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Submission + - Oracle broadens legal fight against third-party Solaris support providers (computerworld.com.au) 1

angry tapir writes: Oracle is continuing its legal battle against third-party software support providers it alleges are performing such services in a manner that violates its intellectual property. Last week, Oracle sued StratisCom, a Georgia company that offers customers support for Oracle's Solaris OS, claiming it had "misappropriated and distributed copyright, proprietary software code, along with the login credentials necessary to download this code from Oracle's password-protected websites."

Submission + - Google Pushes Back Against Data Localization (nytimes.com)

Boweravid writes: The big tech companies have put forth a united front when it comes to pushing back against the government after revelations of mass surveillance. But their cooperation goes only so far.

Microsoft this week suggested that it would deepen its existing efforts to allow customers to store their data near them and outside the United States. Google, for its part, has been fighting this notion of so-called data localization.

“If data localization and other efforts are successful, then what we will face is the effective Balkanization of the Internet and the creation of a ‘splinternet’ broken up into smaller national and regional pieces, with barriers around each of the splintered Internets to replace the global Internet we know today,” Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security, told a congressional panel in November.

Submission + - Hackers Steal Law Enforcement Documents from Microsoft (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Microsoft on Friday said that attackers breached the email accounts of a “select number” of employees, and obtained access to documents associated with law enforcement inquiries. According to the company, a number of Microsoft employees were targeted with attacks aiming to compromise both email and social media accounts

“..We have learned that there was unauthorized access to certain employee email accounts, and information contained in those accounts could be disclosed,” said Adrienne Hall, General Manager at Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group. “It appears that documents associated with law enforcement inquiries were stolen,” Hall said.

Targeted attacks like this are not uncommon, especially for an organization like Microsoft. What’s interesting about this is that the incident was significant enough to disclose, indicating that a fair number of documents could have been exposed, or that the company fears some documents will make their way to the public if released by the attackers—which may be the case if this was a “hacktivist” attack.

Submission + - Better than TV? White spaces bring wireless bonanza to West Virginia (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: West Virginia University is an early adopter of "white spaces" technology, which uses vacant TV broadcast spectrum to bolster wireless connectivity. Because of the lower frequencies, these signals propagate very well – meaning they can penetrate walls, roofs and other obstacles. They also can reach much longer distances than Wi-Fi, and they can, in effect, “flow” over hills and valleys common in West Virginia. At WVU, for example, the radio distances range at full power up to five miles.

Submission + - Russian Admits Arming 'Potato' Malware Fired At Target (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: A Russian programmer has admitted creating the modified Kaptoxa (or "Potato") malware, which was used to steal 110 million credit card details from Target customers. Rinat Shabayev said he himself did not carry out the attack or profit from it, but he did modify and sell the software which was eventually used. He wanted the money — and now has job offers appearing in the comments on the Russian site lifenews.ru.

Submission + - As Target breach unfolds, security companies scrub data from the Web (itworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Technical details about the Target data breach have been hastily removed or redacted by at least three security companies. The information may have been removed so as to not tip off hackers or jeopardize the criminal investigation, but it has left many scratching their heads.

Submission + - Great Firewall of UK blocks game patch because of substring matches

Sockatume writes: Remember the fun of spurious substring matches, AKA the Scunthorpe problem? The UK's advanced "intelligent" internet filters do. Supposedly the country's great new filtering regime has been blocking a patch for League of Legends because some of the filenames within it include the substring "sex". Add one to the list of embarrassing failures for the nation's new mosaic of opt-out censorship systems, which have proven themselves incapable of distinguishing between abusive sites and sites for abuse victims, or sites for pornography versus sites for sexual and gender minorities.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Can Nintendo Recover? (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: Nintendo’s revenue and profits are tumbling faster than Mario into a bottomless pit. Company executives recently suggested the next-generation Wii U console would sell 2.8 million units between April 2013 and March 2014—significantly below the 9 million units predicted in previous estimates. Contrast that with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which sold 4.2 million and 3 million units, respectively, in their first six weeks of release. In lowering its hardware and software estimates, Nintendo also expects to take a loss by the end of its fiscal year in March. Nintendo’s attempt to carve a niche for itself as an ecosystem for casual gamers has also run into a massive obstacle in the form of smartphones and tablets, which quickly developed into popular gaming platforms. Nintendo is reportedly considering a “new business model,” according to Bloomberg , with its CEO telling a gathering of reporters in Osaka: “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.” While Nintendo could probably made some good money off legacy gamers by bringing its (much loved) portfolio of older titles to iOS, Android, and other platforms, that move to mobile might further weaken its hardware sales. So what do you think? If you were in charge of Nintendo, how would you turn it around?

Submission + - Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, And What Qt Does Better

Freshly Exhumed writes: Phoronix has an article about how Dirk Hohndel of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has stirred the hornet's nest with a talk at Australia's Linux.Conf.Au (MP4 file) about what he views as the biggest problem with the GTK: he finds dealing with upstream GTK/GNOME developers to be tough, with frequent abuse and flame-wars, with accusations from the developers that "you're doing it wrong." Conversely, he found the Qt development community to be quite the opposite: willing to engage and help, with plenty of application developer documentation and fewer communication problems than with their GTK counterparts.

Submission + - Ericsson CEO Joins Microsoft CEO Candidate List

jones_supa writes: Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson, who is heading the search for the new CEO, wrote in a December blog post that the board plans to complete the process in the 'early part of 2014.' The board now is also considering Ericsson AB Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg as a potential successor to departing leader Steve Ballmer, according to people briefed on the search. Vestberg joined Ericsson in 1988 and served as the company’s chief financial officer from 2007 to 2009 before becoming CEO in January 2010. He has held management positions at Ericsson in China, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., the company said on its website. Ericsson's shares and revenue have improved markedly under the lead of Vestberg. Microsoft's CEO search has been dogged with difficulty. Any new CEO enters a stressful position as he or she will have to turn around Microsoft, whose main software business is struggling.

Submission + - International Space Station life extended (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Times reports "Instead of splashing into the Pacific Ocean in 2020 as planned, the International Space Station will continue circling Earth for at least an additional four years, NASA announced on Wednesday. The cost of operating the station, about $3 billion a year, could then be devoted to the moon program.

However, it always seemed unlikely that the station, which was built at a cost of $100 billion and completed just three years ago, would be discarded that soon, and when the Obama administration announced it wanted to cancel the moon program, it gave the first extension, stretching the life of the station to 2020."

Submission + - Edward Snowden has more US-Israel secrets to expose, Glenn Greenwald says (jpost.com)

Xhamster writes: JERUSALEM — Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has more secrets to reveal that relate to Israel, the journalist who first brought his leaks to the world's attention said on Monday.

Among allegations aired by Snowden last year were that the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.
Israel played down the disclosures. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the matter examined and that "there are things that must not be done" between allies.

Glenn Greenwald, who as a writer for Britain's Guardian met face-to-face with the fugitive Snowden and has written or co-authored many of the newspaper's stories based on his material, was asked in an Israeli television interview whether the ex-contractor had more secrets to tell that related to Israel.

"Yes. I don't want to preview any stories that aren't yet published, but it is definitely the case that there are a huge number of very significant stories that are left to report," said the Brazil-based Greenwald, speaking to Channel Ten TV by video link.

"We have only had these documents for seven months, which, given their volume and complexity, is not a very long time. There definitely are stories left that involve the Middle East, that involve Israel. The reporting is going to continue at roughly the same pace that has been happening."

Last month, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said news of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst, was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

In what appeared to be a bid to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said Israel constantly sought Pollard's release and did not need a "special occasion" to discuss his case with Washington.

Greenwald voiced understanding for the Pollard linkage.

"I think you are absolutely right to contrast the Jonathan Pollard case with revelations of American spying on their closest allies within the Israeli government, because it does underlie, underscore exactly the hypocrisy that lies at the center of so much of what the US government does," he said.

Submission + - Intel drops McAfee brand, much to John's delight (v3.co.uk)

TinTops writes: Intel has distanced itself further from the controversial (to put it mildly) John McAfee, but gradually phasing out his eponymous brand from its security products. Re-branding to Intel Security, the only reminder of McAfee's involvement will be the "red shield" icon within Intel Security's logo. John McAfee was oddly delighted:

"I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet," he said. "These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words."

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