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Cisco Pushing 'Cloud Connect' Router Firmware, Allows Web History Tracking 351

Myrv writes "Reports have started popping up that Cisco is pushing out and automatically (without permission) installing their new Cloud Connect firmware on consumer routers. The new firmware removes the user's ability to login and administer the router locally. You now must configure the router using Cisco's Cloud connect service. If that wasn't bad enough, the fine print for this new service allows Cisco to track your complete internet history. Currently, it appears the only way to disable the Cloud Connect service is to unplug your router from the internet."

USPTO Awards LOL Patent To IBM Screenshot-sm 274

theodp writes "Among the last batch of patents granted in 2009 was one for IBM's Resolution of Abbreviated Text in an Electronic Communications System. The invention of four IBMers addresses the hitherto unsolvable problem of translating abbreviations to their full meaning — e.g., 'IMHO' means 'In My Humble Opinion' — and vice versa. From the patent: 'One particularly useful application of the invention is to interpret the meaning of shorthand terms ... For example, one database may define the shorthand term "LOL" to mean "laughing out loud."' USPTO records indicate the patent filing was made more than a year after Big Blue called on the industry to stop what it called 'bad behavior' by companies who seek patents for unoriginal work. Yet another example of what USPTO Chief David Kappos called IBM's apparent schizophrenia on patent policy back when he managed Big Blue's IP portfolio."

Court Orders Shutdown of H-1B Critics' Websites 605

theodp writes "Computerworld reports that a NJ Superior Court Judge ordered hosting firms to shut down three Web sites that oppose the H-1B visa program and seeks information about the identity of anonymous posters. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Comcast and DiscountASP.Net were ordered to disable ITgrunt.com, Endh1b.com, and Guestworkerfraud.com. Facebook Inc. was also ordered to disable ITgrunt's Facebook page. The judge's order was made in response to a libel lawsuit filed by Apex Technology Group Inc., which is citing its copyright ownership as it seeks the identity of the poster of a since-removed Apex employment agreement on Docstoc.com, which drew critical comments on US and India websites."

South Park Creators Given Signed Photo of Saddam Hussein Screenshot-sm 1297

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, were given a very special gift by US marines: a signed photo of Saddam Hussein. During his captivity, the marines forced Saddam to repeatedly watch the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, which shows him as the boyfriend of Satan. Stone said, "We're very proud of our signed Saddam picture and what it means. It's one of our biggest highlights."

Programmer's File Editor With Change Tracking? 286

passionfingers writes "My business users regularly have to tweak large (>32MB text) data files manually. Overlords charged with verifying the aforementioned changes have requested that the little people be provided with a new file editor that will track changes made to a file (as a word processor does). I have scouted around online for such an animal, but to no avail — even commercial offerings like UltraEdit32 don't offer such a feature. Likewise on the OSS side of the fence, where I expected a Notepad++ plugin or the like, it appears that the requirements to a) open a file containing a large volume of text data and b) track changes to the data, are mutually exclusive. Does anyone in the Slashdot community already have such a beast in their menagerie? Perhaps there is there a commercial offering I've missed, or could someone possibly point me to their favorite (stable) OSS project that might measure up?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

WTF? NC Offers to Replace 10,000 License Plates 467

beadfulthings writes "In light of recent discussions about the Internet habits of the older generation, it's comforting to know that in North Carolina, up to 10,000 license plates containing the potentially offensive 3-letter WTF combination will be replaced by the Motor Vehicles division at no cost — if the owner of the vehicle finds the plates offensive. As reported on Winston-Salem's television station WXII, the MVD was alerted to the problem by an irate 60-year-old technology teacher who'd been clued in by her grandchildren. The article includes a helpful slide show of twenty Internet acronyms every parent should know. The article doesn't include any information on how you could actually apply for a WTF license plate."
Social Networks

Aboriginal Archive Uses New DRM 182

ianare writes "An application that gives fresh new meaning to 'digital rights management' has been pioneered by Aboriginal Australians. It relies on a user's profile to control access to a multimedia archive. The need to create profiles based on a user's name, age, sex and standing within their community comes from traditions over what can and cannot be viewed. For example, men cannot view women's rituals, and people from one community cannot view material from another without first seeking permission. Images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families. These requirements threw up issues surrounding how the material could be archived, as it was not only about preserving the information into a database in a traditional sense, but also about how people would access it depending on their gender, their relationship to other people, and where they were situated."
Technology (Apple)

What Bugs Apple Fans About Apple 437

An anonymous reader writes "Forbes.com went to MacWorld to ask Apple fans what bugs them about the computer and gadget maker. Turns out the lack of replaceable batteries, need to buy Vista separately, and most of all the stock price bugs people."

Vinyl To Signal the End for CDs? 883

PJ1216 writes to mention that vinyl seems poised to make a comeback in the music industry. Some are even predicting that this comeback coupled with the surge in digital music sales could possibly close the door on CDs. "Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs. Although CDs have a wider dynamic range, mastering houses are often encouraged to compress the audio on CDs to make it as loud as possible: It's the so-called loudness war. Since the audio on vinyl can't be compressed to such extremes, records generally offer a more nuanced sound. Another reason for vinyl's sonic superiority is that no matter how high a sampling rate is, it can never contain all of the data present in an analog groove, Nyquist's theorem to the contrary."

Playing Music Slows Vista Network Performance? 748

An anonymous reader writes "Over the months since Vista's release, there has been no doubt about the reduced level of network performance experienced compared to Windows XP. However, some users over at the 2CPU forums have discovered an unexplained connection with audio playback resulting in a cap at approximately 5%-10% of total network throughput. Whenever any audio is being sent to a sound card (even, several users report, while paused), network performance is instantly reduced. As soon as the audio is stopped, the throughput begins to climb to its expected speed. It's a tough one for users — what do you pick, sound or speed? So much for multi-tasking."

FCC Rules Open Source Code Is Less Secure 365

An anonymous reader writes "A new federal rule set to take effect Friday could mean that software radios built on 'open-source elements' may have trouble getting to market. Some US regulators have apparently come to the conclusion that, by nature, open source software is less secure than closed source. 'By effectively siding with what is known in cryptography circles as "security through obscurity," the controversial idea that keeping security methods secret makes them more impenetrable, the FCC has drawn an outcry from the software radio set and raised eyebrows among some security experts. "There is no reason why regulators should discourage open-source approaches that may in the end be more secure, cheaper, more interoperable, easier to standardize, and easier to certify," Bernard Eydt, chairman of the security committee for a global industry association called the SDR (software-defined radio) Forum, said in an e-mail interview this week.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

OS X Vs. Vista — In Spandex 302

An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK compares Vista Vs. Apple OS X in a Romeo and Juliet, spandex-wearing, Shakespearean English style. Two guys dress up as their favorite operating system and fight with swords, guns, and fists, while a third guy, dressed as a woman, awaits the winner. 'Usability - Act 3, Scene 2: Swords clash, sparks fly and men grunt, but the showdown ends in stalemate ... [Vista] has a far better user interface than XP -- the file and application search facility is vastly improved and the cascading Start menu has been banished, but it only takes a few moments of use to discover pointless idiosyncrasies. Microsoft constantly reminds us of how great Flip 3D is, but this feature doesn't help us find the right application window much faster than Alt-Tab did. It's very time consuming when you have many application windows to flip through, and it's in no way as efficient as OS X's Exposé feature ... We're calling this one a draw. They're just as good as each other, and in some cases just as bad -- a pox upon both your houses! Score: Mac OS X - 2, Windows Vista - 2'"

Amazon's Lawyers Jerking USPTO Around? 134

theodp writes "Reacting to an actor's do-it-yourself legal effort that triggered a reexam of Amazon.com's 1-Click patent, attorneys for Amazon have fired back, deluging the USPTO with documents to review, including Wikipedia articles. With the latest batch, Amazon's high-priced law firm even requested that USTPO examiners review an archived page of Norm Quotes (yes, Norm from Cheers) and rule that it does not invalidate CEO Jeff Bezos' 1-Click patent."

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