I was searching for "Counter Terrorism Act 2008 right to silence" when I first came across this, but after a split-second press of the print-screen key, I figured Google had borked majorly as every link on the SERP was flagged as malware (as was confirmed a second later when searching for "Google").
Why don't the British make computers?
I'll have you know a Brit, Charles Babbage, designed the first computer. Now, he may have never actually managed to get the thing built so it worked, but...oh never mind...
You do realise that the main reasons for adopting an electoral college system were practical? Specifically, that communicating the results, let alone running a single co-ordinated election, took a very long time (with only horses), and that the union was newly formed so the states still didn't trust each other or the federal goverment?
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In one of its 'ex parte' cases seeking the names and addresses of 'John Does,' this one targeting students at the University of Southern California, the RIAA obtained an order granting discovery — but with a wrinkle. The judge's order (PDF) specified that the information obtained could not be used for any purpose other than obtaining injunctions against the students. Apparently the RIAA lawyers have ignored, or failed to understand, that limitation, as an LA lawyer has reported that the RIAA is busy calling up the USC students and their families and demanding monetary settlements."
I don't see what is so draconian about terminating government employees who take personal data (that might be used for, say, ID theft) on citizens out of the building, no doubt committing a crime under data protection legislation in the process. After a few terminations, I'm sure they'd stop doing it. Governments tend to be way to lax with our data allowing their employees to repeatedly "mislay" it.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The US Supreme Court refused without comment the ACLU's appeal of a lower court ruling that prevented them from suing over the government's warrantless TSP program. The problem was a Catch-22: they lack legal 'standing' to sue over it because they can't prove that they were suspected terrorists, but neither can they find out who was actually suspected, because this is a matter of national security." Update: 02/20 00:17 GMT by KD : Removed an incorrect statement after a reader pointed out that, with the expiration of the Protect America Act this weekend, foreign surveillance will revert to oversight by the FISA court.
A number of readers suggest we check out Groklaw, where PJ is reporting that a bankruptcy judge has granted Novell's request to lift the stay so that its trial against SCO can proceed in Utah. The judge concluded that Judge Kimball is the best one to decide how much SCO owes Novell, and that SCO cannot make any "reorganization" plans — including any "fire sale" of assets — until it knows this figure.
bestweasel writes "The BBC reports that a UK Government department has lost discs with details of 15 million benefit recipients, including names, addresses, date of birth and bank accounts. The head of the department involved, HM Revenue & Customs, has resigned and his resignation 'was accepted because discs had been transported in breach of rules governing data protection' so someone thinks it's not a trivial matter. The Chancellor will try to evade responsibility in the House of Commons at 3.30 GMT. A similar leak of a 'mere' 15,000 records from the same department happened a month or so ago. At that time, they refused to say 'on security grounds' whether the information was encrypted." We just recently talked about Britain's consideration of legal penalties for situations like this. I imagine this incident will weigh on that decision.
Paolo DF writes "An Italian user asked for a refund after buying a Compaq computer that came with Windows XP and Works 8 pre-installed. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.' The court ruled in favor of the user (Google translation from the Italian), who received back €90 for XP and €50 for Works. Here is the ruling (PDF, Italian)."
kidcharles writes "Newsweek reports that a secretive lobbying campaign has been launched by telecommunications companies who are seeking retroactive immunity from private lawsuits over their cooperation with the NSA in the so-called 'terrorist surveillance program.' Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has claimed that lawsuits could 'bankrupt these companies.' The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over their cooperation in the domestic spying program. EFF legal director Cindy Cohen said of the lobbying campaign, 'They are trying to completely immunize this [the surveillance program] from any kind of judicial review. I find it a little shocking that Congress would participate in the covering up of what has been going on.'"
H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "The EU's highest court has today rejected Microsoft's appeal against the European Commission's anti-trust case. The decision is being celebrated by FSFE, who've worked on the case since 2001 supporting Samba. Microsoft was always going to have to publish some interoperability specs, and thanks to the work of FSFE and Samba, free software developers will not be blocked from using that information."
de la mettrie writes "The European Court of First Instance has denied Microsoft's appeal of an EU antitrust order to share communications code with rivals and sell a copy of Windows without Media Player. In upholding the $613 million fine, the court decided that European Commission did not err in finding Microsoft guilty of monopoly abuse. The judgment, accessible online on the court's website, can be appealed to the European Court of Justice within 2 months."
Tikka writes "Today I visited PC World (London, UK) because my 5-month-old laptop has developed a manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Anyone in the know will know that this is due to the joint inside, and it means that in time the screen will separate from the keyboard. Repair was refused, because I have Gentoo Linux on my laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided my warranty and there is nothing they will do for me. I spoke to a manager, who said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed. I feel this has really gone against my statutory rights and I will do everything I can to fight it. I will review comments for your advice."
jcatcw writes "Microsoft has just turned on Reduced Functionality mode, worldwide, and sent a letter to OEMs explaining the consequences of Vista piracy. These include a black screen after 1 hour of browsing, no start menu or task bar, and no desktop. Using fear as a motivator, the email warns resellers to 'make sure your customers always get genuine Windows Vista preinstalled.'"
Joe Elliot writes "Faced with a jury trial set to begin on October 1, the RIAA has filed a motion for summary adjudication of specific facts: that the RIAA owns the copyrights to the songs in a file-sharing case; that the registration is proper; and that the defendant wasn't authorized to copy or distribute the recordings. If the judge rules in their favor, Ars notes that it may turn into a Novell v SCO situation where the only thing left to be decided are the damages. There are some significant problems with the copyright registrations — they don't match up. 'Thomas argues that since she lacks the financial means to conduct a thorough examination of the ownership history (e.g., track the ownership of "Hysteria" from Mercury to UMG) for the songs she is accused of infringing the copyright to, her only opportunity to determine their true ownership is either via discovery or cross-examination at trial.' Ars also notes that the RIAA's biggest fear is of losing a case. 'A loss at trial would be catastrophic for the RIAA. It would give other defense attorneys a winning template while exposing the weaknesses of the RIAA's arguments. It would also prove costly from a financial standpoint, as the RIAA would have to foot the legal expenses for both itself and the defendant. Most of all, it would set an unwelcomed precedent: over 20,000 lawsuits filed and the RIAA loses the first one to go to a jury.'"