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Comments

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eBay To Spin Off PayPal

Presto Vivace I hope the new owners (76 comments)

address the customer service problems. I regard PayPal as unusable.

about three weeks ago
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News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

Presto Vivace Mods, mod parent up (132 comments)

With our luck, he'd probably sell the papers to Gina Rinehart. :-(

about 2 months ago
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News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

Presto Vivace Re:Rupert Murdoch Streisand (132 comments)

goodness gracious me, I had not thought of that.

about 2 months ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

Presto Vivace Re:Zooooom! (233 comments)

As you suggest, more evidence of middle class collapse.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

Presto Vivace Re:Sure I did. (278 comments)

Not an option for most in this job market. When the job market gets tighter many employers are in for a rude awakening as to how objectionable their bsuiness practices are.

about 2 months ago
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Edward Snowden is not alone!

Presto Vivace CNN? (2 comments)

Are we going to take CNN's word for this? This sounds like a wild goose chase.

about 3 months ago
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Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet

Presto Vivace Re:so one billionaire (63 comments)

TW is a giant media company owning all sorts of properties including CNN and HBO. Having Fox own these is also very evil.

NewsCorp is a lawless corporation it would be a very bad thing were it to have more power.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Presto Vivace I predict that these layoffs will not prevent (383 comments)

Microsoft from going to congress and crying that they need more H1-B's because they can't find workers with the skills that they need.

about 3 months ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

Presto Vivace This may be the new telco talking point (140 comments)

give up, the system is rigged. If they can't fool us, maybe they can persuade us to give up.

about 3 months ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

Presto Vivace Usually does not mean always (140 comments)

we can still win this fight.

about 3 months ago
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Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Presto Vivace did you not get the memo? (52 comments)

the cold war is over. check your messages.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Former NSA director had thousands personally invested in obscure tech firms

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about two weeks ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes ""No conflicts appear to exist" among Keith Alexander's investments, NSA said.

New financial disclosure documents released this month by the National Security Agency (NSA) show that Keith Alexander, who served as its director from August 2005 until March 2014, had thousands of dollars of investments during his tenure in a handful of technology firms.

Don't worry, the NSA assures us that there was no conflict of interest."

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City of London police call for more state intervention in the Internet

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about three weeks ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Since last year City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit have been working with copyright holders to tackle online piracy

Founded little over a year ago, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has quickly grown to become one of the world’s most active anti-piracy operations. ... PIPCU is determined to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the years to come. However, the unit’s head Andy Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the Internet, to stop people from breaking the law.

We live in a world where corporations have set up their own private spying operations, and the police regard spying as a second career. We live in a world where nations protest America's surveillance operation, even as they run their own. We live in a world where Bloomberg feels free to run an intelligence operation on Goldman Sachs. We live in a world where News Corps feels free to run saboteur operations against it competitors. I wonder how many members of the PIPCU are planning second careers as cyber security consultants/hackers? In a world where everyone with a billion dollars acts as if the laws do not apply to them, there is very little possibility of cyber security."

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Apple's iPhone6 costs 9% more here because it's Australia.

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about three weeks ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "So why isn't that mark-up taxable?

A parliamentary inquiry last year heard that mark-ups by technology companies could see similar products costing as much as 30 per cent more in Australia. Apple Australia vice-president Tony King testified that Apple charged the same price around the world, but local factors could produce differing retail prices. ... Mr Hockey earlier this month called for tax commissioner Chris Jordan “to double his efforts” with more extensive audits of multinational companies considered a risk to Australian tax collections. He singled out the need to examine whether “location specific profits [are] being generated and then shifted out of Australia”.

"
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News Corp by its fingertips

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers eye the abyss

The story told short? In the 2014 financial year, it appears that News Corp Australia’s publishing operations, which account for more than 70 per cent of Australian newspapers, earned in the vicinity of just $A24 million. ... In two years, Rupert Murdoch’s original newspaper empire has gone from earning $A285 million to $A24 million. It’s a 92 per cent drop in the two years, after seeing sales fall an eye-popping half a billion dollars since 2012. For all its shortcomings, Fairfax Media’s transition in this same period in both revenue and cost control has been hugely more successful. And News is still propping up loss-making ventures like The Australian. How long can it afford to do this?

"
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DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case; Judge Orders Them (Again) To Stop; DOJ Flips Out

So, remember how we wrote about the big EFF filing in the Jewel v. NSA case, about how the NSA and DOJ had been knowingly destroying key evidence by pretending that they thought the preservation orders only applied to one kind of spying, and not the kind that was approved by the FISA Court (despite at other times admitting that the surveillance at issue in the case was approved by the FISA Court)? Yeah, so, yesterday, the EFF realized that despite the big kerfuffle this whole thing had caused, the NSA and DOJ were still destroying that evidence, and sprinted over to the court to file for an emergency temporary restraining order on the government.

"
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The downside of police having cameras

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Why do we object to people wearing Google Glass but call for police to be equiped with cameras? True wearing a camera would make it more difficult for officers to lie (unless the camera accidentaly breaks). But just as Google Glass picks up everything — so would a police offier's camera. Do we want that?"
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Trouble with News Corp Australia

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "News Corp’s worst story gets out

The existential crisis that has gripped Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm began with a rude discovery just after 2pm on Wednesday afternoon. The Crikey news website had stumbled across some of News Corp’s most intimate lingerie, and had just put it all up on the the net. ... The 276-page document is called the Blue Book, a weekly and year-to-date rundown of results at June 30, 2013 for every News Corp business in the country. ... The great newspaper engine which was Rupert Murdoch’s original springboard to take over the world was already under stress. In 2013, 70 per cent of its earnings disappeared, leaving operating income precariously balanced at $87.6 million. As Crikey pointed out, trying hard not to gloat, another year even half as bad as 2013 could put News Australia into the red.

Crikey took the documents off line after legal threats, but it seems not before business reporters all over the world had a chance to download them."

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Crikey agrees to destroy leaked accounts

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Crikey agrees to destroy leaked accounts showing decline in News Corporation's Australian newspaper business

Crikey published what the Rupert Murdoch company calls internally "the blue book", the company's operating accounts for all its businesses. The documents, which date from last year, show News Corp's print and digital publications were suffering from large falls in revenue, with flagship paper The Australian losing $27 million. Late on Thursday afternoon Crikey removed hundreds of pages of the documents.

With any luck people downloaded them before Crikey took them down."

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Amazon doxx Hachette CEO's email address

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Evil goons at Amazon doxx Hachette CEO's email address, give talking points to trolls

Normally, I'm not one to defend CEOs, even in the relatively genteel world of publishing. But this is really scummy:

Amazon publishes Hachette CEO's email address in pricing spat New York (AFP) — Amazon revealed Saturday the email address of the American head of publishing group Hachette, urging readers to pressure him in writing to end the two groups' simmering dispute over book pricing.

It is also amazingly short sighted."

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Anonymous launches operation Ferguson

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Hacktivist Group Promises Action In Shooting Death Of Unarmed Teen

Ferguson, Missouri's Police Department has been put on notice. International hacktivist group Anonymous has launched "Operation Ferguson" and promised swift action against authorities in city in response to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a member of the Ferguson Police Department.

Anonymous has promised to take every web-based asset of the Ferguson Police Department and other corroborating agencies offline as well as release personal information of every officer should any protester by harmed or harassed while protesting Brown's death.

It seems that the mayor saw this coming.

Anticipating a problem, the mayor of Ferguson had the IT Department take down all personal information from the site on Saturday

Anonymous announces Operation Ferguson on YouTube"

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Operation Spicer

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "ICAC blowtorch on Free Enterprise Foundation

As a corruption investigation of political funding began private hearings last July, the NSW National Party updated its 2010-11 accounts with an extra $300,000 that it had not declared to the Australian Electoral Commission.

The money involved an obscure funding body called the National Free Enterprise Foundation. It was spectacularly bad timing, coming as investigators for the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s Operation Spicer were tracing the links between property developers, a different body based in Canberra called the Free Enterprise Foundation and the NSW Liberal Party.

ICAC’s public hearings for Operation Spicer, which resume on Wednesday, have already put the blowtorch on the Free Enterprise Foundation’s role in channelling prohibited donations to the NSW Liberals.

What is less known is that the National Party has its own Free Enterprise Foundation.

"
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Handwriting, Fax Machines, and Swiss Bank Accounts

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Did Graham Richardson send $1m to the wrong man?

On December 6, 1994, Richardson, who had retired from politics eight months earlier, faxed hand-written instructions to the manager of his account, called Streeton Foundation, at Swiss finance company EBC Zurich.

Richardson was a political operator without parallel but a novice to the world of high finance. Did he get the details wrong?

“Ref Streeton Foundation,” Richardson wrote.

“Please pay value 30 December 1994 $A1.0 mill as per separate instructions [from the account at EBC Zurich]. Graham Richardson 6-12-94.”

The handwriting, in documents obtained by Israeli journalist Shraga Elam, is clear. What happened to Richardson’s money next isn’t.

EBC records, revealed by The Australian Financial Review in 2009, show the money was transferred on January 5, 1995, to Dennis Jamil Lattous in Beirut. ...

... Somewhere during the transmission of Richardson’s other instructions an “f” became an “s”.

"
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Precisely what makes a comment valuable to the FCC?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter?

A record-setting number of Americans weighed in with their thoughts on this matter. But there's one problem, according to George Washington University law professor Richard Pierce.

"The vast majority of the comments are utterly worthless," Pierce says.

Oh really? and precisely what makes a comment valuable?

The folks who do comment with the detail, data and analysis that can change minds? Deep-pocketed industries.

"Those comments that have some potential to influence are the very lengthy, very well-tailored comments that include a lot of discussion of legal issues, a lot of discussion of policy issues, lots of data, lots of analysis," Pierce says. "Those are submitted exclusively by firms that have a large amount of money at stake in the rule-making and the lawyers and trade associations that are represented by those firms."

The FCC's Gigi Sohn also cautions against using the high number of comments in this matter as a tea leaf, because of the unknown content in the comments.

"A lot of these comments are one paragraph, two paragraphs, they don't have much substance beyond, 'we want strong net neutrality, ' " she says.

It would appear that Gigi Sohn and GW law professor Richard Pierce are unclear as to who the FCC works for. The FCC works for the American people, if we want something, that should be sufficient reason to rule in our favor."

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Rupert Murdoch's quest to buy TimeWarner, not done yet

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "It seems that Murdoch's desire to acquire TimeWarner predates his acquisition of Fox, and continues in spite of TimeWarner's recent refusal of his most recent offer.. The possible deal is important in and of itself, but it also bears upon the succession.

Murdoch’s skill is not just hiring the right people; he has been able to maintain control over them. They have his support as long as they produce results.

His executives are the hired help. There is never any threat to his control. When a Murdoch favourite begins to get more headlines than the chairman, the clock begins ticking for their departure.

But with the Time Warner bid, that balance may change. Chase Carey has put together a deal that, because of Murdoch’s history, is almost irresistible to him. But it’s a deal only Carey can put together.

If he succeeds, the $US160 billion company that will emerge will be an ungainly beast that will depend on Carey making the merger work. He’s indispensable.

Clearly we have not heard the last of this."

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The startling mortality of JP Morgan IT workers

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Three New JPMorgan IT Deaths Include Alleged Murder-Suicide

Since December of last year, JPMorgan Chase has been experiencing tragic, sudden deaths of workers on a scale which sets it alarmingly apart from other Wall Street mega banks. Adding to the concern generated by the deaths is the recent revelation that JPMorgan has an estimated $180 billion of life insurance in force on its current and former workers.

This year JP Morgan has lost its Executive Director at the Global Network Operations Center of JPMorgan in Whippany, NJ to an alledged murder-suicide. They have also lost a VP who fell from the roof of JP Morgan's London office, at 34 year old IT worker in Pearland, Texas who died of a heart attack, a 49, year old worker who was an Application Development Team Lead in the Tampa office, cause of death still under investigation,a 42 year old Managing Director of Global Infrastructure Engineering who died of heart disease, a 37 year old Executive Director who died of ethanol toxicity/accident, a worker in Hong Kong fell from the roof of the JP Morgan office, and a 28 year old analyst fell from the roof top of his apartment building,"

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Telcos move net neutrality to fight to congress

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Public Knowledge Warns of Net Neutrality-Targeted Amendment

Public Knowledge is rallying its supporters after learning that some House members plan to try and add an amendment to H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. H.R. 5016 is the bill that keeps funding the government and whose failure to pass can shut it down. The White House has already said it opposed the existing FCC budget cuts and threatened a veto of a bill it says politicized the budget process.

Public Knowledge is asking citizens to tell congress to stop meddling with net neutrality. In a way this is a good sign. It is an indication that the telcos think that they will lose at the FCC."

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CISA, SIFMA, and the public-private cyber war council

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "CISA: The Banks Want Immunity and a Public-Private War Council

A group of privacy and security organizations have just sent President Obama a letter (PDF) asking him to issue a veto threat over the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. It’s a great explanation of why this bill sucks, and doesn’t do what it needs to to make us safer from cyberattacks. It argues that CISA’s exclusive focus on information sharing — and not on communications security more generally — isn’t going to keep us safe.

It seems that Keith Alexander has convinced SIFMA to demand a public-private cyber war council, involving all the stars of revolving door fearmongering for profit.

This is not — contrary to what people like Dianne Feinstein are pretending — protecting the millions who had their credit card data stolen because Target was not using the cyberdefenses it put into place. Rather, this is about doing the banksters’ bidding, setting up a public-private war council, without first requiring them to do basic things — like limiting High Frequency Trading — to make their industry more resilient to all kinds of attacks, from even themselves.

If you oppose CISA, now would be a good time to contact your senators and tell them so. Some of them are up for reelection this year, so you might be able to catch them on the road."

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Google's Chrome browser tough on your laptop's battery

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Google's Chrome Web Browser Is Killing Your Laptop Battery

There is a problem with Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows that is potentially very bad news for laptop users. It can drastically affect battery life, and even slow down your computer.

So, why is Chrome eating through your battery quicker than other internet browsers? The problem is down to something called the “system clock tick rate”. This is something that Windows uses internally that you won’t hear about unless you go looking. What Chrome does, as soon as it is opened, is set the rate to 1.000ms. The idle, under Windows, should be 15.625ms. The numbers are a bit confusing, but it’s what’s happening that matters here rather than the figures themselves.

"
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Why it is so hard to stop cyber crime

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "In a world where everyone with a billion dollars acts as if the laws do not apply to them, there is very little possibility of cyber security. We live in a world where corporations have set up their own private spying operations, and the police regard spying as a second career. We live in a world where nations protest America's surveillance operation, even as they run their own. We live in a world where Bloomberg feels free to run an intelligence operation on Goldman Sachs. We live in a world where News Corps feels free to run saboteur operations against it competitors."
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Coddled, surveilled, and monetized

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 3 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Time Magazine shows just how creepy smart homes really are

a modern surveillance state isn’t so much being forced on us, as it is sold to us device by device, with the idea that it is for our benefit. ... ... Nest sucks up data on how warm your home is. As Mocana CEO James Isaacs explained to me in early May, a detailed footprint of your comings and goings can be inferred from this information. Nest just bought Dropcam, a company that markets itself as a security tool allowing you to put cameras in your home and view them remotely, but brings with it a raft of disquieting implications about surveillance. Automatic wants you to monitor how far you drive and do things for you like talk to your your house when you’re on your way home from work and turn on lights when you pull into your garage. Tied into the new SmartThings platform, a Jawbone UP band becomes a tool for remotely monitoring someone else’s activity. The SmartThings hubs and sensors themselves put any switch or door in play. Companies like AT&T want to build a digital home that monitors your security and energy use. ... ... Withings Smart Body Analyzer monitors your weight and pulse. Teddy the Guardian is a soft toy for children that spies on their vital signs. Parrot Flower Power looks at the moisture in your home under the guise of helping you grow plants. The Beam Brush checks up on your teeth-brushing technique. The ToTo Washlet is a smart toilet. The Droplet Sprinkler helps you save water. The Ravenwindow looks at how much light is coming into your home. The Water Pebble goes in the shower and glows red if you’re taking longer than usual.

Enough to make the Stasi blush. What I cannot understand is how politicians fail to understand what a future Kenneth Starr is going to do with data like this."

Journals

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Security through obscurity?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 8 months ago

Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable

As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a âoezero-knowledgeâ proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked?

There must be something I am missing; because this sounds like proprietary software.

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Fight voter suppression, work as an elections official

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 years ago

One way to insure the upcoming election is honest is to serve as an elections official. These are the people who check you in as you come in to vote and show you a voting machine or hand you a ballot, depending upon the jurisdiction. It is a long day, in Virginia it begins at 5 AM and lasts until the votes are counted, which can be past midnight in a Presidential year. As an elections official you cannot change unjust voter ID laws; but you can make sure that they are administered fairly.

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Open source e-mail marketing software

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Fellow Slashdotters, is there a good software package to run and manage e-mail marketing and list management? If so, what is it?

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Politico salutes SOPA

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 2 years ago Media Matters reports that the newspaper Politico hosted an awards ceremony honoring, amongst others, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT).

Smith and Leahy are also the chief sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), respectively. Both bills, which purport to combat online piracy of copyrighted material, face opposition from big-name technology companies that fear they will stifle online innovation. Legal scholars have denounced the bills as unconstitutional and said that they are tantamount to Internet censorship. Perhaps most significantly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) both oppose SOPA in its current form.

Just about everyone hates these bills ... but the entertainment industry loves them. And among the sponsors of the Politico awards gala is the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game industry's chief lobbying group. According to disclosure records, the ESA has spent thousands of dollars this year lobbying in support of PIPA, designated S.968. (For the individual filings, click here, here, here, and here.) ESA has also donated $1,000 to Smith each election cycle going back to 2008. They donated $2,400 to Leahy in 2010.

Payola journalism, Washington, DC style.

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FAA investigating News Corp

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Forbes is reporting that the FAA has launched an investigation into News Corps' use of drones to collect news. The New York Observer is reporting that News Corps is experimenting with the Parrot AR.Drone âoequadricopterâ, which can be controlled with an iPad. And yes! drones can be used for phone hacking. The latest in secret police journalism.

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Who owns your online profile

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Writing for PC World, Katherine Noyes reports that companies are monitoring their employees online profiles at LinkedIn and Facebook. If I understood the report correctly, the monitoring software has the power to block user changes to their profiles. As a self-employed person I am not immediately affected, but am certainly not ethusiastic. I don't think that this will work very well for employers once the job market picks up.

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Market for stolen cell phones

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Here in DC we are having a crime wave of stolen cell phones (article in Washington Post Express, not onlline). How does the market for stolen cell phones work? As I understand it, if mine were stolen I would notify my provider, who would disable it, thus destroying its resell value. Except clearly it does not work that way, hence the market for stolen phones.


  • Also, since our cell phone providers are clearly tracking our phones, surely they could work with police to recover stolen phones. So why don't they?

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Federal solicitation for online astroturf

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Writing for Exainer.com, Sean Kerrigan reports that the federal government has put out a solicitation ( PDF) for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.


  • There is such a thing as being too clever, putting aside other considerations.

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The walled gardens of Mobile computing

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Writing for Corrente Wire, danps points out that the ecosystem of app stores combined with usage caps on mobile devices has the effect of restoring the old walled gardens of the early internet. As more of us become dependent upon mobile computing, this poses a de facto threat to the neutral net.

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Who else has been dis'ed by PayPal?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I have not had access to my PayPal account for over a year now. For reasons best known to PayPal, but never communicated to me, I cannot access my account, even less send out invoices and receive payment. This is extremely annoying as many clients prefer to pay by PayPal. Bad vendor! bad! bad!

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FCC's Genachowski backing away from neutral net

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 3 years ago Arts Technica is reporting that the FCC's Genachowski has indicated in a net netrality preview that the FCC is ready to back usage based pricing. The FCC will vote on net neutrality December 21. Instructions for comments to the FCC here.

Throughout this whole controversy I have been stunned by the complacency of the application service providers, SaaS, Web 2.0, and venture capitalists whose entire business model is built on the assumption of a neutral net.

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Twitter to expand collection of user data

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

From the NNSquad discussion list: Twitter to log every click on every link in every tweet

(Google Buzz)

"Soon, Twitter will be collecting data on which Twitter users click any
    links in any Twitter streams. They will also be able to collect IP
    address info for any user (even non-Twitter users) who click on any
    link in any Twitter message via the Twitter Web interface."

I can't say that I am enthusiastic.

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Want to buy a cell phone? Papers please!

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

The Identity Project alerts us to

S. 3427, a bill introduced in the Senate this week by Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would require would require ID âoeverificationâ as a prerequite to buying a prepaid cell phone or SIM card.

Putting aside the not insignificant civil liberties issues, this would be a devastating blow to homeless people who often lose their documents in the events that lead to their homelessness.

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Apple supports open standards, except when it doesn't

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Christopher Blizzard writes about Apple's HTML5 marketing effort. It seems Apple has a blurb about how they support open standards followed by a demo that can only be viewed in Safari. Bit of a disconnect between the message and the practice eh? Besides that, Apple drastically cuts back on the number of people who will bother to look at the demo. The drop off rate will be prodigious under the best of circumstances; but will anyone download a browser just so that they can look at a demo?

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India's voting machines are insecure

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Hari K. Prasad, J. Alex Halderman, Rop Gonggrijp are reporting that India's voting machines are vulnerable to fraud:

In the video above, we demonstrate two kinds of attacks against a real Indian EVM. One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favour of a chosen candidate. These instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public counting session, which in India can be weeks later.

We have known for years that these machines are insecure, yet there use continues to spread.

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Virginia AG investigating climate scientist

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

The Hook, the student newspaper of Virginia Tech, is reporting that Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has launched an investigation into the research of Michael Mann.

In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelliâ(TM)s office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mannâ(TM)s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mannâ" now director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn Stateâ" was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.

If Cuccinelli is successful he could force the return of research money, legal fees, and trebled damages. It is hard not to believe that this will have a chilling effect on climate science research in Virginia; indeed a chilling effect upon scientific research in general, at least in Virginia.


  • It is a great day for economic development in DC and Maryland.

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The GIGO deficit game

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

1up reports: Microsoft, Government Working Together on Deficit Reduction Game

Game would be update of 1994 simulator that was designed to educate the public. ...

  • ...Fiscal commission co-chair Erskine Bowles has reportedly been in talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer about creating the title in order to educate the public on the difficulties of balancing the budget.

What do you want to bet that Microsoft will be very selective with the inputs? Somehow I am guessing that a transaction tax will not be one of the game's options.


  • Are there any public spirited game developers within the Slashdot community interested in building an alternative deficit game with a wider selection of options?

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The piracy wars & social discourse

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TorrentFreak is reporting that Warner Brothers is recruiting students to set up accounts at BitTorrent and similar sites to "develop link-scanning bots, make trap purchases and perform various other anti-piracy tasks." BitTorrent's response is to encourage its members to apply for the jobs and, in effect, become double agents. There is such a thing as being too clever. It is disheartening to see young people encouraged to take up a career of being a professional liar.


  • It is just too easy to rationalize this; but to the people involved it becomes a question of which identity is the real identity? It also will poison the organizations who engage in these practices. It will swiftly devolve into a case of say anything, pretend anything if it serves the business model.

    • Society will become unsustainable under these circumstances; like pre-1989 Eastern Europe.

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