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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 10 declined, 4 accepted (14 total, 28.57% accepted)

Patents

+ - BBC Interviews Apple vs Samsung Jury Foreman-> 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC has published a long interview with Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung case. He still seems to be sticking to a rather confused definition of what constitutes prior art.

I showed the jurors that the two methods in software were not the same, nor could they be interchangeable because the hardware that was involved between the old processor and the new processor — you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work."
Link to Original Source

+ - EU Copyright Extention 2

Submitted by
MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD writes "The copyright on sound recordings by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other famous bands was due to expire in the next few years. However, the EU Council has now scuttled any such hopes. The copyright term has been extended from 50 to 70 years with ageing rockers expressing their delight."

+ - UK Government Issues D-Notices to UK Media over Wi-> 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "According to the WikiLeaks twitter feed, the UK Government has issued D-Notice's to the UK Press asking to be briefed on any WikiLeaks stories. Exactly what effect this will have is not certain. WikiLeaks may have agreements with some UK news outlets to keep stories quiet until the official WikiLeaks release. In the face of these D-Notice's, will those agreements still be honoured? Additionally these D Notices have historically been used as gagging orders. Will the UK government try to gag the UK media and does such an action make any sense in the internet age?"
Link to Original Source
Software

+ - The Problem of Trojan Installs 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "Recently I updated my FireFox Flash plug-in in what was advertised as an important security update. The next day I notice that McAfee Security Scan has miraculously installed itself onto my system. Further investigation revealed that the Flash update had indeed installed the McAfee product and that Adobe and McAfee had formed a partnership. No doubt there was some pre-checked "Install McAfee Security Scan" checkbox that I missed. It's annoying enough when a piece of software installs some other completely unrelated software like this, but when a security update patch does it, it's unforgivable.

A while back I had a similar experience with an ATI driver installing a game demo. Another pre-checked checkbox I must have missed. This seems to be a growing phenomenon. Have you experienced similar "trojan installs" during security updates?"
Censorship

+ - Times threatens legal action over email copyright-> 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The media watch group Media Lens has been threatened with legal action over publishing an email sent by the Times chief foreign commentator, Bronwen Maddox. The Times are claiming it is a breach of copyright. If you indicated in an email to a journalist that you intended to quote from their reply, would that change anything legally? Should you even have to make such an indication when writing to a journalist in their official capacity and what does this mean for efforts to hold the media to account over their news coverage?"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - BPI Responds to Criticism->

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The British Phonographic Institute (BPI) has responded to criticism by Bill Thomson over it's collusion with Virgin Media in targeting UK file sharers. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor personally wrote to the BBC to set things straight and asserts that 'it's Mr Thompson, rather than music companies, who is stuck in the past'. Of course, Virgin Media customers who do download Music and TV legally often find their connections being turned down to unusable speeds due to Virgin's aggressive throttling policy."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - UK Local Councils Spy on Emails and Calls->

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The Daily Mail is reporting that local councils have been using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on peoples phone and email records. Reasons given for the surveillance include checking for evidence of people storing petrol without permission and investigating unburied animal carcasses. The surveillance was uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act. The scope of the RIPA act is staggering. It would be simpler to list who isn't allowed to access your phone and email records. Aside from political action, what can be done technologically to combat this threat? Use Skype rather than the normal telephone?"
Link to Original Source
Communications

+ - UK downloaders Face Ban

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC are reporting on government plans to force service providers to cut off users who 'illegally' download music and films. The government is proposing a '3 Strikes' rule where users will first be warned by email, then have their accounts suspended, then have their contracts terminated. This will ultimately push the cost of enforcing copyrights onto the public. Do we even have an Electronic Frontier Foundation in the UK? I'm suddenly in the mood to make a rather generous donation."
The Military

+ - Chinese "Steath Submarine" surprises US Na-> 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "A Chinese Song Class submarine has managed to surface close enough to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk to launch torpedoes. How the sub managed to slip past all of the defences is not yet known. Were the Chinese military trying to embarrass the US? Was it a mistake? Or is it simply a case of one of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk crew ordering a takeaway?"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Eric Blumrich - Shut Down by US Government?

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "I've been visiting http://www.ericblumrich.com/ for several years. It's sort of an anti-Bush site with videos and fun animations, but it covers all sorts of things. Today I visited and there is a Department Of Homeland Security logo and a notice saying the site has (possibly) violated the Patriot act. I don't know if it's a joke or if it's real. You decide... Is this happening a lot in the US?"
Space

+ - China Tests Anti-Satellite Weapon

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC is reporting that China has tested an anti-satellite weapon against one of it's own weather satellites. In the past China has called for an international treaty against the weaponization of space, but these calls were rejected by the US, which continues to pursue its own space weapons programme. It is also worth noting that both the US and Russia already posses anti-satellite weaponry."
Patents

+ - SanDisk MP3 Players Seized in MP3 licence dispute

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "According to the BBC , German officials have seized Sandisk's MP3 players at the IFA show in Berlin. The Italian company Sisvel claims that Sandisk has refused to pay licence fees for the MP3 codec. Sisvel President Roberto Dini has said that Sandisk could get an edge over competitors by not paying the fees. How much are proprietary format licensing fees pushing up the cost of consumer goods?"

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