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Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Sends 3rd Grader Cease And Desist Letter (

Arguendo writes: Apparently Apple needs to stop sending its fan mail to the legal department: "Like any nine-year-old, Shea O'Gorman spends a lot of time listening to her iPod Nano. So much so, that when her third grade class started learning about writing letters she thought, who better to write to than the man whose company makes her iPod." So she wrote Apple a letter, and Apple responded by telling her to stop sending ideas and, if you want to know why, take a look at our legal policy on our web site. Nice.

Submission + - Microsoft Patents Uncrackable DRM

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has just received a little-known patent for a "Stealthy audio watermarking," which is seemingly uncrackable, since it uses spread-spectrum technology to hide its traces within music files. As the patent's abstract explains it: "The watermark identifies the content producer, providing a signature that is embedded in the audio signal and cannot be removed. The watermark is designed to survive all typical kinds of processing and malicious attacks." True, watermarking is not the same as file encrpyption. However, an end-to-end music system could use watermarking to verify ownership. Does this mean it might be time to revise the DRM scorecard?
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Short on Funds? Fails to Pay Attorneys Fees

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Can it be that the RIAA, or the "Big 4" record companies it represents, are short on funds? It turns out that despite the Judge's order, entered a month ago, telling them to pay Debbie Foster $68,685.23 in attorneys fees, in Capitol v. Foster, they have failed to make payment, and Ms. Foster has now had to ask the Court to enter Judgment, so that she can commence "post judgment collection proceedings". According to Ms. Foster's motion papers (pdf), her attorneys received no response to their email inquiry about payment. Perhaps the RIAA should ask their lawyers for a loan."

Submission + - SCO stock takes a dump

DrXym writes: The SCO ball of twine keeps unravelling. Following the total disintegration of their legal case on Friday, SCO's stock took a pounding today falling a whopping 70%. That puts SCOX well and truly into NASDAQ delisting territory, assuming they last the 120 days required to be removed. So long SCO, we hardly knew ye.
Linux Business

Submission + - Novell owns Unix/Unixware copyrights (

karmester writes: From Groklaw: Friday, August 10 2007 @ 04:52 PM EDT Hot off the presses: Judge Dale Kimball has issued a 102-page ruling [PDF] on the numerous summary judgment motions in SCO v. Novell. Here is what matters most: [T]he court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights. That's Aaaaall, Folks! If anyone can please put this into text for us, that'd be simply great. I hear there is a filing in IBM also, and we'll get it for your soon. Here's the docket entry: 08/10/2007 1077 — NOTICE OF DECISION AND REQUEST FOR STATUS UPDATE. Signed by Judge Dale A. Kimball on 8-10-07. (sih) (Entered: 08/10/2007)
Operating Systems

Submission + - SCO loses - finally 1

An anonymous reader writes: The one summary judgement that puts a stick into SCO's spokes has just come down. SCO doesn't own the Unix copyrights. With that one decision, a whole bunch of other decisions will fall like dominoes. As PJ says, "That's Aaaaall, Folks!".

Hot off the presses: Judge Dale Kimball has issued a 102-page ruling [PDF] on the numerous summary judgment motions in SCO v. Novell. Here is what matters most: [T]he court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights. That's Aaaaall, Folks! If anyone can please put this into text for us, that'd be simply great. 65237718#comments

Submission + - Perfect 10 sues MIcrosoft for stealing porn (

edmicman writes: "Ars Technica is reporting that adult publisher Perfect 10 is suing Microsoft, saying that the MSN/Windows Live search engine infringes on copyright by returning thumbnails of and links to sites hosting Perfect 10's images. Does this sound familiar? In 2004, they tried the same thing against Google. Google was eventually found to be within the bounds of fair use."

Submission + - RIAA Settlement Campaign Leads to Campus Crackdown (

Cbs228 writes: Less than twenty days after the RIAA sent its latest round of pre-litigation notices to the University of Missouri–Rolla, administration officials have made drastic changes to the campus's network use policy. Prior to these changes, internet access was largely unfettered, limited only by total bandwidth usage caps. Now, access to all P2P applications, for any purpose, has been blocked by default. According to UMR's news site, the new restrictions are a direct result of the RIAA settlement letters.

Along with these new restrictions, the campus has begun distributing a menacing new DMCA flyer (14 MB PDF) that claims that "unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted music is just as illegal as shoplifting." The flyer links to, a copyright propaganda website that—according to a quick whois search—is owned by the RIAA. The document's metadata indicates that the flyer was created just a few days ago, on August 3rd.

Students can temporarily restore P2P access for 6 hours at a time, but there is a catch: They must log in with their username and password, take a short quiz on P2P usage, and admit for the record that they are potentially breaking the law. The application logs each user's P2P activation history, and these records are retained for an undisclosed period of time. The logs provide convenient evidence for copyright prosecutors, placing the alleged violator at the computer in question and providing what amounts to a signed confession of guilt.

The new settlement letters represent a change of tactics for the RIAA. Instead of simply threatening to sue penniless students, the RIAA is now attempting to strong-arm organizations into changing their policies, encouraging them to restrict and monitor internet access. Even if the RIAA did not personally draft UMR's network access policy, the end result is the same: Our public academic institutions are now spies for the media industry.


Submission + - How to store keys in a distributed environment

adamcrume writes: I need a way to store passwords and encryption keys in a distributed environment. The keys and passwords need to be separate for test and production, and the production ones need to be kept secret. (Developers shouldn't be able to see them.) We're worried about storing them in a database because nearly all of our production tables get copied frequently to test, and this is assumed to be a safe operation. However, if it happened in this case, it would obviously leak sensitive data. Has anyone else tackled this?

Submission + - Black hole seen swallowing star (and belching)

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "New Sceintest reports that the Swift satellite has detected GRB 070610. From the article:

A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.

Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.

Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"

Submission + - Blocking .zip files in mail 4

An anonymous reader writes: I am in charge of email for a medium sized company and one of the things we block are all email that contains .zip files. I'm catching a lot of flack for this. My question is, what do you tell users when they complain about certain file attachments being rejected? I'm getting real tired of this.

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