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The Internet

Google's Data-Storage Fuels Privacy Fears 127

taoman1 writes "Facing worries about its tracking Web surfers' every move, Google Inc. is now offering a feature to track Web surfers' every move. Its free Web History service is strictly voluntary — Google users can sign up to have the Internet giant keep detailed records of every website they visit so they can easily find them again later. Web History's quiet debut this week came as privacy advocates continued to raise alarms about the prospect of Google combining its collection of information on individuals with that of DoubleClick Inc. Google has agreed to acquire the New York-based company, which distributes Web ads and tracks where the majority of people go on the Internet, for $3.1 billion."

Submission + - Technical and Legal Hypothesis of

Don'tTakeMyPaperPlease writes: I was excited when I read that some students were taking to court regarding the company's use of the students' copyrighted papers. I've always felt that the service was quite possibly infringing on students' copyrights and we may finally find out if that is, legally, the case. Here is one theory of how the service operates based on's assertions, and the resulting implications under copyright law.

Submission + - xerox files demographic profiling patent

camken writes: "xerox has filed a patent see the application here [] there's a stub of a story on newscientist here [] that could 'conveniently' relieve you of the burdensome chore of supplying personal information to websites seeking demographic information.

according to the article, it looks like it would be a browser plugin, or some other machine resident code, so for a while those of us using linux or mozilla are most likely safe, but how long until MS and Apple are required to include some derivative of this in every browser they make? suppose this kind of app could be run on your ISP's server having recognizing your account and your browser profile?

admittedly, there are some upshots, like having content filtering run automagically for your children, and news stories that are more likely to appeal to you being displayed first to your start page on [insert favorite news site here] but to my read, the potential for misuse is very great. at what point does the appeal of convenience stop and the fear over invasion of privacy start? and why aren't more of the masses worried about these kinds of things cropping up everywhere?"

Submission + - AACS Licensing Authority Throws The First Grenade

mrneutron2004 writes: In an effort to stem the tide of discovered encryption keys, the AACS Licensing Authority announced that is has "taken action, in cooperation with relevant manufacturers, to expire the encryption keys associated with the specific implementations of AACS-enabled software." So, those with some clue will wait for BackupHDDVD and AnyDVD HD to get updated. Meanwhile the average clueless consumer who rarely even thinks about updating anything will soon be in for a shock when their HD disc playing software goes into self-destruct mode with new HD releases. The end result? Perhaps, and this is just an educated guess, more and more legitimate consumers will likely be turned into encryption cracking evildoers, simply because they want to play what they PAID FOR. Sigh... Why is this so predicatable? ing-authority-throws-the-first-grenade-into-the-fo .html?Itemid=60

Submission + - Google changing history?

jrsumm writes: The investigative subcommittee of the House Science and Technology committee is investigating whether Google is "airbrushing" history on Google Maps by replacing recent New Orleans satellite imagery with older, pre-Katrina imagery. Specifically, the committee wants to know if Google was persuaded into changing its imagery by local governments eager to make the recovery effort look like its going smoother than it really is. Google says it is just using higher resolution imagery now. CNN has the story here.

Submission + - Digg Violates its Own Terms of Service

derami writes: " administrators refused to remove a plagiarized submission about a highly humorous and bizarre new Google Maps feature, then banned the original author for reporting the issue. The copied version was posted by the well-read blog and linked to Digg a matter of hours after the original post was listed on Digg. When the Allsux blogger alerted Digg administrators about this clear case of plagiarism, his Digg account was promptly suspended without notice or explanation. So, not only is Digg ignoring their own policy against plagiarism but they also censored a valid complainant without just cause."
The Courts

Private File Sharing To Remain/Become legal In EU 147

orzetto writes "Italian newspapers are reporting that the European parliament's Commitee for Legal Affairs approved an amendment presented by EMP Nicola Zingaretti (PSE, IT), that makes piracy a felony—but only if a monetary profit is made. As in the EU parliament's press release: 'Members of the Legal Affairs' committee [...] decided that criminal sanctions should only apply to those infringements deliberately carried out to obtain a commercial advantage. Piracy committed by private users for personal, non-profit purposes are therefore also excluded.' The complete proposal was passed with 23 votes in favour, 3 against and 3 abstained, and is intended to be applied to copyright, trademark, design and other IP fields, but not patent right which is explicitly excluded. The proposal has still to pass the vote of the parliament before becoming law in all EU countries, some of which (like Italy) do have criminal laws in place for non-profit file sharing. A note: Most EU countries use civil law, not common law. Translation of legal terms may be misleading."

Submission + - Windows Vista: more than just a pretty face

Nash writes: Ars Technica takes a look under the hood of Vista, discussing the need for a new API and comparing the graphics engine in Vista to that of Mac OS X. 'With Windows Vista it will be possible to implement Exposé properly-with live window updates and low system overhead. That said, it doesn't thus far look like Microsoft will be doing anything so useful as Exposé. Though the blurred glass effect is rather attractive, it's not exactly useful. Other visual effects include miniature window previews when the mouse cursor is hovered over taskbar buttons and an upgraded alt-tab device, and Flip3D.'
The Internet

Submission + - Are TelecommunicationsTying Arrangments Back?

MCTFB writes: "With the merger of AT&T (formerly SBC) and Bell South, many of the features of the Ma Bell Monopoly seem to be in full force. Nevertheless, telecommunications consumers now at least have the option of internet phone companies like Skype and Vonage, or do they?

According to an entry on the Technorabble Blog, the blog author claims that he was the victim of a tying arrangment from AT&T where in order to get DSL service, he had to effectively get voice service as well. AT&T of course does not officially claim that one must purchase voice service, in order to get DSL service (because this would be overtly illegal), but the pain the blog author went through just to get his voice service removed, suggests that there may indeed be a covert attempt by AT&T to make it so difficult for DSL consumers to get DSL service without voice service, that DSL consumers will think twice about even bothering with internet phone service from a company such as Skype or Vonage.

What if anything can be done about this other than have telecommunications consumers spend many, many hours on the phone just to get someone at the home office to change a few settings in their customer database entry that will painlessly give them the services that they actually want?"
The Internet

Submission + - How do you re-sell a domain name?

dclayman writes: What's the best way to go about selling a domain? I've never sold a domain before. I just received a $400 offer for a domain I own (radicaltrust), but I don't know if I should sell it or auction it off. And if I auction it, what site should I use? eBay? I could really use the extra cash. I was hoping to get some ideas from others here at Slashdot.

Submission + - BitTorrent's Cohen Bags on Joost

wjamesau writes: "... and Om Malik's NewTeeVee is on hand to document the beat-down: "Joost is kind of a quirky thing, it's fundamentally based on the channels concept, which, like I've said, is kind of an old media way of doing things." Old media crack leads to old school rumble?"

Submission + - Phone Companies Blocking Numbers

ePhil_One writes: The major phone companies; Cingular/AT&T, Sprint, and Qwest; have begun blocking access to a free conferencing service. The service is and their FAQ has details (Read #4, "I received an email recently concerning number blocking by some major phone carriers. Is this a legitimate issue from your company?"). This seems to be a pretty egregious offense. Now, I'm not beyond seeing this as a publicity stunt (I've used them often and have AT&T as my Long Distance carrier without incident), and I have seen no replies posted from any of the cariers either way. But its a potentially important issue that should get out there as soon as possible if true, and if not the "dot com" needs to see this stunt backfire in a very loud way.

Submission + - AT&T/Cingular Blocks Calls to Some Numbers

jj writes: "Ars Technica reports that Cingular/AT&T has blocked their customers from calling various 'free' calling services, like FuturePhone and PartyLine Connect, in the 712 area code. Cingular representative Mark Siegel said, "We have to pay terminating access for every minute the person is on the line. Typically these companies run them through local exchange companies that charge high access rates, so we end up paying high access charges."

If Cingular/AT&T is allowed to unilaterally block their customers from calling specific telephone numbers, what will stop them from blocking calls to competing cell carriers or even worse growing VoIP Providers like SunRocket or NuFone?"

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