SydShamino writes: In an effort that may run afoul of the first amendment, Sony, through their lawyer David Boies (of SCO infamy), has sent a letter to major news organizations demanding that they refrain from downloading any leaked documents, and destroy those already possessed. Sony threatens legal action to news organizations that do not comply, saying that "Sony Pictures Entertainment will have no choice but to hold you responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by you."
SydShamino writes: Researches at Indiana University and Microsoft found and exploited flaws in the communication between web stores and third-party cashiers (Amazon Payments, PayPal, Google Checkout) to order items for free, or at prices of their choice. "We believe that it is difficult to ensure the security of a CaaS-based checkout system in the presence of a malicious shopper" said the study co-author. The identified flaws have been reported and fixed, but they feel that more, similar flaws are likely given the complicated nature of many web-based transactions.
SydShamino writes: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the new British coalition government has announced a litany of proposed reforms designed to strengthen individual liberty and privacy, on several topics often championed among Slashdot readers, including: elimination of unnecessary laws to stop making "criminals out of ordinary people", elimination of the national identity card program and new biometric passports, removal of restrictions on the right to peacefully protest, restrictions on schools taking fingerprints without permission, curtailing of anti-terrorism legislation that allowed for detention of subjects for extended periods without charge, replacement of the "first-past-the-post" election system with an instant-runoff system, new regulation of the use of surveillance cameras. "Britain must not be a country where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they expect it without question," Clegg said.
The Conservative Party of the governing coalition is said to be less receptive to these reforms; hopefully some of them can be enacted before the coalition fails.
SydShamino writes: Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the dye used in blue M&Ms and other foods can, when given to a patient shortly after a spinal injury, minimizing secondary damage caused by the body when it kills off nearby healthy cells. Given that 85% of spinal injury patients are currently untreated (and some doctors don't trust the treatment given to the other 15%), a relatively safe treatment like this could help preserve some function for thousands of patients. The best part? In lab rats the subjects given the treatment turn blue.
SydShamino writes: CNN, the Associated Press and others are reporting that an independent audit of the FBI revealed "serious misuse" of power to acquire private information granted in the Patriot Act. FBI Director Robert Mueller has accepted responsibility for problems and says they are being corrected, but Congress has already called for hearings. There's no word yet on criminal charges against anyone in the FBI who might have broken the law.