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Electronic Frontier Foundation

+ - EFF Makes Lawyer Drop the P2P Porn Lawsuit->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "An angry Texas lawyer Evan Stone has dismissed a file-sharing lawsuit on behalf of a pornographic German film called Der Gute Onkel, all thanks to the EFF and Public Citizen.

When file-sharing attorneys file lawsuits against anonymous defendants, they initially face no opposition—their targets are unknown, so no lawyers speak up for their interests until after the subpoenas have been filed and their names are revealed. The EFF and Public Citizen are out to change that, as they did in the Gute Onkel case. The two groups asked the judge to appoint them as attorneys ad litem to speak up for the 670 unknown defendants—and the court agreed.

A few weeks later, Stone asked the court to dismiss the case.

ARSTechnica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/lawyers-cant-handle-opposition-give-up-on-p2p-porn-lawsuit.ars"

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Security

+ - New TSA Scans Won't Create Naked Images->

Submitted by Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes "The LA Times reports that the Transportation Security Administration is testing software that would allow airport scanners to show objects hidden under the clothes of passengers without creating what appears to be a naked digital image of the passengers instead creating an outline of a generic person on a screen showing any anomalies that would indicate hidden weapons or contraband. The software would be installed on the scanners that are already installed at airports and no new equipment would be needed. The idea is not new. TSA Administrator John Pistole said last year that the agency had long been testing the software but that it had created too many false alarms during early trials. A TSA spokesman says that some of the false-alarm problems have now been resolved in government labs."
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Crime

+ - AT&T Sued for Systematic iPhone Overbilling

Submitted by Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes "UPI reports that AT&T is facing a lawsuit that says AT&T routinely bills for 7 percent to 14 percent more data transactions than normally takes place that could blossom into a costly class-action case. Court papers claim that attorneys set up a test account for an iPhone, then closed all of its apps and left the device unused for 10 days. AT&T still billed the account for 2,292 KB of usage. "A significant portion of the data revenues were inflated by AT&T's rigged billing system for data transactions," say court papers filed on behalf of AT&T customer Patrick Hendricks. "This is like the rigged gas pump charging you when you never even pulled your car into the station." Attorneys say they would file to have the case moved to class-action status, which makes the outcome relevant to all of AT&T's iPhone accounts."
The Courts

ACS: Law Withdraws Pursuing Illegal File-Sharers 105

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sad-about-that dept.
Necroloth writes "As mentioned previously on Slashdot, ACS: Law has been sending out letters to thousands of alleged file-sharers on behalf on its client, MediaCAT. However, solicitor Andrew Crossley has now ceased all work on such cases, citing criminal attacks and death threats. Judge Birss doesn't seem to be taken by this, and comments, 'I am getting the impression with every twist and turn since I started looking at these cases that there is a desire to avoid any judicial scrutiny.' Judge Birss is expected to deliver his judgment on the case later in the week... perhaps all is not lost in the British judicial system."
The Internet

Rushkoff Proposes We Fork the Internet 487

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the left-or-right dept.
Shareable writes "Douglas Rushkoff: 'The moment the "net neutrality" debate began was the moment the net neutrality debate was lost. For once the fate of a network — its fairness, its rule set, its capacity for social or economic reformation — is in the hands of policymakers and the corporations funding them — that network loses its power to effect change. The mere fact that lawmakers and lobbyists now control the future of the net should be enough to turn us elsewhere.' And he goes on to suggest citizens fork the Internet & makes a call for ideas how to do that."
Earth

African Villages Glow With Renewable Energy 172

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-need-no-steenkin'-grid dept.
Peace Corps Online writes "The NY Times reports that as small-scale renewable energy becomes cheaper, more reliable and more efficient, it is providing the first drops of modern power to people who live far from slow-growing electricity grids and fuel pipelines in developing countries playing an epic, transformative role. With the advent of cheap solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights, which can light a room with just 4 watts of power instead of 60, these small solar systems now deliver useful electricity at a price that even the poor can afford. 'You're seeing herders in Inner Mongolia with solar cells on top of their yurts,' says energy adviser Dana Younger. In addition to small solar projects, renewable energy technologies designed for the poor include simple subterranean biogas chambers that make fuel and electricity from the manure of a few cows, and 'mini' hydroelectric dams that can harness the power of a local river for an entire village. 'It's a phenomenon that's sweeping the world; a huge number of these systems are being installed,' says Younger."
Image

Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the fair-balanced-and-simple dept.
A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!
The Military

+ - Devil Dogs use Solar Power in Afghanistan

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "US Marines, long known as innovators, are using cutting-edge energy technology that promises to make them leaner, meaner and a whole lot greener as the NY Times reports that in Afghanistan, with enemy fighters increasingly attacking American fuel supply convoys crossing the Khyber Pass from Pakistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels. “Fossil fuel is the No. 1 thing we import to Afghanistan,” says Ray Mabus, the Navy secretary, “and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.” The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, bringing portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment replacing diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment. The new goal of the Devil Dogs is to make the more peripheral sites sustain themselves with the kind of renewable technology carried by Company I, since solar electricity can be generated right on the battlefield. The renewable technology that will power Company I costs about $50,000 to $70,000; a single diesel generator costs several thousand dollars. But when it costs hundreds of dollars to get each gallon of traditional fuel to base camps in Afghanistan, the investment is quickly defrayed. “It’s going to make Marines more lethal because they will be able to move from one place to the other without having to wait for a logistics convoy to follow them around on the battlefield,” says Capt. Adorjan Ferenczy, an engineer officer at the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab."
Networking

+ - Research aims to ease large-scale network control->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Simplifying large scale network environments is a complex task but one that a number of researchers and vendors are trying to undertake. This week researchers from Google, Nicira Networks and NEC under the guise of the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at UC Berkeley will present a research project at this week's USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation they are working on that they say will simplify network control and management implementations."
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