New submitter Elenor writes with this story (excerpted) from TorrentFreak, another nugget gleaned from the cables made public by WikiLeaks: "The Canberra Wikileaks cables have revealed that the U.S. Embassy sanctioned a conspiracy by Hollywood studios to target Australian communications company iiNet through the local court-system, with the aim of establishing a binding common-law precedent which would make ISPs responsible for the unauthorised file-sharing of their customers. Both the location, Australia, and the target, iiNet, were carefully selected. A precedent set in Australia would be influential in countries with comparable legal systems such as Canada, India, New Zealand and Great Britain. Australian telecommunications giant Telstra was judged too large for the purposes of the attack. Owing to its smaller size and more limited resources, iiNet was gauged the perfect candidate." The cable describes no overt action on the part of the American embassy, but the wording is telling: "Mike Ellis, the Singapore-based President for Asia Pacific of the Motion Picture Association ... said MPAA did not see any role for Embassy at this time, but wanted to keep us informed."
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zacharye writes with an except from an article over at BGR about Apple's quarterly results: "'Disappointing' though it may have been to some, the iPhone 4S propelled what is now confirmed to have been the most profitable quarter any technology company has ever recorded. Apple on Wednesday reported record earnings for the December quarter, revealing a profit of $13.06 billion on revenue that surpassed $46 billion. Among technology companies, Apple's fiscal first quarter represents the most profitable quarter ever recorded. Only one U.S. company has ever posted a more profitable quarter — Exxon managed a profit of $14.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008 — and the driving force behind Apple's record-setting performance was quite clearly the iPhone."
An anonymous reader writes "Julian Assange has announced he will host a talk show: 'Through this series I will explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it,' Assange said in his announcement late Monday. 'Are we heading towards utopia or dystopia, and how we can set our paths? This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the vision of my guests in a new style of show that examines their philosophies and struggles in a deeper and clearer way than has been done before.'"
An anonymous reader writes in with one of many articles about the iBooks EULA, this time questioning whether it is even enforceable. Quoting: "The iBooks Author EULA plainly tries to create an exclusive license for Apple to be the sole distributor of any worked created with it, but under the Copyright Act an exclusive license is a 'transfer of copyright ownership,' and under 17 U.S.C. 204 such a transfer 'is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed.' When authors rebel and take their work elsewhere, Apple has, at most, a claim for breach-of-EULA — but their damages are the failure to pay $0 for the program."
astroengine writes "A group called Transception Incorporated, self-described as an Austin, Texas-based psychic R&D operation, sent a letter (PDF) to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that nominates the Apollo 16 crew for the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Why? Well, a variety of 'shipwreck elements' on the Moon — described as 'structures, people/aliens, biological technology, and their plight' — were reportedly 'seen' through remote viewing (PDF) by six experts at Transception. These 'elements' can be seen, along with Apollo 16 moonwalkers John Young and Charles Duke, in photographs during that famous mission, obviously making this the first ever alien encounter."
theodp writes "'Sticks and stones will break my bones,' the old nursery rhyme goes, 'but names will never hurt me.' Unless, of course, you're on Google+. While touting what it calls a move toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+, the search giant's Name Policy would still make Sister Aloysius Beauvier smile. Names like 'Doctor Stan Livingston,' 'Bill Smithwick DDS,' and 'Rev. Jim Copley, S. P.' are cited as examples of violations that could cost you your Google+ privileges. And since new Google account users are reportedly now forced to join Google+, one wonders if the Name Policy might even preclude one from establishing one of those adorable dear.sophie.lee or dear.hollie accounts."
Diggester writes with an excerpt from an article at Gizmocrazed about the absurd amount of money Apple has spent suing HTC et al: "The never-ending war on Android has cost Apple more than $100 million, according to latest estimates. While a huge chunk of that money was spent (read wasted) in claims against HTC. So far, 84 claims have been filed against different Android manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, etc.) for patent infringements, out of which only 10 were proved to have been infringed and only one ruling has gone in Apple's favor."
ktetch-pirate writes "If the SOPA/PIPA blackouts were a wakeup call to many people, then the U.S. Pirate Party has released a book that might help explain some of the issues. The book covers issues such as Corporate Personhood, the 4th Amendment, the history of copyright, and how DRM laws are made. There are even cartoons from Nina Paley throughout to add a bit of humor. DRM-free eBook versions are available to download from the book's site, or you can buy a paperback edition from Amazon for ten bucks." The book is under the CC BY-NC-SA, and features essays from the likes of Lawrence Lessig and Rick Falkvinge.
beaverdownunder writes "A Canadian CRTC investigation in partnership with Cisco has found that Rogers Communications has violated federal net-neutrality rules by throttling connections related to P2P applications. Rogers has until noon on February 3rd to reply to the accusations or face a hearing." Quoting the letter sent to Rogers: "On the basis of our evidence to date, any traffic from an unidentified time-sensitive application making use of P2P ports will be throttled resulting in noticeable degradation of such traffic."
An anonymous reader writes "The petition on 'We the People' website petitioning the administration to investigate Chris Dodd for corruption has reached the required 25,000 votes in two days: now the government has to officially respond to the petition. The petition ... stemmed from Chris Dodd's statement that tried to portray campaign donations as quid-pro-quos for SOPA/PIPA votes."
wiredmikey writes with an update on Microsoft's takedown of the Kelihos botnet. From the article: "Microsoft is not just taking down botnets; it is taking them down and naming names. In an amended complaint [PDF] filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft named a man from St. Petersburg, Russia, as the alleged head of the notorious Kelihos botnet. Naming names can be a risky business. Previously, Microsoft alleged Dominique Alexander Piatti, dotFREE Group SRO and several unnamed 'John Does' owned a domain cz.cc and used cz.cc to register other subdomains used to operate and control the Kelihos botnet. However, the company later absolved Piatti of responsibility when investigators found neither he nor his business was controlling the subdomains used to host Kelihos. Whether naming Sabelnikov – who, according to Krebs on Security, once worked as a senior system developer and project manager for Russian antivirus vendor Agnitum, will have the same effect as naming the Koobface gang remains to be seen. Though Kelihos has remained defunct since the takedown last year, the malware is still on thousands of computers."
McGruber writes "The Associated Press has the news that Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers is sponsoring a bill that 'would prevent public broadband providers from paying for communication networks with tax or government revenue.' Senator Rogers claims that 'The private sector is handling this exceptionally well.' Local government officials disagree. Georgia Municipal Association spokeswoman Amy Henderson says 'When cities were getting involved in broadband, it was because private industry would not come there. Without that technology, they were economically disadvantaged. We feel like it is an option cities should have.'"
bradley13 writes "There are lots of anonymous proxies out there, and anyone concerned about their privacy probably uses one for at least some of their web browsing. The Megaupload story highlights the fact that having servers in the USA is not a great idea. There are also other countries one may not want to trust. Oddly, very few proxy services mention where their equipment is located. What anonymous proxy services do you use? What criteria do you use to select them? How paranoid are you, and for what types of Internet usage?"
An anonymous reader writes "A biotechnology company said Monday that results from the world's first human trial using embryonic stem cells to treat eye diseases suggested that the new procedure appears to be safe four months after the cells were injected into the eyes of two blind patients. The study also describes visual improvements in patients, and experts said the findings hold promise for treating blindness in patients with currently incurable conditions like age-related macular degeneration in older patients and Stargardt's Disease, a main cause of blindness in young people."