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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - The Fed Audit (senate.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Canada

Submission + - Peter Adekeye Freed, Judge Outraged at Cisco's (arstechnica.com)

puppetman writes: Ars Technica has an article relating the recent release of Peter Adekeye, a former Cisco employee who was arrested in Canada on trumped-up charges that appear to have been fabricated by Cisco. Slashdot covered the story back in April, 2011, during which time Mr Adekeye was still being detained.
In the ruling, the judge squashed the US extradition request, rebuked both the Canadian and American authorities for "an appalling abuse of process", and goes as far as to say that the criminal proceeding was launched on behalf of Cisco, to mirror the civil proceedings that Mr Adekeye had launched against the powerful Cisco. The full judgement, which is quite readable and damning, can be found here.

Displays

Submission + - Smart Sunglasses Block Glare Using LCD Tech (ecouterre.com) 3

An anonymous reader writes: The sunglasses of the future are right around the corner — Physicist Chris Mullin has developed a new LCD technology that could lead to “smart” eyewear that detects bright spots of light and darkens them accordingly. Working with electrical engineer Albert Titus, Mullin has created a working “Dynamic Eyes” prototype that shield sensitive eyes and makes it easier for drivers to monitor oncoming traffic. The lenses are actually LCD screens, with pixels that can be turned on and off to black out certain areas. (A light-detecting sensor at the nose bridge works with a microprocessor to “tell” certain pixels where the glare is.) So far the project has attracted the interest of the U.S. Air Force, along with the automotive, recreational, and healthcare industries.
Government

Submission + - Anonymous & Lulz Security Write Letter to FBI (securityweek.com) 1

wiredmikey writes: After announcing it had stolen 1GB of Data after hacking NATO systems today, Anonymous continued with some additional actions.

In response to an article published by NPR surrounding the recent arrest of alleged members of the Anonymous hacking group, Anonymous & Lulz Security, in a joint statement, responded with an open letter to FBI and “international law authorities,” and specifically responding to statements from FBI director Steve Chabinsky.

In the letter, the groups respond to comments by the FBI calling their actions of breaking in to websites and commiting unlawful acts unacceptable, by explaining what they find is unacceptable, and thus the reasons for their continued efforts to hack an expose governments and corporations that are “lying to their citizens and inducing fear and terror to keep them in control by dismantling their freedom piece by piece.”

Moon

Submission + - Mysterious Moon 'Swirls': Nature's Graffiti? (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "Etched across the surface of the moon are vast and often complex swirls in the lunar regolith. The Apollo astronauts saw them and our current orbiting lunar satellites are seeing them. But how did they get there? Is the solar wind to blame? Or is it the internal magnetic structure of the moon itself? Or is it perhaps something a little more extraordinary? Scientists, for now, don't have a clue."

Submission + - NH Man Arrested for Videotaping Police.. Again (nashuatelegraph.com) 1

OhPlz writes: Back in 2006, a resident of New Hampshire's second largest city was arrested while at the police station attempting to file a complaint against officers. His crime? He had video tape evidence of the officers' wrongdoings. According to the police, that's wiretapping.

After world wide attention, the police dropped the charges. His complaint was found to be valid, but the evidence never saw the light of day.

Well, guess what? Round two. There are differing reports, but again the police arrested Mr. Gannon and again, they seized his video camera. This time it's "falsifying evidence" because he tried to hand off the camera, most likely to protect its contents.

Once again, if the police are free to videotape us, why aren't we free to videotape them? If there's the potential of police wrongdoing, how is it that the law permits the police to seize the evidence?

Security

Submission + - Security consultants warn about PROTECT-IP Act (nationaljournal.com)

epee1221 writes: Several security professionals released a paper (PDF) raising objections to the DNS filtering mandated by the proposed PROTECT-IP Act. The measure allows courts to require Internet service providers to redirect or block queries for a domain deemed to be infringing on IP laws. ISPs will not be able to improve DNS security using DNSSEC, a system for cryptographically signing DNS records to ensure their authenticity, as the sort of manipulation mandated by PROTECT-IP is the type of interference DNSSEC is meant to prevent. The paper notes that a DNS server which has been compromised by a cracker would be indistinguishable from one operating under a court order to alter its DNS responses. The measure also points to a possible fragmenting of the DNS system, effectively making domain names non-universal, and the DNS manipulation may lead to collateral damage (i.e. filtering an infringing domain may block access to non-infringing content). It is also pointed out that DNS filtering does not actually keep determined users from accessing content, as they can still access non-filtered DNS servers or directly enter the blocked site's IP address if it is known.

A statement by the MPAA disputes these claims, arguing that typical users lack the expertise to select a different DNS server and that the Internet must not be allowed to "decay into a lawless Wild West."

Paul Vixie, a coauthor of the paper, elaborates in his blog.

Cellphones

Submission + - Verizon Tells Customer To Get A Lawyer & A Sub (techdirt.com) 1

suraj.sun writes: Verizon Tells Customer To Get A Lawyer & A Subpoena To Get An Itemized Bill:

A woman, who called Verizon to try to find out about the $4.19 she was being charged for six local calls, was told by Verizon reps that the only way it would provide her an itemized bill was to get a lawyer and have the lawyer get a subpoena to force Verizon to disclose the information.

Instead, the woman went to court (by herself) and a judge told Verizon to hand over the itemized bill info.

        It is a basic matter of fair business practice that a consumer should be able to contact a utility about a charge on a bill and learn what the charge is for and learn that the charge was correctly applied. The only verification that Verizon's witness could offer that a charge like [the customer's] $4.19 measured use charge was accurate and billed correctly was her faith in the accuracy of Verizon's computer system. The only way that Verizon would offer any information about a past charge in response to a consumer inquiry was to require that customer to hire a lawyer and subpoena their own usage information. By no reasonable standard could this be considered reasonable customer service.

The judge has also suggested Verizon should be fined $1,000 for its failure here, and that suggestion will be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Techdirt: http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20110715/02212815101/verizon-tells-customer-to-get-lawyer-subpoena-to-get-itemized-bill.shtml

AI

Submission + - MIT creates a scary smart computer that can learn (motherboard.tv)

HansonMB writes: Remember how much of a pain SimCity was? Now imagine trying to play it in Russian. Researchers at MIT have created machine-learning systems that are able to analyze instruction manuals to help them beat video games. By correlating terms they come across in gameplay with those found in the manuals, these MIT programs can teach themselves human language in order to win.

Submission + - Can A Monkey Get A Copyright & Issue A Takedow (techdirt.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Last week, the Daily Mail published a story about some monkeys in Indonesia who happened upon a camera and took some photos of themselves. The photos are quite cute. However, Techdirt noticed that the photos had copyright notices on them, and started a discussion over who actually held the copyright in question, noting that, if anyone did, the monkeys had the best claim, and certainly not the photographer. Yet, the news agency who claimed copyright issued a takedown to Techdirt! When presented with the point that its unlikely that news agency, Caters News, holds a legitimate copyright, the agency told Techdirt it didn't matter. Techdirt claims that using the photos for such a discussion is a clear case of fair use, an argument that Caters has so far ignored.

Comment Server Names (Score 1) 722

When I worked on Yellow Brick Road in Mentor Ohio, I named them from Wizard of Oz places and characters. I use to run a domain called disgruntled-employees.org there was names for my servers like postal , militant, perturbed, discord etc... Naming servers was always genre specific.
Microsoft

Submission + - Pranksters Post Giant Windows Logo on Apple Store 1

theodp writes: Working calmly in broad daylight and filming their efforts for YouTube posterity, a fake construction crew attached a large Microsoft Windows logo to the black facade of a soon-to-open Hamburg Apple Store. Neat hack in the MIT vein, but next time the crew might want to take along a pic of the Windows logo — with the adrenaline flowing, some of the colors got rearranged and were hung upside down.

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