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Businesses

Woman Facing $3,500 Fine For Posting Online Review 519

sabri writes "Jen Palmer tried to order something from kleargear.com, some sort of cheap ThinkGeek clone. The merchandise never arrived and she wrote a review on ripoffreport.com. Now, kleargear.com is reporting her to credit agencies and sending collectors to fetch $3,500 as part of a clause which did not exist at the alleged time of purchase. 'By email, a person who did not identify him or herself defended the $3500 charge referring again to Kleargear.com's terms of sale. As for Jen being threatened — remove the post or face a fine — the company said that was not blackmail but rather a, "diligent effort to help them avoid [the fine]."' The terms and conditions shouldn't even apply, since the sales transaction was never completed."
Bug

Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch 326

destinyland writes "A glitch in iOS7 has cost "a significant number" of Apple users their Wi-Fi access, according to ZDNet. But they also report that Apple is now censoring posts in their "Apple Support Communities" forums where users suggest possible responses to their loss of WiFi capabilities (including exercising their product warranty en masse). "We understand the desire to share experiences in your topic, 'Re: wifi greyed out after update to ios7,'" read one warning sent to Lawrence Lessig, "but because these posts are not allowed on our forums, we have removed it." Lessig — who co-founded Creative Commons (and was a board member of the Free Software Foundation) has been documenting the ongoing "comments slaughter" on his Twitter feed, drawing attention to what he says is the Borg-like behavior of Apple as a corporation. Lessig "is now part of an angry mob in Apple's forums who upgraded to iOS 7 and lost Wi-Fi connectivity," ZDNet notes, adding that as of this morning their reporter has been unable to obtain an official response from Apple."
Medicine

DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper 182

New submitter rex.clts writes "In the IT security world, it is common practice to withhold specifics when announcing a newly discovered software vulnerability. The exact details regarding a buffer overflow or race condition are typically kept secret until a patch is available, to slow the proliferation of exploits against the hole. For the first time, this practice has been extended to medical publishing. A new form of Botulism has been identified, but its DNA sequence (the genetic code that makes up the toxin) has been withheld, until an antidote has been found. It seems that censorship in the name of "security" is spreading (with DHS involved this comes as no surprise.) Is this the right move?"
Canada

Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder 289

theshowmecanuck writes "According to the Montreal Gazette, 'The owner and operator of a well-known 'real gore' website is charged with corrupting morals for posting a video allegedly depicting the murder of student Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta. Magnotta, 30, is currently in custody charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 33-year-old Chinese international student, who was killed in Montreal in May 2012. The victim's severed limbs were then mailed to political parties and elementary schools, and his torso found inside a discarded suitcase.' A news interview with the detective in charge of the case, airing on CTV as I type this, says he believes the web site hosts a lot of racist content and unimaginable violence. You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'), but there will likely be some arguments in this vein. The charge against the operator is quite rare and no-one so far remembers it ever being used before."
Google

Google's Blogger To Delete All 'Adult' Blogs That Have Ads 192

DougDot sends this excerpt from ZDNet: "In three days, Google's Blogger will begin to delete scores of blogs that have existed since 1999 on Monday under its vague new anti-sex-ad policy purge. On Wednesday night at around 7pm PST, all Blogger blogs marked as 'adult' were sent an email from Google's Blogger team. The email told users with 'adult' blogs that after Sunday, June 30, 2013, all adult blogs will be deleted if they are found to be 'displaying advertisements to adult websites' — while the current Content Policy does not define what constitutes 'adult' content. To say that Twitter ignited with outrage would be an understatement. Blogger users are panicked and mad as hell at Google."
Handhelds

It's Time To Start Taking Stolen Phones Seriously 282

itwbennett writes "'Find My iPhone' is neat, but it's time for smartphone makers and carriers to stop pretending their anti-theft measures are anything more than minimum viable products, says blogger Kevin Purdy. He's not the first to point this out: As reported in Slashdot, 'NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said overall crime in New York City was up 3.3% in 2012 due to iPhone, iPad and other Apple device thefts.' And now San Francisco and New York attorneys general are calling a 'Smartphone Summit' where representatives from Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft are due to meet and discuss the implementation of a industry-wide 'kill switch' system."
Crime

Senator Feinstein: We Need Video Game Control 424

ducomputergeek writes "Since the assault weapons ban seems to have died in Congress, it looks like Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) now turning her attention to video games...again. '"If Sandy Hook doesn't [make game publishers change] then maybe we have to proceed, but that is in the future," said Feinstein. She went on to claim that video games play "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that."' Yet, as the article points out, since the introduction of games like DOOM, the crime rate in the U.S. has gone down. Dramatically. Correlation != causation, and all that jazz, but there are a lot of violent video games these days and yet crime has continued to go down."
Your Rights Online

Printable AR-15 Mag Gets More Reliable; YouTube Pulls Video of Demo 450

Wired reports that the 3-D printed AR-15 magazine from Defense Distributed we mentioned a few weeks back has been improved through design, and is now robust enough to last through firing (at least) several hundred rounds, rather than fewer than a hundred as in the previous iteration. CNET says the video demonstration on YouTube was first yanked, then restored, but as of now seems to have been yanked again.
Apple

Apple Has a New Porn Problem 136

adeelarshad82 writes "Twitter's new iOS-only app, Vine, was prominently featured by Apple as an 'Editor's Pick' in its App Store the day it launched. However, given Apple's policies for adult content, they may have rushed the whole thing since this past Sunday, a number of news outlets ran stories covering the rise of easily-accessible pornography on the new video sharing app. As Joshua Topolsky explains, the situation draws even more attention to the vague and sometimes confusing rules of Apple's App Store guidelines, and more clearly showcases the sporadic and often unusual criteria the iPhone-maker uses to decide the fates of applications. So it will be interesting to see how Apple handles this given that they've never been shy about banning similarly racy apps in the past."
Government

Missouri Republican Wants Violent Video Game Tax 506

New submitter sHr0oMaN writes with news that Diane Franklin, a Republican member of Missouri's state House of Representatives, has proposed a sales tax on violent video games. The proposal, HB0157I, is one of many responses to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The proceeds from the tax would go toward mental health programs and law enforcement in the hopes that future shootings can be prevented. The total amount taxed would be small — 1% — and would be applied to video games rated Teen, Mature, or Adult-only by the ESRB. Of course, many games earn the "Teen" rating without having violence in them, like Guitar Hero. The Entertainment Software Association responded to Rep. Franklin's bill with a statement: "Taxing First Amendment protected speech based on its content is not only wrong, but will end up costing Missouri taxpayers."
Censorship

Booted From Airplane For Wearing Anti-TSA T-shirt 826

Cigarra writes "PhD student Arijit learned the hard way that in Brave New America you can't mock TSA's Security Theater and go on about your business. According to a recollection in RT.com: 'After being vigorously screened and questioned multiple times, Arijit says he was finally given permission, once more, to board his plane. The pilot of the aircraft, however, had had enough of the whole ordeal and asked the Delta supervisor to relay the message that, due to the discomfort the shirt had caused, neither Arijit nor his wife would be allowed to board the aircraft.' Just how much humiliation is the general American public willing to tolerate in the name of 'security'?"
Australia

Australian Sex Party May Sue Google Over Ad Refusal 183

New submitter niftydude writes "Australian newspaper The Age is carrying the story: The Australian Sex Party has threatened Google with legal action after the search engine refused to run its ads on the eve of tomorrow's Melbourne by-election. It comes after Sex Party ads were blocked by Google at the last federal election because the company — which is typically opposed to censorship — perceived the text as too racy (the ads were reinstated by Google the day before the election). Sex Party candidate Fiona Patten said this time the search giant said it would not approve her ads 'because we have a donate button on our page and we're not a charity.' Don't all political parties allow donations? Is google imposing its own sense of morality onto Australian politics?"
Idle

Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints 584

The Lake City library is making news for their staunch position on the First Amendment, censorship, and the right to watch porn in the library. The problem started when library patron Julie Howe found a man watching some questionable material and asked him to move to another computer. The man refused and the librarian also refused to intervene when asked saying that the library doesn't censor content. "We're a library, so we facilitate access to constitutionally protected information. We don't tell people what they can view and check out," Seattle Public Library spokeswoman Andra Addison told Seattle PI. "Filters compromise freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. We're not in the business of censoring information."
Wikipedia

Italian Wikipedia May Shut Down Due To New Legislation 292

An anonymous reader writes "Proposed legislation under debate in Italy has Wikipedia warning of a shutdown for the Italian version of the site. They say the law would create 'a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.' They further explain. 'Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge — the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website. Hence, anyone who feels offended by any content published on a blog, an online newspaper and, most likely, even on Wikipedia can directly request the removal of such contents and its permanent replacement with a "corrected" version, aimed to contradict and disprove the allegedly harmful contents, regardless of the truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive, and its sources.'"

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