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Encryption

Alan Turing Gets an Apology From Prime Minister Brown 576

Posted by timothy
from the mitigation-is-tricky-50-years-later dept.
99luftballon writes "The British government has officially apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing in the post war era. An online petition got more than enough signatures to force an official statement and Prime Minister Gordon Brown has issued a lengthy apology. 'Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better.'"
Education

Duke Demands Proof of Infringement From RIAA 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the bluff-called dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report at p2pnet, Duke University has told the RIAA that it will no longer forward the RIAA's 'early settlement' letters to its students unless the RIAA submits 'evidence that someone actually downloaded from that student,' and said that 'if the RIAA can't prove that actual illegal behavior occurred, then we're not going to comply.' While it is good news that a university is requiring the RIAA to put up or shut up, the forwarding — or not forwarding — of letters is pretty insignificant. What I want to know is this: 'When the RIAA comes knocking with its Star Chamber, ex parte, 'John Doe' litigation to get the students' identities, is the University going to go to bat for the students and fight the litigation on the ground that it's based on zero evidence, and on the ground that the students weren't given prior notice and an opportunity to be heard?' Over 1,000 infringement notices were sent to Duke students in the last year."
The Military

Northrop Grumman Markets Weaponized Laser System 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the hoping-for-a-bulk-discount dept.
stephencrane writes "Northrop Grumman is making available for sale the FIRESTRIKE weaponized laser system. The solid-state laser unit weighs over 400lbs, sends/receives instructions and data via an RJ-45 jack and can be synchronized with additional units to emit a 100 kW beam. It looks like some piece of stereophonic amplification equipment out of the '50s. Or Fallout 3. The press release suggests that FIRESTRIKE 'will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.'"
The Courts

RIAA Pays Tanya Andersen $107,951 312

Posted by kdawson
from the grinding-gears-as-it-goes-into-reverse dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Well, Phase I of the RIAA's misguided pursuit of an innocent, disabled Oregon woman, Atlantic v. Andersen, has finally drawn to a close, as the RIAA was forced to pay Ms. Andersen $107,951, representing the amount of her attorneys fee judgment plus interest. But as some have pointed out, reimbursement for legal fees doesn't compensate Ms. Andersen for the other damages she's sustained. And that's where Phase II comes in, Andersen v. Atlantic. There the shoe is on the other foot, and Tanya is one doing the hunting, as she pursues the record companies and their running dogs for malicious prosecution. Should be interesting."
The Courts

ISP Sued By Irish RIAA 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-wrong-here-no-sir dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "An ISP in Ireland has been sued by the Big Four record labels because its subscribers have engaged in P2P sharing of the record companies' song files. The record companies claim the ISP should be buying Audible Magic's CopySense, the software being peddled by the RIAA's expert witness, which supposedly would filter out copyright infringement. Of course, not everyone agrees."
The Courts

Marshall University Challenges RIAA 117

Posted by kdawson
from the mixed-results dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Marshall University, in Huntington, West Virginia, has become just the second US college or university to show the moxie to stand up for its students instead of instantly caving in to RIAA extortion. In February, Marshall, represented by the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia, made a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena for student identities, pointing out in exquisite detail in its long-time IT guy's affidavit (PDF) the impossibility of identifying copyright 'infringers' based on the RIAA's meager evidence. Unfortunately, the Magistrate — under the mistaken impression that the RIAA isn't going to sue the identified students, but merely wants to talk to them — recommended that the subpoena be okayed by the District Judge (PDF). It is not yet known whether Marshall will be filing objections. The first US college or university known to have attacked the RIAA's subpoena was the University of Oregon, which — also represented by its state's Attorney General — made a motion to quash last November, and even questioned the legality of the RIAA's methods. The Oregon motion is still pending."
Patents

Apple, Starbucks Sued Over Music Gift Cards 151

Posted by kdawson
from the you-can-brick-but-you-better-not-click dept.
Trintech writes "A Utah couple acting as their own attorneys have filed a lawsuit against Apple and Starbucks over the retailers' recent Song of the Day promotion, which offers Starbucks customers an iTunes gift card for a complimentary, pre-selected song download. In a seven-page formal complaint, James and Marguerite Driessen of Lindon, Utah say they developed in 2000, and were granted a patent in February 2006 for, an Internet merchandising utility dubbed RPOS (retail point of sale). The concept, which forms the heart of the infringement lawsuit, would allow gift cards for pre-defined items that can be sold at a brick-and-mortar store but used online; customers could redeem a card for a dining room set or a DVD, for example."
Microsoft

Library of Congress's $3M Deal With Microsoft 297

Posted by kdawson
from the just-haggling-over-the-price dept.
Cory Doctorow sounds the alarm over a Library of Congress deal with Microsoft that will have collections locked up in Silverlight. I'll double the Microsoft deal and offer them $6M in perl scripts and an infinite value of free OS software if they let me (or Google or any other honest company) publish their collections in free formats. "This deal involves the donation of 'technology, services and funding' (e.g., mostly not money) with a purported value of $3M from Microsoft to the Library of Congress. The Library, in turn, agrees to put kiosks running Vista in the library and to use Microsoft Silverlight to 'help power the library's new Web site, www.myloc.gov.'"
United States

The Century's Top Engineering Challenges 290

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-want-talking-fruit dept.
coondoggie writes "The National Science Foundation announced today 14 grand engineering challenges for the 21st century that, if met, would greatly improve how we live. The final choices fall into four themes that are essential for humanity to flourish — sustainability, health, reducing vulnerability, and joy of living. The committee did not attempt to include every important challenge, nor did it endorse particular approaches to meeting those selected. Rather than focusing on predictions or gee-whiz gadgets, the goal was to identify what needs to be done to help people and the planet thrive, the group said. A diverse committee of engineers and scientists — including Larry Page, Robert Langer, and Robert Socolow — came up with the list but did not rank the challenges. Rather, the National Academy of Engineering is offering the public an opportunity to vote on which one they think is most important."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Fails to Gain Approval for OOXML->

Submitted by
Andy Updegrove
Andy Updegrove writes "Microsoft's bid to gain approval for its OOXML specification in the first round of global voting has failed. I now have official confirmation of that fact, and expect to have final numbers soon. In the meantime, Microsoft has just issued a press release, putting the best spin it can on the results. That release is titled "Strong Global Support for Open XML as It Enters Final Phase of ISO Standards Process."The release focuses on the degree of participation (51 National Bodies), and level of "support" (74% of all qualified votes, without differentiating between P and O countries).It also refers to this level of support at "this preliminary stage of the process," and compares it "favorably" to the number of countries participating in the votes to consider ODF and PDF, but without mentioning percentage levels of support, which would include Observer as well as Participating member votes.The drama will now switch to the long run up to the February 25 — 29 Ballot Resolution Meeting, and to how much Microsoft will be willing to change in OOXML in order to convert a sufficient number of no votes to yeses, in order to finally gain approval, if it can, for its beleaguered specification."
Link to Original Source
Security

Controversial Security Paper Nixed From Black Hat 144

Posted by Zonk
from the keep-it-under-your-hat dept.
coondoggie writes us with a link to the Network World site, as he tends to do. Today he offers an article discussing the cancellation of a presentation which would have undermined chip-based security on PCs. Scheduled during the Black Hat USA 2007 event, the event's briefing promised to break the Trusted Computing Group's module, as well as Vista's Bitlocker. Live demos were to be included. The presenters pulled the event, and have no interest in discussing the subject any more. "[Presenters Nitin and Vipin Kumar's] promised exploit would be a chink in the armor of hardware-based system integrity that [trusted platform module] (TPM) is designed to ensure. TPM is also a key component of Trusted Computing Group's architecture for network access control (NAC). TPM would create a unique value or hash of all the steps of a computer's boot sequence that would represent the particular state of that machine, according to Steve Hanna, co-chair of TCG's NAC effort."
Science

Scientists Attempt To Calm Volcano 244

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-can-plug-anything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Since May 2006, a mud volcano in Indonesia has spewed out up to 126,000 cubic metres of mud a day, flooding an area of more than 4 square kilometres. This unprecedented natural disaster has become so bad that geophysicists now plan to enact an untested scheme to try and slow the flow: dropping concrete balls into the volcano."

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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