happyslayer writes to mention that according to Yahoo! News a recent audit shows that the FBI has improperly and in some cases illegally utilized the Patriot Act to obtain information. "The audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found that FBI agents sometimes demanded personal data on individuals without proper authorization. The 126-page audit also found the FBI improperly obtained telephone records in non-emergency circumstances. The audit blames agent error and shoddy record-keeping for the bulk of the problems and did not find any indication of criminal misconduct. Still, 'we believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security letter authorities,' the audit concludes."
ches_grin writes with "A new look at Spore, including a slideshow that examines the broad influence that the game is expected to exert on fields ranging from law to education. From the article: 'Spore's unprecedented level of user-generated content is sure to send ripple effects through and beyond the video-game world. Could the mass-market game provide the tipping point for the burgeoning retail trend of mass customization? How will it redefine the roles of game designers and publishers alike? We asked a variety of experts to predict the economic, educational, legal, and other effects of the game.'"
Zenitram asks: "I am a lead technician at a company that repairs computers for various vendors. Many of our systems are from Best Buy's Geek Squad. Based on the systems Geek Squad sends us, it makes me wonder what, if anything, do they actually do? We get systems that have issues that we simply shouldn't have to work on, like: installing device drivers, OS reloads, and reseting CRUs (Customer Removable Units). Additionally, we get systems that are misdiagnosed such as: bad hard drive when a system has faulty RAM; no POST when it simply won't boot into Windows; or no boot when it won't power on at all. So, what is the scope of technical repair that Geek Squad techs do?"
BlueCup writes to tell us that several media companies are banding together to create a database of child pornography images to help law enforcement officials combat distribution of questionable material. In addition to the database several tools and new technologies are also planned but most notable is what some perceive as a willingness to cooperate which critics say has been lacking in the past. From the article: "Each company will set its own procedures on how it uses the database, but executives say the partnership will let companies exchange their best ideas — ultimately developing tools for preventing child-porn distribution instead of simply catching violations."
darryl24 writes "Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia opened up TechEd 2006 in Boston Sunday evening by proclaiming that Windows Vista was the most secure operating system in the industry. But a bold statement can only go so far, and much of this week's conference has been spent reinforcing that point. Microsoft also acknowledges that nothing is infallible when it comes to computer security. In turn, the company has employed black hat hackers for what is called a penetration, or pen, test team."
peterfa writes "The BBC reports that the U.K. 'All Party Parliamentary Internet Group' wants companies to label their DRMed products. Consumers will see a label on the product before they buy. The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media, and what they can and cannot do. This is in response to Sony BMG and their virus-like DRM. The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system."
John3 writes "Some people are OK with voluntarily implanting themselves with RFID chips, but how about making RFID implantation mandatory for immigrant and guest workers? VeriChip Corporation chairman Scott Silverman has proposed implanting RFID chips to register workers as they cross the border. According to Silverman, 'We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...' Privacy advocates see this move by VeriChip as a way to introduce their product to Latin America after a lukewarm reception in North America. Would immigrant workers trade their privacy for the opportunity to work in the U.S.? If this type of tracking is enacted, how long before the government decides to start tracking others for various purposes (for example, pedophiles who are released from prison)?"
Smeg isn't GNOME's menu editor. Smeg is just the version prior to the Alacarte Menu Editor developed by an Ubuntu user.