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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 24 declined, 5 accepted (29 total, 17.24% accepted)

+ - Powdered Alcohol Approved by Feds, Banned by States

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: Powdered alcohol was approved for sale by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, but that hasn't stopped several states from introducing their own legislation to ban the substance, including Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont, New York, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa. The utility of powdered alcohol is said to be in weight reduction, particularly for transport on foot when hiking and camping, but lawmakers cite fears about the potential of abuse by minors and spiked drinks.

+ - CIA Wants to Increase Digital Spying Capabilities

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: CIA Director Brennan wants to increase cyber capabilities. His plan calls for the creation of a new branch within the CIA, alongside existing operations and analysis branches, to support cyber. It's unclear to what extent the program would duplicate or expand capabilities already held by the NSA, but Brennan clearly wants to bring some of those capabilities in-house. If you find this concerning, you're not alone. The plan is so controversial within the agency that the head of the National Clandestine Service recently resigned in protest, taking several high-ranking officials along with him. This, in the same week that the Director of the NSA publicly renewed the call for backdoor encryption.

+ - The USA Freedom Act: What's to Come and What You Need to Know

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: The USA Freedom Act, the leading contender for NSA reform, is set for a vote this week. The bill has some problems, but is a major step forward for surveillance reform. That's why we're asking you to call your Senator and urge them to support the USA Freedom Act. Here's a rundown of what's to come, what you need to know, and what may happen this week.
The Internet

+ - Comcast to remove data cap, implement tiered pricing 1

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: Comcast is reportedly removing its oft-maligned 250GB data cap, but don't get too excited. In what appears to be an effort to capitalize on Nielsen's Law, the Internet's version of Moore's Law, Comcast is introducing tiered data pricing. The plan is to include 300GB with the existing price of service, and charge $10 for every 50GB over that limit. As with current policy, Xfinity On Demand traffic will not count against data usage, which Comcast asserts is because the traffic is internal, not from the larger Internet. There has, however, been no indication that the same exemption would apply to any other internal traffic. AT&T and Time Warner have tried unsuccessfully to implement tiered pricing in the past, meeting with strong push back from customers and lawmakers alike. With people now accustomed to, if not comfortable with, tiered data plans on their smartphones, will the public be more receptive to tiered pricing on their wired Internet connections as well, or will they once again balk at a perceived bilking?
Sony

+ - Sony Lawsuits Targeting PS3 Jailbreak Authors->

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: PS3News is reporting that Sony's latest legal salvo is targeting the creators of PS JailBreak, PSFreedom and PSGroove related PS3 hacks, citing numerous court documents (login required) for those interested.

From one of the documents: 'Having considered the Motion for Expedited Discovery of Plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (oeSCEA) [...] the Court hereby grants SCEA’s Motion. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that [...] SCEA has leave to serve similarly targeted subpoenas or deposition notices to any other third party who SCEA learns may be involved in the distribution or sale of the oePS Jailbreak software, known as, for example, "PSGroove," "OpenPSJailbreak," and "PSFreedom," or who may have knowledge of the distribution or sale of this software.'

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - The Once and Future Clone

Submitted by StikyPad
StikyPad writes: CNET has news that Mac clone maker Psystar is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company apparently has over $250,000US in debt, and states that it cannot turn a profit in the current economy. According to Cnet, "The Chapter 11 filing will temporarily suspend Apple's copyright infringement suit against Psystar, which is currently before the U.S. District Court of Northern California. But once the bankruptcy protection is sorted out, the copyright case will resume." Meanwhile PC Mag reports that, on the other side of the Atlantic two new clone companies are just getting started. Like PsyStar, FreedomPC and RussianMac promise to deliver PCs with the OS X preloaded. Unique to RussianMac is the MiniBook. The MiniBook is "guaranteed to 'correct work,' although the company notes that features like multitouch won't work."

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