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Submission + - Hotels the industry leader in credit card theft. (

katarn writes: A study released this year found that 38 percent of the credit card hacking cases last year involved the hotel industry. At hotels with inadequate data security, the greatest amount of credit card information can be obtained using the most simplified methods. It doesn’t require brilliance on the part of the hacker. Most of the chronic security breaches in the hotel industry are the result of a failure to equip, or to properly store or transmit this kind of data, and that starts with the point-of-sale credit card swiping systems.
The Courts

Submission + - University Files Complaint against MediaSentry (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "MediaSentry's illegal investigation problems continue to mount, as Central Michigan University has now filed a complaint against it with Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth. This is at least the second such complaint in Michigan, the first having gotten the RIAA's unlicensed investigation firm into a pickle when its lawyer, responding to the accusations, made statements directly contradicting statements he'd made a month earlier in UMG v. Lindor. The 32-page complaint (PDF) cites to MediaSentry's problems in 8 other states, including the Massachusetts cease and desist letter, and cites to MediaSentry's own promotional materials and the RIAA's court papers as evidence of the illegal activity."

Submission + - Airports Checks of Your iPod for Pirated Music?

sugapablo writes: "Just when you thought lines at the airports couldn't get any more ridiculously long, is reporting that, "Music fans might soon have their iPods searched by customs officers at airport checks and face jail if a large amount of pirated music is found on them". Apparently Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith's office "has confirmed the [Australian] Government was a part of negotiations" to an international agreement that would do just that, search travelers' iPods and laptops for pirated music and suggests "criminal sanctions for infringements on a commercial scale". Question is, what's "commercial scale"?"
The Courts

Submission + - Tenise Barker Takes on RIAA Damages Theory (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Tenise Barker, the young social worker from the Bronx who took on the RIAA's 'making available' theory and won, has now launched a challenge to the constitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory. In her answer to the RIAA's amended complaint (PDF), she argues that recovering from 2,142 to 428,571 times the actual damages would be a violation of Due Process. She says that the Court could avoid having to find the statute unconstitutional by construing the RIAA's complaint as alleging a single copyright infringement — the use of an 'online media distribution system' — and limiting the total recovery to $750. In the alternative, she argues, if the Court feels it cannot avoid the question, it should simply limit the plaintiffs' damages to $3.50 per song file, since awarding more — against a single noncommercial user, for a single upload or download of an MP3 file for personal use — would be unconstitutional."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA "expert witness" exposed (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Prof. Johan Pouwelse of Delft University — one of the world's foremost experts on the science of P2P file sharing and the very same Prof. Pouwelse who stopped the RIAA's Netherlands counterpart in its tracks back in 2005 — has submitted an expert witness report characterizing the work of the RIAA's expert, Dr. Doug Jacobson, as "borderline incompetence". The report (pdf), filed in UMG v. Lindor, pointed out, among other things, that the steps needed to be taken in a copyright infringement investigation were not taken, that Jacobson's work lacked "in-depth analysis" and "proper scientific scrutiny", that Jacobson's reports were "factually erroneous", and that they were contradicted by his own deposition testimony. This is the first expert witness report of which we are aware since the Free Software Foundation announced that it would be coming to the aid of RIAA defendants."

Submission + - Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma

An anonymous reader writes: When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography. But when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, authorities were stymied by a password-protected encryption program.

Now Boucher is caught in a cyber-age quandary: The government wants him to give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files.

Read on at WashingtonPost

Submission + - Ford says they own the rights to pics of YOUR car

fist_187 writes: Ford Motor Company blocked the sale of a fan-made Ford Mustang calendar on cafepress, claiming copyright infringement. From the thread:

I got some more info from the folks at cafepress and according to them, a law firm representing Ford contacted them saying that our calendar pics (and our club's event logos — anything with one of our cars in it) infringes on Ford's trademarks which include the use of images of THEIR vehicles. Also, Ford claims that all the images, logos and designs OUR graphics team made for the BMC events using Danni are theirs as well. Funny, I thought Danni's title had my name on it ... and I thought you guys owned your cars ... and, well ... I'm not even going to get into how wrong and unfair I feel this whole thing is as I'd be typing for hours, but I wholeheartedly echo everything you guys have been saying all afternoon. I'm not letting this go un-addressed and I'll keep you guys posted as I get to work on this.

Submission + - Candidates Stump at Googleplex

Hugh Pickens writes: "It's easy to forget that this is YouTube's first presidential campaign but when Google CEO Eric Schmidt asked Barak Obama "How do you determine good ways of sorting one million 32-bit integers in two megabytes of RAM?" at a recent candidate forum at Google Headquarters and Obama was prepped to answer "A bubble sort is the wrong way to go," it showed just how important a pilgrimage to the Googleplex has become in this election cycle. Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain, Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Barak Obama have already gone to Google to sit exposed on the stage, without the protective lectern provided in a debate, answering questions for 45 to 60 minutes without the escape hatch of a timekeeper's buzzer. Among the seven visiting candidates, only Obama used his Google visit to announce details of policy proposals related to technology drawing attention to his plans for using technology to make government more accessible and transparent with, for example, live Internet feeds of all executive branch department and agency meetings. Though all of the candidate sessions at Google are available on YouTube, they are not YouTube-like: they require an investment of time that, by YouTube viewer standards, is inconceivable. A 43-minute video of Senator Clinton's Google session has been available since February and has drawn only about 54,000 "views," which count as soon as the video is begun but leave unknown the more interesting number: completed views."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Sues Usenet, Decries it as Napster, Kazaa ( 1

mytrip writes: "The Recording Industry Association of America is suing, decrying it as the next Napster, Kazaa and other peer-to-peer, illicit file-sharing sites.

"Defendant provides essentially the same functionality that P2P services such as Napster, Aimster, Grokster and Kazaa did (prior to being enjoined by the federal courts) — knowingly providing the site and facilities for users to upload and download copyrighted works — except that defendant goes further than even the P2P services to facilitate and encourage copyright infringement by its users," said the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. "Defendant customizes its service to make it as convenient and seamless as possible for subscribers to distribute and obtain copyrighted music without authorization and without paying for that music."

The suit, comes two weeks after the RIAA won its first pirating jury trial targeting an individual. A Duluth, Minnesota jury ordered Jammie Thomas to pay the RIAA $222,000 for pirating 24 songs on the Kazaa system in 2005."

Operating Systems

Submission + - Is Video RAM a good swap device?

sean4u writes: I use a 'lucky' (inexplicably still working) headless desktop PC to serve pages for a low-volume e-commerce site. I came across a page and this page that suggested the interesting possibility of using the Video RAM of the built-in video adapter as a swap device or RAM disk. The instructions worked a treat, but I'm curious as to how good a substitute this can be for swap space on disk. In my (amateurish) test, hdparm -t tells me the Video RAM block device is 3 times slower than the aging disk I currently use.
What performance do other slashdotters get? Is the poor performance report from hdparm a feature of the hardware, or the Memory Technology Device driver? What do slashdotters use to measure swap performance?

Submission + - Null Hypothesis | Magenta Ain't A Colour ( 1

jd writes: "Over on Null Hypothesis, there is a raging debate over whether magenta is (or is not) a colour. The article puts forward the view that as there is no such thing as monochromatic magenta, it is an optical illusion and not a colour at all. Needless to say, the geeks in the comments section being, well, geeks, virtually every point made in the piece is dissected, fried with garlic butter and in a few cases apparently fed to the trolls.

However, one thing does intrigue me about this whole argument. The eye has no way of seeing most colour directly — there are two or three (and in very rare cases four) distinct types of cone in the eye. Most of what we take as colour is simply the result of a bunch of numerical tricks in the brain as it tries to unscramble the limited data available to it.

My question is: If colour in a physical sense has no direct connection to the colour that we see, then does the colour that we see really exist at all?"


Submission + - Creative Labs release x-fi beta driver for linux

An anonymous reader writes: After years of waiting Creative Labs releases linux beta driver for X-FI audio cards. Some important notes are that the drivers are proprietary to Creative, only support 64-bit (at the moment) and cannot compile using gcc4 or higher. Has anybody been able to successfully install them? While browsing the web I can't help but notice that the installation process has it's problems (here, here, and here) and I have yet to discover success stories.

Submission + - Heinlein archives to go online (

RaymondRuptime writes: "Good news for fans of the late SF master Robert Heinlen, 2 months after his 100th birthday celebration. Per the San Jose Mercury News, "The entire contents of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Archive — housed in the UC-Santa Cruz Library's Special Collections since 1968 — have been scanned in an effort to preserve the contents digitally while making the collection easily available to both academics and the general public... The first collection released includes 106,000 pages, consisting of Heinlein's complete manuscripts — including files of all his published works, notes, research, early drafts and edits of manuscripts." You can skip the brief article and go straight to the archives."

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"