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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 54 declined, 60 accepted (114 total, 52.63% accepted)

Google

+ - Cost of Pre-Screening all youTube content: US$37 Billion->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "The folks that push "Anti-Piracy" and "Copying is Stealing" seem to often request that Google pre-screens content going up on YouTube and of course expect Google to cover the costs. No-one ever really asks the question how much it would cost, but some nicely laid out math by a curious mind points to a pretty hefty figure indeed. Starting with who to employ, their salary expectations and how many people it would take to cover the 72 hours of content uploaded every minute, the numbers start to get pretty large, pretty quickly. US$37 billion a year. Now compare that to Google's revenue for last year."
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Privacy

+ - Britians "No Tracking Law" Now In Effect->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "The British Gov might have more cameras up on street corners than just about anywhere else in the world, but it seems that the Gov doesn't want anyone else stepping on the privacy of their folks. In what the media have dubbed the "Cookie Law" all operators of websites in Britain must notify users of the tracking that the website does. This doesn't only cover cookies, but all forms of tracking and analytics performed on visitors. While there are potential fines up up to 500,000 pounds (Over US$750,000) for websites not following these new rules, the BBC announced that very few websites are ready, even most of its own sites aren't up to speed — and amusingly even the governments own websites aren't ready."
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Patents

+ - Apple and Samsung ordered talks fail - Trial date set->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEO's are court ordered to hash it out over a two day period. US Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming it's position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said "I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it" he also said "if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred." Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."
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Medicine

+ - Supreme Court Orders Do-Over on Key Software Patents->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "It seems that the US Supreme Court has an itch it just can't scratch. A patent granted to the Ultramercial company covers the concept of allowing users to watch a pre-roll advertisement as an alternative to paying for premium content and the company is demanding fees from the likes of Hulu and YouTube. Another company called WildTangent is however is challenging Ultramercial's "invention" as merely an abstract idea not eligible for patent protection. Add to this a recent ruling by the Supreme Court restricting patents — albeit on medical diagnostic techniques and you get into a bit of a pickle. The Supreme Court is now sending the Ultramercial case back to the lower courts for another round, which doesn't mean that the court disagrees with the original ruling, but rather that it thinks it is a patent case that is relevant to the situation and they want to re-examine it under this new light."
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Privacy

+ - New York Proposing Legislation To Ban Anonymous Speech Websites-> 2

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte "[this] turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity." and Republican Sen. Thomas O’Mara "[this will] help lend some accountability to the Internet age." are sponsoring a bill that would ban any New York-based websites from allowing comments (or well, anything) to be posted unless the person posting it attaches their name to it. But it goes further to say New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”"
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Security

+ - Researchers Can Generate RSA SecurID Random Numbers Flawlessly->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "A researcher has found and published a way to tune into a RSA SecurID Token. Once a few easy steps are followed anyone can generate the exact numbers shown on the token. The method relies on finding the seed that is used to generate the numbers seemingly randomly, but once known can be used to generate the exact numbers displayed on the targetted Token. The technique, described on Thursday by a senior security analyst at a firm called SensePost, has important implications for the safekeeping of the tokens. An estimated 40 million people use these to access confidential data belonging to government agencies, military contractors, and corporations. Scrutiny of the widely used two-factor authentication system has grown since last year, when RSA revealed that intruders on its networks stole sensitive SecurID information that could be used to reduce its security. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin later confirmed that a separate attack on its systems was aided by the theft of the RSA data."
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Advertising

+ - EU offers Google Chance to Settle Prior to Anti-Trust Enquiry-> 1

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "The EU has accused Google of abusing its dominant position in advertising to benefit its own advertising services at the expense of competitors. In a twist however, rather than initiating formal proceedings, the EU has given Google a chance to settle the whole matter without much fuss. They outlined four changes that Google can make that will put it firmly back in the good graces of the EU. Google has been given "a matter of weeks" to propose remedies to the four issues — which all tie in with how search results are displayed, their format and their portability to other platforms. This matter has come before the EU based on complaints by a few small companies and Microsoft."
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Australia

+ - Employee "Disciplined" for Installing BitCoin Software on Federal Webservers-> 1

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Around a year ago, a person working for the ABC in Australia with the highest levels of access to systems got caught caught with his fingers on the CPU cycles. The staffer had installed BitCoin mining software on the systems used by the Australian broadcaster. While the story made a bit of a splash at the time, it was finally announced today that the staffer hadn't been sacked, but was merely being disciplined by his manager and having his access to systems restricted. All the stories seem a little vague as to what he actually installed however — on one side he installed the software on a public facing websever, and the ABC itself admits "As this software was for a short time embedded within pages on the ABC website, visitors to these pages may have been exposed to the Bitcoin software" and "the Coalition (current Opposition Parties) was planning on quizzing the ABC further about the issue, including filing a request for the code that would have been downloaded to users’ machines", but on the other side there is no mention of the staffer trying to seed a BitCoin mining botnet through the site, just that mining software had been installed."
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Privacy

+ - Facial Recognition Cameras Set to San Francisco Clubs and Bars->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "On Friday a company called SceneTap, flipped the on switch enabling cameras installed in around 20 bars to monitor how full the venues are, the mix of men and women, their ages — and to make all this information available live via a iPhone or Android app. Privacy advocates are unimpressed though, as the only hint that people are being monitored is via tiny stickers on the windows. Beyond academics and policy experts, some San Francisco bar owners that originally partnered with SceneTap have said that they’re pulling out and will be taking down the company’s cameras. An increasing number of bars still listed on the SceneTap’s site are now saying that they’re not working with the Chicago startup, including Mr. Smith’s, Southpaw, John Colins, and Bar None."
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Privacy

+ - US Justice Dept Defends Right To Record Police->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "In recent times, it seems that many Police Departments believe that recording them doing their work is an act of war with police officers destroying the tapes, phones or cameras while arresting the folks doing it, but in a surprising twist, the US Justice Department has sent letter (PDF) to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department — who have been quite heavy handed in enforcing their "Don't record me bro!" mantra. The letter contains an awful lot of lawyer babble and lists many court cases and the like, although some sections are surprisingly clear "Policies should prohibit officers from destroying recording devices or cameras and deleting recordings or photographs under any circumstances. In addition to violating the First Amendment, police officers violate the core requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process clause when they irrevocably deprived individuals of their recordings without first providing notice and an opportunity to object." There is a lot more and it certainly seems like a firm foothold in the right direction."
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Power

+ - US is Happy To Pay More for Clean Energy. Well, a Little More->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "A recent study of over 1,000 folks for a paper published in Nature Climate Change has found that the average US citizen is inclined to pay a premium to ensure that by 2035, 80% of US power comes from clean energy. At random, respondents received one of three "technological treatments" or definitions of clean energy that included renewable energy sources alone, renewable sources plus natural gas, and renewable sources plus nuclear power. Delving into the socioeconomics, researchers found that Republicans, Independents, and respondents with no party allegiance were less likely by 25, 13 and 25 percentage points respectively to support a NCES than respondents that identified themselves as Democrats."
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Advertising

+ - Big Media and Big Telcos getting nasty in landmark Australian law Case->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "In Australia, we have the right to record TV and play it back at a later date, we also have the right to transcode from one format to another, so anyone with a media server can legally back up their entire DVD collection and watch it without all those annoying warning and unskippable content — as long as we don't break encryption (please stop laughing!). Optus, Australia's second largest Telco has been raising ire though with the new TV Now service they are offering and Big Media is having a hissy fit. They recently offered the service that does the recording on behalf of the customer. Seems a no brainer right? Let the customer do what they are allowed to legally do at home, but charge them for it. Everybody wins! Not according to Sports Broadcasters who made this statement when Optus said they would appeal their recent loss in an Australian Court to the highest court in the land: "They are a disgusting organisation who is acting reprehensibly again and now putting more uncertainty into sports and broadcast rights going forward I’m really disappointed and disgusted in the comments of their CEO overnight." Is this yet another case of Big Media clutching at an outdated business model, or should consumers be content with just doing their own work?"
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Education

+ - Reddit catches intricate hoax in minutes where others fail->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Professor T. Mills Kelly teaches an interesting class over at George Mason University. It's called Lying About The Past and in his class he encourages students to basically pull a prank by concocting a tale about historical events — that aren't real in any way. Last year, his students fabricated the tale of Edward Owens which was guzzled by the media, press and pretty much everyone — until they found it was all a joke. Even Jimmy Wales chimed in "Things like that really, really, really annoy me.". This time round, a student posed a question to Reddit, having made fake Wikipedia articles, created "found" newspaper articles and much more. Months in preparation, it took 26 minutes for Redditors to see it for what it was."
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Advertising

+ - General Motors: "Facebook Ads aren't Worth it"->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "General Motors spends around $40 million per year on maintaining a Facebook profile and around a quarter of that goes into paid advertising. However, in a statement, they just announced that "it's simply not working". That's a bit of bad news just prior to the Facebook IPO — and while Daniel Knapp tries to sweeten the news, he probably makes it even more bitter by commenting "Advertising on Facebook has long been funded by marketing budgets reserved for trying new things. But as online advertising investments in general are surging and starting to cannibalize spend on legacy media, advertisers are rightfully asking whether the money spend is justified because it has reached significant sums now.""
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Australia

+ - GAME Australia now also in Administration->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "This morning the Australian Division of GAME saw an email from their Marketing Manager confirming that the 95 store chain has gone into voluntary administration. PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Kate Warwick said "Initially we will continue to trade all stores, operating these on as close to a ‘business as usual’ mode as possible whilst we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business and actively pursue options to secure its future." in a statement today. It also seems that GAME is having a bit of a fire sale, with many titles including quite a few new releases now in a $5-$74 bargain bin. Ms. Warwick also noted that the company’s customers hold various claims against the company under loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers. Ms. Warwick said “We are working on schemes aimed at giving customers some return on these claims if they are used to make additional purchases.”"
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