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Patents

Patent Troll Attacks Cable, Digital TV Standards 164

DavidGarganta writes "A patent troll firm in suburban Philadelphia, Rembrandt IP Management, is trying to force large cable operators and major broadcasters to pay substantial license fees on the transmission of digital TV signals and Internet services. The firm is apparently trying to get 0.5% of all revenues from services that supposedly infringe on the patents. The targeted companies include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter and Cablevision. According to MultiChannel News, Rembrandt's assault is especially aggressive, even for a patent troll: 'It is attacking two key technology standards used by the cable and broadcast industries, CableLabs' DOCSIS and the Advanced Television Systems Committee's digital-TV spec. "If they're successful, this could affect everything from the cost of cable service to the price of TVs," said the attorney close to the litigation, who spoke only on condition of anonymity.'"
Security

How Apple Orchestrated Attack On Researchers 389

An anonymous reader sends us to George Ou's blog on ZDNet for a tale of how Apple's PR director reportedly orchestrated a smear campaign against security researchers David Maynor and Jon Ellch last summer. Ou has been sitting on this story ever since and is only now at liberty to tell it. He posits that the Month of Apple Bugs was a direct result of Apple's bad behavior in the Maynor-Ellch affair. From the blog: "Apple continued to claim that there were no vulnerabilities in Mac OS X but came a month later and patched their Wireless Drivers (presumably for vulnerabilities that didn't actually exist). Apple patched these 'non-existent vulnerabilities' but then refused to give any credit to David Maynor and Jon Ellch. Since Apple was going to take research, not give proper attribution, and smear security researchers, the security research community responded to Apple's behavior with the MoAB (Month of Apple Bugs) and released a flood of zero-day exploits without giving Apple any notification. The end result is that Apple was forced to patch 62 vulnerabilities in just the first three months of 2007 including last week's megapatch of 45 vulnerabilities."

Are Background Checks Necessary For IT Workers? 402

4foot10 writes "UBS PaineWebber learned a hard lesson after hiring an IT systems admin without conducting a background check. Now its ex-employee is slated to be sentenced for launching a 'logic bomb' in UBS' computer systems that crashed 2,000 of the company's servers and left 17,000 brokers unable to make trades."

Man Gets 6 Years for Software Piracy 321

smooth wombat writes "In what prosecutors are calling 'the ultimate case', a Florida man has been sentenced to six years in prison for selling illegal copies of computer programs. From the article: 'Danny Ferrer, of Lakeland, Fla., pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy and copyright infringement charges after an FBI investigation of his Web site, BuysUSA.com. Ferrer also was ordered to pay more than $4.1 million in restitution to software makers Adobe Systems Inc., Autodesk, and Macromedia Inc.' The judge ordered that items he bought with the money, including airplanes, a Lamborghini and other cars, be sold off to pay for the restitution."

Microsoft Flubs Patch, Putting Users At Risk 209

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is rushing to fix a flaw introduced by the company's latest security update to Internet Explorer. From the article: 'The flaw, initially thought to only crash Internet Explorer, actually allows an attacker to run code on computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 that have applied the August cumulative update to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, security firm eEye Digital Security asserted. The update, released on August 8, fixed eight security holes but also introduced a bug of its own, according to Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer for the security firm, which notified Microsoft last week that the issue is exploitable.'"

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