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Software

Submission + - Orrin Hatch - Software copyright violater (fudreport.com) 2

fudreporter writes: "Wired.com has an article referring to comments Senator Orrin Hatch(R-Utah) made about downloading copyrighted material from the Internet... Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested Tuesday that people who download copyright materials from the Internet should have their computers automatically destroyed. But Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website, which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system he proposes. The senator's site makes extensive use of a JavaScript menu system developed by Milonic Solutions, a software company based in the United Kingdom. The copyright-protected code has not been licensed for use on Hatch's website. "It's an unlicensed copy," said Andy Woolley, who runs Milonic. "It's very unfortunate for him because of those comments he made.""
The Courts

Submission + - Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma 1

Reservoir Hill writes: "When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography but when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, they were stymied by PGP's password-protected encryption program. The government wants Boucher to give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files. "This has been the case we've all been expecting," says Michael Froomkin, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. "As encryption grows, it was inevitable there'd be a case where the government wants someone's keys." A grand jury subpoena to force Boucher to reveal the password was quashed by federal Magistrate Jerome Niedermeier. The government has appealed the ruling and law professor Orin Kerr says the distinction that favors the government in Boucher's case is that he initially cooperated and let the agent look at some of the laptop's contents. "The government can't make you give up your encryption password in most cases. But if you tell them you have a password and that it unlocks that computer, then at that point you no longer have the privilege," says Kerr."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Using open WiFi - stealing or not? (slashdot.org)

The Fun Guy writes: "ArsTechnica has an opinion piece on the ethics of using open WiFi hotspots. Is this stealing or not? Point "It's time to put an end to this silliness. Using an open WiFi network is no more "stealing" than is listening to the radio or watching TV using the old rabbit ears." and Counterpoint: "Really, there's only one time when you could argue that an ISP is being gypped, and that's when someone is repeatedly using his neighbor's open WiFi in lieu of paying for his own service.""
Privacy

Submission + - Sears at it again: burglar's reference (ca.com)

Anonymouse Coooward writes: "CA has another scoop on Sears:
http://community.ca.com/blogs/securityadvisor/archive/2008/01/03/managemyhome-com-another-privacy-issue-for-sears.aspx

Sears' managemyhome.com site allows any burglar to case a home from the comfort of their armchair and provide them with everything they'd need to bluff their way through picking it up for a "recall".

quotes from TFA:

Once you register, you can look up major purchases for ANY address. All you need to do is enter a name, address and phone number and if the person attached to that info has made a major purchase at sears you get that info!! They have no real controls in place — you have to enter an onscreen code and they say that keeps your info safe, but that does not stop someone from entering other people's contact info to see their product purchases.

I checked this out, and sure enough, in about 2 minutes I was looking at every purchase my parents had made since 1989. What's worse, I had used no more info than is publicly listed in the phone book: their name, address, and telephone number. Once you have an account at http://www.managemyhome.com/ and have logged in, select the first option (Home Profile) from the "Home" pull-down menu on the main page. In the upper right corner of the page, you should see a "Sears Purchase History", with a button labeled "Find my Products". The only information they asked for when I followed that button was a name, phone number, and address.

If you had major dealings with Sears, that information is now available to the public, from a television bought in 1978 to a stove which was purchased elsewhere but had been repaired by a Sears technician."

Security

Submission + - Facebook Widget Installs Zango Spyware (net-security.org)

BaCa writes: A malicious Facebook Widget actively spreading on the social networking site ultimately prompts users to install the infamous "Zango" adware/spyware. The tremendous success and lightning fast expansion of Facebook empowered the social networking giant with an impressive user base. Needless to say, in a digital world where web traffic equals money, such a user base attracts spammers, virus/spyware seeders, and other ethic-less online marketers like honey would attract flies.
Privacy

Submission + - Adobe's John Nack Tells More on Apps Phoning Home (adobe.com)

FenderGeek writes: John Nack, Senior Product Manager for Adobe Photoshop, shares more info on the controversial 'phoning home' of certain Adobe applications. From the article:

Short story: "Based on my analysis, I don't see any evidence that serial-numbers are being sent to either *.adobe.com or *.2o7.net." This info matches everything else I've been able to learn on the subject: the welcome screen SWF is not gathering/uploading serial numbers or other personal info.
I tend to trust what John Nack says, but YMMV.

The Courts

Submission + - "Investors beware" of record companies say (fool.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: ""Investors beware" of "Sony (NYSE: SNE), BMG, Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG), Vivendi Universal, and EMI", says the Motley Fool investment web site. In an article entitled "We're All Thieves to the RIAA", a Motley Fool columnist, referring to the RIAA's pronouncement in early December in Atlantic v. Howell, that the copies which Mr. Howell had copied from his cd's to mp3's in a 'shared files folder' on his computer were "unauthorized", writer Alyce Lomax said "a good sign of a dying industry that investors might want to avoid is when it would rather litigate than innovate, signaling a potential destroyer of value.""
Upgrades

Submission + - Bigger Monitor, Same Space 2

maclizard writes: Here's an interesting piece, is it really possible that we are being ripped-off when we upgrade?

From the article:
Maybe the monitor manufacturers are scamming us. Maybe they're making the monitors larger, but somehow they've changed the way they measure pixel sizes (or the spaces in between the pixels), making them only appear to be bigger. Perhaps they somehow changed the technical parameters when we were all busy being impressed with the newer "digital" media. Yes! That's why sales reps are all pushing us on refresh rates, brightness, and contrast ratios instead of good old dots-per-inch!
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Top 10 independent games of 2007 (gametunnel.com)

cliffski writes: "2007 marks the sixth year of the Game Tunnel Independent Game of the Year awards. It's been a long journey to get here and each year it seems Indie games are just a little better known by the gaming public at large, which we view as tremendously good news. The games themselves also seem to get a bit better each year, mixing unique visions with innovation to create experiences that speak to the heart of gamers. Each of the games is a winner in its own right, an undiscovered gem just waiting to be found. So dim the lights and warm up your modem, as Game Tunnel presents: The Top 10 Independent Games of 2007."
Television

Submission + - Digital TV Burnout

mpthompson writes: According to Embedded.com beyond the robust growth, glitzy new high-end displays and marketing frenzy lurks the dirty little secret of HDTV: An unsettling number of sets are returned to the retail outlets where they are purchased. Consumers are often wowed by the performance of HDTVs displaying slow-moving, brightly colored video on the showroom floor, but are disappointed by the performance of the set when they get it home. There are many factors at play, but consumer confusion over jargon laden HDTV technology seems to be the major culprit. Manufacturers also blame the compression technologies used by cable and satellite providers to jam as many channels into their bandwidth as possible for consumer dissatisfaction. Is Joe Six-Pack really ready for digital TV?
Security

Submission + - Domains May Disappear After Search 1

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "A perfect domain name pops into your mind, a quick check at your registrar reveals that the domain is available, you put off the registration a few minutes and when you come back to register the domain, it's taken by someone else. How much time has elapsed between the search and the attempted registration — in one case, less than 90 seconds. Daily Domainer has an interesting story alleging that there may be a leak that allows domain tasters to intercept, analyze and register your domain ideas in minutes. "Every time you do a whois search with any service, you run a risk of losing your domain," says one industry insider. ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC ) has not been able to find hard evidence of Domain Name Front Running but they have issued an advisory (pdf) for people to come forward with hard evidence it is happening. Here is how domain name research theft crimes can occur and some tips to avoiding being a victim."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - A to Z of what no longer matters in tech (networkworld.com) 1

BobB-nw writes: As in AOL to Zune (no surprise there). Network World has assembled this largely lighthearted list, which will not endear itself to Steve Ballmer, Fake Steve Jobs, environmentalists, the Internet Home Alliance, marketing department bloggers, Novell, SCO, UFO believers, or Vonage, among many others. Even Quiznos inexplicably takes a hit.

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