Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Texas proposes one of nation's "most sweeping" mobile privacy laws (

hessian writes: "Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.

If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That's not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement "if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.""


Submission + - Using relativity to encrypt data (

hessian writes: "Bob Way has a great post up about his brainstorm for a file-sharing system that technically does not include the actual data it shares, but can reconstruct it from a relative measurement of it, which is stored.

This is much like coming up with a mold for a part and using relative vectors to describe it, so that when needed, it can be re-created using some seed data and thus used to create the part in question."


Submission + - Musicians support piracy, think it more profitable than music biz (

hessian writes: "The harsh reality is that too many prey on us – in a hostile environment – we have no other choice than to rise up.

We have no beef with "curious cats" who tune in on unauthorized channels, download torrents etc. Such undertakings serve a similar purpose to that of labels and distributors – from which we see such a minuscule yield anyway. Forget about it.

We encourage all conscientious music fans to buy their music direct from artists whenever that is possible, in the future. It will help more than you know."


Submission + - Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns (

hessian writes: "In the next few days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders — better known as "black boxes" — in all new cars and light trucks. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.

Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn't speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria's data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn't belted in."


Submission + - You Can't Say That on the Internet ( 1

hessian writes: "A BASTION of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide.

What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Court rules against Polish rocker who tore up Bible (

hessian writes: "Poland's Supreme Court opened the way on Monday for a blasphemy verdict against a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage, a case that has pitted deep Catholic traditions against a new desire for free expression.

Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth, ripped up a copy of the Christian holy book during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as "a criminal sect".

(They were good once: )"


Submission + - In Vietnam, US relies on pirate site to network (

hessian writes: "It's a wildly popular website laden with unlicensed songs and Hollywood movies, a prime exhibit of the digital piracy that is strangling the music industry in Asia and eroding legitimate online sales around the world.

The free-to-download bonanza has pushed Vietnam's into the ranks of the globe's top 550 websites. But a few clicks inside the site reveal a surprising presence: the U.S. government, which maintains a bustling social media account there."


Submission + - What an anti-Google antitrust case by the FTC may look like (

hessian writes: "It's not certain that Google will face a federal antitrust lawsuit by year's end. But if that happens, it seems likely to follow an outline sketched by Thomas Barnett, a Washington, D.C., lawyer on the payroll of Google's competitors.

Barnett laid out his arguments during a presentation here last night: Google is unfairly prioritizing its own services such as flight search over those offered by rivals such as Expedia, and it's unfairly incorporating reviews from Yelp without asking for permission.

"They systematically reinforce their dominance in search and search advertising," Barnett said during a debate on search engines and antitrust organized by the Federalist Society. "Google's case ought to have been brought a year or two ago.""


Submission + - Anti-diversity advocate expresses racial opinions (

hessian writes: "Taylor, a Yale graduate and the founder and editor of the American Renaissance journal, came to Texas A&M to speak about what he sees as the dangers of racial diversity within America and the University.

“Diversity does not achieve the kinds of things [the Texas A&M administration] pretends it will,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t make your education any brighter and it doesn’t make you any more competitive. At the same time, it’s achieved by racial discrimination.”"


Submission + - Inside the Mansion—and Mind— of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on t (

hessian writes: "Kim maintains that the real issue is a lack of understanding of the Internet. He was simply operating a hard-disc drive in virtual space. There’s no arguing that Megaupload wasn’t a legitimate cyberlocker, storing data for millions of individuals. Megaupload server logs show addresses that trace back to Fortune 100 companies and governments around the world. It’s also obvious that Megaupload was one of many Internet sites that stored, and profited from, copyright-infringing material. The only question is whether Kim and company bear criminal responsibility for that duality.

The law addressing this balance between the rights of copyright holders and Internet service providers was signed by President Clinton in 1998. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides ISPs with “safe harbor” from liability, so long as the provider doesn’t know for certain which, if any, of its stored material is copyright-infringing and “expeditiously” removes infringing material following a takedown notice."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Tea Party internet policy: less corporate regulation, less government snooping. (

hessian writes: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the son of libertarian Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, visited the conservative Heritage Foundation on Thursday to sketch out his agenda for preserving Internet freedom. In Paul's view, this means opposing warrantless government snooping of private networks—and also opposing regulations intended to protect privacy and network neutrality.

The event follows last month's announcement of a new "Internet freedom" initiative by the Campaign for Liberty, an activist group founded by the elder Paul. It appears that father and son see eye to eye on Internet issues, and the younger Paul used the Heritage event as an opportunity to explain his views."


Submission + - Teacher fired after refusing to hand over Facebook login (

hessian writes: "A Michigan teacher's aide is fighting a legal battle with the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District for removing her from her position after refusing to give the district access to her Facebook page.

Kimberly Hester was a teacher's aide at Frank Squires Elementary School in Cassopolis, Mich. last April when she jokingly posted a photo of a coworker to her personal Facebook page. The picture shows a pair of shoes and pants around the ankles, WSBT-TV reports."


Submission + - Rick Santorum: Reverse the Santorum Google Bomb (

hessian writes: "This is a reverse Google bomb, which means that you will replace that #1 search result with the obscene anti-Santorum site. For every link that goes to the correct Santorum site, the real Santorum site inches upward in the Google rankings and un-does what it took these angry liberals so long to do.

Give it a shot and try to help out a Republican candidate, even if he's not the one you ultimately want to vote for."

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