An anonymous reader writes: A bill introduced last week by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is beginning to raise eyebrows. (...) Under the guise of reducing child pornography, the SAFETY (Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth) Act is currently the gravest threat to digital privacy rights on the Internet. Given the increasing tendency of people, especially young people, to use the Internet as a primary means of communication, this measure would affect nearly all Americans in ways we are only beginning to understand. Also, given the fact that the Act requires all Internet Service Providers to record the web surfing activity of all Internet users, this amounts to the warrantless wiretapping of the entire Internet.
peace2300 writes: "http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2094849 ,00.asp
On Tuesday, members of D-Wave Systems, a Vancouver-based hardware firm, gathered at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to demonstrate what they claimed is the world's first commercially viable quantum computer: the "16-qubit" Orion.
Touted as a systems-level "proof-of-concept" machine, the Orion uses a new type of analog processor that taps into quantum mechanics, rather than using the conventional physics associated with today's digital processing, to drive the computation.
D-Wave maintained that its approach allows for the building of scalable processor architectures using many of the conventional processes and technologies employed in the semiconductor industry today. Furthermore, because Orion's processors are computationally equivalent to more standard devices, D-Wave says that any application can be developed for one type of quantum computer and then recast as an application for another.
Full story here"
ForestRangerBob writes: Comes v. Microsoft is over after Microsoft agreed to a settlement. The class action lawsuit alleged that Iowa consumers had been overcharged for Microsoft products for a decade owing to Microsoft's monopoly of the market. Sounds very pro-consumer? Predictably, the lawyers are about to get a big payday. From the article: "the software giant will certainly be on the hook for millions of dollars, some of which may end up helping Iowa school kids. Average consumers will probably end up with a few bucks or a coupon for a free operating system upgrade, but the real winners will no doubt be the lawyers — the team prosecuting the case has already earned $60 million in legal fees from a 2004 case in Minnesota that charged Microsoft with similar offenses."
ukhackster writes: The UK hacker accused of breaking into NASA's computers is fighting a last-ditch attempt to avoid extradition. Gary McKinnon's lawyers launched an appeal at Britain's High Court this week, and claimed that he would face 60 years in jail if convicted in America.
McKinnon, who claims that he was only looking for evidence of UFOs, was apparently taken ill on Wednesday. Friends say the case, which has been running for several years, has become too much for him.
Is 60 years far too draconian a sentence, given that McKinnon apparently didn't mean to cause any harm. Or do we need to take tough action against hackers, even if their motives are benign?