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."
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.
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”.
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?
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.
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?" top
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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."
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.
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,"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Follow the Money: Who Profits from Piracy? is a great video which explains online piracy from the content creator's point of view. What struck me is the similarity between online piracy and spam. The same actors are profiting from both, payment processors and online ad servers.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
"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."
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.