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Submission + - PayPal cuts off Wikileaks (domaincensorship.com)

lothos writes: PayPal has released a statement on their blog: “PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.”

This move comes right on the heels of Amazon cutting off hosting for wikileaks.org and EasyDNS.net terminating DNS services for wikileaks.org.


Biometric Face Recognition At Your Local Mall 120

dippityfisch writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that face recognition is being considered at Westfield's Sydney mall to catch offenders. The identification system matches images captured by surveillance cameras to an existing database of faces. Police said they could not comment on the center's intentions, but would welcome any move to improve security and technology in the area."

Submission + - Facebook's New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad. (eff.org)

Alt-F2 writes: Every Facebook user should be aware of the analysis made by EFF about the Facebook's New Privacy Changes;
"EFF took a close look at the changes to figure out which ones are for the better — and which ones are for the worse.

Our conclusion? These new "privacy" changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before. Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data.

Not to say that many of the changes aren't good for privacy. But other changes are bad, while a few are just plain ugly."

Submission + - How can we bring back wifi sharing? (shareyourwifi.org)

trbdavies writes: Last Saturday evening, standing on the corner of 24th and Church in san fran, my Nokia N810 found about 20 wifi signals, all but one of them locked down. And the unlocked one wouldn't validate. Earlier in this decade, there would have been fewer routers on that corner, but there would have been a few open ones. Others have complained about the disappearance of free wifi at cafes and the like. ShareYourWifi.org pushes back against this trend, but a campaign to bring back free wifi needs more than a website. How about t-shirts, stickers, and window signs?

Submission + - IBM's newest mainframe is all Linux (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: IBM has released a new mainframe server that doesn't include its z/OS operating system. This Enterprise Linux Server line supports supports Red Hat or Suse. The system is packaged with mainframe management and virtualization tools. Its minimum processor configuration are two specialty mainframe processors designed for Linux. IBM wants to go after large multicore x86 Linux servers and believes the $212,000 entry price can do it.

Submission + - Buy Local, Act Evil

theodp writes: Slate reports that buying local vegetables and organic products may turn you into a heartless jerk. University of Toronto researchers found that virtuous shopping can actually lead to immoral behavior. In their study, subjects who made simulated eco-friendly purchases ended up less likely to exhibit altruism in a laboratory game and more likely to cheat and steal. The findings add to a growing body of research into a phenomenon known among social psychologists as "moral credentials" or "moral licensing." When people have the chance to demonstrate their goodness, even in the most token of ways, they then feel free to relax their ethical standards in other areas. For example, researchers at Northwestern reported that subjects who wrote self-flattering stories later pledged to give less money to charity than others. And in another recent study, participants who recalled their own righteous deeds were less inclined to donate blood, volunteer, or engage in other "prosocial" acts. They were also more likely to cheat on a math assignment. Elsewhere on Slate, Al Gore rebuffed criticism of his green technology investments as he discussed how he hopes his new book will help people find solutions to the problem of global warming (sorry, couldn't resist!).

Submission + - License for textbooks - GNU or CC? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a college professor who is putting together an open-source textbook. I'm trying to decide between using the GNU Free Documentation License or the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. I don't really understand the difference
between these, though it seems with the Free Documentation License I need to include a copy of the license in my text.

Which do you advise using?

Comment Re:Too costly (Score 1) 322

I just got a nearly new version of the predecessor of the N900 - the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet - for $140 on EBay. Prices should be coming down even more. It's not a phone, but runs Maemo, gives you root (with a simple download), and has bluetooth, Skype over wifi, and a USB port, so there are multiple ways to turn it into a phone through a data plan (with USB cellular modems and routers, for example). And it's a GPS device to boot. There really is some wonderful technology out there if you know where to look and don't buy hyped up but locked down "smart" phones.

Submission + - Cnet: "iPhone is worst phone in the world" (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Cnet has claimed Apple's iPhone is the worst phone in the world, for several reasons. From the article: "The iPhone may be the greatest handheld surfing device ever to rock the mobile Web, and a fabulous media player to boot. It may be the highest-rated mobile phone on CNET UK, but as an actual call-making phone, it's rubbish, and we aim to prove it." And so follows 1,500 words aiming to explain why.

Submission + - Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words

theodp writes: To exist or not to exist: that is the query. That's what the famous Hamlet soliloquy might look like if subjected to Amazon's newly-patented System and Method for Marking Content, which calls for 'programmatically substituting synonyms into distributed text content,' including 'books, short stories, product reviews, book or movie reviews, news articles, editorial articles, technical papers, scholastic papers, and so on' in an effort to uniquely identify customers who redistribute material. In its description of the 'invention,' Amazon also touts the use of 'alternative misspellings for selected words' as a way to provide 'evidence of copyright infringement in a legal action.' After all, anti-piracy measures should trump kids' ability to spell correctly, shouldn't they?

Submission + - Governance By Website Instead Of Politicians?

An anonymous reader writes: When the internet spread out to mainstream population, it did not take long for politicians and activists to start using it as a way to communicate to their constituents, to organize supporters, and more recently even to solicit input. Then as collaborative technologies began to develop, some people started to wonder what exactly we needed the politicians for. After all, complex projects like Wikipedia and SlashDot are driven in large part by the user-base, not a small group of overlords. So why can't every governance system be open to input from everyone? Over the past couple of years, this movement has been crystalizing in the Metagovernment project, and now they have brought together numerous software projects (most in late Alpha) which are actively building governance systems meant to operate with little or no input from elected leaders. It should be pointed out that none of these systems are majority-rule or referenda systems: they are much more complex collaborative decision-making systems, deliberately designed to avoid the pitfalls of traditional direct democracy. The group has also compiled a much longer list of related projects. So, what is the future of the idea of "open sourcing" human governance: doomed, possible, or inevitable?

Submission + - In defense of insider trading (forbes.com)

trbdavies writes: As the Galleon Group insider trading case moves toward a trial, John Tamny at Forbes.com makes a pretty good argument that laws against insider trading are incoherent, and offers a full-blown "defense of the much-maligned practice". It does seem puzzling what the main principle should be here. As Tamny says, "information asymmetry is what makes investing a worthwhile pursuit to begin with. If everyone had access to the same information, there would be little opportunity for gain when investing." A better approach might be to require more detailed and immediate disclosure of every trade, which seems like it would drastically limit the timeframe and magnitude of insider deals. The methods used in the Galleon case also raise questions about whether future enforcement is really viable. The case against Raj Rajaratnam and 5 others is based on wiretapping evidence with cooperating witnesses — the first time such evidence has been used in an insider trading case, a la cases against the mafia. It seems very likely, now that everyone is aware of the possibility of such wiretaps, that future inside information will simply not be passed by cell phone, but through less tappable backchannels or even steganography. How is the FBI going to detect that two people are passing messages to each other by rearranging the stones along a hillside trail?

Submission + - Flu Pandemic may lead to websites being blocked (reuters.com)

mikael writes: While corporations and businesses have been advised on how to allow employees to work remotely from home, there is still some uncertainty on how ISP's would be able to handle the extra flow of traffic. The Department of Homeland Security is suggesting that ISP's be prepared to block popular websites in order to prioritize bandwidth for commercial use.

Submission + - GAO says Homeland Security should take over 'net (msn.com)

gclef writes: Under the guise of responding to potential Internet congestion in the case of a pandemic flu, the US Government Account Office is recommending that Homeland Security should be planning to take over the Internet. Some of their recommendations include turning off high-traffic sites and telling ISPs to re-prioritize their traffic to either force everyone to slower speeds or only preferring traffic from certain users. MSNBC has a story on it but the full GAO report is where the real fun is. Of special note is the appendix where DHS basically says that this isn't their job or their problem.

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