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Comment: If your actions will draw powerful opponents ... (Score 2) 27

by davidwr (#48030279) Attached to: Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

... you can't afford to do anything that will give them a knockout blow.

How would things have turned out differently if the founders of Grooveshark had started off the way they started off - with some illegal uploading and other things - but instead of "carrying on" they closed down their operation then started a whole new "legally clean" one and make 100% certain that neither they nor their officers or employees ever did anything that would give the opposition any ammunition other than, of course, providing a neutral platform for end users to use their services.

Yes, the opposition could claim "willful blindness" regarding what their customers were doing but their lawyers could reasonably counter-claim that the DMCA specifically allows or even requires hosting providers to be "willfully blind" to infringement unless they receive a specific notification of a specific violation. Thanks to the "dirty hands" of the officers and management, the company will probably never get a judge to rule on that part of the case.

Comment: IBM's workforce was ~75% non-US in 2009 (Score 1) 363

by davidwr (#47993077) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

In 2009, IBM's US workforce was 105,000 out of 399,409 worldwide. (source: IBM stops disclosing U.S. headcount data, Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld, Mar 12, 2010 6:00 AM PT)

IBM stopped releasing its US headcount in 2010, but I think it's safe to assume the US:World ratio is not much more than the 1:4 it was in 2009.

+ - New Device Allows Fully Paralyzed Rats to Walk, and Human Trials Are Scheduled

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new technique pioneered by scientists working on project NEUWalk at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) have figured out a way to reactivate the severed spinal cords of fully paralyzed rats, allowing them to walk again via remote control. Human trials are scheduled for next summer.
"We have complete control of the rat's hind legs," EPFL neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine said. "The rat has no voluntary control of its limbs, but the severed spinal cord can be reactivated and stimulated to perform natural walking. We can control in real-time how the rat moves forward and how high it lifts its legs.""

+ - IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, and Act as Desalinator, Cooler->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "IBM Research and Switzerland-based Airlight Energy today announced a parabolic dish that increases the sun's radiation by 2,000 times while also producing fresh water and air conditioning. The new Concentrator PhotoVoltaics (CPV) system uses a dense array of water-cooled solar chips that can convert 80% of the sun's radiation into useful energy. The CPV, which looks like a 33-foot-high sunflower, can generate 12 kilowatts of electrical power and 20 kilowatts of heat on a sunny day — enough to power several average homes, according to Bruno Michel, the project's lead scientists at IBM Research in Switzerland."
Link to Original Source

+ - Did the NSA help kill UWB (Ultra Wide Band)?

Submitted by brrant
brrant (1997712) writes "Back in 2002, here on Slashdot there was a link to a story on Ultra Wide Band from I. Cringley: Coming Soon: Ultra Wide Band That talked about a new and more secure method of networking technology. Cringley put a follow up article earlier this year that I think may be worth some attention: Did the NSA Help Kill UWB. This second article of his on the subject was never picked up on Slashdot that I can find. Does anyone know if this was just a half-baked idea or if it actually a potential means to an internet that the NSA can't intercept and archive?

This is an article from the Most Secure Email in the Universe Would Look Like

And a PDF paper referencing the underlying research: Covert Optical Communications"

+ - Australian Senate Fast Track New Anti-Terror Laws

Submitted by Marquis231
Marquis231 (3115633) writes "Reported in Sydney's best known publication the Sydney Morning Herald senators in Australian parliament confirmed "Controversial anti-terrorism laws expected to pass in the Senate as early as this week will give spy agency ASIO the power to monitor the entire internet." Australian Lawyers Association president Greg Barns said the new laws would allow ASIO to conduct surveillance on "anyone, any time, anywhere. There are few, if any, limits now." Senator Brandis told the senate "There is no arbitrary or artificial limit on the number of devices."

This means that the entire Australian internet could be monitored by just one warrant if ASIO wanted to do so, according to experts and digital rights advocates including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, journalist union the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Electronic Frontiers Australia. The new anti-terror laws also cover the media, jail-time for those who "recklessly" disclose intelligence information. Under the new laws journalists, bloggers or officials could be jailed for 10 years if caught disclosing restricted material."

+ - SIM card mystery: can I prove I was using a particular SIM card for a call? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I am trying to solve a mystery wherein my phone carrier ( claims I had THEIR SIM card in my phone during an international trip when I actually did not: I had a Mobal SIM installed in the only SIM slot. I was told by Credo that if I had another SIM I was off their network and would not be charged. Yet on arrival in the States I found I'd racked up 2 weeks' worth of international roaming charges and Credo insists that I must have had my Credo-issued SIM in the phone (A Samsung GS4). To them, that's where the issue ends: "You had your Credo SIM in the card and we warned you there'd be charges. Pay up." But the mystery is that I _didn't_. Furthermore, I did everything I could to explain that I didn't think I was actually off their network. I am wondering if anyone out there with more mobile phone knowledge than I do can tell me if there's a way to PROVE that I had a certain SIM in the card at the time a call was made. If this is possible, I can request their documentation that proves I was using their SIM. If this is not possible, I guess I will just throw in the towel. But any help or assistance would be great, as this is a huge hassle and the amount in question is substantial enough to really be worth keeping. Thank you!"

+ - Forest Service clamps down on free speech

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The U.S. Forest Service has instituted rules requiring journalists to get a permit before they can take pictures or videos on federal land. The Bill of Rights is such an inconvenient thing.

Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in any of the nation’s 100 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone. Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don’t get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they’d allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

The fascist nature of these new rules is revealed by this quote near the end of the article:

[T]he Forest Service is giving its supervisors discretion to decide whether a news outlet’s planned video or photo shoots would meet the Wilderness Act’s goals. “If you were engaged on reporting that was in support of wilderness characteristics, that would be permitted,” [said Liz Close, the Forest Service's acting wilderness director].

But if you are reporting on something the Forest Service disagrees with they obviously believe they have the right to deny you a permit to film or videotape."

Comment: Be careful with "The Internet of Things" (Score 1) 103

by davidwr (#47983175) Attached to: Popular Wi-Fi Thermostat Full of Security Holes

Connectivity and I/O features that aren't inherently necessary should be "hardware off" by default, and the end user should be made fully aware of any known or "it would be prudent to assume they are there" non-obvious risks of turning them on.

One of the best features an "Internet-enabled" thermostat can have is a hardware "Internet on/off" switch, along with hard-to-miss warning on the packaging that hooking your device up to the Internet has risks some of which are not yet known.

After reading such a warning, most consumers would (I hope) leave the "Internet" feature off except when they really needed it.

Another "nice feature" that all consumer-grade Internet devices that aren't designed to be on 24x7 should have is a "front-end gatekeeper." This "front end gatekeeper" should be an extremely simple device that did nothing more than turn on access to what is behind the gate for a specified period of time under specific conditions - basically, a very blunt "time lock" that opens when you present an valid credential then closes after a pre-determined time. This "front end gatekeeper" should not be programmable except at the console or over a dedicated (i.e. non-Internet) communications channel. This "front end gatekeeper" should be so simple that it can be mathematically proven to be bug-free provided that there are no hardware issues.

+ - US Transportation Dept. considering license plate readers for "traffic safety"->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a unique federal agency that is part of the US Department of Transportation (, is conducting market research on using automated license plate readers (ALPRs) as a potential countermeasure to improve traffic safety.

According to USDOT Solicitation Notice DTRT5714SS00007 that is posted on FedBizOpps (

The Notice says "While ALPRs are deployed for a variety of purposes (i.e., homeland security, locating and recovering stolen vehicles, etc.), the purpose of this study is to focus on the use of ALPRs for traffic safety purposes. Within traffic safety, the emphasis will be on license offenses, including revoked, suspended, or restricted licenses; however, the study should reveal whether ALPRs are being used for any other type of traffic safety function (e.g., speed enforcement).""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Why an arbitrary age? (Score 1) 478

by davidwr (#47967877) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

I can understand the "At some point, I'm going to stop trying to stay alive for the sake of staying alive" attitude.

I can't understand projecting a fixed age. He doesn't know what his health will be like at 75. If his health starts to rapidly decline at 70 or 65, he may want to change his health-care attitude earlier. If he's still in great shape at 75 he may try to stay alive as long as he's healthy or only suffering acute ailments.

As for me, I'm going to treat my body like an old car: Barring a sudden fatal or mentally-incapacitating calamity, I'll try to keep it running well enough to be "fully functional" until it gets to the point that "it's just not worth it" then I'll cut back on how much effort I spend staying alive. Whether that's 65, 75, 85, or some other age, $DIETY only knows.

Comment: Raid-resistant, not raid-proof (Score 1) 144

by davidwr (#47965875) Attached to: The Raid-Proof Hosting Technology Behind 'The Pirate Bay'

The technology listed is not raid-proof, only raid-resistant.

It is still vulnerable to legal attack IF the governments in the countries where the servers are located are willing to use subpeonas or other means to "quietly" (i.e. without TPB finding out) determine what the next "downstream" server is until they have a full list, then do a coordinated takedown.

All it takes to stop this is to make sure that at least some key servers are in countries in which such court orders could not be legally issued.

The summary didn't say it, but I would think that after all that they have been through, TPB also has recent-enough "disconnected" backups of all of their key servers that they could bring it all back up within a matter of days if their servers were all seized at the same time. I would also think that they have a "shadow staff" who can take over in the event that the people currently running the show are arrested or ordered by a court to not participate in the project.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.