Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants 403

concealment writes "A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. [Sen. Patrick] Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."

GOP Blocks Senate Debate On Dem Student Loan Bill 834

TheGift73 writes with this quote from an AP report: "Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill Tuesday to preserve low interest rates for millions of college students' loans, as the two parties engaged in election-year choreography aimed at showing each is the better protector of families in today's rugged economy. The 52-45 vote to begin debating the legislation fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed and stalled work on an effort both parties expect will ultimately produce a compromise, probably soon. For now, each side is happy to use the stalemate to snipe at the other with campaign-ready talking points while they are gridlocked over how to cover the $6 billion cost."

Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy 360

tlhIngan writes "Miramax CEO Mike Lang has admitted to what we all suspected. The biggest worry is a distribution monopoly, not piracy. They saw what happened to the music industry with iTunes, and vowed to not lose control and be at the mercy of Apple or whoever becomes the dominant distributor. From the article: 'Lang, whose company today debuts the Blu-Ray version of the cult classic Pulp Fiction, emphasized that people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want. “Innovate or die,” should be the motive of entertainment industry companies, where it’s key to listen to customers.'"

Intel Drops MeeGo 121

PolygamousRanchKid writes with an article in CNet about yet more dismal news for MeeGo. Quoting the article: "Like the Moblin operating system before it, Linux-based MeeGo will will be merged out of existence. MeeGo will become Tizen, Intel said today. 'Intel joined Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation in support of Tizen, a new Linux-based open source software platform for multiple device categories,' the company said in a statement. 'Tizen builds upon the strengths of both LiMo and MeeGo and Intel will be working with our MeeGo partners to help them transition to Tizen,' Intel said. The initial release of Tizen is expected in Q1 2012, enabling the first devices in the market mid-2012..." PolygamousRanchKid adds "It seems one of those strengths is not actually making it into a product on the market yet." This on the heels of Nokia shipping the N9 (which is actually running a weird Maemo/Meego hybrid).

Mobile Carriers Impose Handicaps On Smartphones 174

Nrbelex writes "A team at the University of Michigan and Microsoft Research has uncovered, for the first time, the frequently suboptimal network practices of more than 100 cellular carriers. By recruiting almost 400 volunteers to run an app on their phones that probes a carrier's networks, the team discovered, for example, that one of the four major U.S. carriers is slowing its network performance by up to 50 percent (PDF). They also found carrier policies that drained users' phone batteries at an accelerated rate, and security vulnerabilities that could leave devices open to complete takeover by hackers."

UK Police Database Abuse 'Hugely Intrusive' 88

twoheadedboy writes "Police database abuse has been branded as 'hugely intrusive' after a report showed over 900 officers and staff had breached the Data Protection Act over the last three years. Furthermore, 243 police officers and staff received criminal convictions for breaking laws set down by the DPA. 'Our investigation shows that not only have police employees been found to have run background records checks on friends and possible partners, but some have been convicted for passing sensitive information to criminal gangs and drug dealers,' said Daniel Hamilton, director of the Big Brother Watch."

Climate Skeptic Funded By Oil and Coal Companies 504

Honken writes with a report from The Guardian that "'One of the world's most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.' This somewhat contradicts that [Harvard researcher Willie] Soon in a 2003 US senate hearing said that he had 'not knowingly been hired by, nor employed by, nor received grants from any organisation that had taken advocacy positions with respect to the Kyoto protocol or the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.'"

Apple Rips Off Rejected App, Says Wireless Sync Developer 549

Haedrian writes "Apple is famous for going to absurd lengths to enforce its patents and trademarks. It recently sued Amazon for calling its app store Appstore. And it has publicly lectured competitors to 'create their own original technology, not steal ours.' Last year, UK developer Greg Hughes submitted an app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries, which was rejected from the official App Store. Fast forward to Monday, when Apple unveiled a set of new features for the upcoming iOS 5, including the same wireless-syncing functionality. Cupertino wasn't even subtle about the appropriation, using the precise name and a near-identical logo to market the technology."

NSA CS Man: My Tracking Algorithm Was 'Twisted' By the Government 267

decora writes "Crypto-mathematician Bill Binney worked in the Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center at the NSA. There, he worked on NSA's ThinThread program; a way to monitor the flood of internet data from outside the US while protecting the privacy of US citizens. In a new interview with Jane Mayer, he says his program 'got twisted. ... I should apologize to the American people. It's violated everyone's rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world. ... my people were brought in, and they told me, "Can you believe they're doing this? They're getting billing records on US citizens! They're putting pen registers on everyone in the country!"'"

Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business 660

An anonymous reader writes "A bookseller and app developer has blamed Apple for writing its final chapter, claiming the iPad maker had pushed it out of business. 'Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device,' BeamItDown said. 'We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game.' The company blamed Apple's decision to impose a 30% commission on books sold through apps for the unhappy ending."

US Gov't Sides Against Microsoft In i4i Patent Case 193

Julie188 writes "In the ongoing patent infringement case between i4i and Microsoft, i4i has won a powerful ally: the US government itself. The US solicitor general, which represents the federal government in the Supreme Court, on Friday filed an amicus brief in support of i4i, saying that the US Patent and Trademark Office should not be second-guessed by a jury. i4i, which won a $290 million patent judgment against Microsoft, has now accrued 22 amicus briefs in its corner, representing more than 100 companies, organizations and individuals, including venture capitalists, individuals from the military and now, the government. Meanwhile, Microsoft has so far lined up 20 amicus briefs, representing about 60 companies and individuals, including Google, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Red Hat, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 37 law and economics professors. At issue is how much evidence is required to invalidate a patent."

Are Tablets Just Too Expensive? 549

An anonymous reader writes "Over at PCWorld they're asking a simple but valid question: Are tablets just too expensive? They point out that, weight-for-weight, pure silver is cheaper than most tablets, and that, like jewelery, tablets are highly thievable. The worst thing might be that the nascent tablet platform gets written-off as a high-priced niche for people with more money than sense."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Uncovers Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations 268

An anonymous reader writes "EFF has uncovered widespread violations stemming from FBI intelligence investigations from 2001 — 2008. In a report released today, EFF documents alarming trends in the Bureau's intelligence investigation practices, suggesting that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed. Using documents obtained through EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, the report finds: Evidence of delays of 2.5 years, on average, between the occurrence of a violation and its eventual reporting to the Intelligence Oversight Board; reports of serious misconduct by FBI agents including lying in declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant; and indications that the FBI may have committed upwards of 40,000 possible intelligence violations in the 9 years since 9/11."

US Twitter Spying May Have Broken EU Privacy Law 342

Stoobalou writes "A group of European MPs will today push EU bosses to say if the US government breached European privacy laws by snooping on Twitter users with links to whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) will today pose an oral question to the European Commission, seeking clarification from the US on a subpoena demanding the micro-blogging site hand over users' account details."

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.