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The Internet

Submission + - Google access disrupted in China (

suraj.sun writes: Access to Google has been disrupted in some parts of China, amid a row over what Chinese citizens should be allowed to view over the internet. Users reported they could not access either Google's search engine or its Chinese-language version.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang accused Google of spreading pornography and breaking Chinese law.

Separately, and some of its products, such as its mail service, were not available in China from Wednesday night to Thursday morning Beijing time, according to Chinese portal

'Serious violation'

The disruption to Google's services reported by users in Beijing and Shanghai comes a week after China accused Google of deliberately linking to "pornographic and vulgar" websites and ordered it to stop.

"We have found that Google has spread a lot of pornographic content, which is a serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations," Mr Qin told reporters on Thursday.

Trade war?

The latest comment raises the concern about a broader trade war between the US and China over everything from computer security to chicken poultry imports.

It came a day after it filed an unfair trade complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over raw material exports.

BBC News :


Submission + - UK launches dedicated cyber agency (

Jack Spine writes: The UK government is launching an office dedicated to cyber attack and defence. The Office of Cyber Security will focus on protecting Britain's IT infrastructure, and will be similar to the US Cyber Command model. While the Pentagon Cyber Command will be lead by the NSA, the UK Cyber Security Operations Centre, which will coordinate UK cyber efforts, will be based at GCHQ in Cheltenham.

Submission + - Australian Internet Filter Extended

skegg writes: Despite stories of its net filter backdown it seems the Australian Government's censorship plans are alive and well ... with a little something extra. The Government is now promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds. From the article: "Colin Jacobs, spokesman for the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the Government clearly went far beyond any mandate it had from the public to help parents deal with cyber-safety ... 'This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping'".

Submission + - Twitter users buy more music than average ( 1

Death Metal writes: "Those who use Twitter buy more music than those who don't, making the Twitter-using demographic valuable to the music industry. That's the conclusion of a new report from the NPD Group, which tracked the music buying habits of nearly 4,000 Internet users. The firm found that the crossover between music buyers and Twitter users is higher than the general Internet-using population, and that this segment spends more on music than the average user."

Submission + - Breakthru Allows Calculations on Encrypted Data 2

BBCWatcher writes: Can data be encrypted in a way that allows any calculation to be performed on the scrambled information without unscrambling it? It's a simple concept that sounds impossible, but if it were possible businesses and individuals could then protect their secrets yet still perform Web searches, medical studies, financial risk assessments, and many other tasks. Computer scientists call this idea "fully homomorphic encryption," and it was first envisioned 30 years ago by Ronald Rivest, one of RSA's coinventors. Rivest and two coauthors thought it was probably impossible. However, Craig Gentry at IBM Research recently discovered a solution, although at present the solution requires too much computing horsepower for common adoption. Nonetheless, Rivest now predicts the remaining engineering problems will be solved, yielding fully homomorphic encryption products and services. Crypto experts believe this breakthrough will make encryption much more convenient and more widespread.

Submission + - e-waste going to third world and repercussions (

ToxIk_Waste writes: Interesting article on garbage hardware being funneled into third world countries (in this case Ghana) through 'donation' loopholes and such. Also has the usual data scowering of working hard drives for sensitive information. the article i refer to is which is a part of the series

The Economist On Television Over Broadband 220

zxjio recommends a pair of articles in The Economist discussing television over broadband, and the effects of DVR use. "Cable-television companies make money by selling packages of channels. The average American household pays $700 a year for over 100 channels of cable television but watches no more than 15. Most would welcome the chance to buy only those channels they want to watch, rather than pay for expensive packages of programming they are largely not interested in. They would prefer greater variety, too — something the internet offers in abundance. A surprising amount of video is available free from websites like Hulu and YouTube, or for a modest fee from iTunes, Netflix Watch Instantly and Amazon Video on Demand. ... Consumers' new-found freedom to choose has struck fear into the hearts of the cable companies. They have been trying to slow internet televisions steady march into the living room by rolling out DOCSIS 3 at a snails pace and then stinging customers for its services. Another favorite trick has been to cap the amount of data that can be downloaded, or to charge extortionately by the megabyte. Yet the measures to suffocate internet television being taken by the cable companies may already be too late. A torrent of innovative start-ups, not seen since the dot-com mania of a decade ago, is flooding the market with technology for supplying internet television to the living room." And from the second article on DVR usage patterns: "Families with DVRs seem to spend 15-20% of their viewing time watching pre-recorded shows, and skip only about half of all advertisements. This means only about 5% of television is time-shifted and less than 3% of all advertisements are skipped. Mitigating that loss, people with DVRs watch more television. ... Early adopters of DVRs used them a lot — not surprisingly, since they paid so much for them. Later adopters use them much less (about two-thirds less, according to a recent study)."
The Courts

Taser International Sues Second Life Creator Over Virtual Replicas 119

Massively is reporting on a lawsuit filed by Taser International against Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, over in-game sales of virtual replicas of Taser's products. Quoting: "Basically, a few people in Second Life make some digital replicas of Taser's products that do not have the same function as Taser's products, or props that have the Taser name, but do not have any functions or resemblance similar to Taser products. Some of these content creators also manufacture/sell material that Taser describes as pornographic, or offensive, and they feel that their brand is being linked with these prurient materials, and that they're losing business and sales to Linden Lab. ... Normally you'd just have the content creators named as defendants. Taser's complaint doesn't show much (if any) understanding of what's going on, but it does seem as if they have inadvertently hit a nail on the head. Since Linden Lab's acquisition of Xstreet SL, the Lab is no longer mediating transactions between buyers and sellers. Xstreet SL arguably retails on behalf of sellers, and takes a commission. It's going to be difficult to argue that the Lab/Xstreet SL is not selling these items. That potentially places the Lab in the liability loop."

Using Conficker's Tricks To Root Out Infections 117

iago-vL writes "Despite having their domain blacklisted by Conficker, the folks at Nmap have released version 4.85BETA8, which promises better detection of the Conficker worm. How? By talking to it on its own peer-to-peer network! By sending encrypted messages to a suspect host, the tools will get Conficker.C and higher to reveal itself. This curious case of using Conficker's own tricks to find it is similar to the last method that we discussed. More information from the author is available, as well as a download for the new release (or, if you're a Conficker refugee, try a mirror instead)."

Volunteers Recover Lunar Orbiter 1 Photographs 150

mikael writes "The LA Times is reporting on the efforts of a group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960s. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of NASA Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater, was recovered."
The Media

AP Says "Share Your Revenue, Or Face Lawsuits" 293

eldavojohn writes "The Associated Press is starting to feel the bite of the economic recession and said on Monday that they will 'work with portals and other partners who legally license our content and will seek legal and legislative remedies against those who don't.' They are talking about everything from search engines to aggregators that link to news articles and some sites that reproduce the whole news article. The article notes that in Europe legislative action has blocked Google from using news articles from some outlets similar to what was discussed here last week."

Peru To Be First To Put Windows On OLPC Laptop 292

Da Massive writes "The government of Peru will run the first ever trial of the One Laptop Per Child association's XO laptop running Windows XP. This puts the nation at the heart of a software controversy that has been raging for years between those who advocate making software and its source code free, such as Linux OS developers, and those who charge for software and keep the development recipes secret, such as Microsoft."

City Sues To Prevent Linking To Its Website 429

Mike writes "In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind case, the Sheboygan city attorney ordered Jennifer Reisinger to remove a link to the city's police department from her Web site. The city went further, she claims, launching a criminal investigation of her for linking to the department on one of her sites, and in response she's suing the mayor and the city. 'The mayor decided to use his office to get back at Jennifer for her efforts in the recall and picked this to do it,' said her attorney, Paul Bucher. It appears this will go to court, and the question will be can a city (or any business or Web property) stop people from posting a link to its site?"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Activision To "Monetize" Call of Duty Online Play 114

With Call of Duty: World at War set to hit store shelves this November, Activision has been making plans to monetize the online component of the game. "Infinity Ward-developed CoD4 has paid downloadable maps available on digital storefronts, but with CoD5, developed by Activision studio Treyarch, downloadable content will be a considerably bigger priority. Griffith added that Activision 'plans to increase online monetization' with CoD5, offering '3x the amount of content available for download and premium content called Day One Advantage.'" Activision also announced that for Call of Duty 6 they will be going back to Infinity Ward for development, the company who developed the first, second, and fourth offerings in the series. Treyarch made the third and fifth installments.

First Image of a Planet Orbiting a Sun-Like Star 131

Several readers including houbou and DigitumDei sent links to what may be the first-ever image of a planet orbiting a sun-like star (research paper). The giant planet, the mass of 8 Jupiters, orbits its star at 330 AU, or 11 times the distance to Neptune's orbit. If the imaged object does turn out to be a planet — and it's not certain it is — then theories of planet formation may have to be adjusted. "The bulk of the material from which planets might form is significantly closer to the parent star... The outermost parts of such disks wouldn't contain enough material to assemble a Jupiter-mass planet at the distance from the star... at which the Toronto team found the faint object."

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