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Submission + - What a Year for Linux (linux.com)

JClo writes: "The Linux Foundation releases year in review video today. Highlights include Torvalds' Millennium Tech Prize, Raspberry Pi, Android, Red Hat $1B, and more. Missing: Linus flipping the bird."

Submission + - And the Noose Tightens (dropbox.com)

interval1066 writes: "In a breathtaking new move by (another) little-known national security agency, the personal information of all US citizens will be available for casual perusal. The "National Counterterrorism Center" (I've never heard of this org) may now "examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them." This is different from past bureaucratic practice (never mind due process) in that a government agency not in the list of agencies approved to to certain things without due process may completely bypass due process and STORE (for up to 5 years) these records, the org doesn't need a warrant, or have any kind of over-site of any kind. They will be sifting through these records looking for "counter-insurgency activity", supposedly with an eye to prevention. If this doesn't wake you up and chill you to your very bone, not too sure there is anything that will anyway.
The story is behind a pay wall that I have access too so I copied the web page from the WSJ and put it in my public drop box folder."


Submission + - YouTube-MP3 Ripper Takes On Google (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "21-year old computer science student Philip Matesanz is ignoring a "cease and desist" order from Google over his site YouTube-mp3.org, which rips audio tracks from videos hosted on YouTube. Instead, he has launched a public campaign against Google, arguing that German law allows what he is doing. Matesanz has an online petition."

Submission + - Radical Reduction in Online Vulnerabilities (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: WhiteHat Security reviewed serious vulnerabilities in websites during 2011, examining the severity and duration of the most critical vulnerabilities from 7,000 websites. Their research suggests that the average number of serious vulnerabilities found per website per year in 2011 was 79, a substantial reduction from 230 in 2010 and down from 1,111 in 2007. Despite the significant improvement in the state of website security, organizational challenges in creating security programs that balance breadth of coverage and depth of testing leave large-scale attack surfaces or small, but very high-risk vulnerabilities open to attackers.

Submission + - Lone Grad Student Scooped the Government (motherjones.com)

Pigskin-Referee writes: Jonathan Mayer had a hunch.

A gifted computer scientist, Mayer suspected that online advertisers might be getting around browser settings that are designed to block tracking devices known as cookies. If his instinct was right, advertisers were following people as they moved from one website to another even though their browsers were configured to prevent this sort of digital shadowing. Working long hours at his office, Mayer ran a series of clever tests in which he purchased ads that acted as sniffers for the sort of unauthorized cookies he was looking for. He hit the jackpot, unearthing one of the biggest privacy scandals of the past year: Google was secretly planting cookies on a vast number of iPhone browsers. Mayer thinks millions of iPhones were targeted by Google.


Submission + - Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law Of Robotics To Smartphones (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Free software lawyer and activist Eben Moglen plans to give a talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York next month on the need to apply Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics to our personal devices like smartphones. Here's a preview:

"In [1960s] science fiction, visionaries perceived that in the middle of the first quarter of the 21st century, we’d be living contemporarily with robots.

They were correct. We do...We carry them everywhere we go. They see everything, they’re aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream about us, which allows other people to predict and know our conduct and intentions and capabilities better than we can predict them ourselves.

But we grew up imagining that these robots would have, incorporated in their design, a set of principles...We imagined that robots would be designed so that they could never hurt a human being. These robots have no such commitments. These robots hurt us every day.

They work for other people. They’re designed, built and managed to provide leverage and control to people other than their owners. Unless we retrofit the first law of robotics onto them immediately, we’re cooked.


Submission + - UK's 'Three Strikes' Piracy Measures Published (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "The UK regulator Ofcom, has published details of plans to disconnect illegal file-sharers. It is the "three strikes" policy which ISPs unsuccessfully appealed against, and requires ISPs to keep a list of persistent copyright infringers (identified as usual by their IP address...). ISPs will have to send monthly warning letters to those who infringe above a certain threshold. If a user gets three letters within a single year, the ISP must hand anonymised details to the copyright owner, who can apply for a court order to obtain the infringer's identity (or at least, an identity associated with that IP address)."

Submission + - ADA to force Netflix to provid closed captioning on content (sfgate.com) 2

Shivetya writes: A judge has decided that the American Disabilities Act requires services like Netflix to provide Closed Captioning support for any video it streams on its website. The easiest means to comply would be to remove all videos which do not have a closed captioning component, the other route would require Netflix to pay to have this done to any video it wants to provide. The implications to other provides is immense as well.

Submission + - Australian Gov't Asks eBay To Name Sellers (abc.net.au)

beaverdownunder writes: In an effort to combat fraudulent claims lodged within its Centrelink welfare-payment agency, the Australian Government has asked auction-site eBay to name all Aussies who sold more than $20,000 worth of goods in the last year.

Should someone be found to have been doing such a high-volume of business on eBay while claiming Centrelink benefits but not declaring that income, they could potentially face prosecution.

However, the president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, says this action is a gross invasion of privacy.

"What we say should happen is that if police have probable cause for investigating someone, they go to a magistrate, they get a warrant and they access that person's eBay records that way," he said.


Submission + - Scottish Council Stops Child Photographing School Dinner (blogspot.co.uk)

History's Coming To writes: "A Scottish primary school child under the pseudonym "Veg" has been blogging about school meals, including a photograph and comments on the nutritional value, taste and presentation. Veg has developing a worldwide following, with children from all over the world sending in pictures of their meals. The school and Veg's father have been fully supportive throughout. But Veg has been taken out of class by the head teacher and told to stop taking photos because Argyll & Bute Council (who control the school) don't like the publicity it is generating."

Submission + - Online Activities to be Recorded by UK ISPs (official-documents.gov.uk)

SmartAboutThings writes: "The United Kingdom online monitoring law just got published showcasing some disturbing facts. The paper is 123 pages long and is actually a draft of the Communications Data Bill. You might not be so happy to find out that from now, every single thing you do online will be recorded and stored by the good old Internet Service providers (ISP). What do we mean by online activity? Well, everything. From exchanging emails, browsing history, instant messaging to the most important use of social networks."

Submission + - Remember Spokeo? Fined $800K by FTC for Marketing Its Services To Employers. (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: Spokeo was one of the first public-facing person-profiling companies to attract the ire of those profiled. Taglined "not your grandmother's phonebook" it offers up profiles pulled from public records, social networking sites, etc, including your address, worth of your home, who's in your family, your estimated wealth, your hobbies and interests, etc. People freaked out when they first discovered it. Apparently, the company was selling reports to employers, but not following principles set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Federal Trade Commission is fining them $800,000. FTC also chastises them for writing fake positive reviews 'round the Web (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/06/spokeo.shtm).

Submission + - Biggest Web Trackers of Them All: Google, Facebook (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "A new report from Evidon, whose browser plug in Ghostery tracks Web trackers, makes it plain that 'if you want to worry about somebody tracking you across the Web, worry about Google,' writes blogger Dan Tynan. Google and Facebook, and their various services, occupy all of the top 5 slots on the Evidon Global Tracker Report's list of the most prolific trackers. 'And if you have any tracking anxiety left over, apply it to social networks like Facebook, G+, and Twitter,' adds Tynan."

Submission + - BT Blocks Disabled Rights Site? (techweekeurope.co.uk) 2

judgecorp writes: "BT has blocked access to the Black Triangle disabled rights website according to activists. BT has confirmed there is a problem, but won't give any details on why it is not available to any BT subscribers. Black Triangle is campaigning against Atos Healthcare which is applying government rules on entitlement to disability benefits — and which has previously shut down critical websites and forums."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.