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Comment Avoiding malware and crapware (Score 4, Interesting) 270

I suspect that part of Apple's restrictive software distribution strategy is to avoid malware and crapware from creeping into the iPhone ecosystem. It's something like a walled garden or customs & border protection model for software distribution. Although I'm sure that enterprising criminals will find ways to break into the iPhone, Apple's approach does raise barriers to drive-by downloads, worms, trojans, and socially-engineered installations of malware.

Time will tell whether restricting software distribution for the iPhone is a net positive or negative in either creating a stable, easy-to-use, secure environment for mobile computing or in stifling development for a subset of developers.

Submission + - Washington State to try RFID drivers licenses

Nkwe writes: In order to ease border crossings Washington State is introducing 'Enhanced' (with RFID) driver's licenses.

"They will look much like conventional driver's licenses, but will be loaded with proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border."
The requirement for a passport at all US borders is an issue local commerce between Washington State and Canada, and the new driver's license is less expensive then a passport, but what "other" costs will it create?

Submission + - Viacom Says "YouTube Depends on Us"

Anonycat writes: "Michael Fricklas, a lawyer for Viacom, has an opinion piece in the Washington Post that asserts that YouTube is responsible for damages in the $1B lawsuit initiated by Viacom. Fricklas attacks on several fronts, including that the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions don't apply because YouTube is knowledgeable to infringement and furthermore derives financial benefit from it, that putting the burden of spotting infringement on the content providers is an undue burden to them, and notably that "Google and YouTube wouldn't be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws" in defending the relevance of the IP sector. Whether you agree with the case being made or not, it's a nice look into the minds on the pro-Viacom side."
The Courts

Submission + - Vonage headed for Trouble?

PCanonD writes: " le/2007/03/23/AR2007032300986.html Though the federal judge involved in the case gave a two week break before this ruling can take effect, Vonage may be headed for the way of many dot coms before it. Verizon is blaming part of their continued financial losses on the alleged patent-infringement activities of VOIP leader Vonage. For its part, Vonage is claiming that it used publicly available "off the shelf" technology, and did not infringe on anyones, let alone Verizon's, patents. In two weeks we'll all see what more the judge has to say."

Submission + - Karl Rove's E-Mail - Compromise National Security?

citizen92 writes: (Crossposted at Daily Kos)

Over the past few days, there have been many great diaries about the recent discovery of the e-mail system. One example. Another. A story in the National Journal (only available by subcription) yesterday added an additional nugget — that Karl Rove does 95% of his e-mailing over that server. Nice. And end run around the Presidential Records Act. And a political move to hide what could be incriminating records.

What has not yet been mentioned, however, is the likely huge national security breach that might have resulted from Karl's cavalier practices.

The White House is a huge target for electronic espionage by friendly and hostile foreign powers. For those of you who may have visited Washington, this may be evident when you stroll by the various embassies scattered around the city — with their unusual sculptures of antennas and wires on their roofs. The Russians have a compound just three blocks north of the White House.

The US Government spends undisclosed amounts on countermeasures to protect its critical information and its secure networks. And it has the experts to make sure that those countermeasures are working.

But, as usual, the government is focused on the foes outside — not the foes within. Government, meet Karl Rove's OpSec (operational security) program.

As you read, I would have to guess (but I have absolutely no knowlegde if this is true or not) that foreign intelligence services have already paid thorough visits to the various servers that are operated by the RNC down in Chattanooga. You know, RNCHQ.COM. Why? Well, it's been made pretty clear that Karl Rove conducts business through those domains. 95% of his business. And so do other senior White House staff. If you were a foreign spy, wouldn't you be interested? And might it be a possibility, that MAYBE the RNC servers aren't quite as secure as the government servers? MAYBE?

If I were an Information Security Officer for the White House, my system would be "flashing red." Don't forget that Karl Rove is a Deputy Chief of Staff (the number 3 position) at the White House. He likely see's PDB's and other classified information. And for him to be able to do 95% of his work from the RNC account, he would have to get some of this information flowing from the White House network. Heck, maybe he forwards his e-mail to the RNC account.

Point being, this could represent a HUGE SECURITY BREACH. I hope that the RNC servers have been seized by someone in US Government (NSA, CIA or otherwise) to find out exactly what has happened here. And I really hope that political muscle hasn't blocked that.

There is a lot more riding on this than just Karl Rove's political future....
The Internet

Submission + - How social search is shaking things up.

John stevens writes: Recently, a new search engine 'Younanimous' has been getting alot of attention from bloggers and searchers alike. It functions by taking results from google, msn and yahoo and using the already sorted results, then applying a voting algorithm on top, to further sift through the results. Other notable features are Blacklisting, Alexa and Pagerank per query results and alot more. The question here is- Can you effectively sort through googles existing results and come up with more relative content, or are you just mashing up existing data?

Submission + - Work at home contractor? What do I need to know?

BigCanOfTuna writes: As a developer that recently landed a contract that will have me working mainly out of my basement, what should I be prepared for? How is this going to be different than working in a cubicle for pointy-haired people? I imagine that I'll initially be more productive, but I can also see myself being distracted by other things such as Oprah and Slurpee runs. I need strategies for staying focused, staying connected, and most importantly...staying employed!

Submission + - Should a startup protect "IP"?

SonOfLilit writes: "I'm an 18 year old student thinking about forming a startup around software ideas.

Now, I'm online enough to know all the talk pro- and con- patents and especially those involving software.

I've also read claims that patents are important to software startups and claims that patents are insignificant to software startups and claims that although they are significant, anything that doesn't work without them isn't good enough.

My current view is that patents are essential in the current patent-based market, but my web conscience is bugging me.

What do you think, /.? Should a software startup apply for patents on it's ideas?

PS. I'm not referring to patents like 'triply linked list', more to patents like 'software application to increase your investment profits by saving the Africans from aids'."

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