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Jailbreaking is hacking the phone’s OS to allow consumers to run any app on the phone they choose, including applications not authorized by Apple.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation asked regulators 19 months ago to add jailbreaking to a list of explicit exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions.
At stake for Apple is the very closed business model the company has enjoyed since 2007, when the iPhone debuted. Apple says it’s unlawful to jailbreak, (.pdf) but has not taken legal action against the millions who have jailbroken their phones and used the underground app store Cydia.
Apple maintains that its closed marketplace is what made the success of the iPhone possible, and sold more than three billion apps. Apple also told regulators that the nation’s cellphone networks could suffer “potentially catastrophic” cyberattacks by iPhone-wielding hackers at home and abroad (.pdf) if iPhone owners are permitted to legally jailbreak their shiny wireless devices.
In addition, a Yahoo! story adds:
"In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions announced Monday would:
allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.
allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.
allow college professors, film students and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos.
allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.:" Link to Original Source
MollyB (162595) writes "There is a movement afoot in Australia to counter the efforts of the Earth Hour event, next Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time.:
"[An Organization] founded by prominent Liberal senator Cory Bernardi is promoting an anti-Earth Hour event, urging people to turn on their lights in defiance of the climate awareness movement.
Organisers of ''Human Achievement Hour'' are encouraging households to go about their normal business during Earth Hour from 8.30pm this Saturday to recognise ''the incredible accomplishments of the human race''.
''Don't be stuck in the dark with the communists. Turn your lights on!'' the senator's group urges on its website.
''While earth hour activists will be left in the dark, Human Achievement Hour participants will be going to the cinema, enjoying a hot meal, driving their car or watching television.''
Human Achievement Hour was founded last year by an American free-market think-tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, as a reaction to WWF's Earth Hour, which urges people to turn their lights off to promote efforts to mitigate global warming." Link to Original Source top
Beware the "friend"-ly stranger; might be the Feds
MollyB (162595) writes ""EFF has posted documents shedding light on how law enforcement agencies use social networking sites to gather information in investigations. The records, obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice Criminal Division, are the first in a series of documents that will be released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case that EFF filed with the help of the UC Berkeley Samuelson Clinic." Another story amplifies the theme:
"WASHINGTON – The Feds are on Facebook. And MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.
U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting.
Think you know who's behind that "friend" request? Think again. Your new "friend" just might be the FBI.
The document, obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, makes clear that U.S. agents are already logging on surreptitiously to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target's friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips.
Among other purposes: Investigators can check suspects' alibis by comparing stories told to police with tweets sent at the same time about their whereabouts. Online photos from a suspicious spending spree — people posing with jewelry, guns or fancy cars — can link suspects or their friends to robberies or burglaries."
EFF will post new developments here:http://www.eff.org/foia/social-network-monitoring" Link to Original Source top
Entergy Corp (ETR.N) may have found the source of the radioactive tritium leak at the 620-megawatt Vermont Yankee nuclear power reactor, electricity traders said Thursday.
The traders pointed to a series of reports from the company that tritium levels around the plant have been declining since mid-February. The reports focus on work being done on an underground pipe, called the advanced off gas tunnel.
Vermont Yankee officials would say only that workers continue their investigation into the source of the tritium, first discovered in January, while engineers develop a plan to eliminate a leak from the underground pipe.
In February, the company reprimanded several plant managers for making allegedly misleading comments that there were no underground pipes at the plant.
The company said its managers meant there were no underground pipes touching dirt as opposed to underground pipes contained in concrete like the pipe the engineers are working on.
Tritium is a mildly radioactive isotope of hydrogen that occurs naturally in very small amounts in ground water. It is also a byproduct of power production in nuclear plants.
Entergy said there were no detectable tritium levels found in any drinking water wells or the Connecticut River.
Vermont Yankee is located near the Connecticut River in Vernon, in Windham County, about 140 miles (225 km) west-northwest of Boston.
MollyB (162595) writes "According to TheStreet.Com: "Yahoo! has reached an agreement to sell its email service Zimbra to VMware to focus on its core Internet businesses. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of March.
Yahoo!'s sale is a sign that CEO Carol Bartz is delivering on her plan to unload businesses that have been a distraction. Yahoo! bought Zimbra for $350 million in 2007.
Yahoo! will retain the right to use the Zimbra technology in its communication services, including its Web-based email service."
FairPoint Communications Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday barely 18 months after becoming northern New England's dominant telecommunications company, fulfilling critics' predictions that the company wasn't up to the task.
The company said it voluntarily filed for bankruptcy after agreeing on a deal with key lenders that would lower its debt by about 62 percent.
FairPoint, based in Charlotte, N.C., owns and operates phone companies in 18 states with a total of 1.65 million lines. Its largest holdings are in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, where it bought Verizon Communications Inc.'s land lines and Internet network for $2.3 billion in 2008.
FairPoint has been struggling under a large debt and falling revenues, as well as customer-service, billing and other problems since switching over to its own computer systems in northern New England nine months ago.
Speaking for the firm,
[The CEO] said the bankruptcy filing will not affect the company's day-to-day operations or its efforts to expand its high-speed Internet network in northern New England.
"From a customer point of view, this is a nonevent," he said.
MONTPELIER — FairPoint Communications could file for bankruptcy by the end of 2009 if the companies it owes money to don't agree to delay interest payments on its debts, according to documents filed with the federal government this week.
The North Carolina company, which purchased Verizon's landlines and Internet services in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for $2.3 billion last year, told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it is strapped for cash.
FairPoint asked bond-holders with more than $500 million invested in the company to consider delaying interest payments on those funds to give FairPoint a little more breathing room to get back on its feet."
The news comes as little surprise in the affected areas:
FairPoint's financial problems have been no secret. Since taking over Verizon's systems, the company has experienced a slew of problems — including poor service to customers, confusing billing and lost e-mail addresses.
MollyB writes ""A large ice shelf is "imminently" close to breaking away from part of the Antarctic Peninsula, scientists said Friday, reported by CNN. Satellite images released by the European Space Agency on Friday show new cracks in the Wilkins Ice Shelf where it connects to Charcot Island, a piece of land considered part of the peninsula. The cracks are quickly expanding, the ESA said. Scientists are investigating the causes for the breakups and whether it is linked to global climate change. The Wilkins Ice Shelf — a large mass of floating ice — would still be connected to Latady Island, which is also part of the peninsula, and Alexander Island, which is not, said professor David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey." The article goes on to point out "If the ice shelf breaks away from the peninsula, it will not cause a rise in sea level because it is already floating, scientists say. Some plants and animals may have to adapt to the collapse."" Link to Original Source top
According to Wired,the recent collision of satellites may put the Atlantis shuttle mission to repair Hubble in the "unacceptable risk" status:
"The spectacular collision between two satellites on Feb. 10 could make the shuttle mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope too risky to attempt.
Before the collision, space junk problems had already upped the Hubble mission's risk of a "catastrophic impact" beyond NASA's usual limits, Nature's Geoff Brumfiel reported today, and now the problem will be worse.
Mark Matney, an orbital debris specialist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas told the publication that even before the collision, the risk of an impact was 1 in 185, which was "uncomfortably close to unacceptable levels" and the satellite collision "is only going to add on to that." "
MollyB writes "A story on Yahoo notes: "First noticed in the 1940's, tin whiskers, or splinters have been known to cause circuit problems, especially on tin solder. From the article, "Now some electronics makers worry the destruction will be more widespread, and the dollar amounts more draining, as the European Union and governments around the world enact laws to eliminate the best-known defense — lead — from electronic devices.
"The EU's decision was irresponsible and not based on sound science," said Joe Smetana, a principal engineer and tin whisker expert with French telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA. "We're solving a problem that isn't and creating a bunch of new ones."
Further on, the controversy boils down to banning toxic metals outright, or using lead (for instance) -based solder sparingly to vastly reduce the potential for damage: "Trouble arises when the whiskers bridge separate parts of increasingly miniaturized circuit boards. They also can flake off and interfere with sensitive optics."" Link to Original Source top
MollyB writes "NewsDaily has said "Mini earthquakes and glacier acceleration on the Greenland ice cap are signs climate change is speeding up, scientists said. The quakes are caused by giant chunks of ice breaking off the rock they have been frozen to for hundreds of years, Robert Corell, chairman of the international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Greenland Friday." The story continues, "Though small in magnitude, the earthquakes bolster concerns that the entire ice shelf could collapse, causing a catastrophic change in sea levels worldwide. The speed at which Greenland's glaciers flow into the sea has also accelerated. The Ilulissat glacier is dumping ice chunks into the ocean at a rate of 2 meters per hour — more than three times faster than 10 years ago, the newspaper said."
Curiously, they switched the units of the upward revision of sea-level rise from "eight to 24 inches" to "over two meters" by the end of the century. Another oddity is the information that a group from different religions gathered to pray for Earth." top
MollyB writes "CNN is reporting that the NY Times is reporting the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the U.S. Reports say that Gonzales phoned the President Friday, and was invited to the Bush Ranch to discuss this development." Link to Original Source top
MollyB (162595) writes "There is a story on the BBC site that announces the discovery of archaeological evidence that Stonehenge was the "first free festival" and was constructed as such: "This is where they went to party — you could say it was the first free festival" Mike Parker Pearson, Sheffield University" top
MollyB writes "A story appeared on Yahoo announcing that "An Australian zoo has put a group of humans on display to raise awareness about primate conservation — with the proviso that they don't get up to any monkey business." On the face of it, this seems ridiculous, but perhaps some slashdotters would like to volunteer, if they could afford the air fare (and didn't live there already). Also, from the article, "Audiences can vote for their favorite "ape" via mobile phone text messages, in the style of reality television shows, and at the end of the month, a "super human" will be selected to represent the zoo." This smacks of publicity-stunt, in spite of the 'scientific' nature of the exhibit."
If you are reading this page because you wish to know more about the user who became your "fan", here is my reasoning:
My tendency is to browse articles down at 0 to +1, which makes for a long list of comments. I try to notice the usernames of those authors whose offerings are exceedingly intelligent, insightful, and who demonstrate the best of the spirit of this web site. I haven't used the Relationship feature much, even though I've been around since last century (off and on), out of shyness I suppose.
This is where I should insert my disclaimer to those who are ambivalent about my having made a choice for/about you without permission:
Being made my Friend is for My convenience only; I can spot your greenness whilst browsing a spirited discussion, thus saving some time in separating the wheat from the chaff. I do not seek any further contact and no inference should be drawn further than I have found your comments enlightening, funny, inspiring, brilliant or any combination thereof.
I seek no reciprocity, especially since I'm an just old sysop with little to offer. No longer program or play games, but love science and participating in the Zeitgeist as it unfolds.