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Submission + - UK government to rush in emergency surveillance laws (theguardian.com) 2

beaker_72 writes: The Guardian reports that the UK government has unveiled plans to introduce emergency surveillance laws into the UK parliament at the beginning of next week. These are aimed at reinforcing the powers of security services in the UK to force service providers to retain records of their customers phone calls and emails. The laws, which have been introduced after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that existing laws invaded individual privacy, will receive cross-party support and so will not be subjected to scrutiny or challenged in Parliament before entering the statute books. But as Tom Watson (Labour backbench MP and one of few dissenting voices) has pointed out, the ECJ ruling was six weeks ago, so why has the government waited until now to railroad something through. Unless of course they don't want it scrutinised too closely.

Comment Re:Another case of 'same, but with a computer' (Score 2) 216

The first part 'loss of life' should already be covered by simply applying murder and/or manslaughter charges. There is no reason to invent a new law for this, only because it's done with a computer.

That's the problem. In UK law, it is murder if you intended to kill or cause serious injury to someone, and someone dies as a result (may be another person). If some bloody idiot hacks into a hospital's computer system "for the lulu" (Safari replaces a z with an u, and I find it actually more appropriate that way), and as a result people die without any intent to cause death, then apparently this isn't murder currently.

In the UK, I'm, fairly sure this would currently be classed as Involuntary manslaughter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

What if someone cuts the water or power to the hospitol and mixes suger in the gas of the generator? There is no reason this should specifically include computers and not other attacks.

As would this

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Tips For a Brand-New Linux User? 1

Maxus Atom writes: So, I've recently been given a 2007 ThinkPad installed with Ubuntu 13.10. I'm pretty knowledgeable about the computers, I'm fluent in two coding languages (Lua and JavaScript), but when I look at Ubuntu, though I've gotten pretty far on my own, I'd like to know if I'm missing anything. I've been prowling the forums learning how to use it, but it seems people don't really respond to my questions on Absolute Beginners. I'd like to know what there is for me to optimize my Ubuntu experience.

Submission + - Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Sockatume writes: Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again.

Submission + - Silicon Valley's Loony Cheerleading Culture Is Out of Control (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: Kernel editor-in-chief and noted firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos swings away at Silicon Valley's current startup culture, noting that it's resulted in herds of wannabe founders and startup groupies who don't exactly have a track record of starting successful companies or even producing solid code. "Though they produce little of value, they are the naive soft power behind aggressive capitalist machines in Silicon Valley: the trend-setting vanguard of the global Web and mobile industries," he writes. "We should be very wary indeed of these vacuous cheerleaders whose vague waffle about the transformational potential of photo-sharing apps is more sinister and Orwellian than anything dreamt up by a dictator." How long can such a culture continue before it dries up, and the whole tech-investment cycle begins anew?

Submission + - Scientists synthesize element with atomic number of 115 and name it Ununpentium (telegraph.co.uk)

McGruber writes: Scientists have detected a new element, that has an atomic number of 115. It does not occur naturally; scientists had to synthesis it in the laboratory by bombarding a film of another heavy element known as americium with calcium ions. The resulting element lasted for just a fraction of a second before it decaying into more commonly found elements.

Although it has yet to be officially named, Element 115 has the temporary name of ununpentium.


Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.

Video When Your Data Absolutely, Positively has to be Destroyed (Video) 295

Here's a corporate motto for you: "Destroying data since 1959." Timothy ran into a company called Garner Products (which doesn't use that motto as far as we know), at a security conference. While most exhibitors were busily preserving or encrypting data one way or another, Garner was not only destroying data but delighting in it. And yes, they've really been doing this since 1959; they started out degaussing broadcast cartridges so broadcasters could re-use them without worrying about old cue tones creeping into new recordings. Now, you might ask, "Instead of spending $9,000 or more to render hard drives useless, couldn't you just use a $24 sledge hammer? And have the fun of destroying something physical as a free bonus?" Yes, you could. You'd get healthy exercise as well, and if you only wanted to destroy the data on the hard drives, so what? New drives are cheap these days. But some government agencies and financial institutions require degaussing before the physical destruction (and Garner has machines that do physical destruction, too -- which is how they deal with SSDs). Garner Products President Ron Stofan says in the interview that their destruction process is more certain than shooting a hard drive with a .45. But neither he nor Tim demonstrated a shooting vs. degaussing test for us, so we remain skeptical.
The Almighty Buck

The Man Who Sold Shares of Himself 215

RougeFemme writes "This is a fascinating story about a man who sold shares in himself, primarily to fund his start-up ideas. He ran into the same issues that companies run into when taking on corporate funding — except that in his case, the decisions made by his shareholders bled over into his personal life. This incuded his relationship with his now ex-girlfriend, who became a shareholder activist over the issue of whether or not he should have a vasectomy. The experiment continues." The perils of selling yourself to your friends.

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