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Submission + - [Big Bad] Yahoo Takes on The Big Bad Government 1

Nicola Hahn writes: The Washington Post has reported that during secret court hearings the government threatened Yahoo with a "massive" $250,000 per day fine if the company failed to hand over user data to the NSA. Journalists have depicted Yahoo’s legal actions as part of an ongoing “battle” with the government. Yahoo’s general counsel has asserted on the company tumblr that:

“Users come first at Yahoo. We treat public safety with the utmost seriousness, but we are also committed to protecting users’ data. We will continue to contest requests and laws that we consider unlawful, unclear, or overbroad.”

This coverage creates the impression that Yahoo is an intrepid champion of human rights. But is this really the case? Is filing a law suit really the best that Yahoo could’ve done? Lavabit’s founder, Ladar Levison, decided that he’d rather shutter his business when confronted with government demands for information. Keep in mind that in the past Yahoo cooperated with the Chinese government, handing over information on political dissidents who were subsequently imprisoned and tortured. Are these the actions of a company that “battles” for civil liberties? Or perhaps they indicate that executives are more interested in obeying the law to maintain quarterly profits?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Automated ATMs Recycle Phones For Money (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "EcoATM is going to install machines which give money for old phones across the US. The system, shown at the CES show, takes a photo of any phone or other gadget put in its tray, and provides a data cable (for every kind of phone?) to check it is working. The machine offers a quote based on the current used price, and pays up on the spot."

Submission + - Femtocell maker Picochip bought by Mindspeed for & (techworld.com)

sweetpea86 writes: UK-based femtocell maker Picochip has been snapped up by Mindspeed Technologies, a supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, for $51.8 million (£33.5m). The two companies intend to merge their respective 3G and 4G technologies and lead the industry’s move toward fixed/mobile broadband convergence.

Picochip currently provides around 70 percent of the chips used to make femtocells, but has had difficulty converting its success in 3G/HSPA into LTE growth. Femtocells are used to beef up 3G network strength,and have been touted as a way to solve the problem of 3G ‘not-spots’, as well as easing strain on mobile networks during London's Olympic Games.

Submission + - £989 Raspberry Pi Donated to Museum (computinghistory.org.uk)

purehavnet writes: "One of the first 10 Raspberry Pi computers to be released has been purchased on Ebay and donated to The Centre for Computing History by an anonymous donor.

10 of the eagerly awaited $25 computers were listed on Ebay for auction and enthusiastic bidders around the world bid frantically for the rare opportunity to own one of these first production boards. The auction for board #7 ended on 8th January at a final bid of £989 which obviously included free delivery!"


Submission + - Facebook Bans Browser Plugin FGS, And Its Develope 1

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has banned a very popular browser plugin called Friendly Gaming Simplifier (FGS). The plugin’s webpage (fgs.rzadki.eu) now serves up a “403 Forbidden” error message, since its developer, Arkadiusz Rzadkowolski, has complied with the company’s requests to take it down. Facebook has also banned him from the social network and denied him the right to develop anything for the service. A petition to save the plugin has been launched.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg