chance to share their ideas. Many hackers who already do their own podcasts are being asked to contribute and do special programs for the conference.

Program and content submissions are still being taken, volunteers are being sought, and the organizers are looking for promotional sponsors to help cover the cost of broadcasting. More information can be found at or by emailing

Link to Original Source

Submission HOPE Announces Impressive Speakers->

DeathB writes: "The Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) Conference has announced some fairly impressive speakers today for this summer's conference. Included is Steven Levy, one of the first mainstream writers about hacker culture in Hackers: Heroes of the American Revolution; Adam Savage, the redheaded half of the Mythbusters; and Kevin Mitnick, who federal prosecutors once claimed could launch a nuclear weapon by whistling into a phone. This is on top of the RFID tracking they previously announced."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

Submission Comcast "RoXed" by hackers-> 1

Crazy Taco writes: At 11 PM EDT yesterday, the front page of the Comcast web portal was defaced by hackers.

Hackers took over and defaced Comcast Corp.'s Web portal for several hours overnight, leaving a cryptic message on the site that the company's 14.1 million subscribers use to access e-mail, news and technical support.

The front page of went down shortly before 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday and was replaced with a note saying the hackers had "RoXed" Comcast, according to postings at

While the main page is back up, some users apparently remain unable to access their email. No definitive word yet on what else the hackers might have done besides the defacing.

Link to Original Source

Submission Hacker confab to track attendees with RFID->

mytrip writes: "People attending the Last HOPE hacker conference in New York City this July will be getting more than just an agenda and badge when they check in.

The badges will have electronic tracking devices, using radio frequency identification technology, that will be tracking their movements throughout the three-day event.

Conference attendees can then participate in games created around the tracking system, such as by trying to protect their privacy, finding vulnerabilities in the system, and employing data mining techniques to learn more about other participants.

Large monitors at the show will display in real-time the activities of the badge carriers in what the conference organizers say will be the first time the general public "will be able to participate in the transparent operation of a major RFID tracking program.""

Link to Original Source

Submission RFID Tracking Games at HOPE-> 1

Rob T Firefly writes: "As a social experiment, attendees to The Last HOPE hacker conference will be issued with RFID badges, which will track their movements throughout the event.

As discussed by HOPE staff on last night's episode of Off The Hook, the badges will serve as the entry point to a series of multilayered games which will run throughout the conference. Players will be able to connect with participants with similar interests, find and exploit vulnerabilities in the tracking system, negotiate with an artificial intelligence for clues via SMS, and more, all while deciding how much of their own privacy to protect and/or violate in pursuit of their goals. The results will be publicly displayed in real time throughout the conference.

The RFID badges and participation in the game will be limited to the first 1500 preregistrants. The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 in New York City."

Link to Original Source

Submission Hackers To Track Visitors At Last HOPE Using RFID->

sean_nestor writes: "As part of a social experiment, attendees at a hacker conference in July will be issued badges with electronic tracking devices. Large displays will show in real-time where people go, with whom they associate, for how long and how often. The tracking technology, known as RFID, is fast becoming an unseen part of everyday life. This July, for the very first time, the general public will be able to participate in the transparent operation of a major RFID tracking program.

Conference attendees will participate in games built around the tracking system. Players will seek ways to protect their privacy, find vulnerabilities in the tracking system, employ data mining techniques to learn more about other participants, and choose how much personal information they will disclose in order to play."

Link to Original Source
XBox (Games)

Submission Gay nickname banned from Xbox Live->

notrandom writes: "The Consumerist has received a rather unusual story from a gamer who was banned from Microsofts' Xbox Live service for using the nickname "theGAYERgamer" (check the attached screenshot).
The now unhappy gamer reports :


I have had a bad morning. Last night when i tried to sign into my xbox live account "thegayergamer" I was told that it had to be changed. I figured that it was just from people reporting it as an offensive name being that the greater Xbox live community isn't exactly welcome to gay people, i spend a lot of time muting people on Halo3. I assumed that once i called Microsoft they would straighten things out.

I talked to a supervisor there, Roxy, who told me that she didn't personally find the fact that my gamer tag had gay in the name offensive, but that the greater Xbox community did, so i would have to change it. I hope I'm not the only person who finds this don't ask, don't tell policy disgusting... eek

From Grant, thegayergamer"

I am pretty sure nobody was considering the broader semantics of the word gay ... sheesh..."

Link to Original Source

Rambus Wins Patent Case 146

Blowfishie writes "Rambus has won a major case they've been fighting since the late 90's. Rambus worked its technology into the standards for SDRAM and DDR data transfer, then waited for the major players (Hynix, Micron and Nanya) to be heavily committed before revealing that it had patents on the technology. 'At issue is whether the developer of a speedy new memory technology deserved to be paid for its inventions, or whether the company misled memory chip makers. "I think they (the jurors) misapprehended what the standards-setting organizations are about and the absolute need for good faith," said Jared Bobrow, an outside attorney for Micron. Wednesday's verdict comes after a judgment against Hynix in 2006 that resulted in a $133 million award to Rambus, Lavelle said, and potentially clears the way for Rambus to collect on that verdict.'"