pavithran writes "Does SAP, one of the largest business companies offering software solutions, support FOSS as a movement? Why is SAP looking at closed and open source in a similar way? This shows lot of ambiguity in SAP's attitude towards open source software. I found an interesting article in Linux Journal on whether SAP is an open source friend or foe, by Glyn Moody. Here's a quote from the article: 'For an outfit that calls itself "the world's largest business software company," the German software giant SAP is relatively little-known in the open source world. With 51,500 employees, a turnover of 11.5 billion euros ($16 billion) last year, and operating profits of 2.7 billion euros ($3.8 billion), SAP is clearly one of the heavyweights in the computer world. Given that huge clout, SAP's attitude to open source is important; and yet it is hard to tell whether it is really free software's friend or its foe. ... A company that wished open source well would back these ideas. One that really supported free software would also fight against software patents. So, while SAP's involvement in Eclipse and investment in open source companies is welcome — and pretty self-interested, it has to be said, given that it presumably hopes to make a profit on them — it's not really enough cancel out its unhelpful attitude and statements elsewhere. If it wants to be a serious, respected player in the world of open source, as befits its size, it must do better.'"
An anonymous reader writes "According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's CDO, Hulu may soon begin charging subscription fees for some of their online content. News Corp is the parent company of Fox, which owns a huge portion of Hulu. When Miller of Newscorp was asked if Hulu would begin charging for online content during an Interview with Daily Finance, he said that 'the answer could be yes.' He went on to say that he doesn't 'see why over time that shouldn't happen.'"
ubercam writes "A Canadian business man is on the hook for a $52,000 phone bill after someone hacked into his voice mail system and found a way to dial out. The hacker racked up the charges with calls to Bulgaria. The business owner noticed an odd message coming up on his call display (Feature 36), and alerted his provider, Manitoba Telecom Services. They referred him to their fraud department, who discovered the breach. MTS said that they would reverse the charges if the hacked equipment was theirs, but in this case it was customer owned. The ironic part is that the victim's company, HUB Computer Solutions, is in the business of computer and network security. They even offer to sell, configure and secure Cisco VoIP systems. Looks as though they even couldn't manage to secure their own system, which doesn't bode well for their customers." This certainly isn't the first time someone has exploited the phone system and stuck another with the bill. Maybe it's time for the phone company to get their fraud detection and prevention services at least on par with the credit card companies'.
John Kelly writes "The current issue of Policy Review has a paper by an American computer scientist and the recent Permanent Undersecretary of Defense for Estonia. Drawing on the Estonian cyber attacks a year and a half ago, as well as other recent examples, they argue that botnets are the major problem. They propose that botnets should be designated as 'eWMDs' — electronic weapons of mass destruction. The paper also proposes a list of reforms that would help to limit the scale and impact of future botnet attacks, beginning with defining and outlawing spam, internationally." Many of the proposed solutions are common-sensical and won't be news to this audience, but it is interesting to see the botnet threat painted in such stark terms for readers of the Hoover Institution's Policy Review. For a more comprehensive overview of cyber-security threats, listen to NPR's interview with security experts on the occasion of the release of a new report, "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency," which recommends creating a cyber-security czar reporting to the President.
damn_registrars writes "President-elect Barack Obama announced in his radio address that his administration's economic stimulus package will include investing in computers and broadband for education. 'To help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.' He also said it is 'unacceptable' that the US ranks 15th in broadband adoption." No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. You know... for the kids.
gplus writes "December 5th was the 75th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition in the US. The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed which argues that now may be the time to discuss our war on drugs and the drug prohibition currently in place. The article argues that the harm caused by the banned substance must be balanced against the harms caused by the prohibition. As to why Americans in 1933 finally voted to end prohibition, while we barely even discuss it: 'Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.'"
secmartin writes "Belgian ISP Scarlet scored an important victory in the first major European test of copyright law. The interim decision forcing them to block transfers of copyrighted materials via P2P has been reversed, because the judge agreed with Scarlet that the measures the Belgian RIAA proposed to implement proved to be ineffective. A final decision is expected next year."
kpearson writes "Distributed.net's 8-year-old OGR-25 distributed computing project has just proven conclusively that the predicted shortest 25-mark Golomb ruler is optimal. 'The total length of the ruler is 480, with marks at positions: 0 12 29 39 72 91 146 157 160 161 166 191 207 214 258 290 316 354 372 394 396 431 459 467 480. (This ruler may alternatively be expressed in terms of the distance between those positions, which is how dnetc displays them: 12-17-10-33-19-...).' 124,387 people participated in the project and two people found the shortest ruler, one on October 10, 2007 and the other on March 24, 2008."
javipas writes "A simple analysis of the most updated version (a Git checkout) of the Linux kernel reveals that the number of lines of all its source code surpasses 10 million, but attention: this number includes blank lines, comments, and text files. With a deeper analysis thanks to the SLOCCount tool, you can get the real number of pure code lines: 6.399.191, with 96.4% of them developed in C, and 3.3% using assembler. The number grows clearly with each new version of the kernel, that seems to be launched each 90 days approximately."
Colz Grigor writes "It appears that CBS and Fox have submitted DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for videos from the McCain campaign. The campaign is now complaining about YouTube's DMCA policy making it too easy for copyright holders to remove fair-use videos. I hope they pursue this by addressing flaws in the DMCA."
And where's my new sanely-priced mini? Come on, keep the current specs and drop it to $300-$400.
But then they wouldn't sell any Apple TVs (as if people buy them anyway...).
unlametheweak recommends an Ars Technica report that the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill requiring the FCC to explore what "advanced blocking technologies" are available to parents to help filter out "indecent or objectionable programming." "...the law does focus on empowering parents to take control of new media technologies to deal with undesired content, rather than handing the job over to the government. It asks the FCC to focus the inquiry on blocking systems for a 'wide variety of distribution platforms,' including wireless and Internet, and an array of devices, including DVD players, set top boxes, and wireless applications."
arcticstoat sends a link to an interview with the CEO of id Software, Todd Hollenshead, in which he suggests that hardware manufacturers count on piracy to help drive profits, rather than doing something to prevent it. Quoting: "...I think that there's been this dirty little secret among hardware manufacturers, which is that the perception of free content — even if you're supposed to pay for it on PCs — is some sort hidden benefit that you get when you buy a PC, like a right to download music for free or a right to download pirated movies and games. ...And I think that just based on their actions...what they say is one thing, but what they do is another. When it comes into debates about whether peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that by-and-large have the vast majority, I'm talking 99 per cent of the content is illicitly trading copyrighted property, they'll come out on the side of the 1 per cent of the user doing it for legitimate benefit."
Barence writes "A new visual search engine could help photographers keep track of their photographs whenever, and wherever, they appear on the internet. The TinEye search engine allows users to search by uploading a picture rather than typing in a keyword. It then conducts a pixel-by-pixel search across the internet, flagging all instances of that image even if it's been cropped, merged or digitally altered in some way. It's not just for copyright enforcement though; 'it's being used by researchers who need to find where an image came from to provide attribution, even people who are trying to find out who people are in old photos.' It's currently in beta, but you can try it out."
Ariastis writes "UbiSoft has long been against No-CD patches. Referring to them on their forums would get you warned or banned. But now, they have just officially released a patch for Rainbow 6: Vegas 2, which, when opened in a hex editor, can easily be identified as coming from the RELOADED scene group, not from UbiSoft programmers. A picture of hex analysis is shown in the story. See? Piracy isn't that bad! It saves you from having to code fixes for your own games! (Watch the drama on the Ubi Forums before it gets scrubbed clean.)"