Fnord666 writes: According to a news article on cleveland.com, Amazon began collecting sales tax from Ohio consumers starting on June 1st, .
Ohio retailers and retail associations have spent years trying to persuade Congress to pass laws requiring online retailers to collect and remit the same state sales taxes that brick-and-mortar stores are required to.
"What great news for Ohio," said Gordon Gough, president and chief executive of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, which represents more than 6,400 members. His group is applauding the fact that not only is Amazon making a substantial commitment to the state by creating 1,000 jobs here, but "they're going to come to Ohio and play by the same rules as all the other retailers." According to Gough "Ohio will become the 25th state where the online retailer collects sales tax."
The article goes on to say that "In exchange, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority gave Amazon an exemption on sales taxes for equipment purchases at the data centers and a payroll tax credit for new jobs, according to Bloomberg News. The incentives are valued at about $81 million over 15 years."
Fnord666 writes: SlickLogin, an Israeli startup and developer of smart identification technology through user smartphones has been acquired by Google for several million (the official transaction amount remains undisclosed). SlickLogin was founded under a year ago by Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli. The company first unveiled its technology at TechCrunch Disrupt held last September. the company has yet to launch their product nor have they any customers to date.
Fnord666 writes: Animated gifs seem to be everywhere these days, but some gif creators are taking the visual experience of viewing quick clips of silent motion to another level. By carefully adding a couple of solid-colored (typically white), vertical lines to the moving images, an incredible three-dimensional effect is created. As characters and objects move into the foreground, they seemingly extend beyond the barrier of the image.
Fnord666 writes: MPHJ Technology Investments quickly became one of the best-known "patent trolls" of all time by sending out thousands of letters to small businesses—16,465 of them, we now know—saying that if the business did not pay a licensing fee of $1,000 or more per worker, it would be sued for patent infringement. MPHJ claimed to have patents that cover any networked "scan-to-email" function.
As the debate over so-called "patent trolls" has flared up in Congress, MPHJ became the go-to example for politicians and attorneys general trying to show that patent abuse has spun out of control. "We're talking about bottom feeders," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in one Senate hearing focused on patent demand letters.
We now know that MPHJ has also become the first patent troll targeted by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC's interest in MPHJ was revealed in an audacious "preemptive strike" lawsuit that MPHJ actually filed against the FTC on Monday. The suit, which names the four sitting FTC commissioners personally, says that the agency has overstepped its bounds and trampled on MPHJ's constitutional rights.
Fnord666 writes: WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. In its decision, the court said that the FCC lacked the authority to implement and enforce its rules under the legal framework the agency put forth.
The FCC’s 2010 order was intended to prevent broadband Internet access providers from blocking or interfering with traffic on the Web. Instead of reversing a Bush-era FCC decision that weakened the FCC’s authority over broadband, and establishing solid legal footing for its rules, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski pushed for rules under the complicated legal framework the court rejected today.
Fnord666 writes: Another day another data breach. Apparently high end retailer Neiman Marcus has also suffered a breach of credit card data. Krebs on Security has the news:. "Responding to inquiries about a possible data breach involving customer credit and debit card information, upscale retailer Neiman Marcus acknowledged today that it is working with the U.S. Secret Service to investigate a hacker break-in that has exposed an unknown number of customer cards."
Fnord666 writes: The founders of popular technology website AllThingsD have launched a new digital news and review website after parting ways with Dow Jones back in September.
The site, Re/code, was announced on Thursday by co-founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. The site and conference, which will be called Code, are to be managed by Revere Digital LLC, which received investments from the NBCUniversal News Group as well as Windsor Media, founded by former Yahoo chairman and CEO Terry Semel. The first conference under the new company will be held in late May outside Los Angeles.
Fnord666 writes: A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying—and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could be operational by 2015.
Funded through the Air Force’s classified budget, the program to build this new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998.
Fnord666 writes: Twitter has enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy across its mobile site, website and API feeds in order to protect against future cracking of the service’s encryption. The PFS method ensures that, if the encryption key Twitter uses is cracked in the future, all of the past data transported through the network does not become an open book right away.
“If an adversary is currently recording all Twitter users’ encrypted traffic, and they later crack or steal Twitter’s private keys, they should not be able to use those keys to decrypt the recorded traffic,” says Twitter’s Jacob Hoffman-Andrews. “As the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, this type of protection is increasingly important on today’s Internet.”
Fnord666 writes: When a company called FlatWorld Interactives LLC filed suit against Apple just over a year ago, it looked like a typical "patent troll" lawsuit against a tech company, brought by someone who no longer had much of a business beyond lawsuits.
Court documents unsealed this week reveal who's behind FlatWorld, and it's anything but typical. FlatWorld is partly owned by the named inventor on the patents, a Philadelphia design professor named Slavko Milekic. But 35 percent of the company has been quietly controlled by an attorney at one of Apple's own go-to law firms, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. E-mail logs show that the attorney, John McAleese, worked together with his wife and began planning a wide-ranging patent attack against Apple's touch-screen products in January 2007—just days after the iPhone was revealed to the world.
Fnord666 writes: Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a “top priority” this year.
Fnord666 writes: Researchers at the University of Indiana at Bloomington and the Crane Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) created a program to use a phone's camera to take surreptitious pictures of its surroundings, weed out poor photos, and send the remaining stills back to be used to construct a 3D model of the environment. Called PlaceRaider, the project shows that virtual thieves and spies could identify and steal information from a remote location, the researchers said in a paper posted online on Sept. 26.
Fnord666 writes: According to an article on threatpost, the Kaspersky Lab Security News Service, "About half of all Android phones contain at least one vulnerability that could be used to take control of the device, according to new research. Duo Security, which launched a free vulnerability scanning app for Android this summer, said their preliminary data from users shows a huge number of the devices are vulnerable to at least one of the known Android flaws."
Fnord666 writes: A literature professor has developed software using Google's PageRank algorithm that has identified Jane Austen and Walter Scott as the most influential authors of the 1800s.
Matthew Jockers of the University of Nebraska analysed 3,592 digitized novels published in the UK, Ireland and the US between 1780 and 1900 using a combination of Google's algorithm, machine learning and a series of techniques used in computational text analysis including stylometry, corpus linguistics and network analysis.