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The Courts

Submission + - Oregon AG Seeks to investigate RIAA tactics

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Turning the tables on the RIAA's attempt to subpoena information from the University of Oregon about the identities of the university students, the Attorney General has now filed additional papers requesting permission from the Court to conduct immediate discovery into the RIAA's 'data mining' techniques, such as the use of unlicensed investigators, the turning over of subpoenaed information to collection agencies, the obtaining of personal information from computers. The AG pointed out (pdf) that "Because Plaintiffs routinely obtain ex parte discovery in their John Doe infringement suits.....their factual assertions supporting their good cause argument are never challenged by an adverse party and their investigative methods remain free of scrutiny. They often settle their cases quickly before defendants obtain legal representation and begin to conduct discovery...... and have dropped cases, such as their case against Tanya Andersen, in which their methods and practices have been challenged through counterclaims...... While the University is not a party to the case, Plaintiffs' subpoena affects the university's rights and obligations. Plaintiffs may be spying on students who use the University's computer system and may be accessing much more than IP addresses." As one commentator succinctly put it, "They'll be going bananas in RIAA land" after reading this filing."
Government

Canada's New DMCA Considered Worst Copyright Law 234

loconet writes "The government of Canada is preparing to attempt to bring a new DMCA-modeled copyright law in Canada in order to comply with the WIPO treaties the country signed in 1997. (These treaties were also the base of the American DMCA.) The new Canadian law will be even more restrictive in nature than the American version and worse than the last Canadian copyright proposal, the defeated Bill C-60. Among the many restrictive clauses in this new law, as Michael Geist explains, is the total abolishment of the concept of fair use: 'No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing.' Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues."
The Courts

Submission + - Ohio University finds key to getting RIAA to stop 7

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, has found the key to getting the RIAA to stop inundating it and its students with "settlement" letters. According to the university's student online publication, the university paid $60,000, plus $16,000 per year "maintenance", to Audible Magic, the business partner of the RIAA's all-purpose expert witness Dr. Doug Jacobson, for its "CopySense" filtering software. Once it made the payments, the letters stopped. This of course raises a lot of questions as to the 'disinterestedness' of Dr. Jacobson, whose deposition in the UMG v. Lindor case was the subject of interesting Slashdot commentary."
United States

Submission + - Forensics Expert says Al-Qaeda Images Altered

WerewolfOfVulcan writes: Wired reports that researcher Neal Krawetz revealed some veeeeeery interesting things about the Al-Qaeda images that our government loves to show off.

From the article: "Krawetz was also able to determine that the writing on the banner behind al-Zawahiri's head was added to the image afterward. In the second picture above showing the results of the error level analysis, the light clusters on the image indicate areas of the image that were added or changed. The subtitles and logos in the upper right and lower left corners (IntelCenter is an organization that monitors terrorist activity and As-Sahab is the video production branch of al Qaeda) were all added at the same time, while the banner writing was added at a different time, likely around the same time that al-Zawahiri was added, Krawetz says." Why would Al-Qaeda add an IntelCenter logo to their video? Why would IntelCenter add an Al-Qaeda logo? Methinks we have bigger fish to fry than Gonzo and his fired attorneys... }:-) The article contains links to Krawetz's presentation and the source code he used to analyze the photos.
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day (rixstep.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement.
Slashdot.org

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.
Security

Submission + - Should We Rebuild America with Minneapolis Bridge? (popularmechanics.com) 2

mattnyc99 writes: The tragic collapse last night in Minneapolis of a truss bridge—one that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation found "structurally deficient" two years ago—raises an important issue beyond just the engineering of one single span. As national security expert Stephen Flynn pleads in an op-ed on American infrastructure in the wake of yesterday's disaster, "The blind eye that taxpayers and our elected officials have been turning to the imperative of maintaining and upgrading the critical foundations that underpin our lives is irrational and reckless." Do we need to start spending to rebuild America?
Privacy

Submission + - UCLA Probe Finds Taser Incident Out Of Policy (ucla.edu)

Bandor Mia writes: Last November, it was reported that UCLA cops Tasered a student, who forgot to bring his ID, at the UCLA library. While an internal probe by UCLAPD cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, an outside probe by Police Assessment Resource Center has found that the police actions on Mostafa Tabatabainejad were indeed out of UCLA policy. The probe was conducted at the behest of acting UCLA Chancellor Norman Abrams.

From the report:
"In light of UCLAPD's general use of force policy and its specific policies on pain compliance techniques, Officer 2's three applications of the Taser, taken together, were out of policy. Officer 2 did not take advantage of other options and opportunities reasonably available to de-escalate the situation without the use of the Taser. Reasonable campus police officers, upon assessing the circumstances, likely would have embraced different choices and options that appear likely to have been more consistent both with UCLAPD policy and general best law enforcement practices."

Businesses

Submission + - What is the job path to CTO?

Mavenj writes: "I have been working in IT for over 10 years, and have worked most everything where you have to be technical and work with the customer, from support to implementation. Recently I finally finished my Master in Information Systems, and would like to put that oh so expensive degree to work for me. The job I am looking for would be something that requires technical ability, but is also focused on the business end, and managing the technology in the business (think CTO) What kind of jobs do people start out in to end up as CTO? Does Business Analyst set a good framework of skills and experience or should I be looking at other job titles? How have other people gotten there?"
The Internet

Submission + - We will all get rich taking in each others Laundry

BigTom writes: The register is running a report about the Stanford Summit where various VR luminaries Philip Rosedale, Craig Sherman and Jaron Lanier.
Among claims of VR environments running on "100 of millions of servers" Jaron Lanier made the prediction that: "In 25 years, robotics will be so good, we'll have no more manufacturing jobs. Software will be so good, there will be no more consulting jobs. But we will all get rich buying and selling virtual goods."
He had me going for a moment, but then "no more consulting jobs"? Yeah, right.
United States

Submission + - Highway 35W Collapses into Mississippi (wcco.com)

dcapel writes: "In what has been called the worst engineering disaster in decades, a bridge of highway 35W, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has collapsed into the Mississippi. The collapse took place during late rush-hour traffic, so an estimated 50 cars were on the bridge at the time. There is no evidence for terrorist involvement, but an engineering or safety flaw of immense proportions must have been involved. As someone who was working only blocks away at the time, this happened entirely too close to home."
Spam

Submission + - Spammers use modified PDF files to avoid detection

thefickler writes: In the continuing effort to get more spam past email filters, professional spammers are not only stepping up their use of PDF attachments to deliver their offers of penile implants and cheap pharmaceuticals, but they are also modifying the PDFs to avoid detection. Worse yet, the chief security analyst at MessageLabs, Mark Sunner, has suggested that PDF attachments might soon be used by spammers to delivery malware.
The Internet

Submission + - 365 Main Generator Flaw May Affect Other Providers (datacenterknowledge.com)

1sockchuck writes: "A flaw in a Detroit Diesel Electronic Controller (DDEC) was the key point of failure in the July 24th power outage at 365 Main's San Francisco data center, the company said today in a report to customers. The controller manages generator speed, and effectively prevented three of the data center's generators from starting properly when grid power from PG&E was interrupted. While much of the media attention has focused on the blame game, the DDEC flaw may affect other data centers using the same component, which has been discontinued but is still in use in many generators. "We've talked with other people in our industry that have seen the same issues," said 365 Main's VP of operations. "This is a problem that is going to be felt by anyone who is using a Detroit Diesel MTU 4 controller." 365 Main's generator vendor, Hitec Power, is said to be contacting other customers with similar equipment to head off a repeat elsewhere."
Security

What We Know About the FBI's CIPAV Spyware 207

StonyandCher writes "What is CIPAV? CIPAV stands for 'Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier'; a lengthy term for powerful spyware the Federal Bureau of Investigation can bring to bear on web-based crime. It was used last month in a case where someone was emailing bomb threats regularly to a Washington high school. An affidavit by an FBI agent revealed some of the workings of CIPAV. 'According to the court filing, this is [some of] what the CIPAV collects from the infected computer: IP address, Media Access Control address for the network card, List of open TCP and UDP ports, List of running programs ... Last visited URL. Once that initial inventory is conducted, the CIPAV slips into the background and silently monitors all outbound communication, logging every IP address to which the computer connects, and time and date stamping each.' In a Computerworld article, the author attempts to dissect CIPAV's purpose and raises a number of questions such as: What happens to the data the CIPAV collects? Does the CIPAV capture keystrokes? Can the CIPAV spread on its own to other computers, either purposefully or by accident? Does it erase itself after its job is done?"
The Internet

Submission + - How the Facebook platform is changing the world

malbrech writes: "An article in the Guardian technology blog points us to how the Facebook platform makes web applications explode virally. There is also an excellent analysis of Facebook by Marc Andreesen (remember? the guy who did Mosaic and Netscape). In a nutshell: the carefully designed instant awareness of your friends of the application you just started using, makes them use it too. That cascades onto their friends, and so on. The result: your servers get blown apart in very short time. You might be famous, but flat out beaten by traffic."

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