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Submission + - Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email ( 1

davidwr writes: Before passing the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act, the Senate dropped an amendment which would require the feds to get warrants before looking at mail older than 6 months that is stored on a 3rd-party server.

This means the status quo, dating from the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, remains.


Submission + - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to be Codenamed Brilliant Broccoli ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Mark Shuttleworth suggests that vegetables will be used as version release names for Ubuntu once they run out of letters! To start with, he proposed the code name for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS: Brilliant Broccoli!

Submission + - Canada prepares for crackdown on BitTorrent movie pirates

dreamstateseven writes: A forensic software company has collected files on a million Canadians who it says have downloaded pirated content. The company, which works for the motion picture and recording industries, says a recent court decision forcing Internet providers to release subscriber names and details is only the first step in a bid to crack down on illegal downloads.

“The door is closing. People should think twice about downloading content they know isn’t proper,” said Barry Logan, managing director of Canipre , the Montreal-based forensic software company.

Submission + - Windows 8 Sells 4 Million Copies Since Launch ( 1

arctus writes: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the initial success of Windows 8 at the BUILD conference on Friday. Ballmer also noted a 670 million Windows 7 install base as another incentive for developers to begin creating Windows 8 applications. On the list of notable developers was ERP giant SAP. Developers at the conference received 100 GB of SkyDrive storage for free and a Microsoft Surface RT system
The Military

Submission + - US Army to Train Rats to Save Soldiers' Lives

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Department of Defense currently relies on dogs as the animal of choice for explosives detection but training dogs is expensive and takes a long time. Now the US Army is sponsoring a project to develop and test a rugged, automated and low-cost system for training rats to detect improvised explosive devices and mines. “The automated system we’re developing is designed to inexpensively train rats to detect buried explosives to solve an immediate Army need for safer and lower-cost mine removal,” says senior research engineer William Gressick. Trained rats would also create new opportunities to detect anything from mines to humans buried in earthquake rubble because rats can search smaller spaces than a dog can, and are easier to transport. Rats have already been trained by the National Police in Colombia to detect seven different kinds of explosives including ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, gunpowder and TNT but the Rugged Automated Training System (Rats) research sponsored by the US. Army Research Laboratory, plans to produce systems for worldwide use since mines are widespread throughout much of Africa, Asia, and Central America and demining operations are expected to continue for decades to restore mined land to civilian use. “Beyond this application, the system will facilitate the use of rats in other search tasks such as homeland security and search-and-rescue operations" adds Gressick. "In the long-term, the system is likely to benefit both official and humanitarian organizations.”"

Submission + - Facebook faces high-level staff exodus (

angry tapir writes: "It has been troubled times for Facebook since the social network's IPO in May. There has been speculation that Facebook could suffer a talent drain in the wake of the IPO, and now the organisation has lost four of its high-level managers the space of a week: Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships; Kate Mitic, platform marketing director; Jonathan Matus, mobile platform marketing manager; and Ben Blumenfeld, design manager, have all resigned from the company."

Submission + - PROTECT IP Renamed to the E-PARASITE Act (

bs0d3 writes: As reported, the US House has drafted their version of Protect IP today. They have renamed the bill to "the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act" or the E-PARASITE Act. The new house version of Protect IP is far worse than the Senate bill s.968 and it massively expands the sites that will be covered by the law. While the Senate bill limited its focus to sites that were "dedicated to infringing activities", the house bill targets "foreign infringing sites" and "has only limited purpose or use other than infringement". They're also including an "inducement" claim, any foreign site declared by the Attorney General to be "inducing" infringement, can now be censored by the US. With no adversarial hearing. The bill can be read here.

Submission + - British govt debates swapping printers for iPads (

An anonymous reader writes: The British government is examining whether it could save money by getting rid of its printers and giving civil servants free iPads instead. The head of the UK government skunkworks told that if he got rid of all of a major government department's printers and gave staff iPads, the savings on printing costs would pay for the tablets in less than 18 months. The UK parliament has already let tablets into the debating chamber, with politicians already starting to choose to use tablets rather than bundles of papers in debates.

Submission + - US City to be Built Just for Testing Smart Grid (

baosol writes: Developer Pegasus Global Holdings (a communication, technology and defense contractor) and the state of New Mexico have announced plans to create a "mid-sized" smart city that they are calling The Center for Testing, Evaluation and Innovation which will have no actual inhabitants. Details are vague, but the concept is clear enough: design a town that mirrors real cities in order to test sustainable infrastructure and technologies to see if they would work in the actual built environment without fear of disrupting real communities. Think of it as the green version of Westworld — only if something goes wrong nobody gets hurt.

Submission + - Apple has security team to battle counterfeiters (

An anonymous reader writes: To a certain extent, the sheer number of Apple knockoff products is flattering. It reaffirms that people hold Apple products in high esteem and demonstrates that devices like the iPhone and iPad are in high enough demand as to create entire criminal syndicates dedicated to manufacturing and selling counterfeit versions of these devices.

But these counterfeit Apple products cost Apple millions of dollars each year and can even have a negative impact on Apple’s brand. So to compbat that, Apple in 2008 organized a team to fight back against the proliferation of counterfeit iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

Submission + - Boost Your WiFi Signal Using Only a Beer Can ( 2

AmyVernon writes: This hack is supposed to boost signal strength by at least 2 to 4 bars.
What you need: scissors, a utility knife, some adhesive putty and an empty beer can. The brand doesn't matter for the router, but I suppose it would be cooler looking if it were Asahi or Stella Artois than if it were Budweiser.


Submission + - Anti-Piracy Lawyers Sue a Dead Person (

bs0d3 writes: The makers of The Hurt Locker have sued 24,583 alleged BitTorrent users, despite the fact that an ip address does not identify a person. When you sue so many at once there are bound to be some unfortunate collateral damage. Last week it was revealed that a blind man had been accused of downloading porn. This week a letter was returned to the U.S. District Court, indicating that the addressee is no longer alive and therefore unable to answer his legal allegations.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.