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Piracy

Anti-Piracy Group BREIN Demands Torrents Time Cease and Desist 91

An anonymous reader writes: Not even a week has gone by since Torrents Time appeared on the scene, and the site has already been served with a cease-and-desist letter. Anti-piracy group BREIN, based in the Netherlands, has deemed the streaming tool an "illegal application" and demands the administrators "cease and desist the distribution of Torrents Time immediately."
Businesses

Will Write Code, Won't Sign NDA 438

itwbennett writes "John Larson hears a lot of 'ideas' from a lot of entrepreneurs who want his programming expertise, but says he 'will almost never sign an NDA.' He has plenty of reasons for refusing to sign, but one that really resonates is that, regardless of what your lawyer may say, demanding an NDA upfront starts the relationship off on the wrong foot. The bottom line: If you want a programmer to hear you out, don't start by assuming that they'll steal your great idea."
The Media

Rob Malda (CmdrTaco) Joins the Washington Post 232

kodiaktau writes "Slashdot founder and long time cat herder Rob Malda joins the Washington Post per an announcement today. According to the press release, he will be the Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large working for WaPo Labs." Rob has a more detailed description of the job on his blog: "Don Graham is trying to accomplish something that is a bit of a cliche these days: A startup inside an established corporation. A group that can exist at a nexus between newspapers, websites, cable networks, and TV stations and think about the big picture and the future without the normal burdens associated with a business operating at a large scale. ... They are actively iterating and experimenting in many directions, with strong support from the top of the organization. ... Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli assures me that I'll also be working with the newsroom where I can contribute words, ideas, and tools that will improve the experience of the journalists doing work that I personally believe transcends the bottom line."
The Media

Rob Malda (CmdrTaco) Joins the Washington Post 232

kodiaktau writes "Slashdot founder and long time cat herder Rob Malda joins the Washington Post per an announcement today. According to the press release, he will be the Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large working for WaPo Labs." Rob has a more detailed description of the job on his blog: "Don Graham is trying to accomplish something that is a bit of a cliche these days: A startup inside an established corporation. A group that can exist at a nexus between newspapers, websites, cable networks, and TV stations and think about the big picture and the future without the normal burdens associated with a business operating at a large scale. ... They are actively iterating and experimenting in many directions, with strong support from the top of the organization. ... Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli assures me that I'll also be working with the newsroom where I can contribute words, ideas, and tools that will improve the experience of the journalists doing work that I personally believe transcends the bottom line."
Privacy

FTC Proposes Do Not Track List For the Web 173

An anonymous reader writes "The Federal Trade Commission proposed allowing consumers to opt out of having their online activities tracked on Wednesday as part of the agency's preliminary report on consumer privacy. FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said he would prefer for the makers of popular web browsers to come up with a setting on their own that would allow consumers to opt out of having their browsing and search habits tracked."
Encryption

Sophos Researcher Suggests Password 'Free' to Spur Wi-Fi Encryption 332

An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of concerns about FireSheep sniffing credentials from people using unencrypted public WiFi hotspots, a security researcher has proposed that the problem does not just lie with big websites like Facebook, but also with those who provide free wireless internet access. Chet Wisniewski, a researcher at security firm Sophos, proposes that all free WiFi hotspots should be encrypted — with the password 'free.' ''I propose standard adoption of WPA2 and a default password of "free." Whenever you wish to connect to complimentary WiFi, you select "Courtyard Marriott" or "Starbucks" like you always have, but you are then prompted for a password. Just type "free". It's not hard. In fact, operating system vendors could even program your PC to automatically try the password "free" before prompting you for a password on the assumption that you might be selecting a free service.'"
Security

Microsoft Eyes PC Isolation Ward To Thwart Botnets 413

CWmike writes "In a paper published Wednesday (PDF), Scott Charney, who heads Microsoft's trustworthy computing group, spelled out a concept of 'collective defense' that he said was modeled after public health measures like vaccinations and quarantines. The aim: To block botnet-infected computers from connecting to the Internet. Under the proposal, PCs would be issued a 'health certificate' that showed whether the system was fully patched, that it was running security software and a firewall, and that it was malware-free. Machines with deficiencies would require patching or an antivirus update, while bot-infected PCs might be barred from the Internet."
Microsoft

Minnesota Moving To Microsoft's Cloud 345

An anonymous reader writes "The State of Minnesota is apparently the first state to move into the cloud, agreeing on a deal to have their messaging and collaboration services delivered through Microsoft's Business Online Productivity Suite. The thing the article doesn't tell you in detail is that the agreement precludes the use of open source software, which could have saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. And once such a large organization goes Microsoft, it's difficult to go back. Isn't it interesting that these developments occur right before elections, as senior officials are trying to keep their jobs with a new incoming administration? What do you think, Slashdotters? Is this a good move for Minnesota? Or a conservative move that bucks the trend of saving money and encouraging open government and transparency by aligning philosophy and practice with at least the option of utilizing open source software?"
Government

Submission + - State AG's call for a cleaner Craigslist (skunkpost.com)

crimeandpunishment writes: It's time for Craigslist to pull out of sex ads. That's what the attorneys general of 17 states say in a letter calling for the site to remove its adult services section because it can't adequately block ads promoting prostitution and child trafficking. The AG's acknowledge that these ads are a major source of revenue for Craigslist, but say "No amount of money, however, can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution and the suffering of the women and children who will continue to be victimized, in the market and trafficking provided by Craigslist".
Privacy

Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks 1088

krou writes "Coming on the back of human rights groups criticizing WikiLeaks, American officials are saying that the Obama administration is pressuring allies such as Australia, Britain, and Germany to open criminal investigations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and to try limit his ability to travel. 'It's not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It's UK troops, it's German troops, it's Australian troops — all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan,' said one American diplomatic official, who added that other governments should 'review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national-security laws.'"
Censorship

Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons 562

lbalbalba writes with a BBC story about Bangladesh following Pakistan in censoring Facebook. "Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country's leaders were uploaded. One man has been arrested and charged with 'spreading malice and insulting the country's leaders' with the images. Officials said the ban was temporary and access to the site would be restored once the images were removed. It comes after Pakistan invoked a similar ban over 'blasphemous content.' ... Thousands of people joined anti-Facebook protests in Bangladesh on Friday demanding the site be blocked over the contest. A telecomm regulator there said, "Facebook will be re-opened once we erase the pages that contain the obnoxious images." And how do they propose to do that?
The Almighty Buck

IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist 517

Ponca City, We love you writes "In 2009, $60 billion worth of items were sold on eBay, meaning 'extra' money for many sellers, whose activities may provide them with taxable income. Now the Washington Post reports that beginning next year, a new law will require 'the gross amount of payment card and third-party network transactions to be reported annually to participating merchants and the IRS.' Also, for 2011 tax returns, 'taxpayers who annually sell more than $20,000 worth of goods and have more than 200 electronic transactions' will receive a new IRS form, known as 1099-K, for reporting the proceeds. The new tax issues shouldn't be a concern for people who sell just a few small items online for less than they paid for them, because as the IRS points out, income from auctions that resemble a garage or yard sale 'generally' isn't required to be reported. But if an online garage sale turns into a business with recurring sales and purchases of items for resale, it may be considered an online auction business. 'Generally, transactions resulting in a gain are reportable, regardless of whether the taxpayer is conducting a business,' says Gil Charney, principal tax researcher at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. The real reason behind the law is simple: Research shows taxpayers do a much better job of reporting taxable income when they know the IRS is receiving information about their transactions."
Patents

Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit 686

netcrawler writes "Steve Jobs' open letter on Flash has prompted someone at the Free Software Foundation Europe to ask him about his support of proprietary format H.264 over Theora. Jobs' pithy answer (email with headers) suggests Theora might infringe on existing patents and that 'a patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other "open source" codecs now.' Does he know something we don't?" Update: 05/01 00:38 GMT by T : Monty Montgomery of Xiph (the group behind Theora, as well as Ogg Vorbis, and more) provides a pointed, skeptical response to the implicit legal threat, below.
The Courts

New Litigation Targets 20,000 BitTorrent-Using Downloaders 949

Hugh Pickens writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports that more than 20,000 individual movie torrent downloaders have been sued in the past few weeks in Washington, DC, federal court for copyright infringement, and another lawsuit targeting 30,000 more torrent downloaders on five more films is forthcoming in what could be a test run that opens up the floodgates to massive litigation against the millions of individuals who use BitTorrent to download movies. The US Copyright Group, a company owned by intellectual property lawyers, is using a new proprietary technology by German-based Guardaley IT that allows for real-time monitoring of movie downloads on torrents. According to Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer at the firm, the program captures IP addresses based on the time stamp that a download has occurred and then checks against a spreadsheet to make sure the downloading content is the copyright protected film and not a misnamed film or trailer. 'We're creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel,' says Jeffrey Weaver, another lawyer at the firm."
Communications

Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal 258

marklyon writes "HB 872, recently signed into law by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, makes Caller ID spoofing illegal. The law covers alterations to the caller's name, telephone number, or name and telephone number that is shown to a recipient of a call or otherwise presented to the network. The law applies to PSTN, wireless and VoIP calls. Penalties for each violation can be up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Blocking of caller identification information is still permitted."

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