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Education

+ - Wis. Teacher Arrested for Blog Comment->

Submitted by
stoolpigeon
stoolpigeon writes "James Buss, a Milwaukee high school chemistry teacher was arrested for allegedly posting an anonymous comment online praising the Columbine shooters. Some were disturbed by the post police say James Buss left on a conservative blog, but other observers said it was a sarcastic attempt to discredit critics of education spending."
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The Courts

+ - US DOJ Defends RIAA's $9250-per-file verdict->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In what has been dubbed "the Bush administration's most blatant support of the commercial music industry yet", the United States Department of Justice has intervened in the Capitol v. Thomas case, on the side of the RIAA and against Ms. Thomas, filing a brief (pdf) which defends the constitutionality of the $9250-per-song-file jury verdict. The Government justified the award by arguing that the damages awarded "were not 'so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense or obviously unreasonable'", and that "it is impossible to calculate the damages caused by a single infringement, particularly for infringement that occurs over the internet"."
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Google

+ - Google Sued By Professor Over DB Architecture->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Google is recently under fire from a Northeastern Professor who has filed suit against the search giant for their use of what he claims is his intellectual property. The patent being disputed is a method to retrieve data from a database in a faster manner. Baclawski and Jarg Corp have a few patents pending and assigned to them. While there may be a number of patents possibly infringed by Google, the most likely candidate's abstract reads, "A distributed computer database system connected to a network, e.g., the Internet or on an intranet, indexes interests of agents that have registered with the system, examines information objects, for example, that reside on the network, and, responsive to a match with the registered agents' interests, specifies to the agents the relevant information objects." For those of you familiar with Google's server farms, their modified Linux kernel & their anticipated contributions to the MySQL source, this sounds very familiar to how their run their grand caching scheme to make their search engine so fast and beat out the competition. Might other search engines face this patent lawsuit by default? What other method is there to distributing your search across databases aside from using massive server farms with 'intelligent' agents on each machine swarming over data?"
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United States

+ - Judge rules against NSA wiretapping->

Submitted by
bl8n8r
bl8n8r writes "The Bush administration's attempts to change US wiretapping laws has apparently been biotchslapped in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) secret court. FTFA: "Mike McConnell this spring began urging Congress to pass an emergency "fix" that would clarify and specifically grant the NSA authority to tap switches based in the United States without review by the FISA court". There has been, for some reason, a push within the Republican circle to persuade congress to rush through an expanded evesdropping measure before August recess (end of the week). So, how does this affect the elephant-in-the-living-room at the San Francisco switching center. in downtown USA?"
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Security

+ - teacher porn case

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Making sure what happened to Julie...doesn't happen again For me, the Julie Amero case was always about two things: 1. Seeing Julie go free. 2. Helping to make sure it didn't happen to others. (1) above is in progress. The judge has accepted the defense's motion for a new trial and now it's largely a waiting game. But there are many others who are in the same boat as Julie. Witness Matthew Bandy, the 16 year old, who went through a fairly controversial ordeal involving alleged malware infestations and child porn. Or the wife of a teacher who contacted me, who has spent practically all of the family's life savings in defense of her husband from apparently spurious computer "porn" charges — when it seems entirely evident that porn was downloaded on a classroom computer by one of the students. The problem is big. And it's not just schools. It's in business as well. How many people are never charged but quietly fired? Now, a lot can be solved with education: How many of you working for corporations have been to mandatory sexual harassment training every year? But how many of you have been to a company security training? (Answer: almost nobody gets security training). Consider it — a simple one or two hour training, with a nice video that explains the basics of security. IT departments layer on defense after defense, but because so much of the problem is social engineering, you have to teach the users. How many systems are infected because of people going to a website in a fake email? Or a bored salesman on the road, downloading some "harmless" porn on his laptop, only to have his system turn into a spam zombie, or worse — turning it into a warez server, serving child porn and pirated software? Or the administrative assistant who just wants to download some "cute screensavers"... Or the CEO who opens up an email attachment that turns out is loaded with a targeted zero-day exploit, stealing highly sensitive confidential information? It doesn't even have to be something horribly nefarious. A system can be infected with a simple piece of adware which produces its own search results. Some of those search results can be bad. You get the picture. And since our schools have made the decision that porn is a dangerous problem (which I have no argument with), then educators all over the world are operating "dangerous" machinery — without sufficient operator education. In law, there is a real problem: Many people involved in this field understand little about about computers. Fear and ignorance combined with great power is a very dangerous thing. So with this in mind, the small group of people who have been crusading to free Julie have started a new effort: The Julie Group. This is a group dedicated to the following objectives: a) Help to educate people on computer security and computer forensics. b) Do what we can to help others in a similar predicament to Julie's. c) Work to remove bad laws, such as the one that Julie was charged with (risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child — Conn. Gen. Stat. 53-21, which if you read it, is so broad that almost anyone could be charged with it). So please join us — give us ideas, give us your comments. The Julie Group blog is at http://thejuliegroup.blogspot.com/. It's basic for now but we'll be fleshing it out over the next several weeks. Alex Eckelberry"
Portables

+ - Is Nano-Generation the Solution to Battery Life?->

Submitted by
Matthew Sparkes
Matthew Sparkes writes "Nano-generation is the practice of equipping devices with the means to power themselves; wind-up radios, solar powered cell phone chargers, etc. Could it be the solution to two problems? Firstly you wouldn't have to charge up all your different devices everyday and they would never run out on you, and secondly they would reduce our energy consumption and be good for the environment. "Consider this: mobile phone chargers are responsible for a quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 in the UK every year. Now consider the fact that all it would take to wipe out these emissions would be the introduction of a small photovoltaic device to replace each charger.""
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Software

+ - Wiki-based site compares open & closed softwar

Submitted by lisah
lisah (987921) writes "When comparison shopping for software, most sites let you adjust a small number of variables while you search: free vs. commercial, hosted vs. downloadable, Windows vs. Mac Vs. Linux. ITerating, a new site launching this week, lets you customize your software searches in greater detail than other sites to include price, license, vendor and more. The wiki-based Web site also encourages developers to add their own software to the database where users can review it, comment on it, and even vote it up or down Digg-style."
The Courts

+ - Wiretap chage for video of traffic stop->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Brian D. Kelly didn't think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film.

Now he's worried about going to prison or being burdened with a criminal record.

Kelly, 18, of Carlisle, was arrested on a felony wiretapping charge, with a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison."

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Censorship

+ - Pirates protected in Sweden->

Submitted by mno
mno (666) writes "The Swedish Chambers Court (Kammarrätten) has ordered Antipiratbyrån, the Swedish version of MPA, to stop collecting IP-address of file sharers. Basically, the Swedish privacy law states that companies cannot collect personal information without your consent or proof of business relation. Since an IP-address can be used to uniquely identify a person, it is now considered as personal information. This is the second time that Antipiratbyrån lost this case. Most likely they will appeal to the highest instance, but it's uncertain if that appeal will be granted. The implications of this ruling is that the hunt for Swedish file sharers is effectively stopped. Since the Swedish privacy law is based on EU law, the whole of Europe was just granted a shimmer of hope for similar rulings. The article is in Swedish."
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PlayStation (Games)

+ - Church wants to censor shootout in Cathedral->

Submitted by
eggdeng
eggdeng writes "Church of England officials threatened legal action against Sony for using Manchester Cathedral as a backdrop for Resistance: Fall of Man. Apparently they are afraid that using a cathedral as a background for a shootout might give people ideas, especially in view of the rise in gun crimes in Manchester. How many masterpieces would they have to ban if they applied this principle across the board to film and literary works?"
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Privacy

+ - Google Engineer Response to Privacy Report->

Submitted by
* * Beatles-Beatles
* * Beatles-Beatles writes "http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/privacy-internationa l-loses-all-credibility/
Sigh. Google as a company takes privacy very seriously. I personally feel strongly about protecting our users' privacy. So I'm frustrated by a recent study that Privacy International did, and I want to know if I'm off-base in my reaction. I got back home from SMX and I'm surfing the web when I see this AP article entitled "Watchdog group slams Google on privacy":

So I surf over to Privacy International (PI) to read the actual report, and I have to be honest with you — it made me mad. But I try not to blog when I'm angry, so I decided to sleep on it. After sleeping on it, I'm still pretty frustrated with Privacy International's conclusions. Here's my take."

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Censorship

+ - Slashdot is filtered in Iran !

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "It is a while that slashdot is filtered in Iran and other interesting and scientific sites are becoming banned one after another .People in Iran are used to see their favorite sites banned without any logical reason . It seems that a robot which is sensitive to specific words is used to control the passing traffic without any human supervision and there are no places to complain about or no one is going to be responsible about it. The main purpose of censorship was said to be stopping people's access to pornographic and political sites , The number of dedicated hosts in European countries are increased which are just used for VPN connections. In Iran, people simply know how to tunnel using softwares like VTUND and OpenVPN and where to buy VPN accounts . What they are doing is hiding their head under snow and claiming nothing's going on."

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