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Submission + - Poll - You don't really know someone until ...

swedd writes: You don't really know someone until you:
* Face them in Street Fighter.
* Inspect their movie collection.
* Hack their home network.
* 6 pool zergling rush them.
* Survive the zombie apocalypse together.
* Peer review their code.

Submission + - It's official: Software will be unpatentable in NZ (

An anonymous reader writes: Despite what appears to be a big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Simon Power announced today that he wouldn't be modifying the proposed Patents Bill hence software will be unpatentable once the Bill passes into law.

This is significant. As we've previously pointed out software patents aren't black and white, and there are certainly pros and cons. However on balance, we believe they represent a far greater risk to smaller NZ-based software providers than opportunity, and there are many cases where they have significantly stifled innovation.

We believe it's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, hence many software companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative software, live a constant risk that their entire business will be wound up overnight due to litigious action by a patent holder.

This has led to many a "patent troll" company, primarily in the US. These are non-software companies who exist only to buy up old patents with the sole intention of suing innovative software companies for apparent breach of these patents. The effects of this have been chilling.


Submission + - Apple to hold iPhone 4 press confere (

teh31337one writes: Engadget writes :Headline says it all folks. Obviously the company is going to be getting out in front of this antenna drama (finally). We've been invited and we'll be there, presumably reporting live! It all happens at 10AM PT, Friday the 16th.

Submission + - ESRB exposes emails of gamers who filed privacy co (

simrook writes: Thousand of people filed privacy complaints with the ESRB over Blizzard's recent (and afterwards recanted) move to requiring the display of real life names on their WoW, StarCraft II, and Diablo forums. 961 of those complainants had their emails exposed in the ESRB's response. Epic. Ironic. Fail.

Submission + - China's Green Dam is demolished ( 1

jsse writes: The Green Dam Project, a China Government sponsored censorware, has quietly closed its Beijing office last month, and its remaining Zhengzhou office is going into surviving mode due to insufficient funding to support the normal operation. The Green Dam project secured 4.17M Renminbi (1 RMB = 0.147691 USD) from the Government in 2008 but has never received further injection since. Aiming at "stop the poisoning of children's minds", China Government was mandating all PC sold in China preinstalled Green Dam. The policy has been heavily debated inside and outside of the country which forced the Government to postpone the execution of the policy last year. More than 20 millions PCs installed Green Dam will not receive further 'support and update'.

Submission + - FTC Warns Gay Teen Site Not To Sell Personal Data (

itwbennett writes: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has warned two people associated with a now-defunct magazine and Web site for gay teens and young men that they would violate the privacy promises the publication made to subscribers by selling their personal information during a bankruptcy proceeding. The FTC, in a letter sent earlier this month, also suggested that the owners of XY Magazine and would be violating the privacy standards the company had in place before shutting down if they used the subscribers' personal information in a relaunch of the magazine or Web site. The personal information is listed as part of the debtor's estate in a New Jersey bankruptcy proceeding for Peter Ian Cummings, editor and founder of the magazine.

Submission + - New Containment Cap My Completely Plug Oil Leak (

CasualFriday writes: "BP appears to have placed a new containment cap on its well in the Gulf of Mexico that's been leaking oil since an explosion and fire April 20. BP hopes the new cap will be able to completely contain the gushing oil, but tests are still needed to determine its effectiveness. In the best-case scenario, the containment cap would have the ability to close down the valves and slowly contain all the oil, Allen said Monday. But if oil collection was still necessary, over the next two to three weeks, 60,000 to 80,000 barrels (2.52 million to 3.36 million gallons) a day could be collected as part of the containment process, BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells said Sunday. That's because the new containment cap would allow four collection ships to access the well, rather than the maximum of three allowed by the old cap, Allen said earlier."

Submission + - 10 reasons why Australia still needs a net filter (

angry tapir writes: "The proposed Internet filter pushed by Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been a source of controversy. Today it was revealed that the filter will be delayed by at least 12 months, while the Government further considers exactly what content would be blocked. We've compiled 10 reasons why Australia needs an Internet filter — and the sooner the better."

Submission + - 70% of Aussies get filtered net (

mask.of.sanity writes: The Australian Government has struck a deal with ISPs to push foward its plans for mandatory Internet Content Filtering, that will impose blacklist filtering for 70 per cent of the country.

The three largest Aussie ISPs, Telstra, Optus and iPrimus agreed to filter their customer net connections for child pornography and material deemed criminal by the Federal Government, in exchange for a review of the content blacklist.

That blacklist ,has been a contention point for the technology industry and privacy advocates who say the government should not be able to blindly add web sites to the list without proper independant oversight.

The Australian government appears to have acquiesced, and will install a yearly audit of the blacklist. Still, it can be seen as a blow for those who did not want mandatory filtering, even with oversight and accountability.


Submission + - Australia waters down internet filter policy (

An anonymous reader writes: Looks like Australia's government is running a bit scared of a population enraged by its controversial mandatory filtering project. The Government today announced a suite of measures designed to provide controls around the filter project, including independent oversight and a review of content which would be included. In addition, some Australian ISPs will voluntarily censor any child pornography URLs. But the whole project is still going ahead — it's just been delayed and slightly modified.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Who watches the watchmen? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm posting this anonymously, but it's something that has happened that has shacked me up a bit. A close friend of mine was in a confrontation with a boyfriend, who turned out used to work for the US Department of Defense. Apparently he has friends in the secret service that does work for groups that investigate things such as counter-terrorism.

His friend suspected her of cheating on him, and had a log of all her text messages and confronted her with it. It's an embarrassing situation with a lot of drama, to say the least, so she has no intention of exposing him. But what has basically happened was that this person was able to arrange a friend who is in a government agency to perform a full wire tap. He pulled a picture that she had sent someone from nearly 3 months before he'd even known her. At first I was quite skeptical that it was even a possibility. I was under the clear impression that he had somehow managed to get into her phone physically, and simply read her messages, but it wasn't the case.

My question to Slashdot is, does the general public know how easily the powers the US government has in monitoring and in this case abusing her rights? I was completely shocked to find this out, and I've been relatively in tune with the technical and security-related media and have never heard of this happening. How much trouble can this person get into for doing this? What agency would be responsible for perusing this person for committing what i feel is a crime against all parties involved 4th amendment rights. If I've -EVER- had a push to take personal encryption serious, this is it. AT&T was the carrier, iPhone was the device and the persons phone wasn't even in her own name, it was under another parties. I've inspected the phone and have found zero evidence of tampering.

Apparently this person has confessed to the same person he did this to that this is the same way he managed to catch his ex-wife cheating, and he has serious trust issues at this point and has done it a few times since he started dating. How wide-spread is this practice? Does the media have any idea how easily these monitoring technologies can be abused?

Submission + - So, Neil Gaiman's a Scientologist? (

svolsung writes: Science Fiction World (formerly SFFMedia) writes about the campaign to discredit or "out" Neil gaiman as a Scientologist and asks the question, if he is a Scientologist, does it really matter?

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