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Government

Submission + - FCC compromises on Net Neutrality rules (computerworld.com)

olsmeister writes: The new rules provide fewer protections for mobile broadband subscribers and may lead to a fractured Internet, critics said. The new rules, a compromise championed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, would bar wireline-based broadband providers — but not mobile broadband providers — from "unreasonable discrimination" against Web traffic, prompting some consumer groups to call the rules "fake" net neutrality.

Genachowski's plan, approved after more than seven years of debate about whether net neutrality rules are needed, also contains several loopholes for broadband providers, critics said, including an exception for managed services separate from the public Internet.

But Genachowski defended the rules as "strong and balanced."

Submission + - bank lost 5.5m due to security hole (www.rnw.nl)

An anonymous reader writes: Dutch police have arrested 13 people in connection with stealing of €5.5m from a Dutch bank by manipulating the bank's computer system. Police refused to say which bank was involved but said the money was taken directly from the bank rather than private accounts. Later on the dutch state owned ABN Amro declared to the press agency ANP they had an "open gate" in their trading system wich was quickly located and closed as a result of the breach. So far about 2 million of the stolen money has been traced back and police is still investigating the case.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft: mules, not phishing victims, lose money (microsoft.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Our examination of mules has interesting implications. First, it suggests that it is not the victims of phishing and keylogging that lose money but money mules. Second, mule recruitment is the major bottleneck in the fraud pipeline: without them stolen credentials are worth little. Third, this explains why credentials sell for small fractions of their face value; i.e. there is an insufficient supply of mules to drain the number of compromised accounts. Finally, it shows there is no shortage of compromised accounts. Thus a reduction in the rate of account compromise will not reduce fraud at all, at least until account compromise is at a level small enough that it becomes the bottleneck. The only effective way to reduce online fraud is by making mule recruitment even harder.
Privacy

Submission + - Supreme Court of Canada rules on electric meters (brianbowman.ca)

perp writes: According to the privacy blagosphere, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released an important decision today that considered whether an individual home owner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in electric meter data.

The police had asked a local utility company to attach a digital recording ammeter (DRA) to the electric meter on a home in order to monitor electrical usage. The data gleaned from the DRA and from other sources was then used to obtain a warrant to search the home. The search resulted in exposing a marijuana grow op.

The SCC ultimately decided that DRA technology merely indicates electricity use, not what the electricity was used for, so it was a reasonable loss of privacy.

Comment Re:Or we could save 25% off the bat (Score 2, Informative) 545

Also, I take issue with this meme that 25% of all those incarcerated are locked up ONLY for non-violent drug charges. For that to be true, it would require that ON AVERAGE one in for convicts behind bars was guilty of either using or selling drugs, without any associated crimes, like robbery, assault, possession of a gun, etc., and that is simply unbelievable.

There is a lot of evidence for statistics like this, you can start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Drugs#United_States_domestic_policy.

Federal prisons were estimated to hold 179,204 sentenced inmates in 2007. Of these, 15,647 were incarcerated for violent offenses, including 2,915 for homicide, 8,966 for robbery, and 3,939 for other violent crimes. In addition, 10,345 inmates were serving time for property crimes, including 504 for burglary, 7,834 for fraud, and 2,006 for other property offenses. A total of 95,446 were incarcerated for drug offenses. Also, 56,237 were incarcerated for public-order offenses, including 19,528 for immigration offenses and 24,435 for weapons offenses.
http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p07.pdf

According to a federal survey of jail inmates, of the total 440,670 jail inmates in the US in 2002, 112,447 (25.5%) were drug offenders: 48,823 (11.1%) for possession and 56,574 (12.8%) for trafficking.
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/sdatji02.pdf

Canada

Submission + - CRTC rules on Internet wholesalers (www.cbc.ca)

perp writes: The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is sticking to its guns and ordering big phone network owners such as Bell and Telus to offer smaller wholesale companies higher internet speeds, despite previous disagreement from the government.
The Military

Submission + - Navy drone goes rogue, heads for capital (geek.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: In what can only be classed as a “Skynet moment“, one of the U.S. Navy’s flying drones went rogue earlier this month.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout is a 31-foot-long unmanned helicopter which was being flown on August 2nd out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River on the Chesapeake Bay. But something malfunctioned and operators lost control of it mid-flight. Did the drone just hover waiting for a command? Or even go to a fail-safe and land itself? No, it headed for the nation’s capital instead.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 1) 622

Post-consumer materials, like plastic, is almost never recycled because of the contamination issues. A water bottle can be recycled but if one neck ring from a cap gets into the mix the entire batch is worthless. As of yet, this level of sorting and handling removing neck rings and caps can only be done by hand - at union wages for the most part. This eliminates any reason for recycling water bottles or milk containers - it costs maybe 100x what the recycled materials would be worth to sort them to that level.

According to my research, the plastic top and ring are separated during processing nowadays, which is possible because the two kinds of plastic are of very different density; apparently one type floats in water and the other sinks.

Image

Girl Seeks Help On Facebook During Assault 417

A 12-year-old girl who was being assaulted by her mother's ex-boyfriend used some quick thinking by sending a message on her iPod to a friend's Facebook account for help. The friend was able to contact the girl's mother who then contacted the police. 42-year-old Raymond Ernest Cesmat was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held at the Dakota County Jail on $175,000 bail.

Submission + - Aussie Internet Censorship Minister Censors Self (news.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, the minister attempting to ram the great firewall of Oz down everyone's throat has been removing all traces of the unpopular legislation from his main website with a javascript filter.

From the article: "It was revealed today a script within the minister's homepage deliberately removes references to internet filtering from the list.In the function that creates the list, or "tag cloud", there is a condition that if the words "ISP filtering" appear they should be skipped and not displayed"

Bare in mind this is the same minister that tried to get the ISP of tech forum Whirlpool to pull the site after users there posted a response email from the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). Time to move to Canda I guess....

Botnet

Submission + - Microsoft secretly beheads notorious botnet (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: Microsoft has quietly won court approval to deactivate 277 domain names that are being used to control a vast network of infected PCs. The notorious Waledac botnet is being used by Eastern European spammers to send 1.5 billion spam messages every day, and infect hundreds of thousands of machines with malware. In a suit filed in the US District Court of Eastern Virginia, Microsoft accused 27 unnamed defendants of violating federal computer crime laws. It further requested that domain registrar Verisign temporarily deactivate the domains, shutting down the control servers being used to send commands to the machines. The request was secretly approved by District Judge Leonie Brinkema, allowing the action to be taken covertly, preventing Waledac's operators from switching domains.
The Internet

Submission + - Wireside Chat with Lawrence Lessig (openvideoalliance.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Lawrence Lessig, the foundational voice of the free culture movement, will deliver a talk on fair use, politics, and online video from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You'll be able to tune in to a live webcast at http://openvideoalliance.org/lessig. The lecture by Lawrence Lessig will last 45 minutes, and will be followed by a 30 minute interactive Q & A session. The event will be moderated by Elizabeth Stark of the Open Video Alliance. Questions can be submitted using the hashtag #wireside.

This is a talk about copyright in a digital age, and the role (and importance) of a doctrine like "fair use." Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, and is essential for commentary, criticism, news reporting, remix, research, teaching and scholarship with video.

As a medium, online video will be most powerful when it is fluid, like a conversation. Like the rest of the internet, online video must be designed to encourage participation, not just passive consumption. Tune in here on February 25th, 6:00pm US Eastern time (see more time zones), or check out our screening events in cities across the world.

Comment Re:Lomborg has a response (Score 1) 807

There you go - one of the most influential and powerful AGW proponents using his influence to keep journals from printing papers that contradicted some of the basis for his work. Even if he has to "redefine what peer-reviewed literature is!" There is even more supression in the mainstream media.

Were these papers actually repressed or was "peer review" redefined by the IPCC? I remember reading that they they were indeed published despite Phil Jones' dramatic email, but I can't find the citation right now.

Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"

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