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The Internet

Submission + - New AT&T investment all about filtered network (arstechnica.com)

Filtered Coward writes: Last summer, AT&T announced its intention to begin filtering copyrighted content at some point. The telecom has now bought a chunk of Vobile, whose core product is VideoDNA. "Like other systems of its kind, VideoDNA develops a unique signature from every frame of video. The signature is meant to be robust enough to survive various transformations and edits, and it can then be used to run matches against incoming content.' Vobile claims that VideoDNA is good enough to be used on video when transmitted over a network. 'Based on the complexity of the problem, we suspect that anything initially deployed by AT&T will fall far short of a robust P2P video filter. But should AT&T truly have its eyes on just such a prize, the company would be in a powerful position to impose its own policies on the entire US, since it owns major parts of the Internet backbone.'
Handhelds

Submission + - NSA able to wirelessly take over your Smartphone.

l8f57 writes: Cryptome.org is reporting that the NSA is able to perform wireless wiretapping of MS based smart phones. From the article: "Microsoft remote administrative privileges allow "backdooring" into Microsoft operating systems via IP/TCP ports 1024 through 1030."
Privacy

Submission + - BBC's iPlayer on GrokLaw (groklaw.net)

qaz2 writes: There is an interview with Mark Taylor (the president of UK OpenSource consortium) on groklaw in which, amongst other subjects, the BBC's iPlayer is discussed.What amazed me is the following part (cited from that story):

Q: Saying that it's a Verisign Kontiki architecture, it's peer-to-peer, and in fact one of the more worrying aspects is that you have no control over your node. It loads at boot time under Windows, the BBC can use as much of your bandwidth as they please (laughter), in fact I think OFCOM, you know, made some kind of estimate as to how many hundreds of millions of pounds that would cost everyone [Ed: see this video interview with Verisign Kontiki executive, and this one], there is a hidden directory called "My Deliveries" which pre-caches large preview files, it phones home to the Microsoft DRM servers of course, it logs all the iPlayer activity and errors with identifiers in an unencrypted file. Now, does this assessment agree with what you've looked at?
Mark Taylor: Yes.

What I'm wondering is, when this player gets released, would the user be warned of all the trafic which will be generated, and the privacy concerns associated with using this player?

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Cell phone software outs groping men (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Japanese women are turning to cell phone software that will set off an audible alarm and let the phone flash warnings to men violating the woman's personal space. According to an Associated Press story the cell phone application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone's screen to show to the offender: "Excuse me, did you just grope me?" "Groping is a crime," and finally, "Shall we head to the police?" The "Anti-Groping Appli" features an "Anger" icon that begins the warning process on the cell phone. The application was built by games developer Takahashi and released 2005, but has in the past few months become one of the most popular cell phone downloads in Japan, the AP story says. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21005"
The Courts

Submission + - DHS to require government permission before flying (10zenmonkeys.com)

destinyland writes: "The Department of Homeland Security quietly moves closer to an invasive "Secure Flights" proposal that requires government-issued credentials for all air travellers — and government permission for each flight! International "Advance Passenger Information System" rules were published Monday (effective February of 2008), making the U.S. version much more likely to pass. The proposed rules also let airlines retain the information obtained, even after it's been passed it on to the government. "The Identity Group" discovered that the U.S. government's travel dossier records include everything — the books travelers were carrying, the phone numbers of their friends, and even whether they asked for one bed or two in their hotel room."
NASA

Submission + - NASA satellite tracks explosion of California's De (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "NASA said today its satellites are turning out images that illustrate how quickly wildfires have spread throughout Southern California. Powerful Santa Ana winds have fueled more than 10 large wildfires stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, these blazes have burned more than 84,000 acres since they began over the weekend. Over 250,000 thousand residents have been evacuated from their homes in and Around San Diego. NASA's Aqua earth science satellite took the photos and will continue to monitor the situation. NASA launched Aqua on May 4, 2002. According to NASA, the satellite has six different Earth-observing instruments on board and is named for the large amount of information being obtained about water in the Earth system from its stream of approximately 89 Gigabytes of data a day. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/20896"
Privacy

Submission + - Security, or coverup of FBI embarrassment (patterico.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Did you ever wonder what our government wants to keep secret — and what courts allow them to keep secret? ...

I have found, read, and excerpted below the portion that the Second Circuit tried to take back. My judgment is that the material was sealed, not to protect anyone from harm, but to protect the government from embarrassment. ...

The other thing you notice is, I believe, far more significant — which is why I put it in bold type. Namely, you have an FBI agent who admits that he threatened to ensure that a suspect's family would be tortured by a foreign government. Somehow, I think that's the reason the information was submitted under seal.

Censorship

Submission + - Law firm claims copyright on viewing HTML source 2

An anonymous reader writes: A law firm with all sorts of interesting views on copyrights has decided to go the extra mile. As reported on Tech Dirt, they've decided that viewing the HTML source of their site is a violation of copyright. Poorly timed April Fools joke, or just some fancy lawyering?
Democrats

Submission + - Democrats Cave on Spying, telecom immunity (washingtonpost.com)

EllisDees writes: "From the Washington Post:

"Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources."

Just why did we vote these jokers into office again?"

Caldera

Submission + - SCO Layoffs Begin 2

StevisF writes: ... SCO Group Inc. says it is planning to lay off 16 of its 123 employees and has asked a federal bankruptcy court to keep their identities secret because it fears they could be harassed.
Security

Submission + - Verizon gave up its subscribers' information (washingtonpost.com)

87C751 writes: "According to this article in the Washington Post (warning: subscription link), Verizon has given up subscriber information "hundreds of times" since 2005 without a court order. The company says it "does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations." AT&T apparently made similar disclosures, though the numbers weren't disclosed."
Communications

Submission + - RIAA Launches Attack on Usenet (torrentfreak.com) 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "The major record labels have launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against Usenet.com. The complaint filed in the federal District Court in New York accuses Usenet.com of providing access to millions of copyright infringing files and slams it for touting its service as a "haven for those seeking pirated content" Usenet.com has been putting up a fight against the RIAA, refusing to block access to alleged 'copyright infringing groups' Game On"
Music

Submission + - Record Industry Woes Aggravated by Years of Bad PR

An anonymous reader writes: MP3 Newswire has a lengthy, but compelling article that details how the major record label's attempt to control music online with an iron fist has only to weakened their position by alienating consumers. Rather than work to leverage the opportunities brought by new technology, they called everything that could change their business piracy. Not only were the opportunities lost, it made them look like past-generation bullies to unhappy customers looking for innovative digital products. "Today the major record labels don't have a positive brand image and the very public actions they have taken to control the rise of digital media and the Internet over the last several years is at the very heart of their fall from grace. To some the big labels are an anachronism. To others they are anti-consumer. The erosion of their image is dramatic".
Biotech

Submission + - Brain-computer-interface for Second Life (pinktentacle.com)

Tjeerd writes: ""A research team led by professor Jun'ichi Ushiba of the Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory has developed a BCI system that lets the user walk an avatar through the streets of Second Life while relying solely on the power of thought. To control the avatar on screen, the user simply thinks about moving various body parts — the avatar walks forward when the user thinks about moving his/her own feet, and it turns right and left when the user imagines moving his/her right and left arms.""

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