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Government

UK Authorities Accused of Inciting Illegal Protest 371

Posted by samzenpus
from the stirring-the-pot dept.
jarran writes "Questions are being asked about the tactics being employed by UK authorities to monitor and control protest groups. Schnews reports on evidence that government IP addresses are posting messages to sites like indymedia, attempting to provoke activists into taking illegal direct action. Evidence has emerged recently that the police consider sex to be a legitimate tool for extracting information from targets, and senior police have been accused of lying to parliament about the deployment of undercover agents at protests."
Businesses

IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the money-for-somethin' dept.
theodp writes "It seems $1 salaries are only for super-wealthy tech execs. The WSJ reports that CPA David Watson incurred the wrath of the IRS by only paying himself $24,000 a year and declaring the rest of his take profit. It's a common tax-cutting maneuver that most computer consultants working through an S Corporation have probably considered. Unlike profit distributions, all salary is subject to a 2.9% Medicare tax and the first $106,800 is subject to a 12.4% Social Security tax (FICA). By reducing his salary, Watson didn't save any income taxes on the $379k in profit distributions he received in 2002 and 2003, but he did save nearly $20,000 in payroll taxes for the two years, the IRS argued, pegging Watson's true pay at $91,044 for each year. Judge Robert W. Pratt agreed that Watson's salary was too low, ruling that the CPA owed the extra tax plus interest and penalties. So why, you ask, don't members of the much-ballyhooed $1 Executive club like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt get in hot water for their low-ball salaries? After all, how inequitable would it be if billionaires working full-time didn't have to kick in more than 15 cents into the Medicare and Social Security kitty? Sorry kids, the rich are different, and the New Global Elite have much better tax advisors than you!"
Music

RIAA Threatens ICANN Over Music-Themed gTLD Standards 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-old-song-and-dance dept.
think_nix writes "A letter to ICANN (PDF) from Victoria Sheckler, Deputy General Counsel for the RIAA, demands modifications to the future implementation of the .music gTLD, threatening to 'escalate the issue' if certain concerns about 'wide scale copyright and trademark infringement' are not addressed by ICANN in compliance with the RIAA. 'Under the current proposed standard, we fear that we will have no realistic ability to object if a pirate chooses to hijack a music themed gTLD to enable wide scale copyright infringement of our works,' Sheckler said."
Programming

Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP 700

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the heard-this-before dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Vladimir Romanov has released what he claims is a polynomial-time algorithm for solving 3-SAT. Because 3-SAT is NP-complete, this would imply that P==NP. While there's still good reason to be skeptical that this is, in fact, true, he's made source code available and appears decidedly more serious than most of the people attempting to prove that P==NP or P!=NP. Even though this is probably wrong, just based on the sheer number of prior failures, it seems more likely to lead to new discoveries than most. Note that there are already algorithms to solve 3-SAT, including one that runs in time (4/3)^n and succeeds with high probability. Incidentally, this wouldn't necessarily imply that encryption is worthless: it may still be too slow to be practical."
Censorship

The Companies Who Support Censoring the Internet 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the list-you-don't-want-to-be-on dept.
RichiH writes "From Techdirt: 'A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton (with cc's to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don't like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles.' A full list of companies who you might want to avoid buying from is included, as well."
Privacy

Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records 257

Posted by timothy
from the you-didn't-even-know-you-were-looking dept.
schliz writes "Online dating company Gotham Dating Partners has announced plans to create profiles for non-registered individuals based on publicly available information from social networking sites, e-mail registries, mailing lists, marketing surveys, government census records, real estate listings and business websites. Although the Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that the automatic creation of identifiable profiles of individuals without their knowledge is 'not good privacy practice,' Gotham Dating Partners does not expect to face any privacy issues from the move, which is expected to boost its membership from 6.5 million to 340 million worldwide."
Facebook

Facebook Opens Up Home Addresses and Phone Numbers 459

Posted by timothy
from the 1600-pennsylvania-avenue-should-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Do you really want third-party app developers on Facebook to be able to access your mobile phone number and home address? Facebook has announced that developers of Facebook apps can now gather the personal contact information from their users. Security firm Sophos describes it as 'a move that could herald a new level of danger for Facebook users' and advises users to remove their home address and phone numbers from the network immediately."
The Military

New York Times Reports US and Israel Behind Stuxnet 406

Posted by timothy
from the alleged-shooter dept.
Oxford_Comma_Lover writes "Confirming heavy speculation in the Slashdot community, the New York Times reports that joint US-Israeli efforts were almost certainly behind the recent Stuxnet attack on Iran's nuclear program." The article stops just short of saying in so many words that Israeli is the doer, but leaves little doubt of its conclusion.
Censorship

The Strange Disappearance of Dancho Danchev 160

Posted by timothy
from the or-not-so-strange dept.
rudy_wayne writes "ZDNet is reporting that Zero Day blogger and malware researcher Dancho Danchev has gone missing since August of last year. Dancho, who was relentless in his pursuit of cyber-criminals, last blogged here on August 18. His personal blog has not been updated since September 11, 2010. 'At ZDNet, we made multiple attempts to contact him, to no avail. Telephone numbers are going to Bulgarian language voicemails and our attempts to reach him via a snail mail address also came up empty. Just recently, a trusted member of the malware research community reached out to us to say he had received a troubling letter from Dancho on September 9, 2010, about the threat of persecution in Bulgaria.'"
Government

Fed Goes Hunting For Malcontents 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-julian-assange dept.
snydeq writes "The wake of State Department document leaks to WikiLeaks may have the unhappy rousted from government agencies' 'privileged insiders' ranks, thanks to a recent memo from the US OMB asking agencies to spell out their strategies for minimizing insider risk. 'It's likely that federal contractors and government suppliers will also find themselves responding to this list of questions (PDF) and the central issue of preventing the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and classified materials. In a key section of the memo, the OMB requests information on whether organizations are measuring the "trustworthiness" of their employees and whether they use a psychiatrist or sociologist to measure the unhappiness of an employee as a measure of trustworthiness.'"
Government

Some WikiLeaks Contributions To Public Discourse 299

Posted by kdawson
from the greatest-hits-of-cablegate dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The EFF argues that regardless of the heated debate over the propriety of the actions of WikiLeaks, some of the cables have contributed significantly to public and political conversations around the world. The Guardian reported on a cable describing an incident in Afghanistan in which employees of DynCorp, a US military contractor, hired a 'dancing boy,' an under-aged boy dressed as a woman, who dances for a gathering of men and is then prostituted — an incident that contributed important information to the debate over the use of private military contractors. A cable released by WikiLeaks showed that Pfizer allegedly sought to blackmail a Nigerian regulator to stop a lawsuit against drug trials on children. A WikiLeaks revelation that the United States used bullying tactics to attempt to push Spain into adopting copyright laws even more stringent than those in the US came just in time to save Spain from the kind of misguided copyright laws that cripple innovation and facilitate online censorship. An article by the NY Times analyzed cables released which indicated the US is having difficulties in fulfilling Obama's promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and is now considering incentives in return for other countries accepting detainees, including a one-on-one meeting with Obama or assistance with the IMF. 'These examples make clear that WikiLeaks has brought much-needed light to government operations and private actions,' writes Rainey Reitman, 'which, while veiled in secrecy, profoundly affect the lives of people around the world and can play an important role in a democracy that chooses its leaders.'"
Google

Google Broke the Law, Say South Korean Police 203

Posted by timothy
from the tough-standards dept.
bonch writes "South Korean police say Google was in violation of Internet privacy laws when its Street View service archived private information in more than 30 countries, including email and text messages. The country's Cyber Terror Response Center broke the encryption on hard drives raided from Google last August and confirmed that private information had been gathered, violating South Korea's telecommunications laws. Police are seeking the original author of the program, though they say it is likely to be a US citizen. Google said it stopped collecting the information as soon as it realized what was happening. 40 states in the US are demanding access to the information gathered by the mapping service in order to determine what was archived, which Google refused to hand over. 'We have been cooperating with the Korean Communications Commission and the police, and will continue to do so,' said a Google Korea spokesperson."
Hardware

Preserving Great Tech For Posterity — the 6502 290

Posted by timothy
from the double-secret-reverse-engineering dept.
trebonian writes "For great old hardware products like the MOS 6502 (used in the Apple II, the C64, the Nintendo NES), the details of the designs have been lost or forgotten. While there have been great efforts to reverse engineer the 6502 from the outside, there has not been the hardware equivalent of the source code — until now. As Russell Cox states: 'A team of three people accumulated a bunch of 6502 chips, applied sulfuric acid to them to strip the casing and expose the actual chips, used a high-resolution photomicroscope to scan the chips, applied computer graphics techniques to build a vector representation of the chip, and finally derived from the vector form what amounts to the circuit diagram of the chip: a list of all 3,510 transistors with inputs, outputs, and what they're connected to. Combining that with a fairly generic (and, as these things go, trivial) "transistor circuit" simulator written in JavaScript and some HTML5 goodness, they created an animated 6502 web page that lets you watch the voltages race around the chip as it executes. For more, see their web site visual6502.org.'"
The Media

The Guardian's Complicated Relationship With Julian Assange 237

Posted by timothy
from the it's-complicated dept.
Sonny Yatsen writes "Vanity Fair has published an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the unlikely and tumultuous working relationship between WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and The Guardian as the Iraq War Logs were being published. The piece highlights the differences and conflicts between the Guardian's journalistic standards and WikiLeaks' transparency. Particularly interesting is the revelation that Julian Assange threatened to sue The Guardian if they publish a portion of Iraq War Logs leaked to them by a disgruntled WikiLeaks volunteer, claiming 'he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released.'"

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