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Security

Submission + - Whistleblower: Feds Have a High-Speed Backdoor Int

An anonymous reader writes: An unnamed U.S. wireless carrier maintains an unfiltered, unmonitored DS-3 line from its internal network to a facility in Quantico, Virginia, according to Babak Pasdar, a computer security consultant who did work for the company in 2003. Customer voice calls, billing records, location information and data traffic are all allegedly exposed. A similar claim was leveled against Verizon Wireless in a 2006 lawsuit.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft's Openess is a Patent Trap

CR0WTR0B0T writes: Gartner is warning that the recent move by Microsoft to pledge more support for interoperability is really a patent trap. "IT research firm Gartner is warning open source software makers that Microsoft's pledge to open up its documentation library to third parties carries legal risks for developers who aren't careful about how they access the technical trove. 'Do not use Microsoft's documentation unless you have rigorous processes to keep track of applicable patents,' said Gartner, in a new research report." In addition, non-commercial open source could be exposed if it is used by another commercial product, and we all know how rigorous developers are following processes, right?

Feed Techdirt: Canadian Businesses Speak Out Against Canadian DMCA (techdirt.com)

The entertainment industry has been pushing on Canada to introduce a version of the DMCA up north for years. Late last year, it looked like the effort was going to pay off in extremely one-sided legislation that was basically a wish list from Hollywood for changes in copyright law that clearly favored that industry over consumers' rights. While the Canadian politicians backing the proposal tried to push it through without too much scrutiny, Michael Geist's efforts to call attention to the effort helped get it postponed.

However, since then, the supporters of the bill keep looking to reintroduce it at a time when most folks are looking elsewhere. When pressed on the bill, they try to defend it, though the defenses are usually easily debunked. One of the main talking points in that link is that businesses are demanding these changes. However, Geist is now pointing out that a huge number of big businesses have now formed the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright in order to publicly speak out against the Canadian DMCA. The group includes a bunch of Canadian telcos, broadcasters, cable companies, retailers and internet firms -- all basically saying that the Canadian DMCA isn't what they want. So, what businesses are actually demanding these changes? Oh yeah, just a few big entertainment companies based in the US.

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Sci-Fi

Submission + - Steven Brust releases CC-licensed Firefly fanfic

An anonymous reader writes: Back in 2005, Steven Brust, Big Damn Author Extraordinaire (often compared to Roger Zelazny, and justly so), first discovered the Firefly universe, and decided he liked it so much that he just had to write about it. (He often says that he writes the books he wants to read.) When the resulting novel was finished, a long process was started to see if he could get it published. The last hope of this finally having vanished, he has now released his 'fanfic' novel, "My Own Kind of Freedom" under a Creative Commons license. You can download it here. (If you discover you like his style, consider picking up some of his regularly published works, or donating.)

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IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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