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Submission + - Drug company disguised advertising as science (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "A former pharmaceutical company employee has blown the whistle on drug promotion disguised as science.
Drug companies occasionally conduct post-marketing studies to collect data on the safety and efficacy of drugs in the real world, after they’ve been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. “However,” writes the anonymous author in an editorial in the British Medical Journal (subscription), “some of the [post-marketing] studies I worked on were not designed to determine the overall risk:benefit balance of the drug in the general population. They were designed to support and disseminate a marketing message.”
According to the whistleblower, the results of these studies were often dubious. “We occasionally resorted to ‘playing’ with the data that had originally failed to show the expected result,” he says. “This was done by altering the statistical method until any statistical significance was found.” He adds that the company sometimes omitted negative results and played down harmful side effects.
Nature says it was unable to work out who the writer was but they likely worked on diabetes and the studies criticized were from the Denmark-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk."


Submission + - Attacks Targeting US Defense Contractors and Universities Tied to China (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers have identified an ongoing series of attacks, possibly emanating from China, that are targeting a number of high-profile organizations, including SCADA security companies, universities and defense contractors. The attacks are using highly customized malicious files to entice targeted users into opening them and starting the compromise.

The attack campaign is using a series of hacked servers as command-and-control points and researchers say that the tactics and tools used by the attackers indicates that they may be located in China. The first evidence of the campaign was an attack on Digitalbond, a company that provides security services for ICS systems. The attack begins with a spear phishing email sent to employees of the targeted company and containing a PDF attachment.

In addition to the attack on Digitalbond, researchers have found that the campaign also has hit users at Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue University and the University of Rhode Island. Also, the Chertoff Group, a consultancy headed by former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and NJVC, another defense contractor, have been targeted. Carnegie Mellon and Purdue both have high-profile computer security programs.


Submission + - Snopes.com debunks old C++ 'interview' hoax (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: "If this one has escaped your attention, the claim goes like this: “C++ designer Bjarne Stroustrup admitted in an interview that he developed the language solely to create high-paying jobs for programmers.” The 1998 “interview,” which never happened, also “quotes” Stroustrup saying all kinds of outrageous things about his motivations for designing C++, and has dogged him throughout the years, even earning a place on his Web site’s FAQ page. Last week Snopes stepped up and put its official “false” on the still-circulating versions of the fictitious “interview.” Does Stroustrup think it will help put the matter to rest? “Not really.”"

Submission + - Google DRM software threatens social media (patexia.com)

ericjones12398 writes: "The RIAA has always been a little twitchy about music copyrights, and that’s putting it mildly. The latest front in the war on piracy (or fair use, depending on where you stand) is YouTube. Filled with album cuts, live versions and amateur covers, it’s become a stronghold of sharing media without file sharing. Needless to say, this isn’t the record industry’s favorite practice. But while technology exists to catch the album version of a song or an official live release, there’s nothing that can prevent you from uploading an iPhone video from the last concert you went to or even recording your own version of a song without permission from the songwriter.

Google, however, is looking to change all that with its new Melody Identification DRM. The Mountain View-based company recently applied for a patent that will (allegedly) be able to pull a melody out of a song, allowing YouTube to recognize when your 14-year-old daughter has uploaded a video of herself singing the latest Katy Perry jam. The goal is to help the record industry crack down on copyright infringement that is currently difficult to detect."

Submission + - Netflix has decided to invalidate your right to sue them (netflix.com)

ebombme writes: Netflix has decided to go the route of AT&T and others by trying to take away the rights of their users to form class action lawsuits against them. A copy of the new terms of use states "These Terms of Use provide that all disputes between you and Netflix will be resolved by BINDING ARBITRATION. YOU AGREE TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO GO TO COURT to assert or defend your rights under this contract (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court). Your rights will be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR and NOT a judge or jury and your claims cannot be brought as a class action. Please review the Arbitration Agreement below for the details regarding your agreement to arbitrate any disputes with Netflix."

Comment Re:Nuremburg Defense (Score 1) 156

In my opinion, this explanation would be fine if they were just an everyday person who has no knowledge of the law. But this was companies with lawyers who were asked to assign facilities, resources, technology, and reroute their networks to make this happen. This is unprofitable, and unprofitable is not the way you run a business. They wouldn't just expend all these resources without looking for a way around it. You certainly don't expend money on doing something like this for free. In my opinion, this was a calculated move by the telecoms to benefit elsewhere. They most certainly had their lawyers look at it, and were in collusion with some part of the Govt. to get this setup. Either they got something out of it or their hands were forced and either way it was wrong, and it should have been taken to court and publicized instead of being hidden and co-operated with. Just because someone in authority tells you to do something does not mean you blindly follow, and these large companies were blindly following instead of protecting their customers privacy which is part of what we pay them to do. Violating peoples privacy is out of bounds for any level of authority without a proper justification. Our society has recognized the warrant to be that justification.

Submission + - Righthaven domain name up for sale (mediapost.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Copyright enforcer Righthaven has lost its domain name after failing to reimburse defense attorneys who successfully represented a blogger. Righthaven's URL is currently being auctioned off by Lara Pearson, an attorney appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro to sell Righthaven's assets at auction. Pro ordered the domain name, as well as Righthaven's portfolio of copyrights, auctioned after the company failed to reimburse defense attorneys $63,000 for representing Web user Wayne Hoehn. The auction began this week and is slated to go through Jan. 6. (If anyone wants to buy the domain name for me, it would be a nice Chanukah present :) Just kidding, I'll take the money instead.)"

Submission + - Android malware victims offered free Windows OS Ph (theregister.co.uk)

ebombme writes: Microsoft is touting it's phones by offering a free phone to users who are willing to state publicly that they were negatively affected by malware on their Droid phone. Shouldn't these be the last people you would want to offer a Windows OS too? As the article points out; Haven't they already suffered enough?

Comment Re:The article is much too kind ... (Score 1) 381

If you live in a household that watches multiple streams at a time it is quite likely that you will need a much faster connection. Myself and my former roommate used to stream Netflix individually and we would both be downloading content from the web. In scenarios like this where there are multiple HD streams coming into a household (quite common these days with most new middle tier televisions & bluray players being able to stream Netflix, Vudu and other online video services) it should be considered. I can see households where there are 3 TVs watching different Netflix programs, while grandma is in the bathroom streaming HD pr0n and little Jimmy is torrenting the latest patch for WoW. Most families aren't like this at this time, but it seems that we aren't that far away from television being completely internet based. I am not defending them at this time because I know it is an oversell of their top data tier right now, but I don't think we are very far away from most people needing plans like this.They should at least list it as a recommendation if you ONLY stream multiple HD connections.

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