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Submission + - MSFT levies antitrust charges against Google (businessweek.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: Microsoft is alleging that Google overcharges them as much as fifty-fold for advertising prices as compared to other buyers, in violation of United States Antitrust Law. The FTC, one of the agencies that regulates anti-competitive practices, is investigating. Interestingly, Microsoft Stock has dropped 3.7% as compared to Google's 1.4% even though the investigation is against Google. While stock prices obviously don't change in a vacuum, one wonders if "Microsoft" and "antitrust" being in the same stories has spurred a lot of data-mining-based trading programs to order stock sales.

Submission + - McCain decries "Hobbits," accused of ringbearing. (latimes.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: Senator McCain decried Tea Party "Hobbits" on Wednesday for their failure to support the GOP's debt deal, at times reading from a WSJ editorial that began the analogy. The Tea Party fired back, with a prominent member noting on CNN that McCain had been corrupted by the ring of power. The full text of his floor remarks should be in the Congressional Record later today.

Submission + - Modern Human Slavery - Nerd Causes (state.gov)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: The 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report is out. We nerds remember freeing the slaves in the Copper Coronet, watching Sam Beckett fight slavery's vestiges in Quantum Leap, and Doctor Franklin's Underground Railroad, but sometimes do not know the twelve-year-olds at risk or actually enslaved in our own town. As well-educated, gifted, and capable people, should we learn and read about modern slavery and spend a little time fighting it, as fictional heroes did? Or was Sam only Don Quixote, tilting at windmills behind a somebody-else's-problem field?

Submission + - BP Loses SSNs for everyone suing them (cnn.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: CNN Reports that BP lost a laptop with the name, address, DOB, and SSNs of everyone who filed claims related to the big oil spill last year. In other words, everyone asking for money from them based on the spill just got their private info misplaced. There has been no allegation of bad faith.

Submission + - Bing copies Google; Google calls that unfair. (searchengineland.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: Bing has been copying, or at least mining, Google's search results in the long tail. Google's search algorithms, for those not keeping track, are mostly closely guarded secrets--not patents. Whereas patents are disclosed to the public in exchange for a limited monopoly, trade secrets are usually (absent contract) not protected by the courts against reverse engineering (YMMV, consult a lawyer). So Google, having decided to forego much legal protection so it can avoid disclosing its algorithms, is now resorting to calling Bing unfair.

Submission + - Wikileaks loses DNS

An anonymous reader writes: EveryDNS has terminated Wikileaks' DNS access, citing multiple massive DDOS attacks that interfere with their other customers. Wikileaks is still available via IP address for the moment, although that could get hairy if they lose another hosting provider. You will remember that Amazon terminated Wikileaks' account after pressure from Congress, denying "post hoc, ergo proctor hoc" by pointing to their terms of service.

Submission + - Obama's Twitter Account "Hacked" (wsj.com) 1

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: A 24-year-old living with his mother in France was arrested for "hacking" into Obama's twitter accounts. Apparently he guesses the answer to a question related to password recovery in order to break into the accounts of famous people; he has no computer science training or financial motive. He posted screenshots to a few boards and twitter found out within a few hours, either from a tip or from noticing when someone from France logs onto twitter as the President of the United States. (He did not actually tweet as POTUS, but just wanted to show he could break into the account.)

Submission + - Software Engineer Dive-bombs IRS Building in Texas (washingtonpost.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: Joe Stack, a contract software engineer and musician from Austin, flew his single-engine Piper PA-28 into an office building in Austin that houses the local office of the IRS. He claims his taxes cost him tens of thousands of dollars and ten years of his life while allowing corrupt executives to walk away with millions. Two software companies he started in California in the mid nineties--Prowess Engineering Inc. in Corona and Software Systems Service, Inc. in Corona--were both suspended by the state tax board, and a recent tax audit by the IRS uncovered $10K plus of unreported income. "I know I'm hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand," Stack wrote, according to the AP. "But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure (sic) nothing will change."

His ISP has taken his statement off-line, in part due to bandwidth concerns, but links to a copy at the Smoking Gun.


Submission + - Chinese Human Rights Orgs hit by DDoS (pcworld.com)

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: IDG News Service is reporting that several human rights orgs focusing on china have been hit by DDoS attacks this weekend, including Chinese Human Rights Defenders and Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch. The latter works on issues of mental persecution (dissidents being thrown into mental hospitals where they were forced onto medication or beaten with electric batons) and eminent-domain type problems (seizure of farmland or urban land without remuneration when the government is working on a project). A human rights org isn't a classic DDoS target because they don't have a lot of money to extort; anyone want to be this is related to the Google hack last week?

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