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Privacy

Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks 1088

krou writes "Coming on the back of human rights groups criticizing WikiLeaks, American officials are saying that the Obama administration is pressuring allies such as Australia, Britain, and Germany to open criminal investigations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and to try limit his ability to travel. 'It's not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It's UK troops, it's German troops, it's Australian troops — all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan,' said one American diplomatic official, who added that other governments should 'review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national-security laws.'"
Internet Explorer

Why IE9 Will Not Support Codecs Other Than H.264 436

jlp2097 writes "There is a new article up on Microsoft's IEBlog explaining why IE9 will support only the H.264 codec: 'First and most important, we think it is the best available video codec today for HTML5 for our customers. Relative to alternatives, H.264 maintains strong hardware support in PCs and mobile devices as well as a breadth of implementation in consumer electronics devices around the world, excellent video quality, scale of existing usage, availability of tools and content authoring systems, and overall industry momentum – each an important factor that contributes to our point of view. H.264 also provides the best certainty and clarity with respect to legal rights from the many companies that have patents in this area.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - Why IE9 will not support other codecs than H2.64 (msdn.com) 2

jlp2097 writes: There is a new article up on Microsofts IEBlog explaining why IE9 will only support H.264:

First and most important, we think it is the best available video codec today for HTML5 for our customers. Relative to alternatives, H.264 maintains strong hardware support in PCs and mobile devices as well as a breadth of implementation in consumer electronics devices around the world, excellent video quality, scale of existing usage, availability of tools and content authoring systems, and overall industry momentum – each an important factor that contributes to our point of view. H.264 also provides the best certainty and clarity with respect to legal rights from the many companies that have patents in this area.

The article goes into detail for each of these points and is an interesting read, confirming a lot of points already discussed here.

Privacy

Court Allows Unmasking of P2P Downloaders 244

bricko writes "A federal appeals court says copyright-infringing downloaders can now be outed. If you use or have used P2P, this may interest you. From Wired: 'The RIAA detected what it claimed to be infringing activity on an IP address the university linked to the student. The unidentified student moved to quash a federal judge’s order that the university forward the student’s identity to the RIAA. The student asserted a First Amendment right of privacy on the Internet, in addition to a fair-use right to the six music tracks in question. The appeals court ruled in the RIAA’s favor (PDF) after balancing a constitutional right to remain anonymous against a copyright owner’s right to disclosure of the identity of a possible “trespasser of its intellectual property interest."'"
The Courts

ACTA Draft To Be Made Public Next Week 95

Spitfirem1 writes with this snippet from ZDNet: "Negotiators will on Wednesday publish the first officially released draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a new treaty designed to harmonize copyright enforcement around the world. The decision to release the consolidated draft on 21 April was made at the eighth round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations, which took place this week in Wellington, New Zealand. So far, the only publicly available information on the negotiating countries' proposals and amendments have been leaked documents purporting to be drafts of the agreement."
Businesses

Independent Programmers' No-Win Scenario 552

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes about the no-win scenario facing today's independent programmers: 'In a knowledge economy, programmers rank among our most valuable workers, yet the current legal and regulatory climate makes a career as an independent software developer virtually a dead-end prospect.' Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the hurdles and costs of obtaining health care for one's own family, a hostile legal climate in search of accountability for any defects in code — these harsh realities make it 'easy to see why software developers would give up on entrepreneurship. For many, the risks simply don't match the potential rewards. Better to keep their heads down, not rock the boat, and hope they can hang onto their jobs until retirement.' Great news for big software vendors, which will be 'ensured an endless supply of programmers desperate for the safe haven of a steady paycheck, predictable taxation, health benefits, and a shield from civil prosecution when their code turns up buggy. But where will the next Microsoft come from? A field that discourages self-reliance sends the message that the status quo is the highest goal.'"
Businesses

Our Low-Tech Tax Code 691

theodp writes "After establishing that nothing can excuse Joe Stack's murderous intentional plane crash into an IRS office, a NY Times Op-Ed explains the reference in Stack's suicide note to an obscure federal tax law — Section 1706 of the 1986 tax act — which the software engineer claimed declared him a 'criminal and non-citizen slave' and ruined his career. Interestingly, a decade-old NY Times article on Section 1706 pretty much agreed: 'The immediate effect of these [Section 1706] audits is to force individual programmers ... to abandon their dreams of getting rich off their high-technology skills.' Section 1706, the NYT Op-Ed concludes, 'is an example of how Congress enacted a discriminatory law that hurt thousands of technology consultants, their staffing firms and customers. And despite strong bipartisan efforts and unbiased studies supporting that law's repeal, it remains on the books.'"

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