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The Courts

Judge Berates Prosecutors In Xbox Modding Trial 285

mrbongo writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Opening statements in the first-of-its-kind Xbox 360 criminal hacking trial were delayed here Wednesday after a federal judge unleashed a 30-minute tirade at prosecutors in open court, saying he had 'serious concerns about the government's case.' ... Gutierrez slammed the prosecution over everything from alleged unlawful behavior by government witnesses, to proposed jury instructions harmful to the defense. When the verbal assault finally subsided, federal prosecutors asked for a recess to determine whether they would offer the defendant a deal, dismiss or move forward with the case that was slated to become the first jury trial of its type. A jury was seated Tuesday."

Submission + - Expedia: Bad security flaw with your CC details. (

thinkjones writes: "I was recently passing through Lawrence, Kansas, on a road trip and needed overnight accomodation. After browsing Expedia for two different hotels, The Eldrige Hotel, and The Hallmark Inn, I decided to book the Hallmark Inn as it was within budget. After surveying my bank statements I find that Expedia had booked all the hotels I had browsed, not just the ones I booked, without ever informing me. Analogy: This is akin to browsing for a new dvd player in Amazon, choosing only one and going through the booking process, where only one dvd is purchased. However on auditing your bank statement you have 10 CC transactions for different DVD players."

Submission + - A&P sues brothers over YouTube video 1

im_mac writes: Supermarket chain A&P has sued two brothers for $1million after they posted a parody entitled "Produce Paradise" on YouTube. The video "prompted at least one complaint by a 'disgusted and distressed' customer who said she will no longer shop at A&P thanks to the 'repulsive acts' in the video. Though how they knew it was A&P is questionable since the brothers took care not to feature any A&P logos or mention it in their lyrics. Trying to get $1million out of a couple of college students whose source of income was working at A&P until they were fired, might be rather difficult. More info is also posted on the pair's website: FakeLaugh, including their belief that the complaint that brought the video to the management's attention was prompted by some sort of personal vendetta.

Submission + - "Viacom hit me for infringing my own copyright ( 2

Chris Knight writes: "Long story short: I ran for school board where I live this past fall and created some TV commercials including this one with a "Star Wars" theme. A few months ago VH1 grabbed the commercial from YouTube and featured it in a segment of its show "Web Junk 2.0". Neither VH1 or its parent company Viacom told me they were doing this or asked my permission to use it, but I didn't mind it if they did. It was great to see the commercial was being enjoyed by a far wider audience than I'd expected. I was honored that they chose to use it and thought that Aries Spears's commentary about it was pretty hilarious, so I posted a clip of VH1's segment on YouTube so that I could put it on my blog. This morning I got an e-mail from YouTube saying that the video has been pulled because Viacom is claiming that I'm violating its copyright. Viacom used my video without permission on their commercial television show, and now says that I am infringing on THEIR copyright for showing the clip of the work that Viacom made in violation of my own copyright! Talk about chutzpah! Needless to say, I would like to fight this: not for any kind of monetary compensation, but just for the right to employ my own self-created material per Fair Use."

Submission + - School board unanimouly votes for censorship (

flathom writes: Students and teachers in the Merrill Area School District this year could face discipline at school for on-line communications that came from the privacy of their homes. Disciplinary action for students ranges from a warning to expulsion until the age of 21. Employees can be fired for violating district policy.

Submission + - US Government Confirms Illegal wiretapping Program (

uctechdude writes: National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell pulled the curtain back on previously classified details of government surveillance and of a secretive court whose recent rulings created new hurdles for the Bush administration as it tries to prevent terrorism.

Among the disclosures:
McConnell confirmed for the first time that the private sector assisted with President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. AT&T, Verizon and other telecommunications companies are being sued for their cooperation. "Now if you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies," McConnell said, arguing that they deserve immunity for their help.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.