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Privacy

Submission + - Judge:Man can't be forced to divulge passphrase (news.com) 2

mytrip writes: "A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury's subpoena that directed Sebastien Boucher to provide "any passwords" used with his Alienware laptop. "Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him," the judge wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this week. "Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop."

Especially if this ruling is appealed, U.S. v. Boucher could become a landmark case. The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for the last decade arguing the merits of either approach. (A U.S. Justice Department attorney wrote an article in 1996, for instance, titled "Compelled Production of Plaintext and Keys.")"

Television

Submission + - Canadian VCRs/PVRs illegal, Bill direction unclear

Anonymous Coward writes: "Few Canadians probably realize that using a VCR to record/time shift Television programming is illegal. That's one of the reasons that Tivo has been reluctant to introduce the device in Canada until this year and even so, it's availability if very limited. Canada's laws in fact, are more restrictive than the U.S., UK, Australia and New Zealand when it comes to Home/Private use of Copyrighted materials. According to an article in the Toronto Star, http://www.thestar.com/article/277621 , Michael Geist writes that the upcoming Copyright Bill being proposed needs to include 3 provisions.. First, "Time-Shifting" should be clarified to remove any ambiguity and Grant ability to record Television programs. Second, allow 'Media Shifting' — transfer of content to different devices and finally, expand the current backup provision, that applies to Computer Programs on media to include other copyrighted material such as music and video. He asks in the end if the Lobbyists will win or the consumer...."
Education

Submission + - Why bicycles are so stable? 1

Roland Piquepaille writes: "For almost 150 years now, mathematicians have tried to understand why a bicycle could be so stable. Now, researchers of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), working with colleagues from Cornell University and the University of Nottingham, UK, say they've build a model which unravels how a bicycle works. As said a bicycle maker, when designing a bike, only three parameters are used: the general geometry, the distance between the axles, and the angle at which the fork points downwards. The new mathematical model includes 25 parameters and will permit to build bicycles aimed directly at special target groups. Already, a Dutch bicycle manufacturing company is hoping to design better bikes using this model. But read more for additional details and a picture of the bicycle used to calibrate the model."
Privacy

Submission + - Congress questions campus IT officers about piracy

Jared writes: "The lawmakers from the House of Representatives submitted a "Survey of University Network and Data Integrity Practices" to the heads of the 19 college campuses that have recently received the largest number of copyright infringement notices from both the RIAA and the MPAA, and have asked for them to be completed by their campus technology officers."

Feed Maggots Rid Patients Of Antibiotic-resistant Infection, MRSA (sciencedaily.com)

Medical researchers are ridding diabetic patients of the superbug MRSA -- by treating their foot ulcers with maggots. The scientists used green bottle fly larvae to treat 13 diabetic patients whose foot ulcers were contaminated with MRSA and found all but one were cured within a mean period of three weeks, much quicker than the 28-week duration for the conventional treatment.
Space

Building the Interplanetary Internet 334

sighted writes "Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, now a Google VP, is leading a NASA effort to create a permanent network link to Mars within the next two years. As Cerf outlined in a recent talk, the 'InterPlaNet' protocol is designed to handle the delay caused by interplanetary distances. A signal traveling between the Earth and Mars can take up to 20 minutes."
Republicans

Submission + - Conservapedia replaces Wikipedia with anti-science

An anonymous reader writes: Some conservatives have launched an alternative to Wikipedia due to bias: http://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_W ikipedia

The new resource is still small (only about 3200 articles, many weak and with gaps in coverage such as having an entry for mathematical "crisp sets" but not for "sets"), and understandably endorses religious and conservative points of view. But the encyclopedia also undercuts the search for knowledge with statements such as "But historical facts, or their absence, are irrelevant since we all know He existed. Historical sources and scientific facts are unnecessary," in the entry for Jesus (http://www.conservapedia.com/Christ), and bizarre anti-science entries (http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2007/02/conserva pedia_and_math_1.php).
Security

Submission + - Cybercrime on the rise in Japan

dido writes: "The Mainichi Daily News reports that the incidence of cybercrime in Japan has increased 40% in 2006 from the previous year, including incidences of online fraud, phishing, and Internet-assisted child prostitution. From the article: 'Police departments across the country cracked down on a record 4425 cybercrimes in 2006. A total of 1597 cases involved online fraud, accounting for 36.1% of the total and was up 13.4% from the previous year. In 703 cases, the suspects illegally accessed websites using other people's ID and passwords, up a hefty 153.8 percent from 2005.'"
Linux Business

Submission + - South Africa plans to go to OpenSource

Canderel writes: "Fin24 reports that the South African government want to switch over to linux.

Themba Maseko told reporters the cabinet would use the open source Linux operating system in a bid to lower administration costs and enhance local IT skills.

"This is going to be a long process... What this (open source) initiative is basically trying to streamline (is) our use and development of software in the country," Maseko said."

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