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Censorship

British ISPs Respond On Filtering 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the defenders-of-the-porn dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK ISPs have responded to culture minister Ed Vaisey's comments regarding pervasive, opt-out only porn filtering, bringing up many of the technical and civil-liberties issues also raised on Slashdot. In response to the government proposal, Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, said: 'Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.' Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico, commented that 'Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff. You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.' Mr. Davies also feared that any wide-scale attempt to police pornographic content would soon be expanded to include pirated pop songs, films and TV shows. 'If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see,' he said."
Open Source

+ - Australian stats agency goes open source->

Submitted by jimboh2k
jimboh2k (1280298) writes "The Australian Bureau of Statistics will use the 2011 Census of Population and Housing as a dry run for XML-based open source standards DDI and SDMX in a bid to make for easier machine-to-machine data, allowing users to better search for and access census datasets. The census will become the first time the open standards are used by an Australian Federal Government agency."
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Patents

+ - Interval's Suit Against the World Dismissed->

Submitted by randall77
randall77 (1069956) writes "From Groklaw: Paul Allen's patent infringement complaint against the world and its dog has been dismissed.

Google said the complaint was too vague to meet the standard under Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009) and Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Then, after Interval Licensing brought up the lower patent form standard it thought should apply instead, AOL jumped in saying the complaint was too vague under even that standard, and the court agreed."

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The Military

+ - Navy tests Mach 8 Electromagnetic Railgun->

Submitted by hargrand
hargrand (1301911) writes "Wired magazine has a story and publicly released video of the Navy test firing of a 32 megajoule electromagnetic railgun.

Reporters were invited to watch the test at the Dalghren Naval Surface Warfare Center. A tangle of two-inch thick coaxial cables hooked up to stacks of refrigerator-sized capacitors took five minutes to power juice into a gun the size of a schoolbus built in a warehouse. With a 1.5-million-ampere spark of light and a boom audible in a room 50 feet away, the bullet left the gun at a speed of Mach 8.

"

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+ - Supreme Court refuses P2P "innocent sharing" case->

Submitted by yoyo81
yoyo81 (598597) writes "The supreme court has refused to hear an "innocent infringement case" in which Whitney Harper shared some music on the family computer when she was a teenager and was subsequently hit with a lawsuit from the RIAA. An appeals court overturned an earlier ruling from a federal court that reduced damages to $200 instead of the statutory $750 claiming "innocence" was no defense, especially since copyright notices appear on all phonorecords. She appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear her case, but Justice Alito stated, "This provision was adopted in 1988, well before digital music files became available on the Internet" and further, "I would grant review in this case because not many cases presenting this issue are likely to reach the Courts of Appeals." For now, though, Harper's verdict remains in place: $750 for each of the 37 songs at issue, or $27,750."
Link to Original Source

+ - Customs and TSA Raid RapGodFathers Hosting Site->

Submitted by mbone
mbone (558574) writes "The Torrentfreak site is reporting that DHS and ICE (i.e., Customs) agents arrived at a Dallas datacenter Tuesday with orders to take down the 146,500 member RapGodFathers site (RGF). Equipment was seized, and they report that their domain name is being blocked and is likely to be taken as well. The RGF admins say that the site has no content itself, just links to other sites, and that they always respect DMCA takedown notices. RGF reports on their twitter account (@rapgodfather) that they are looking for "for more offshore hosting to support RapGodFathers."

If the facts are as reported, there are a number of troubling issues about this, not the least of which is why US Customs troubles itself with link-sharing sites in Dallas, far from any US borders."

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The Almighty Buck

+ - Every Day's a Tax Holiday at Amazon

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "With Black Friday approaching, Slate's Farhad Manjoo reminds readers of how Amazon.com undersells Best Buy, the Apple store, and almost everybody else. Read his lips: no sales taxes. Unless you live in KS, KY, NY, ND, or WA, you'll pay no sales tax on many purchases from Amazon, giving Amazon a huge — and largely hidden — price advantage over most other national retailers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is certainly no fan of taxes — he explored founding Amazon on an Indian reservation, and recently ponied up $100,000 to defeat a proposed WA state income tax, a good investment for someone who's cashed in close to $800,000,000 in Amazon stock this year alone. So, is Amazon's tax-free status unfair? Of course it is, says Manjoo. Amazon has physical operations in 17 states in which the company and its employees enjoy the fruits of local taxes — police and fire protection, roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure that make its operations possible. Yet Amazon skirts tax collection in most of these places through clever legal tricks."
Games

+ - Desert Bus for Hope->

Submitted by MZeora
MZeora (1707054) writes "What is Desert Bus for Hope? We are a charity fundraiser for Child’s Play. We raise money by playing the world’s worst video game, Desert Bus, in exchange for donations. The more money raised, the longer we play. That said, it would be pretty boring just to watch a bunch of people play the world’s worst video game. That’s why we have contests, live auctions, silent auctions, incredible prizes and a complete lack of self respect. We’ll also be accepting challenges to do all manner of silly things (Songs, Dances, Poems, Readings, etc) in exchange for donations."
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United Kingdom

+ - ACS Law keeps lion's share of copyright cash ->

Submitted by Stoobalou
Stoobalou (1774024) writes "Controversial copyright-chasing law firm ACS Law keeps more of the cash it rakes in from speculative invoicing than it gives to the copyright holders it purports to protect.

According to research carried out by the Guardian, Andrew Crossley's one-man crusade against file-sharing — which sees many innocent broadband users accused of illegally downloading hard-core porn, applications and music, based on shaky 'evidence' provided through ISPs — nets more money for Crossley himself than for the owners of the files in question."

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Patents

+ - Who's Suing Whom - Updated->

Submitted by Kilrah_il
Kilrah_il (1692978) writes "Yesterday we had a story about a diagram showing the various law suit in the Hi Tech business. Although informative, the diagram had a few flaws from a visibility standpoint. Well, you can count on David McCandless from Information is Beautiful to rework the image into something more... beautiful. This version shows also whether the company is profiting or losing, and how much and what the law suits are about."
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft spreads FUD about Android->

Submitted by Galestar
Galestar (1473827) writes "Google's open source Android operating system is not as free as it seems, Microsoft argues, because it infringes a number of patents. When asked whether open source models created problems for vendors with licensed software, the software giant went on the offensive. "It does infringe on a bunch of patents, and there's a cost associated with that," Tivanka Ellawala, Microsoft financial officer told MarketWatch. "So there's a... cost associated with Android that doesn't make it free.""
Link to Original Source
Open Source

+ - Is Twitter screwing over open-source developers?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "A developer of a small open-source Twitter client has posted a vicious critique of Twitter's new OAuth authentication scheme, alleging that they are making life difficult for small and open-source developers, while applying double standards to themselves and their large corporate partners. He even describes a back-door in Twitter's API that allows Twitter's own applications to bypass the requirements Twitter places on other developers. Have other open-source Twitter developers had similar problems, or is he just venting because he doesn't want to follow Twitter's rules?"

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