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Submission + - Cable Lobbyists Now Authoring Bills in Kansas (

sl4shd0rk writes: Normally, bills up for Senate debate are authored by lawmakers. In Kansas however, it appears Lobbyists may now be allowed to author bills as [PDF Warning]this onewas submitted by John Federico... head of a lobbyist group with members such as Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, and Time Warner Cable. The bill was introduced this week, referred to the Committee on Commerce, and scheduled for discussion for Tuesday of next week.

Submission + - Tech Companies Set to Appeal 2012 Oracle vs. Google Ruling

sl4shd0rk writes: In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over Java. In the balance hung the legalities of writing code to mimic the functionality of copyrighted software. The trial was set to determine how all future software would be written (and by whom). Oracle's entire case boiled down to an inadvertent 9 lines of code; an argument over a simple and basic comparison of a range of numbers. The presiding judge (who had some background in writing software) didn't buy it stating he had "written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before." A victory for more than just Google. This week, however, Microsoft, EMC, Oracle and Netapp have filed for appeal and seek to reverse the ruling. It's not looking good as the new bevy of judges Indicating they may side with Oracle on the issue.

Submission + - FCC Chair: it's Ok to Discriminate Traffic 2

sl4shd0rk writes: Remember when the ex-cable lobbyist Tom Wheeler was appointed to the FCC chair back in may of 2013? Turns out he's currently gunning for Internet Service Providers to be able to "favor some traffic over other traffic". A dangerous precedent considering the Open Internet Order in 2010 forbid such action if it fell under unreasonable discrimination. The bendy interpretation of the 2010 order is apparently aimed somewhat at Netflix as Wheeler stated: "Netflix might say, 'I'll pay in order to make sure that my subscriber might receive the best possible transmission of this movie.'"

Submission + - In Georgia, Beware of Charging Your Cellphone at School ( 3

sl4shd0rk writes: It seems you can be arrested in Georgia for drawing 5 cents of electricity from a school's outdoor receptacle. Kaveh Kamooneh was charged with theft for plugging his Nissan Leaf into a Chamblee Middle School 110V outlet; the same outlet one could use to charge a laptop or cellphone. The Leaf draws 1KW/hour while charging which works out to under $0.10 of electricity per hour. Mr Kamooneh charged his Leaf for less than 30 mins, which works out to about a Nickel. Sgt. Ernesto Ford, The arresting officer, pointed out a "theft is a theft" and was his argument for arresting Mr. Kamooneh. Considering the cost of the infraction, it does not seem a reasonable decision when considering how much this will cost the state in legal funds. Does this mean anyone charging a laptop or cell phone will be charged with theft as well?

Submission + - Wisconsin Republican Aims to Change NSA Metadata Laws (

sl4shd0rk writes: Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is pushing for a change to the Patriot Act (which he sponsored) called USA FREEDOM act. The proposal has 70 bi-partisan co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and a handful in the Senate. The proposed change has backing from civil liberties groups as well as private industry. Among the changes, on in particular would allow companies to disclose certain details about FISA orders they've received (apparently taking aim at the Lavabit gag order).

Submission + - Blackberry BBM App and Suspicious Google Play Ratings (

sl4shd0rk writes: In what could be an act of desparation of a company in it's death throes, Blackberry has submitted their BBM messaging application to Google Play for download. While this may seem like a logical path for a company on life-support, what wasn't expected is the sheer number of identical 5-star reviews the application has received since being posted. In what appears to be review "ballot stuffing", it poses the questions of just how Google is going to handle the subject of manufactured reviews as well as how many other entities have engaged in the same behavior. The same problems have plagued Amazon's review system as well bringing into question the validity of "crowd based review" and whether it's possible to legitimize this type of system.

Submission + - Top US Lobbyist Wants Broadband Data Caps (

sl4shd0rk writes: Michael Powell, A former United States FCC chairman, is pushing for "usage-based internet access" which he says is good for consumers who are "accustomed to paying for what they use". Apparently Time Warner and Comcast (maybe others) are already developing plans to set monthly rates based on bandwidth usage. The reasoning on the NCTA website lays out the argument behind Powell's plan.

Submission + - CryptoSeal shuts down VPN service. NSA suspect. (

sl4shd0rk writes: CryptoSeal Privacy, a consumer VPN service, has apparently shuttered it's doors saying it has immediately zeroed it's crypto keys citing "it is impossible for us to continue offering the CryptoSeal Privacy consumer VPN product." the statement goes further with a warning: "For anyone operating a VPN, mail, or other communications provider in the US, we believe it would be prudent to evaluate whether a pen register order could be used to compel you to divulge SSL keys protecting message contents, and if so, to take appropriate action,". Sounds like another victim of FISA endorsed illegal NSA activity.

Submission + - CIA on Snowden behavior: "biggest missed opportunity"

sl4shd0rk writes: The CIA is now claiming in a NYT article that they missed a huge opportunity to "derog" Edward Snowden when a derogatory report was filed in 2009 by his supervisor. Apparently, the supervisor left a report in Snowden's peronnel file about a suspicious change in behavior and work habits. TFA seems to suggest there will be more stringent psychological profiling in the future in order to detect employees who may leak information on illegal activities by their government.

Submission + - Adobe Compromised; All Your Codes Belong to Us (

sl4shd0rk writes: Adobe Systems Inc. is expected to announce today that hackers broke into its network and stole source code for an as-yet undetermined number of software titles, including its ColdFusion Web application platform, and possibly its Acrobat family of products. The company said hackers also accessed nearly three million customer credit card records, and stole login data for an undetermined number of Adobe user accounts.

Submission + - Former NSA Bigwig Jokes About Snowden Assination 1

sl4shd0rk writes: Apparently it's business as usual for the NSA as former Director Michael Hayden made jokes during a Washington Post-sponsored event about "darker moments" when there was a "different list" he would have put Edward Snowden on. The audience laughed and (R-Mich) Republican Mike Rogers responded in kind saying "I can help you with that". Also brought out as a topic for discussion were the subject of targeted killings and assasinations. Apparently, there is very little remorse at the NSA for the myriad of US laws which have been broken, and seemingly very little regard for the future if this is any indicator of what lies ahead.

Submission + - NVIDIA Aims to Improve it's Linux Relations ( 1

sl4shd0rk writes: Nvidia, of the infamous Torvalds Salute, has decided to do something about it's crummy image with Open Source developers and release public documentation on certain aspects of it's GPU. Reactions from developers have been mixed; much of what's already been released wasn't a big mystery but Nvidia says more is coming and they will also provide guidance in needed areas as well.

Submission + - GCHQ Destroys The Guardian's on-site 'Snowden Files' (

sl4shd0rk writes: The Guardian, who broke the story of Edward Snowden, and also the
target of recent airport security theatre, has apparently been visited by the U.K's Government Communications HeadQuarters intelligence agency. During the visit, 'security experts' demanded a return or destruction of all materials related to the operations uncovered by Edward Snowden. "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." stated the GCHQ official who then proceeded to destroy the hard drives in The Guardians basement. After the dust cleared, one of the agents joked "We can call off the black helicopters".

Submission + - Media Campaign Against Snowden? (

sl4shd0rk writes: With Snowden living somewhere in Russia, and the US having very little course of action in way of damage control, it would seem the best US option would be to attack Snowden's credibility. Perhaps muddy the waters with something germane to System administration, yet somehow easily construed into a criminal act. According to Reuters, Snowden "began downloading documents" related to illegal US spying programs perhaps as early as April of 2012. Of course, the sources of this claim are "U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the matter" which roughly narrows it down from Gen. Michael Hayden to just about anyone who blogged on it. Fact of the matter is, without more details, Snowden could have accessed documents simply by performing backup routines or investigating file system issues. Things which happen quite regularly during the daily course of system adminstration. Without more specificity on the method in question, one is left with an impression from the headline, one of a nefarious circumstance.

Submission + - Obama Appoints Clapper to Lead NSA Reform Panel (

sl4shd0rk writes: In an inexplicably bizzare move, US President Barack Obama has appointed James Clapper to lead a promised reform panel to oversee NSA activities. Yes, this is the same Clapper who directly lied under oath when questioned about NSA data capturing on Americans. The troubling trend of appointing dubious people into high profile position seems to be a developing theme for Obama, as previously this year, he appointed former RIAA lawyers Tom Perrelli and Ian Gershengorn into Attorney General and Department of Justice positions within the US Government.

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