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Internet Blacklist Back In Congress 278

Adrian Lopez writes "A bill giving the government the power to shut down Web sites that host materials that infringe copyright is making its way quietly through the lame-duck session of Congress, raising the ire of free-speech groups and prompting a group of academics to lobby against the effort. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced in Congress this fall by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It would grant the federal government the power to block access to any Web domain that is found to host copyrighted material without permission."

New Gadget Blocks 'Spam' Phone Calls 274

Smivs writes "The BBC report on a new gizmo that can block/filter spam phone calls. The system basically intercepts all calls. If it recognizes them as a friend or a member of the user's family — numbers on the so-called star list created by the user — it lets them through as normal. If the caller's number is on a zap list — numbers of telemarketers or other nuisance callers — the device answers it, and all future calls from that number, with an automated message which means the phone does not ring at all. If the system doesn't recognize the caller's number, or the caller withholds their number, it asks them who they are, puts them on hold and then rings the user's phone. The user has the option of taking the call, having the system take a message, or they can reject the call and add the number to the 'zap' list. Users can add callers to their 'star' list by pressing the star button on their phone at any point during a call." So wait, they can't spam me twice? If I press a button? And if they actually show their phone number on my caller ID? What about the auto insurance scammers that hit me 10x/week?

Anything cut to length will be too short.