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Comment Re:voluntarily disbanding (Score 2) 264

Have you ever heard of any committee anywhere voluntarily disbanding?


The (informal) standardisation of Haskell 98 was an important turning point for another reason: it was the moment that the Haskell Committee disbanded. There was (and continues to be) a tremendous amount of innovation and activity in the Haskell community, including numerous proposals for language features. But rather than having a committee to choose and bless particular ones, it seemed to us that the best thing to do was to get out of the way, let a thousand flowers bloom, and see which ones survived.


Submission Elite Group to Reboot the Web in Case of Terrorism-> 1

ion_ writes:'s take on DNSSEC root signing is interesting to say the least. According to it, the seven people with access to the "key that can 'unlock' the Internet" will be able to reboot the web in case of "a terror attack or mass hacking".

Quoting the article: "A new safety system has been put in place allowing much of the net to be shut down in an emergency. It would be down to Mr Kane and five colleagues to switch websites back on after giving the all-clear."

The article goes on to say DNSSEC ensures that websites are "officially approved".

Slashdot covered the signing of the root zone earlier.

Link to Original Source

UK ISP TalkTalk Caught Monitoring Its Customers 139

An anonymous reader writes "The UK ISP TalkTalk has been caught using a form of Deep Packet Inspection technology to monitor and record the websites that its customers visit, without getting their explicit consent. The system, which is not yet fully in place, ultimately aims to help block malware websites by comparing the URL that a person visits against a list of good and bad sites. Bad sites will then be restricted. TalkTalk claims that its method is totally anonymous and that the only people with visibility of the URL database itself are Chinese firm Huawei, which will no doubt help everybody to feel a lot better (apply sarc mark here) about potentially having their privacy invaded."
The Courts

Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police 878

krou sends this snip from the Maine Civil Liberties Union: "The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who faces as much as sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents' house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, 'To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.'" Here are a factsheet (PDF) on the case from the ACLU of Maryland, and the video at issue.

OpenGL 4.1 Specification Announced 167

WesternActor writes "The Khronos Group has announced full details for the OpenGL 4.1 specification. Among the new features of the spec, which comes just five months after the release of the 4.0 specification, is full support for OpenGL ES, which simplifies porting between mobile and desktop platforms. It'll be interesting to see what effect, if any, this new spec has on the graphics industry — more compatibility could change the way many embedded systems are designed. There are lots of other changes and additions in the spec, as well." Reader suraj.sun contributes insight from Ars, which brings OpenGL's competition into focus: "OpenGL 4.0 brought feature parity with Direct3D 11's new features — in particular, compute shaders and tessellation — and with 4.1, the Khronos Group claims that it is surpassing the functionality offered in Microsoft's 3D API. ... Whether this truly constitutes a leapfrogging of Direct3D 11 is not obvious."

Cell Phone Interception At Def Con 95

ChrisPaget writes "I'm planning a pretty significant demonstration of GSM insecurity at Defcon next week, where I'll intercept and record cellular calls made by my attendees, live on-stage, no user-input required. As you can imagine, intercepting cellphones is a Very Big Deal in the eyes of the law; this blog post is an attempt to reassure everyone that their privacy is being taken seriously despite the nature of the demo. I'm not just making it up either — the EFF have helped significantly with the details."

Major Flaws Found In Recent BitTorrent Study 167

Caledfwlch writes with a followup to news we discussed a couple days ago about a study that found only 0.3% of torrents to be legal. (A further 11% was described as "ambiguous.") TorrentFreak looked more deeply into the study and found a number of flaws, suggesting that the researchers' data may have been pulled from a bogus tracker. Quoting: "Here's where the researchers make total fools out of themselves. In their answer to the question they refer to a table of the top 10 most seeded torrents. ... the most seeded file was uploaded nearly two years ago (The Incredible Hulk) and has a massive 1,112,628 seeders. The torrent in 10th place is not doing bad either with 277,043 seeds. All false data. We're not sure where these numbers originate from but the best seeded torrent at the moment only has 13,739 seeders; that's 1% of what the study reports. Also, the fact that the release is nearly two years old should have sounded some alarm bells. It appears that the researchers have pulled data from a bogus tracker, and it wouldn't be a big surprise if all the torrents in their top 10 are actually fake." They also take a cursory look at isoHunt, finding that 1.5% of torrent files come from Jamendo alone, "a site that publishes only Creative Commons licensed music."
The Media

HBO Exec Proposes DRM Name Change 544

surfingmarmot writes "An HBO executive has figured out the problem with DRM acceptance — it's the name. HBO's chief technology officer Bob Zitter now wants to refer to the technology as Digital Consumer Enablement. Because, you see, DRM actually helps consumers by getting more content into their hands. The company already has HD movies on demand ready to go, but is delaying them because of ownership concerns. Says Zitter, 'Digital Consumer Enablement would more accurately describe technology that allows consumers "to use content in ways they haven't before," such as enjoying TV shows and movies on portable video players like iPods. "I don't want to use the term DRM any longer," said Zitter, who added that content-protection technology could enable various new applications for cable operators.'"

Hitachi's Tiny RFID Chips 153

paltemalte writes "Hitachi has just come out with a new crop of RFID tags, measuring only 1/20 of a millimeter square. That's 1/8 the size (in linear dimension) of Hitachi's currently shipping mu-chips, which are 0.4 mm square. The new chip's width is slightly smaller than a human hair. These chips could put an end to shoplifting forever, but they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas, easily tagging anyone present without their knowledge or consent. Will someone come up with a surefire way of neutralizing chips that may be on your body or in your clothing?" Hard to pin down a source on this. The article cites another blog, which points to an article in Japanese.

Microsoft PR Paying to "Correct" Wikipedia 355

Unpaid Schill writes "Over on the O'Reilly Network, there's an interesting piece about how Microsoft tried to hire people to contribute to Wikipedia. Not wanting to do the edits directly, they were looking for an intermediary to make edits and corrections favorable to them. Why? According to the article, it was apparently both to let people know that Microsoft will not 'enable death squads with their UUIDs' and also to fight the growing consensus that OOXML contains a useless pile of legacy crap which is unfit for standardization."

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