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Google

Google Announces Chrome OS, For Release Mid-2010 1089

Zaiff Urgulbunger writes "After years of speculation, Google has announced Google Chrome OS, which should be available mid-2010. Initially targeting netbooks, its main selling points are speed, simplicity and security — which kind of implies that the current No.1 OS doesn't deliver in these areas! The Chrome OS will run on both x86 and ARM architectures, uses a Linux kernel with a new windowing system. According to Google, 'For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.' Google says that this new OS is separate from Android, as the latter was designed for mobile phones and set-top boxes, whereas Chrome OS is designed 'for people who spend most of their time on the web.'" The New York Times' coverage is worth reading, and there are stories popping up all over the web.
Encryption

OpenSSH Releases Version 5.0 41

os2man lets us know that OpenSSH version 5.0 has been released. The mirrors are linked from the top page. "OpenSSH (OpenBSD Secure Shell) is a set of computer programs providing encrypted communication sessions over a computer network using the ssh protocol. It was created as an open source alternative to the proprietary Secure Shell software suite offered by SSH Communications Security. OpenSSH is available for almost any Operating System."
Government

Submission + - UK copyright exceptions to be reviewed

Anonymous EPA writes: The UK government, through the UK Intellectual Property Office, has launched a review of copyright legislation at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/press/press-release/press-release-2008/press-release-20080108.htm

The stated aims of the review include proposals that will "...enable schools and universities to make the most of digital technologies and facilitate distance learning; allow libraries and archives to use technology to preserve valuable material before it deteriorates or the format it is stored on becomes obsolete; introduce a format shifting exception to allow consumers to copy legitimately purchased content to another format, for example CD to MP3, in a manner that does not damage the interests of copyright owners; and provide a new exception for parody..."

The consultation document and information on how to respond can be found here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/about-consult/about-formal/about-formal-current/consult-copyrightexceptions.htm

There are presently no "fair use" exceptions in UK copyright law, and, at first sight, this seems to be a step towards them. You can bet that there will be significant vested interests in opposition to any increase in these exceptions, so it is important that those in favour of liberalisation also make their voices heard!

Also, make sure that you read the PDF to make sure that there are no lurking proposals that have not made the UK-IPO's headline summary!

Anonymous European Patent Attorney
The Internet

Submission + - Bell Canada DSL service throttles P2P arbitrarily

Dembonez writes: The fine folks over at P2Pnet.net have compiled some great details on a very dirty deed. That is, Bell Canada as a DSL ISP is following the lead of Comcast in the US and Rogers up in Canada by throttling P2P traffic. Beyond what the other two are doing, Bell are imposing bandwidth caps for 'unlimited' service subsribers, stating that they've gone over the allotted bandwidth restriction for the month. Of course, nowhere in their terms of service do they outline what that restriction is for unlimited users. It gets better, though! Bell being an ILEC have 3rd party reseller ISPs. If you were to leave Bell after being identified as a heavy user, they'll deny any of their 3rd party resellers from signing you up! Bell being as big as they are, they have 3 of the 5 seats on the committee for fair competition in Canada. This means that it's highly unlikely that any complaint about unfair business practices or false advertising would be quashed. If you're in Canada and using Bell, send them a message... and go elsewhere. Want to know more? TFA: http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13883
Privacy

Submission + - Dodd beats telecom spying immunity

cleetus writes: Earlier this evening Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the FISA bill which had retroactive immunity for spying telecoms from consideration on the US Senate floor. This bill, discussed on /. earlier today, would have shielded telecoms who turned data over to the government from lawsuits over 4th Amendment rights violations. The threat of a full scale filibuster from Senator Chris Dodd (which was partially underway already) was enough to force Reid to pull the bill. While the fight over immunity is over for now, but the bill will be brought up again at some point next month so vigilance it still required.
Censorship

Submission + - Wikipedia COO was Convicted Felon (theregister.co.uk) 4

An anonymous reader writes: From the Register:

"For more than six months, beginning in January of this year, Wikipedia's million-dollar check book was balanced by a convicted felon. When Carolyn Bothwell Doran was hired as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Florida-based Wikimedia Foundation, she had a criminal record in three other states — Virginia, Maryland, and Texas — and she was still on parole for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) hit and run that resulted in a fatality. Her record also included convictions for passing bad checks, theft, petty larceny, additional DUIs, and unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gun shot to the chest."

Social Networks

Submission + - Wikipedia COO was a Convicted Felon (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Register writes:

"For more than six months, beginning in January of this year, Wikipedia's million-dollar check book was balanced by a convicted felon. When Carolyn Bothwell Doran was hired as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Florida-based Wikimedia Foundation, she had a criminal record in three other states — Virginia, Maryland, and Texas — and she was still on parole for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) hit and run that resulted in a fatality. Her record also included convictions for passing bad checks, theft, petty larceny, additional DUIs, and unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gun shot to the chest."

Censorship

Submission + - RSF releases Press Freedom Index 2007 (rsf.org)

KDR_11k writes: Freedom of Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF, Reporters Sans Frontieres) has released the annual worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2007.

The US has improved in ranking from 53rd place to 49th while its score worsened from 13.00 to 14.50. All G8 nations saw an improvement in their placing (even Russia which the headline singles out as not improving gained 3 places) although many had score increases. China, despite hosting the Olympic Games next year remained stable at its position 163 with 89.00 points, placing it firmly into the bottom ten. Without computing a comparison it looks to me like the average score of the index went up as several countries improved their position on the list despite showing a worse censorship score. Whether this is due to increasing censorship or just different scoring methods is not clear.

A growing trend is censorship against bloggers which are now targeted as well as professional reporters.

While 2006 saw four countries (Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands) tied for first place with a score of 0.50 each, 2007 had only two remaining with a score of 0.75 each, namely Iceland and Finland. Ireland dropped to position 8, score 2.0 and the Netherlands took a severe fall to position 12 with 3.50 points.

Privacy

Submission + - 15000 protest against data retention, in Berlin (vorratsdatenspeicherung.de)

jonas writes: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/96385 reports a demonstration, mainly organized by http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/, that was held against the upcoming telecommunicatons data retention in Germany. 15,000 people protested against a law, that, once passed, will require telecommunications providers to keep all connection and location data for all subscribers for 6 months and will allow the government unrestricted access. The government claims this to be neccessary to protect Germans against terrorism. Many people fear the degredation of ther civil rights, of which there is one that assures the privacy of telecomunication. This civil rights movement gains momentum, with only 200 protesters a year ago, and 2000 this spring.
Media

Submission + - MediaDefender Leaks Saga : unexpected outcomes (p2pnet.net) 4

ShakaZ writes: Following the leaks of all the internal emails and later the source code of all the anti-p2p software of MediaDefender, the boss and an employee of the company have been arrested by the LA police. They are charged for illegal uploading with intent to deceive, bandwidth theft, and grievous misrepresentation.
More handcuffs there : http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13397

Due to the released emails, ThePirateBay have proof of infrastructural sabotage, denial of service attacks, hacking and spamming, for which they filed a complaint to the Swedish police. 10 companies of the music, movie and gaming industries are listed in the complaint.
More pirates here : http://thepiratebay.org/blog

Media

Submission + - Suit seeks "a la carte" TV channel choices (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. pay-TV industry amounts to a cartel because it maintains profits by offering channels in prepackaged tiers rather than "a la carte," according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles. The federal lawsuit names every major cable and satellite television system operator as well as every major cable and broadcast television network. "The antitrust laws protect the right of choice," antitrust lawyer Maxwell M. Blecher said. "Here the customer is denied that choice."
Graphics

Submission + - id's ET: Quake Wars And Carmack's MegaTextures (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "id Software continues to enhance the Doom 3 engine. The recent release of their Enemy Territory: Quake Wars demo showcases a new texture compression technology. The screen shots here, taken on a Geforce 8800 with high quality details and 4X anti-aliasing, show the first application of John Carmack's MegaTexture for terrain mapping. This technology allows rendering of extremely large outdoor terrain without the need to re-use or tile multiple smaller textures. The trick is all in Carmack's compression algorithm where for example, a 6 gig environment landscape texture map can be compressed down to 8MB without any loss in image quality. The HDR-like lighting in the engine looks impressive as well."
United States

Submission + - Help Find Steve Fossett (avweb.com)

An anonymous reader writes: DigitalGlobe, one of Google's imaging partners, as acquired new high-resolution satellite imagery of the area where adventurer Steve Fossett disappeared on Monday. Using the Amazon Mechanical Turk, the public can now, go through this imagery and quickly flag any images which might contain Fossett's plane. Images which are flagged will receive further review by Search and Rescue experts.
Security

Submission + - The Cipher Event - World wide challenge (codesandciphers.org.uk)

pinbal wizerd writes: The Colossus Rebuild Project in the National Museum of Computing The Cipher Event. To celebrate the completion of the Colossus Mk 2 Rebuild What is it? To transmit, by radio, by teleprinter, from the Heinz Nixdorf Computer Museum in Paderborn in Germany, a series of secret messages enciphered on a WW II Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine. To issue a world-wide challange to anyone to break the cipher settings and decipher these messages before the Rebuild of WW II Colossus Mk 2 in Bletchley Park does it.
Windows

Submission + - Windows XP Thumb Drive Edition Is Real (osweekly.com)

An anonymous reader writes: OSWeekly.com's Matt Hartley has discovered a real, working version of Windows XP Thumb Edition. He comments: "While a proof-of-concept has been perpetuated without Microsoft's content, the instructions are fuzzy, and trying to install this would certainly be a clear violation of existing US law, but my sources have indicated this to be the real deal — you can install Windows XP onto a USB drive as described above. Why hasn't Microsoft bothered to create such a thing themselves? It could be the belief that they do not see the cost/benefit value for offering a bootable USB OS despite the immense success of such a thing with Linux.

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