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+ - White House Petition to Investigate Dodd for Bribe->

Submitted by
Walkingshark
Walkingshark writes "Chris Dodd's recent statements complaining that the congressmen the RIAA and MPAA bribed aren't staying bribed has spawned a firestorm of anger on the internet. Among the bits of fallout: a petition on the White Houses "We the People" site to investigate him, the RIAA, and the MPAA for bribery! This petition gained more than 5000 signatures in 24 hours and is still growing.

When the petition reaches 25,000 signatures the White House is obligated to respond to it in an official capacity. At that point, one way or another they will have to go on record either supporting the RIAA and MPAA or pushing them under the bus. Either way, it should be quite enlightening to see what their response is."

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Sony

Sony Lawyers Expand Dragnet, Targeting Anybody Posting PS3 Hack 437

Posted by Soulskill
from the scorched-earth dept.
markass530 writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Sony is threatening to sue anybody posting or 'distributing' the first full-fledged jailbreak code for the 4-year-old PlayStation 3 gaming console. What's more, the company is demanding that a federal judge order Google to surrender the IP addresses and other identifying information (PDF) of those who have viewed or commented about the jailbreak video on a private YouTube page. The game maker is also demanding that Twitter provide the identities of a host of hackers who first unveiled a limited version of the hack in December."

Comment: Re:Please get the facts straight (Score 1) 426

by bstreiff (#34225484) Attached to: Windows Phone Permanently Modifies MicroSD Cards, Warns Samsung

To exchange the SD card, you have to tore open the phone.

I'm sorry, but just under the battery cover (as on the Samsung Focus) isn't really tearing open the phone, especially when other phones (except those from Apple) have had user-replaceable microSD cards in the same location for years. Samsung made a very poor design decision in this regard, especially if it was aware of this particular Windows 7 'feature'.

But for phones like the HTC 7 Mozart where you have to unscrew and disassemble the whole phone to replace the card, then, yes, I agree; it's 'user-serviceable' only for a very determined class of user who is knowingly violating the warranty and should know what they're in for.

Google

+ - Legal Analysis of Oracle v. Google->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Martin Heller provides an in-depth analysis of Oracle's legal argument against Google, a suit that includes seven alleged counts of software process patent infringement and one count of copyright infringement. 'Oracle's desired relief is drastic: not just permanent injunctions, but destruction of all copies that violate copyright (thus, wiping all Android devices), plus triple damages and legal costs. Also, it demands a jury trial,' Heller writes, and while this amounts mainly to saber-rattling, the Supreme Court's recent Bilski ruling did not completely invalidate software process patents despite their shaky ground due to prior art. Returning to the Supreme Court on appeal could push SCOTUS to strike down such patents, a very good outcome, but a settlement, either for cash or cross-licensing, 'would open the door for Oracle to go after HTC, Motorola, Samsung, other device manufacturers, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, other carriers, and eventually all large companies known to use Android devices. That would be a disaster for the entire mobile industry,' Heller writes."
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Privacy

+ - Obama White House Withholds Information More Often-> 1

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Agencies under the Obama administration cite security provisions to withhold information more often than they did under the Bush administration. For example, the 'deliberative process' exemption of the Freedom of Information Act was used 70,779 times in 2009, up from the 47,395 of 2008. Amusingly, the Associated Press has been waiting three months for the government to deliver records on its own Open Government Directive."
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The Almighty Buck

NY Times To Charge For Online Content 488

Posted by timothy
from the soon-we'll-be-nostalgic-for-free-registration dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "New York Magazine reports that the NY Times appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of debate inside the paper, the choice has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system. The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. Hanging over the deliberations is the fact that the Times' last experience with pay walls, TimesSelect, was deeply unsatisfying and exposed a rift between Sulzberger and his roster of A-list columnists, particularly Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd, who grew frustrated at their dramatic fall-off in online readership. The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last year's financial crisis, the argument that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the paper's high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight."
The Media

+ - NY Times to Charge for Online Content

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "New York Magazine reports that the NY Times appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of debate inside the paper, the choice has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system. The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. Hanging over the deliberations is the fact that the Times’ last experience with pay walls, TimesSelect, was deeply unsatisfying and exposed a rift between Sulzberger and his roster of A-list columnists, particularly Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd, who grew frustrated at their dramatic fall-off in online readership. The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last year's financial crisis, the argument that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the paper's high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight."
Medicine

Wii Balance Board Gives $18,000 Medical Device a Run For Its Money 422

Posted by timothy
from the hat-tip-to-tim-o-reilly dept.
Gizmodo highlights a very cool repurposing effort for the Wii's Balance Board accessory. Rather than the specialized force platforms used to quantify patients' ability to balance after a trauma like stroke, doctors at the University of Melbourne thought that a Balance Board might serve as well. Says the article: "When doctors disassembled the board, they found the accelerometers and strain gauges to be of 'excellent' quality. 'I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up.'" Games controllers you'd expect to be durable and at least fairly accurate; what's surprising is just how much comparable, purpose-built devices cost. In this case, the Balance Board (just under $100) was compared favorably with a test platform that costs just a shade less than $18,000.
Politics

+ - Fed up with the RIAA, a Senate candidate in MA->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Massachusetts software developer, Ken Takusagawa, fed up with the court decisions such as RIAA v. Tenenbaum and MGM v. Grokster, is mounting a independent write-in campaign for the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election on Tuesday, using Lawrence Lessig's book "Free Culture" as the basis of his campaign platform."
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Education

+ - Berkeley High School to cut science labs->

Submitted by vandon
vandon (233276) writes "East Bay Express news has this rather odd news about plans for Berkeley High School to cut science labs as part of the school's measures to "address Berkeley's dismal racial achievement gap." Apparently white students at the school do "far better than the state average while black and Latino students [do] worse." Fair enough. That's something worth looking into, but taking away science labs? According to one of the people who helped put forth the proposal, "science labs were largely classes for white students." So, just do away with them? Why not explore why that is? Or see if there's something more proactive to be done about it? Of course, it's not even true that it's just white kids taking science labs."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - GSM Decryption Published 3

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that German encryption expert Karsten Nohl says that he has deciphered and published the 21-year-old GSM algorithm, the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's digital mobile phone calls, in what he called an attempt to expose weaknesses in the security system used by about 3.5 billion of the 4.3 billion wireless connections across the globe. Others have cracked the A5/1 encryption technology used in GSM before, but their results have remained secret. “This shows that existing GSM security is inadequate,” Nohl told about 600 people attending the Chaos Communication Congress. “We are trying to push operators to adopt better security measures for mobile phone calls.” The GSM Association, the industry group based in London that devised the algorithm and represents wireless operators, called Mr. Nohl’s efforts illegal and said they overstated the security threat to wireless calls. “This is theoretically possible but practically unlikely,” says Claire Cranton, a GSM spokeswoman, noting that no one else had broken the code since its adoption. “What he is doing would be illegal in Britain and the United States. To do this while supposedly being concerned about privacy is beyond me.” Simon Bransfield-Garth, the chief executive of Cellcrypt, says Nohl's efforts could put sophisticated mobile interception technology — limited to governments and intelligence agencies — within the reach of any reasonable well-funded criminal organization. “This will reduce the time to break a GSM call from weeks to hours,” Bransfield-Garth says. “We expect as this further develops it will be reduced to minutes.”"

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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