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Google

French Court Frowns On Autocomplete, Tells Google To Remove Searches 343

Posted by timothy
from the la-coste-has-an-esalligator dept.
New submitter Lexx Greatrex writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Google had been sued by insurance company Lyonnaise de Garantie, which was offended by search results including the word 'escroc,' meaning crook, according to a story posted Tuesday by the Courthouse News Service. 'Google had argued that it was not liable since the word, added under Google Suggest, was the result of an automatic algorithm and did not come from human thought,' the article states. 'A Paris court ruled against Google, however, pointing out that the search engine ignored requests to remove the offending word... In addition to the fine, Google must also remove the term from searches associated with Lyonnaise de Garantie.'"
Government

TSA Got Everything It Wanted For Christmas 338

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-to-hide-enjoy-the-massage dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "It looks like Congress' recent jabs at TSA were just posturing after all. Last Friday, President Obama signed a spending act passed by both houses of Congress. The act gives TSA a $7.85 billion budget increase for 2012 and includes funding for 12 additional multi-modal Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams and 140 new behavior detection officers. It even includes funding for 250 shiny new body scanners, which was originally cut from the funding bill last May."
Australia

Major Australian Retailer Accused of Selling Infected Hard Drives 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
skegg writes "Dick Smith, a major Australian electronics retailer, is being accused of regularly selling used hard drives as new. Particularly disturbing is the claim that at least one drive contained malware-infested pirated movies, causing the unlucky buyer significant data loss. Apparently the Fair Trading Commissioner will be conducting an investigation."
Data Storage

Hard Drive Makers Slash Warranties 445

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-don't-make-them-like-they-used-to dept.
Lucas123 writes "Both Seagate and Western Digital have reduced their hard drive warranties, in some cases from five years to one year. While Western Digital wouldn't explain why, it did say it has nothing to do with the flooding of its manufacturing plants in Thailand, which has dramatically impacted its ability to turn out drives. For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."
Medicine

Computer Virus Forces Hospital To Divert Ambulances 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the outbreak-at-the-hospital dept.
McGruber writes "The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper is reporting that a hospital with campuses in Lawrenceville and Duluth, Georgia turned ambulances away after the discovery of 'a system-wide computer virus that slowed patient registration and other operations.' They're only currently accepting patients with 'dire emergencies.' A spokeswoman for the hospital said the diversion happened because 'it's a trauma center and needs to be able to respond rapidly.' The situation began on Thursday afternoon and is expected to last through the weekend."
Patents

Apple Transfers Patents Through Shell Company To Sue All Phone Makers 422

Posted by Soulskill
from the hand-in-cookie-jar dept.
New submitter dell623 writes "A patent lawsuit (PDF) by patent licensing firm Digitude Innovations curiously targeted all mobile manufacturers except Apple. A TechCrunch story has revealed that the patents used were transferred from Apple via a shell company to DI, and appear to cover features found in virtually all smartphones. The lawsuit even extends to companies that don't make Android phones, like Nokia and RIM, and to Android OEMs that Apple have not directly sued yet, like Sony. The business model of DI clearly implies that Apple would benefit financially from the lawsuit as a company that contributed patents to DI's portfolio."
Android

Facebook Said To Be Developing Phone With HTC 78

Posted by timothy
from the hey-the-weasels-said-the-words-first dept.
ProbablyJoe writes "AllThingsD is running a series of stories this week about a possible new Facebook phone, codenamed 'Buffy.' The phone is said to be in development by HTC, who collaborated with Facebook earlier this year for the Salsa and ChaCha/Status phones, which both had physical Facebook buttons, and a degree of integration with the social network. While these rumors have been going around for quite a while, the article contains some new information, and neither Facebook or HTC are denying the rumors. The phone will be based on Android, but like Amazon's Kindle Fire, will be heavily modified to integrate with Facebook, potentially using Facebook's HTML5 platform. While we're unlikely to see any official announcements or releases any time soon, Facebook are eager to compete with Google and Apple, and are likely to want a phone of their own on shelves as soon as possible."
Mars

Russians Can't Make Contact With Busted Space Probe 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the expensive-fireworks dept.
New submitter benfrog writes "Despite repeated attempts over the past few days, Russia is unable to make contact with Phobos-Grunt, the probe that was supposed to make it to Mars and never left Earth's atmosphere. Estimates now vary widely on the time left to contact the probe, but it is descending toward Earth and will likely turn into scrap before it can be reached." Official information is still hard to come by, but the Planetary Society Weblog has been keeping up with the story.
Botnet

Most Sophisticated Rootkit Getting an Overhaul 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the evil-upgrades dept.
jfruhlinger writes "TDL4, a rootkit that helps build a powerful botnet, is pegged by security vendor ESET as one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware in the world. But its creators aren't resting on their laurels; they're rewriting some of the code from the ground up to make it difficult for antimalware to detect it, creating a hidden boot partition that guarantees malware code will be loaded even before the operating system is. It's part of a plan to turn TDL4 into a turnkey product that can be sold to other criminal operations."
Government

German Surveillance Trojan Spies On Fifteen Apps 69

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the father-knows-best dept.
itwbennett writes "Researchers from Kaspersky Lab have discovered that the R2D2 surveillance Trojan, which is used by German law enforcement to intercept Internet phone calls, is capable of monitoring traffic from popular browsers and instant messaging applications. 'Amongst the new things we found in there are two rather interesting ones: Firstly, this version is not only capable of running on 32 bit systems; it also includes support for 64 bit versions of Windows,' said Tillmann Werner, a security researcher with Kaspersky in Germany. 'Secondly, the list of target processes to monitor is longer than the one mentioned in the CCC report. The number of applications infected by the various components is 15 in total.'"
Cloud

Facebook Is Building Shadow Profiles of Non-Users 338

Posted by timothy
from the list-of-users-who-don't-exist dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As noted previously, Max Schrems of Europe Versus Facebook has filed numerous complaints about Facebook's data collection practices. One complaint that has failed to draw much scrutiny regards Facebook's creation of Shadow Profiles. 'This is done by different functions that encourage users to hand personal data of other users and non-users to Facebook... (e.g. synchronizing mobile phones, importing personal data from e-mail providers, importing personal information from instant messaging services, sending invitations to friends or saving search queries when users search for other people on facebook.com). This means that even if you don't use it, you may already have a profile on Facebook.'"
Patents

UN Bigwig: The Web Should Have Been Patented and Licensed 411

Posted by timothy
from the surely-he's-been-hypnotized-by-the-yes-men dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has unearthed an amazing video where the head of WIPO, the UN agency responsible for 'promoting' intellectual property, suggests that Tim Berners-Lee should have patented HTML and licensed it to all users. Amazingly this is done on camera and in front of the head of CERN and the Internet Society, who look on in disbelief."
Earth

IBM Seeks Patent On Retailer-Rigged Driving Routes 150

Posted by timothy
from the go-here-you'll-like-it dept.
theodp writes "On IBM's Smarter Planet, you may drive further than need be to get to your destination. Big Blue's pending patent for Determining Travel Routes by Using Fee-Based Location Preferences calls for the likes of Walmart, Starbucks, and Best Buy pay a fee in return for having your route calculation service de-optimize driving instructions to make you do a drive-by of their stores, and an additional fee if GPS tracking of your car indicates you actually took the suboptimal route. The same IBM inventors also have a patent pending for Environmental Stewardship Based on Driving Behavior, which calls for yet another fee to be assessed when a retailer-friendly-but-suboptimal route causes your vehicle to enter a congested area and produce more pollution."
Privacy

Borders Bust Means B&N May Get Your Shopping History 230

Posted by timothy
from the you-probably-should-have-anticipated-this dept.
coondoggie writes "To perhaps no one's surprise, Borders bookstore collected a ton of consumer information — such as personal data, including records of particular book and video sales — during its normal course of business. Such personal information Borders promised never to share without consumer consent. But now that the company is being sold off as part of its bankruptcy filing, all privacy promises are off. Reuters wrote this week that Barnes & Noble, which paid almost $14 million for Borders' intellectual assets (including customer information) at auction last week, said it should not have to comply with certain customer-privacy standards recommended by a third-party ombudsman."
Businesses

Casio Paying Microsoft To Use Linux 262

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-never-get-rid-of-the-dane dept.
theodp writes "Will Tux be a rainmaker for Microsoft? GeekWire reports that Microsoft has struck a deal with Casio to provide Casio's customers with coverage for their use of Linux in Casio devices. The agreement, which calls for Microsoft to receive payments of an undisclosed amount, is an implicit acknowledgment of Microsoft's longstanding claims that Linux violates its patents, an assertion that members of the open-source community have long disputed."

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