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Government

+ - First Internet Election Takes Place in Hawaii

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that voting has ended in what is being touted as the nation's first all-digital election and city officials say it has been a success after some 7.300 voters in Honolulu's neighborhood council election were able to pick winners entirely online or via telephone. Although only 6.3 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, city officials say the experiment appears to have generated few problems and it even saved the financially strapped city around $100,000. "It is kind of the wave of the future," said Bryan Mick, a community relations specialist with the city Neighborhood Commission, "so we're kind of glad in a way that we got to be the ones who initiated it." Before the first day of balloting, voters living in 22 neighborhood board districts with contested races received a passcode that, along with the last four digits of their Social Security number, gave them access to an election Web site created by Everyone Counts. Voting also was conducted by phone, with results electronically fed into the same computer system that collected the Web votes. Lori Steele, head of Everyone Counts, the San Diego-based firm chosen by the commission to run the election, said the computer codes in her firm's system are available for auditing, and that each completed ballot is heavily encrypted and more secure than that used in Internet banking. Web voting, which produces no paper record, cannot be used in city council or state elections because state law bars voting systems that do not include a vote verification process. "The technology side, it works," said Joan Manke, executive secretary of the commission. "So my sense is because it's a change, it's something totally new, it takes time. I think, for people to buy into it, to want to actually try it.""
Security

+ - Top 5 Ways to Hack into Your Web Application->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Are you familiar with white hat hacking? If you aren't, you should be. White hat hacking is a planned attack that checks your systems for vulnerabilities. After the hacker successfully (and harmlessly) compromises your environment, they tell you what to do to fix it. Even though most security loopholes are well-documented, I'm surprised how many open exploits are in applications that we security scan here at INetU. So stand by for a little White Hat Hacking 101, where I'll teach you how to hack into your own site."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor's Cyberlaw Record

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Thomas O'Toole writes that President Obama's choice for Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, authored several cyberlaw opinions regarding online contracting law, domain names, and computer privacy while on the Second Circuit. Judge Sotomayor wrote the court's 2002 opinion in Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp., an important online contracting case. In Specht, the Second Circuit declined to enforce contract terms that were available behind a hyperlink that could only be seen by scrolling down on a Web page (pdf). "We are not persuaded that a reasonably prudent offeree in these circumstances would have known of the existence of license terms," wrote Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion in a domain name case, Storey v. Cello Holdings LLC in 2003 that held that an adverse outcome in an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy did not preclude a later-initiated federal suit (pdf) brought under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). In Leventhal v. Knapek, a privacy case, Judge Sotomayor wrote for the Second Circuit that New York state agency officials and investigators did not violate a state employee's Fourth Amendment rights when they searched the contents of his office computer for evidence of unauthorized use of state equipment. While none of these cases may mean much as far as what Judge Sotomayor will do as an Associate Supreme Court Justice "if confirmed, she will be the first justice who has written cyberlaw-related opinions before joining the court," writes O'Toole."

Comment: Re:Make the Business pay the tax, not the Customer (Score 2, Insightful) 784

by flaky2 (#27602507) Attached to: The End of Tax-Free Internet Shopping?

The business DOES pay the tax, and we are subject to audit, the fun kind of audit where the taxing authority comes in and says 'you owe us one meeeelion dollars' and you have to disprove us.

We charge YOU taxes because WE are responsible for paying them to the government.

Now multiply this by millions of possible variables.

My business, and online retailer, would track all of the sales and use and VAT and blue and green taxes that apply by product type, color and aroma, all this for each of thousands of taxing authorities, and then pay these taxing authorities according to their rules, with supporting documentation, AND we make sure we can survive being audited by all of them.

Side note, a business CAN sell things with the taxes included in the price, if they display this to the purchaser. A good example is a bar, they'll have a sign that says taxes included in the purchase price. If they don't, they can be hit for taxes, again, by an auditor, happens all the time.

Comment: Backup, Replication and Archiving (Score 1) 274

by flaky2 (#27588807) Attached to: First Look at Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Beta

I work at a company with 2000 employees, many using mobile clients, with a pretty high turnover rate and a need for long term archiving. We rely on email for almost all of our communication, handling an average of 1,000 messages per hour, peaking at 15k per hour, pushing an average of about 250 kbits per second.
We use a combination of qmail, squirrelmail and Courier IMAP for mail, with our users trained to store older messages locally if they need them past one year.

What benefits (aside from calendaring) would we see from Exchange?

Messages older than a year are stored zipped on a disk array and tape. Since they use Maildir, they are easy as pie to view or restore.

We don't have a geographically different replicant in place, but it wouldn't be difficult to do this at all. We've switched from server to server and archive to archive with a tiny bit of a delay in service.

Comment: Re:Copyright Information (Score 1) 672

by flaky2 (#27080877) Attached to: Lars Ulrich Pirates His Own Album

You're right,

He isn't directly stealing from his bandmates because he isn't making physical copies of the sheet music covered under for PA.

But his deal with Warner likely includes a revenue share. CDs are considered royalty bearing objects, if Lars wants a copy of his own CD, he has to purchase it from his publisher, he can't just have one. The publisher and performer negotiate rates and they're surprisingly high, even though they consider it a wholesale price. The publisher then splits the revenue according to their negotiated deal with the band.

Comment: Copyright Information (Score 1) 672

by flaky2 (#27078709) Attached to: Lars Ulrich Pirates His Own Album
There are several layers of copyright, I will ignore fair use, since proponents of DRM ignore fair use. SR is the Sound Recording copyright, it is almost always held by the Record Company, in this case Warner. Warner is known for little flexibility with artists so I would assume they hold the SR. SR basically covers the recording. If they were to issue a remix, it would have a new SR. If I recorded one of their songs, I could get a new SR in my name. PA is the Performing Arts copyright, and is held by the authors of the song, it covers the underlying structure, lyrics and notes. This is held by (Hetfield / Ulrich / Hammett / Trujillo) according to the album notes. This means that Ulrich stole from Warner and his three bandmates. He's not the only holder of copyright for that music.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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