Hugh Pickens writes "CBS reports on 60 minutes that a massive two-day power outage in Brazil's Espirito Santo State affecting more than three million people in 2007, and another, smaller event in three cities north of Rio de Janeiro in January 2005, were perpetrated by hackers manipulating control systems. Former Chief of US National Intelligence Retired Adm. Mike McConnell says that the 'United States is not prepared for such an attack' and believes it could happen in America. 'If I were an attacker and wanted to do strategic damage to the United States, I would either take the cold of winter or the heat of summer,' says McConnell, 'I would probably sack electric power on the US East Coast, maybe the West Coast and attempt to cause a cascading effect.' Congressman Jim Langevin says that US power companies need to be forced to deal with the issue after they told Congress they would take steps to defend their operations but did not follow up. 'They admit that they misled Congress. The private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. Their bottom line is about profits,' says Langevin. 'We need to change their motivation so that when see vulnerability like this, we can require them to fix it.' McConnell adds that a similar attack to the one in Brazil is poised to take place on US soil and that it may take some horrific event to get the country focused on shoring up cyber security. 'If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. I hope we don't get there.'"
langelgjm writes "An article from yesterday's New York Times asks the question: will books be Napsterized? So far, piracy of books has not reached the degree of music or movie piracy, in part due to the lack of good equipment on which to read and enjoy pirated books. The article points to the growing adoption of e-book readers as the publishing industry's newest nemesis. With ever-cheaper ways to conveniently use pirated books, authors and publishers may be facing serious changes ahead. This is something I wrote about three months ago in my journal, where I called the Kindle DX an 'iPod for books.'"
superglaze writes to tell us that VMware has announced a large effort behind their Mobile Virtualization Platform, promising the possibility of multiple operating systems on mobile devices. "The company described MVP as a 'thin layer of software' that will be embedded in handsets and 'be optimized to run efficiently on low-power-consuming and memory-constrained mobile phones.' Asked whether MVP would offer something different from the abstraction already provided by mobile Java, VMware's European product director Fredrik Sjostedt told ZDNet UK that MVP would require less recoding. 'If you want to have an application run on a Java-specific appliance, you need to code it for Java,' Sjostedt said. 'What we're introducing with MVP is an [embedded] abstraction layer below that, between the physical hardware and the software layer.'"
technically, only MGM admitted as much
from http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tka/2005/03/29#a53At least some of the Justices, Scalia in particular, seemed troubled by how an inventor would know, at the time of inventing, how its invention might be marketed in the future. How, some of the Justices asked MGM, could the inventors of the iPod (or the VCR, or the photocopier, or even the printing press) know whether they could go ahead with developing their invention? It surely would not be difficult for them to imagine that somebody might hit upon the idea of marketing their device as a tool for infringement. MGM's answer to this was pretty unsatisfying. They said that at the time the iPod was invented, it was clear that there were many perfectly lawful uses for it, such as ripping one's own CD and storing it in the iPod. This was a very interesting point for them to make, not least because I would wager that there are a substantial number of people on MGM's side of the case who don't think that example is one bit legal. But they've now conceded the contrary in open court, so if they actually win this case they'll be barred from challenging "ripping" in the future under the doctrine of judicial estoppel. In any event, though, MGM's iPod example did exactly what their proposed standard expressly doesn't do: it evaluated the legality of the invention based on the knowledge available to the inventor at the time, not from a post hoc perspective that asks how the invention is subsequently marketed or what business models later grow up around it.