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Comment Cost reimbursement: it's the law (Score 2, Interesting) 245

It's the law, apparently, at least if you're not a common carrier. From Yahoo's compliance guide,

Federal law (See 18 U.S.C. 2706) requires law enforcement to reimburse providers like Yahoo! for costs incurred responding to subpoena requests, court orders, or search warrants. Yahoo! generally requests reimbursement when responding to legal process, except that Yahoo! maintains an exception to this policy for cases involving the abduction or exploitation of children.

The law is available here. It's a requirement for law enforcement requesting information, not the organizations providing it (except that the amount is "mutually agreed by the governmental entity and the person or entity providing the information").

A governmental entity obtaining the contents of communications, records, or other information under section 2702, 2703, or 2704 of this title shall pay to the person or entity assembling or providing such information a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching for, assembling, reproducing, or otherwise providing such information. Such reimbursable costs shall include any costs due to necessary disruption of normal operations of any electronic communication service or remote computing service in which such information may be stored.

So, the guide is a means for law enforcement to interact with Yahoo (and the law) in a standard, easier way. Does it make it more likely that investigators would ask Yahoo for documents if Yahoo makes it easy, as opposed to cooperating as little as possible? Probably. But Yahoo has no reason not to cooperate.

Comment Re:good...maybe we can all learn something (Score 1) 281

They might see an increase in sales via preview assuming they have good content—if it's only okayish, however, someone listening to a free preview might decide not to buy it, instead of committing to do so. The reverse, of course, also applies.

I don't think record companies are disallowing copies of their content for that reason (surely they'd see both sides of the free preview coin), but it's an interesting side effect, and one that's generally relevant to free-content business models.


Submission + - Take out asteroid soon, UN urged

stevedmc writes:,23599,21247126-2,00 .html

THE United Nations has been urged to launch a space mission designed to take out an asteroid threatening to smash into the Earth in 2036.

In scenes straight out of Hollywood action movie Armageddon, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists say they are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a one in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

A recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover a host of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Mr Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the moon in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Mr Schweickart plans to present an update this week to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the UN in 2009, he said.

Submission + - Einstein's twin paradox resolved

slashthedot writes: "An Indian American scientist Subhash Kak from Louisiana State University has resolved the 100+ years old Einstein's twin paradox. "The fact that time slows down on moving objects has been documented and verified over the years through repeated experimentation. But, in the previous scenario, the paradox is that the earthbound twin is the one who would be considered to be in motion — in relation to the sibling — and therefore should be the one aging more slowly. Einstein and other scientists have attempted to resolve this problem before, but none of the formulas they presented proved satisfactory. Kak's findings were published online in the International Journal of Theoretical Science, and will appear in the upcoming print version of the publication."
"The implications of this resolution will be widespread, generally enhancing the scientific community's comprehension of relativity. It may eventually even have some impact on quantum communications and computers, potentially making it possible to design more efficient and reliable communication systems for space applications." -lpr021407.php"

Submission + - "Happy 2nd Birthday, AJAX!" Say Pre-AJAX P

jg21 writes: AJAXWorld Magazine celebrates the second birthday of the coining of AJAX by going behind the scenes and asking the early pioneers of rich applications delivered into web browsers how it was for them from February 18, 2005, when suddenly a single, easy-to-comprehend term arrived to help them propagate their new-web goals.

Submission + - Microsoft Wants Patent on Indentation

theodp writes: "Throw some text in a worksheet, make the columns small, and color the cells to denote a hierarchy. Like this. That, my friend, may constitute patent infringement for the next twenty years if the USPTO grants Microsoft the patent it's seeking for Minimizing Indenting (actual patent image). Just one more example of how Microsoft's lawyers are making the world a better place through more joyful and inclusive design."

Submission + - Researchers highlight a router route to pharming

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Symantec, along with Sid Stamm and Markus Jakobsson of the Indiana University School of Informatics, have uncovered an almost trivial means of hijacking web browsing. The attack involves little more on the victim's part than simply visiting a web page. hlight-a-router-route-to-pharming.html

Submission + - Google Search Screws Over

An anonymous reader writes: You may have heard of the humour website Apparently, for all of their long history they've been having a problem where their website is listed far down Google's results (often last) for searches related to the site (such as the names of features and articles on the site). For example, when I google for "Photoshop Phriday", the site isn't in the first ten pages of results, despite the fact that Google has indexed the relevent page. In fact, the first result is a proxied version of the relevant page, and the rest of the results are blog and forum entries referring to Something Awful. (Results are apparently better on many non-English versions of Google, however.)

It's far from clear what's causing this; the site's PageRank is apparently fine. Attempts to contact Google have fallen on deaf ears and dumb autoresponders. The site was even recently redesigned in the hope of fixing the problem, with no luck so far. Is the world's most popular search engine really this broken, and how much money are people bringing in from knowing the black magic to work around it?

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