highways (1382025) writes "Our old friend, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, Viceroy of the Great Australian Firewall has previously labeled Google's collection of data as "creepy" and "single greatest breach in the history of privacy".
Now, along with Attorney General Robert McClelland, Conroy as referred to Google to the Australian Federal Police for possible breeches of the Telecommunications Act.
Previously, Google has publicly opposed the proposed Internet Filter, labeling it as an attack on free speech in a democratic nation and causing a minor diplomatic stand-off with the US Administration." Link to Original Source top
highways (1382025) writes "Sparkfun, a company suppling robotic parts and other goodies to hobbyists, has recently been burned getting 8-bit microcontrollers from the grey market.
Problem is, they got suspicious and looked a bit closer and some strange-looking parts and burned off the case with concentrated nitric acid. The result:
"Under the hood: On the left is the ATmega328. The gold dots around the black border are the remnants of bonding wires that connect the die in the middle to the pins/legs on the outside of the chip. On the right is the 'slug' or counterfeit ATmega328 — there is a lack of bonding wires, and really anything. It looks like a chunk of copper. Better than coal I guess."" Link to Original Source top
News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch has launched a stinging attack on Google and other on-line entities for stealing content.
At a conference of World Media Executives at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Rupert Murdoch has taken aim at search engines like Google as internet parasites.
According to the News Corporation Chairman, the so-called "aggregators" on the internet steal content from tradition media organisations and, he says, the time has come for them to pay for it.
"If we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid-for content, it will be the content creators — the people in this hall — who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs will triumph," he said.
Of course, I don't think this has anything to do with Mr Murdoch's latest posh to charge for online news, including a recent scathing attack on the BBC..." Link to Original Source top
RETIRED High Court judge Michael Kirby says internet search engines and imaging capture systems like Google Street View have unexpectedly sidelined traditional principles governing the protection of personal information, and expectations of reasonable privacy in public places.
"Search engines mean that a whole raft of material collected for one purpose can be accessed and used for new purposes, and the flood cannot be held back," Mr Kirby told a Privacy Awareness Week business luncheon in Sydney yesterday.
"When the limitation of use principle was originally formulated, it allowed you to keep control over the data shadow you send out when information of a private character is collected (for use by businesses and government agencies). That became inappropriate when internet technologies came along 20 years later.
"Likewise, we now know that if you are in public places, you can be caught out (on camera) cleaning your ear, or picking your nose and, in those countries that permit the televising of courts, an occasional judge can be caught out having a nap."
But Mr Kirby said the "enormous blessings" of new technologies required regulators to take a balanced view on personal privacy, especially as these technologies have significantly changed society's attitudes.
"The media is full of stories of teens who put up the most intimate of information, and they obviously think this is an appropriate thing to do," he said. "One hopes young people realise these are, as marriage used to be, 'decisions forever'.
"If you put sensitive information and pictures on the web, it is going to remain there for a very long time.
Mr Kirby said the normal human response of "forgetting" had in the past offered some protection to individuals.
highways (1382025) writes "In a move clearly to threaten the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN), Telstra has announced a $300M upgrade to their cable network in Melbourne (and later to most capital cities in Australia), claiming speeds of 100Mb/s.
Competitors claim that Telstra is attempting to undermine the financial viability of the NBN by cherry-picking profitable city customers without having to service rural users.
The winner of the NBN tender was due to be announced last week (http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,25162618-5013040,00.html), but has been delayed as a result of the Victoria bushfire tragedy." Link to Original Source top
highways (1382025) writes "In the ongoing saga of Australia's proposed National Broadband Network (NBN), at the 11th hour, Telstra has launched a non-compliant bid for the $4.7Bn subsidy to deliver 12Mb/s to 98% of Australia's population with a twist — it will only use the Government cash as a loan, not as a subsidy but only cover 90% of the population.
This comes as the Government refuses to cave to Telstra's demand that its proposal for the NBN not be subject to structural separation between its wholesale and retail divisions. This comes after a long running battle between Telstra, the competition regulator ACCC and the Goverment wrangles over wholesale pricing to the existing copper infrastructure.
In separate analysis, http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2008/s2430711.htm an academic from Melbourne University suggests that despite Telstra requiring only a loan, not a subsidy, the taxpayer is likely to get a better deal with the subsidy through the Government having an equity stake in the network, and retail companies would likely have cheaper access to wholesale broadband.
These comments from the President of the System Administrator's Guild of Australia comes as the Government revises its plans to censor the internet. In a Senate Estimates Committee hearing yesterday, it was revealed that the government now plans a two tiered approach — mandatory blockage of illegal material and an opt-out blockage of adult-related material to be implemented by Australian ISPs. http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,24571118-15306,00.html Previously, only the opt-out proposal was announced and run with at the last election.
Opponents of the scheme claim it will be ineffective as it does not target peer-to-peer traffic where it alleged that most illegal is traded. It has also been claimed by Electronic Frontiers Australia that the proposal could potentially make electronic transactions and internet banking unsafe by decrypting secure sessions. There are also claims that it may leave parents with a false sense of security about their child's online access." Link to Original Source top
highways (1382025) writes "It's rare that that a copyright case is heard in the Australian High Court, let alone a case heard by all 7 sitting judges. This is the equivalent of the Full Bench of the Supreme Court in the United States.
At stake is a small company IceTV taking on Australia's largest television station, the Nine Network over the copyright status of the weekly broadcast schedule. That is, the schedule, not the synopsis of the individual programs which IceTV makes its own summary of each show. Users of PVRs such as MythTV will be well aware of the hassle it is the get a reliable program schedule stream to use for recordings.
At stake is whether a list of facts like an EPG is indeed a compilation and therefore protected under copyright law. If so, how much protection is afforded? This has implications for the copyright status of many publicly available databases and the limits to which the information can be distributed.
highways (1382025) writes "Preliminary investigations into a Qantas Airbus A330 mishap where 51 passengers were injured has concluded that it was due to the Air Data Inertial Reference System feeding incorrect information into the flight control system. The flight control system may override the pilot if it detects a potentially dangerous flying condition.
Quoting from the ABC report (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/14/2391134.htm):
"Authorities have blamed a faulty onboard computer system for last week's mid-flight incident on a Qantas flight to Perth.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said incorrect information from the faulty computer triggered a series of alarms and then prompted the Airbus A330's flight control computers to put the jet into a 197-metre nosedive.
At least 51 passengers and crew were hurt, many suffering broken bones and spinal injuries, when the plane carrying 313 people from Singapore to Perth climbed suddenly before plunging downwards on October 7.
The plane was cruising at 37,000 feet when a fault in the air data inertial reference system caused the autopilot to disconnect.
But even with the autopilot off, the plane's flight control computers still command key controls in order to protect the jet from dangerous conditions, such as stalling, the ATSB said."
highways (1382025) writes "I have a lots ( > 200GB) of embarrassingly parallel data (lossless compressed images) that I need to process. The trouble is that each image takes a few minutes to process using C/Matlab meaning that it will be weeks to process all the data on my AMD-6000.
The good news is that I have a few spare boxes ranging from a P4-2.8Ghz to an AMD-3800. Operating systems are a heterogeneous mix of Ubuntu, Fedora and Windows XP. I want to be able to utilise these boxes to cut weeks of waiting into days.
I have used the Matlab distributed computing toolbox before, but there are compiled C files that need to be run (not to mention licensing issues). I have used PBS on the university's cluster before, but it looks like it needs a more heterogeneous environment and is maybe a bit of an administrative burden.
Does anyone know of some batch computing/cluster tools (preferably open source) that may suit the job of using the spare computing hardware around the place? I can (and have before) setup some scripts manually on each machine to process chunks of data, but surely there must be a better way."