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Submission + - Judge Backs Tobacco Companies,Rules FDA-Imposed Package Label "Unconstitutional" (

An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. judge backed tobacco companies on Wednesday, ruling that the new federal law requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising encouraging smokers to quit is unconstitutional.

Tobacco companies like R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August, challenging the health agency imposed regulation that would require graphic images to be displayed on the top half of the front and back of cigarette backs that was scheduled to take effect in September.


How 136 People Became 7 Million Illegal File-Sharers 313

Barence writes "The British government's official figures on the level of illegal file sharing in the UK come from questionable research commissioned by the music industry. The Radio 4 show named More or Less examined the government's claim that 7m people in Britain are engaged in illegal file sharing. The 7m figure actually came from a report written about music industry losses for Forrester subsidiary Jupiter Research. The report was privately commissioned by none other than the UK's music trade body, the BPI. The 7m figure had been rounded up from an actual figure of 6.7m, gleaned from a 2008 survey of 1,176 net-connected households, 11.6% of which admitted to having used file-sharing software — in other words, only 136 people. That 11.6% was adjusted upwards to 16.3% 'to reflect the assumption that fewer people admit to file sharing than actually do it.' The 6.7m figure was then calculated based on an estimated number of internet users that disagreed with the government's own estimate. The wholly unsubstantiated 7m figure was then released as an official statistic."

Transparent Aluminum Is "New State of Matter" 406

Professor_Quail writes with this interesting excerpt: "Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminum by bombarding the metal with the world's most powerful soft X-ray laser. 'Transparent aluminum' previously only existed in science fiction, featuring in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion."

Critical Flaw Discovered In DD-WRT 225

MagicM writes "A critical flaw has been discovered in DD-WRT, a Linux based alternative open source firmware for WLAN routers such as the fan-favorite Linksys WRT54GL. The flaw can give an attacker instant root access to the router merely by embedding an image with a specially crafted URL in a Web page (CSRF attack)." The linked page notes that a fix is being rolled out (build 12533) and gives firewall rules to thwart the attack if the fix is not available yet for a particular device.

Submission + - The Case of the 'Fatwa' to Rig Iran's Election

bstender writes: "A new article questioning the official narrative of recent events in Iran raises questions about the indigenous nature of the latest "Color Revolution":

"The propaganda campaign to paint the victory of the incumbent candidate in Iran's June presidential election as having been a stolen one began early. Even before the election, the seed was being planted that the election would be stolen to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a win. This narrative played nicely into the hands of the reformist opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who cried foul following the favorable results for the incumbent. But what evidence is there to support this narrative?'fatwa'-to-rig-iran's-election/"

also see for interesting questions raised about the source of theTwitter campaign in the first days of the election protests.

Was the "Green Revolution" made for Western TV?"

Submission + - The world's most toxic video game consoles (

SwiftyNifty writes: "Is the world's addiction to cheaper and more affordable gaming consoles ruining our environment? Greenpeace have cited Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as among the worst environmental offenders, when it comes to using toxic materials in their manufacturing. According to Greenpeace, the world's most popular video game consoles are also among the world's most toxic. And the effects of these seemingly harmless materials on our bodies might not be so benevolent after all. Gamers might want to take note."

Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy Screenshot-sm 1376

An anonymous reader writes "Another European country clamps down on free speech. From the article: 'It does seem bizarre that, in 2009, a modern European nation would seek to shield religious belief from criticism — yet that is what is happening in Ireland right now. In repealing the 1961 Defamation Act, the Irish government sought to expunge the worst excesses of Ireland's draconian laws restricting free speech, but in the process it has ended up making offending religious belief a criminal offence. Aside from a 25,000 fine (reduced from the 100,000 originally sought by the government), the new Defamation Act gives the authorities the power to stage raids on publishers: the courts may now issue a warrant authorising the police to enter, using "reasonable force," premises where they have grounds for believing there are copies of "blasphemous statements."'"
GNU is Not Unix

Launch of First International FOSS Law Review 30

Graeme West writes "A group of tech lawyers has announced the release of the inaugural issue of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) — a place for high-level discussion of issues and best practice in the implementation of FOSS. You can view the announcement, or skip straight to Volume 1, Issue 1. A downloadable PDF file is also available. The journal is open access, and articles are CC licensed."

MediaDefender Buys MediaSentry For $136,000 (Not $20M) 141

newtley writes "SafeNet paid $20 million for MediaSentry in 2005, but has just sold it to rival MediaDefender for a paltry $136,000, with a promise of more later. MediaSentry's new owner says the combination will allow it to 'dramatically expand its effectiveness.' Is it time for an official government inquiry into MediaSentry and the RIAA? A Chicago student said she was planning on killing herself because the RIAA promised her she'd land in court unless she paid almost $10,000 to 'settle' an alleged copyright infringement. She 'couldn't sleep, couldn't study, couldn't live a normal life because of the worry.' The RIAA 'evidence' came from MediaSentry, accused of operating illegally."

Yeast-Powered Fuel Cell Feeds On Human Blood 250

holy_calamity writes "Canadian researchers have taken a sensible, if slightly creepy, step towards solving the problem of medical implant batteries running down. They've built a fuel cell powered by yeast that feed on the glucose in human blood. If this makes it into people, keeping your implants going will be as simple as eating a donut."

Intel Threatens To Revoke AMD's x86 License 476

theraindog writes "AMD's former manufacturing division opened for business last week as GlobalFoundries, but the spin-off may run afoul of AMD's 2001 cross-licensing agreement with Intel. Indeed, Intel has formally accused AMD of violating the agreement, and threatened to terminate the company's licenses in 60 days if a resolution is not found. Intel contends that GlobalFoundries is not a subsidiary of AMD, and thus is not covered by the licensing agreement. AMD has fired back, insisting that it has done nothing wrong, and that Intel's threat constitutes a violation of the deal. At stake is not only AMD's ability to build processors that use Intel's x86 technology, but also Intel's ability to use AMD's x86-64 tech in its CPUs."

Submission + - EU: MS Must Offer Competitors' Browsers: Now What? (

Glyn Moody writes: "So the European Commission is going to require Microsoft to offer competitors' browsers with Windows. But having the option to install Firefox, say, is useless unless people know what it is. The implication is that we need some kind of campaign to ensure that people understand the choices they will have. How can open source best exploit this latest EU decision?"

Submission + - Sun Slips Firefox Extension Into Java Update (

pcardno writes: "It seems it's not just Microsoft that have spotted a good opportunity to distribute their software through Firefox Addons. On installing the latest annoying, sysbar bubble based Java update, my Firefox informed me that I had a wonderful new Java addon automatically. Here's the addon screenshot. Yes, I could opt out of it, but why are Sun installing Addons to my Firefox without me making specific choices in the application itself? To be clear — I have never chosen to install this Addon, yet it has been installed without my permission with the latest Java Update."
Social Networks

Submission + - Twitter considers charging for business-use (

Slatterz writes: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone says that companies that use Twitter accounts may soon find themselves having to pay for the privilege, as new revenue streams become increasingly important in the fragile economy. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that the company may need to look at future plans to commercialise the service for businesses who use the popular Twitter software. "We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts."

Submission + - Kaspersky customer database exposed (

secmartin writes: "A hacker has managed to gain access to several databases via a SQL injection vulnerability on Kaspersky's US website. He has posted several screenshots and a list of available tables; judging from the table names, the information available includes data on bugs and user- and reseller accounts.

The hacker has indicated that no confidential information will be posted on the Internet, but since a large part of the URL's used was visible in screenshots, it will only be a matter of time before somebody else manages to duplicate this."

Chemist who falls in acid will be tripping for weeks.