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Canada

Submission + - The Pirate Party of Canada is official! 3

wasme writes: The Pirate Party of Canada (PPCA) has become the first Pirate Party outside of Europe to become an official political party. Elections Canada confirmed with the party on the 12th that the PPCA has gained "eligible for registration" status, and can run in elections starting June 14, 2010. Read the Party's official announcement:

"We are pleased to announce that as of April 12, 2010, the Pirate Party of Canada (PPCA) is officially eligible for Party Status.

After ten months of dedication and hard work, we have reached eligible status, which only leaves a 60-day “purgatory” period. After that, we will field candidates in subsequent federal elections, and begin the real work of a political party."

Submission + - Is There An Encrypted Net For The Everyman?

BenEnglishAtHome writes: It's easy to predict that the Tarkin Effect will someday lead to ubiquitous net encryption. Perhaps a global DMCA will be enough to push the process over the top, leading the everyman to insist on Freenet-like ubiquitous net encryption. So, Slashdot, survey the myriad projects out there and tell me: What is the current and future state of encrypted networks for the masses?
Operating Systems

Submission + - netboot.me: Turning 'netboot' into 'internetboot' (netboot.me)

Nick Johnson writes: "Netboot.me takes regular netbooting and makes it a whole lot more versatile — now, you can netboot directly into the installers for many popular linux distros, as well as system tools and even live linux distributions, all directly over the Internet, and without any local configuration required!

All that's required to set up netboot.me is a spare writable CD, USB key, or floppy disk to write a small (less than 1MB) disk image to. Alternately, determined geeks can change their DHCP server to allow computers to netboot directly. Once you've done that, booting off the device on any computer with wired ethernet (wifi is a work in progress) will automatically cause the bootloader to download the current version of the menu from netboot.me, which you can then find the boot image you want to boot from. Selecting it causes the boot image to be downloaded and booted immediately.

Best of all, netboot.me lets you add your own boot configurations; once you've tested them, and if they're of general interest, you can file a bug to have them included in the menu system. netboot.me is capable of booting any linux kernel and any other standard boot image, as well as disk images and CD images, thanks to syslinux's memdisk.

The getting started and help pages have many more details on how to use netboot.me, and how to contribute to it. The more boot images in the system the better, so contributions are much appreciated."

Google

Submission + - Google Unveils Offline Access to Gmail (pcworld.com)

mytrip writes: "Google is rolling out a new system for letting Gmail users access their accounts offline. Google will cache your messages on your system using Google Gears. You'll be able to open your browser to Gmail.com, see your inbox, read and label messages and even write replies without a Net connection. Your messages will send once your system reconnects to the Web.

The system is beta (of course) and accessible through Gmail Labs. But it won't be immediately available to everyone — Google is parsing out access as it experiments with the new feature."

Privacy

Submission + - Anonymous network I2P 0.7 released (i2p2.de)

Mathiasdm writes: The Invisible Internet Project, also known as I2P, has seen its 0.7 release (download). I2P uses multiple encryption layers, and routing through several other computers to hide both sender and receiver of messages. On top of the network, regular services such as mail, browsing, file sharing and chatting are supported.
This major version change marks a new period, in which the I2P developers wish to spread the word about the secure network. This new release includes improvements in the built-in bittorrent client, changes in the network exploration software and an experimental new address system using base32 hashes of destination keys.

Security

Submission + - Vulnerabilities Found in All Package Managers 1

justin samuel writes: "CERT has posted to their blog about vulnerabilities found in all popular package managers (apt, yum, YaST, etc.) by University of Arizona researchers. The researchers have released a study that discusses the many security problems they discovered. Among these vulnerabilities, exploitable by malicious mirrors or man-in-the-middle attackers, are some which take advantage of poor usage of cryptographic signatures, leaving the package managers vulnerable to replay attacks. An attacker could use the discovered vulnerabilities to crash a user's system or potentially obtain root access. The researchers showed how easy it is to gain control of an official mirror. Using a fictitious identity, they got their own server listed as an official mirror for all of the distributions they tried (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and openSUSE). — Disclaimer: I'm one of the researchers."
Privacy

Submission + - Your Private Photo's Are on BitTorrent (wired.com)

unlametheweak writes: Another social networking fiasco. According to Wired News "A 17-gigabyte file purporting to contain more than half a million images lifted from private MySpace profiles has shown up on BitTorrent, potentially making it the biggest privacy breach yet on the top social networking site." This episode involves the ever present issues of privacy, piracy, vulnerability disclosures, intellectual property and security. It would seem that if you don't want things to be private, then they should not be on the Internet, Period.
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast Blocking Port 25 1

mlwmohawk writes: In the Boston area many users are having port 25 blocked, incoming and outgoing. How many other people is comcast doing this too?

Test your port 25 and see. If they are blocking you: call 1-800-266-2278 to complain.

If you live in Massachusetts, call the state attorney general on Monday to file a complaint. While port 25 may not be a big deal to many, to some this arbitrary and capricious denial of service without notice or recourse is harmful and should absolutely be something actionable.
PHP

Submission + - PHP Passing-Off NTS code as Thread-Safe (neosmart.net)

the tinfoil-hat man writes: Since the release of PHP 5.2.0, PHP.net has been making thread-safe and non-thread-safe (NTS) binaries available for download from their main site. The problem is, neither is actually safe for use in multi-threaded environments as neither are completely written in thread-safe code (all it takes is one line) and result in memory-access violation errors when deployed in *sapi environments on Linux or Windows. According to the article, PHP is purposely mis-representing NTS code as being multi-thread ready, and this results in unstable server environments when using mpm_worker or ISAPI PHP distributions.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun needs to fix MySQL (computerworld.com)

jcatcw writes: "Sun has a lot of work to do according to some MySQL users. Complaints about technical issues include problems with MySQL's replication, logging and internal memory-allocation features, and performance and concurrency problems when it's paired with InnoDB. Sun will also have to mend fences with users who are unhappy about sales tactics and who claim that MySQL has ignored their development suggestions."
Cellphones

Submission + - New VZW & Sprint phones with 911 Alarm

[TheBORG] writes: "An Austin woman who dialed 911 recently discovered what she said could be a fatal flaw in some new cell phones. She called for help recently when she arrived at some vacant property she owns in east Austin and found her security chain gone. She grabbed her new Casio G'zOne phone from Verizon Wireless, which to her horror made an audible alarm when she called 911. Fearing vandals were still on the property, she hung up and hid, then put her hand over the earpiece and dialed again to muffle the sounds. Verizon Wireless spokesperson says it's mandatory according to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act while the FCC says Section 255 of the Telecommunications Code requires that phones let a caller know a 911 call is underway, but does not require an audible alarm. The thread on Howardforums.com mentions that the alarm is present on new Sprint phones too."
Google

Submission + - Google Video Terminating Video Sales/Rents (google.com)

arikb writes: "I just received the following email:

Hello,

As a valued Google user, we're contacting you with some important
information about the videos you've purchased or rented from Google Video.
In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the
ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the
DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective
August 15, 2007.

To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we
are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $2.00. Your bonus
expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here:
http://www.google.com/checkout/signupwelcome.html. The minimum purchase
amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping
and tax.

After August 15, 2007, you will no longer be able to view your purchased
or rented videos.

If you have further questions or requests, please do not hesitate to
contact us. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

The Google Video Team


Is that the end of for-pay video downloads from Google?"

Enlightenment

Submission + - Story idea (dangerous health issue on livejournal)

Erin Haliburton writes: "Hello. My name is Erin Haliburton and I have information about a dangerous health matter that I would like you to do a story about.

You have probably heard about pro anorexia websites. Most of these sites are frequented by teenage girls looking for tips on how to lose a lot of weight very quickly. Some of those girls have eating disorders and some do not. Regardless of any 'support' or emotional attachment these girls may feel towards these websites, they are dangerous. They provide specific instructions on how to better starve your body. These are not simple diet and exercise tips. They are dangerous tips about fasting for days on end, how to resist eating, how to hide it from your parents, what kinds of foods contain zero calories. These sites are simply enabling girls to starve themselves. It is no better than giving an alcoholic a drink.

Now to the main point of my letter — talking about the largest pro anorexia website on the internet, and how it is actively endangering girls. If you google 'pro anorexia', [http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia] is the very first result. If you google 'anorexia', [http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia] is the tenth result. For the rest of this letter I will refer to this specific site as PALJ.

PALJ is not a recovery site. It is giving girls specific instructions and encouragement to starve their bodies. While I understand that not all anorexics are mentally ready for recovery, there are many ways for them to find support in an environment that is not enabling. For instance, [http://community.livejournal.com/ed_ucate/] provides a safe and understanding environment for girls to discuss and learn about their eating disorders, and [http://community.livejournal.com/ed_recovery/] is a great place for girls who are ready for recovery. Niether of those communities allows people to post tips for starvation. PALJ, however, frequently provides tips. It took me about 5 minutes to find 10 separate entries with such tips. Later on in this letter I will outline 5 of those examples.

I know that net neutrality and freedom of speech are wonderful things to strive for, and I am passionate about both. However, Livejournal's Terms of Service forbids posting encouragement and tips for self harm. Teaching someone how to starve their body is undeniably teaching self harm. I know that anorexia is a mental disease, it is not a choice. However, if the human body doesn't get nourishment, it will die. No ifs, ands, or buts. And teaching these girls how to slowly kill themselves is not only sickening and wrong, but it is against LJ's TOS.

Livejournal knows about PALJ. They have stated that they won't shut down a community unless an Abuse Report is filed. I filed an Abuse Report on August 10th, the contents of which I will provide below. In that Abuse Report, not only did I provide specific examples of encouraging self harm, but I pointed out the ways in which it explicitly broke Livejournal's TOS.

Here are the contents of my official Abuse Report, tracking number 797509, which I have not received an answer to after 48 hours:



Dear Livejournal/Six Apart:

I will begin by stating that my intent with this is to get PALJ permanently suspended. First I will provide numerous specific examples of how this community encourages self harm, and then I will explain why I think suspension is the only option.

[http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/4717 6758.html]
[http://i10.tinypic.com/4lsh2kh]

This girl hasn't eaten in 56 hours, she is suffering from physical symptoms of starvation. She is not asking for support to overcome her eating disorder, she is asking for tips on how to continue not eating. All of the comments on the post except for one are encouraging her not to eat. Because of this advice, she likely gained the willpower to continue to not eat. I wonder how long she will continue not eating. Perhaps until she starves herself to death.

[http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/4725 5184.html]
[http://i15.tinypic.com/4pnrmmv]

This girl is 6'0" and is only 134 pounds. She claims to have lost 13 pounds in 2 weeks. This is clearly extreme and harmful behavior. Another girl commented to her entry, congratulating her for losing so much weight, and asking for tips on how to lose that much weight. The original poster provided very specific instructions. This is clearly harmful advice, encouraging self harm.

[http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/4725 4138.html]
[http://i16.tinypic.com/4zub89k]

This girl fasted for an entire day. She didn't intake any calories, but she did exercise for 2 hours to burn calories. She asks for support to keep her going on her fast. All of the comments to the entry are encouraging her to keep fasting. This is clearly harmful advice, encouraging self harm.

[http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/4725 3459.html]
[http://i11.tinypic.com/6ewowok]

This girl is asking for other people to help her stay on track for a 3 day fast. Every comment to the entry is another girl agreeing to the fast, agreeing to starve her body for 3 entire days, just because this post encouraged her to.

[http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/4725 0212.html]
[http://i16.tinypic.com/4vpnfvm]

This entry contains one line: "I wanna eat pls don't let me!" Every single comment to the entry is encouraging the poster not to eat. They are encouraging her to starve herself, which is undeniably self harm. We don't know how long the original poster has gone without eating. Because of this post she may have gained the willpower to continue not to eat.

Now I will explain why I think suspension is the only option.

[http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos.bml]

The Terms of Service clearly says: "You agree to NOT use the Service to promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities, promote physical harm or injury against any governmental entity, group or individual."

This community is blatantly providing instructions to promote physical harm to individuals.

[http://www.livejournal.com/abuse/policy.bml#selfh arm]

This policy clearly states: "If entire community is dedicated to providing instructions on how to best commit self-destructive behavior, along with frequent incitement for others to do the same, terminate community."

This entire community is dedicated to encouraging self-destructive behavior, and there is frequent incitement for others to do the same. According to livejournal policy, the solution is to terminate the community.

This community is not a support community for girls to overcome their eating disorder. They are not "healing together as a community", as one livejournal employee recently stated in a comment in [http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/241884.ht ml]. They are starving to death together as a community.

[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16098915/site/newswee k/]

Proponents say they offer 'support,' but a Stanford University study finds that patients who visited pro-anorexia Web sites were sicker longer.

By allowing PALJ to stay active on livejournal, you are, by association, encouraging self harm. As a company that claims to care about its users, you can't continue to allow these communities to remain active. You can't in good conscience allow these girls to continue to seek out advice for how to starve themselves. Shutting them down is the only way to stop the cycle of self harm.

Sincerely,
Erin Haliburton, username thevelvetsun



At the bottom of my Abuse Report, I also included a link to an Open Letter to Livejournal, located at [http://thevelvetsun.livejournal.com/]. I encouraged users who agreed with me to comment with their 'signature'. So far we have 900 signatures, and that number is growing. I encourage you to visit the link and see how many people have signed it. The livejournal community is obviously very passionate about this issue. Its users don't want to sit by and watch these girls help each other starve to death.

The Livejournal staff, however, has a different stance. Even though I'm sure you can see by my examples that this community is clearly in violation of the Terms of Service, Livejournal has chosen to do nothing about it. They claim it is a 'support' community, but the only support these girls are receiving is the support to starve themselves.

Imagine for a moment, a 12-year-old girl has developed anorexia, but she hasn't started starving herself yet, because she doesn't know how. She doesn't know how to push aside her hunger cravings and she doesn't know what types of food contain little or no calories. She does a quick google search, and she finds PALJ. At first she simply reads posts by other users, and starts picking up tips for how to starve her body. But soon she decides that's not enough, and she wants more specific tips about restricting her diet and hiding it from her parents. So she goes to PALJ's profile page: [http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia/prof ile] or [http://i13.tinypic.com/4r7oklu]. There she learns how to get around Livejournal's mandatory age policy. With this information she signs up for her own account, and is quickly sucked deep into this dangerous world, filled with unhealthy girls who encourage her to be unhealthy as well.

I am not a parent, but I imagine that scenario would be terrifying and devastating for any parent. Livejournal is in support of this site, which means they are, by association, helping girls as young as 12 years old or younger to starve their bodies. According to NEDA [http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebP age_ID=779], "Anorexia Nervosa is a potentially lethal disease and has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness." Combine that with a recent Stanford study [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16098915/site/newswee k/] that found pro anorexia websites keep girls sicker longer, it is an obvious deduction that many members of PALJ have succumbed to their illness thanks to the tips provided. There is no telling how many people have died because of this website.

I am not suggesting that shutting PALJ down will stop all pro anorexia websites out there. I know there are many others. But seeing as how this is the largest and most easily accessible site, and has thousands of members, it could very well be the most dangerous one. I am not suggesting that shutting it down will make its current members healthy. But it will help prevent new, innocent young girls from learning new ways to starve themselves.

Livejournal needs to be held responsible for this. They need to abide by their own TOS and suspend PALJ. They have been given numerous specific examples, and they refuse to act. According to the 900 people that have signed my Open Letter, Livejournal is effectively condoning self harm. This must stop.

I am coming to you in the hopes that you will do a story on this. It is sickening and shameful that Livejournal would knowingly allow these girls to starve themselves thanks to specific instructions from PALJ. I hope that putting a media spotlight on this issue will force Livejournal to act. The cycle of self harm portrayed on this website is innapropriate for young girls, or anyone for that matter. The NEDA actively speaks out against these types of sites, as you can read here [http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebP age_ID=779]. Livejournal, however, would rather ignore the problem, even when they are presented with the specific links from my Abuse Report.

I hope that you will see reason, and understand why this dangerous site can't continue to operate. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Erin Haliburton"
Businesses

Submission + - Brad Fitzpatrick headed for Google? (valleywag.com)

sootzoo writes: "LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick, who sold his company, Danga Interactive, to Six Apart two years ago, has vested his shares, declared his boredom with Six Apart, and after weighing offers from Google and Facebook, has chosen to head to Google, a source close to Fitzpatrick says. The only reason that Six Apart management hasn't announced it, the source adds, is that they can't figure out how to spin it."

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