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FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Sure to be the envy of North Americans tired of weakly-regulated telecom monopolies, the European Parliament has passed landmark legislation banning roaming fees and mandating network neutrality, emphasizing "[...] the principle according to which all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender, recipient, type, content, device, service or application."" Link to Original Source top
How the Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee: with a Dash of DRM
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Apparently seeking to lock competitors out of the burgeoning single-serve coffee market, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the popular Keurig coffee machines, is jumping on the DRM bandwagon. GMCR's CEO confirmed this in a statement, heaping piles of marketing doublespeak about providing "game-changing functionality and performance" by using "interactive technology" to "ensure quality". The obvious goal, of course, is to prevent "unlicensed" third parties from selling compatible refills and reusable pods. Want to bet on quickly the DRM will be subverted? Loser buys coffee." Link to Original Source top
Canadian Court Sets Numerous Limits in Copyright Troll Case
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Law professor Michael Geist summarizes a recent ruling by a Canadian federal court that will allow Voltage Pictures to proceed against regional ISP TekSavvy, but established a series of conditions that prevents the plaintiffs from simply sending out threatening letters en masse:
1. Any "demand letters" sent out must be reviewed and approved by the case management judge.
2. Letters must include a copy of the court order and clearly state, in bold text, that no court ruling has established liability for payment or damages by the recipient.
3. TekSavvy may only disclose subscribers' names and addresses.
4. Voltage Pictures must pay Teksavvy's legal costs before the release of subscriber details.
5. Any further action brought against subscribers must be case managed.
6. Subscriber information must be kept confidential and not disclosed to the general public, the media or anyone not directly relevant to the case.
With these limitations, the court makes it clear that they take individuals' privacy seriously and intend to discourage such scare tactics employed by copyright trolls." Link to Original Source top
Stop Trying To "Innovate" Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Wired brings us the latest in security researcher witch hunts: "Joshua Rogers, a 16-year-old in the state of Victoria, found a basic security hole that allowed him to access a database containing sensitive information for about 600,000 public transport users who made purchases through the Metlink web site run by the Transport Department. It was the primary site for information about train, tram and bus timetables. The database contained the full names, addresses, home and mobile phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and a nine-digit extract of credit card numbers used at the site, according to The Age newspaper in Melbourne. Rogers says he contacted the site after Christmas to report the vulnerability but never got a response. After waiting two weeks, he contacted the newspaper to report the problem. When The Age called the Transportation Department for comment, it reported Rogers to the police."" Link to Original Source top
Memo to Parents and Society: Teen Social Media "Addiction" is Your Fault
If kids can’t socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves. This is the argument advanced in It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd. Boyd... has spent a decade interviewing hundreds of teens about their online lives. What she has found, over and over, is that teenagers would love to socialize face-to-face with their friends. But adult society won’t let them. “Teens aren’t addicted to social media. They’re addicted to each other,” Boyd says. “They’re not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they’ve moved it online.
It’s true. As a teenager in the early ’80s I could roam pretty widely with my friends, as long as we were back by dark. Over the next three decades, the media began delivering a metronomic diet of horrifying but rare child-abduction stories, and parents shortened the leash on their kids. Politicians warned of incipient waves of youth wilding and superpredators (neither of which emerged). Municipalities crafted anti-loitering laws and curfews to keep young people from congregating alone. New neighborhoods had fewer public spaces. Crime rates plummeted, but moral panic soared. Meanwhile, increased competition to get into college meant well-off parents began heavily scheduling their kids’ after-school lives.
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Wired points out how the iPhone's fingerprint authentication brings to light a disconcerting technicality in the right against self incrimination that you might not have considered: "Because the constitutional protection of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” may not apply when it comes to biometric-based fingerprints (things that reflect who we are) as opposed to memory-based passwords and PINs (things we need to know and remember)."
Given that the contents of your personal electronic devices are a collective product of your private thoughts and personal memories, shouldn't that right, by extension, apply regardless of the authentication system?" Link to Original Source top
Miranda's Lawyers Respond to British Government Regarding Detainment
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "David Miranda, as we know, was recently detained at Heathrow Airport under extremely dubious circumstances. He has quickly retained a legal firm to send a stern letter to the British Government, demanding the destruction of data collected and the expedient return of items seized. The letter also called them on serious procedural errors, rights deprevations and unlawful excerise of power." Link to Original Source top
Obama's Privacy Reform Panel Will Report to... the NSA
From the article: "In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred [raids] a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005, there were approximately 50,000 raids." It goes on to detail examples of agressive, SWAT-style raids on non-violent offenders and how many have ended in unecessary deaths.
Last year, after a Utah man's home was raided for having 16 small mairijuana plants, nearly 300 bullets in total were fired (most of them by the police) in the ensuing gunfight, the homeowner believing he was a victim of a home invasion by criminals. The US miltary veteran later hanged himself in his jail cell while the prosecution sought the death sentence for the murder of one officer he believed to be an criminal assailant. In 2006, a man in Virgina was shot and killed after an undercover detective overheard the man discussing bets on college football games with buddies in a bar. The 38-year-old optomitrist had no criminal record and no history of violence.
The reports range from incredulous to outrageous; from the raid on the Gibson guitar factory for violation of conservational law, to the infiltration of a bar where underage youth were believed to be drinking, to the Tibeten monks were apprehended by police in full SWAT gear for overstaying their visas on a peace mission. Then there's the one about the woman who was subject to a raid for failing to pay her student loan bills.
It's a small wonder why few respect police anymore. SWAT-style raids aren't just for defense against similarly-armed criminals anymore, it's now a standard ops intimidation tactic. How much bloodshed will it take for America to realize such a disproportionate response is unwarranted and disasterous?" top
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "After the Economic Development Administration (EDA) was alerted by the DHS to a possible malware infection, they took extraordinary measures. Fearing a targeted attack by a nation-state, they shut down their entire IT operations, isolating their network from the outside world, disabling their email services and leaving their regional offices high and dry, unable to access the centrally-stored databases.
A security contractor ultimately declared the systems largely clean, finding only six computers infected with untargeted, garden-variety malware and easily repaired by reimaging. But that wasn't enough for the EDA: taking gross incompetence to a whole new level, they proceeded to physically destroy $170,500 worth of equipment, including uninfected systems, printers, cameras, keyboards and mice.
After the destruction was halted — only because they ran out of money to continue smashing up perfectly good hardware — they had racked up a total of $2.3 million in service costs, temporary infrastructure acquisitions and equipment destruction." Link to Original Source top
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "Using a Raspberry Pi Model A along with a so-called "Raspberry Eye" camera add-on, high altitude balloon hobbyist Dave Akkerman created what may just be the coolest implementation yet: a Raspberry Pi at the edge of space!
What's even better, he also attached a radio device to track its progress and transmit live images that he and fellow balloonists could download during its flight.
The whole thing was put together inside a nifty foam replica of the Pi's logo, which served as a container for the apparatus. Full details and photos are available at the link." Link to Original Source top
Canadian Man Pleads Guilty in Celebrity Hacking, Harrassment Case
It's alleged that after obtaining nude photos from the singer's computer and phone, he attempted to sell them to media outlets. The allegations also include releasing a fake sex tape claming to be of the celebrity. As a result, he was charged with a number of offenses, from unauthorized use of computer to (oddly) fraudulently obtaining telecommunications services, mischief to data, identity fraud and possession of stolen property.
It will be interesting to watch this unfold and see how Canada's laws on computer-based crimes compare to those of the US, particularly the notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." Link to Original Source top
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "A contributor at ScienceBlogs.com has compiled and published a shockingly long list of systematic attacks on scientific research committed by the Canadian government since the conservatives came to power in 2006.
This antiscientific scourge includes muzzling scientists, shutting down research centres, industry deregulation and repurposing the National Research Council to align with business interests instead of doing real science. It will be another two years before Canadians have the chance to go to the polls, but how much more damage will be done in the mean time?" Link to Original Source top
Feds Drop Two of Three Charges Against "Hacker" Gambler
Says Wired: "[U.S. District Judge Miranda] Du had asked prosecutors to defend their use of the federal anti-hacking law by Wednesday, in light of a recent 9th Circuit ruling that reigned in the scope of the CFAA. The dismissal leaves John Kane, 54, and Andre Nestor, 41, facing a single remaining charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud"
Kane's lawyer agreed, stating, "The case never should have been filed under the CFAA, it should have been just a straight wire fraud case. And I’m not sure its even a wire fraud. I guess we’ll find out when we go to trial.”" Link to Original Source top
Canada Rushes "Anti-Terrorism Bill" Through House of Commons
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "After Canada's anti-terrorism provisions were "sunsetted" five years after their ammendment in 2001, Bill S-7, which seeks to reinstate them, was hastily passed through the House of Commons in a landslide 183-93 vote.
It includes extremely creepy provisions such as "preventative detention", where suspects can be detained, questioned and threatened with up to 12 months imprisonment if they fail to comply with arbitrary probational conditions — all without charge. In another, "investigative hearing", anyone suspected of having knowledge of terrorist activity can be threatened with the same penalty for refusing to supply information.
It's obvious that this is in direct response to the recent attack in Boston and, closer to home, the thwarted attempt on VIA Rail and it all begs the question: why does anyone think it's necessary?
The successful halting of the VIA Rail attempt was the result of vigilant Canadians and respectul carraige of RCMP duties without violating anyone's rights. Furthermore, if we accept the premise that "terrorists hate our freedom", why are we letting them win by dissolving those very freedoms?" Link to Original Source top
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "In a recent blog post, Netflix details their plans to transition from Silverlight to HTML5, but with one caveat: HTML5 needs to include a built-in DRM scheme. With the W3C's proposed Encrypted Media Extensions, this may come to frition. But what would we sacrificing in openness and the web as we know it? How will developers of open source browsers like Firefox respond to this?" top
Photographer Arrested for Publishing Photo of Graffiti
FuzzNugget (2840687) writes "CBC reports that 20-year-old Montreal student Jennifer Pawluck was arrested for publishing a photo of graffiti depicting a high ranking police commander with a bullet hole in his head.
The details surrounding the arrest are sketchy: though she is accused of criminal harassment, there is nothing to indicate that the publication was anything more than artistic expression and no charges have actually been filed. When interviewed, the response from Montreal Police was unsurprisingly vague, claiming that there were "circumstances surrounding the publication of the image" that they "can't reveal". I wonder why..." Link to Original Source top
"Numerous studies and much accepted wisdom suggest that time spent doing nothing, being bored, is beneficial for sparking and sustaining creativity. With our iPhone in hand — or any smartphone, really — our minds, always engaged, always fixed on that tiny screen, may simply never get bored. And our creativity suffers."