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Government

+ - Comcast-NBC Deal Accidentally Protects Internet->

Submitted by
jfruhlinger
jfruhlinger writes "Details of the conditions that the Department of Justice required to approve Comcast's purchase of NBC have emerged today. Blogger Kevin Fogarty looks at the details — Comcast is forbidden from blocking Netflix over its pipes, and must sell NBC shows via iTunes and other similar services — and concludes that Internet access for everybody, including business users, has been protected, more or less by accident."
Link to Original Source

+ - Betty Boop and Indefinite Copyright->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "US Court of Appeals officially recognizes that under the current regime, characters like Betty Boopy "would essentially never enter the public domain".

"Apparently the Fleischer estate has lost a court battle for the rights to Betty Boop, a character created by Grim Natwick at Max Fleischer’s studio in 1930."

"The Fleischer Studio tried to sue Avela Inc. over its licensing of public domain Betty Boop poster images (for handbags and T-shirts). The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (based in San Francisco) ruled against the Fleischers, saying in their decision, “If we ruled that AVELA’s depictions of Betty Boop infringed Fleischer’s trademarks, the Betty Boop character would essentially never enter the public domain.”"

"So where does that leave Ms. Boop? No longer represented by the heirs of Max Fleischer and King Features Syndicate? Does this make Harvey Comics – or by extention, its current owner Classic Media – the owner of the property? Or is the character now in public domain.""

Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - Ipad Hacked with internal Verizon EVDO Card->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This iPad was hacked inside, removing the AT&T 3G card, using the 3G Antenna to give signal to a now internal Verizon MIFI card. The card still acts as a WIFI router, so the iPad can share it's internet connection. He even went so far as to use the SIM card slot as a point for accessing a switch to power down the MIFI when not in use."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Google Releases a Tutorial for Hackers 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes ""Learn how hackers find security vulnerabilities and exploit web applications!" as the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Google has released Jarlsberg, a "small, cheesy" web application specifically designed to be full of bugs and security flaws as a security tutorial for coders and encourages programmers to try their hands at exploiting weaknesses in Jarlsberg as a way of teaching them how to avoid similar vulnerabilities in their own code. Jarlsberg has multiple security bugs ranging from cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery, to information disclosure, denial of service, and remote code execution. The codelab is organized by types of vulnerabilities. In black box hacking, users try to find security bugs by experimenting with the application and manipulating input fields and URL parameters, trying to cause application errors, and looking at the HTTP requests and responses to guess server behavior while in white-box hacking, users have access to the source code and can use automated or manual analysis to identify bugs. The tutorial notes that accessing or attacking a computer system without authorization is illegal in many jurisdictions but while doing this codelab, users are specifically granted authorization to attack the Jarlsberg application as directed."
The Internet

+ - Pressure mounts on Icann to approve .xxx domain->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An application for the .xxx domain was first submitted six years ago. Icann approved the application in 2005, and entered into an agreement with ICM Registry regarding technical and commercial terms. However, Icann reversed its decision in March 2007. An independent review panel was called to look into why Icann had changed its mind, and concluded that the body had been under pressure from the US government. Now the registry that submitted that application, ICM Registry, is pushing for .xxx to be approved. The company has argued that the .xxx internet domain should be approved for porn site use, allowing parents and businesses to easily configure browsers or filters to automatically block sites that carry the domain."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - The Pill Caused More Than One Revolution

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that fifty years after its approval by the Food and Drug Administration, the first birth control pill not only revolutionized sexual and social relationships, allowing women to defer pregnancy, enter the work force and make life choices their mothers could not but led to profound changes in the FDA itself as many of the steps that underlie modern drug approvals — extensive clinical trials, routine referrals to panels of outside experts, continuing assessments of a medicine’s safety, and direct communications between the FDA and patients — were pioneered to deal with evolving concerns about the pill’s safety. The pill eventually led the FDA to communicate directly with patients without going through doctors, a change that was fiercely resisted by some physician groups, but that is now firmly entrenched as the FDA now routinely requires that many medicines carry significant and sometimes complex warnings that patients are expected to read and understand. “The FDA had been battling with the American Medical Association for years about who would talk to patients,” says Daniel P. Carpenter, a professor of government at Harvard. “And with the pill, the FDA clearly established the upper hand.” The pill was also one of the first drugs subject to increased testing after Congress toughened the drug approval process in the aftermath of the thalidomide disaster by requiring manufacturers to prove their medicines were both safe and effective causing the company to undertake one of the most extensive clinical trial programs to date, formally testing the drug in 897 women, mostly in Puerto Rico and Haiti. “The pill was a landmark in the field of drug regulation,” says Peter Barton Hutt, a former top agency lawyer. “This is the drug that started it all.”"
Math

+ - Traveling Salesman in Polynomial Time?-> 2

Submitted by James
James (858416) writes "Kingrames, a regular Slashdotter, has recently posted his second of two solutions to the Traveling Salesman problem, both of which are done in Polynomial time. He's asking for fellow mathematicians and computer scientists to lend a hand in proving and disproving his theories, and welcomes all feedback. If this discovery turns out to be true, it calls into question the idea that there are no polynomial-time solutions to these "hard" problems, and that would be very significant. If you have the time, and the inclination, please consider lending your helping hand."
Link to Original Source

+ - Wrong to open source my rejected iPhone app?

Submitted by mat72
mat72 (1799340) writes "I recently submitted a silly game to the iPhone app store, which was subsequently rejected for “objectionable content.” The goal of the game is to hunt seals with a wooden club. The graphics are very tame, with no blood or gore what so ever. I understand that it could be considered “objectionable” to some, but I feel Apple is extremely inconsistent in rejecting apps. The approval process requires developers to submit a full application, and there is no kind of pre-approval. I sent an email to Apple’s developer program back in January, asking if the idea would be a problem. I was told there was no pre-approvals. Seeing other games with the goal of hunting animals, I thought that my game should be OK. Especially given that one game in particular allows you to steal a police officers club (night stick) and club him/her to into a bloody pile. Though the game is fairly simple, I did spend a fare amount of time and resources on it (learning Objective-C, investing into a Mac, etc). I received a lot of interest (along with a fair share of disgust) in the game. Many people wondered if I was going to open source it. I guess the issue is that this would promote the jailbreaking scene. On the other hand, I don’t intend on renewing my membership to the iPhone developer’s program. This means that after my provisioning profiles expire, I will no longer be able to play MY game on MY iPhone. Porting to another platform is an option, but will require time I may not have at the moment. Has anyone else been in this position? What did/would you do?"

Comment: Re:PowerPoint makes us stupid (Score 2, Insightful) 233

by hey! (#32008172) Attached to: PowerPoint of Afghan War Strategy

My presentation philosophy: the presentation is NOT the powerpoint document. It's me talking in a way that makes a point.

The powerpoint is there to give them something more interesting to look at than me, to help them keep track of what point we're on, and sometimes to provide an illustration or diagram.

If I have to alter what I'm going to say so it can fit powerpoint slides, I'll just hand out a stack of bumperstickers.

Comment: Re:wagging the dog (Score 1) 840

by the_womble (#31995296) Attached to: Pope Rails Against the Internet and Transparency

Everyone else covered up sexual abuse as well: governments, families schools. Here is one example I happen to have read about before

The main difference between the church and other organisations that have done the same seem to be:

1) The press are more interested in covering church scandals.
2) The people responsible for the cover-ups by the church are made to resign when caught, those in government get away with it.

Security

+ - New Russian weapon hides in shipping container

Submitted by shmG
shmG (1013325) writes "A Russian company is marketing a devastating new cruise missile system which can be hidden inside a shipping container, giving any merchant vessel the capability to wipe out an aircraft carrier. Potential customers for the formidable Club-K system include Kremlin allies Iran and Venezuela, say defense experts. They worry that countries could pass on the satellite-guided missiles, which are very hard to detect, to terrorist groups.

This is a scary new development in the global arms-race that allows for the proliferation of cruise missiles to anyone who would pay for it — even terrorists. This could be the next big thing in strategic weapons as they can appear anywhere there is a container ship. The company even made a commercial and posted it onto the Internet"

+ - Suppressed EU report reveals damage from biodiesel->

Submitted by
DesScorp
DesScorp writes "Has the European Union been hiding the costs of biodiesel and similar "green fuels"? Reuters is reporting that they have acquired documentation previously hidden by the EU that proves biodiesel is more harmful than either gasoline or diesel fuels. Using freedom of information laws, Reuters published information from the documents stating that such green fuels actually have higher CO2 levels than petroleum, and that they present the added problem of lost farmland and forested areas. They also state that in previous reports, the EU had stripped damaging information under protest from study participants. "Biodiesel from North American soybeans has an indirect carbon footprint of 339.9 kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule — four times higher than standard diesel — said the EU document, an annex that was controversially stripped from a report published in December. Editing the report caused one of the consultancies, Fraunhofer of Germany, to disown it partly in a disclaimer." Are green fuels all they're cracked up to be?"
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