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Submission + - RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file ( 1

suraj.sun writes: RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-sharing cases:

Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers.

Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry.

ARS Technica:


Submission + - Mozilla Firefox 4 Released

Shining Celebi writes: Mozilla has finally released Firefox 4, a couple months behind schedule. It features hardware accelerated graphics, UI performance improvements, a massive boost in Javascript performance, reduced memory usage, WebGL, a new HTML5 parser, App Tabs, tab grouping via the Panorama feature, bookmark and history syncing, and much more. Many users will also be happy to know the status bar has been more-or-less restored after Mozilla removed it in early betas. Firefox 4 scores over 3 times faster on Sunspider, V8, and Kraken.

Submission + - NASA star satellite recovers from 144-hour glitch (

coondoggie writes: "There was likely a pretty big sigh of relief at NASA's Ames Research Center this week as the group' star satellite Kepler, recovered from a glitch that took it offline for 144 hours. According to NASA the glitch happened March 14, right after the spacecraft issued a network interface card (NIC) reset command to implement a computer program update. During the reset, the NIC sent invalid reaction wheel data to the flight software, which caused the spacecraft to enter safe mode, NASA stated."

Submission + - Texas man Gets Full Face Transplant (

RedEaredSlider writes: A Texas man recieved the third full face transplant performed in the U.S. yesterday at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The patient was Dallas Wiens, whose face was burned in a power line accident in 2008. He was left blinded and with little sensation where his face used to be. Wiens lost his lips, eyes, nose and much of the muscle and nerve tissue because the burns he suffered penetrated to the bones.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the Burn Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital and leader of the surgical team, said in a press conference that Wiens will not look the way he did before, nor will he look like the person who donated his face. The reason is that Wiens' bone structure is different and the tissues will change shape as they heal.


Submission + - Twitter users hit by "11.6 hours" viral scam (

An anonymous reader writes: A rogue application has caught Twitter users off their guard today, with thousands of people duped into clicking on links believing that it will reveal how many hours they have spent on Twitter.

Messages saying "I have spent 11.6 hours on Twitter. How much have you? Find out here: [LINK]" are being spread across the system, linking to an app called "Time on Tweeter".

However, the app — if given access to the user's Twitter account — will instantly spam out the same message claiming the user has spent 11.6 hours on Twitter, and lead them to a money-making survey scam.

Sophos says affected users should revoke the application's access to their Twitter account immediately.


Submission + - Google Deletes 21 Malware Apps From Android Market (

dkd903 writes: "Google deleted at-least 21 applications (some of which had names like "Chess"!) from the Android app market after it was first brought to notice by Android Police. Each of these 21 apps were infected with a backdoor Trojan rootkit which automatically rooted the phone using the well-known rageagainstthecage rooting tool. After this, the Malware apps would download and execute arbitrary code and send all your phone data to some other remote server."

Submission + - Open Source Text Editor $4.99 In The Mac App Store

conner_bw writes: Smultron is a great OS X text editor. Anyone who's used this editor over the years will tell you it was aborted then forked. Left for dead on SourceForge, it has now reappeared in the Mac App Store for $4.99. No changelog, no sourcecode, no new information for old users. Does anyone have the scoop? Is this just a new version number / cash grab, or what? Is this the future of open source on OS X?

Submission + - Firefox overtakes Internet Explorer in Europe

mvar writes: Boston, USA and Dublin, Ireland; Tuesday 4th January, 2011: Firefox overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) to become the number one browser in Europe in December 2010 according to StatCounter, the free website analytics company. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that in December, Firefox took 38.11% of European market share, compared to IE's 37.52%.

"This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share."

Submission + - Mozilla Posts File Containing Registered User Data (

wiredmikey writes: Mozilla Mistakenly Posts File Containing Registered User Data — Mozilla today sent an email to registered users of its site, letting them know that it had mistakenly posted a file to a publicly available Web server which contained data from its user database including email addresses, first and last names, and an md5 hash representation of user passwords.

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