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Comments

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Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet

Presto Vivace Re:so one billionaire (62 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.

3 days 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 a week 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 a week 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 a week 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 two weeks ago
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Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Presto Vivace we will see about that (52 comments)

clearly the money is nervous, or they would not have gone running to congress.

about two weeks ago
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Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Presto Vivace Net Neutrality has always had a clear meaning (52 comments)

point to point connectivity with no bias based on origin or destination. Just like our phone calls go thru no matter who we call or we is calling us, that is how our internet should work. It is very clear. Unless someone takes it upon themselves to muddy the waters.

about two weeks ago
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Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Presto Vivace Re:article summary didn't really summarize... (52 comments)

The abovie summary conflates the FCC process with Congress. The ammendment to HR 5016 would have cut funding to the FCC, with an eye to making it impossible to enforce regulations. It seems the amendment was defeated. Late the morning Save the Internet and similar groups sent out email alerts, and that seems to have done the trick, at least for this vote. We need the FCC to reclassify ISP's as common carriers and Congress to refrain from obstructing the FCC.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Presto Vivace I don't know how they pay (508 comments)

but being a plumber or AC repair can't be shipped overseas.

about two weeks ago
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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

Presto Vivace where is austerity when you need it? (117 comments)

seems like a good candidate for a budget cut

about two weeks ago
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FCC Public Comment Period For Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, July 15

Presto Vivace Re:Don't forget to comment (69 comments)

As was said above, the more comments there are, the more difficult it will be to ignore them. Every now and then we win one. Let us at least try.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Presto Vivace Yeah, let us get rid of cash and give banksters a (753 comments)

fee on every transaction. Really, the greed of banksters is enough to make a mobster blush. However, going cashless would make the church rumple sale impossible. Once that aspect of the matter is made clear to politicians that will be the end of this dicussion.

about two weeks ago
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Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

Presto Vivace Stallman is annoying (150 comments)

but increasingly I think he is correct, living in freedom means using free and open software.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Precisely what makes a comment valuable to the FCC?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  yesterday

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  |  3 days 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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."

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Fall out from the News Corp phone hacking trial

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about a month ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Where does Brooks’ exoneration leave News’ top management Relieved, that is where it leaves them. A convinction would have implicated top management as well as complicating the current Justice Department investigation of News Corp on possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. So senior management and the Murdoch family (there would be such a difference) must be very relieved. It has been very expensive, but due to the generousity of Australian taxpayers, manageable. But they are not out of the woods yet, there are 11 more criminal trials for other News Corp UK journalists pending. And then of course, there is the other hacking scandal."
Link to Original Source
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Age discrimination in the tech industry

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about a month ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes " Tech industry job ads: Older workers need not apply

It’s a widely accepted reality within the technology industry that youth rules. But at least part of the extreme age imbalance can be traced back to advertisements for open positions that government regulators say may illegally discriminate against older applicants. Many tech companies post openings exclusively for new or recent college graduates, a pool of candidates that is overwhelmingly in its early twenties. ...

“In our view, it’s illegal,” Raymond Peeler, senior attorney advisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws said about the use of “new grad” and “recent grad” in job notices. “We think it deters older applicants from applying.”

Am I the only one who thinks that much of the quality control and failed projects in the tech industry can be attributed to age discrimination?"

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Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "GovExec Magazine reporting on the aftermath of Snowden's disclosures:

From his Reston, Va., office at the Intelligence Community’s Office of the Inspector General, Meyer told Government Executive that a communitywide policy directive signed in March by the director of the Office of National Intelligence “is an affirmative statement that you have to blow the whistle” upon encountering wrongdoing, noting that in the past it was seen as an option. The new directive, he added, “shows firm support for the IC IG Whistleblowing program that actively promotes federal whistleblowing through lawful disclosures, which ultimately strengthens our nation’s security.”

The key to the campaign of openness to whistleblowers, as distinct from criminal leakers and publicity seekers, Meyer stresses, is that it “must aid the agency mission. It is developmental and helps all stakeholders understand that we have rules in effect,” he added. Meyer is expecting a bow wave of whistleblower retaliation cases (which can involve punishments ranging from demotion to pay cuts to required psychiatric evaluation) to come through his office directly or through a hotline in the coming months.

Given the realities of the insider threat program and war on whistleblowers I can't say that I am optimistic about the new directive."

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Congress unhappy with FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "FCC Chair’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rule Not Popular At Congressional Hearing

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the hot seat today in an oversight hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to testify about current issues before his agency, including net neutrality. The overriding theme of the day? Pretty much everyone who spoke hates the rule the FCC narrowly approved for consideration last week — just for different reasons.

Instructions for how to send your comment to the FCC for those so inclined. There is also a White House petition calling for the removal of Wheeler from his position as FCC Chair."

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'NSA-Proof' Email Service

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Harvard and MIT Students Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email Service

The new email platform is called ProtonMail, BostInno reports. The service’s five brainy founders met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. They bonded over a shared desire to build an email service even more secure than Lavabit, Mr. Snowden’s now-defunct email service of choice.

They have incorporated in Switzerland."

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German will ban tech companies who work with the NSA from gov't contracts

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "No federal contracts will go to companies that turn over data to the NSA or other agencies. There may, however, be one crucial exemption

It didn't take an Edward Snowden to figure out that American espionage service providers had access to confidential information about German citizens. It's been known for years that the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) works for American secret services.

It's also known that a former CSC subsidiary was involved in the abduction of German citizen Khaled el-Masri, who was turned over to the CIA and subjected to abuse and degradation before the agency finally admitted his arrest and torture were a mistake.

Nevertheless, German CSC subsidiaries have in past years received more than 100 contracts from state and federal governments in Germany, as Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR reported last fall.

"
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Which Tech Companies Help Protect You From Government Data Demands?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "EFF Survey Shows Improved Privacy and Transparency Policies of the Internet's Biggest Companies

San Francisco — Technology companies are privy to our most sensitive information: our conversations, photos, location data, and more. But which companies fight the hardest to protect your privacy from government data requests? Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) releases its fourth annual "Who Has Your Back" report, with comprehensive information on 26 companies' commitments to fighting unfair demands for customer data. The report examines the privacy policies, terms of service, public statements, and courtroom track records of major technology companies, including Internet service providers, email providers, social networking sites, and mobile services.

"
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Estonia's vulnerable online voting system

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 2 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "How Russia could easily hack its neighbors’ elections

If Moscow wanted to take the opportunity to meddle in Estonia's affairs, according to research by an international team of security experts, it could do so cleanly and silently without anyone being the wiser. The attack could come via Estonia's online voting system.

Not just Russia, but anyone with an interest in affecting the outcome."

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We're all Wikileaks now

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 4 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people's income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.

"
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Review of Murdoch's Pirates

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 4 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Murdoch’s Other Hacking Scandal: A Review of “Murdoch’s Pirates” by Neil Chenoweth

It was all about crypto. If you want to be in pay TV, you have to be good at intellectual property protection. If you don’t make it difficult for non-subscribers to rip off your content, that’s exactly what they will do, in such numbers that you won’t make any money. In practical terms that means good (robust, but scaleable) crypto. In turn, that means understanding the weaknesses of cryptosystems in order to make better ones. Cryptology and cryptography go hand in glove. Hire hackers! Hire geeks ...!

... So, anywaydata breaches, flaky ex-cops, private investigators, wildly out of control News International minionsthose are the operational signature of “The News Of the World”. They are NDS hallmarks, too, as we see. To all appearances, the same rather profitable syndrome has manifested itself twice on Murdoch’s watch, more or less at the same time.

But twice is still just a coincidence, isn’t it?

"
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Spy Stories From The Murdoch Empire

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 6 months ago

Presto Vivace (882157) writes "News Corp Fights With Itself In Grand Game Of Espionage

But amidst all the lawsuits and accusations, it turns out there are some other fascinating stories to be found in News Corp's world of competitive corporate hacking and private security. A new book by Neil Chenoweth, Murdoch's Pirates, digs into that world and turns up some pretty fascinating results. From an excerpt published in the Sydney Morning Herald, we get the story of some befuddled inter-agency espionage between News Corp and its own subsidiary, complete with aliases, informants, moles and a cross-border escape gambit by a spy on the run.

"

Journals

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Security through obscurity?

Presto Vivace Presto Vivace writes  |  about 6 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 a year 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 2 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 3 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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