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Microsoft

Estimating Age With Kinect's 3D Camera To Filter Content 102

theodp writes "Hal in 2001: 'I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that [open the pod bay doors].' Kinect in 2011: 'I'm sorry, Dave Jr. I'm afraid I can't do that [tune in to the Spice Channel].' A Microsoft patent filing made public this week proposes to restrict access to TV, movies and video games by using a 3D depth camera to estimate viewers' ages based upon the dimensions and proportions of a person's body, such as head width to shoulder width, and torso length to overall height. For adults with short arms or other seemingly childlike proportions, settings can be overridden by someone with an administrator password."
Networking

House Votes To Overturn FCC On Net Neutrality 388

suraj.sun writes with this quote from CNet: "House Republicans voted unanimously today to block controversial Net neutrality regulations from taking effect, a move that is likely to invite a confrontation with President Obama. By a vote of 241 to 178, the House of Representatives adopted a one-page resolution that says, simply, the regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on December 21 'shall have no force or effect.' 'Congress did not authorize the FCC to regulate in this area,' Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), said during this morning's floor debate. 'We must reject any rules that it promulgates in this area... It is Congress' responsibility to delegate that authority.'"
The Internet

White House Wants New Copyright Law Crackdown 652

An anonymous reader writes "The White House is concerned that 'illegal streaming of content' may not be covered by criminal law, saying 'questions have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the distribution of copyrighted works.' To resolve that ambiguity, it wants a new law to 'clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances'""
Government

N.C. Official Sics License Police On Computer Scientist For Too Good a Complaint 705

snsh writes "When a computer scientist in North Carolina petitioned the state for a new traffic signal in his neighborhood, a transportation official replied with a complaint about what 'appears to be engineering-level work' done by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer." Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer for the state DOT, and the one who filed a complaint with the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, protested that in trying to have Computer Scientist David Cox investigated for his detailed complaint about a traffic intersection while not licensed as a professional engineer, "I'm not trying to hush him up."
The Courts

FCC Wants Net Neutrality Suits Stopped 108

adeelarshad82 writes "The FCC moved to dismiss the net neutrality challenges filed by MetroPCS and Verizon, claiming they were 'filed prematurely.' Verizon and MetroPCS have both sued the FCC, arguing that the commission did not have the authority to hand down its December net neutrality rules. The FCC maintains that it does indeed have the right to regulate broadband, thanks to provisions in the Communications Act."
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.'"
Government

WikiLeaks 'a Clear and Present Danger,' Says WaPo 837

bedmison writes "In an op-ed in the Washington Post titled 'WikiLeaks must be stopped,' Marc A. Thiessen writes that 'WikiLeaks represents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States,' and that the US has the authority to arrest its spokesman, Julian Assange, even if it has to contravene international law to do so. Thiessen also suggests that the new USCYBERCOM be unleashed to destroy WikiLeaks as an internet presence." Reader praps tips an interview with another WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt, who says they have no regrets about releasing the Afghanistan documents, and says WikiLeaks is "changing the game." Several other readers have pointed out that WikiLeaks posted a mysterious, encrypted "insurance" file on Thursday, which sent the media into a speculative frenzy over what it could possibly contain.
The Internet

You Won't Recognize the Internet in 2020 421

alphadogg writes "As they imagine the Internet of 2020, computer scientists across the country are starting from scratch and re-thinking everything: from IP addresses to DNS to routing tables to Internet security in general. They're envisioning how the Internet might work without some of the most fundamental features of today's ISP and enterprise networks. Their goal is audacious: To create an Internet without so many security breaches, with better trust and built-in identity management. Researchers are trying to build an Internet that's more reliable, higher performing and better able to manage exabytes of content. And they're hoping to build an Internet that extends connectivity to the most remote regions of the world, perhaps to other planets. This high-risk, long-range Internet research will kick into high gear in 2010, as the US federal government ramps up funding to allow a handful of projects to move out of the lab and into prototype. Indeed, the United States is building the world's largest virtual network lab across 14 college campuses and two nationwide backbone networks so that it can engage thousands – perhaps millions – of end users in its experiments."
Government

California Continues To Push For Violent Game Legislation 167

Back in February, the US Court of Appeals shot down a California law that banned the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Shortly thereafter, State Senator Leland Yee petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case. Now, along with California's Psychiatric and Psychological Associations, Yee has filed an amicus curiae brief with Court that elaborates on the reasoning behind the law. Within the brief (PDF) are some interesting quotes: "Parents can read a book, watch a movie or listen to a CD to discern if it is appropriate for their child. These violent video games, on the other hand, can contain up to 800 hours of footage with the most atrocious content often reserved for the highest levels and can be accessed only by advanced players after hours upon hours of progressive mastery. ... Notably, extended play has been observed to depress activity in the frontal cortex of the brain which controls executive thought and function, produces intentionality and the ability to plan sequences of action, and is the seat of self-reflection, discipline and self-control." The video game industry has filed its own amicus brief to dispute Yee's claims.
Censorship

Names of Advisors Cleared To Access ACTA Documents 186

1 a bee writes "With the White House claiming national security grounds for failing to release ACTA related information, including negotiating documents and even the list of participants, the spotlight is now on just who does have access. Turns out, according to James Love, hundreds of advisers, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered 'cleared advisers.' The list looks a who's who of captains of industry."

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