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Submission + - Analysis of Nearly 1.7 Billion Shortened URLs (

Orome1 writes: "Web of Trust (WOT) completed an analysis of nearly 1.7 billion shortened URL links and found that the URL shortening services are often used to drive traffic to suspicious websites. The research found that 8.7 percent of websites reached via the TinyURL service, and 5.0 percent of websites reached via, receive poor ratings for ‘trustworthiness’ and ‘child protection’ – as measured by WOT’s millions of crowd-sourced reputation scores. Further analysis comparing the top level domain names (TLDs) that host these websites shows that the URL shortening services are often exploited to drive traffic to loosely-regulated countries where as much as 90 percent of the websites are suspicious."

Submission + - Looking At The World Through Twitter Data (

An anonymous reader writes: Social data seems to be really valuable these days. Two MIT undergraduates created a website, similar to google analytics for search (, which lets you play with historical twitter data. Furthermore, they have some insights of their own ( on interesting trends they discovered.

Submission + - Twitter Rejects Prosecutors' Subpoena For A User's Data Without Warrant (

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: In an unprecedented stand for user privacy, Twitter filed a motion yesterday in a New York state court asking a judge to block a subpoena that would force the company to turn over the data of one of its users, Malcolm Harris. Harris was arrested in an Occupy Wall Street protest on the Brooklyn Bridge in October for “disorderly conduct.” The company's lawyers claim that the subpoena violates the fourth amendment and Twitter's terms of service, which says that users' tweets belong to them and thus can't be handed over to law enforcement without their consent.

Submission + - The Patent Mafia and What You Can Do To Break It Up (

colinneagle writes: Just like the organization of which Don Fanucci was part of in the Godfather, Part II, there is another "organization" today seeking to "wet their beak" every time some company comes up with a new or better way to use technology. This "Patent Mafia" is building patent stockpiles like the US and USSR stockpiled nuclear missiles at the height of the cold war. A difference between the real Mafia and the Patent Mafia is that the Patent Mafia actually uses the government and the courts to strong arm and enforce their will.

The lawsuits are raging all across the tech world. Oracle sues Google, Yahoo sues Facebook, they counter-sue. Others threaten, others buy more patents and the circle goes round and round.

Don't be fooled by the lawsuits between these tech titans though. The real cost that the patent mafia extracts from the tech world is on the smaller companies who can't afford to battle the Apples and Microsofts of the world. Their choices are far simpler. They can abandon their innovations or they can choose to pay and allow the Mafiosos to wet their beaks. Also, don't be fooled about who the real losers are here. The the real losers are you and me. We lose out on being able to leverage innovative new ideas and technologies that come to market or have to pay more for them so that the the mafia can wet its beak.

This system of software patents has been called out by many. While companies are certainly entitled to the fruits of their inventions, many of these patent rackets are based on patents improperly issued, improperly enforced or improperly applied.


Submission + - Oracle v Google: verdict reached (

walterbyrd writes: "Google won everything but the one issue that the judge has to decide anyway, the API SSO issue. The jury found, as they had been instructed to assume for the purposes of deliberation, that APIs can be copyrighted, the structure, sequence and arrangement of APIs, but that is by no means established. The same question, in a b) section, asked if fair use excused any infringement if found, and the jury couldn't resolve that issue. But the judge has to decide whether or not that is true, that APIs can be protected by copyright. That comes later this month. Meanwhile, Oracle prevailed only on 9 lines of code that Google admitted prior to trial to have included by mistake and then removed from current Android. Oracle's own expert, the judge pointed out in court, valued those 9 lines of code at zero. This is 9 lines out of millions. So that means, if we are looking at damages, that so far Oracle has won nothing. There is no liability. You can't have infringement without considering fair use, Google asserts, and there will be briefing on that. Somebody has to decide that fair use issue. And then the judge has to decide about the API copyrightability issue. If he rules that APIs can't be copyrighted, as the EU Court of Justice just ruled, then fair use is moot. And Oracle takes nothing at all from the copyright phase of this litigation, and this was heralded far and wide by Oracle people as the big ticket item, if you recall."

Submission + - Brain Atlas: Scanning, slicing and 3D-mapping brains (

E5Rebel writes: "Scientists at Texas A&M University’s Brain Networks Laboratory have developed a revolutionary technology that can create a google map of the brain. Previously, specialists would have to endure hours of slicing brains into sections and manually shooting individual images, before putting them all back together. However, now the role of the slicer and microscope have been combined with the development of The Knife-Edge Scanning Microscope (KESM) that will provide much needed aid in the studies of genetic diseases."

Submission + - The Automotive Black Box Data Dilemma ( 3

E5Rebel writes: We all have a right to privacy, but automobile safety systems, which are networked throughout the body of your car, generate a blizzard of data (likely without your knowledge) and store it in a nondescript box the size of a deck of cards. Does the gadget, called an event data recorder (EDR) or Black Box, constitute a threat to privacy. Great article from the IEEE

Submission + - What Is to Come in HTML.Next? (

An anonymous reader writes: While W3C is still progressing with the current HTML5 specification, the work has started on HTML.Next, comprising a number of new elements and attributes, but no new APIs.

Submission + - Sci-Fi publisher Tor ditches DRM. A positive step towards the removal of DRM? (

FBeans writes: "Science fiction publisher Tor UK is dropping digital rights management from its e-books alongside a similar move by its US partners."

"Tor UK, Tor Books and Forge are divisions of Pan Macmillan, which said it viewed the move as an "experiment"." s

With experiments, come results. Now users can finally read their books across multiple devices such as Amazon's Kindle, Sony Reader, Kobo eReader and Apple's iBooks. Perhaps we will see the *increase* of sales, because of the new unrestricted format, outweighs the decrease caused by piracy!? Time will tell...


Submission + - News Corp hacked PPV rival to enable illegal free streaming on THOIC (

Qedward writes: A unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation allegedly cracked the smartcard codes of ONdigital in a bid to undermine the company's success, according to claims aired on BBC's Panorama programme.

After NDS, a software company owned by News Corp, allegedly cracked the system, the access codes appeared on a pirate website known as The House of Ill Compute (THOIC) where users could use them for illegally accessing free digital television. On BBC Panorama last night, THOIC operator Lee Gibling said he had received over £60,000 a year from Ray Adams, NDS' head of security, for the work.

ONdigital, owned by Granada and Carlton, part of ITV, later went out of business amid mass counterfeiting. This cleared the pay-TV field and left Sky as the key service...


Submission + - Microsoft censors The Pirate Bay links on Windows Live Messenger (

RemyBR writes: "Microsoft has confirmed that users of its instant messaging app will not be able to send each other links to popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, citing malware fears.
"We block instant messages if they contain malicious or spam URLs based on intelligence algorithms, third-party sources, and/or user complaints. Pirate Bay URLs were flagged by one or more of these and were consequently blocked," Redmond told The Register in an emailed statement."


Submission + - Iran blamed for major cyberattack on BBC (

Qedward writes: Iran is privately being blamed for a major cyberattack on the BBC earlier this month that blocked access to its popular Persian TV service and disrupted the Corporation’s IT using denial-of-service.

The multi-pronged March 2 attack took down much of the BBC’s email, overloaded its telephone switchboard with automatic phone calls, and blocked a satellite feed for the BBC Persian station. BBC servers were also on the end of a DDoS.

In an unprecedented tactic, the BBC has trailed a speech to be given this week to the Royal Television Society in which Director General Mark Thompson will mention the attacks in some detail while stopping short of formally naming Iran as the perpetrator.


Submission + - 3D-nanoprinting speed record set by Vienna University (

Ogi_UnixNut writes: "A new world speed record for the fastest 3D-printed nano-objects has been claimed by researchers in Austria. The team was able to create sculptures as small as a grain of sand in a fraction of the time than had previously been required, and to demonstrate this process the group created a model of a Formula 1 racing car 0.285mm (0.011in) in length in just over four minutes.

The process itself (two-photon lithography) is well known to the science community, but until now it has been too slow, typically taking days to weeks to generate large 3D structures. This technology offers the prospect of 500x to 1000x speed improvement, and the team are researching applications in 3D printing of bio-compatible matter for use in the medical industry."

Submission + - Social media analysis used in Thomson Reuters market feeds to aid traders (

Qedward writes: Thomson Reuters has made a major upgrade to its market feeds by adding analysis of content from social media sites.

The Machine Readable News service now delivers traders with analytics from 50,000 news sites and four million social networks, in a format promised to be digestible and to highlight the key information.

Analytics include sentiment, relevance and novelty indicators that capture market opinion, for algorithmic trading systems as well as risk management and human decision support processes. Thomson Reuters said the development would help traders to be better informed as they shape their strategies...

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