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+ - Apple&Friends sued for *not* using DRM

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "By way of the engadget blog, there is this hilarious story:

Instead of suing companies for infringing on its patents, like all the cool kids are doing, Media Rights Technologies has sent cease and desist letters to Apple, Microsoft, RealNetworks and Adobe for "actively avoiding" the use of its technology. According to MRT, the DMCA's language on copyright protection circumvention — defined as "to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner." — requires those companies to use its product, since its X1 SeCure Recording Control technology has been proven to plug the "digital hole," and therefore allows them to uphold the DMCA. "We've given these four companies 10 days to talk to us and work out a solution, or we will go into federal court and file action and seek an injunction to remove the infringing products from the marketplace," says CEO Hank Risan. RealNetworks spokesman Matt Graves calls the letters "a rather novel approach to business development," and lawyers are calling the effort "out there" and "a play for publicity." We call it a riot, and while it's not likely to go far — not even the far-reaching and vaguely worded DMCA is likely to hold this one up for long — we're at least grateful to MRT for mixing things up a bit in the boring old tech lawsuit game.

I'm starting to get the feeling the DMCA may have some slight flaws...."
Security

+ - PC with sensitive files on minors sold on ebay

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "The BBC is running a story about a PC sold on ebay with thousands of sensitive files concerning vulnarable minors.

from the article:"Sensitive case notes on vulnerable children in Essex have been found on a computer sold on eBay's auction site.

Reports and details about fostering and adoption were found among 1,000 files on a £1.70 computer previously owned by Southend Borough Council.

The buyer, from Staines, Middlesex, has asked to remain anonymous but told the BBC it was a serious lapse of security.

Thats an understatement if I ever heard one....."
Google

+ - Apple, Google join forces for 'ultimate phone'

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "The Register has the scoop on a collaboration between Apple and Google on a new phone:

Apple and Google have abandoned their individual mobile phone projects for a joint venture, The Register has learned.

Apple will mothball its iPhone, announced in January, in favour of a new device that serves as a platform for Google's contextual advertising business.

Work on the project, codenamed "ID", began shortly after Google CEO Eric Schmidt joined Apple's board of directors last August. Sneak pictures of the device, below, show the fruits of the joint venture. It's now possible to see how the iPhone was merely an early concept prototype for the ideas the two companies were developing.

In keeping with the iPod tradition, the "ID" has no power switch. In fact, there are no buttons at all. More surprisingly, Jonathan Ives' industrial design means there's no room for a SIM card, or any embedded cellullar radio circuitry.

As a consequence, the "ID" is incapable of making or receiving telephone calls — but Apple says this is a feature most of its target market won't miss.

"People said they wanted an iPhone above all, to make a statement about themselves," an Apple engineering source told us. "Let's face it, they don't like talking and most of them have no one to call anyway."

"When you take the 'Phone' from 'iPhone' you're left with er, 'I'," a senior Apple source told us. "So we've focussed on satisfying the I"."
Announcements

+ - Australia Outlaws Incandescent Lightbulb

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent ligtbulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard lightbulbs 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. (Article in Dutch). A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers. What do other slashdotters think? Is this a move in the right direction? Will this boost the development of better fluorescent bulbs? Improve the design and lower the costs of LED lightbulbs? Will this plan make a big difference to the environment at all?"
Announcements

+ - AACS Processing Key discovered, HD DRM is toast.

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "The nice folks over at doom9 really don't like DRM. After the discovery of the individual title keys used for AACS "protection" a while back, and the subsequent release of a tool that makes it nice and simple for you to back up your (obviously legally purchased) HD-DVD or Blue-Ray discs, arnezami has found the processing keys — this key can be used to decrypt *all* titles as opposed to just a single title of which the key is known. His approach sounds actually pretty easy (but is probably a lot harder then it sounds):

what I wanted to do is "record" all changes in this part of memory during startup of the movie. Hopefully I would catch something insteresting. In the end I did something a little more effiecient: I used the hd dvd vuk extractor (thanks ape!) and adapted it to slow down the software player (while scanning its memory continously) and at the very moment the Media Key (which I now knew: my bottom-up approach really paid off here) was detected it halted the player. I then made a memdump with WinHex. I now had the feeling I had something.

And I did. Not suprisingly the very first C-value was a hit. I then checked if everyting was correct, asked for confirmation and here we are.

For me, the best part is imagining the insane amount of money the *IAA pumps into these braindead schemes to begin with.

Well done arnezami, beer's on me!"
Communications

+ - Inside the Lucasfilm datacenter

Submitted by
passthecrackpipe
passthecrackpipe writes "Where can you find a (rhetorical) 11.38 petabits per second bandwidth? It appears to be inside the Lucasfilm Datacenter. At least, that is the headline figure mentioned in this report on a tour of the datacenter. The story is a bit light on the down-and-dirty details, but mentions a 10 gig ethernet backbone (adding up the bandwidth of a load of network connections seems to be how they derived the 11.38 petabits p/s figure. In that case, I have a 45 gig network at home.) Power utilisation is a key differentiator when buying hardware, a "legacy" cycle of a couple of months, and 300TB of storage in a 10.000 square foot datacenter. To me, the story comes across as somewhat hyped up — "look at us, we have a large datacenter" kind of thing, "look how cool we are". Over the last couple of years, I have been in many datacenters, for banks, pharma and large enterprise to name a few, that have somewhat larger and more complex setups.

It used to be so that the the SFX industry had the largest, coolest, hottest technology around. Is this still the case?"

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