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Communications

Brazilian Pirates Hijack US Military Satellites 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
blantonl writes "Brazilians all over the country are using modified amateur radio equipment to communicate with each other using US Military communications satellites — effectively creating their own CB radio network on the backs of the US Military. Recent efforts to crack down have resulted in arrests of some of the users, however the behavior still continues today."
Businesses

China Aims To Move Up the Food Chain 257

Posted by kdawson
from the empty-the-cage-and-remove-the-bird dept.
krou notes reporting in the Christian Science Monitor that the current economic crisis is helping China's push into higher-end manufacturing by shaking out low-profit companies. The hope is that, instead of just assembling iPods, Chinese companies will be able to invent the next big thing instead. In this move China is following the well-worn path taken by Japan and the Asian tigers before it. "Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission announced revised plans to transform Guangdong and neighboring Hong Kong and Macau into a 'significant innovation center' by 2020. One hundred R&D labs will be set up over the next three years. By 2012, per-capita output in the region should jump 50 percent from 2007, to 80,000 yuan ($11,700). And by 2020, the study predicts, 30 percent of all industrial output should come from high-tech manufacturing."
The Courts

Mozilla To Join EU Suit Against Microsoft 422

Posted by timothy
from the judges-make-the-best-software-decisions-of-all dept.
CWmike writes "The European Commission (EC) has granted Mozilla the right to join its antitrust case against Microsoft, a spokesman said Monday. If the charges stick, Microsoft could be forced to change the way it distributes IE, as well as pay a fine for monopoly abuse. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's chairperson, said in a blog over the weekend that there isn't 'the single smallest iota of doubt' that Microsoft's tying of IE to Windows 'harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.'"
The Internet

+ - Full "Operating Thetan" documents leaked

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks has received a copy of the Church of Scientology's full, unabridged "Operating Thetan" documents, including "Operating Theten Level 8" and "Clear." These documents were written on a typewriter and include none other than L. Ron Hubbard's handwritten notes in the margins. Previously leaked OT documents were missing sections and didn't include the marginalia. Furthermore, at

[t]he final level, 'OT8', you are to "have full certainty and, therefore, perception on all" of your issues. According to Hubbard, the 'OT8' manuals are supposed to stay aboard the Free Winds Scientology ship which has heavy security because nothing is supposed to leave the ship. Despite that, Hubbard himself claims to have smuggled out his own 'OT8' instructions for the "elite" Scientologists. "I am breaking security as I disagree that this should only be released to an elite in Scientology. I do, however, ask it not be released to psyches or 'squirrels' or anyone who will break the Independent Security Network and allow it to get back to the Church of Scientology. It would be best if they do not find out that we have it. Please treat this data responsibly. It is the key to the only truth possible," said Hubbard in regards to his 'OT8' instructions.
"
Earth

+ - Sand dollars clone themselves when threatened ->

Submitted by
Jeff
Jeff writes "A graduate student has discovered that sand dollars have a surprising survival strategy: cloning themselves when threatened by predators. Similarly, Komodo dragons living under harsh conditions clone themselves in what seem like virgin births also known as parthenogenesis. So why are males needed? 'With virgin birth, hatchlings are simply genetic duplicates of the mother. In a world of clones, there would not be enough variation for populations to adapt. Virgin birth, then, is a great stopgap measure to ensure the survival of a species, but works against it in the long haul.'"
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Idle

Build Your Own Neighborhood Vigilante 2

Posted by samzenpus
While an old meat smoker atop a three-wheel scooter covered in impact-resistant rubber with attached spotlight, infrared camera, loudspeaker and water cannon, may not be Iron Mans new sidekick, it is working for one neighborhood in Atlanta. Rufus Terrill, a bar owner, got sick of the drug dealers, petty thieves and vandals around his downtown location so he built the 4-foot-tall, 300 pound device to fight crime. The robot crime stopper looks imposing but Rufus says that it is quite harmless and that every criminal is given 20 seconds to comply.
Privacy

+ - FBI to Create Huge Biometrics Database

Submitted by
Burn_This_City
Burn_This_City writes "The FBI is at it again, setting off privacy alarms everywhere. They are gearing up to create a huge biometrics database that will store fingerprints, mug shots, palm prints, eye scans, even tattoo and scar mapping data, with some researchers hoping to add the way a person walks to the list ways to identify people. Image collection on palm prints, tattoos and scars has already begun and the data is being stored on computers in a facility 30 feet underground until technology to utilize the data is complete. The assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division also left the door open to more biometrics being added to the database stating, "Whatever the biometric that comes down the road, we need to be able to plug that in and play.""

Techdirt: JPG Patent Holder Goes For The Sympathy Vote->

From feed by techdirtfeed
Back during the RIM-NTP patent battle, one of the sleazier moves pulled by NTP was to have the widow of the patent holder write a letter to Congress about what a "gross injustice" was being done to her in the case. It was purely an attempt to influence the case for sympathetic rather than legal reasons. There are plenty of folks out there who have bogus patents -- and there's no reason to grant them rewards just because they've had some personal hardships. However, it looks like Global Patent Holdings (GPH) is taking this strategy to a new level. GPH, if you don't recall, holds the extremely questionable JPEG patent that has basically been used to bully people that patent attorney Ray Niro doesn't like. The Troll Tracker notes some interesting language used in a recent filing against a resort in Boca Raton.

In the filing, the lawyers play up the fact that the inventors named on the patent made very little money in 2006 and have some health problems (actually, it discusses one inventor and the other inventor's widow). In fact, it gets worse than that. In another filing, GPH points out that the inventors are old and "feeble". Again, it's not clear what the personal, health and financial problems of the inventors has to do with the validity of the patent or the claims of infringement. It seems to be purely an attempt to gain sympathy. Also, as someone in the comments on the Troll Tracker site notes, why focus on 2006, rather than 2007? The suggestion is that given how aggressively GPH has pushed to license the patent since last year, perhaps their income was substantially higher in 2007. Elsewhere, though, GPH notes that it owns the patents entirely, meaning that who the inventors are is somewhat meaningless -- but why let that stop the company from pushing for sympathy.

Either way, the filing then goes even further in pushing for the sympathy vote, noting that the resort in question is owned by a private equity firm in New York that was somehow loosely involved in the subprime loan crisis. Again, this obviously has nothing to do with whether or not the company is infringing on a patent by putting a JPEG image on its site -- but is being used to make the company look like a big bad evil giant. So, now the case is positioned as big multi-billion dollar subprime-mess-contributing NY-based private equity firm against poor, weak, sick inventors.

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Cellphones

+ - British cops spamming phones using Bluetooth

Submitted by Jumbo Jimbo
Jumbo Jimbo (828571) writes "Police in Southern England are driving around, spamming all the bluetooth enabled phones in the area to appeal for information after a murder. Using a stronger transmitter than a standard cellphone, they can reach a range of 100 metres (approx 330 feet).
The police force says "Bluetooth messaging is particularly good at reaching sections of the community that don't access traditional marketing campaigns, such as young people." Well, just those who haven't bothered to switch bluetooth off. Is encouraging unsolicited bluetooth messages really going to solve and prevent crime, or just annoy people?
Only a year ago slashdot reported on whether this sort of bluejacking should be banned."

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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