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Censorship

+ - Egyptian Blogger Silenced by YouTube

Submitted by
Frosty Piss
Frosty Piss writes "A Egyptian human rights activist has been muzzled after YouTube and Yahoo! shut down accounts belonging to the award-winning blogger. Cairo-based Wael Abbas regularly writes and posts video about police brutality, torture and sexual harassment in Egypt. One of the videos — of an Egyptian bus driver being sodomized with a stick by a police officer — was used as evidence to convict two officers of brutality, a rare occurrence in a country where human-rights groups say torture is rampant. YouTube said the decision to remove Abbas' videos had nothing to do with the Egyptian government, but was rather an internal decision."
The Courts

+ - Oregon AG Seeks to investigate RIAA tactics

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Turning the tables on the RIAA's attempt to subpoena information from the University of Oregon about the identities of the university students, the Attorney General has now filed additional papers requesting permission from the Court to conduct immediate discovery into the RIAA's 'data mining' techniques, such as the use of unlicensed investigators, the turning over of subpoenaed information to collection agencies, the obtaining of personal information from computers. The AG pointed out (pdf) that "Because Plaintiffs routinely obtain ex parte discovery in their John Doe infringement suits.....their factual assertions supporting their good cause argument are never challenged by an adverse party and their investigative methods remain free of scrutiny. They often settle their cases quickly before defendants obtain legal representation and begin to conduct discovery...... and have dropped cases, such as their case against Tanya Andersen, in which their methods and practices have been challenged through counterclaims...... While the University is not a party to the case, Plaintiffs' subpoena affects the university's rights and obligations. Plaintiffs may be spying on students who use the University's computer system and may be accessing much more than IP addresses." As one commentator succinctly put it, "They'll be going bananas in RIAA land" after reading this filing."
The Internet

+ - EFF Releases Software to Detect Web Interference->

Submitted by
Tech.Luver
Tech.Luver writes "In the wake of the detection and reporting of Comcast Corporation's controversial interference with Internet traffic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a comprehensive account of Comcast's packet-forging activities and has released software and documentation instructing Internet users on how to test for packet forgery or other forms of interference by their own ISPs. Separate tests in October from EFF, the Associated Press, and others showed that Comcast was forging small parcels of digital data, known as packets, in order to interfere with its subscribers' and other Internet users' ability to use file-sharing applications, like BitTorrent and Gnutella. ( http://techluver.com/2007/11/29/eff-releases-reports-and-software-to-spot-interference-with-internet-traffic/ )"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Google for it.. (Score 1) 111

by Starwanderer (#20610083) Attached to: Ameritrade Security Audit Finds Privacy-Busting Back Door
I don't even have to Google. I complained to them close to four years ago that they had someone stealing email addresses. They wouldn't admit it then and didn't believe me when I offered sufficient proof it was happening. While I'd really like more details, at least they're admitting it. That's a start.
Caldera

SCO Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy 421

Posted by Zonk
from the a-true-catastrophy dept.
Can you say "the SCO, the" in German? writes "Trading of SCO's stock has been halted on news that SCO has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This move just so happens to fall on the eve of SCO's trial with Novell. One would think that their prior boasts were mostly bluster, that they believe they have almost no chance of prevailing at trial, and that they're now desperate to protect their executives from SCO's creditors while seeking yet another delay. From the release: 'The SCO Group intends to maintain all normal business operations throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. Subject to court approval, SCO and its subsidiaries will use the cash flow from their consolidated operations to meet their capital needs during the reorganization process. "We want to assure our customers and partners that they can continue to rely on SCO products, support and services for their business critical operations," said Darl McBride, President and CEO, The SCO Group. "Chapter 11 reorganization provides the Company with an opportunity to protect its assets during this time while focusing on building our future plans."'"
Microsoft

+ - MS Wants to Identify All Web Surfers, All the Time

Submitted by Moochman
Moochman (54872) writes "New Scientist reports on a technology Microsoft is developing to identify users based on their browsing habits. Quote: "The software could get its raw information from a number of sources, including a new type of 'cookie' program that records the pages visited. Alternatively, it could use your PC's own cache of web pages, or proxy servers could maintain records of sites visited. So far it can only guess gender and age with any accuracy," but the aim is to be able to identify name, occupation and location as well. On a related note, The Inq reports on Microsoft's plans to widen the use of its identity-verification technology CardSpace, which is built into Windows Vista and available as an add-on to XP. It's being envisioned as an identity solution for the entire internet: says Kim Cameron, pioneer of the technology, "We feel it has to solve all use cases." (Aha, so the anonymous use cases, too, eh?) One might ask, with all of this user-identification information on hand, how long will it be until the Feds come knocking on Microsoft's door asking for help? They already have."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Google Nudes Win on Appeal

Submitted by astonishedelf
astonishedelf (845821) writes "http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/archives/20 07/05/17/google_nudes_win_on_appeal.html Google nudes win on appeal By Jack Schofield / Google 01:44pm Back in 2004, a company called Perfect 10 sued Google on the grounds that its use of thumbnails violated its copyrights. This attracted attention because of the subject matter — nude photography — and because it represented a significant challenge to the working of the Web. (Perfect 10 also sued Amazon.) Google has now won the case on appeal, according to the Washington Post. It says: The appeals court ruled that the thumbnails fell within a "fair use" exception in copyright law because they play a role in the search process and thus have a function different from that of the original photos. "We conclude that the significantly transformative nature of Google's search engine, particularly in light of its public benefit, outweighs Google's superseding and commercial uses of the thumbnails in this case," Judge Sandra S. Ikuta wrote for the panel. However, "Yesterday's ruling was not a complete victory for Google, because the judges directed the lower court to reconsider a separate finding in the company's favor," says TWP. Basically, it seems the problem is that while Google's thumbnails may not infringe copyright, it was linking to sites that do infringe copyright — and knowing that, not stopping it."
The Courts

How the RIAA has Dodged RICO Charges 126

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-quite-a-racket dept.
Gerardo writes "Wondering why the RIAA hasn't been hit with racketeering charges over its shady legal fight against file-sharing? Ars Technica looks at why the RIAA has been able to dodge RICO charges. '"Right off the bat there are some problems with the predicate claims for RICO," explained IP attorney Rich Vazquez. "You have to have a pattern of racketeering activity: either criminal acts where there is a one-year jail penalty, or mail or wire fraud." Any RICO action brought against the RIAA would have to focus on the wire fraud component, likely accusing the record labels of poking around someone's PC without permission.' That's going to be a difficult argument to make, given that Kazaa's default settings give users no reasonable expectation of privacy."
Censorship

+ - State laws target used CD sales

Submitted by NetDanzr
NetDanzr (619387) writes "According to this article in PC World, at least four US states have passed or are considering legislation that would curb the resale of used CDs. In Florida, for example, a store that wishes to sell used CDs must post a $10,000 bond, fingerprint CD sellers, hold onto the CDs for 30 days and only offer store credit (no cash) for CDs. While these rules are in line with existing pawnshop laws, they haven't been applied to used records and book stores previously. Used video and video game resellers have gotten a break, though: they'll have to hold onto the merchandise for only 15 days."
Privacy

+ - RIAA Secretly Tries to Get ISP Subscriber Info

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA secretly went into federal district court in Denver, Colorado, the home town of its lawyers, and — in an attempt to change the rules of the game — made an ex parte application to a federal judge there, asking him to rule (pdf) that the federal Cable Communications Policy Act does not apply to the RIAA's attempts to get subscriber information from cable companies. ("Ex parte" means application was secret, no one else — neither the ISP nor the subscribers — were given notice that this was going on.). They were, in effect, asking the Court to rule that the RIAA does not need to get a court order to be able to force an ISP to disclose confidential subscriber information. The Magistrate Judge declined to rule on the issue (pdf), but did give them the ex parte discovery order they were looking for."
Biotech

+ - Nanolayers of water

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid. "The confined water film behaves like a solid in the vertical direction by forming layers parallel to the confining surface, while maintaining it's liquidity in the horizontal direction where it can flow out," said one of the researchers. "Water is a wonderful lubricant, but it flows too easily for many applications. At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one. Read more for additional references."
Biotech

Human Blood May Contain A Cure For AIDS 309

Posted by Zonk
from the that-would-be-quite-convenient dept.
Lisandro writes "German scientists at the University of Ulm have identified a natural ingredient of human blood that prevents the HIV-1 virus from from infecting immune cells and multiplying. The molecule, which they call virus-inhibitory peptide (VIRIP), promises new types of effective treatment for HIV in the future. 'Tweaks to its amino acid components boosted its anti-HIV potency by two orders of magnitude. Tests also showed that some derivatives of the molecule are highly stable in human blood plasma, and non-toxic even at very high concentrations. A synthetic version of VIRIP also proved effective at blocking HIV, excluding the possibility that some other factor was responsible. VIRIP targets a sugar molecule which HIV uses to infect a host cell. '"

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