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Submission + - Explosion at SpaceX launch facility at Cape Canaveral

oobayly writes: The Independent reports of an explosion at SpaceX's Cape Canveral launch facility. According to NASA they were testing one of the Falcon 9 rockets recovered from a barge landing.

Buildings several miles away were shook by the blast, and people nearby reported that multiple explosions continued for several minutes. After the explosion the sky was filled with dark smoke and sirens could be heard.

No comment from either SpaceX or Elon Musk yet, but it'll be interesting to see reaction from them (and SES), especially in light of their announcment regarding the upcoming SES 10 launch.

Submission + - Internet firms to be banned from offering unbreakable encryption under new laws (

oobayly writes: The Daily Telegraph reports that "Companies such as Apple, Google and others will no longer be able to offer encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked ton under the Investigatory Powers Bill". David Cameron has been pleading with the public and MPs to back the legislation, which is facing some tough opposition, even amongst our less than tech-savy MPs.
Granted, it won't be much of a surprise to many of us in the UK, however it seems that our government isn't just content with being able to prosecute us for not disclosing encryption keys when prompted. Does this mean that the only secure option will be to use open-source projects, as this would put an end to Apple's inability to decrypt FaceTime and iMessage data in transit.

Submission + - Some company in Belize tried to trademark "MH17" and "MH370"

oobayly writes: The Guardian reports that a company in Belize has filed to trademark MH17 and MH370 — full article on Coconuts Kuala Lumpur. The application MH17 was filed on 17th July 2014 — the same day as the disaster occurred, whereas the application for MH370 was filed on 2nd May 2014 — almost two months after the flight disappeared.

The application for "MH17" was filed on the European Trade Mark and Design Network website, while details for the "MH370" application was found on the Justia Trademarks site.

The scope of the application is also wide ranging:

From conferences, exhibitions and competitions; to education and instruction, and entertainment services (namely, the provision of continuing programmes, segments, movies, and shows delivered by television, radio, satellite and the Internet).

Clearly, this is cynical way of attempting to collect (I hesitate to use the word "earn") money from the reporting of Malaysian Airlines two disasters, however, does this actually have any merit? Seeing as the MH17 trademark application has been filed in Europe — the region from where most of the victims came from, it seems highly unlikely, but past experience tells us that we can't make any assumptions.


Submission + - Bruce Willis 'considering iTunes legal action' against Apple (

oobayly writes: It appears that Bruce "Die Hard" Willis isn't too impressed that he can't include his iTunes collection in his estate when he dies.

Bruce Willis, the Hollywood actor, is said to be considering legal action against Apple so he can leave his iTunes music collection to his three daughters.

Such a high profile individual complaining about the ability to own your digital music can only be a good thing, right? I suggest that also assaulting Cupertino in a dirty white vest would do the job.

Submission + - Arizona drivers say no to Gatso cameras (

oobayly writes: The Daily Telegraph reports that Arizona drivers are ignoring tickets being issued by UK style fixed speeding cameras. It appears that as the fines are not being delivered in person it's possible for them to be ignored as there's no proof of receipt. Judges appear to be agreeing with this (in the US anyway).
Why can't we use the same excuse here in the UK?


Submission + - Estate of Philip K. Dick to sue Google. (

oobayly writes: The Daily Telegraph reports that the estate of science fiction author Philip K. Dick is sueing Google for copying the name Nexus Six for their new Android phone. There's no evidence that the estate has trademarked Nexus Six in regards to mobile phones, so what case could they have and what solicitor would take up this case?
As an owner of Philip K. Dick books & an Android developer I never saw the connection (sad but true), and even though Google say it's nothing to do with Do androids dream of electric sheep I see it as a geeky nod to the authors work, essentially memorialising him.


Submission + - The legality of publishing email addresses.

oobayly writes: Like most people I receive a fair amount of chain emails, some humourous, most downright idiotic. No matter how I try educating colleagues, family & friends, I still receive them and am now resigned to the fact that you just can't help some people.
One of my explanations of why forwarding these emails is a bad idea was that they are a perfect harvesting ground for spammers: a very high percentage of the addresses will be live. This, it turned out fell upon deaf ears. If you're stupid enough to believe that Dell will give you a free laptop then you're probably the type of person that believes that a Nigerian general wants to give you $150,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!!!).

As a bit of an experiment, I used a few tools (grep, awk, etc) to parse my Maildir for any emails that appeared to have been forwarded and extracted anything that looked like an email address. As one would imagine there were a good few (thousand) email addresses. Most of these email addresses belong to innocent by-standers. The real culprits are the people who forward them, and it takes only a little more effort to extract only those.

Part of me has decided these people who waste bandwidth, time and have caused me to lose my hair deserve to pay. What better way to do it than to publish their email addresses for spammers to harvest?

Of course, this is unethical, but is it actually illegal? By sending an email urging others to forward the content, are they not actively pushing their details into the public domain?

Answers on postcards please.

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]