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Music

Warner Music Group Drops DRM for Amazon 167

SirLurksAlot sends us to Ars Technica for an article about the Warner Music Group's decision to allow DRM-free music downloads through Amazon. This reversal of Warner's former position has been underway for some time, and it boosts the number of DRM-free songs available from Amazon to 2.9 million. Quoting: "Warner's announcement says nothing about offering its content through other services such as iTunes, and represents the music industry's attempt to make life a bit more difficult for Apple after all the years in which the company held the keys to music's digital kingdom.

Batcave Home Theater 100

An anonymous reader noted a fun follow up to the Star Trek Home Theater we disussed not that long ago. "A retired naturalist thought that her cellar would be a great Batcave, and transformed it into the ultimate home theater. That's right, a Batcave themed home theater created by New Hampshire-based installer DC Audio Video Systems. The set-up includes prop bats which hang from above, a motorized 110 16:9 Stewart Electriscreen, Triad Silver THX Speakers, and a Sony G90, a $36,000 commercial 1080p 2500 x 2000 CRT projector. The room also features eight black, motorized leather recliners and a LiteTouch LC5000 System for Lighting Control." Update 18:16 GMT by SM: updated link to the original story.
Security

Flash Vulnerabilities Affect Thousands of Sites 214

An anonymous reader sends us to The Register for this security news. The problem is compounded by the fact that some of the most popular Web development tools for generating SWF produce files containing the recently disclosed vulnerabilities. "Researchers from Google have documented serious vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash content which leave thousands of websites susceptible to attacks that steal the personal details of visitors. A web search reveals more than 500,000 vulnerable applets on major corporate, government and media sites. Removing the vulnerable content will require combing through website directories for SWF files and then testing them one by one. Updates in the Adobe software that renders SWF files in browsers are also likely, but they probably wouldn't quell the threat completely... No patch in sight from Adobe, that's the price to pay for depending on proprietary solutions."
The Courts

Encryption Passphrase Protected by the 5th Amendment 537

Takichi writes "A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force the defendant to divulge his PGP passphrase. The ruling was given on the basis that the passphrase is protected under the 5th amendment to the United States Constitution (protection against self-incrimination)." The question comes down to, is your password the contents of your brain, or the keys to a safe.
Your Rights Online

Experience with Fighting Domain Farming 259

Lost_my_regs writes "I had a .com domain name relevant only to me, no legal trademark, registered and hosted at a provider that went bust. When attempting to re-host the domain I discovered, to my unpleasant surprise, that the domain is now registered by a domain farming company (name removed). My question is: Is there any way to claim back my domain?"
Toys

Flying Humans 330

mlimber sends us to the NYTimes for a story about flying people who jump from planes or other high locations wearing a wing suit akin to a flying squirrel's. Their efforts have potential military and Xtreme sports applications. The story profiles, with video, one guy who wants to be the first to jump from a plane and land without a parachute (and live). Here's a YouTube video of another of these fliers skimming six feet above skiers in the Swiss Alps. Quoting: "Modern suit design features tightly woven nylon sewn between the legs and between the arms and torso, creating wings that fill with air and create lift, allowing for forward motion and aerial maneuvers while slowing descent. As the suits, which cost about $1,000, have become more sophisticated, so have the pilots. The best fliers, and there are not many, can trace the horizontal contours of cliffs, ridges and mountainsides."
Security

Privacy Breach In Canadian Passport Application Site 197

Joanna Karczmarek sends us news of a massive privacy breach in the Government of Canada passport website. "A security flaw in Passport Canada's website has allowed easy access to the personal information — including social insurance numbers, dates of birth and driver's license numbers — of people applying for new passports. ... The breach was discovered last week by an Ontario man completing his own passport application. He found he could easily view the applications of others by altering one character in the Internet address displayed by his Web browser."
Google

Google's Gdrive Raises Instant Privacy Concerns 197

An anonymous reader writes "The rumor mill is already raging over the potential functionality and capacity for Google's online storage service we talked about earlier this week (the company says 'it makes sense' to put all its Web apps under the same umbrella). But Internet rights advocates are now crying foul over liability issues, a probable lack of encryption and a cash-cow model that could scan all your personal data for advertising keywords. From the article: "'Google would be wise to offer users an option to encrypt your information,' says Nimrod Kozlovski, a professor of Internet law at Tel Aviv University. 'It really needs to have really detailed explanations of what the legal expectations are for storing your info.'""
Patents

Nigerian Company Sues OLPC 277

d0ida writes on the continuing troubles at the OLPC Association. Adding to the recent difficulties — the BBC has picked up the litany — a US-based, Nigerian-owned company has now filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against OLPC. Lagos Analysis Corp. claims that OLPC "made unauthorized use of LANCOR's multilingual keyboard technology invention in XO laptops." The suit was filed in Lagos.
Security

Cryptography Expert Sounds Alarm At Possible Math Hack 236

netbuzz writes "First we learn from Bruce Schneier that the NSA may have left itself a secret back door in an officially sanctioned cryptographic random-number generator. Now Adi Shamir is warning that a math error unknown to a chip makers but discovered by a tech-savvy terrorist could lead to serious consequences, too. Remember the Intel blunder of 1996? 'Mr. Shamir wrote that if an intelligence organization discovered a math error in a widely used chip, then security software on a PC with that chip could be "trivially broken with a single chosen message." Executing the attack would require only knowledge of the math flaw and the ability to send a "poisoned" encrypted message to a protected computer, he wrote. It would then be possible to compute the value of the secret key used by the targeted system.'"
Security

Hushmail Passing PGP Keys to the US Government 303

teknopurge writes "Apparently Hushmail has been providing information to law enforcement behind the backs of their clients. Billed as secure email because of their use of PGP, Hushmail has been turning over private keys of users to the authorities on request. 'DEA agents received three CDs which contained decrypted emails for the targets of the investigation that had been decrypted as part of a mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Canada. The news will be embarrassing to the company, which has made much of its ability to ensure that emails are not read by the authorities, including the FBI's Carnivore email monitoring software.'"
Music

Gene Simmons Blames College Kids For Music Industry Woes 860

drcagn writes "Gene Simmons has blasted 'college' kids and claims that they have destroyed the music industry, with the labels also to blame for not properly suing them out of existence when they had the chance. When asked about Radiohead and Trent Reznor's recent support of a different direction in music distribution, he says "that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say 'Come on in and pay whatever you want.' Are you on f---ing crack?" When asked about music being free and making money off of merchandise, he says, "The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care?" even though earlier in the interview he brags that he believes that KISS's merchandise is more profitable than Elvis's or the Beatles.'"
The Military

Submission + - Submarine propeller caught by sattelite (ogleearth.com)

TI-8477 writes: The Navy Times reports in a long article dated Aug 19 that a maritime buff, Dan Twohig, found bird's eye view imagery on Microsoft Virtual Earth showing the uncloaked propeller of a US Ohio class submarine in a dry dock.
Graphics

Submission + - The early days of 3D games (blogspot.com)

Christophe de Dinechin writes: "What was Infogrames like when they occupied a single floor of a single building? Was Frederick Raynal already such a bright guy long before becoming insanely famous for "Alone in the Dark" (answer: yes)? How do you draw 3D using mostly additions? As the author of one of the earliest 3D videogames, I wrote a personal account of these crazy days, back when real men coded on real CPUs which had no clue about real numbers (aka floating point)."
Media

MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed 299

Billosaur writes "Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from MLB.com before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck. MLB.com, sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the MLB.com servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."

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