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The Courts

Red Cross Debates If Virtual Killing Violates International Humanitarian Law 516

Ron2K writes in with a story about a Red Cross committee that is debating if people playing war video games should be subject to the same humanitarian laws as people in a real war. Seriously. "With 62 billion kills in Call of Duty: Black Ops alone, a committee of the Red Cross is debating whether the International Humanitarian Law is applicable to online gamers, and if they are violating it. From the committee's site: 'While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating International Humanitarian Law. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of this law in video games.' While it's questionable if gamers themselves can be prosecuted for not obeying the Geneva convention, the Red Cross committee's actions seem to be aimed more at game developers — as first person shooters become more realistic, do game developers have an obligation to include humanitarian elements?"
Facebook

Facebook Denies Disputed Page To Both Mercks 210

itwbennett writes "In follow-up to yesterday's story about how Merck in Germany is threatening legal action to take its vanity Facebook URL back from Merck U.S., Facebook apologized for its 'administrative error' in reassigning the URL but said that if the two companies can't play nice, no one will get the URL."
Australia

iPhone Auto-Combusts On Australian Airplane 277

First time accepted submitter thegreymonkey writes "Last Friday, an iPhone caught fire on flight ZL319 operating from Lismore to Sydney. This incident is under investigation from Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). This accident might be related to the iPhone battery again." Whether it "caught fire" may be a matter of semantics; as reported in the above linked story and by Network World (hat tip to reader alphadogg), though, the iPhone "started glowing red and emitting dense smoke."
Robotics

Tower To Be Built By Flying Robots 58

Zothecula writes with an excerpt from an article in Gizmag: "The FRAC Centre in Orléans, France will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots. Titled 'Flight Assembled Architecture,' the six meter-high tower will be made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room."
Government

Iranian Police Tracking Dissidents Using Tech From Western Companies 161

chrb writes "A recent article at Bloomberg discusses Western companies supplying monitoring equipment to Iran. There are few regulations restricting the sale of intelligence monitoring systems to the Iranian government, and large corporations like Ericsson and Nokia have supplied the equipment used to identify dissidents and suppress anti-government protests. '[One such system from Creativity Software] can record a person’s location every 15 seconds — eight times more frequently than a similar system the company sold in Yemen, according to company documents. A tool called "geofences" triggers an alarm when two targets come in close proximity to each other. The system also stores the data and can generate reports of a person's movements. A former Creativity Software manager said the Iran system was far more sophisticated than any other systems the company had sold in the Middle East.'"
Privacy

TSA's VIPR Bites Rail, Bus, and Ferry Passengers 658

OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA's VIPR program may be expanding. According to the Washington Times, 'TSA has always intended to expand beyond the confines of airport terminals. Its agents have been conducting more and more surprise groping sessions for women, children and the elderly in locations that have nothing to do with aviation.' In Tennessee earlier this month, bus passengers in Nashville and Knoxville were searched in addition to the truck searches discussed here previously. Earlier this year in Savannah, Georgia, TSA forced a group of train travelers, including young children, to be patted down. (They were getting off the train, not on.) Ferry passengers have also been targeted. According to TSA Administrator John Pistole's testimony before the Senate last June, 'TSA conducted more than 8,000 VIPR operations in the [previous] 12 months, including more than 3,700 operations in mass-transit and passenger-railroad venues.' He wants a 50% budget increase for VIPR for 2012. Imagine what TSA would do with the extra funding."
Advertising

Mastercard, Visa To Help Target Ads 222

New submitter ThatsMyNick writes "The two largest credit-card networks, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are pushing into a new business: using what they know about people's credit-card purchases for targeting them with ads online. 'A MasterCard document obtained by the Journal outlines some of the company's plans, which included linking Web users with purchases. According to document, the credit card provider said it believes "you are what you buy." ... Visa is planning a similar service, which would aggregate its customers' purchase history into segments, including location, to make ads more effective at appealing to people in a respective area.'"
Government

TSA Doing Random Truck Searches On Tennessee Highway 578

OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA is expanding its presence to the American road system. As part of its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program, TSA agents are now working at 5 weigh stations and two bus stations in Tennessee. They are randomly checking trucks with 'drug and bomb sniffing dogs', and encouraging truck drivers to join their First Observer Highway Security Program and report anything suspicious that they see to authorities. VIPR is allegedly not a response to any particular threat."
Bitcoin

Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law 655

First time accepted submitter fyngyrz writes "Lousiana has passed a law that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea is to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to Bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any Slashdotters at all that support such a move." On the list of exceptions: people who deal in used goods or "junk" less frequently than once per month, and (drumroll, please) pawn shops. That means a pretty big chunk of the population who post in online classified ads in Louisiana are probably already in violation.
News

Reuters Reports Death of Gaddafi In Libyan City of Sirte 302

syngularyx writes with a snippet from Reuters' report that "Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said. His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen." An anonymous reader links to the news as reported by Al Jazeera (citing confirmation from the military spokesman of the National Transition Council). Time reports that many Libyans were celebrating even preliminary reports of Gaddafi's death.
Facebook

Facebook Cookies Track Users Even After Logging Out 352

First time accepted submitter Core Condor writes "According to Australian technologist Nik Cubrilovic: 'Logging out of Facebook is not enough.' He added, Even after you are logged out, Facebook is able to track your browser's page every time you visit a website. He wrote in his blog: 'With my browser logged out of Facebook, whenever I visit any page with a Facebook like button, or share button, or any other widget, the information, including my account ID, is still being sent to Facebook.' After explaining the cookies behavior he also suggested a way to fix the tracking problem: 'The only solution to Facebook not knowing who you are is to delete all Facebook cookies.'"
Security

Certificate Blunders May Mean the End For DigiNotar 128

Certificate Authority DigiNotar is having a rough time of it. dinscott writes with these words from Help Net Security: "After having its SSL and EVSSL certificates deemed untrustworthy by the most popular browsers, around 4200 qualified certificates — i.e. certificates used to create digital signatures — issued by the CA are currently in the process of being revoked and their holders notified of the fact by the Dutch independent post and telecommunication authority (OPTA). Starting from yesterday, OPTA has terminated the accreditation of DigiNotar as a certificate provider for 'qualified' certificates. The revocation of this accreditation also makes DigiNotar unqualified to issue certificates under the PKIoverheid CA."
Government

TSA Groper Files Suit Against Blogger 699

An anonymous reader writes "TSA employee Theldala Magee has filed a lawsuit against a blogger demanding $500k in damages for alleging a particularly invasive search involving multiple incursions of a finger into the passenger's vagina. The passenger, who likened the feeling to being raped, is being sued for defamation for supposedly sullying the otherwise good name of a checkpoint smurf."

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