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The Internet

The Pirate Bay — "Just a Very Large Hobby" 214

Posted by timothy
from the but-robin-hood-wasn't-a-rude-hidebound-dreamer dept.
praps writes "In a fascinating interview with two of the founders of The Pirate Bay entitled 'Are they baby-eating monsters or what?,' Swedish news site The Local discovers that far from being the radical Robin Hoods of the digital age, Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij are actually 'polite, humorous and down-to-earth.' They may run one of the biggest sites in the world but 'it's just a hobby that's grown to be very, very large.' Financially, they are 'happy as long as it doesn't make a loss,' and both hold down regular IT day jobs. And apparently they spend a lot of time with a Bedouin in the Sinai desert."
Programming

+ - Results of Web Programming Contest Published

Submitted by
alvar-f
alvar-f writes "The results and final report of the Plat_Forms international web programming contest were published today. For each of the categories Perl, PHP and Java, three teams of three people each competed to produce a comprehensive "social networking" application in just 30 hours. A short summary of the results: The Perl teams produced the most compact code and their solutions are very easy to extend. One Java team produced by far the most complete solution overall, the other two by far the most incomplete ones. The Java solutions are very hard to extend. The PHP teams used no autogenerated files, resisted SQL injection attempts and created the most similar solutions. There are also some pictures of the teams and you can guess what language they are using ..."
The Courts

Appeals Court Denies Safe Harbor for Roommates.com 253

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the appeals-court-says-don't-be-a-dick dept.
Mariner writes "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Roommates.com Safe Harbor status under the Communications Decency Act in a lawsuit brought by the Fair Housing Councils of San Fernando Valley and San Diego. Roommates.com was accused of helping landlords discriminate against certain kinds of tenants due to a couple of questions on the Roommates.com registration form: gender and sexual orientation. 'Though it refused to rule on whether Roommates.com actually violated the Fair Housing Act, the Court did find that it lost Section 230 immunity because it required users to enter that information in order to proceed. As Judge Alex Kozinski put it in his opinion, "if it is responsible, in whole or in part, for creating or developing the information, it becomes a content provider and is not entitled to CDA immunity."'"
Security

Month of PHP Bugs Has Begun 165

Posted by Zonk
from the quick-hide-the-furniture dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The previously announced Month of PHP Bugs started three days ago, and already lists 8 security vulnerabilities in PHP and PHP related software. From the site: 'This initiative is an effort to improve the security of PHP. However we will not concentrate on problems in the PHP language that might result in insecure PHP applications, but on security vulnerabilities in the PHP core. During March 2007 old and new security vulnerabilities in the Zend Engine, the PHP core and the PHP extensions will be disclosed on a day by day basis. We will also point out necessary changes in the current vulnerability management process used by the PHP Security Response Team.'"
Censorship

+ - ABC/Disney shuts down blog exercising fair use

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A blogger named Spocko had his blog shut down by ABC/Disney lawyers because he had posted clips from an ABC Radio-affiliated program and commented on their content, as well as informed show advertisers of what exactly they were paying for. Summaries can be found on The Daily Kos and Calling all Wingnuts as well as in a YouTube video. It is sad to see how much large media companies count on fair use, yet try to step all over it when it is used against them."
The Almighty Buck

Sony Shrugs Off Bad Press - Still A Strong Brand 281

Posted by Zonk
from the no-one-knows-what-a-rootkit-is dept.
netbuzz writes "The Sony brand name took a beating last year over all those burning batteries and the rootkit fallout, right? Wrong, at least according to a recent survey of 2,000 adults who are apparently willing to forgive just about anything ... if you give them the right reason. Other technology companies, most anyway, also fare well in the brand survey. From the article: 'According to the survey, the Sony brand finished a gaudy ninth among the "Top 20 Winners for 2006," sandwiched comfortably between a couple of saintly American icons: Oprah and the National Football League. Moreover, the respondents see Sony climbing to No. 4 among this year's gainers, right above Amazon and eBay. Moral: Build a better PlayStation and the American consumer will forgive all else.'"

Roomba + Wii remote + Perl = Awesome 175

Posted by timothy
from the when-buzzword-compliance-is-a-good-thing dept.
Anonymous Wii Lov'n Coward writes "Check out the WiiRoomba, a mashup using a Wii remote, a perl script, and the Darwiin Remote software. While a little sluggish to respond, the Roomba is entirely controlled by the Wii remote accelerometers." All of the source code to do it yourself is available at the site linked, along with a youtube video of how it works.
Patents

Nobel Laureate Attacks Medical Intellectual Property 449

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the corporate-bottom-line-is-red dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who was fired by the World Bank blasted drug patents in an editorial in the British Medical Journal titled 'Scrooge and intellectual property rights.' 'Knowledge is like a candle, when one candle lights another it does not diminish its light.' In medicine, patents cost lives. The US patent for turmeric didn't stimulate research, and restricted access by the Indian poor who actually discovered it hundreds of years ago. 'These rights were intended to reduce access to generic medicines and they succeeded.' Billions of people, who live on $2-3 a day, could no longer afford the drugs they needed. Drug companies spend more on advertising and marketing than on research. A few scientists beat the human genome project and patented breast cancer genes; so now the cost of testing women for breast cancer is 'enormous.'"
Software

+ - Why Ecma for OOXML? Press Releases Tell the Tale

Submitted by
Andy Updegrove
Andy Updegrove writes "Earlier this month Ecma, a Europe-based standard setting consortium, approved Microsoft's OOXML formats. When Microsoft submitted the formats to Ecma a year ago, ODF proponents called Ecma a "rubber stamp" organization that would do as it was told. Was that fair? Ecma's press releases for the past year may provide a clue: during that time period, it issued three press releases announcing the general adoption of a total of 32 standards at General Assemblies, and twelve press releases on individual standards projects — all but one of which were dedicated to Microsoft's OOXML specification. It would appear that either Ecma doesn't think much of what it's doing these days is very important, or that there is a great deal it can gain from being associated with the OOXML project — or both. This may be why it agreed to charter a Technical Committee with an unusually specific charge for a standards organization: to produce a standard that is "fully compatible" with the formats used by a single vendor. http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/articl e.php?story=20061221065155844"
Security

+ - Vista zero-day exploit for sale for $50,000

Submitted by dthomas731
dthomas731 (761616) writes "Computerworld has an article about a zero day exploit in vista for sale. From the article:
An online criminal has offered to sell software that exploits an unpatched bug in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista operating system, according to security vendor Trend Micro Inc. The code was offered for sale in an underground hacker discussion forum last month, said Raimund Genes, Trend Micro's chief technology officer. The asking price? $50,000.
What gets to me is the tone of the article, almost like it was a legitimate sale. Such as this quote from the article.
"To be honest [the price for a Vista zero day] should probably be lower, ..."
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