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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 3 accepted (16 total, 18.75% accepted)

Intel

+ - Rakshasa, the hardware backdoor on supposedly 230 Intel motherboards->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "Just what we need a virus that can't be detected or removed, and apparently, just about every Intel motherboard made is vulnerable. From the article: It’s the Information Age apocalypse: What if, no matter how hard you tried, every computer on the market — from PCs to smartphones to fridges to cars — came pre-loaded with an irremovable backdoor that allowed the government or other nefarious agents to snoop on your data, behavior, and communications?"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 'Everyone in US under virtual surveillance' - NSA whistleblower->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "So apparently the Federal spooks are saving every single email they can get their hands on. SMS and IM communications are likely stored as well. These aren't just suspected terrorists or criminals. They likely have records on all of us. Maybe we should start emailing fake bomb threats and drug deals to each other, just to piss 'em off."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Arizona Passes Sweeping Internet Censorship Law-> 3

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "It will be interesting to see how long this new law lasts until it's struck down in either the AZ courts or the US Supreme Court. I can't help but wonder just how the AZ legislature thinks this will pass Constitutional muster.
From the article:
"The law, which is being pushed under the guise of an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials, illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.""

Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Web Forms Service Shut Down Over User Content->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "This is truly frightening. An entire business is threatened, and the dominoes fall on many other businesses all because of some alleged illegal activity by a handful of their customers. Don't you just love how Big Government is looking out for... you?

Quote from the linked page:

"SOPA may not have passed, but what happened shows that it is already being practiced. All they have to do is to ask Godaddy to take a site down. We have 2 millions user generated forms. It is not possible for us to manually review all forms. This can happen to any web site that allows user generated content.""

Link to Original Source
Piracy

+ - You Will Never Kill Piracy->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "This is perhaps the best op-ed I've read about the whole SOPA/PIPA controversy. The author challenges Hollywood to re-think their entire business model. It will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears, for now. But sooner or later, they will have no choice but to adapt.

From the article:

"Now that the SOPA and PIPA fights have died down, and Hollywood prepares their next salvo against internet freedom with ACTA and PCIP, it’s worth pausing to consider how the war on piracy could actually be won.

It can’t, is the short answer, and one these companies do not want to hear as they put their fingers in their ears and start yelling.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Engineers invent laser-guided bullet-> 1

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "So who wants to be a marksman? The day may be approaching where anyone can pick up a gun, point and shoot, and hit a target with little to no training. Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target with a laser. An incredible engineering achievement, for sure."
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Censorship

+ - If you thought SOPA was bad, look what happened un->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever."
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Facebook

+ - Facebook Decides What You Want to See->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "So I fire up the Facebook page this morning to see they have changed the layout... AGAIN. Facebook has decided they know what I would consider a "Top Story" and has put all those posts to the top of my feed. Annoying as hell. Judging by the posts from many of my friends, they weren't impressed either.

It appears that Facebook has heard the outcry from the masses. This afternoon, it looks like they have changed it. Instead of them choosing what I consider a Top Story, I get to choose it. Now that's more like it.

From the article:
"“Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook,” wrote Mark Tonkelowitz, an engineering manager at Facebook, in a post on the company’s blog.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix's DVD business re-branded as Qwikster->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "In a PR move that is likely to be criticized as putting lipstick on a pig, Netflix re-brands it's DVD-by-mail business as "Qwikster". Personally, I prefer the a-la-carte pricing as I only use the streaming service for $7.99/mo.
From the CEO's blog:
"So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.""

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Obama Admin Creates Fake People on Web->

Submitted by
scottbomb
scottbomb writes "The next time you think personal blogs and web forum comments are the musings of real people, think twice:

The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues."

Link to Original Source

+ - RIM makes a rebound->

Submitted by scottbomb
scottbomb (1290580) writes "Contrary to popular myth, there are plenty of us who still love our Blackberrys. The proof is in the profits.

RIM said net profit jumped 45 percent in its third quarter, which ended on November 27. It said results were boosted by strong sales of its flagship Torch smartphone, a new product that combines a touch screen like Apple's iPhone with RIM's trademark mini keyboard. Analysts have worried that it could lose core business customers to Apple and Google, whose Android software is used by device makers including Motorola, Taiwan's HTC Corp and South Korea's Samsung.

"

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