Comment Re:Well at least they saved the children! (Score 5, Insightful) 790

The "success" here is completely insignificant in comparison to the huge costs to society. That you even feel the need to qualify your statement just shows that the artificial demonization of this material in order to justify a surveillance state has worked very well. It seems that by now people have completely forgotten that the actual problem is children getting hurt, not pictures of it or teenagers "sexting" each other. For all we know this person has a picture of a nude teenager, which does not even qualify as pornography in most countries. There is a reason this material does not get shown to the public. With the strong focus on digital material, the police gets easy "successes", and can justify any and all surveillance, but does not actually prevent any child from getting hurt. While it is difficult to get information (what a surprise), it seems that most acts of child abuse do not actually end up documented on the Internet and that commercial production is basically non-existent, as following money-trails is very, very easy.

At the same time, the police-state and the fascism that universally follows it get more and more established.

Comment Re:Others?? (Score 1) 790

I choose to remain optimistic that it does NOT happen all the time because they do not look at the contents of your email all the time. In other words, someone was diagnosing an algorithm (say, how to choose advertisements using the content of attached images), the images triggered the offensive filter, engineer took a look, and reported it.

Perhaps I am naive, but I simply think that Google does not do this frequently because I don't think they look at email frequently, or scan for naughty pics on purpose. As a sysadmin, I generally don't give a fuck what's in my user's email. I doubt they do either, except to advertise to it.

Comment Re:Good riddance (Score 5, Insightful) 790

They have an obligation to report child porn if they find it, but they don't have an obligation to look.

Actually, naive me was thinking that they have an obligation NOT TO LOOK.
I also have a storage room rental -- does that mean the owner is allowed to do random checks for stolen goods? Just in case?

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Journal Journal: Enterprise Content Management System

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Comment Terms of Service? (Score 0) 790

One would assume that Google has the right to make sure you're complying with their terms of service, and if in that (presumably automated) scan they find illegal activity, is it not their prerogative to report it to the authorities? On the flip side, is this much different from your leaving a stash of cocaine on the back seat when you take your car in for service? Do you expect that the mechanic wouldn't report it to the cops?

Comment Re:Amazing Technology (Score 1) 790


The Google rep said:

Since 2008, we’ve used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. ...

We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s certain 'information' that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it’s not available online—and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.

The U.S. Justice Department is almost certainly giving Google the MD5 tags of the images they have in their child pornography database and those of new images that are discovered by law enforcement, and Google is using them to identify such images in web pages they index and in the e-mails and report it to law enforcement. They do maintain one, you know.

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Journal Journal: Alfresco Alternative System

Process Street brought to you a video clip to give you a clear idea about the Alfresco document management system. You may have sometimes to check Process Street product details to get a better solution about the Alfresco document management system. Alfresco helps teams share, manage and retain cont (

Comment Re: Well at least they saved the children! (Score 4, Interesting) 790

I highly doubt this is as nefarious as it seems on the surface. Chances are google applies hashing to each image that passes through their servers in order to reduce duplication of stored files. Some files may have been flagged before as being child porn and they setup some alerting when new emailed images match this pre-existing hash... nothing worse than an AV signature match... Note: I'm just guessing here, but there is no way google has a team of people sitting there scanning every single email, it's all automated and we have already given express permission for google to do some content analysis on our emails, that is after all how they target advertising at us and turn a profit... gmail isn't free!

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Feed Google News Sci Tech: Brisbane woman leads NASA's search for life on Mars - Sydney Morning Herald (


Brisbane woman leads NASA's search for life on Mars
Sydney Morning Herald
An “extraordinarily brilliant” Brisbane woman – named one of the world's top 10 scientific minds in 2006 – is now leading NASA's search for life on Mars. Dr Abigail Allwood, 41 - formerly a Sommerville House student - is now a world-leading geologist and...
Incredible oxygen-generating instrument will accompany Mars 2020 roverThe Space Reporter
MIT to test making oxygen on MarsGizmag
Next Martian Rover Would Attempt To Make Oxygen On The Red PlanetCounsel & Heal
Dumb-Out-RIA Novosti
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Feed Google News Sci Tech: Apple and Beats introduce 'Pills' characters to Siri in first official ad - Appl (

Apple and Beats introduce 'Pills' characters to Siri in first official ad
Apple Insider
Apple subsidiary Beats on Friday uploaded a short 30-second spot to its Twitter account featuring two of its animated "Pill" creatures and the Siri virtual assistant, marking the first collaborative ad effort since Apple bought the audio company in May.

and more

Comment Re:New Improved XP 2.0 (Score 1) 336

This doesn't make sense: the legacy interfaces are the installed base for which Microsoft has a market in the first place. They are an aspect of the product that their customers like. Companies like Cigna or BofA or 21st Century or Disney are not in the business of having their employees change their computing habits every few years. So if the applications they are using do not require touchscreens, why force it on them? The applications won't have any use for Metro unless there is something about touch screens that they can use. For instance, ATMs, which would do fine w/ a Metro interface to the OS.

I agree that upstream, since Intel is changing the architecture of their CPUs, Microsoft needs to do something that makes it a good idea, say, for someone to prefer a Core i3 to an Atom. But that's something Microsoft can do w/ the underlying architecture - like moving to a more microkernel like OS, having different 'personalities' on top of those, allowing multiple virtual desktops (like KDE) and so on. But at the user level, they should change as little as possible. It's not their job to disrupt the operations of their customers, or else, before they know it, they won't have any. Rather, design the OS and future versions of the applications so that they take advantages of the newer features. At the OS level, maybe, make VMs of previous models the default for people who have ancient CDs they just have to run.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Why did Iliad make $15 billion offer to T-Mobile? - Tech Times (

Tech Times

Why did Iliad make $15 billion offer to T-Mobile?
Tech Times
Iliad walks and talks as if it's serious about acquiring T-Mobile. It could be attempting to gain leverage back in France, but Iliad says it and T-Mobile have enough income to produce powerful synergies. (Photo : Mike Mozart | Creative Commons).
Iliad 'overly optimistic' on T-Mobile dealBDlive
Iliad may face tough battle cutting costs at T-MobileReuters Canada
Iliad's T-Mobile bid numbers don't add upTHE BUSINESS TIMES (subscription)
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Comment Re:Very disappointing. (Score 3, Informative) 93

Apple engaged in illegal activity, willfully so, and they rightfully should be slapped for it. But so did Amazon, yet they've been able to get away with it so far because the one's being hurt by them aren't the general public.

The author's guild has outright claimed that they think Amazon is breaching the Sherman Antitrust Act. Most people seem to forget that those laws apply to not just monopolies (when you're the only seller), but also to monopsonies (when you're the only buyer), and that the abusive monopsony Amazon has with regards to the publishers in this market is exactly what pushed the publishers into engaging in their own illegal activities. Which isn't to say that Apple or the publishers were justified in doing what they did because Amazon screwed them first. They weren't. Full stop. But that also doesn't mean that Amazon is justified in doing what it's been doing just because the publishers engaged in illegal activities too.

Negotiating hard is one thing, but they've held around 90% market share with eBooks for awhile now, and as virtually the only buyer in that space, Amazon has a responsibility to not abuse their monopsony, yet they have failed to do so at every turn. Anyone who Googles around for about 5 minutes can turn up a dozen examples of Amazon abusing their dominant position to force the publisher's hands. Delisting books right as major releases are about to come out, refusing to ship copies they have so that shipping times go from days to weeks, forcing the publishers to change packaging with minimal notice or else. These are all part and parcel in dealing with Amazon.

Apple deserves to be punished. Make no mistake about that. But Amazon has yet to get what it deserves, simply because it was smart enough to make sure that it hurt people no one feels sorry for.

Comment Re:Good riddance (Score 4, Insightful) 790

Yeah, I have absolutely no problem with this article. You don't want RandomCompany looking at your emails? Don't send your emails through RandomCompany servers.

Don't want your ISP looking at your emails? Encrypt your emails.

Don't have the ability to understand how to encrypt your emails and want someone to manage it for you because technology is all so hard but you still want to use it? Suck it up and learn, or pay someone to do it for you and stop whining about your own ignorance.

Comment Thanks again console chumps! (Score 1) 75

Thanks guys but would you fucking stop now? First you decide locked-in un-upgradeably consoles are cool. Then you decide DRM-laden games are cool.

Now you're going to make the industry think we all want to rent games ad-inifinitum. For fuck's sake STOP!!!

I sometimes like to play my games from 10 years ago. Will you be able to do that? FFS...

Comment Lets try this.... (Score 4, Insightful) 790

I have no idea if this guy did this or not (innocent until proven right?) It looks like he did, but consider the following . Registered sex offenders in most states have to register their email address. Sometimes even so much as providing the password.

With legal (or cracked) access to anyone's email account (sex offender or not) lets see how easy it is to plant evidence.

1. Access account, add a folder or label (preferably hidden buy being buried in default sort order or under another folder).
2. Set filter with obscure rule to automatically route certain emails to said folder.
3. Send "illicit" or "evidentiary" messages that match said filter. These can be sent from self or whatever generated entity seems appropriate.
4. Access account again from various public IP addresses (or from target's own wifi). Read already read email, plus messages in target folder.
5. Remove filter. Have Google 'find' the evidence. Arrest wrongdoer.

This is not that far fetched. The chain of evidence doe not prove that the target is guilty, but can be made to look enough like it to convince a judge or jury. From the vantage of Google or a jury, it looks as though the subject sent or had sent, expected, and read the messages.
Just about anyone here could do this with the creds to an account - which in most situations are not terribly hard to garner.
Before you say you would notice the folder in your account, think of this. I have over 100 folders in my email account, some rarely opened, and never all visible on the screen. I wouldn't have noticed - but I may have enough knowledge to fight - a little anyway. How about a novice, when a folder named 'Archived Messages' appears. Would he/she even think twice?

I did not RTFA, but I know google uses their image search algos for blocking known child porn sites. It is not a hard step to run that against email messages. How about when the NSA/CIA/FBI tells google (via a NSL) scan all messages for x terms. How about when said terms are sent to and from hacked accounts as a matter of course?

It is important to realize that absolutely no communication that is unencrypted is private, but how about whe forged open communications can make you a criminal?


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Comment Re:This is chilling (Score 2) 790

No, your email account password is the envelope. Nobody should be accessing your email account without either a warrant or you giving them the password.

Of course, emails can be read without your password by employees of the email provider who have access to the relevant servers. But your letters can also be easily opened by postal service employees who get their hands on your letters ... that doesn't mean you need to seal your letters in a titanium case welded shut (ie. the equivalent of strong encryption) to have a reasonable expectation of privacy and protection by the 4th amendment.

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Comment Chilling not just for scanning email... (Score 1) 790

This implies *much* more than the simple scanning of email and image recognition. After all, is Google also reporting innocent pictures people take of their babies in, e.g., the bathtub to send to daddy while he's in China on a business trip? Or is it more likely that Google knew the guy was a sex offender and targeted the scanning of his email specifically?

Comment Re:This is chilling (Score 4, Insightful) 790

There is no "accidental" here. They either are systematically scanning all email or they had (again) some system administrator looking at private email without authorization. That is extremely troubling. That they found somebody possessing illegal digital goods is besides the point. A police state is characterized by universal surveillance and the eradication of all privacy. Sure, in a police state, more people doing illegal things are caught initially (but only then), but that is in no way desirable at this huge price.

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Comment Re:Well at least they saved the children! (Score 2) 790

This is somewhat over-simplified but Google can also zero in on human faces in street view in order to slightly blur them. It's all automated. I think it has something to do with scanning for skin tone hues and corrosponding shapes. We recognize that an object we see is a human because of how they are put together: arms, legs, a torso, chest, head. Yes, all varying in sizes and hues but not by much. Parental control engines scan images for what they consider to have excessive skin tones, especially when those tones are interrupted with other skin tones that make up things like nipples, public hair, etc. It's quite sophisticated indeed, but when Facebook can do facial recognition, considering that Google can flag an image of something like a child with a dick in his mouth doesn't seem too far-fetched.


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Comment Re:Well at least they saved the children! (Score 4, Interesting) 790

Not checksumming or hashing. It's called "feature extraction". I know about it. I made a video about a little software I made based on OpenCV which is able to identify a picture I show it, through my webcam, among 20,000 pictures stored in my computer. It's the only video in my youtube channel that actually has views.
Anyway, once you have the features, you can analyze an image and see if it contains any part of any of the images in your database. It doesn't matter if it's slighlty blurred, partially covered, rotated, and it doesn't matter if it takes the whole screen or just a fraction. In my demo I show how my program recognizes Magic: The Gathering cards in my hand (which is much more difficult than recognizing poker cards).
Oh, and it does this at several matches per second on a Core 2 duo class machine.

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