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Censorship

Submission + - House Judiciary Committee SOPA Hearings Stacked 5 (techdirt.com)

Adrian Lopez writes: "Techdirt reports that 'apparently, the folks behind SOPA are really scared to hear from the opposition. We all expected that the Judiciary Committee hearings wouldn't be a fair fight. In Congress, they rarely are fair fights. But most people expected the typical "three in favor, one against" weighted hearings. That's already childish, but it seems that the Judiciary Committee has decided to take the ridiculousness to new heights. We'd already mentioned last week that the Committee had rejected the request of NetCoalition to take part in the hearings. At the time, we'd heard that the hearings were going to be stacked four-to-one in favor of SOPA. However, the latest report coming out of the Committee is that they're so afraid to actually hear about the real opposition that they've lined up five pro-SOPA speakers and only one "against."'

Demand Progress is running an online petition against such lopsided representation."

Television

Submission + - New tool records streaming video for later playbac (nytimes.com)

matthurst writes: "PlayLater allows viewers to stockpile episodes of their favorite television shows on their hard drives and thumb drives, just as they copy programs on a digital video recorder for later viewing. Using a legal precedent previously laid out by VCRs and DVRs for recording TV broadcasts, the service reflects a growing interest in recording online video streams. According to a Nielsen spokesperson, time spent watching online streaming video is growing as well."

Submission + - Special Relativity and Financial Markets (moneyscience.com)

An anonymous reader writes: With questions being asked about the accuracy of clock synchronisation in financial markets a paper commissioned for UK Gov Foresight Project on the Future of Computing in Financial Markets suggests that "Attempts to enforce rules by time-stamping trades run into the problem that it becomes impractical with current technology to keep clocks synchronized to the nanosecond: regulators may never be able to establish that one event occurred before or after another event..." A complete list of the other papers commissioned for the Foresight Project is available here.
China

Submission + - NGO criticizes Apple's environmental policies

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent interview, Ma Jun, director of The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a registered non-profit organization based in Beijing, harshly criticizes Apple environmental policy, saying that "Apple has made no progress at all". He is discussing a report by five Chinese environmental groups, published on August 31, which states that "The large volume of discharge in Apple's supply chain greatly endangers the public's health and safety. Through the process of our investigations, we discovered several suspected suppliers to Apple that have been the target of numerous complaints from local communities". The report denounces the behavior of Apple's suppliers along with Apple's own policies, for example at Foxconn Chengdu "A media investigation revealed that in order to expedite construction, the polishing workshop machinery was installed at the same time as that production was taking place; meanwhile, the second batch of workers, after having only two or three days training, were sent to their posts to begin work". But in spite of all this, although "it must surely leave one to question Apple's auditing process. [...] there has been no way to confirm any of these queries with Apple Inc., as the company will not actively disclose any information, nor will it even passively respond to questions regarding their suppliers".

Submission + - 1/2 billion taxpayer $ gone as solar startup folds (cnn.com) 1

elrous0 writes: Solar panel maker Solyndra today said that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after failing to successfully compete against lower-cost Chinese manufacturers. It is one of largest failures ever suffered by venture capitalists, and a major black eye for a U.S. Department of Energy that loaned the company more than $500 million.
Google

Submission + - Schmidt: G+ "identity service", not social network (google.com)

David Gerard writes: "Eric Schmidt has revealed that Google+ is an identity service, and the "social network" bit is just bait. Schmidt says "G+ is completely optional," not mentioning that Google has admitted that deleting a G+ account will seriously downgrade your other Google services. As others have noted, Somewhere, there are two kids in a garage building a company whose motto will be "Don't be Google"."

Submission + - Why do we favor Javascript and HTML so much?

davesque writes: Why is it that HTML, CSS, and Javascript are favored so much, aside from their historical importance? It seems these languages give us so much baggage, with their slow standards committees and inconsistent behavior across browsers (CSS anyone?). Don't get me wrong. There are things I love about them like the functional aspects of Javascript, for instance. But are there really many practical reasons that browser makes can't start extending support to other scripting and markup languages?

Submission + - BBC thinks its ok to take copyrighted things (theregister.co.uk)

jkcity writes: "The BBC has found itself in a spot of bother having to defend itself against taking pictures and content off twitter and other social media sites without permission and also without attributions. There response is that if you post it on a social media site your free to use it anyway you see fit as normal copyright laws don't apply. The BBC is probably not the only major news organztion that does this but only one I can find that has repsonded so far, I guess they are being willingly ignorant."
Cloud

Submission + - Get Cybermercenaries Suggests Ex NSA, CIA Director (itproportal.com)

siliconbits writes: One of the architects of US foreign policy under George W. Bush, General Michael Hayden, suggested that the US Government should consider creating a "Digital Blackwater" during an open conversation with Bloomberg's Allan Holmes and several other cybersecurity specialists on stage, during an event called the Aspen Security Forum. Blackwater refers to the US private military group founded in 1997 and which has been renamed as Xe Services LLC, a move possibly linked with a number of high controversies that arose after the company expanded its security-related operations into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recruiting mercenaries, Hayden suggested “might be one of those big new ideas in terms of how we have to conduct ourselves in this new cyber domain,” referring to cyber warfare.

Security

Submission + - Hackers' Flying Drone Now Eavesdrops On GSM Phones (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: At the Black Hat and Defcon security conferences in Las Vegas next week, Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins plan to show the crowd of hackers a year’s worth of progress on their Wireless Aerial Surveillace Platform, or WASP, the second year Tassey and Perkins have displayed the 14-pound, six-foot long, six-foot wingspan unmanned aerial vehicle. The WASP, built from a retired Army target drone converted from a gasoline engine to electric batteries, is equipped with an HD camera, a cigarette-pack sized on-board Linux computer packed with network-hacking tools including the BackTrack testing toolset and a custom-built 340 million word dictionary for brute-force guessing of passwords, and eleven antennae.

On top of cracking wifi networks, the upgraded WASP now also performs a new trick: impersonating the GSM cell phone towers used by AT&T and T-Mobile to trick phones into connecting to the plane’s antenna rather than their carrier, allowing the drone to record conversations and text messages on a 32 gigs of storage.

Security

Submission + - Camera Fails to Record Killing at Sydney Airport (smh.com.au)

skegg writes: Despite the millions spent on security and the clamp down on our rights, a security camera at Sydney Airport failed to record a brawl in which a man was bashed to death with a bollard. In fact, the jury has heard evidence from an airport employee that the camera had been out of order for "at least two years". Security theatre at its finest?
The Internet

Submission + - Syria Drops Off The Internet As Turmoil Spikes (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: In what appears to be the latest bid by a government to throttle access to news and information amid growing civil unrest, the Syrian government Friday shut down all Internet services. Internet monitoring firm Renesys reported that starting around 7 a.m. EDT today, close to two-thirds of all Syrian networks were suddenly unreachable from the global Internet. In just 30 minutes, routes to 40 of 59 Syrian networks were withdrawn from the global routing table, Reneys' chief technology officer James Cowie said in a blog post. The shutdown has affected all of SyriaTel's 3G mobile data networks as well as several of the country's ISPs' such as Sawa, INET and Runnet. Also down are the Damascus city government page and the customs web site. The only networks that appear to be somewhat reachable are a handful of government-owned networks such as one belonging to Syria's Oil Ministry, Cowie noted. 'We don't know yet how the outage was coordinated, or what specific regions or cities may be affected more than others,' Cowie wrote. 'If Egypt and Libya are any guide, one might conclude that events on the street in Syria are reaching a tipping point.'

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