schwit1 writes: Cellphone companies are objecting to proposed California legislation that would force them to publicly report the number of times they turn over cellphone location information to police and federal agents, arguing that it’s too burdensome, and would take time away from the important work of sharing customer data with cops “day and night.”.
Hey, carriers, there are these things called computers that can automate this process. Maybe you should look into them instead of your knee-jerk reaction to whine.
At issue is California’s SB 1434, a bill that would prohibit carriers from turning over locational data to police without a warrant. That data can include when and where a phone was when it made or received calls; a phone’s whereabouts as it pings cellphone towers or, in the extreme case, a phone’s GPS history.
An anonymous reader writes: Changemakers: The Revolution Solution will take you on a guided world tour of sustainable living solutions. You will meet people like Aurora, Arcie, Simon, Austin and Dr Geiger who are demonstrating global living solutions that range from do it yourself backyard projects to cross-continental collaborations. Join us on this inspirational journey while we explore innovative solutions spanning three continents. Changemakers movie is a crowd-funded project.
kodiaktau writes: Scientists have recently concluded a study that ties brain freezes to migraines. During the study researchers monitored blood flow to the brain and noticed that the anterior cerebral artery dilation occurred to bring more blood flow to the brain, maintaining temperature in the temperature sensitive organ. When the blood is trying clear the brain it is restricted causing a pressure imbalance in the brain and thus temporary pain.
Researchers are now looking to see if similar issues occur in migraine sufferers and looking toward pharmaceuticals that might reduce or stop the dilation of the blood vessels to prevent or curb migraines.
harrymcc writes: "Rumor has it that Apple is working on an "iPhone Nano" — a low-cost new model. The thing is, the rumor of a budget model — often in a smaller size — is as old as the iPhone itself. Over at TIME, I rounded up a half-decade of reporting on this iPhone that has never come to be, but has never gone away."
astroengine writes: "The source of loud "booms" accompanied by a bright object traveling through the skies of Nevada and California on Sunday morning has been confirmed: it was a meteor. A big one. It is thought to have been a small asteroid that slammed into the atmosphere at a speed of 15 kilometers per second (33,500 mph), turning into a fireball, delivering an energy of 3.8 kilotons of TNT as it broke up over California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, classified it as a "big event." "I am not saying there was a 3.8 kiloton explosion on the ground in California," Cooke told Spaceweather.com. "I am saying that the meteor possessed this amount of energy before it broke apart in the atmosphere. (The map) shows the location of the atmospheric breakup, not impact with the ground." Interestingly, this event was bigger than asteroid 2008 TC3 that exploded over the skies of Sudan in 2008 after being detected before it hit."
itwbennett writes: "You know that streaming music over 3G draws a lot of smartphone energy. But inefficient CSS, image file choices, and geo-locating advertisements are hogging your battery in less overt ways, according to recent studies from Stanford and Purdue and Microsoft. Here's your shocking stat for the day: 70% of the energy suck from Angry Birds is related to advertising (the ads themselves, location tracking for the ads, adn connection demands for ads)."
Kittenman writes: India now tops the world in terms of spamming. Sophos advise that about 10% of all SPAM in the world originates from India. The US is in second place, with 8.3% and then South Korea, at 5.7%.
Is this change still more evidence for the US losing the position as a worldwide technology leader?
It's not the setup for a joke: "In soviet Russia, stock market halts you."Rather more seriously, all trading appears to have been suspended, and after the third delayed time for re-opening, the closure has been announced ominously: "The technical suspension of trading to be extended. The situation has been recognized as an emergency. Further actions will be announced shortly." There is very little news available about this, and it is unkn
CWmike writes: "Iran's oil ministry confirmed Monday that it was the target of malware attacks over the weekend, adding to reports by state-run media that the country's oil industry was hit by hackers. The Mehr News Agency, which is a semi-official arm of the Iranian government, reported Monday that the country's principal oil terminal on Kharg Island was disconnected from the Internet as part of the response to the attacks. Email systems associated with the targets were also pulled offline. Kharg Island, which is in the Persian Gulf off the western coast of Iran, handles the bulk of the country's oil exports. A spokesman for the Ministry of Petroleum acknowledged the attacks, but said that critical servers at the reported targets — the ministry, Iran's national oil company and Kharg Island — were not affected because they are isolated from the Internet. The ministry spokesman also said that the malware, which he did not identify, resulted in the theft of some user information from websites and some minor damage to data stored on the web servers. According to the ministry, no data was actually lost because backups were available. Later Monday, Mehr reported that the attacks had prompted authorities to create a crisis management committee to counter the threats."
RogerRoast writes: Dubbed 'DriveLAB', an electric car converted into a mobile laboratory, is kitted out with tracking systems, eye trackers and bio-monitors in an effort to understand the challenges faced by older drivers and to identify where the key stress points are. According to Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University, "... we all have to accept that as we get older our reactions slow down and this often results in people avoiding any potentially challenging driving conditions and losing confidence in their driving skills. The result is that people stop driving before they really need to." The car will have bespoke navigation tools, night vision systems and intelligent speed adaptations.
neonv writes: Studying migraines can be difficult. They occur almost randomly, making monitoring from start to finish in a lab nearly impossible. Scientists have found a relationship between migraines and "brain freeze," so scientists decided to study brain freeze to find out more about migraines.
An anonymous reader writes: A new collaborative study published in Psycho-Oncology by Carsten Wrosch of Concordia University’s Department of Psychology and Centre for Research in Human Development and Catherine Sabiston of McGill’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the Health Behaviour and Emotion Lab found that breast cancer survivors who were able to let go of old goals and set new ones showed an improved well-being overall. Once the self-imposed pressure of now unrealistic goals was removed, individuals’ quality of life improved, as did their level of physical activity
suraj.sun writes: A judge at the US International Trade Commission has just ruled that Microsoft's Xbox 360 infringes four of Motorola's patents. The ruling isn't unexpected, since many of the patent cover H.264 video encoding, which is a standard — the ITC wasn't persuaded by Microsoft's argument that Motorola will "kill video on the web" by failing its obligation to license the patents under fair and reasonable terms. In a statement, Microsoft said it "remains confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms."
sackbut writes: Google is one of the world's most innovative companies. Why? Ask Swedish researcher "Annika Steiber at Chalmers University of Technology. She has been seeking answers inside the company's headquarters Googleplex for nearly a year. No other researcher has ever had such access."
Are the characteristics that make Google so successful be transferred easily to any other company or small software startup?
Canada's universities are on the verge of accepting a copyright licensing
deal that flies in the face of all reason, agreeing to pay higher fees for the
clearance of all sorts of new digital rights—including some that don't actually
exist—despite a major Supreme Court ruling and a fast-approaching copyright
reform bill which both suggest they shouldn't need to make a deal at all. The
organization that represents the schools is now attempting to rush through a
scheme that harms educators, students and taxpayers by forcing its members to
sign on immediately or face retroactive penalties, and unless there's a
much-needed last-minute push from the public, this disastrous agreement is a
done deal. The outcome has baffled some Canadian lawyers and professors who have
followed the story for years.
In 2004, Canada's Supreme
Court issued a unanimous judgement in a dispute between legal publishers and a
law library that changed the shape of copyright in Canada. The decision in CCH
Canada Ltd. vs Law Society Of Upper Canada (pdf link) explored
the limits of fair dealing (the Canadian analog of fair use) as it pertains to
research, establishing several key principles that are strongly in favor of
open access to information. The court stated that the term
"research", which is explicitly included as fair dealing under
Canadian copyright law, should be broadly interpreted and is not limited to
private or non-commercial endeavours—and that if a facility's general purpose
qualifies as research, it is protected under fair dealing even if some people
might use the facility to infringe. It was a landmark ruling that, of course,
provoked the ire of every collection society and copyright industry player in
But for Canadian universities and public schools, it should have been a
windfall. For years they had been paying a per-student fee to the collection
society Access Copyright (previously CanCopy) for rights clearance on all the
routine xeroxing and other copying that is a part of education. After the CCH
ruling, most or all of that qualified as fair dealing, and the schools were in
a position to negotiate much lower fees or just stop paying them altogether.
Instead, the opposite happened—the schools ended up paying more.
To understand how this is possible, you have to know how the process works.
The Copyright Board of Canada has the legal authority to impose copyright
tariffs. When Access Copyright wants more money, they go to the board and
request a ridiculously high tariff—then negotiate a voluntary rate with the
schools, somewhere in between the current fee and the requested tariff. If the
schools can get a rate that is lower than the requested tariff, they declare
victory—even though they could have presented a much better and more effective
fair dealing argument to the board, doubly so following the CCH ruling.
The K-12 public schools were the first to fall and be forced to
retroactively accept a higher rate, the burden of which ultimately falls on
taxpayers and students. Then, in 2010, Access Copyright moved against the
universities, filing for a $45
per-student tariff after the old deal ($3.38/student plus ten cents per
page for course packs) expired. Not only that, but by the end of the year they
had managed to get the Copyright Board to approve an interim tariff to impose
on the universities before reaching a final agreement or determination. A bunch
of schools opted
out, and started trying to clear their own rights without going through
Access Copyright. At this point, the Association of Universities and Colleges
of Canada was in the perfect position to go to the board and assert their fair
dealing rights. Not only would they have the backing of the CCH ruling and its
generous "research" provisions, they could point to Canada's
soon-to-be-passed copyright reform bill, which as currently written will
specifically add "education" to the definition of fair dealing.
For some reason, apart from a few minor objections as the board continued to
make procedural rulings against them, they haven't fought back very hard, or at
least not very effectively—and the process has been dragging on and on. They
entered into preliminary negotiations with Access Copyright at the beginning of
this year, but then suddenly something completely unexpected happened: at the
end of January, the University of Toronto and Western University announced
that they had cut their own deal with the collection society at $27.50 per
student. Again, they declared victory because it was lower than the proposed
$45—a laughable figure that the Copyright Board never would have granted. The
capitulation of two major universities took the already-meager wind out of the
AUCC's sails, and now they've negotiated an ever-so-slightly better (but still,
in the big picture, very bad) rate for universities and colleges across Canada.
In addition to the rates that went up when they should have gone down, there
are plenty of other problems with both deals. Howard Knopf, a
Canadian copyright lawyer, points out that Access Copyright is charging for ridiculous rights that don't even exist, such
as hyperlinking and displaying documents on a screen. University of Toronto
law professor Ariel Katz, another outspoken critic of the deal, highlights several
onerous provisions that will seriously interfere with the ability of
professors to do their job:
Or consider s. 4(c): “Copies of Repertoire Works shall
not be stored or indexed with the intention of creating a library of Published
Works, except as permitted by this agreement as part of a Course Collection.” I
don’t know when was the last time the people who negotiated these license
agreements conducted academic research, but I’m happy to break the news that
since the photocopier appeared on campus (and perhaps earlier than that)
copying works (such as journal articles), and storing them “with the intention
of creating a library” has been integral to the researcher’s life. Some of us
annotate these copies, occasionally at least, and those who are better
organized employ various methods for cataloging and indexing their collections.
Believe it or not, some academics keep not only collections of photocopies but
also collections of materials in electronic format called “pdf”. Yes, we
sometimes do weird things up there in the ivory tower. Moreover–and I hope
you’re ready for the shocking news–it has even been brought to my attention
that some Canadian researchers use programs like Zotero, RefWorks, EndNotes,
among others, in order to index those files for easy search, retrieval, and other
seditious purposes. The agreements seem to prohibit that. Is this the best
possible outcome? Really?
Or what would you say about the following gems, such as s. 5(a): “Digital
Copies of Repertoire Works shall not be transmitted to, posted or uploaded to,
or stored on any computer network other than a Secure Network”, and 5(b:)
“Digital Copies of Repertoire Works stored on Secure Networks shall be made
available and accessible only to Authorized Persons segregated by individual
Course of Study”?
These prohibition seem benign enough until your read the definitions. A
Secure Network is defined as: “a network that is operated by the Licensee
[i.e., the licensed university, not the Authorized Person, AK], or for and
subject to the control of the Licensee (such as a network hosted by a third
party and/or accessible through a web interface) and which is only accessible
by an Authorized Person who is approved by the Licensee by means of a process
of authentication which, at the time of login, identifies the user as an
Authorized Person, whether by user name and password or by some other equally
Knopf believes many schools are going to be completely blindsided by the details of the agreement—but
they may not have the time or resources to do anything about it. The AUCC is
letting Access Copyright pressure the universities and colleges to agree now
with what it brazenly dubs a "limited time offer".
Access Copyright has agreed that the best retroactivity
discounts available to universities will be available those that indicate in
writing to Access before May 1, 2012 that they expects to sign the licence, and
then actually sign before June 30, 2102 [sic]. While you need to indicate your
intent to sign the licence by May 1, you may still reconsider your options
after that date, and you could choose to delay signing (in which case the
discount will be lower), or not sign at all. (highlight
However, among other things, it’s not at all clear: how
this “”Limited Time Offer” will work; and, why it is so limited in time and so
Nor is it clear what AC means when it says that those who “advise Access
Copyright in writing of their intention to sign the Model License by no later
than May 1, 2012, and sign by no later than June 30, 2012, pay no retroactive
payments.” What does “intention to sign” mean? What happens if the university
changes its mind?
May 1st is seriously really soon. It is only a week away. What exactly is
The emergency, of course, is that if Canadian universities wake up to what's
happening and have time to actually look at this deal, they might realize how
bad it is for everyone other than Access Copyright. Nobody is entirely sure
just how and why the AUCC, University
of Toronto and Western
have failed to put up a meaningful fight. Though time is short, critics like
Knopf believe there may still be a chance for a hail-mary pass to stop this
deal in its tracks. Some may think this is quibbling over a meaningless
figure—a few bucks per student—but that misses the big picture. A deal like
this represents a massive and completely unjustified transfer of wealth from
one class (students, who we we want to support for the good of the entire
nation and economy) to another (publishers, who are asserting rights they don't
even have). It also adds fuel to the copyright industry's ongoing campaign to
minimize and ultimately reverse the effects of the CCH ruling, and to scale
back all the good parts of the copyright reform bill—two things that must not
be allowed to happen. Canada's
copyright laws are far from perfect, but they have been moving in very
progressive directions lately, with a strong emphasis on user rights—and
Canadian universities should be harnessing that momentum, not working against
Fluffeh writes: "A story that is breaking on a numberofsites is that CTIA (The mobile operators' industry association) is opposing a Californian law being proposed that a court order is required prior to disclosing personal information. The law seems to be in opposition to the federal governments attempts to wash away the last requirements to get at any information about citizens, but CTIA claims (PDF) "... the wireless industry opposes SB 1434 as it could create greater confusion for wireless providers when responding to legitimate law enforcement requests " The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California have been arguing strongly for the bill which is to be voted on shortly."
An anonymous reader writes: It’s been one year since Google’s $700 million acquisition of ITA Software was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice after an antitrust review. So what does the search giant’s strategy in online travel look like now? Google’s Flight Search and Hotel Finder tools have met with mixed reviews in recent months, but a new bit of analysis argues that the future of travel is not about search, it’s about data. More specifically, Google wants to make available everything from airfares and restaurant reviews to maps and transit schedules, throughout the entire travel process. And it wants to use travelers’ online behavior to serve up better targeted ads and content across all of Google’s sites and services. Sure, online privacy is a major issue, but who cares when all the world’s information is at your fingertips?
A source at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) reportedly told Reuters that a virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island oil terminal, which handles the majority of Iran’s crude oil exports. In addition, computer systems at Iran’s Oil Ministry and its national oil company were hit.
Oil Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad-Rahbar told Mehr News Agency on Monday that the attack had not caused significant damage and the worm had been detected before it could infect systems.