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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."
Australia

Australian Telstra Monopoly Dead 100

philmarcracken writes "The Senate recently passed a bill through the Lower House for the separation of Telstra's retail and wholesale arms and now that same bill has just scraped by in the Upper House; 30 to 28. The deal is worth $11 billion AUD for Telstra and is welcomed by them despite Coalition opposition. This paves the way for the governmental body NBNco to use Telstra's existing assets and expedite laying fibre optic cables to the larger population densities."
Bug

Computer Glitch Leaves Some Australians Without Cash 195

An anonymous reader writes "National Australia Bank payments to customers were again delayed today after a computer glitch yesterday morning due to a corrupted file in its mainframe computer. Upset consumers are now demanding compensation for any fees for late mortgage and credit card payments, overdrawn accounts or bounced direct debits charged by any institutions as a result of the mess."
Graphics

Company Seeks To Boost Linux Game Development With 3D Engine Giveaway 140

binstream writes "To support Linux game development, Unigine Corp. announced a competition: it will give a free license for its Unigine engine to a seasoned team willing to work on a native Linux game. The company has been Linux-friendly from the very start; it released advanced GPU benchmarks (Heaven, Tropics, Sanctuary) for Linux before and is working on the OilRush strategy game that supports Linux as well."
Intel

New MacBook Pros To Sport Light Peak Technology 356

An anonymous reader writes "Over the past few years, Apple has systematically upgraded the base level MacBook to a level where the difference between the Pro and consumer models were arguably becoming negligible. That's about to change. Apple will reportedly introduce a completely re-designed MacBook Pro this April that will borrow features from the recently released MacBook Air. The new Pros will reportedly come with an SSD and Light Peak technology, a transfer protocol capable of 10 Gbps both up and down. Light Peak, jointly developed by Intel and Apple, will reportedly be an Apple exclusive at first."
Databases

CA Sues Over DB2 Migration Tool 104

aesoteric writes "Software giant CA has filed suit against an Australian software developer over a program that allegedly enabled companies to migrate off CA database platforms onto IBM DB2. It claimed the software 'reproduced' portions of confidential source and object codes without permission and deprived CA of license fees. CA also disputed claims that its database platform was 'dying.'"
Privacy

Motorcyclist Wins Taping Case Against State Police 485

stevegee58 writes "Slashdot readers may recall the case of a Maryland motorcyclist (Anthony Graber) arrested and charged with wiretapping violations (a felony) when he recorded his interaction with a Maryland State Trooper. Today, Judge Emory A. Pitt threw out the wiretapping charges against Graber, leaving only his traffic violations to be decided on his October 12 trial date. 'The judge ruled that Maryland's wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.' A happy day for freedom-loving Marylanders and Americans in general."
Patents

Letter To Abolish Software Patents In Australia 166

Ben Sturmfels writes "Over 500 members of the Australian software industry have have signed an open letter urging their government to abolish software patents. Signatories include free software luminaries Andrew Tridgell and Jonathan Oxer. In 2008 the Australian government began a Review of Patentable Subject Matter. While we missed the 2009 public consultation period, we hope to influence the government's response to the Review, due in February 2011. The letter will be presented to Minister Kim Carr in early August."
Australia

A How-To Website For Australian Voters 158

Twisted64 writes "If you're interested in voting below the line in the upcoming federal election in Australia, but don't want to waste time in the booth individually ranking up to 76 candidates (for the unfortunates in New South Wales), then Cameron McCormack's website may have what you need. The website allows voters to set their preferences beforehand, dragging and dropping Stephen Conroy at the bottom of the barrel and thrusting the Sex Party into pole position (as an utterly random example). Once preferences are set, the site can generate a PDF to be printed and taken to the booth." (More, below.)
Data Storage

New PS3 Firmware Causing HDD Upgrade Problems? 82

Channard writes "While there have been occasional reports of previous PS3 firmware upgrades causing system crashes and so forth, Sony's new firmware upgrade for the system, 3.41, is apparently stopping PS3 owners from upgrading their hard disks. This problem has been encountered by many users on Sony's forums and occurs when you try to put a new hard disk into a PS3 that already has the firmware upgrade installed. The general course of action for upgrading a PS3's drive is that you download the latest PS3 firmware onto a memory stick and, after swapping the hard drive in the PS3, plug the stick in, allowing the PS3 to properly prepare the disk for use. But as of upgrade 3.41, the PS3 fails to recognize the firmware on the stick, complaining that it can't proceed until you insert the correct firmware. Repeating the process and re-downloading the firmware does not fix the problem, as I can confirm, having encountered the problem myself. Users can put the old hard disk back in, provided they've not reformatted it for some other purpose, so all is not lost. Sony have apparently told gaming website CVG that 'The information available to our Consumer Services Department does not suggest that this is a problem PlayStation owners are likely to experience when upgrading the HDD with 3.41 update.' This seems to fly in the face of the currently available information — although whether or not this statement was issued by Kevin Butler is unclear. Either way, PS3 owners encountering this problem will likely have to wait a few days for a fix and use their old HDDs for now."
Mars

New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."
Image

Plastic Bottle Catamaran Crosses The Pacific Ocean 56

The Plastiki, a catamaran made with plastic bottles, has completed a 8,000 mile trip between San Francisco and Sydney. Captain David de Rothschild said, "The Plastiki is literally a metaphorical message in a bottle about beating waste and reducing our human fingerprints on our natural environment." The boat will go on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum for the next month.

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