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This is becoming more and more common, and while the end user normally doesn't make out well in a class-action suit, large settlements do provide a punishment and deterrent to corporations that abuse their power. The question becomes, what do we do to fix this so that consumers are truly protected?
But as he puts it, Microsoft will also “pro-actively” drive licensing deals. “We will go out and look for areas where we see a lot people who are probably using our technology in one form or another,” he says, “and we kinda ask ourselves whether it has risen to a level that we care about and we want to have some conversations.” Basically, this involves a Microsoft lawyer like Kaefer trying to convince lawyers at other companies that their technology infringes on Microsoft patents — and that they should pay to license those patents. According to Kaefer, these discussions can spans months — or even years."
This is why I am looking for a modern solution to implement some professional-yet-still-home-sized library management. Ideally, this should include some cool features like RFID tags or NFC for keeping track of the books, finding and checking them out quickly, if I decide to lent one.
One problem seems to be the short lifetime of RFID tags (only 5-10 years). Given that many books will probably only be read or checked out once or twice in this period at best, the administrative effort seems very large.
I have also been largely unsuccessful in finding tags or solutions that go beyond the cheap 5 to 20 item "starter kits", yet still remain affordable and below the industrial scale.
Also, what would be suitable and affordable readers/writers for the tags in this context?
Finally, as many of the books are old folios or fairly precious first editions, everything must be non-destructive and should be removable without damage to the books if need be.
(Note: Scanning ISBN's with a hand-held barcode scanner is not an option, as many books are old (pre-ISBN) or special editions).
Software-wise, I would like to have a nice and modern-looking, easy-to-use software that can interface with the hardware side as described above. I do not necessarily need multi-user or networking capabilities at this point.
I hope the CSI (Combined Slashdot Intelligence) has some helpful ideas and pointers for me on this!
NASA told its staff this week that a laptop containing sensitive personal information for a large number of employees and contractors was stolen two weeks ago from a locked vehicle. Although the laptop was password protected, the information had not been encrypted, which could give skilled hackers full access to the contents. In its notice to employees on Tuesday, the agency said:
"On Oct. 31, 2012, a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to a headquarters employee were stolen from the employee’s locked vehicle. The laptop contained records of sensitive personally identifiable information for a large number of NASA employees, contractors and others. Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals. We are thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees."
This is not the first time NASA has suffered a serious breach. The agency has long been a target for cybercriminals looking to pilfer sensitive research. In 2004, computers at several NASA sites, including its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., were breached. And as recently as March, the company reported a breach that was also caused by a stolen laptop. Given its history, it is unclear why the agency has not stepped up its security practices. Beth Dickey, a NASA spokeswoman, said that in this most recent case, the employee’s laptop had been for a security upgrade.
“The laptop was scheduled to receive encryption, as part of an ongoing, agency-wide effort to encrypt whole disks of all NASA computers,” Ms. Dickey said. “This one just hadn’t been done yet.”
NASA has said it plans to have all of its laptops running whole-disk encryption software by Dec. 21.
Built using a scanner, a vacuum cleaner and various other components, the Linear Book Scanner was developed by engineers during the "20 percent time" that Google allocates for personal projects.
The license is highly permissive, thus it's possible the design and building costs can be improved. Any takers?
The DARPA research will take four years, cost $18 million and promises to also help secure critical systems such as aircraft, vehicles and medical devices and make their code more stable.
Disclaimer: I worked with Jeff when we were at Xerox (where he did the awesome hack Gnu Chess on your Scanner), but this is more awesome because it saves books."