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Facebook

Social Media a Threat To Undercover Cops 252

angry tapir writes "Facebook has proven to be one of the biggest dangers in keeping undercover police officers safe, due to applications such as facial recognition and photo tagging, according to an adjunct professor at ANU and Charles Sturt University. Mick Keelty, a former Australian Federal Police commissioner, told the audience at Security 2011 in Sydney that because of the convergence of a number of technologies undercover policing may be 'impossible' in the future."
Graphics

Intel Licenses NVIDIA SLI Technology For P55 Chips 63

adeelarshad82 writes "NVIDIA announced that Intel has licensed the company's SLI technology for inclusion in upcoming products — as have a slew of major hardware partners such as ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI. This means the P55 chipsets that power those new socket LGA 1156 motherboards, which are based around the next-gen Nehalem architecture, will let you build systems using two or four NVIDIA-powered GPUs. Specifically, the licensing agreement covers the Core i5 and Core i7 microprocessors."
Music

The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large 554

The NY Times has an opinion piece that makes starkly clear the financial decline of the music industry. It's accompanied by an infographic that cleverly renders the drop-off. The latest culprit accelerating the undoing of the music business is free, legal online music streaming. "Since music sales peaked in 1999, the value of those sales, after adjusting for inflation, has dropped by more than half. At that rate, the industry could be decimated before Madonna's 60th birthday. ... 13- to 17-year-olds acquired 19 percent less music in 2008 than they did in 2007. CD sales among these teenagers were down 26 percent and digital purchases were down 13 percent. ... [T]he percentage of 14- to 18-year-olds who regularly share files dropped by nearly a third from December 2007 to January 2009. On the other hand, two-thirds of those teens now listen to streaming music 'regularly' and nearly a third listen to it every day."
Patents

Netflix Sued Over Fradulently Obtained Patents 193

An anonymous reader writes "Techdirt has a story about a new class action lawsuit against Netflix, claiming that the patents the company is using to sue Blockbuster were obtained fraudulently. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Netflix was well aware of prior art, but did not include it in its patent filing, as required by law. The lawsuit also claims that Netflix then used these fraudulently obtained patents to scare others out of the market, in violation of antitrust law. 'Certainly, it makes for an interesting argument. Patents grant a government-backed monopoly -- which should get you around any antitrust violations. However, if that patent is obtained fraudulently, then I can see a pretty compelling claim that you've abused antitrust law. It would be interesting if other such cases start popping up (and, indeed, the lawyer who sent it to us said his firm is looking for additional patents to go after in this manner).'"
Security

AACS Revision Cracked A Week Before Release 346

stevedcc writes "Ars Technica is running a story about next week's release of AACS, which is intended to fix the currently compromised version. The only problem is, the patched version has already been cracked. From the article: 'AACS LA's attempts to stifle dissemination of AACS keys and prevent hackers from compromising new keys are obviously meeting with extremely limited success. The hacker collective continues to adapt to AACS revisions and is demonstrating a capacity to assimilate new volume keys at a rate which truly reveals the futility of resistance. If keys can be compromised before HD DVDs bearing those keys are even released into the wild, one has to question the viability of the entire key revocation model.'"
Mozilla

Students Embarrass eBay With Firefox Add-On 269

An anonymous reader sends along a posting from the Grooveking blog on a group of Stanford students who got together to help promote Firefox and ended up releasing a long overdue eBay Toolbar for Firefox before Mozilla and eBay could release their jointly developed extension in Europe. Mozilla's COO said the preemptive release of the eBay Toolbar had ruffled some feathers among European eBay execs. "Besides basic search features, it removes external ads on the site and allows users to see thumbnail pictures on ALL search items, even those sellers didn't pay for. An eBay toolbar has been long overdue... eBay can't be too enthusiastic about this toolbar since it cuts directly into its main sources of revenue: ads and thumbnail fees. But eBay users get a really good deal."
Patents

Brazil Voids Merck Patent On AIDS Drug 765

JoeBackward writes "Merck has this useful anti-AIDS drug Elfavirenz, and Brazil has lots of poor people with AIDS. So, after trying really hard to get Merck to cooperate on pricing, the Brazilian government has decided to take a 'compulsory license' to the patent, and get the drug from a factory in India. This compulsory license is basically a way to take the patent by eminent domain." This move gives Brazil one more thing in common with Thailand, both of which have blocked YouTube. Thailand's compulsory licensing of Elfavirenz and Plavix has landed the country on the US's watch list for piracy.
Windows

Vista Activation Cracked by Brute Force 470

Bengt writes "The Inquirer has a story about a brute force Vista key activation crack. It's nothing fancy; it's described as a 'glorified guesser.' The danger of this approach is that sooner or later the key cracker will begin activating legitimate keys purchased by other consumers. From the article: 'The code is floating, the method is known, and there is nothing MS can do at this point other than suck it down and prepare for the problems this causes. To make matters worse, Microsoft will have to decide if it is worth it to allow people to take back legit keys that have been hijacked, or tell customers to go away, we have your money already, read your license agreement and get bent, we owe you nothing.'"
Movies

At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies 392

ThinSkin writes "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans. A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female. Kaan Yigit, director of the study, observes, 'There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal. The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive.'"
Microsoft

New Outlook Won't Use IE To Render HTML 319

loconet writes to tell us about a little surprise coming in Outlook 2007: it will render HTML email using the MS Word engine, dropping the use of IE for this purpose. This represents a body-check to the movement towards Web standards. Whatever you think about HTML email, lots of it gets generated, and those generating it won't be able to use CSS any more, and may stop pushing for more widespread standards support. The announcement was made on MSDN. From the Campaign Monitor post: "Imagine for a second that the new version of IE7 killed off the majority of CSS support and only allowed table based layouts. The web design world would be up in arms! Well, that's exactly what the new version of Outlook does to email designers."
Encryption

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray AACS DRM Cracked 432

EGSonikku writes "According to this article on Endgadget, the AACS DRM used in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray has been cracked. The program allows one to decrypt and dump the video for play on a users hard drive, or it can be burned to a blank HD-DVD and played on a stand-alone player. According to the accompanying video, a source release for the program will be made available in January. Time to get that $200 Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive?" Warning: this link contains video.

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