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Government

Obama To Launch Website For Tracking Tax Expenditures 358

internationalflights tips news that Barack Obama, in his first weekly address as President, has mentioned plans to set up a website for tracking "how and where we spend taxpayer dollars." Details about the website, Recovery.gov, are available within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF). The website "shall provide data on relevant economic, financial, grant, and contract information in user-friendly visual presentations to enhance public awareness of the use funds made available in this Act," and will also "provide a means for the public to give feedback on the performance of contracts awarded for purposes of carrying out this Act." The site itself currently contains a placeholder until the passage of the Act.
The Internet

Bittorrent To Cause Internet Meltdown 872

Gimble writes "Richard Bennett has an article at the Register claiming that a recent uTorrent decision to use UDP for file transfers to avoid ISP 'traffic management' restrictions will cause a meltdown of the internet reducing everybody's bandwidth to a quarter of their current value. Other folks have also expressed concern that this may not be the best thing for the internet."
The Courts

iPhone Antitrust and Computer Fraud Claims Upheld 273

LawWatcher writes "On October 1, 2008, a federal judge in California upheld a class action claiming that Apple and AT&T Mobility's five-year exclusive voice and data service provider agreement for the iPhone violates the anti-monopoly provisions of the antitrust laws. The court also ruled that Apple may have violated federal and California criminal computer fraud and abuse statutes by releasing version 1.1.1 of its iPhone operating software when Apple knew that doing so would damage or destroy some iPhones that had been 'unlocked' to enable use of a carrier other than AT&T."
Security

A Foolproof Way To End Bank Account Phishing? 436

tcd004 writes "F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen proposes an elegant solution to the problem of bank account phishing in the latest Foreign Policy magazine. Hypponen thinks banks should have exclusive use of a new top-level domain: .bank. 'Registering new domains under such a top-level domain could then be restricted to bona fide financial organizations. And the price for the domain wouldn't be just a few dollars: it could be something like $50,000 — making it prohibitively expensive to most copycats. Banks would love this. They would move their existing online banks under a more secure domain in no time."
The Internet

Apple, Opera, and Mozilla Push For HTML5 384

foo fighter writes "The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been slumbering the past several years: HTML was last updated in 1999, XHTML was last updated in 2002, and no one is taking seriously their largely incompatible work on 'next-generation' XHTML or 'modularized' XHTML. Both HTML and XHTML are in sorry need of removing deprecated items while being updated to reflect the current practices of web and browser developers and remaining compatible with legacy Recommendations. The much more open and transparent WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group), formed in 2004 to address this problem, and has been hard at work on developing a draft spec for HTML5 to update and replace legacy versions of both HTML and XHTML. The quality of this work has reached the point that Apple, Opera, and Mozilla have requested the adoption of HTML5 as the new 'W3C Recommendation' for Web development."
Science

Australia Outlaws Incandescent Light Bulb 944

passthecrackpipe writes "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent light bulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard light bulbs will no longer be available for sale in the shops in Australia (expect a roaring grey market) and everybody will be forced to switch to more energy efficient Fluorescent bulbs. In this move to try and curb emissions, the incandescent bulb — which converts the majority of used energy to heat rather then light — will be phased out. Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first. A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers."
Music

EMI May Sell Entire Collection as DRM-less MP3s 188

BobbyJo writes "According to the Chicago Sun-Times, EMI has been pitching the possibility of selling its entire music collection to the public in MP3 form ... without Digital Rights Management protections. According to the article, several other major music companies have considered this same route, but none as far as EMI. The reasons, of course, have nothing to do with taking a moral stand; EMI wants to compete with Apple. 'The London-based EMI is believed to have held talks with a wide range of online retailers that compete with Apple's iTunes. Those competing retailers include RealNetworks Inc., eMusic.com, MusicNet Inc. and Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks. People familiar with the matter cautioned that EMI could still abandon the proposed strategy before implementing it. A decision about whether to keep pursuing the idea could come as soon as today.'"
Spam

Catching Spam by Looking at Traffic, Not Content 265

AngryDad writes "HexView has proposed a method to deal with spam without scanning actual message bodies. The method is based solely on traffic analysis. They call it STP (Source Trust Prediction). A server, like a Real-time Spam Black list, collects SMTP session source and destination addresses from participating Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) and applies statistics to identify spam-like traffic patterns. A credibility score is returned to the MTA, so it can throttle down or drop possibly unwanted traffic. While I find it questionable, the method might be useful when combined with traditional keyword analysis." What do you think? Is this snake oil, or is there something to this?

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