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Submission + - Verisign trying to wheedle out of Open Access rule (

quarterbuck writes: "Verisign earlier this year won the Spectrum auction for 700Mhz transmissions while agreeing to provide open access to all users wanted to connect to its network. Professor Susan Crawford of University of Michigan/ Yale is saying that they are now saying No! to open access . Using a loophole in the rulebook, they are going to choke the access to non-verisign phones. Google had earlier promised a minimum bid of 4.6 billion just to keep the spectrum open ."

Submission + - Why Yahoo said no to Microsoft (

quarterbuck writes: "The New York Times has a great story that explains a bit of a background over the Yahoo-Microsoft No-deal. While Jerry Yang did not want to sell the company, it is likely that he could not have said No to Microsoft and explained it to shareholders without the help of Google. The article gives reasons behind Google throwing a lifeline to its biggest competitor and the "co-opetition" that has been going on between the two Stanford origin companies."

Submission + - Google recommends supporting censorship?

watzinaneihm writes: In a recent SEC filing, it appears that Google is recommending that the shareholders vote against a proposal by some shareholders that would have unilaterally condemned censorship. It is pretty strange given that Google owned youtube has become the unofficial Voice of Tibet and Google has expressed some regret that it has to censor itself in China.

Submission + - Vista Laptop Compromised in Hacking Contest

An anonymous reader writes: As was reported here on Slashdot, the MacBook Air was the first laptop to fall in the CanSecWest hacking contest. Well, it looks like in the final hours before the end of the contest, the Vista Laptop was also compromised. According to the TippingPoint blog, the laptop was exploited using a new vulnerability in Adobe Flash. Remaining at the very end of the contest unscathed was still the laptop running Ubuntu. Discuss!

Feed Techdirt: Craigslist Blamed Yet Again For Something It Didn't Do (

Weren't we just pointing out that everyone seems to want to blame Craigslist for things that it has no responsibility for? The latest is Connecticut's Attorney General, who has attacked Craigslist for allowing ads for prostitution. This is hardly a new charge. Last summer, the mayor of Atlanta lobbed similar charges at Craigslist. But, of course, just like that time, the blame is misplaced. Craigslist is the tool provider, not the content provider. To blame Craigslist isn't just wrong, when it comes to illegal acts like prostitution, it's downright backwards. Why? Because as some police have realized, Craigslist is actually a really useful tool for police to track down and arrest people breaking the law.

So not only is placing the blame on the wrong party, it's doing so in a way that would only drive the prostitution further underground, making it harder for the police (and the Attorney General's office) to do their job. How smart is that? But it sure does generate headlines... The Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, had this to say in a letter to Craigslist:

"I am astonished and appalled by Craigslist's refusal to recognize the reality of prostitution on its Web site -- despite advertisements containing graphic photographs and hourly rates, and widespread public reports of prostitutes using the site."
To which I can only reply: I am astonished and appalled by Richard Blumenthal's refusal to recognize the reality of liability and section 230 safe harbors -- despite it being the law of the land and widely known and discussed in legal circles.

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Submission + - China blocks YouTube over Tibet videos

Screaming Cactus writes: From the article:
"BEIJING — Internet users in China were blocked from seeing on Sunday after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared on the popular U.S. video Web site. The blocking added to the communist government's efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule."

Submission + - China blocks youtube

watzinaneihm writes: The great firewall of China got a little bit stronger today with a complete ban on youtube. There are suggestions that this might be due to the situation in Tibet, where separatists have been rebelling and tourist inflow is blocked.
Scarier still is the declaration of People's war by China.

Submission + - Newly discovered fungus threatens world wheat crop 5

RickRussellTX writes: "The UN reports that a variety of the rust fungus originally detected in Uganda in 1999 has already spread as far north as Iran, threatening wheat production across its range. The fungus infects wheat stems and affects 80% of wheat varieties, putting crops at risk and threatening the food sources for billions of people across central Asia. Although scientists believe they can develop resistant hybrids, the fungus is moving much faster than anticipated and resistant hybrids may still be years away.

Meanwhile, national governments in the path of the fungus are telling folks that there is nothing to worry about."

Family Guy Spins off Cleveland 250

E Online is reporting that a new spinoff is currently in the works to feature Cleveland, the soft-spoken neighbor in popular animated sitcom Family Guy. "Not much is known about Cleveland other than the fact it will revolve around the Brown clan. It's unclear whether the series will remain set in the town of Quahog or whether Cleveland, along with his wife and son, will continue to appear on Family Guy, though as both series are animated, the double-billing won't so much be a logistical problem as a creative decision."

Submission + - Youtube, Cable TV blocked in Pakistan

watzinaneihm writes: In a spread of censorship to newer countries, it appears that Pakistan has blocked access to youtube blaming it for spreading anti-islamic cartoons. It is also reported that Cable TV channels are being blocked.
Pakistan recently held elections and its results have been difficult for the ruling president and ex army chief.
It is not clear if the censorship is an isolated event or part of a larger crackdown on media

Submission + - Google says MSFT-Yahoo merger bad for internet 2

watzinaneihm writes: Google has, in a blog posting, called Yahoo-MSFT merger bad for the future of the internet. It is worried about the number of email and IM accounts this merged entity would control, while NY times has accused Google of a Microsoft fixation.
There is also speculation regarding whether Google in turn may raise a counterbid for Yahoo.
Operating Systems

Ubuntu Continues to Grab Market Share 427

slasher writes " discusses the future of Ubuntu and confirms Ubuntu's growing market share in the Linux market. Author Matt Hartley writes, "Now, for the biggest question: do high numbers mean that Ubuntu is the best distribution out there? Some will argue that this is an impossible point to make, as each person has different needs from their distribution. But for the sake of this article, we will be considering the average user, not the Slackware crowd, who is obviously much more comfortable within a command line environment than mainstream users."

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine