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Businesses

Chinese Intellectual Property Acquisition Tactics Exposed 398

hackingbear writes "In an interview published in Sina.com.cn, Chinese rail engineers gave a detailed account of the history, motivation, and technologies behind the Chinese high-speed rail system. More interestingly, they blatantly revealed the strategies and tactics used in acquiring high-speed rail tech from foreign companies (Google translation of Chinese original). At the beginning, China developed its own high-speed rail system known as the Chinese Star, which achieved a test speed of 320km/h; but the system was not considered reliable or stable enough for operation. So China decided to import the technologies. The leaders instructed, 'The goal of the project is to boost our economy, not theirs.' A key strategy employed is divide-and-conquer: by dividing up the technologies of the system and importing multiple different technologies across different companies, it ensures no single country or company has total control. 'What we do is to exchange market for technologies. The negotiation was led by the Ministry of Railway [against industry alliances of the exporting countries]. This uniform executive power gave China huge advantage in negotiations,' said Wu Junrong, 'If we don't give in, they have no choice. They all want a piece of our huge high speed rail project.' For example, [Chinese locomotive train] CRH2 is based on Japanese tech, CRH3 on German tech, and CRH5 on French tech, all retrofit for Chinese rail standards. Another strategy is buy-to-build. The first three trains were imported as a whole; the second three were assembled with imported parts; subsequent trains contain more and more Chinese made parts."
Security

Security Researcher Finds Hundreds of Browser Bugs 145

An anonymous reader writes "PC Magazine reports on a very understated late night post to the full-disclosure mailing list, in which security researcher Michael Zalewski shared a fuzzing tool reportedly capable of identifying over a hundred browser bugs. Some of these bugs, he says, may be already known to third parties in China. The report also includes an account of how browser vendors fared fixing these flaws so far. Not surprisingly, Microsoft's response timeline appears depressing."
Google

Android Text Messages Intermittently Going Astray 325

theodp writes "Reports from Engadget and others suggest that Tiger Woods and Brett Favre might want to avoid Android for the time being. It seems Android's default text messaging app still has horrible text messaging bugs that can that intermittently send texts to the wrong person. 'This is ticking me off like no other technology glitch that I experienced in recent years,' reads one unhappy camper's post on a lengthy Help Forum thread opened on March 16th. 'If a bank deposited my paycheck into another person's account I wouldn't stress so much cause I can always get the money back. How the hell do you take words back? "Oh sorry boss you had to find out that I think you're an idiot, can I still keep my job, please please please?"' Over at Google Code, Issue 9392 — SMS are intermittently sent to wrong and seemingly random contact — carries a priority of 'Medium,' even though it has 600+ comments and has been starred by 3,600+ people."
Censorship

Hungarian Officials Can Now Censor the Media 185

An anonymous reader writes "Hungary is set to regulate the media, including web-published content, under a new law applicable today. The law requires all the media to provide a 'balanced view' and must not go against 'public morality,' and places all publications under the control of a new regulating body, whose top members have all been nominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban, whose strong ways have been compared to Putin's, has been tightening his grip over Hungary. 'In the seven months since Orban came to power with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, he has implemented retroactive taxes in violation of the constitution, curbed the Constitutional Court's power, effectively nationalized private pension funds and put ruling-party allies in charge of at least four independent institutions, including the audit office.' Citizens sentenced in application of the new law can still challenge it at the European Court of Human Rights — see you in a few years."
Cellphones

Micro-USB Cellphone Charger Becomes EU Standard 302

An anonymous reader writes "The European Commission has put into effect a June 2009 agreement stating that major cellphone manufacturers should standardize their charging/data connection ports to the popular Micro-USB format. CEN-CENELEC and ETSI provided the standards by which these 14 companies will abide to make cell phone recharging and data transfer easy." Apple may even bring the next-gen iPad along for the ride.
Google

YouTube Legally Considered a TV Station In Italy 254

orzetto writes "Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that YouTube and similar websites based on user-generated content will be considered TV stations (Google translation of Italian original) in Italian law, and will be subject to the same obligations. Among these, a small tax (500 €), the obligation to publish corrections within 48 hours upon request of people who consider themselves slandered by published content, and the obligation not to broadcast content inappropriate for children in certain time slots. The main change, though, is that YouTube and similar sites will be legally responsible for all published content as long as they have any form (even if automated) of editorial control. The main reason for this is probably that it will force YouTube to assume editorial responsibility for all published content, which facilitates the ongoing € 500M lawsuit of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi against YouTube because of content copyrighted by Berlusconi's TV networks that some users uploaded on YouTube. Berlusconi's Spanish TV station, TeleCinco, was previously defeated in court on the grounds that YouTube is not a content provider."
Crime

FBI Raids Texas ISP For Anonymous DDoS Info 120

jcombel writes with this link to The Smoking Gun, which says "As part of an international criminal probe into computer attacks launched this month against perceived corporate enemies of WikiLeaks, the FBI has raided a Texas business and seized a computer server that investigators believe was used to launch a massive electronic attack on PayPal." Computerworld has a story, as well.
The Media

Is Wired Hiding Key Evidence On Bradley Manning? 381

Hugh Pickens writes "Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that for more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed but refuses to publish the key evidence in the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source. 'In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year,' writes Greenwald. Wired has only published about 25% of the logs writes Greenwald and Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. 'Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest,' concludes Greenwald. 'This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a "journalist" I've ever seen.'"
The Internet

The Right's War On Net Neutrality 945

jamie writes "To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it's important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: "All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.") This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it's about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held."
Security

Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions 239

Frosty P writes "Government auditors have faulted the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, for failing to properly test and evaluate technology before spending money on it. The TSA spent about $36 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to 'sniff' them out for explosives residue. All 207 of those machines ended up in warehouses, abandoned as unable to perform as advertised, deployed in many airports before the TSA had fully tested them. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors, including $8 billion for the famous new body scanners that have recently come under scrutiny for being unable to perform the task for which they are advertised. 'TSA has an obsession of finding a single box that will solve all its problems. They've spent and wasted money looking for that one box, and there is no such solution,' said John Huey, an airport security expert."
Businesses

California Rare-Earth Mine Reopens 244

burnin1965 writes in to let us know that the looming crisis in rare-earth materials (which we have discussed recently) has prompted Molycorp, the erstwhile operator of a California mine closed in 2002, to announce plans to reopen it. "With increasing prices on rare earth ore, tariffs raised by the Chinese government, and the threat of embargoes that would damage United States high-tech manufacturing Molycorp now has the needed incentive to reopen the California Mountain Pass mine. They will spend the capital needed to implement badly needed updates to environmental controls that will mitigate the radioactive waste water releases that plagued the mine in the past. Chinese imports in the 90s nearly halved ore prices and the California mine experienced multiple failures in environmental controls that resulted in the release of huge volumes of radioactive waste water. Updating the mine to address the environmental issues was not financially viable due to the cheap Chinese imports so it was closed in 2002." Within two years the mine could be producing 20% of the amount of rare earths we import from China.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Offers an Introduction To Traitorware 263

theodp writes "The EFF's Eva Galperin offers a brief primer on Traitorware, devices that act behind your back to betray your privacy. 'Your digital camera may embed metadata into photographs with the camera's serial number or your location,' writes Galperin. 'Your printer may be incorporating a secret code on every page it prints which could be used to identify the printer and potentially the person who used it. If Apple puts a particularly creepy patent it has recently applied for into use, you can look forward to a day when your iPhone may record your voice, take a picture of your location, record your heartbeat, and send that information back to the mothership.' She concludes: 'EFF will be there to fight it [Traitorware]. We believe that your software and devices should not be a tool for gathering your personal data without your explicit consent.'"
Censorship

UK Banks Attempt To Censor Academic Publication 162

An anonymous reader writes "Representatives of the UK banking industry have sent a take-down notice (PDF link) to Cambridge University, demanding that they censor a student's webpage as well as his masters thesis (PDF). The banks' objection is that the information contained in the report might be used to exploit a vulnerability in the Chip and PIN system, used throughout Europe and Canada for credit and debit card payments. The system was revealed to be fundamentally flawed earlier this year, as it allowed criminals to use a stolen card with any PIN. Cambridge University has resisted the demands and has sent a response to the bankers explaining why they will keep the page online."

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