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Privacy

+ - Individual Privacy Under Threat in Europe and U.S.-> 1

Submitted by
Mike
Mike writes "Individual privacy is under greater threat than ever before in both the United States and across the European Union, the international rights group Privacy International has said in a report. "The general trend is that privacy is being extinguished in country after country," said Simon Davies, director of Privacy International. "Even those countries where we expected ongoing strong privacy protection, like Germany and Canada, are sinking into the mire." And things are getting worse, not better, the report concludes."
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Government

+ - Yahoo blocks story of Data Mining

Submitted by
druidbros
druidbros writes "I read a great story about Data Mining on Truthdig.com. As I sometimes do I sent the test to a friend. To my surprise it was blocked by Yahoo (he has a sbcglobal.net email account). The message given by Yahoo was....(reason: 554 Message not allowed — UP Email not accepted for policy reasons. Please visit http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/defer-04.html%5B120%5D). Even when I removed the words Data Mining from the subject line it still wouldnt accept the email. What is going on? Here is the article.... http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/20070809_inside_the_data_mine/"
Government

+ - Norway mandates government use of ODF and PDF

Submitted by siDDis
siDDis (961791) writes "Earlier this year Slashdot mentioned that Norway moves towards mandatory use of ODF and PDF. Now it's confirmed that the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

There are three formats that have been mandated for all documentation between authorities, users and partners. HTML for all public information on the Web, PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved and ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit. Documents may also be published in other formats, but they must always be available in either ODF or PDF."
Businesses

+ - Dell (Australia) Refuses Vista Refunds 3

Submitted by
Dean Bergin
Dean Bergin writes "It would seem that after contacting Dell for about 5 days straight, I have been thusfar unable to obtain a refund for my UNUSED copy of Windows® Vista(TM) Home Premium (32bit) that came with my XPS M1730. Here are some of the lame "reasons" they gave me:
  • We are unable to refund due to Microsoft Licensing.
  • You accepted the agreement when you purchased the computer online as part of our policy.
  • You will be breaching the Microsoft License if you send the product back.
  • Because this is OEM version, we are unable to provide a refund because it is bundled with your computer.
These "reasons" didn't seem to make any sense, so I did some digging around on the Dell website for these policies and this is what I came up with:

The Dell's "Total Satisfaction" Policy states the following:

"You may return software for refund or credit only if the sealed package containing the diskette(s) or CD(s) is unopened"
I also checked their Terms and Conditions of Sale ("Terms and Conditions") and that states the following:

"All software provided is subject to the terms and conditions of the license agreement relating to that software. Customer acknowledges its obligations to abide by such license agreements. Customer acknowledges that Dell does not warrant any software under these Terms and Conditions. In addition to any rights the customer may have under statute, all software is warranted in accordance with the license agreement that governs its use."
So, if I do NOT to agree to the the Windows® Vista(TM) EULA and adhere to the conditions within it (don't use it and uninstall said software), am I not entitled to a refund???

One thing is for sure: The call centre minions at Dell don't know ANYTHING about software licensing and are not trained to deal with this situation, which means I am now stuck with a rather expensive coaster :P"
Patents

+ - Toshiba Sued Over Word Processing by Ex-employee-> 1

Submitted by
Tech.Luver
Tech.Luver writes "apan-Today is reporting on Toshiba corp is being sued by a former employee for about 260 million yen ($2.34 million) in remuneration for the profits the firm reaped from the basic technologies he invented for Japanese language word processing software. Japan-Today further writes, "Shinya Amano, who is now a professor at the Shonan Institute of Technology, said in his written complaint that although the firm obtained patents for the technologies in conjunction with him and three others, and paid him tens of thousands yen annually in remuneration, he actually developed the technologies alone. ( http://techluver.com/2007/12/07/toshiba-sued-over-word-processing-technologies-by-ex-employee/ )"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - WGA - hide in plain sight

Submitted by RickJ
RickJ (22890) writes "At it again. Microsoft wants to update their WGA again, this time they don't hide it, just market it like something a user would want:
Software Upgrade for Some Windows Components Required
To use Microsoft Update, you must first install the latest version of some Windows components. This will allow your computer to work with these new features on the site:

More updates: Get updates for Windows and for popular Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Office in one place.
Faster updates: The latest Windows Installer (MSI) improves the way updates are installed, delivering updates in the smallest possible packages in the shortest amount of time.
Easier navigation: Now you can find updates by priority or by product while helpful links and important messages help ensure you are installing all high-priority updates for your computer.
Details

Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130)
1.1 MB , less than 1 minute
The Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool enables you to verify that your copy of Microsoft Windows is genuine. The tool validates your Windows installation by checking Windows Product Identification and Product Activation status.


Total: 1.1 MB , less than 1 minute
Download and Install Now"
Social Networks

+ - MO City Makes OnLine Harassment a Misdemeanor->

Submitted by
Tech.Luver
Tech.Luver writes "DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Missouri — For nearly a year, the families living along Waterford Crystal Drive in this bedroom community northwest of St. Louis kept the secret about the boy Megan Meyer met in September 2006 on the social-networking site MySpace.He called himself Josh Evans, and he and Meier, 13, struck up an online friendship that lasted for weeks. The boy then abruptly turned on Meier and ended it. Meier, who previously battled depression, committed suicide that night. The secret was revealed six weeks later: Neighbor mother Lori Drew had pretended to be 16-year-old "Josh" to gain the trust of Meier, who had been fighting with Drew's daughter, according to police records and Meier's parents. On Wednesday, Nov 21, City officials unanimously passed a measure making online harassment a crime, days after learning that a 13-year-old girl killed herself last year after receiving cruel messages on the Internet. The six-member Board of Aldermen made Internet harassment a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail. Mayor Pam Fogarty said the city had proposed the measure after learning about Megan Meier's death. ( http://techluver.com/2007/11/25/missouri-city-makes-internet-harassment-a-misdemeanor-in-wake-of-13-year-olds-suicide/ )"
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Yes, Stickam does monitor your private video chats

Submitted by thefickler
thefickler (1030556) writes "Stickam, a social networking site that places emphasis on chatting with friends by means of a webcam, states in its Terms of Service (TOS) that it retains the right to "monitor the content of any messaging that occurs on or through the instant message service;" however, it may come as a shock to learn that they regularly do monitor the webcam chats, including private, friend-to-friend chats. Neil Hotkiewicz learned the hard way."
Censorship

+ - Movie Industry Censoring Itself by Mistake?

Submitted by Dak RIT
Dak RIT (556128) writes "It seems that in its zeal to stop the distribution of copyrighted materials on YouTube, the movie industry has just inadvertently censored itself. Alliance Atlantis has apparently sent a takedown notice to YouTube for a video clip from the movie Rush Hour 3 that was uploaded to YouTube by New Line Cinema, and linked to from the Rush Hour 3 home page (at the bottom of the page, click on the Special Sneak Peek — The Nun Clip). Rush Hour 3 is distributed by New Line Cinema in the US, although it appears that Alliance Atlantis may be responsible for distribution in Canada and the UK."
Hardware Hacking

+ - e-voting outlawed in Netherlands->

Submitted by
joost
joost writes "After rallying for over a year, e-voting is now outlawed (Dutch) in the Netherlands. The country's only e-voting manufacturer Nedap has been told it's machines are fundamentally hackable. Upcoming elections will be performed with the red pencil, but a different e-voting apparatus is under development. This new machine will always feature a paper trail. More Dutch information on the group's website who started all this."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Demonoid shut down by CRIA?

Submitted by
L. VeGas
L. VeGas writes "For twenty-four hours, Demonoid has been offline.

The popular Dutch news site, nu.nl is reporting that the world's second largest torrent tracker, Demonoid has apprently been shut down by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)

This happens just three months after Demonoid moved its servers to Canada under pressure from BREIN, a Dutch anti-piracy organization.

Wonder why> the Demonoid folks thought Canada would be a good safe-haven to begin with."
PC Games (Games)

+ - Chinese MMO Bans Males From Playing Female Charact

Submitted by
Cap'n.Brownbeard
Cap'n.Brownbeard writes ""Players of the Chinese MMORPG, King of the World, may have found themselves unable to log into their accounts this past weekend. The game's publisher, Aurora Technology, has apparently frozen the accounts of all male players choosing to play as a female characters. Now, only female players can play female characters, and they're required to prove their gender via a webcam. Females wanting to play males are still allowed though." http://news.filefront.com/chinese-mmo-bans-males-from-playing-female-characters/"
Privacy

+ - 15000 protest against data retention, in Berlin->

Submitted by jonas
jonas (666) writes "http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/96385 reports a demonstration, mainly organized by http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/, that was held against the upcoming telecommunicatons data retention in Germany. 15,000 people protested against a law, that, once passed, will require telecommunications providers to keep all connection and location data for all subscribers for 6 months and will allow the government unrestricted access. The government claims this to be neccessary to protect Germans against terrorism. Many people fear the degredation of ther civil rights, of which there is one that assures the privacy of telecomunication. This civil rights movement gains momentum, with only 200 protesters a year ago, and 2000 this spring."
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Media

+ - MediaDefender Leaks Saga : unexpected outcomes-> 4

Submitted by ShakaZ
ShakaZ (1002825) writes "Following the leaks of all the internal emails and later the source code of all the anti-p2p software of MediaDefender, the boss and an employee of the company have been arrested by the LA police. They are charged for illegal uploading with intent to deceive, bandwidth theft, and grievous misrepresentation.
More handcuffs there : http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13397

Due to the released emails, ThePirateBay have proof of infrastructural sabotage, denial of service attacks, hacking and spamming, for which they filed a complaint to the Swedish police. 10 companies of the music, movie and gaming industries are listed in the complaint.
More pirates here : http://thepiratebay.org/blog"

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Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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