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Submission + - Controversial cyber threat bill CISPA may return to Congress (blogspot.com.au)

quantr writes: After suffering defeat this spring, the controversial legislation aimed at preventing cyber threats, CISPA, may be returning to the Senate. According to Mother Jones, two senators are now working on a new version of the bill that looks to curb some of the concerns that kept it from initially passing. The goal of the bill will still be to make it easier for private companies to share information with the government regarding cyber threats, however the type of information that can be shared will reportedly be narrower in scope this time around.
As the legislation is still being written, it's not clear exactly how different its updated form will be. Mother Jones reports that Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are working together to draft the bill. "The goal is to allow and encourage the sharing only of information related to identifying and protecting against cyber threats, and not the communications and commerce of Americans," Feinstein's office tells Mother Jones in a statement. Feinstein in particular has been a major proponent for facilitating this type of sharing, having also been in support of expanding FISA.

Submission + - Chromecast Update Disables Streaming of Personal Media (hardwarezone.com.sg)

Brain Lee writes: While the Google Chromecast officially supports media from the Google Play store, Netflix and YouTube, there are third-party apps that allow users to stream their personal media to a TV. However a recent Chromecast update has disabled this feature, casting doubt on whether the Chromecast will officially support this feature.

Submission + - The Old Reader Will Stay Open To The Public After All Thanks To US Corporation

An anonymous reader writes: The Old Reader, a popular RSS service and alternative to Google Reader, last week revealed it would be closing its service to the public in two weeks. Soon after the backlash, there was hint of a stance reversal, and now it’s happened: The Old Reader will remain open to the public, thanks to a bigger team and ‘significantly more’ resources, both provided by a new corporate entity located in the US.

While details about this “corporate entity” are indeed scarce, we do know the announcement was authored by an individual named Ben Wolf. He promises his team consists of “big fans and users” of The Old Reader who want to help it “grow and improve for years to come” and who will be introduced properly in the coming weeks.

Submission + - Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Is Upheld (nytimes.com)

mendax writes: The New York Times is reporting, "In a significant victory for law enforcement, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said that government authorities could extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant. The closely watched case, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is the first ruling that squarely addresses the constitutionality of warrantless searches of historical location data stored by cellphone service providers. Ruling 2 to 1, the court said a warrantless search was 'not per se unconstitutional' because location data was 'clearly a business record' and therefore not protected by the Fourth Amendment.'" The article pointed out that this went squarely against a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion rendered earlier this month but noted that the state court's ruling was based upon the text of the state's constitution, not that of the federal constitution.

Submission + - Asus CEO on Windows RT: "We're out." (allthingsd.com)

symbolset writes: AllThingsD's intrepid reporter Ina Fried has an interview up where Asus chairman and CEO Jonney Shih says they will not make any more Windows RT devices until Microsoft proves demand for the product.

This leaves Dell as the only OEM who has not sworn off Windows RT. Dell is seeking to take itself private, relying on a $2 billion loan from Microsoft.

Submission + - Microsoft assigns six patents to patent troll Vringo (groklaw.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Some days $30 million seems like a lot of money, and other days it's just a bit of a letdown. Vringo is a once-upon-a-time ringtone company that's now basically a holding company for search patents dating back to the Lycos days, and it used those patents to sue Google. In November, a federal jury found that the patents were infringed, but Google should pay just $30 million, far less than the nearly $700 million it was seeking.
Investors had big dreams for Vringo, but that too-small payday, combined with an assurance of a lengthy appeal by Google, has left the stock price disappointingly stagnant.

In January Vringo unveiled its wholly predictable backup plan—sue the one other viable search engine, Microsoft's Bing. Now that case has settled for $1 million, plus five percent of whatever Google ultimately pays, according to a Vringo regulatory filing yesterday...

The five percent addendum is an interesting twist to this early settlement. One has to wonder if Microsoft really fought very hard. The company has effectively paid $1 million for an "option" to see its chief competitor hurt 20 times as bad as it is.

The settlement also provides for Microsoft to transfer six patents to I/P engine, the patent-holding subsidiary of Vringo. "The assigned patents relate to telecommunications, data management, and other technology areas," stated Vringo in its filing.

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Submission + - An Overview of the Do Not Track Debate (theverge.com)

jonathanmayer writes: "The Verge is carrying an accurate and accessible overview of the Do Not Track debate. "With the fate of our beloved internet economy allegedly at stake, perhaps it's a good time to examine what Do Not Track is. How did the standard came to be, what does it do, and how does it stand to change online advertising? Is it as innocuous as privacy advocates make it sound, or does it stand to jeopardize the free, ad-supported internet we've all come to rely on?" The issues surrounding Do Not Track can be difficult to understand owing to rampant rhetoric and spin. This article unpacks the tracking technology, privacy concerns, economic questions, and political outlook. Full disclosure: I'm quoted."
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Submission + - IDL Introduces "Cat Signal" to Proctect the Web from Censorship (arstechnica.com)

benfrog writes: "The Internet Defense League, a loosely-organized group of diverse organizations that hopes to save the internet from acts like SOPA, has come put with a novel way to do it: the "Cat Signal." The embedded code (which can be plunked into almost any web site) can be centrally activated (subject to the override of the site's owner) whenever the IDL feels there is a threat to internet freedom on the horizon. It was also activated today, on the founding of the initiative. And yes, it's inspired by all of those pictures of fuzzy kitty cats on the 'net."

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