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Comment what is the point? (Score 5, Insightful) 630

What is the point of this? If the sex-offenders have already been caught and tried, then what does this prove? If they have already been sentenced, then any incriminating evidence is merely extra. If they haven't been tried, then can't they plead the "5th"? Finally, if this is to deter them from doing heinous acts in the future, then what is to stop them from opening another account?

To me, this smacks of government types trying to set a legal precedent for taking over peoples passwords, online identities, etc. Because it is the evil sex offenders, the public won't care. Then later the government can say: "But there is a precedent for taking passwords; its been done for a long time." Then the public shrugs and figures that if it has been going on for a while, then it can't be all that bad. And another personal liberty is thus erased.

Comment use of force (Score 1) 414

Its called the "We've Got A Bigger Army" philosophy. Look up President Jackson and the Trail of Tears for more info on the Executive branch trumping the Supreme Court. Then look at the current administration, and see how many of these attitudes continue in the office to today. I'm not trying to politicize or anything, but merely demonstrate that power (in any situation) tends to create its own rules, whether legitimized or not.
Social Networks

Submission + - Australia uses Facebook to track debtors (yahoo.com)

a302b writes: A Canberra lawyer has been permitted to serve legal documents via Facebook for a couple that defaulted on some loans. He claims he needed to do this because he was unable to track them down to a physical address. At what point does our online presence become "real"? And what opportunities are available for fraud, if social networking sites are considered legal representations of ourselves, even when they can be anonymously created under any name?
The Internet

How To Clean Up Incorrect Geolocation Information? 392

zorro6 writes "I thought this might be an interesting question/topic and it would sure help me to get some kind of answer. I recently got internet service from a small, local wireless ISP in my area (south central Colorado, USA). The strange thing is that many, many web sites think I am in Quebec, Canada when I use the service. Evidently some geolocation service thinks my IP address indicates I am in Canada. I have checked the obvious. The WHOIS information for my IP correctly indicates a location of Durango, CO. So the bad info is coming from some more sophisticated geolocation service. My ISP is at a loss as to how to fix this but it is causing me a lot of grief. Many of the ads I get shown on Yahoo! for instance are in French! Certain sites won't sell me goods or services because they don't do business in Canada. So far I know that Yahoo! (or their ad provider), Nvidia, Movielink, etc. all think I am in Canada. I would sure appreciate any help/info on how to get this corrected."
Security

Man Fired When Laptop Malware Downloaded Porn 635

Geoffrey.landis writes "The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents fired worker Michael Fiola and initiated procedures to prosecute him for child pornography when they determined that internet temporary files on his laptop computer contained child porn. According to Fiola, 'My boss called me into his office at 9 a.m. The director of the Department of Industrial Accidents, my immediate supervisor, and the personnel director were there. They handed me a letter and said, "You are being fired for a violation of the computer usage policy. You have pornography on your computer. You're fired. Clean out your desk. Let's go."' Fiola said, 'They wouldn't talk to me. They said, "We've been advised by our attorney not to talk to you."' However, prosecutors dropped the case when a state investigation of his computer determined there was insufficient evidence to prove he had downloaded the files. Computer forensic analyst Tami Loehrs, who spent a month dissecting the computer for the defense, explained in a 30-page report that the laptop was running corrupted virus-protection software, and Fiola was hit by spammers and crackers bombarding its memory with images of incest and pre-teen porn not visible to the naked eye. The virus protection and software update functions on the laptop had been disabled, and apparently the laptop was 'crippled' by malware. According to Loehrs, 'When they gave him this laptop, it had belonged to another user, and they changed the user name for him, but forgot to change the SMS user name, so SMS was trying to connect to a user that no longer existed ... It was set up to do all of its security updates via the server, and none of that was happening because he was out in the field.' A malware script on the machine surfed foreign sites at a rate of up to 40 per minute whenever the machine was within range of a wireless site."
Communications

In The US, Email Is Only For Old People 383

lxw56 writes "Two years after Slashdot discussed the theory that Korean young people were rejecting email, an article at the Slate site written by Chad Lorenz comes to the same conclusion about the United States. 'Those of us older than 25 can't imagine a life without e-mail. For the Facebook generation, it's hard to imagine a life of only e-mail, much less a life before it. I can still remember the proud moment in 1996 when I sent my first e-mail from the college computer lab. It felt like sending a postcard from the future. I was getting a glimpse of how the Internet would change everything--nothing could be faster and easier than e-mail.'"
Businesses

Submission + - BBC Abuse of license fee's (fluxradio.org)

therealgrumpydog writes: "This is where your life gets tricky from a legal "standpoint" in the UK with the BBC Television License. I have been trawling through the "small print" To see what is legal and illegal. Basically we are at a crux and damned in the UK by the BBC. You no longer need to have a television for the BBC and TV licensing to fine you. All you need is a device that can view or record any television programme and you are doomed. Yes that is right, you will have to pay £135.50 for a colour license and £45.50 for a monochrome (Black and White) television or any other device. So I ask where do we go from here? This is just another stealth tax and every mobile phone you buy, ipod,television, DVD recorder, computer, the information is legally past onto http://wwww.tvlicensing.co.uk/ Basically we are being screwed over and the government is abusing the Data Protection Act! This is illegal in law but it is enforced. We cannot keep on living like this! If you have an receiving device like a radio you still have to pay the fee's to the BBC. I for one, if I do not have a television but have a computer that can stream television and radio, so what, but I am obliged by law to pay a license fee. I say fuck you BBC. The BBC used to have respect, especially the World Service. No longer does the BBC have that respect, it is just another stealth tax. Thanks to Blair and now Gordon Brown the UK is in a mess, So Just remember when you buy a new phone your details are stored on a database and you can be threatened with a fine up to £1,000 because you can receive television over it. It is an illegal offence if you do not buy a license, All your privacy has gone to pot. Solution, buying any device that is capable of streaming any media, give a foobar name and address to stop the BBC stalking you unwarranted money. Btw your warranty on your goods is still valid, keep the receipt and original packaging. Good luck, Do not feed the BBC Trolls"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - 10 Great Snake-Oil Gadgets (wired.com) 5

The Byelorussian Strikes Again writes: "Wired offers up 10 of the most awesome snake oil gadgets, from industrial cables sold as $200 ionized pain-relieving bracelets to a plastic chip that cures anything, improves gas mileage and cleans swimming pools. One truly sad development: the infamous $500 wooden volume knob is no longer on sale."
Hardware Hacking

MIT Students Show How the Inca Leapt Canyons 185

PCOL writes "When Conquistadors came to Peru from Spain in 1532, they were astonished to see Inca suspension bridges achieve clear spans of at least 150 feet at a time when the longest Roman bridge in Spain had a maximum span of 95 feet. The bridges swayed under the weight of traffic terrifying the Spanish and their horses, even though, as one Spaniard observed, they were almost as "sturdy as the street of Seville." To build the bridges, thick cables were pulled across a river with small ropes and attached to stone abutments on each side. Three of the big cables served as the floor of the bridge, two others served as handrails and pieces of wood were tied to the cable floor before the floor was strewn with branches to give firm footing for beasts of burden. Earlier this year students at MIT built a 70-foot fiber bridge in the style of the Incan Empire. The project used sisal twine from the Yucatan Peninsula and anchored it by wrapping it around massive concrete blocks. The weekend's burst of activity was preceded by 360 hours of rope-twisting as the 50 miles of sisal twine was turned into rope. Working together as a group was part of the exercise. "A third of the time was spent learning to work together," one of the students said. "But after a while, we were banging those cables out.""
Books

Submission + - The Future of Reading

theodp writes: "With a seven-page cover story on The Future of Reading, Newsweek confirms all those rumors of Amazon's imminent introduction of the Kindle, a $399 e-book reader that aims to change the way we read. Kindle, which is named to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge, has the dimensions of a paperback, weighs 10.3 oz., and uses E Ink technology on a 6-inch screen powered by a battery that gets up to 30 hours from a 2-hour charge. Kindle's real breakthrough is its EVDO-like wireless connectivity, which allows it to work anywhere, not just at Wi-Fi hotspots. More than 88,000 titles will be on sale at the Kindle store at launch, with NYT best sellers priced at $9.99. Subscribe to newspapers, magazines and even blogs, and content will be beamed automatically into your Kindle. Web access, including Wikipedia, Google search and PDF e-mail attachments, will also be available."
Social Networks

Submission + - Fake online 'friend' led to girl's suicide (cnn.com)

johncadengo writes: Where is justice when no law exists? Megan Meier thought she had made a friend through the social networking web site MySpace. Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with 'Josh' for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel. The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's. Now Megan's parents hope the people who made the fraudulent profile on the social networking web site will be prosecuted, and they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the Internet.
Math

Submission + - Open Source Mathematical Software

An anonymous reader writes: The American Mathematical society has an opinion piece about open source software vs propietary software used in mathematics. From the article : "Increasingly, proprietary software and the algorithms used are an essential part of mathematical proofs. To quote J. Neubüser, 'with this situation two of the most basic rules of conduct in mathematics are violated: In mathematics information is passed on free of charge and everything is laid open for checking.'"
Software

Submission + - Obama Pledges Support for Open Document Formats (consortiuminfo.org)

Andy Updegrove writes: "ODF first made the headlines in Massachusetts when presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was its governor. Now, another presidential candidate has pledged his support for them as well. On November 14th, Barack Obama revealed his detailed IT plan for a more open and technically enabled government in a speech at Google's Mountainview campus. In that speech, he said: "It's no coincidence that one of the most secretive Administrations in history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to sunlight. As President, I'll change that. I'll put government data online in universally accessible formats." In calling for open formats, Obama has introduced an IT hot potato into the presidential debate that has already riled the waters in multiple state legislatures and been the subject of heavy lobbying by vendors. Whether other candidates in general — and Mitt Romney in particular — will respond in kind or opt to keep their distance remains to be seen."
Privacy

Submission + - Japan to Fingerprint, Photograph all Foreigners (theage.com.au)

MochaMan writes: "As of this Tuesday, November 20th, Japan will be requiring mandatory fingerprinting and mug shots of all foreigners entering the country, making it one of only two countries in the world to do so. The program goes further than the US program in that it also applies to visa-holders and permanent residents. The prints will be stored and shared with other governments. The Japanese government has produced an explanatory video, and even a promotional PDF poster. Japanese and international civil rights groups have raised concerns that the practice is both an invasion of privacy and discriminatory. An online petition to abolish the program is available. Is the age of privacy over?"

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