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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft (and others) flout EU regulations with 1 year warranty (theinquirer.net)

whoever57 writes: EU regulations require electronics manufacturers to be "liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity which exists when the goods are delivered to the consumer and which becomes apparent within a period of two years"., yet Microsoft clearly offers a 1-year warranty on Microsoft's UK store where the Surface tablet is offered. Apple and many other manufacturers also offer only a 1-year warranty.
Android

Submission + - Research Shows Serious Problems With Android App SSL Implementations (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: There are thousands of apps in the Google Play mobile market that contain serious mistakes in the way that SSL/TLS is implemented, leaving them vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks that could compromise sensitive user data such as banking credentials, credit card numbers and other information. Researchers from a pair of German universities conducted a detailed analysis of thousands of Android apps and found that better than 15 percent of those apps had weak or bad SSL implementations.

The researchers conducted a detailed study of 13,500 of the more popular free apps on Google Play, the official Android app store, looking at the SSL/TLS implementations in them and trying to determine how complete and effective those implementations are. What they found is that more than 1,000 of the apps have serious problems with their SSL implementations that make them vulnerable to MITM attacks, a common technique used by attackers to intercept wireless data traffic. In its research, the team was able to intercept sensitive user data from these apps, including credit card numbers, bank account information, PayPal credentials and social network credentials.

The team also built a proof-of-concept tool called MalloDroid that was designed to find the potentially exploitable SSL bugs in Android apps, which they then investigated further to determine whether an attack was in fact possible. In a lot of cases--1,074, to be exact--it was.

Censorship

Submission + - English Judge finds Google not liable for 'Internet Graffiti" on their services (bailii.org)

Grumbleduke writes: "In a week dominated by attacks on their new privacy policy, finally some good news for Google, along with other web hosting providers. As reported by the Telegraph, a High Court Judge has ruled that Google is not responsible for publishing comments on their services (in this case, Blogger), no matter how offensive they are.

Following a 1999 libel case, it has generally be understood that service providers such as Google are publishers of the content on their systems, and lose any immunity they have as soon as they are warned the content is defamatory, leading to an extra-judical take-down system.

In this case, where Google was being sued by a UK politician over allegedly defamatory comments on a Blogger post, the Judge held that the hosts were not even publishers and so not liable at all. Going further, Mr Justice Eady commented that even if Google were a publisher, they would not be liable as being notified that the comments may be defamatory was not enough to count as "actual knowledge." Google could not be expected to assess whether or not each statement was defamatory, or defensible.

This ruling marks a welcome, if subtle, change in the law. It should reduce the chilling effect of libel threats on UK-based service providers, as they may no longer be required to remove content or face substantial legal costs themselves."

Windows

Submission + - Transition from windows to Linux (zorin-os.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Zorin OS is a multi-functional operating system designed specifically for Windows users who want to have easy and smooth access to Linux. It is based on Ubuntu which is the most popular Linux operating system in the world. Even though the window apps are view in a Windows view point, The Look Changer lets you change your desktop to look and act like either Windows 7, XP, Vista, 2000, Mac OS X or Linux (GNOME) for ultimate ease of use.
And as I have done, I run this destro in a virtualBox enviroment with Ubuntu 11.10 -64bit as the Host.

Entertainment

Submission + - Video Games: Goods or Services? (ign.com)

silentbrad writes: From IGN: "The current understanding of games as a service is quite a complicated issue, and something of a legal grey-area. So to understand it better I contacted Jas Purewal, a games lawyer at the UK law firm Osborne-Clarke, and the writer of gamerlaw.co.uk. Initially, Jas explained the nuances of how videogames have come to be considered a service:

'The legal position is unclear whether games are legally classified as "goods" or "services". If we're talking about boxed-product games, there's a good argument the physical boxed product is a "good", but we don't know definitively if the software on it, or more generally software which is digitally distributed, is a good or a service. In the absence of a definitive legal answer, software and games companies have generally treated software itself as a service – which means treating games like World of Warcraft as well as platforms like Steam or Xbox LIVE as a service.'"

PC Games (Games)

Civ 5 Will Let You Import and Convert Civ 4 Maps 142

bbretterson writes "From an interview Bitmob conducted with Civilization 5 Lead Designer Jon Shafer: 'You can import Civ 4 maps into the world builder and convert them into Civ 5 maps, including all the units and cities and stuff on it — the conversion process will just do that for you automatically. We're hoping that the first week Civ 5 is out, people will use that function and port all of the Civ 4 stuff over to Civ 5, so everything will be out there already.'"
Networking

Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems 279

Joe Helfrich writes "Ubisoft's Settlers 7 servers have been causing problems for over a week for users worldwide, and Australian gamers are hardly able to connect at all. 'The problem reportedly strikes after the game has already confirmed an active Internet connection, and prevents the user from playing even the single-player campaign, returning the error "server not available." But they are available, because other people are logged into them and merrily playing away.' Wonder how they're going to describe this one as an attack."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Could UK Tax Breaks Pave the Way For GTA London? 137

BanjoTed writes "An interesting — if tongue-in-cheek — bit of speculation is up at MCV about the possibility of a Grand Theft Auto title across the pond. 'Chancellor Alistair Darling's pledge to support the video games development industry with tax breaks could do more than simply protect the future of the UK dev sector,' the site claims. 'It could also have dictated the setting of the next Grand Theft Auto.' Its reasoning? That developers will only be eligible for new UK tax breaks if their games can be proven to be 'culturally British.' Being based in the UK alone is not sufficient for this — instead, the games in question must promote Britishness. Hence MCV's conclusion that Grand Theft Auto V may well be set in London — saving Rockstar an estimated $16m in the process."
Image

Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next Screenshot-sm 193

ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - What tech dies if IBM buys Sun? (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: "It appears that IBM is just about to conclude a deal to buy Sun Microsystems. So, what does that mean about the vaunted technology that Sun is known for, such as Solaris, Java, and Sparc? And what about MySQL, the open source database that Sun bought last year that might be considered a competitor to IBM's own database technology? InfoWorld's Paul Krill surveyed industry insiders to get their bets on which Sun technologies will survive if and when IBM swallows Sun. Among their predictions, Java appears safe but dev tools are probably toast. http://www.infoworld.com/t/tech-industry-analysis/fate-suns-products-in-air-312"
Media

Submission + - Designer accused of copying his own work

the_harlequin writes: A successful designer, who has a showcase of his own work available online, has had a stock image site accuse him of copy-right infringement of his own work citing damages of $18,000. The story doesn't end there, with the stock photo site hiring lawyers who have been to the original designer's clients and told them that the designer is being investigated for copy-right infringement and thier logo might be copied thus damaging his reputation and lively-hood.

My theory is that someone copied my artwork, separated them from any typography and then posted them for sale on the stock site. Someone working for the site either saw my [LogoPond] showcase or was alerted to the similarities. They then prepared the bill and sent it to me. The good thing is that the bill gives me a record of every single image they took from me. That helps me gather dates, sketches, emails, etc to help me prove my case. The bad thing is that despite my explanations and proof, they will not let this go.

http://www.jonengle.com/2009/04/accused/

Security

Submission + - Cellphone viruses spread depend on marketshare (sciencemag.org)

walrabbit writes: Wang et al (2009) (from Albert-László Barabási's lab) modelled the spread of mobile phone viruses based on anonymised call and text logs of 6.2 million customers spread over 10,000 towers. Their simulations shows that the spread is dependent on the market share of a particular handset, human mobility and mode of spread: bluetooth or MMS or hybrid. "We find that while Bluetooth viruses can reach all susceptible handsets with time, they spread slowly due to human mobility, offering ample opportunities to deploy antiviral software. In contrast, viruses utilizing multimedia messaging services could infect all users in hours, but currently a phase transition on the underlying call graph limits them to only a small fraction of the susceptible users. These results explain the lack of a major mobile virus breakout so far and predict that once a mobile operating system's market share reaches the phase transition point, viruses will pose a serious threat to mobile communications." You can read the full text and supporting online information (with interesting modelling data and diagrams).

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