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Submission + - What Is The Value Of 24 Pirated Songs? (conceivablytech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Jammie Rassett-Thomas has received her fourth sentence: A jury found her guilty of illegally sharing 24 songs back in 2005 and awarded a sentence of $1.5 million in damages to the plaintiffs — Sony BMG, Arista Records LLC, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings, Capitol Records and Warner Bros. Records. So what is the exact value of those 24 songs? The U.S. law system has already come up with $222,000, $1.92 million, $54,000 and now $1.5 million. I am sure that was not the last number and we will be hearing more. The purpose of this trial appears to have been lost a long time ago. It has turned into a fight for headlines and the pure principle of Rasset-Thomas believing that she was treated unfairly and the music industry not been able to let go of this case as it would have to fear the aftershock in other cases.

Submission + - How Well Do You Know Your Code? (linux.com)

jennifercloer writes: Uncover what exactly is in your code: If you work with open source software of any kind — whether at work or as a volunteer — then you understand the importance of license compliance and keeping track of copyright ownership. But as a project grows, those tasks can get tricky, even when everyone is on the same page...

Submission + - Firm Finds Holes in PayPal, Other Mobile Apps (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: eBay's PayPal online payment division is rushing a software patch to users of its iPhone mobile payments application to plug a hole that leaves users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks, but the firm that found that hole said transaction security is just one problem facing the mobile payments application.

An audit by Chicago firm ViaForensics discovered serious security holes in the PayPal mobile payment application for Apple's iPhone. Flaws that could allow attackers to set up a phony PayPal phishing site and snoop user credentials was the most critical, but the application also fell short in protecting user login and potentially sensitive application data, according to ViaForensics co-founder, Andrew Hoog. The company later said there are problems with Android and iPhone apps from Bank of America and several other financial institutions as well.

Submission + - New model puts human evolution back 3 million year

An anonymous reader writes: Evolutionary divergence of humans from chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests. The revised estimate of when the human species parted ways from its closest primate relatives should enable scientists to better interpret the history of human evolution, said Robert D. Martin, curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum, and a co-author of the new study appearing in the journal Systematic Biology

Submission + - Open Kinect Project Angers Microsoft (thinq.co.uk)

Blacklaw writes: Enterprising hackers, excited about the potential of the technology behind Microsoft's Kinect sensor system for the Xbox 360, have put up a bounty for the first person to write open source drivers for the device — and the software giant isn't happy.
"Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.

Submission + - Religious ceremony leads to evolution of cave fish (scienceblog.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A centuries-old religious ceremony of an indigenous people in southern Mexico has led to evolutionary changes in a local species of fish, say researchers at Texas A&M University. Apparently since before Columbus arrived, the Zoque people would venture each spring into the sulfuric cave Cueva del Azufre to beg the gods for bountiful rain. As part of the ritual, they released into the cave’s waters a leaf-bound paste made of lime and the ground-up root of the barbasco plant, a natural fish toxin. The rest is worth reading, but the upshot is the fish living in the cave waters eventually got wise, genetically speaking.

Submission + - Is the Tide Turning on Patents? (computerworlduk.com)

Glyn Moody writes: The FSF has funded a new video, “Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system”, freely available (of course) in Ogg Theora format (what else?). It comes at time when a lot is happening in the world of patents. Recent work from leading academics has called into question their basis: "The work in this paper and that of many others, suggests that this traditionally-struck ‘devil’s bargain’ may not be beneficial." A judge struck down Myriad Genetics's patents on two genes because they involved a law of Nature, and were thus “improperly granted”. Meanwhile, the imminent Supreme Court ruling In re Bilski is widely expected to have negative knock-on effects for business method and software patents. Is the tide beginning to turn?

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