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calikid
08-08-2012, 12:44 PM
Sad, Amazon hands over insecure information that Apple considers secure. Sounds like these corporate giants need to hash out some standards.
Amazon addresses security exploit after journalist hack

After a tech reporter detailed his nightmarish saga of being hacked because of Amazon and Apple security flaws, the e-commerce giant says it has changed its system to make things more secure.
by Dara Kerr

When tech reporters get hacked, it seems like tech companies pay attention.

Wired reporter Mat Honan's entire online life was compromised by a hacker named Phobia four days ago. Phobia used Honan's AppleCare and Amazon IDs, along with his billing address and last four digits of his credit card to get into his various online accounts. Apple responded yesterday saying that it was looking into how users can reset their account passwords to ensure data protection; and Amazon responded today.

"We have investigated the reported exploit, and can confirm that the exploit has been closed as of yesterday afternoon," an Amazon representative told CNET today.

What this means is that Amazon customers can no longer make changes to their account settings by telephone, according to PC Magazine. A small but significant change -- because it was by calling Amazon that Phobia eventually succeeded in deleting Honan's Google and Twitter accounts and wiping his MacBook, iPad, and iPhone clean.

"In many ways, this was all my fault," Honan wrote in an article for Wired yesterday that detailed his saga. "My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter."

The way Phobia gained entry into Honan's Amazon account is by calling the e-commerce giant pretending to be Honan and adding a credit card to his account -- all he needed to do this was Honan's name, e-mail address, and billing address. Then, Phobia called Amazon again and said he couldn't access the account and this is how he was able to use the credit card information to add another e-mail address and reset Honan's password. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57488759-83/amazon-addresses-security-exploit-after-journalist-hack/)

calikid
08-08-2012, 12:45 PM
Follow up story....
Apple freezes AppleID password resets requested over the phone

Move comes after the hack of a Wired reporter's AppleID and Amazon accounts, leading to the loss of Gmail and Twitter accounts and multiple device wipes.
by Steven Musil

Apple has reportedly stopped taking AppleID password resets requests over the phone, following the account hack of a technology reporter over the weekend.

An unnamed Apple employee told Wired that the ban would remain in effect for at least 24 hours and speculated that the freeze was instituted to give Apple more time to determine what security policy changes, if any, were necessary.

That information was apparently corroborated by an Apple customer representative who said Apple had halted all AppleID resets requested over the phone. The explanation came as Wired was attempting to replicate a hacker's exploitation of the Apple's system that led to the led to identity theft of Wired's Mat Honan. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57488782-37/apple-freezes-appleid-password-resets-requested-over-the-phone/)

calikid
08-09-2012, 01:35 PM
So my cell phone might give me brain cancer? What?
SF faces wireless industry in court over radiation warnings

San Francisco's law requiring cell phone retailers to disclose possible health risks from cell phone radiation will have an important day in court today.
by Marguerite Reardon

The City of San Francisco will face off in court with the wireless industry today in a hearing that may determine if the local government will be allowed to force retailers selling cell phones within city limits to disclose possible health risks to consumers before they buy mobile devices.

In 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and then-mayor Gavin Newsom approved legislation that would require manufacturers to provide information about the potential health risks associated with using cell phones.

Specifically, the ordinance required retailers to put up posters in stores that sell cell phones warning of potential risks. It also required that a sticker be affixed on the outside of cell phone packaging providing information about the SAR level, a specific absorption rate at a level defined by the Federal Communications Commission, and a fact sheet that offered more information about the potential risks of using cell phones as well as information about how to reduce exposure.

The CTIA, the wireless lobbying association representing handset makers and cell phone carriers, sued the city, arguing that these requirements violate the industry's First Amendment rights and also pre-empt the federal standard set by the FCC that ensures cell phone safety Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57489647-94/sf-faces-wireless-industry-in-court-over-radiation-warnings/)

calikid
08-09-2012, 01:37 PM
And here San Francisco trying to get a radiation warning attached for the CURRENT levels, and the industry is trying to get the levels boosted even higher....

FCC asked to consider raising limit on cell phone radiation
By Amy Gahran

The U.S. government is being asked to update its 16-year-old cell phone radiation standard to bring it in line with current research and the way people use smartphones.

A new Government Accountability Office report on Wednesday asked the Federal Communications Commission to consider updating the standard, which limits the amount of radiation a phone emits. The report recommended following an international standard, which would allow U.S. cell phones to emit up to 20% more radiation than currently allowed.

The GAO also asked the FCC to consider updating its cell phone testing procedures to account for phones being used while next to the body -- such as in a pocket or held in your hand -- rather than only testing how phones emit radiation when held up to your ear. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/08/tech/mobile/cell-phone-radiation-fcc/index.html)

calikid
08-12-2012, 01:47 AM
Time to change that banking pa$$word again...

Cyberweapon targets Middle East bank accounts
By David Goldman

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A new cyberweapon that secretly steals bank account information from its victims was exposed on Thursday.

The sophisticated malware, discovered by Internet security company Kaspersky Labs, has been capturing online bank account login credentials from its victims since September 2011. There's no evidence it's been used to steal any money. The virus instead appears to be a spy interested in tracking funds: It collects banking login information, sends it back to a server, and quickly self-destructs.

Dubbed "Gauss," a name taken from some of the unique file names in its code, the malware appears to be a cyber-espionage weapon designed by a country to target and track specific individuals. It's not known yet who created it, but Gauss shares many of the same code and characteristics of other famous state-sponsored cyberweapons, including Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/09/technology/gauss-cyberweapon-bank-accounts/index.html)

calikid
08-14-2012, 12:39 PM
Makes me wonder if the very people that claim DDoS is an illegal hacker activity are using that very tool to silence the critics.
WikiLeaks endures a lengthy DDoS attack

Under a barrage of more than 10GB per second in a DDoS attack, the document-leaking organization's Web site has been either inoperable or sluggish since the beginning of the month.

by Dara Kerr
It's unclear who or what is after WikiLeaks, but the document-leaking organization claims someone is.

According to its Twitter feed, the organization has sustained a several-day Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that has left its Web site effectually inoperable.

"The attack is well over 10Gbits/second sustained on the main WikiLeaks domains," read one of several tweets the organization posted on Friday. "The bandwidth used is so huge it is impossible to filter without specialized hardware, however... the DDoS is not simple bulk UDP or ICMP packet flooding, so most hardware filters won't work either. The range of IPs used is huge. Whoever is running it
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57492527-83/wikileaks-endures-a-lengthy-ddos-attack/)

calikid
08-15-2012, 01:56 PM
So much for the intuitive interface. In the past Microsoft had always built upon their legacy.
It will be interesting to see how much of a departure Win8 turns out be. I have a feeling anyone that has used a smartphone will be right at home.
Windows 8 makes you relearn how to use your PC
By David Goldman

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 brings a batch of bold updates to the antiquated PC interface, with one big drawback: Users will have to learn how to use a PC all over again.

The operating system introduces three new and essential gesture-based commands: swipe down, swipe left, and swipe right. They sound simple enough, but in practice, there's a learning curve in overcoming muscle memory.

It's the biggest change to Windows since the advent of the "Start" button 17 years ago in Windows 95. Instead of the traditional desktop, Windows 8 boots to a Start screen filled with columns and rows of app tiles.

Those apps are controlled by the host of new gestures. The app's settings can be reached with a downwards swipe from the edge of the screen. Searching through an app and personalizing it can be controlled by a swipe in from the right. And switching to a previously opened app can be achieved by swiping in from the left.


There are other gesture commands. For instance, dragging from top all the way to the bottom closes an app. Tile settings can be seen by "tickling" each tile -- giving it a short, quick drag down. Other movements allow users to multitask between apps or quickly access the computer's basic settings.

A host of new Windows 8 touchscreen laptops and tablets are set to debut in October, when Microsoft's (MSFT, Fortune 500) new operating system is scheduled to hit store shelves. The new commands aren't only for touchscreen PCs: Microsoft announced this week that it's working with touchpad mouse manufacturers to integrate those controls into laptops and mice as well. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/15/technology/windows-8-pc/index.html)

Want Windows 8? It'll only cost you $40

calikid
08-16-2012, 01:32 PM
On a related note, it struck me odd that my local newspaper has an "upload your picture" link on their website, with a click through that includes a disclaimer that any photo uploaded becomes their property. WTF? Careful with that prized UFO photo you snapped, you might just lose the rights to dissemination.

Good News: Craigslist drops exclusive license to your posts
By Kurt Opsahl

In a welcome course correction, craigslist has removed its short-lived provision that required users to grant it an exclusive license to--in other words granting them ownership of--every post. We were unhappily surprised to see this click-through demand, but are glad to see that craigslist has promptly removed it.

For many years, craigslist has been a good digital citizen. Its opposition to SOPA/PIPA was critically important, and it has been at the forefront of challenges to Section 230 and freedom of expression online. We understand that craigslist faces real challenges in trying to preserve its character and does not want third parties to simply reuse its content in ways that are out of line with its user community’s expectations and could be harmful to its users.

Nevertheless, it was important for craigslist to remove the provision because claiming an exclusive license to the user’s posts--to the exclusion of everyone, including the original poster--would have harmed both innovation and users’ rights... Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/08/good-news-craigslist-drops-exclusive-license-your-posts)

calikid
08-18-2012, 03:54 AM
And how much is your cable bill? Mine? Too much!

Cord Cutting 2.0: Better Ways to Ditch Your Cable Bill
By Yahoo! Finance

It's official: cord cutting has gone mainstream.

No longer strictly reserved for early adopters and the extremely tech savvy, more and more average Americans are now ditching their cable and satellite TV subscriptions — "cutting" the cord, both figuratively and literally — in favor of new, low-cost streaming and video-on-demand alternatives.

In fact, according to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal, the shift away from pay TV services is actually accelerating, with both publicly traded and private cable, satellite and phone companies reporting a net loss of as many as 400,000 total video subscribers in the second quarter of 2012. That's up from 340,000 net defections in Q2 2011. Overall, the number of U.S. households subscribing to pay TV services declined by 1.5% or 1.5 million in 2011, according to Nielsen.

And remember, the pay TV industry had never in its history posted a quarterly subscriber decline until 2010.

So what's going on? Options, that's what. For the first time, viewers now have choices when it comes to their in-home video entertainment, and not all of them are tied to the traditional pay TV model (a fact that many broadcasters aren't exactly thrilled about). Internet-based streaming services, on-demand downloads, over-the-air HD, the list of new cable alternatives could go on and on, but the selling points for viewers are simple: greater variety in programming and, assuming they cut out their cable bill by taking advantage, savings that can total as much as $200 per month.

We reached out to our Yahoo! Contributor Network members to find out what their latest "cut the cord" secrets are and which new services they can't live without. A selection of their responses is below.

"My DVR's ability to record shows, and watch even when no longer available, were the last reasons I clung to cable. Even shows playing online aren't there forever. Enter PlayLater, an online DVR. For $9.99 every six months, I record programming available through PlayOn and watch it on the same devices. I'm so pleased with these low-cost solutions that I can't imagine returning to cable, Story continues (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/cord-cutting-2-0-better-ways-ditch-cable-203407378.html)

enigphilo
08-18-2012, 04:32 PM
What a crazy crossover story, so much for conventional solid state. Now if we could just do this in reverse and crack the code of so call junk dna. Cali I tried to keep your post format going.

Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram

A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data — around 700 terabytes — in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.

The work, carried out by George Church and Sri Kosuri, basically treats DNA as just another digital storage device. Instead of binary data being encoded as magnetic regions on a hard drive platter, strands of DNA that store 96 bits are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).

Article (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/134672-harvard-cracks-dna-storage-crams-700-terabytes-of-data-into-a-single-gram)

calikid
08-18-2012, 07:05 PM
What a crazy crossover story, so much for conventional solid state. Now if we could just do this in reverse and crack the code of so call junk dna. Cali I tried to keep your post format going.

Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram

A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data — around 700 terabytes — in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.

The work, carried out by George Church and Sri Kosuri, basically treats DNA as just another digital storage device. Instead of binary data being encoded as magnetic regions on a hard drive platter, strands of DNA that store 96 bits are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).

Article (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/134672-harvard-cracks-dna-storage-crams-700-terabytes-of-data-into-a-single-gram)

Looks good.
I wonder how long it takes to manufacture the DNA strand, lots of data, but does it rival HD or SSD speeds?

Have to wonder about the read speed too. Just how fast can a DNA sequencer read back the results?

Thymine-guinine seems like an odd pairing since Thymine usually bonds with adenine via H2.

In a few years they will probably store 10 times that amount at a fraction of the cost... Moore's law in action! haha.

calikid
08-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Papers please?

Pirate Party appeals German ban on anonymous SIM card activation
Says it's covered under European Court of Human Rights' right to private life.
by Megan Geuss

A February order by a German Federal Constitutional Court determined that it is legal in Germany for telecommunications companies to demand formal identification from customers setting up prepaid SIM cards, but a regional Pirate Party politician appealed that ruling earlier this week.

Patrick Breyer, member of northern Germany's Schleswig-Holstein regional parliament, and his brother Jonas Breyer, a lawyer, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The appeal says that anonymous communication is protected under the European Convention on Human Rights' right to private life.

Denmark and France have outlawed anonymously purchased prepaid cards, but the Breyer brothers asserted that Germany's similar law is pointless because identification can be falsified, or people can bring prepaid phones in from other countries.
Story Continues (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/08/pirate-party-appeals-german-ban-on-anonymous-sim-card-activation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Te chnica+-+All+content%29)

calikid
08-21-2012, 02:33 PM
All you earlier adopters get ready, Microsoft's Apple killer is on the scene.
Microsoft opens registration for Windows 8 upgrade

Customers who purchased a Windows 7 PC after June 2 can now register for the upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99.
by Dara Kerr

Making good on its promise, Microsoft has officially opened registration for new Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8.

In a tweet today, Windows wrote, "The @Windows upgrade offer is now available in 140 countries. Register now! http://windowsupgradeoffer.com." Story Continues
(http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57496945-75/microsoft-opens-registration-for-windows-8-upgrade/)

calikid
08-22-2012, 03:26 PM
Already hated IRL virus. Then digital the digital virus became a pain in my harddrive. Now a virtual virus for VMware? When does the madness end?

'Crisis' malware targets VMware virtual machines

Single piece of malware targets both Windows and OSX users and is capable of spreading to VMware virtual machines and Windows Mobile devices.

by Steven Musil
Security researchers have discovered a single piece of malware that is capable of spreading to four different platform environments, including Windows, Mac OSX, VMware virtual machines, and Windows Mobile devices.

First uncovered last month by security company Integro, Crisis was originally described as a Mac Trojan capable of intercepting e-mails and instant messages and tracking Web sites visited. Additional scrutiny by Symantec has found that the malware targets both OSX and Windows users with executable files for both operating systems.

Crisis is distributed using social engineering techniques designed to trick users into installing a JAR, or Java archive, file masquerading as an Adobe Flash installer. The malware then identifies the computer's OS and installs the corresponding executable Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57497852-83/crisis-malware-targets-vmware-virtual-machines/)

Garuda
08-23-2012, 01:39 PM
At lot has been said about how user-unfriendly Windows 8 is.

This is just one example of how real people will use (or not be able to use) it...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4boTbv9_nU&feature=player_embedded

calikid
08-23-2012, 03:12 PM
It will be interesting to see how Win8 plays on a tablet.

CasperParks
08-23-2012, 04:56 PM
No thanks to windows 8....

Another thing I cannot stand are "touch-screens" none ever work right. Give me a keypad!

calikid
08-23-2012, 06:33 PM
No thanks to windows 8....

Another thing I cannot stand are "touch-screens" none ever work right. Give me a keypad!

Yeah, I do something like 100WPM as a touch typist.
A keyboard for me anytime.
But the folks the hunt 'n peck really like touch screens.


I'll be interested to see how "Surface" touchscreens compare to iPads...

calikid
08-24-2012, 01:13 PM
Let's hope Microsoft's new products are more innovative than their new logo.
Hello? It's practically the same thing!

Microsoft's new logo: This took 25 years?

Is it a surprise? Or is it not a surprise? Is it too late? Or is it never too late? In the view of one esteemed designer, it's just dull.
by Chris Matyszczyk

700

You're always supposed to notice when your lover has had her hair done.

You're not supposed to merely notice, however. You're supposed to comment. At the very minimum, with: "You've done something different with your hair, haven't you?"

It's supposed to be the same when a company changes its logo. "Ooh," you should coo. "You're looking younger, fitter, more startling."

And yet as Microsoft unveiled its new logo today, one had the feeling that the company had been to the hairdresser, and then merely asked for a trim.

Yes, it's a welcome change from the blocky italic that leaned into you like a henchman and gruffed: "You'll buy my product, whether you like it or not."

Yes, it suggests that the company wants you to see it as more human, more modern and more willing to be welcoming.

And yet my own impression was that there is still something a little too cold, a little too calculated about this new design -- the first in 25 years.

However, I don't trust myself too much, so I contacted one of the world's most prominent designers. We've worked together before and -- on condition that I could use her words, but not her name -- she bared her feelings.

She has no affiliation with Apple or Microsoft. But designers tend to have strong feelings. These were some of hers.

"Unfortunately, it does come across as dull," she said. "But that's partly because the brand has allowed itself to become dull for so long."

"I think they're trying their hands at slick. Maybe they're trying to look as if they're not trying too hard for once. I know it's a look they've been using for other things, but, come on, it isn't Apple, is it?"
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57499252-71/microsofts-new-logo-this-took-25-years/)

calikid
08-25-2012, 02:34 PM
Ever wonder why Windows has a "Recycle Bin" instead of a "Trash Can" icon? Because of Apple's overly litigious nature. The EU recently levied a hefty fined against Microsoft for unfair trade practices. Apple should take a lesson about what happens to monopolies.

Jury: Samsung should pay Apple more than $1 billion

(CNN) -- A federal jury in California on Friday recommended that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion in damages after finding Samsung was guilty of "willful" violations of a number of Apple's patents in the creation of its own mobile products.

The jury did not recommend awarding Samsung any money in its counterclaims that Apple had violated some of its patents. The judge and lawyers from both Apple and Samsung continued to discuss the jury forms late Friday afternoon.

"This is a huge win for Apple," Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor, said over e-mail. The award "is just large enough to make it the largest surviving patent verdict in history."

In aftermarket trading, Apple stock jumped more than $12 a share, to more than $675 a share.

Samsung said the verdict should be viewed "as a loss for the American consumer."

"It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," the company said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.

"Consumers have the right to choices, Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/tech/mobile/apple-samsung-verdict/index.html?iref=allsearch)

calikid
08-27-2012, 01:48 PM
And the beat goes on.
The battle takes on an international overtone as Asia court rules Apple owes Samsung monies too.
Wonder what the EU courts will rule?
And the lawyers appear to be the only true winners....

South Korean Court Rules Apple and Samsung Both Owe One Another Damages
By Christina Bonnington

Apple and Samsung’s international courtroom tribulations took a slight turn for the worse for all parties involved Friday. A South Korean court ruled that both companies infringed on one another’s intellectual property and owe each other damages.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Samsung violated one of Apple’s utility patents, over the so-called the “bounce-back” effect and slide-to-unlock features in iOS, and that Apple was in violation of two of Samsung’s wireless patents. Apple’s claims that Samsung copied the designs of the iPhone and iPad were denied.

The monetary penalties are a drop in the ocean to the tech titans: Samsung owes Apple $22,000 (25 million Korean won), while Apple needs to pay Samsung $35,300 (40 million won). Far worse for both, the court is temporarily banning sales of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Tab, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country. Story continu (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/s-korea-court-rules-damages/)es

calikid
08-28-2012, 02:57 PM
Sign of the times..... death knell for the desktop computer?

Sony to exit PC-use optical drives, say reports

Sony is getting out the optical disk business as it tries to restructure and shift to businesses that are more relevant to current device trends.
by Brooke Crothers

Sony will exit the business of making optical drives for PCs, another sign that traditional PC design is fading.

Japan-based Sony is getting out of the optical disk business as part of its restructuring effort, according to a Japanese-language report in the Asahi Shimbun.

A similar report appeared in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun.

About 400 people, both domestic and overseas, will be offered early retirement, the reports said, adding that the move is coming in the wake of a $312 million net loss posted earlier this month.

Sony is aiming to close its Sony Opitarc optical disk division by March of next year.

Traditional PC design is under assault from tablets and a new wave of ultrabook laptops that are too thin to accommodate an optical drive and typically eschew standard spinning hard disk drives in favor of solid-state drives.

And this trend is expected to accelerate with Windows 8.... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57501393-92/sony-to-exit-pc-use-optical-drives-say-reports/)

calikid
08-30-2012, 02:20 PM
We knew criminals were not brain surgeons, but written confessions on facebook? Maybe this gangster should wait until he retires to write his Memoirs.


Police embrace social media as crime-fighting tool
By Heather Kelly,

(CNN) -- We leave small clues about our lives all over the Internet like fingerprints.

Take Melvin Colon, who is facing charges of murder, along with weapons and narcotics-related crimes. The suspected New York gang member posted public photos on Facebook that showed him flashing gang signs but made private more incriminating posts, including references to past violent crimes and threats against others.

Unfortunately for Colon, one of his Facebook friends agreed to give police access to Colon's "private" information, and on August 10, a federal judge ruled Colon lost all claims to privacy when he shared those details with friends.

"Colon's legitimate expectation of privacy ended when he disseminated posts to his 'friends' because those 'friends' were free to use the information however they wanted -- including sharing it with the government," the judge wrote.

Leveraging Facebook is just one of many ways law enforcement officials are gleaning evidence from social media to help them solve crimes. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/tech/social-media/fighting-crime-social-media/index.html?iref=allsearch)

calikid
08-31-2012, 02:37 PM
Nice to see my home state still values personal freedom over LEO expedience. Now if only Governor Brown will sign the bill into law.


CA Location Privacy Bill Passes Assembly

Location privacy scored a victory today when the California Assembly overwhelmingly passed an EFF-sponsored location privacy bill, SB 1434, on a bipartisan vote of 63-11.
By Hanni Fakhoury

The bill would require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant anytime it requests location information from an electronic device. It codifies the Supreme Court's decision from earlier this year in United States v. Jones, which ruled that the installation of a GPS device for purposes of law enforcement investigation requires a search warrant. Having passed both chambers of the California legislature by a combined vote of 93-17, and assuming the Senate concurs with the version of the bill passed by the Assembly, the bill will soon land on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/08/ca-location-privacy-bill-passes-assembly-next-stop-governor-brown)

calikid
09-03-2012, 02:24 PM
Can we have internet free of Government interference without Government regulation?

Why Net neutrality is incompatible with 'Internet freedom'

The FCC's Net neutrality rules violate the First Amendment, argues a free-market proponent, and are thus antithetical to "Internet freedom."

by Randolph J. May

These two words -- "Internet freedom" -- are ricocheting around cyberspace almost as fast as neutrons and protons bouncing around inside an atom's nucleus. Well, almost as fast.

Both Republicans and Democrats -- and most everyone else -- proclaim to be in favor of Internet freedom. Here's a Fox News article, "The 2012 Political Tug of War for the Internet," that describes the political effort to capture the "Internet Freedom" flag. The article points out that the Republican Party platform has a plank expressly headed, "Protecting Internet Freedom," and the Democrats almost surely will follow suit next week. Indeed, the article quotes President Obama stating: "Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too."

So, no worries? We're all for "Internet freedom" now?

Not so quick.

I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln's remark: "The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty. We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not mean the same thing." Substitute "Internet freedom" for "liberty," and that's where we are today.

My own definition of "Internet freedom" is closer to what I think the Republicans have in mind -- though you're welcome to yours, of course.
The Republican platform declares:


The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention.

And it also states that the current Administration, "through the FCC's net neutrality rule, is trying to micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network."
To my mind, the idea that the Internet should be "uniquely free from government intervention" is fundamental to a proper understanding of "Internet freedom." Because net neutrality regulation necessarily involves government intervention, opposition to net neutrality regulation is central to a proper understanding of Internet freedom.

There is a gulf separating the Democrats' and the Republicans' understanding of Internet freedom. And it essentially comes down to this: Net neutrality regulation is an essential element of Internet freedom for most Democrats... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57504598-93/why-net-neutrality-is-incompatible-with-internet-freedom/)

calikid
09-04-2012, 01:03 PM
So after 9/11/2001 a L.E. organization is born to help prevent domestic terrorism.
But to keep their funding, they have morphed into the copyright police?
And Congress, part of the checks and balance of power are worried?
Should DHS be the ones worried about making Congress mad?
After all, funding IS the lifeblood and congress controls the purse strings.
The tail wagging the dog.

Homeland Security's domain seizures worries Congress

In a letter to the U.S. attorney general, Congress members cite concerns about "seizing the domain names of websites whose actions and content are presumed to be lawful, protected speech."
by Dara Kerr

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seizing domains and taking down URLs in the name of copyright infringement, but its tactics are worrying certain members of Congress.

In a letter (pdf) sent last week to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary Janet Napolitano, three members of the House Judiciary Committee aired their unease.

"We are concerned about your Departments' seizure of domain names under Operation In Our Sites, launched in November 2010," the letter said. "Our concern centers on your Department's methods, and the process given, when seizing the domain names of websites whose actions and content are presumed to be lawful, protected speech."

The three Congress members -- Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Jared Polis -- and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, point to one case that exemplifies a situation where Homeland Security got it wrong. Over a year ago, the government took down a hip-hop Web site owned by a man who goes by Dajaz1 on the basis that it linked to copyrighted songs. However, the links didn't actually infringe on copyrights.

"Much of Dajaz1's information was lawful, and many of the allegedly infringing links to copyrighted songs, and specifically the links that were the basis of the seizure order, were given to the site's owner by artists and labels themselves," the Congress members wrote in the letter.

Apparently the government refused to cooperate with Dajaz1's lawyers and worked with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to keep the Web site down longer than necessary. After one year, Homeland Security handed Dajaz1 back his Web site without any explanation. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57505318-93/homeland-securitys-domain-seizures-worries-congress/)

Garuda
09-04-2012, 06:43 PM
Vinyl's resurrection serves as a cautionary technology lesson

The sales of vinyl records are rising considerably.

Interesting article on the HP web site.

http://h30565.www3.hp.com/t5/Feature-Articles/Vinyl-s-Resurrection-Serves-as-a-Cautionary-Technology-Lesson/ba-p/6814

I've still got most of my vinyl records! :)

Garuda
09-04-2012, 06:54 PM
Most file-sharers 'are monitored'

Anyone using BitTorrent to grab the latest movie or music release without paying for it will be on a blacklist, a study suggests.

Read more in the following BBC article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19474829

calikid
09-05-2012, 02:10 AM
Vinyl's resurrection serves as a cautionary technology lesson

The sales of vinyl records are rising considerably.

Interesting article on the HP web site.

http://h30565.www3.hp.com/t5/Feature-Articles/Vinyl-s-Resurrection-Serves-as-a-Cautionary-Technology-Lesson/ba-p/6814

I've still got most of my vinyl records! :)

I have a pile of vinyl in a closet somewhere too.
Mainly I enjoy the old album cover art format.
But the deep grooves, scratches, and just plain wear from contact with a needle leave a lot to be desired in playback.
The pops and skips drive me crazy.
IMHO the loss of fidelity in a CD is a trade off for better overall quality, and when I'm cruising down the freeway the phonograph needle keeps skipping anyway.... :biggrin2:

calikid
09-05-2012, 03:08 PM
Interesting the FBI denies they were hacked, but don't deny (that I saw) they maintain such a database.

FBI denies claims of Apple ID hack
By Doug Gross

(CNN) -- The FBI on Tuesday said there is "no evidence" to support claims by a hackers group that they accessed information about millions of Apple users on a bureau computer.

The hackers have posted online what they claim are the IDs of more than 1 million iPhones and iPads. And they say that's just part of the more than 12 million IDs -- and other information such as users' names, cell phone numbers and billing addresses -- they got from the laptop of an FBI agent.

The release, if authentic, sparked a flurry of headlines Tuesday and raised questions about both FBI security and why the bureau would have collected that information about people in the first place.

Antisec, a politically minded branch of the hacker collective Anonymous, posted the ID numbers on Monday. If cross-referenced with info available to Apple developers, they could theoretically help someone find more specific details about the device's owner.

The post claimed that hackers exploited a vulnerability in the programming language Java on the computer of Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl, who specializes in cybersecurity. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/04/tech/web/fbi-apple-id-hack/index.html?hpt=te_t1)

CasperParks
09-05-2012, 06:57 PM
Vinyl's resurrection serves as a cautionary technology lesson

The sales of vinyl records are rising considerably.

Interesting article on the HP web site.

http://h30565.www3.hp.com/t5/Feature-Articles/Vinyl-s-Resurrection-Serves-as-a-Cautionary-Technology-Lesson/ba-p/6814

I've still got most of my vinyl records! :)

I have some vinyl, no player.

calikid
09-06-2012, 02:59 PM
User License Agreements (ULA) should concern us all. What the heck is done with all the personal information collected? I know I have declined to install apps before because the ULA was just to darn invasive.

Mobile users tend to distrust their phones

A new survey shows that more than half of U.S. cell phone owners are concerned about apps leeching their private and personal information.
by Dara Kerr
It turns out over half of U.S. mobile users are paranoid about their privacy -- not that they don't have reason to be. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 57 percent of mobile app users have either uninstalled or refused to install apps because of privacy concerns.

"Many cell phone users take steps to manage, control, or protect the personal data on their mobile devices," wrote the survey's authors, Jan Lauren Boyles, Aaron Smith, and Mary Madden. "More than half of mobile application users have uninstalled or avoided certain apps due to concerns about the way personal information is shared or collected by the app."

The survey included interviews from more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. during March and April of this year. Eighty-eight percent of these people own cell phones and 43 percent said they download apps to their phones. According to the survey, it didn't matter what type of phone people owned, the app distrust was fairly equal between iPhone, Android, and other users.

According to Pew, here's what some users do to protect their privacy:


•41 percent of cell owners back up the photos, contacts, and other files on their phone so they have a copy in case their phone is ever broken or lost
•32 percent of cell owners have cleared the browsing history or search history on their phone
•19 percent of cell owners have turned off the location-tracking feature on their cell phone because they were concerned that other individuals or companies could access that information


The survey's authors note that smartphone owners tend to more vigilant in backing up and protecting their data -- more than half back up their phones, clear the search history, and one-third has turned off the location-tracking feature. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57507057-94/mobile-users-tend-to-distrust-their-phones/)

calikid
09-07-2012, 07:48 PM
An interesting study on which Internet Service Providers are willing to defend your rights to privacy. Good reading if you have options when picking an ISP.

When the Government Comes Knocking, Who Has Your Back?
Who Has Your Back 2012
By Rebecca Jeschke

When you use the Internet, you entrust your online conversations, thoughts, experiences, locations, photos, and more to companies like Google, AT&T and Facebook. But what happens when the government demands that these companies to hand over your private information? Will the company stand with you? Will it tell you that the government is looking for your data so that you can take steps to protect yourself?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation examined the policies of 18 major Internet companies — including email providers, ISPs, cloud storage providers, and social networking sites — to assess whether they publicly commit to standing with users when the government seeks access to user data. We looked at their terms of service, privacy policies, and published law enforcement guides, if any.
Story Continues. (https://www.eff.org/wp/when-government-comes-knocking-who-has-your-back)

Link to results paper (https://www.eff.org/sites/default/files/who-has-your-back-2012_0_0.pdf) (PDF).

calikid
09-10-2012, 02:24 PM
Maybe that Great American Novel you have been meaning to write will be easier to publish than you thought?!?

Self-published e-book author: 'Most of my months are six-figure months'
By John D. Sutter

It's been called a "cure for rejection-letter fatigue."

Amazon on Thursday released new details about the success of its program for authors who want to self-publish on its Kindle e-reader devices. The company, which unveiled a suite of new e-readers and tablets at a press conference in Southern California on Thursday, says 27 of the top 100 Kindle books were created using a system called Kindle Direct Publishing (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin).

That system allows authors to bypass traditional publishers and instead deal directly with Amazon, which claims to be able to publish their books digitally "in hours."

The authors receive 70% of the royalties from the sale of these books. And some of them are doing quite well.
"Most of my months are six-figure months," said Hugh Howey, a 37-year-old Florida author whose "Wool" series of digital books was highlighted by Amazon. "It's more than I ever hoped to make in a year."

The company says some authors, including Theresa Ragen, who appeared in a promotional video during the Amazon event, have sold hundreds of thousands of books.

During the event Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos displayed a quote from Kathryn Stockett, author of best-selling novel "The Help," in which she lamented being rejected dozens of times before a publisher accepted her.

"What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?" she was quoted as saying.

"The thing that occurs to me," Bezons said, according to a live blog, "is how many authors did stop after 40 rejections? How many great manuscripts are sitting in a drawer somewhere?"

The fact that so many self-published books have been successful in Amazon's ecosystem highlights what other writers say is a trend toward success in digital self-publishing, which is offered also by companies like Apple and Barnes & Noble, in addition to Amazon.

This comes despite evidence that many self-published e-book authors make very little money. A 1,007-person survey earlier this year found "DIY authors" make $10,000 a year on average, and half of them make less than $500 a year, according to a report in The Guardian.

Still, the system does work for some.

"Fact is that authors no longer need a publisher," Bernard Starr wrote at The Huffington Post. "And more and more writers are awakening to the realization that if you are not a high-profile author who can command large sales, a traditional publisher will do little for you beyond editing and printing your book." Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/07/tech/mobile/kindle-direct-publish/index.html)

CasperParks
09-10-2012, 07:30 PM
Maybe that Great American Novel you have been meaning to write will be easier to publish than you thought?!?

Self-published e-book author: 'Most of my months are six-figure months'
By John D. Sutter

It's been called a "cure for rejection-letter fatigue."

Amazon on Thursday released new details about the success of its program for authors who want to self-publish on its Kindle e-reader devices. The company, which unveiled a suite of new e-readers and tablets at a press conference in Southern California on Thursday, says 27 of the top 100 Kindle books were created using a system called Kindle Direct Publishing (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin).

That system allows authors to bypass traditional publishers and instead deal directly with Amazon, which claims to be able to publish their books digitally "in hours."

The authors receive 70% of the royalties from the sale of these books. And some of them are doing quite well.
"Most of my months are six-figure months," said Hugh Howey, a 37-year-old Florida author whose "Wool" series of digital books was highlighted by Amazon. "It's more than I ever hoped to make in a year."

The company says some authors, including Theresa Ragen, who appeared in a promotional video during the Amazon event, have sold hundreds of thousands of books.

During the event Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos displayed a quote from Kathryn Stockett, author of best-selling novel "The Help," in which she lamented being rejected dozens of times before a publisher accepted her.

"What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?" she was quoted as saying.

"The thing that occurs to me," Bezons said, according to a live blog, "is how many authors did stop after 40 rejections? How many great manuscripts are sitting in a drawer somewhere?"

The fact that so many self-published books have been successful in Amazon's ecosystem highlights what other writers say is a trend toward success in digital self-publishing, which is offered also by companies like Apple and Barnes & Noble, in addition to Amazon.

This comes despite evidence that many self-published e-book authors make very little money. A 1,007-person survey earlier this year found "DIY authors" make $10,000 a year on average, and half of them make less than $500 a year, according to a report in The Guardian.

Still, the system does work for some.

"Fact is that authors no longer need a publisher," Bernard Starr wrote at The Huffington Post. "And more and more writers are awakening to the realization that if you are not a high-profile author who can command large sales, a traditional publisher will do little for you beyond editing and printing your book." Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/07/tech/mobile/kindle-direct-publish/index.html)

I credit Amazon with opening the floodgates for Indie authors. Many writers rejected for years and decades by mainstream publishing houses love Amazon for what they did.

There was a great struggle between Major Publishers and Amazon over allowing Indies a path to publish.

Through it all, Amazon supported Indie Authors.

calikid
09-11-2012, 02:49 PM
The most annoying feature ever, Google auto-complete. Hate it when I type in the letter A and "Asian A$$ Models" pops up as a suggestion. But seriously, is this the first step towards major censorship by Google? Becoming "copyright police" for business won't win them any friends within the internet community.

Google wipes Pirate Bay from Autocomplete searches

In an effort to curb online piracy, the search giant is censoring Web sites in its Instant and Autocomplete feature "that are frequently used to find content that infringes copyrights."
by Dara Kerr

It seems like Google is finally complying with the Recording Industry Association of America's wishes by not showing alleged copyright infringing Web sites in its Instant and Autocomplete search features.

According to TorrentFreak, the search giant just added the Pirate Bay to its censorship list.

Now, when users type "thepiratebay.org" or any of the site's other domain names into their search box, nothing relating to the Pirate Bay's Web site pops up. However, the file-sharing site is still indexed in Google's overall search function.

The RIAA has been working hard over the past couple of years urging Google and other search engines to block any results that could lead users to sites with illegally obtained copyrighted material. The association believes this type of censorship could help cut down on online piracy.

The Pirate Bay is one of those sites singled out by the RIAA, but the file-sharing site has said its traffic wouldn't change a bit if search engines censor it.

"Right now about 10 percent of our traffic comes from these competing search engines. With that ban in place that means that our traffic numbers probably will increase," the Pirate Bay wrote in a blog post in June. "Users will go directly to us instead and use our search instead. We'll grow even more massive."

According to TorrentFreak, Google began filtering out "piracy-related" terms in its Instant and Autocomplete searches in January 2011. So when users search "BitTorrent," "uTorrent," "MegaUpload," and "Rapidshare," these words don't come up unless they are entirely typed out. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57510052-93/google-wipes-pirate-bay-from-autocomplete-searches/)

calikid
09-12-2012, 03:20 PM
Another plan by big business to foist off the expenses of copyright enforcement onto ISPs and the public.

"Six strikes" Internet warning system will come to US this year
We speak with the head of the new antipiracy effort.
by Cyrus Farivar

Even as France looks set to scrap its three-strikes antipiracy scheme known as HADOPI, US Internet providers are inching forward with their milder "six strikes" program. But the head of that effort says the system is about education, and it is coming by the end of the year.

Not baseball

Last year, the newly formed Center for Copyright Information (CCI), along with major ISPs across the US and representatives from the recording and film industries, agreed to come up with a six-stage warning scheme that would progressively impose warnings—and eventually penalties—on alleged online copyright infringers. Collectively, once deployed, the system could cover 75 percent of all American Internet users.

The Copyright Alert System, as it’s formally known, was originally slated to deploy by the end of December 2011, a date that was then pushed back to July 2012. Now the CCI’s head, Jill Lesser, tells Ars the group is on track to launch by the end of the year. However, Lesser provided scant new details about the program.

"We are still very much intending to launch this year, but in no way was missing a July deadline a missed deadline," she said in a recent interview. "This isn’t the American version of the French system, and it isn’t a baseball game."

The ISPs involved are keeping quiet as well. A spokesperson for Comcast, the country’s largest ISP, e-mailed Ars to say the company did not "have anything to further announce or comment on at this time."

Strikes vs. alerts

Lesser was reluctant to provide additional details beyond the Memorandum of Understanding published in July 2011. She emphasized that this MoU refers to the program as a "learning experience" for Internet users.

"It is not a six strikes program," she said. "This is an educational program; there are a series of educational alerts that will be sent out to subscribers." story continues (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/six-strikes-internet-warning-system-really-truly-coming-to-us-this-year/)

calikid
09-13-2012, 01:56 PM
Makes me very sad when any people would commit acts of violence and then use the "All-Mighty" as an excuse.
IMHO, using reason, peaceful protest, and boycotting those you disagree with seem more rational and effective.


Google finds itself embroiled in Libya, Egypt blasphemy charges

Google confirms restrictions on viewing amateur YouTube video critical of the Prophet Muhammad, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backpedals on endorsement of Internet freedom.
by Declan McCullagh

Google has found itself embroiled in a high-profile dispute pitting the traditional western value of free speech against Islam's strict proscription against blasphemy.

The company confirmed today that it "temporarily" blocked YouTube users in Libya and Egypt from accessing a YouTube video trailer from an amateur movie sharply critical of the Prophet Muhammad. And Afghanistan retaliated by unilaterally blocking all of YouTube for its citizens.

Those restrictions came less than a day after the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in an attack by Muslim protesters. Protesters also entered the U.S. Embassy grounds in Cairo.

The tense situation also prompted the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to backpedal from her earlier ringing endorsement of free speech on the Internet. During a high-profile 2010 speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., she announced that "our government is committed to helping promote Internet freedom."

Today, however, Clinton said that the U.S. "deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others" -- even though the anti-Muhammad video is fully protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57511879-38/google-finds-itself-embroiled-in-libya-egypt-blasphemy-charges/)

CasperParks
09-14-2012, 01:01 AM
Makes me very sad when any people would commit acts of violence and then use the "All-Mighty" as an excuse.
IMHO, using reason, peaceful protest, and boycotting those you disagree with seem more rational and effective.


Google finds itself embroiled in Libya, Egypt blasphemy charges

Google confirms restrictions on viewing amateur YouTube video critical of the Prophet Muhammad, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backpedals on endorsement of Internet freedom.
by Declan McCullagh

Google has found itself embroiled in a high-profile dispute pitting the traditional western value of free speech against Islam's strict proscription against blasphemy.

The company confirmed today that it "temporarily" blocked YouTube users in Libya and Egypt from accessing a YouTube video trailer from an amateur movie sharply critical of the Prophet Muhammad. And Afghanistan retaliated by unilaterally blocking all of YouTube for its citizens.

Those restrictions came less than a day after the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in an attack by Muslim protesters. Protesters also entered the U.S. Embassy grounds in Cairo.

The tense situation also prompted the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to backpedal from her earlier ringing endorsement of free speech on the Internet. During a high-profile 2010 speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., she announced that "our government is committed to helping promote Internet freedom."

Today, however, Clinton said that the U.S. "deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others" -- even though the anti-Muhammad video is fully protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57511879-38/google-finds-itself-embroiled-in-libya-egypt-blasphemy-charges/)

Stay-tuned...

calikid
09-14-2012, 02:07 PM
It is worth noting that anti-virus protection is no longer being optimized for WinXP.
Time to move on.... especially with Win8 on the horizon.

New test results highlight Windows security struggles

The latest results from independent consumer security suite testing organization AV-Test.org are in, and except for a few bright spots, the results are a bloodbath of lower scores.
by Seth Rosenblatt

Today might be Friday, September 14, but to PC security companies, it probably feels like Friday the 13th. AV-Test.org's latest regularly-published results on home security suites are out, and the vast majority of the best performing suites slipped a full point or more.

You can read the report at AV-Test's site.

AV-Test looks at three categories in its tests, and scores them out of six points each. Protection gauges how well a suite blocks threats, Repair evaluates how well a suite removes malware, and Usability includes testing for false positives. Eleven points are required to receive AV-Test.org certification.

It also regularly changes the Windows system that it tests on. The previous test was on Windows 7. This test was conducted on a 32-bit Windows XP computer running Service Pack 3, and run during July and August 2012.

The attrition wasn't pretty.
In the results published today, two suites that had passed the previous test, published in June 2012, failed it this time around. AhnLab V3 Internet Security 8.0 slipped from 11 out of 18 to 10, and Lavasoft Ad-Aware 10.2 dropped 1.5 points to 10.5. It's worth noting that the

More notably, though, were the number of suites that had scored above 15 in June but dropped at least one full point. Three lost two points each: AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 and Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 8.0 both crashed 15.5 to 13.5; F-Secure Internet Security 2013 dropped from 16.5 to 14.5.

A fourth suite was the biggest loser of them all. Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 and 2013 got shaved by 2.5 points, from 14 to 11.5.

G Data Internet Security 2013 got knocked down from 15.5 to 14, and Microsoft's much-touted Security Essentials 4 went from 13.5 to 12.5. Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2012 and BitDefender Internet Security 2012 only lost half a point each, to 15 and 16.5 respectively. Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.5.2 and 2.0 also weakened by 0.5, to 11.5; and Eset Smart Security 5.2 fell from 12.5 to 12.

Meanwhile, a select few held steady or did better than before. CheckPoint ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall 10.2 treaded water at 16; Avast Free Antivirus 7.0 (2012) and Avira Internet Security 2012 both bumped up from 14.5 to 15; and Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 gained 0.5 to 17, making it the top-rated suite by AV-Test in this report. Avast Chief Technical Officer Ondrej Vlcek said in an e-mail to CNET that while Avast's score is better than many competitors, "we still plan to improve, especially on the detection side -- and we have some good ammo rolling out later in the fall."

While it's true that real-world test results vary depending on the particular kinds of infections that are attacking or on the rise at a given time, it's unusual for so many suites from the major publishers to all slip significantly at the same time. It could be because of the test computer: Windows XP is a decade-old operating system, and has notoriously worse default security than Windows 7. Story Continues (http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57512727-12/new-test-results-highlight-windows-security-struggles/)

calikid
09-17-2012, 02:36 PM
Apple makes some good toys, but if you need to get REAL work done, the PC is the answer.
The PC is not dead yet, say readers

The PC is still very relevant to many readers in the face of a large dose of Apple news this week related to the iPhone 5 launch.
by Brooke Crothers

Don't dismiss the PC, is the tenor of a lot of the responses to a Saturday post where I addressed the coverage of Apple and the iPhone 5 last week.

"For a working man like me, the PC is a serious piece of machine. It puts food on my table. As for the smartphone, the phone is important. No doubt about it. What makes it smart also turns it into a toy. But a toy is still just a toy," -- that's a pretty typical comment I got.

And another: "Actually, the technology in the computers is very amazing. It just doesn't get the same press coverage because everybody (especially CNET) is obsessed with anything having an Apple logo on it."

Below are summaries or direct quotes of selected readers' comments, with added commentary only if necessary.

Key features and/or tech that keeps the PC competitive as pointed out by readers:
•Games: A reader asked if an iPhone can play Skyrim, Battlefield 3 in high-detail, let alone at all?

•Microsoft Office: The iPhone can't run a full version of Microsoft Office, another reader said.

•Backup: "Some day, my phone may break, get lost or stolen. But my data will be safe at home on my PC with redundant backups. No cloud for me," said SigpistolDude.

•Desktop PC: "The traditional laptop probably is dying, since the primary advantage (over a desktop) has always been portability, and the new devices are better for that. But if I have work to do, I want the best, most powerful tools I can afford. That is a desktop PC, with no compromises for power or portability. Jobs analogy about trucks will hold up," said smallbzznzz.

•Microsoft Surface: Story Continues.

(http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57513843-75/the-pc-is-not-dead-yet-say-readers/)

Garuda
09-17-2012, 06:27 PM
I had been wondering how many people are on Google+

Just announced:

As predicted, Google+ passes 400M registered users, now has 100M monthly active users

http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/09/17/as-predicted-google-passes-400m-registered-users-now-100m-monthly-active-users/

(And I must say, I enjoy it far more than Facebook).

CasperParks
09-17-2012, 07:18 PM
I had been wondering how many people are on Google+

Just announced:

As predicted, Google+ passes 400M registered users, now has 100M monthly active users

http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/09/17/as-predicted-google-passes-400m-registered-users-now-100m-monthly-active-users/

(And I must say, I enjoy it far more than Facebook).

I use google plus, however my chat feature is malfunctioning for it.

calikid
09-18-2012, 02:40 PM
Yet another reason to avoid IE.

New Internet Explorer weakness already exploited in attacks
Researchers say a previously unknown hole in IE has already been used to deliver a trojan in real-world attacks.
by Elinor Mills

A previously unknown security hole in Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9 is being actively exploited to deliver a back door trojan known as "Poison Ivy," researchers warned.

Security blogger Eric Romang, who uncovered the vulnerability this weekend, wrote on his blog yesterday:

I can confirm, the zero-day season is really not over yet. Less than three weeks after the discovery of the Java SE 7 0day, aka CVE-2012-4681, potentially used by the Nitro gang in targeted attacks, a potential Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 8 zero-day is actually exploited in the wild.
Romang found an attack that uses Adobe Flash Player to conduct a "heap spray" to bypass ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) protection in Windows. A "zero-day" vulnerability, by the way, is one that had previously gone undetected.

The attack, which appears to be exploitable on Windows XP, apparently comes from the same parties responsible for a Java zero-day exploit that was uncovered last month, writes Jaime Blasco in a post on the AlienVault Labs blog.

Security experts have already developed a vulnerability-testing tool known as a Metasploit module for IE 7, 8 and 9 on Windows XP, Vista and 7, as explained in a post today on Rapid7's SecurityStreet blog:

Computers can get compromised simply by visiting a malicious website, which gives the attacker the same privileges as the current use. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57514457-83/new-internet-explorer-weakness-already-exploited-in-attacks/)

WildMage
09-19-2012, 03:55 AM
An Interesting Blog with some pretty interesting ideas...


The Crumple of the Spacetime

The General Relativity theory was developed based on the premise that the gravity force is the manifestation of the 4D-spacetime curvature a). This physical concept was derived from Riemann’s idea1 that the force was nothing but a consequence of geometry, thus, banished Newton’s unnatural concept of “action-at- a-distance”.

However, Einstein mindset was to stick with intrinsic geometry in the sense that the spacetime as a system was regarded as having no surroundings or being imbedded in nothingness b). In fact, when physicists talk about the wrinkle of the [4D-] spacetime they never care about which directions (dimensions) it wrinkles to.

The strict concept of the geometry dictates otherwise2. The geometry concept of m-metric manifolds (hyperspaces) c) is straightforward generalization of ideas of the study of surfaces embedded in 3D-space. However, it has been proven that in the circumstances in which an m-dimensional curved hypersurface can be imbedded in the n-dimensional [Euclidean] d) manifold if at least n = ½ m(m + 1).

The crumple of the ordinary 2D-surface, a piece of paper for example, requires a third dimension (3D-ambient space) for it to occur. But hardly anybody is aware that the crumple of 3D-space requires not only a fourth dimension but at least 3 additional dimensions (6D-ambient spacetime) e). Similarly, the crumple of 4D-spacetime would require at least 10D-ambient spacetime for it to occur without having any constraint at any direction (Figure-1). Does the nothingness have such properties for being able to embed something? What is nothingness anyway?


http://upstreamphysics.blogspot.com/

also has a nice piece on multi-dimensional time

Multiple Time Dimensions, why not?

One of the biggest misconceptions deep rooted in the human mind is the one-dimensionality of time. When physicists discover a theory that calls for multiple extra dimensions, such as the string theory, their first reaction is to assign those extra as spatial dimensions. They do so because they abhor the plurality of time a).

For giving the reason of their invisibility, the physicists hypothesize that the extra dimensions are curled up into tiny loops b). However, as there are so many possibilities on how those extra-dimensions may be curled up, the outcomes of such string theory can reach billions. This gives us a good reason to allow the Occam razor getting rid of this dire hypothesis without delay.

http://upstreamphysics.blogspot.com/2011/04/multiple-time-dimensions-why-not.html

calikid
09-19-2012, 01:41 PM
The Crumple of the Spacetime (http://upstreamphysics.blogspot.com/)


Interesting overview.
Maybe it's just me, but the 10 dimensional graphic they use did little to clear things up....
Sort of puts the "theory" in theoretical physics.

calikid
09-19-2012, 01:46 PM
I for one don't see bureaucrats having a clear vision on what the future cyber-security needs will be.
As for being voluntary, we all know what slippery slope that leads us to.
First it's voluntary, then it's a requirement for anyone wanting to do business with Government, then it's The Law. Let's keep the private sector PRIVATE.

Democratic senators call for 'cybersecurity' executive order

This summer's partisan sparring that derailed a federal cybersecurity law has resumed, with Democrats proposing an executive order and Republicans saying it would levy "more mandates and regulations."
by Declan McCullagh

Two Democratic senators are urging President Obama to direct his administration to publish "advisory" guidelines through an executive order on cybersecurity.

In a letter (PDF) sent to the White House today, Delaware's Christopher Coons and Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal say it's time for an executive order "directing the promulgation of voluntary standards" by the Department of Homeland Security.

It's hardly clear that the vast Homeland Security bureaucracy -- which has received plenty of failing cybersecurity grades from congressional overseers -- is best-equipped to advise the private sector on how to secure networks and critical infrastructure.

But after a planned vote last month on federal legislation was derailed thanks to Democrats insisting on new regulations, and Republicans steadfastly opposing them, Coons and Blumenthal say that voluntary standards are better than nothing.

The GOP-controlled House in April approved a competing bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, which would have permit Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency and other portions of the U.S. government.

In a letter released last week, White House aide John Brennan confirmed that Obama was contemplating an executive order on cybersecurity. It said:

Following congressional inaction, the president is determined to use existing executive branch authorities to protect our nation against cyber threats. Story continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57515504-83/democratic-senators-call-for-cybersecurity-executive-order/)

Garuda
09-19-2012, 05:42 PM
In a follow-up to the article on Internet Explorer above:

Germany warns users to ditch Internet Explorer over security hole

The German government's information security agency has issued a warning recommending that users should stop using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer until the company releases an fix for a recently-discovered hole in the browser.

http://www.zdnet.com/germany-warns-users-to-ditch-internet-explorer-over-security-hole-7000004489/

calikid
09-20-2012, 12:57 PM
A good thing as long as on-line registration is used to expand voter registration, and does not evolve into the sole method barring certain population segments access. Even the poor and "disconnected" have a right to vote.
California launches online voter registration
The Golden State hopes to expand the state's voter rolls via the Internet.
by Cyrus Farivar
Sept 19, 2012
Starting Wednesday, eligible voters in California—the nation’s largest state by population—can register to vote online.

Previously, Californians had to take a printed form, sign it, and mail it to an elections office before being counted as registered to vote. In July, Washington became the first state in the nation to allow residents to register to vote via a Facebook app. Around a dozen states, including Connecticut and Indiana, also allow online registration.

Under the new system, which saw 3,000 Californians use it in its first 12 hours of existence, an online system matches a state identity card or driver’s license with date of birth and the last four digits of a Social Security number. Once a voter’s identity has been confirmed, she or he can click a button to authorize the digital signature that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles already has.

The deadline for voter registration for the November 6, 2012 presidential election is October 22.

"Today, the Internet replaces the mailbox for thousands of Californians wishing to register to vote,'' California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Story Continues (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/california-launches-online-voter-registration/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Te chnica+-+All+content%29)

Garuda
09-21-2012, 02:26 PM
An installer with a 'Fix it' solution for the security hole in Internet Explorer, mentioned above is now available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2757760

calikid
09-21-2012, 02:28 PM
You'd think it was opening day for the first Star Wars movie. Seems like a lot frenzy for a device with incrimental improvements. Know I'd have second thoughts about lining up if I spent cash on the last model a few month back only to be told it is time to line up again for the latest and greatest. We will see if the sales projections match reality this time next Monday.

IPhone 5 sale draws huge crowds
By Julianne Pepitone and Stacy Cowley

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Jessica Mellow waited in line for more than 180 hours -- that's eight straight days -- for an iPhone 5. She was woken up by cops, "showered" in a torrential downpour, and watched two taxis collide right in front of the growing crowd outside Apple's gleaming retail cube on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

On Friday morning, Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) finally delivered the prize she and thousands of line-sitters around the world were after. The iPhone 5 went on sale at 8 a.m. local time on Friday in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK.
Mellow among the first to snag a phone at her Apple outpost. The No. 1 person in line -- Hazem Sayed, who arrived more than a week ago to promote his social media startup -- said the wait "was definitely worth it."

The iPhone 5 is virtually guaranteed to be Apple's all-time bestseller. Apple took more than 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, shattering last year's iPhone 4S record, and analysts forecast that it will sell as many as 10 million units by Monday morning. Apple's early inventory is already sold out: Online orders placed now won't ship for three to four weeks.

Those hoping to snag an iPhone 5 right now will need to brave a retail line. Apple's stores typically have the best stockpiles, but they also draw the longest lines. By Friday morning, Apple's Fifth Avenue flagship had a line that stretched down an entire city block and wrapped around.

Apple's lines traditionally draw a mix of marketers, Apple zealots and more casual fans. Natalie Lopez, 32, joined the line at 5:30 a.m. Friday.

"I've got the original iPhone. I've been sitting on it for 5 years. I'm just excited to upgrade it to something new," she said.

Alex Brooks upgrades his Apple phone every cycle and typically sells the old model. (An iPhone 4S can still snag well over $200 on many resale sites.) He said he's excited about trading up for a lighter, thinner, faster phone. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/21/technology/iphone-5-release/index.html)

calikid
09-22-2012, 02:30 PM
Show some imagination, 1-2-3-4 is NOT a secure password!

Cracking Your PIN Code: Easy as 1-2-3-4
By Lisa Scherzer

If you lost your ATM card on the street, how easy would it be for someone to correctly guess your PIN and proceed to clean out your savings account? Not long, according to data scientist, Nick Berry, founder of Data Genetics, a Seattle technology consultancy.

Berry analyzed passwords previously from released and exposed password tables and security breaches and filtered the results to just those that were exactly four digits long [0-9]. There are 10,000 possible combinations that the digits 0-9 can be arranged to form a four-digit code. Berry analyzed those to find which are the least and most predictable. He speculates that if users select a four-digit password for an online account or other web site, it's not a stretch to use the same number for their four-digit bank PIN codes.

What he found, he says, was a "staggering lack of imagination" when it comes to selecting passwords. Nearly 11% of the 3.4 million four-digit passwords he analyzed are 1234. The second most popular PIN in is 1111 (6% of passwords), followed by 0000 (2%). (Last year SplashData compiled a list of the most common numerical and word-based passwords and found that the "password" and "123456" topped the list.)

Berry says that a whopping 26.83% of all passwords could be guessed by attempting just 20 combinations of four-digit numbers (see first table). "It's amazing how predictable people are," he says.

We don't like hard-to-remember numbers and "no one thinks their wallet will get stolen," Berry says.

Days, months, years
Many of the commonly used passwords are, of course, dates: birthdays, anniversaries, the year you were born, etc. Indeed, using a year, starting with 19__ helps people remember their code, but it also increases its predictability, Berry says. His analysis shows that every single 19__ combination be found in the top 20% of the dataset.

"People use years, date of birth — it's a monumentally stupid thing to do... Story Continues
(http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/cracking-pin-code-easy-1-2-3-4-130143629.html)

calikid
09-24-2012, 02:18 AM
Here we go again. When will they learn? The public values it's privacy. Learn to do investigations WITHOUT shredding the constitution.

FBI renews broad Internet surveillance push

Director Robert Mueller tells Congress that police are "increasingly unable" to bring criminals to justice because rapid advances in technology thwart surveillance.
by Declan McCullagh

The FBI is renewing its request for new Internet surveillance laws, saying technological advances hinder surveillance and warning that companies should be required to build in back doors for police.

"We must ensure that our ability to obtain communications pursuant to court order is not eroded," FBI director Robert Mueller told a U.S. Senate committee this week. Currently, he said, many communications providers "are not required to build or maintain intercept capabilities."

Mueller's prepared remarks reignite a long-simmering debate pitting the values of privacy, limited government, and freedom to innovate against law enforcement requests that often find a receptive audience on Capitol Hill. Two days ago, for instance, senators delayed voting on a privacy bill that would require search warrants for e-mail after sheriffs and district attorneys objected.

In May, CNET disclosed that the FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a proposed law that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in back doors for government surveillance. The bureau's draft proposal would require that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

An FBI representative declined to respond to requests for comment yesterday afternoon. (Mueller submitted prepared remarks for Wednesday's hearing but, because of a dental emergency, did not attend. Kevin Perkins, the FBI's associate deputy director, filled in for him.)

Mueller warned: "Because of this gap between technology and the law, law enforcement is increasingly unable to access the information it needs to protect public safety and the evidence it needs to bring criminals to justice."

The draft legislation is one component of what the FBI has internally called the "National Electronic Surveillance Strategy" and has publicly described as its "Going Dark" problem. Going Dark has emerged as a serious effort inside the bureau, which employed 107 full-time equivalent people on the project as of 2009, commissioned a RAND study, and sought extensive technical input from its secretive Operational Technology Division in Quantico, Va. The division boasts of developing the "latest and greatest investigative technologies to catch terrorists and criminals."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group in San Francisco, says there's no need to expand wiretapping law for the Internet. EFF staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury told CNET:

New technologies have provided the FBI with unprecedented capabilities to conduct surveillance, making it faster and easier for the government to take a look at the increasingly intimate online portrayal of the lives of Americans. No longer does the government face anonymous pay-phones or the challenge of physically tracking a person's location through time-consuming manual surveillance. Plus, with more and more conversations documented by some sort of electronic record, it seems to us that law enforcement has had no problem getting access to digital material from telecommunications providers with little judicial oversight or scrutiny. To ensure that the laws keep pace with new technology, we must ensure that the Fourth Amendment and due process remain paramount.

The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57518265-38/fbi-renews-broad-internet-surveillance-push/)

CasperParks
09-24-2012, 03:57 AM
Here we go again. When will they learn? The public values it's privacy. Learn to do investigations WITHOUT shredding the constitution.

FBI renews broad Internet surveillance push

The FBI is renewing its request for new Internet surveillance laws, saying technological advances hinder surveillance and warning that companies should be required to build in back doors for police.

Mueller's prepared remarks reignite a long-simmering debate pitting the values of privacy, limited government, and freedom to innovate against law enforcement requests that often find a receptive audience on Capitol Hill. Two days ago, for instance, senators delayed voting on a privacy bill that would require search warrants for e-mail after sheriffs and district attorneys objected.

In May, CNET disclosed that the FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a proposed law that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in back doors for government surveillance. The bureau's draft proposal would require that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57518265-38/fbi-renews-broad-internet-surveillance-push/)

They are trampling all over our rights.

calikid
09-25-2012, 01:17 PM
PotUS has the option to make an "executive order", but should he?
Playing on Sept 11 sympathy? I'm surprised the cry babies aren't claiming "it's for the children!".
Then Senate should stop trying to pass the buck, and actually write good legislation rather than cram it down the businessman's throats.

Senator urges Obama to issue 'cybersecurity' executive order

After a Senate vote on a federal cybersecurity law was blocked, Sen. Lieberman pressures the president to move forward and publish an executive order with similar advisory guidelines.
by Dara Kerr

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman sent a letter to President Obama today urging him to use his executive power and publish "advisory" guidelines on a cybersecurity order.

"Countless national security leaders from your Administration and the previous Administration have made clear that the threat from cyber attack is similar to the threat we faced from terrorism on September 10, 2001 -- the danger is real and imminent, yet we have not acted to defend against it," Lieberman wrote. "We know our adversaries are already stealing valuable intellectual property and exploiting our critical infrastructure -- those systems that control our water, electricity, transportation, finance, and communications systems -- to prepare for attack."

Lieberman is one of a handful of senators that have been urging the president to publish the guidelines under executive order. Originally, the guidelines were written into federal legislation, which was derailed after a planned vote last month. Now, in a mostly partisan deadlock, Democrats insist on new guidelines and Republicans steadfastly oppose them.

Supporters of the security bill and its guidelines consider it vital in ensuring that private U.S. businesses tasked with running the electric grid, utilities, nuclear power plants .... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57519484-83/senator-urges-obama-to-issue-cybersecurity-executive-order/)

calikid
09-26-2012, 01:21 PM
If only these companies would find these "bugs" BEFORE releasing the programs to retail.
Hello? You developers ever hear of BETA TESTING???

Google pays bug-hunters for finding Windows flaw

Identification of a problem with Microsoft's OS merits an award from Google's Chrome security effort.
by Stephen Shankland

You might think Microsoft would be the one handing out awards to those who report security vulnerabilities in Windows, but yesterday it was Google that paid $5,000 to a pair who found one such problem.

Along with the release of the final, stable version of Chrome 22, Google announced that it's paying the bug bounty to Eetu Luodemaa and Joni Vahamaki of Documill for finding a memory corruption issue in Windows.

The award is part of a revised Chrome bug bounty policy in which Google pays for more than just Chrome bugs. "Occasionally, we issue special rewards for bugs outside of Chrome, particularly where the bug is very severe and/or we are able to partially work around the issue," said Chrome team member Jason Kersey in a blog post.

Google also paid hall-of-famer Sergey Glazunov an unusually lucrative $10,000 bounty for a high-risk universal cross-site scripting (UXSS) vulnerability in Chrome. It was part of $29,500 total paid out for vulnerabilities fixed in Chrome 22. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57520440-93/google-pays-bug-hunters-for-finding-windows-flaw/)

calikid
09-27-2012, 01:57 PM
So much for anonymous opinions.

Facebook trashes fake accounts, users, and likes

As the social network sweeps clean all bogus activity, page fan counts drop by the tens of thousands.
by Dara Kerr

The purge has commenced. Facebook is throwing out all fake users, accounts, and likes. That's right, all of those thousands of questionable thumbs ups are starting to disappear.

The social network announced last month that it'd start this massive deletion process, but it was unclear when. According to TechCrunch, Facebook confirmed today that the time is now.

Over the course of the day, tens of thousands of fans were quietly dropped from Facebook Pages. Data from Facebook metrics site PageData shows that Zynga's Texas HoldEm Poker lost 96,000 fans today, while Rihanna lost 22,198, and Michael Jackson lost 17,591. Even the Facebook like champion Eminem had fans vanish today -- his count dropped by 15,420.

Facebook said last month that the reason it was sweeping its site of phony activity was to cut down on suspicious likes and make sure that users were dealing with real people and businesses. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57521074-93/facebook-trashes-fake-accounts-users-and-likes/)

calikid
09-28-2012, 02:32 PM
Finally some sanity in an unwarrented intrusion to social media users privacy.
The time honored tradition of complaining about your boss in your own off-hour private time must be preserved.

Gov. Jerry Brown tweets that he signed social media privacy bills

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed twin bills prohibiting universities and employers from requiring that applicants give up their email or social media account passwords, making the announcement, appropriately, on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace.

State officials are concerned that some businesses and university managers have started asking for the passwords, in some cases to check the background of job applicants. In the case of universities, some coaches have asked athletes for access to Facebook accounts to make sure their players are not getting into trouble.

"California pioneered the social media revolution. These laws protect Californians from unwarranted invasions of their social media accounts,'' Brown tweeted. He later announced it with a press release.

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) authored SB 1349, arguing that having universities request passwords is an "unacceptable invasion of personal privacy’’ Story Continues (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/09/gov-jerry-brown-tweets-social-media-privacy-bills.html)

calikid
09-29-2012, 01:23 PM
Law enforcement seems overbearing in it's use of surveillance. Not like the people want to ban them from catching criminals, just use proper channels, have a judge sign off (show reasonable suspicion), BEFORE invading the privacy of a suspect who just might be innocent.

Feds snoop on social-network accounts without warrants

Justice Department report shows real-time surveillance targeting social networks and e-mail providers jumped 80 percent from 2010 to 2011. The ACLU says current law doesn't protect Americans' privacy

by Declan McCullagh

Federal police are increasingly gaining real-time access to Americans' social-network accounts -- such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter -- without obtaining search warrants, newly released documents show.

The numbers are dramatic: live interception requests made by the U.S. Department of Justice to social-networking sites and e-mail providers jumped 80 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Documents the ACLU released today show police are using a 1986 law intended to tell police what phone numbers were dialed for far more invasive surveillance: monitoring of whom specific social-network users communicate with, what Internet addresses they're connecting from, and perhaps even "likes" and "+1"'s.

The Justice Department conducted 1,661 live intercepts on social networks and e-mail providers in 2011 (PDF), up from only 922 a year earlier (PDF), the reports show.

The ACLU hopes the disclosure of the documents it sued to obtain under the Freedom of Information Act will persuade Congress to tighten the requirements for police to intercept "noncontent" data -- a broad category that excludes e-mail messages and direct messages. The current legal standard "allows the government to use these powerful surveillance tools with very little oversight in place to safeguard Americans' privacy," says Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney.

It might work. On Tuesday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would require police to get warrants to access Americans' e-mail and track their cell phones. Last week, however, senators delayed a vote on a similar bill after law enforcement groups objected. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57521680-38/feds-snoop-on-social-network-accounts-without-warrants/).

calikid
10-02-2012, 03:19 PM
I don't know about you, but if I'm checking Maps and the "you are here" icon says I'm underwater I have to figure I made a wrong turn!

Google Unveils Stunning Underwater ‘Street Views’ in Maps
by Anita Li

Google Street View is no longer limited to roads and sidewalks — now, you can browse stunning panoramic images from under the sea.

With a simple click or swipe, users can explore the subacquatic world, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay and Apo Islands in the Philippines. In total, there are panoramas of six of the ocean’s coral reefs.

“We’re adding the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive accurate and usable map of the world,” Google announced Tuesday on its official blog. “Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays.”

The images are made available on Street View through a partnership between Google and The Catlin Seaview Survey, a major scientific study of the world’s reefs, the blog said. The survey used the SVII, a specially designed underwater camera to capture the photos; it takes continual 360-degree panoramic images
Story Continues with some photo examples. (http://mashable.com/2012/09/26/google-underwater-street-views/)

calikid
10-04-2012, 02:16 PM
And now a word on the lighter side of politics.

The 25 funniest tweets about the debate
By Brandon Griggs

With its wonky arguments about taxes and health care, Wednesday's presidential debate may not have been the most riveting 90 minutes of the 2012 campaign.

But the faceoff between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney produced no shortage of humor on Twitter, where observers cracked jokes about everything from Romney's perceived swipe at "Sesame Street's" Big Bird to Jim Lehrer's passive moderating style.

By the end of the debate, both @FiredBigBird and @SilentJimLehrer were newly minted Twitter accounts with thousands of followers.

Mostly, however, people on Twitter just thought the debate was boring.

Here are 25 of our favorite debate-related tweets:

W. Kamau Bell ‏-- The media is promoting the #debates like a full on sports event. People are going to be real disappointed when it's just 2 dudes talking.

Linnéa Sandström ‏-- Romney has a bigger US flag pin than Obama. The debate is over? #debates

Storify: Jim Lehrer, the silent moderator

Sarah Littman ‏-- Mitt: "I like coal" Poor people will find it in their stockings if I am President. #debates

Rachel Lichtman -- So far the only Zingers are in Chris Christie's glove compartment. #debates

Amy Walter ‏-- "Um, I was told there would be no math." #snl #debates

Todd Barry ‏-- These guys are both feeding off the energy of the crowd. #debates

Marc Lombardi ‏-- The debate would be much more interesting & informative if a buzzer went off every time an untrue statement was made. #debates

Indecision ‏-- Things we've learned Mitt Romney likes: coal, Big Bird, Jim Lehrer.

Kathleen Madigan -- So far, this is as exciting as lunesta. Which I love. #mockthevote

Aaron Blitzstein ‏-- "It's time for my second question." - Jim Lehrer at 3pm tomorrow

Indecision ‏-- This campaign to re-elect Bill Clinton is going really well. #debates

Storify: Big Bird and the presidential debate

Kristi Harrison ‏-- I have to admit they're both pretty handsome. I'm waiting for the swimsuit competition to decide. #debates

Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/04/tech/social-media/debate-funniest-tweets/index.html?iref=allsearch)

calikid
10-05-2012, 02:41 PM
Watch before you "like" in the Phillipines...

Can you be jailed for a Facebook 'Like' in the Philippines?

The country's new Cybercrime Prevention Act, which went into effect yesterday, has some very interesting provisions that might lead to very interesting results.

by Chris Matyszczyk

I once dated a Filipina.

On her fridge were the words: "Believe in the miracle of the Blessed Virgin."

I mention this because what was written there was not quite what I experienced. There was a certain recondite, draconian, and rather unforgiving aspect to the miracle of meeting her, which undercut my initially blessed beliefs.

Naturally, not for a moment would I suggest she is representative of everyone -- or even anyone else -- in the Philippines. However, some citizens there are worried that there might be one or two difficult revelations in a miraculous new law that was enacted in the country yesterday. It is entitled the Cybercrime Prevention Act 2012.

This law has apparently fine intentions. We are all familiar with those.

However, some fear that the reality might mean that anything you happen to say online, should someone deem it "critical," might put you in jail -- even if you said it anonymously.

ABS-CBN News in the Philippines offered that it was U.S.-based human rights organizations that saw this law as rather difficult to swallow.

Indeed the Electronic Frontier Foundation described it as a "dark day for the Philippines."

The problem with laws is that no one knows how they will ultimately be interpreted. There is certainly some entertainment to be gained by examining the parsing of certain laws by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yet those who fear that this Cybercrime Act might be a nasty piece of work suggest that under it, it's possible for even a Facebook "Like" to be construed as libel and bring on a 12-year jail penalty.

This would seem quite laughable. People sometimes press Like buttons because they're trying to be nice to someone, or they've had far too much Grenache.

And yet it would appear that this law could be interpreted as declaring that a Like might be showing support for a libelous comment and therefore be in itself libelous.

As pressure group Access defines it: "Sharing a link, clicking 'Like' on Facebook, or re-tweeting a message could land you 12 years in jail." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57526494-71/can-you-be-jailed-for-a-facebook-like-in-the-philippines/)

calikid
10-06-2012, 02:47 PM
If you "like" facebook and hate SPAM, you will want to read this one.
For those of you unfamiliar, EFF is a legitimate organization.

A Deep Dive into Facebook and Datalogix: What's Actually Getting Shared and How You Can Opt Out
By Rainey Reitman

We’ve been seeing a range of reports about Facebook partnering up with marketing company Datalogix to assess whether users go to stores in the physical world and buy the products they saw in Facebook advertisements. A lot of the reports aren’t getting into the nitty gritty of what data is actually shared between Facebook and Datalogix, so the goal of this blog post is to dive into the details. We’re glad to see that Facebook is taking a number of steps to avoid sharing sensitive data with Datalogix, but users who are uncomfortable with the program should opt out (directions below). Hopefully, reporting on this issue will make more people aware of how our shopping data is being used for a lot more than offering us discounts on tomato soup.

Datalogix is an advertising metrics company that describes its data set as including “almost every U.S. household and more than $1 trillion in consumer transactions.” It specifically relies on loyalty card data – cards anyone can get by filling out a form at a participating grocery store.

These loyalty card programs have long been criticized by consumer advocates, who point out that they create a long data trail of our everyday purchases. Concern over these cards spurred the creation of advocacy group Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (C.A.S.P.I.A.N.), which argues that grocery stores falsely inflate prices for those not participating in the programs and that the programs themselves are expensive to run. Concern over these programs also prompted the state of California to enact a law preventing supermarkets from 1. requiring drivers’ licenses or social security numbers as a condition of issuing loyalty cards, and 2. sharing or selling cardholders’ personal information, with a few limited exceptions. (This blog post doesn’t attempt to compare Datalogix’s practices with the California law.)

Data from such loyalty programs is the backbone of Datalogix’s advertising metrics business.

What data is actually exchanged?

In order to assess the impact of Facebook advertisements on shopping in the physical world, Datalogix begins by providing Facebook with a (presumably enormous) dataset that includes hashed email addresses, hashed phone numbers, and Datalogix ID numbers for everyone they’re tracking. Using the information Facebook already has about its own users, Facebook then tests various email addresses and phone numbers against this dataset until it has a long list of the Datalogix ID numbers associated with different Facebook users.

Facebook then creates groups of users based on their online activity. For example, all users who saw a particular advertisement might be Group A, and all users who didn’t see that ad might be Group B. Then Facebook will give Datalogix a list of the Datalogix ID numbers associated with everyone in Groups A and B and ask Datalogix specific questions – for example, how many people in each group bought Ocean Spray cranberry juice? Datalogix then generates a report about how many people in Group A bought cranberry juice and how many people in Group B bought cranberry juice. This will provide Facebook with data about how well an ad is performing, but because the results are aggregated by groups, Facebook shouldn’t have details on whether a specific user bought a specific product. And Datalogix won’t know anything new about the users other than the fact that Facebook was interested in knowing whether they bought cranberry juice.

In addition to technical privacy protections, Facebook has a contractual relationship with Datalogix to try to make sure that user privacy isn’t violated. Through this relationship, Datalogix promises to keep all the data processing they do for Facebook separate from the rest of their data. (This means you couldn’t approach Datalogix and ask them to, say, give you a list of all the profiles queried by Facebook.) And Facebook promises to discard any hashed data it receives that isn’t about Facebook users1.

We were also initially concerned that Facebook could test a number of small, overlapping data sets to hone in on individual user behaviors. We raised this concern with Facebook, and Facebook responded that, due to the large sample sizes that were being tested, it would be impossible to figure out whether a specific individual bought a specific item. Apparently Facebook also sent in a privacy and security auditor to assess this issue, and was satisfied with the results. We’ve also reached out to Datalogix to talk to them about what formal rules they have regarding small, overlapping data sets. Given the large amount of sensitive data Datalogix maintains, we’re hoping they’ve got appropriate rules in place to prevent people from testing small, similar groups to figure out a particular individual’s actions.

But even with these technical and legal safeguards, many people may be concerned because the shopping data compiled by loyalty programs can be quite sensitive. A New York Times article earlier this year showed how Target was able to identify and target an expectant mother long before she started showing visible signs of pregnancy (and, in at least one case, before her father realized she was expecting). Loyalty card programs have been used by the CDC to track down cases of salmonella, and data collected through these programs has even been sought by law enforcement. In one unfortunate incident, a man was wrongfully charged with arson in part because he had used his loyalty club card to buy fire starters (thankfully, the charges were eventually dropped).

Many people who sign up for loyalty programs may not realize the data amassed on them will be shared with entities outside of the store. And if they do realize it, they might not be comfortable with it. A 2009 academic study found that 86% of those surveyed did not want websites to show them advertisements tailored to them based on their offline activities; perhaps more studies are necessary to see whether users are similarly uncomfortable with data shared from offline retailors to online entities, regardless of whether the advertisements are individually targeted.

All Facebook users are automatically opted in to this program. So if you’re uncomfortable with it, you need to opt out.

How to Opt Out

To opt out of this program, visit the Datalogix.com privacy page (https://www.datalogix.com/privacy/). Scroll down to the word “Choice” and the last sentence in the first paragraph says:

If you wish to opt out of all Datalogix-enabled advertising & analytic products, click here.

Click there and a little form will pop up that asks for your name, address, and email address. Datalogix promises that the opt-out will take effect within 30 days. Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/09/deep-dive-facebook-and-datalogix-whats-actually-getting-shared-and-how-you-can-opt#opt-out)

calikid
10-09-2012, 03:18 PM
As always, not good to click on unfamiliar or weird looking links.
A second line of defense; if you don't want to pay a ransom for your own computer drive contents, keep those backups current in case "ALL IS LOST".

Worm spreading on Skype IM installs ransomware
Malware is downloaded onto users' machines after they click on the message "lol is this your new profile pic?"
by Steven Musil
A malicious worm spreading through Skype instant messages threatens to take control of a victim's machine and hold its contents for ransom.

The issue, which was first brought to light Friday by GFI, tricks users into downloading a ZIP file by displaying the socially-engineered message, "lol is this your new profile pic?" along with a link that also spreads the message to other Skype users. The ZIP filed contains an executable file that installs a variant of the Dorkbot worm and creating a backdoor via "Blackhole," an exploit kit used by criminals to infect computers through security holes.

The backdoor allows a remote attacker to take control of the machine and install the ransomware, a malicious application that locks the user out of the computer via password or encryption and demands a payment, or ransom, in exchange for its contents. This particular strain demands a payment of $200 within 48 hours or risk having their files deleted
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57528353-83/worm-spreading-on-skype-im-installs-ransomware/)

Garuda
10-09-2012, 06:12 PM
Windows 8 won't have a 'start button' which will probably make it a lot harder for many people to be able to do what they want to on a regular computer with keyboard and mouse.

This is a good article on some programs that can be helpful in making your Win8 computer behave more like a traditional windows computer:
http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/cheap-computing/making-windows-8-usable-on-laptop-and-desktop-computers-for-free/

The program the author recommends using is 'Classic Shell' which is free / Open Source, and can be found here:
http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

calikid
10-10-2012, 03:54 PM
Coming soon to a computer near you.
Windows 8 pops up on Amazon
The retail giant's U.K. Web site offers a peek at the various packages of Windows 8, including one geared for the European market.
by Lance Whitney

Windows 8 won't officially go on sale until October 26, but Amazon is already giving us a peek at the product's sales page.

Amazon's U.K. site is showing off the Windows 8 Pro upgrade edition, which lets users move up from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Also on the site is the the Windows 8 Pro Pack, which bumps up the Windows 8 standard edition to the Professional version.

And European users can check out the Windows 8 Pro N Version, which is similar to its American counterpart but without Windows Media Player.
Story Continues (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7-57529554-292/windows-8-pops-up-on-amazon/)

Garuda
10-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Mozilla Firefox browser upgrade taken offline due to vulnerability

The latest version of Mozilla's Firefox browser has been taken offline after a security vulnerability was discovered.

Users who had upgraded to version 16 were advised to downgrade to the previous safe release until Firefox developers released a fix.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19909106


If you have FF 16 installed, you are advised to reinstall FF 15 over it: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

calikid
10-12-2012, 02:58 PM
Second times a charm? Let's hope so, Mozilla has been my default for a long time (sorry IE!).

Mozilla rereleases Firefox 16 after fixing critical flaw
Browser was pulled from download after only a day, to fix bug that could reveal which Web sites a user had visited.
by Steven Musil

Mozilla released a new version of Firefox (Windows, Mac) today, one day after yanking the Web browser to address security flaws.

Firefox 16 was pulled off Mozilla's installer page yesterday, just one day after its release, to fix a vulnerability that could have allowed a malicious site to identify which Web sites a user had visited, said Michael Coates, Mozilla's director of Security Assurance. The flaw was publicly disclosed yesterday by security researcher Gareth Heyes, who published proof-of-concept code to demonstrate the vulnerability.

Though Mozilla said it had no evidence that the vulnerability was being exploited in the wild, the company recommended that users who had upgraded to version 16 downgrade to version 15.0.1, which was deemed unaffected by the flaw.

At noon today, the new version -- Firefox 16.0.1 -- was released to Mozilla's upgrade servers and was pushed to users who had previously downloaded Firefox 16. A fix for the Android version of Firefox was released last night.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57531010-83/mozilla-rereleases-firefox-16-after-fixing-critical-flaw/)

calikid
10-13-2012, 02:46 PM
I just watched a news story about a guy who posted a sign saying "Slow Down or You Will be Shot" directed at speeders in his neighborhood, that speech was protected. And yet here's a guy fed up with Law Enforcement who gets charged with "making on-line threats". Hard to keep track of where free speech ends and illegal actions begin.

Anti-DEA rants on Facebook spark criminal prosecution
Federal judge OKs prosecution of man accused of posting anti-police rants on Facebook, saying that dismissing criminal charges on free speech grounds would be "inappropriate."
by Declan McCullagh

Anti-government rants on Facebook can land you in a heap of trouble.

A federal judge has given the green light to the U.S. Justice Department's prosecution of an Indiana man who allegedly posted incendiary remarks about police.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence in Indiana rejected requests by the defendant, Matthew Michael, to throw out the charges on the grounds that no specific Drug Enforcement Administration agent or other individual had actually been named in the posts.

Lawrence ruled that -- assuming the Facebook postings were illegal threats, which has yet to be proved -- they "were directed at natural persons, namely DEA agents, law enforcement officers, and government personnel."

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader on First Amendment grounds, ruling his vague promises of violence -- "there might have to be some revengeance taken" -- were not illegal.

Michael is accused of writing a series of posts in August 2011 (and creating a "statewide" Facebook event scheduled for November 2011) containing vague but angry and violent statements regarding DEA agents. One alleged post: "War is near..anarchy and justice will be sought...I'll kill whoever I deem to be in the way of harmony to the human race...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!"

That's enough to allow the trial to proceed, Lawrence ruled in a written opinion.... Story Continueshttp://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57531758-38/anti-dea-rants-on-facebook-spark-criminal-prosecution/

CasperParks
10-13-2012, 06:35 PM
I just watched a news story about a guy who posted a sign saying "Slow Down or You Will be Shot" directed at speeders in his neighborhood, that speech was protected. And yet here's a guy fed up with Law Enforcement who gets charged with "making on-line threats". Hard to keep track of where free speech ends and illegal actions begin.

Anti-DEA rants on Facebook spark criminal prosecution
Federal judge OKs prosecution of man accused of posting anti-police rants on Facebook, saying that dismissing criminal charges on free speech grounds would be "inappropriate."
by Declan McCullagh

Anti-government rants on Facebook can land you in a heap of trouble.

A federal judge has given the green light to the U.S. Justice Department's prosecution of an Indiana man who allegedly posted incendiary remarks about police.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence in Indiana rejected requests by the defendant, Matthew Michael, to throw out the charges on the grounds that no specific Drug Enforcement Administration agent or other individual had actually been named in the posts.

Lawrence ruled that -- assuming the Facebook postings were illegal threats, which has yet to be proved -- they "were directed at natural persons, namely DEA agents, law enforcement officers, and government personnel."

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader on First Amendment grounds, ruling his vague promises of violence -- "there might have to be some revengeance taken" -- were not illegal.

Michael is accused of writing a series of posts in August 2011 (and creating a "statewide" Facebook event scheduled for November 2011) containing vague but angry and violent statements regarding DEA agents. One alleged post: "War is near..anarchy and justice will be sought...I'll kill whoever I deem to be in the way of harmony to the human race...BE WARNED IF U PULL ME OVER!!"

That's enough to allow the trial to proceed, Lawrence ruled in a written opinion.... Story Continueshttp://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57531758-38/anti-dea-rants-on-facebook-spark-criminal-prosecution/

Minorty Report...

calikid
10-16-2012, 01:44 PM
I seem to recall our very own Fore posting about a Law Enforcement tool called FinSpy recently. Can't help but wonder if this "new" FinFisher malware is a version released into the wild.

FBI warns users of malicious mobile malware

In a warning issued by a government task force, mobile users are told to beware of malware that is especially lured to Android's operating system and ways to avoid it.
by Dara Kerr

As mobile malware increases at break-neck speed, the U.S. government wants to be sure users are aware of its dangers. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is a government task force that includes the FBI, issued a mobile malware warning on Friday.

"The IC3 has been made aware of various malware attacking Android operating systems for mobile devices," the warning said. "Some of the latest known versions of this type of malware are Loozfon and FinFisher."

The IC3 said that Loozfon lures its victims by sending them e-mails with links promising "a profitable payday just for sending out email," then embeds itself onto the phone when the link is clicked. This malware steals information from users. FinFisher, on the other hand, is spyware and can take over the components of a smartphone. According to the IC3, this malware is also installed via a bogus e-mail link or text message.

While Loozfon is a threat to U.S. users, it's a bigger problem in Japan, according to The Next Web; and FinFisher attacks not only Android devices but also devises running iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile as well.

Security reports over the last year have shown that mobile malware is on the rise. According to a report by McAfee last month, malware is multiplying at a faster pace now than any other time in the last four years. Android tends to be cybercriminals' favorite target and users are getting an increasing mix of SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware, and destructive Trojans. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57532937-83/fbi-warns-users-of-malicious-mobile-malware/)

calikid
10-17-2012, 03:40 PM
You think you got problems? On the lighter side of tech reviews.

Watch SNL Hilariously Spoof iPhone 5 Critics, Factory Workers

In what was one of Saturday Night Live's funniest parody sketches in recent memory, the show took a shot at the iPhone 5 and the tech industry's response to some of its much-discussed setbacks, including Google Maps.
In a faux talk show called Tech Talk -- starring guest host Christina Applegate -- critics bashed the major design flaws surrounding the latest Apple smartphone. To address the issues, three Chinese factory workers joined in to put them in place.

"You wanted Starbucks, but it took you to Dunkin' Donuts?" said one worker, referring to the new Apple Maps app. "That must be so hard for you."

Another responded: "I guess we are lucky that we don't use Maps since we sleep where we work."

The critics started to backpedal and apologized for being so harsh in their reviews, but the workers didn't buy it -- they whipped out violins to play along with the whining.

Applegate, who served as Tech Talk's moderator, asked the workers if they wanted to complain about any American products (as it would only be fair):

"What does America make?" one said. "Does diabetes count as a product?"
Story Continues (http://news.yahoo.com/watch-snl-hilariously-spoof-iphone-5-critics-factory-030000310.html)

calikid
10-18-2012, 01:00 PM
Sneaky Devils

Pirate Bay ditches servers and switches to the cloud

Looking for new ways to avoid raids and the seizure of its information-full servers, the file-sharing service moves all of its content to the cloud.
by Dara Kerr

In the midst of threats of a possible police raid, the Pirate Bay decided to armor itself and become literally raid-proof. It's ditched its servers and moved to several cloud-hosting providers in different countries around the world.

"Slowly and steadily we are getting rid of our earthly form and ascending into the next stage, the cloud," the Pirate Bay wrote in a blog post. "Our data flows around in thousands of clouds, in deeply encrypted forms, ready to be used when necessary. Earth bound nodes that transform the data are as deeply encrypted and reboot into a deadlock if not used for 8 hours."

Switching to the cloud makes sense for the file hosting service -- it cuts down on resources and should reduce the site's downtown for users, according to TorrentFreak. Additionally, the data should be more secure since it's not being hosted in just one place.

"Moving to the cloud lets TPB move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime," the Pirate Bay told TorrentFreak. "All the servers don't even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent."

The file-sharing service has taken several steps to buffer itself against a possible shut down by the authorities. It first got rid of trackers, then it tossed its torrents in February and started using magnet links, and now it's servers are gone.

"All attempts to attack The Pirate Bay from now on is an attack on everything and nothing," Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57534707-93/pirate-bay-ditches-servers-and-switches-to-the-cloud/)

Garuda
10-18-2012, 04:46 PM
"I Can Hear You Having Sex"
"Shut The Barking Dog Up"
"Your Music Is Annoying"

Wi-fi users are choosing network names to "go to war" with their neighbours.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19760006

What are your favourite examples?

calikid
10-18-2012, 11:08 PM
"I Can Hear You Having Sex"
"Shut The Barking Dog Up"
"Your Music Is Annoying"

Wi-fi users are choosing network names to "go to war" with their neighbours.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19760006

What are your favourite examples?

In an effort to discourage freeloaders my ssid is SloMoFo haha

calikid
10-19-2012, 02:39 PM
Coming soon to your neighborhood, the software police.
Internet providers to begin warning customers who pirate content
By Heather Kelly

It is about to get a bit more difficult to illegally download TV shows, movies or music online.

A new alert system, rolling out over the next two months, will repeatedly warn and possibly punish people violating digital copyrights. The Copyright Alert System was announced last July and has been four years in the making.

If you use AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, or Verizon as your Internet service provider, you could receive the first of one of these notes starting in the next two months.

The Internet provider is delivering the message, but the legwork is being done by the copyright owners, which will monitor peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent.

They use a service called MarkMonitor, which uses a combination of people and automated systems to spot illegal downloading. It will collect the IP addresses of offenders, but no personal information. The IP addresses are turned over to the Internet providers, which will match up the address with the right customer and send the notification.
The warning system is described as a graduated response. First the Internet provider will let the customer know that their Internet connection is being used do download content illegally. The note will include information to steer them away from their life of crime, including tips on how they can download content legally.

There will also be tips on securing Internet connections, just in case you were unaware that your neighbor was downloading season three of "Dexter" using your unprotected wireless network.
Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/18/tech/web/copyright-alert-system/index.html?iref=allsearch)

calikid
10-22-2012, 04:06 PM
Looks good on paper. Let's hear what the early adopters have to say in the next few weeks.

Microsoft Surface tablet goes on sale for $499
By Lance Ulanoff

The Microsoft Surface tablet picture has abruptly come into focus. Tuesday morning this Redmond giant filled in the blanks on the new tablet's pricing, availability and specs.

Starting today at 9 a.m. PT, consumers can preorder Microsoft's upstart 10.6-inch tablet at Surface.com, with prices starting at $499 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model. Both tablets are Wi-Fi only.

The Windows RT (Microsoft's ARM-friendly version of Windows 8, which ships Oct. 26) tablet, which offers a built-in kickstand, does not ship with the 3mm thin Touch Cover keypad. That'll run you $119. The Touch Cover, which features real keys, costs $129. You can save $20 if you buy the $599 Surface/Touch Cover bundle (the $699 edition comes with the Touch Cover).

We also now know a lot more about what's inside Surface's Titanium shell and Vapor Magnesium (VaporMG) skeleton.


Along with a Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU (which may be running at 1.5 GHz), Microsoft has stuffed an impressive 2 GB of RAM inside the Surface. It also features an 802.11N Mimo Wi-Fi radio, Bluetooth 4.0, an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, dual microphones, stereo speakers, an HD-out port, a full-sized USB 2.0 port and a micro SD-slot. There are two 720p cameras (no 1080p); one on the front and one on the back.

Like many of the mid-sized tablets entering the market today, the Surface is a Wi-Fi-only device... Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/16/tech/gaming-gadgets/surface-tablet-mashable/index.html)

calikid
10-23-2012, 03:47 PM
Now the U.N. is jumping on the bandwagon.
Fewer rights, bigger budgets.
The Terrorist made us do it!
Where does it end?

U.N. calls for 'anti-terror' Internet surveillance

United Nations report calls for Internet surveillance, saying lack of "internationally agreed framework for retention of data" is a problem, as are open Wi-Fi networks in airports, cafes, and libraries.
by Declan McCullagh

The United Nations is calling for more surveillance of Internet users, saying it would help to investigate and prosecute terrorists.

A 148-page report (PDF) released today titled "The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes" warns that terrorists are using social networks and other sharing sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Dropbox, to spread "propaganda."

"Potential terrorists use advanced communications technology often involving the Internet to reach a worldwide audience with relative anonymity and at a low cost," said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report, released at a conference in Vienna convened by UNODC, concludes that "one of the major problems confronting all law enforcement agencies is the lack of an internationally agreed framework for retention of data held by ISPs." Europe, but not the U.S. or most other nations, has enacted a mandatory data-retention law.

That echoes the U.S. Department of Justice's lobbying efforts aimed at convincing Congress to require Internet service providers to keep track of their customers -- in case police want to review those logs in the future. Privacy groups mounted a campaign earlier this year against the legislation, which has already been approved by a House committee.

The report, however, indicates it would be desirable for certain Web sites -- such as instant-messaging services and VoIP providers like Skype -- to keep records of "communication over the Internet such as chat room postings." That goes beyond what the proposed U.S. legislation, which targets only broadband and wireless providers, would cover.

Other excerpts from the UN report address:

Open Wi-Fi networks: "Requiring registration for the use of Wi-Fi networks or cybercafes could provide an important data source for criminal investigations... There is some doubt about the utility of targeting such measures at Internet cafes only when other forms of public Internet access (e.g. airports, libraries and public Wi-Fi hotspots) offer criminals (including terrorists) the same access opportunities and are unregulated."

Cell phone tracking: "Location data is also important when used by law enforcement to exclude suspects from crime scenes and to verify alibis."

Terror video games: "Video footage of violent acts of terrorism or video games developed by terrorist organizations that simulate acts of terrorism and encourage the user to engage in role-play, by acting the part of a virtual terrorist."

Paying companies for surveillance: "It is therefore ....

Story Continues
(http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57537559-38/u.n-calls-for-anti-terror-internet-surveillance/)

CasperParks
10-23-2012, 07:29 PM
Now the U.N. is jumping on the bandwagon.
Fewer rights, bigger budgets.
The Terrorist made us do it!
Where does it end?

U.N. calls for 'anti-terror' Internet surveillance

United Nations report calls for Internet surveillance, saying lack of "internationally agreed framework for retention of data" is a problem, as are open Wi-Fi networks in airports, cafes, and libraries.
by Declan McCullagh

The United Nations is calling for more surveillance of Internet users, saying it would help to investigate and prosecute terrorists.

A 148-page report (PDF) released today titled "The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes" warns that terrorists are using social networks and other sharing sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Dropbox, to spread "propaganda."

"Potential terrorists use advanced communications technology often involving the Internet to reach a worldwide audience with relative anonymity and at a low cost," said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report, released at a conference in Vienna convened by UNODC, concludes that "one of the major problems confronting all law enforcement agencies is the lack of an internationally agreed framework for retention of data held by ISPs." Europe, but not the U.S. or most other nations, has enacted a mandatory data-retention law.

That echoes the U.S. Department of Justice's lobbying efforts aimed at convincing Congress to require Internet service providers to keep track of their customers -- in case police want to review those logs in the future. Privacy groups mounted a campaign earlier this year against the legislation, which has already been approved by a House committee.

The report, however, indicates it would be desirable for certain Web sites -- such as instant-messaging services and VoIP providers like Skype -- to keep records of "communication over the Internet such as chat room postings." That goes beyond what the proposed U.S. legislation, which targets only broadband and wireless providers, would cover.

Other excerpts from the UN report address:

Open Wi-Fi networks: "Requiring registration for the use of Wi-Fi networks or cybercafes could provide an important data source for criminal investigations... There is some doubt about the utility of targeting such measures at Internet cafes only when other forms of public Internet access (e.g. airports, libraries and public Wi-Fi hotspots) offer criminals (including terrorists) the same access opportunities and are unregulated."

Cell phone tracking: "Location data is also important when used by law enforcement to exclude suspects from crime scenes and to verify alibis."

Terror video games: "Video footage of violent acts of terrorism or video games developed by terrorist organizations that simulate acts of terrorism and encourage the user to engage in role-play, by acting the part of a virtual terrorist."

Paying companies for surveillance: "It is therefore ....

Story Continues
(http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57537559-38/u.n-calls-for-anti-terror-internet-surveillance/)

Monitoring of our personal lives is a step toward a "hive-mind". This is bad-news for those here on Earth.

calikid
10-25-2012, 01:52 AM
Do YOU make the list?

The 25 most popular passwords of 2012
By Chris Morris

You can't go anywhere online without a password these days. You certainly can't play many games without one.

Want to access Xbox Live through your PC? You'll need a password. Logging onto the PlayStation Store? Cough it up. Playing any online games? You know what to do.

The problem, though, is that most of us just aren't very password-creative. Hackers delight in posting usernames and passwords online when they raid a database. To prove the point -- and to help us all make better password decisions -- SplashData compiles an annual list of the most common (and therefore, the worst) passwords from those listings.

The top passwords this year are the same three from a year ago - "password," "123456," and "12345678." This year, though, there are some new additions, including "welcome, " "jesus," "ninja," and "mustang."

Our favorite newcomer to the list, though, is "password1," a particularly weak attempt at pleasing providers who require a number in your password somewhere.

"At this time of year, people enjoy focusing on scary costumes, movies and decorations, but those who have been through it can tell you how terrifying it is to have your identity stolen because of a hacked password," said Morgan Slain, SplashData CEO, in a statement.

"We're hoping that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites."

Gamers in particular need to be vigilant in keeping their passwords strong and safe. Hackers have targeted a number of game companies in recent years, including Blizzard, Bethesda, and, most famously, Sony. Earlier this month, PlaySpan, who handles microtransactions for hundreds of online games, was breached.

If you've got any of these phrases as your password on any system — be it a gaming network, email client, or especially an online banking account -- change it. Change it fast. You're leaving yourself open for hacking that could result in the loss of everything, from hard-won Diablo III items to Microsoft Points you spent real-world money acquiring.

Here's the full list, along with how the popularity of the phrase has increased or decreased in the past year:

1. password (Unchanged)
2, 123456 (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
4. abc123 (Up 1)
5. qwerty (Down 1)
6. monkey (Unchanged)
7. letmein (Up 1)
8. dragon (Up 2)
9. 111111 (Up 3)
10. baseball (Up 1)
11. iloveyou (Up 2)
12. trustno1 (Down 3)
13. 1234567 (Down 6)
14. sunshine (Up 1)
15. master (Down 1)
16. 123123 (Up 4)
17. welcome (New)
18. shadow (Up 1)
19. ashley (Down 3)
20. football (Up 5)
21. jesus (New)
22. michael (Up 2)
23. ninja (New)
24. mustang (New)
25. password1 (New)

Keep creating the same old passwords? Here's a few tips: Story continues (http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/25-most-popular-passwords-2012-164015152.html)

calikid
10-25-2012, 02:39 PM
Early reviews of Surface say wait for the "Pro" version.
Microsoft Surface: Sleek Tablet, but Clumsy Software
By DAVID POGUE New York Times

How would you like to move into a stunning mansion on a bluff overlooking the sea — in Somalia? Or would you like the chance to own a new Ferrari — that has to be refueled every three miles? Would you take a job that pays $1 million a year — cutting football fields with toenail clippers?

That’s the sort of choice Microsoft is asking you to make with the spectacularly designed, wildly controversial Surface tablet.

Now, for the very first tablet it has ever manufactured (in fact, its very first computer), Microsoft could have just made another iPad ripoff. But it aimed much higher. It wanted to build a tablet that’s just as good at creating work as it is at organizing it.

On the hardware front, Microsoft has succeeded brilliantly. Read the specs and try not to drool on your keyboard.

The Surface shares some measurements with the full-size iPad (1.5 pounds, 0.4 inches thick). But at 10.8 by 6.7 inches, it’s a wider, thinner rectangle, a better fit for movie playback. It has stereo speakers instead of mono. Both front and back video cameras are 720p high definition.

It has ports and jacks that iPad owners can only dream about: a memory-card slot to expand the storage, a video output jack and a USB 2.0 jack. You can connect almost any USB device: keyboard, mouse, flash drive, speakers, hard drive and so on.

Each Surface model has double the storage of the same-price iPad. For example, the $500 Surface offers 32 gigabytes; the 64-gig Surface is $600.

There are some disappointments on the spec sheet. The battery life is advertised as eight to 10 hours, less than the iPad. There’s no cellular version; it’s Wi-Fi only. The screen is very sharp (1,366 by 768 pixels), but it doesn’t approach the iPad’s Retina screen clarity (2,048 by 1,536 pixels).

And you can charge the Surface only from its wall adapter — not from a computer’s USB jack. Microsoft’s reasoning is that you won’t have a computer to charge from, since your days of carrying both a tablet and a laptop are over. Besides, a wall outlet recharges far faster than USB can.

The front is all touch screen. The edges of the black magnesium body are angled and crisp, like a prop from a Batman movie.

Then there’s the kickstand. The lower half of the back is a hinged panel, held shut magnetically until you pop it out with a fingernail. It snaps to a 22-degree angle, ready to prop the tablet sturdily upright.

A lesser kickstand would add weight, bulk or ugliness. But this one is razor-thin and disappears completely when you’re not using it.

You do use it, though — especially when you flip open the optional keyboard.

Yes, keyboard. You know Apple’s magnetically hinged iPad cover? Microsoft’s Touch Cover is the same idea — same magnet hinge — except that on the inside, there are key shapes, and even a trackpad, formed from slightly raised, fuzzy material. Flip the cover open, flip out the kickstand and boom: you have what amounts to a 1.5-pound PC that sets up anywhere.

This is nothing like those Bluetooth keyboard cases for the iPad. First, the Touch Cover is much, much thinner, 0.13 inches, cardboard thin. Second, it’s not Bluetooth; there’s no setup and no battery hit. The magnet clicks, and keyboard is ready for typing. Third, when you want just a tablet, the keyboard flips around against the back. The Surface automatically disables its keys and displays the on-screen keyboard when it’s time to type.

You can buy this cover, in a choice of colors, with the Surface for $100, or later for $120.

It’s an incredibly slick idea, but the keys don’t move. You’re pounding a flat surface. If you type too fast, the keyboard skips letters. (“If you type 80 words a minute on a keyboard and 20-30 on glass, you should be in the 50s on the Touch Cover,” says a Microsoft representative.)

Fortunately, Microsoft also offers the Type Cover ($130), with real keys that really travel. At 0.24 inches thick, it’s not as unnoticeable as the Touch Cover, but Microsoft says it’s the thinnest moving-keys keyboard on earth, and it types nicely.

So that’s the amazing, amazing hardware. Now the heartbreak: software.

This computer runs Windows RT, a variation of Windows 8, which Microsoft hopes will run on all PCs from now on. RT is wildly different from the old Windows. You’ll be thrilled or appalled, depending on your fondness for change.

In this Windows, the Start screen is a patchwork of colorful, interactive tiles. You tap one to open an app, swipe down on one to “right click” it, swipe across to reveal more pages of them. Each tile is also a tiny dashboard, showing your next appointment, latest Facebook post, today’s weather and so on. It’s fast, fluid and fun to use.

Swiping in from the edges of the screen summons useful hidden panels. Swipe in from the top or bottom to reveal your app’s menus; from the left to switch apps; from the right for important controls like Share and Settings.

Unfortunately, Windows RT is not the full Windows. The Surface comes with preview 2013 versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint — workable, but sometimes sluggish.

Otherwise, though, Windows RT can’t run any of the four million regular Windows programs. Or the 275,000 iPad apps. Or the 17 Android tablet apps. (That’s a joke! There are actually 19 Android tablet apps.)

Instead, it requires all new apps. They’re available exclusively from the online Windows App Store, and there aren’t many to choose from; for example, there’s no Facebook, Spotify, Angry Birds, Instagram, Draw Something or New York Times app. The total in the United States is about 3,500 apps so far; many are bare-bones or junky.

In some ways, the far more intriguing prospect is the Surface Pro tablet, which Microsoft says will be available in 90 days. It has a real Intel chip inside, and can run real Windows programs. That’s right: Photoshop, iTunes, Quicken and classic PC games on your tablet.

Story Continues (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/technology/personaltech/microsoft-unveils-the-surface-its-first-tablet-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

calikid
10-29-2012, 01:27 PM
And the poor starving students, trying to better themselves, will be the first to suffer.
How a Supreme Court ruling may stop you from reselling just about anything
Wiley v. Kirtsaeng may be the IP case of the decade—affecting all from eBay to libraries.
by Joe Mullin

On Monday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that pits a major textbook publisher against Supap Kirtsaeng, a student-entrepreneur who built a small business importing and selling textbooks.

Like many Supreme Court cases, though, there's more than meets the eye. It's not merely a question of whether the Thai-born Kirtsaeng will have to cough up his profits as a copyright infringer; the case is a long-awaited rematch between content companies seeking to knock out the "first sale" doctrine on goods made abroad (not to mention their many opponents). That makes Wiley v. Kirtsaeng the highest-stakes intellectual property case of the year, if not the decade. It's not an exaggeration to say the outcome could affect the very notion of property ownership in the United States. Since most consumer electronics are manufactured outside the US and include copyrighted software in it, a loss for Kirtsaeng would mean copyright owners could tax, or even shut down, resales of everything from books to DVDs to cellphones.

"First sale" is the rule that allows owners to resell, lend out, or give away copyrighted goods without interference. Along with fair use, it's the most important limitation on copyright. So Kirtsaeng's cause has drawn a wide array of allies to his side. These include the biggest online marketplaces like eBay, brick-and-mortar music and game retailers, and Goodwill—all concerned they may lose their right to freely sell used goods. Even libraries are concerned their right to lend out books bought abroad could be inhibited.
John Wiley and Sons, the textbook publisher suing Kirtsaeng, has its share of backers as well, including the movie and music industries, software companies, and other book publishers. Those companies argue differential pricing schemes are vital to their success, and should be enforced by US courts. Nearly 30 amicus briefs have been filed in all.

Supporters of Kirtsaeng are mobilized, following an alarming—but not precedential—loss in an earlier case, Omega v. Costco. On a call with reporters this week, librarians and lawyers for pro-Kirtsaeng companies painted a stark picture of what might happen should he lose the case. If the appellate court ruling against Kirtsaeng is allowed to stand, they suggest copyright owners could start to chip away at the basic idea of "you bought it, you own it."

"This case is an attempt by some brands and manufacturers to manipulate copyright law, to control the distribution and pricing of legitimate, authentic goods," said eBay's top policy lawyer, Hillary Brill. "When an American purchases an authentic item, he shouldn't have to ask permission from the manufacturer to do with it what he wants."

Without "first sale" doctrine in place, content companies would be allowed to control use of their goods forever. They could withhold permission for resale and possibly even library lending—or they could allow it, but only for an extra fee. Story Continues (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/a-supreme-court-clash-could-change-what-ownership-means/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Te chnica+-+All+content%29)

calikid
10-30-2012, 01:00 PM
Like OMG, you mean the Fire Department isn't sitting around glued to their smartphones?

FDNY to NYC: Please don't tweet for help

In a sign that many people now consider the service indispensable in any major event, New York's fire department decides it has to remind people with Sandy emergencies to stick to 911.
by Daniel Terdiman

With New York City inundated by Hurricane Sandy-driven storm surge, heavy winds, and emergencies throughout town, the FDNY is pleading with people not to use Twitter to call for help.


"PLEASE NOTE: *Do not* tweet emergency calls. Please call 911. If it is not an emergency, please call 311," the FDNY tweeted at 9:32 p.m. ET as the massive storm roared through the city.

It's not that the fire department categorically won't respond to calls for assistance on Twitter, however. It just doesn't want New Yorkers thinking they can depend on the microblogging service for help from the FDNY. "Was helping when needed via Twitter," the FDNY tweeted to CNET this evening. "Just didn't want it to be seen as an alternative to 911/311, which is always best."

But that the department felt the need to make a public declaration at or near the peak of the crisis not to tweet for help is testament to how important many people now consider Twitter during natural disasters and a wide range of other local, national, or global events. From presidential debates to political uprisings to the Olympic Games, Twitter has become indispensable as a tool for global discussion, coordination, message dissemination, and more. As Twitter user Richard Chen put it, "In times like this, it's the TV that's the 'Second Screen.'"
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57542300-93/fdny-to-nyc-please-dont-tweet-for-help/)

calikid
11-01-2012, 12:44 PM
Free is a good price. Special offer on VPN software over at Download.com today.
Free one year subscription.
Offer expires at 8pm PT (cali time), Thursday Nov 1st.
Buy It Now price $0.00 gets you a download and a free activation code.

24 hour exclusive CyberGhost VPN Spooktacular giveaway!
Just in time for Halloween, we are giving away a limited number of copies of CyberGhost VPN Classic. Get it now before they are all gone.
by Catherine Hwang

Do you really need to log-in to every single free hotspot Wi-Fi zone? Ever since I learned that you are most vulnerable to getting hacked at Wi-Fi hotspots, I rarely log-in to free Wi-Fi hotspots unless it's an absolute must. One way to protect yourself is to make yourself invisible with CyberGhost VPN! So, just in time for Halloween, we bring you a 24 hour spooktacular giveaway of CyberGhost VPN (69.99 USD value) to give you that invisible power and get you protected from cyber-thieves.

Rated 4.5 stars by CNET, CyberGhost VPN hides your IP address and allows you to replace it by opting for one of their 101 servers located in different parts of Europe and the United States. It also encrypts your data, which guarantees that you are not only anonymous, but also have your personal information guarded safely. This gives you access to blocked content from all around the world and lets you use your credit card without worrying about your information getting comprised. At the end of the day, it helps you keep your private affairs private.
Story Continues (http://download.cnet.com/8301-32471_4-57543151-10391713/24-hour-exclusive-cyberghost-vpn-spooktacular-giveaway/)

calikid
11-02-2012, 12:42 PM
Nice to see some judicial oversight that lands on the side of privacy.
How much easier would law enforcement be without those pesky civil rights getting in the way?
If it wasn't so sad, it would almost be funny that the Feds want to keep policy and procedure secret on how they want to violate any secrets the rest of us may have.

Judge prods FBI over future Internet surveillance plans

Federal judge tells FBI to do more to comply with open government laws when disclosing what backdoors it wants Internet companies to create for government surveillance.

by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge has rejected the FBI's attempts to withhold information about its efforts to require Internet companies to build in backdoors for government surveillance.

CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled on Tuesday that the government did not adequately respond to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Seeborg, in San Francisco, ordered (PDF) a "further review of the materials previously withheld" in the lawsuit, which seeks details about what the FBI has dubbed "Going Dark" -- the bureau's ongoing effort to force companies including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google to alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

"We must ensure that our ability to obtain communications pursuant to court order is not eroded," FBI Director Robert Mueller told a U.S. Senate committee in September. Currently, Mueller said, many companies "are not required to build or maintain intercept capabilities."

The FBI says lawful investigations are thwarted because Internet companies aren't required to build in back doors in advance, or because technology doesn't permit it. In May, CNET reported that the bureau has quietly asked Web companies not to oppose a law that would levy new wiretap requirements on social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail. During an appearance two weeks later at a Senate hearing, Mueller confirmed that the bureau is pushing for "some form of legislation."

Judge Seeborg's ruling this week also ordered the FBI to make it more obvious which Going Dark-related documents were being withheld from public view, something the EFF said has been unreasonable and confusing. He gave both sides 15 days to "meet and confer to negotiate a timetable for the FBI to complete" its revisions.

Seeborg did not, however, make a final ruling about what must be turned over. The Justice Department says it has identified 2,662 pages that might be relevant and has turned over 707 pages. For its part, the EFF argues that they've been heavily redacted -- or had pages completely removed -- in violation of open-government laws.

David Hardy, section chief for the FBI's record management division, had told the court that internal documents about a congressional briefing should not be released in full because:



Publicity (adverse or otherwise) regarding any internal FBI development projects (e.g. National Electronic Surveillance Strategy), and legislative strategy to make amendments to outdated laws, that these congressional staffers, and DOJ representatives, may be requested to provide input on, may seriously prejudice their effectiveness in helping on other developmental projects, and legislative strategies.... These employees may have to give input on the development of strategy plans, like developing ways to enhance ELSUR [electronic surveillance] capabilities through legislative amendments.... The publicity associated with the release of these congressional staffers involved with an FBI developmental project could trigger hostility toward a particular employee....


An FBI representative declined to comment to CNET, citing the ongoing litigation. Jennifer Lynch, an EFF staff attorney, said: "It's nice to have a court say the government can't do that." Lynch said the ruling shows that the government has "to make an effort" to comply with the entirety of FOIA.

The EFF in 2009 requested "all records" about Going Dark. Its second FOIA request, in 2010, asked for examples of surveillance being thwarted on social networks and Skype, as well as documents relating to congressional briefings and meetings with industry representatives.

The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57544139-38/judge-prods-fbi-over-future-internet-surveillance-plans/)

Dragonfire
11-04-2012, 02:09 PM
And the poor starving students, trying to better themselves, will be the first to suffer.
How a Supreme Court ruling may stop you from reselling just about anything
Wiley v. Kirtsaeng may be the IP case of the decade—affecting all from eBay to libraries.
by Joe Mullin

On Monday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that pits a major textbook publisher against Supap Kirtsaeng, a student-entrepreneur who built a small business importing and selling textbooks.

Like many Supreme Court cases, though, there's more than meets the eye. It's not merely a question of whether the Thai-born Kirtsaeng will have to cough up his profits as a copyright infringer; the case is a long-awaited rematch between content companies seeking to knock out the "first sale" doctrine on goods made abroad (not to mention their many opponents). That makes Wiley v. Kirtsaeng the highest-stakes intellectual property case of the year, if not the decade. It's not an exaggeration to say the outcome could affect the very notion of property ownership in the United States. Since most consumer electronics are manufactured outside the US and include copyrighted software in it, a loss for Kirtsaeng would mean copyright owners could tax, or even shut down, resales of everything from books to DVDs to cellphones.

"First sale" is the rule that allows owners to resell, lend out, or give away copyrighted goods without interference. Along with fair use, it's the most important limitation on copyright. So Kirtsaeng's cause has drawn a wide array of allies to his side. These include the biggest online marketplaces like eBay, brick-and-mortar music and game retailers, and Goodwill—all concerned they may lose their right to freely sell used goods. Even libraries are concerned their right to lend out books bought abroad could be inhibited.
John Wiley and Sons, the textbook publisher suing Kirtsaeng, has its share of backers as well, including the movie and music industries, software companies, and other book publishers. Those companies argue differential pricing schemes are vital to their success, and should be enforced by US courts. Nearly 30 amicus briefs have been filed in all.

Supporters of Kirtsaeng are mobilized, following an alarming—but not precedential—loss in an earlier case, Omega v. Costco. On a call with reporters this week, librarians and lawyers for pro-Kirtsaeng companies painted a stark picture of what might happen should he lose the case. If the appellate court ruling against Kirtsaeng is allowed to stand, they suggest copyright owners could start to chip away at the basic idea of "you bought it, you own it."

"This case is an attempt by some brands and manufacturers to manipulate copyright law, to control the distribution and pricing of legitimate, authentic goods," said eBay's top policy lawyer, Hillary Brill. "When an American purchases an authentic item, he shouldn't have to ask permission from the manufacturer to do with it what he wants."

Without "first sale" doctrine in place, content companies would be allowed to control use of their goods forever. They could withhold permission for resale and possibly even library lending—or they could allow it, but only for an extra fee. Story Continues (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/a-supreme-court-clash-could-change-what-ownership-means/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Te chnica+-+All+content%29)

Does this mean Walmart will have to stop selling their imports? .... :yikes:

calikid
11-05-2012, 02:09 PM
Does this mean Walmart will have to stop selling their imports? .... :yikes:

I don't know about Walmart, but I did notice the legal preceident they cited was a loss by Costco, a LARGE membership discount retailer here on the US West Coast....

calikid
11-05-2012, 02:12 PM
Gads I hate being a Beta tester for big companies. Why don't these guy fix the bugs BEFORE publishing.

Facebook password-bypass flaw fixed

The social network corrects a flaw over the weekend that could potentially have put over a million accounts at risk of being accessed by unauthorized users.
by Zack Whittaker


Facebook this weekend disabled a loophole that might have allowed some accounts to be accessed without a password.

The vulnerability, which was posted to Hacker News on Friday, could potentially have allowed an unauthorized user to access another person's Facebook account.

The flaw centered on e-mails sent out by the social network which contained links that, once clicked, would log a user straight into a Facebook account without the need for any secondary authentication, such as entering a password. The e-mails could be discovered through a simple Google search query, with 1.3 million accounts potentially open to the flaw, according to Hacker News.

As well as bringing up the links that could expose Facebook accounts to unauthorized logins, the search query also showed the e-mail addresses associated with accounts.


The search query that found the links -- which were only temporary and set to expire once the intended user clicked on them -- has since been disabled by Google and no longer displays any results.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57544933-93/facebook-password-bypass-flaw-fixed/)

calikid
11-06-2012, 02:10 PM
I'll let the candidates speak for themselves.

Tech Voters' Guide 2012: Romney vs. Obama on the issues

You may know the candidates' views on taxes and foreign policy. But what they have to say about the Stop Online Piracy Act, Wikileaks, and other tech topics might surprise you.
by Declan McCullagh

Technology topics can mark a rare bipartisan area of political agreement: Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama say they would make cybersecurity a priority, and both like to talk up government funding of basic research.

If you look a bit more closely, however, differences emerge. They're perhaps most marked over federal regulation, where the two major parties have long-standing disagreements, but also exist on topics like Wikileaks, copyright legislation, and whether to levy a new tax on broadband providers.

Keep reading for CNET's 2012 Tech Voters' Guide, in which we highlight where the four candidates -- we've also included Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party's nominee, and Jill Stein, the Green Party's nominee -- stand on some of the technology topics that you, our readers, have told us matter to you the most.

Stop Online Piracy Act

Silicon Valley firms and their users loathe the SOPA and Protect IP bills approximately as much as Hollywood adores them. An unprecedented public outcry in January involved more than 10 million Internet users and the home pages of Wikipedia, Google, and Craigslist going dark, which prompted the bills' Democratic and Republican sponsors to abruptly postpone their plans to move forward.

Romney is no fan of SOPA and Protect IP. During a January debate, he warned that the bills are "far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening [to] the freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet."

Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, went even further and blacked out his home page. So did Stein, the Green Party nominee. (SOPA and Protect IP target so-called rogue Web sites by allowing an order to be served on search engines and Internet service providers, making the suspected piractical site effectively vanish, which raises First Amendment concerns.)

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said he would vote against SOPA if it headed to the House floor. Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, has been a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry as a senator and once sent a letter (PDF) asking the Justice Department to prosecute individual "peer-to-peer" users who infringe copyrights.

Obama's problem -- and this may be one reason why Silicon Valley's ardor for the president has cooled since 2008 -- is that southern California is a more reliable source of Democratic Party funding than northern California.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer are Obama's top "bundlers," raising more than $4 million for his 2012 campaign, and some film and music moguls reportedly threatened to cut off funds if Obama distanced himself from the Hollywood-backed bills. Approximately three-fourths of the supporters of Protect IP were Democrats.

Instead of criticizing the bills and opposing them, as his rivals had, Obama tried to finesse his position in a Google+ hangout in January, instead saying that everyone should "come together and work with us" to enact legislation.

"Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Hollywood's top lobbyist, former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, said on Fox News a few days after the White House raised questions about the effects of SOPA and Protect IP.

By April, the Obama administration appeared to have taken Dodd's warning to heart. A White House report echoed Hollywood's talking points by calling for new SOPA-like legislation, saying that "we believe that new legislative and non-legislative tools are needed to address offshore infringement."

Net neutrality

It's not exactly a hot-button topic at the moment -- especially because Verizon's lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission's rules is underway and unresolved -- but Romney has said he opposes Net neutrality regulations because they go too far.

In a response sent to a group called ScienceDebate, Romney said the FCC's regulation is a "'solution' in search of a problem." He added: "The government has now interjected itself in how networks will be constructed and managed, picked winners and losers in the marketplace, and determined how consumers will receive access to tomorrow's new applications and services."

Obama's position is precisely the opposite. As a candidate in 2007, he pledged Net neutrality regulations if elected, he reiterated this for CNET's 2008 Technology Voters' Guide, picked a Net neutrality backer as FCC chief, and threatened to veto a Republican effort last year to overturn the FCC's rules, which were adopted by a 3-2 party line vote.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57545541-38/cnet-tech-voters-guide-2012-romney-vs-obama-on-the-issues/)

calikid
11-07-2012, 01:40 PM
New look for old reliable.

Google rolls out new search page look, moves navi bar

The Web giant rolls out its new search page layout, which turns the navigational tools horizontal.
by Donna Tam

Google is rolling out a new search page layout that moves its navigational tools from the upper left of the page to the top of the page, the company announced today in a blog post.

Those included in the rollout so far will see a more streamlined search page. Removing the tools from the side doesn't give the results more real estate though. Curiously, some of the results don't have any advertisements displayed with them, but that may be a glitch from the testing as Google assures CNET the advertising placements remain the same.

A recent search for "ponies" or "election" didn't bring up ads, while words like "camera" and "insurance" bring up Google's product listings and advertisements as usual.

Google said it's been focused on creating a "simpler, cleaner design" for its results page, starting with tablets last year before moving to smartphones a few weeks ago and now the desktop. The advanced search functions are now hidden away. They appear in a drop down menu when you click the "Search tools" button.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57545924-93/google-rolls-out-new-search-page-look-moves-navi-bar/)

calikid
11-08-2012, 01:49 PM
Guard your privacy, or lose it.

4 Simple Changes to Stop Online Tracking
In less than 10 minutes, you can drastically improve your privacy online and protect yourself against unwanted and invisible tracking.

Note that these privacy safeguards will also be blocking some ads. EFF is working with online advertisers to try to convince them to provide real privacy protections for users, but until they agree to meaningful standards about online tracking, these steps will be necessary for users to safeguard their browsing privacy. Aside from removing ads, these changes won't affect your browsing experience on the vast majority of websites. It's possible, however, that a tiny fraction of websites may behave differently or break, in which case the easiest solution is to temporarily use a "private browsing" mode without the settings enabled, or a fresh browser profile/user with default settings.

Step 1: Install Adblock Plus

Get Adblock Plus. After it is installed, be sure to change your filter preferences to add EasyPrivacy:

Step 2: Change Cookie Settings

Now you are going to set your cookies to expire when you exit your browser, and ......

Step 3: Turn Off Referers

This famously misspelled header typically sent by default with every HTTP request gives a lot of potentially personal information to websites. But you can turn it off.....

Step 4: Install HTTPS Everywhere

Install EFF's browser add-on HTTPS Everywhere. This maximizes your use of HTTPS to ensure that your private.....


For Details..... the Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/04/4-simple-changes-protect-your-privacy-online) on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

calikid
11-09-2012, 02:21 PM
Some helpful Cyber tips on making it through disasters.

Digital tips for the next Sandy-like emergency
By Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich

It's been more than a week since Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast, leaving a mess in its wake that we'll be cleaning for months to come.

In addition to consuming our worries and our watercooler chatter, the disaster has taken social media by, uh, superstorm, keeping us connected as we weathered the build-up, the tempest and its aftermath.

On October 29, all the top 10 most-mentioned phrases on Facebook in the United States were Sandy-related, including "stay safe," "power," "cold," and "my friends." On Twitter, storm-related terms were top trending topics, and on Instagram, users uploaded 10 pictures per second with the hashtag "Sandy."

In the spirit of post-disaster giving, we offer these tips (in addition to donations to the Red Cross and blood banks, obviously) for using the Web wisely before, during and after a catastrophe. Keep them handy for next time, because you've heard the scientists and all their global warming hullabaloo-ing.

(Or you can always take this tack. Shrug.)

BEFORE THE EMERGENCY

-- By all means, yuk it up.

If there's an OK time to laugh in the face of danger, it's before the disaster has hit, when people scuttling around town like frenzied chipmunks in search of batteries and bread could really use a bit of comic relief.

Artist Todd Hale's hilarious Olivia Newton John infographic, for example, brought lots of smiles in the days leading up to the storm.

-- Use it to crowdsource, and to be helpful yourself

If anything brings out chilly East Coasties' soft sides, it's a shared disaster. Tap into the goodness of locals' hearts by requesting help ("Anyone know of a grocery store in Fort Greene that still has TP/water/malt liquor beverages?!") and by offering newsflashes yourself (e.g., adding a tip to Foursquare noting that a bodega is positively bursting with flashlights and Tecates).

Keep the good karma rolling apres storm, of course — retweeting information about local blood drives, say, or pointing out which restaurants have reopened their doors.

DURING THE DISASTER

-- Let everyone know you're safe.

We live in New York City and experienced massive ego boosts when scores of "Are you safe? Dry? Alive?" texts rolled in during the storm. The thing is, had our power been out, we would have been pretty irritated by all the momentary drains on our smartphones' batteries.

Storms are the perfect time to value efficiency, and social networks are all about a small effort for a big reward: They give us unprecedented opportunity to broadcast information about ourselves to interested parties with just one update.

Whether you prefer to use Twitter, Facebook, a blog or something else, give the basics ("We're safe but without water or power, will keep you posted, and thanks for all the messages!") and then focus on the issues at hand. Like, oh, survival.

-- Stop joking when sh*t gets real

In New York City, things got scary quickly — we heard reports of looting downtown, of houses sucked away on Staten Island, of power failures in hospitals that necessitated mid-storm evacuation efforts. Litmus test: Are people dying? Yes? Then don't joke about it. You just look unclever and out of touch (cough cough Dane Cook cough).

-- Stay skeptical

Don't re-share every darn heart-stopping picture that makes it into your feed. Said picture is probably fake and will just scare the bejeebus out of your already twitchy followers.

-- Conserve your battery.
This ought to go without saying, but: If your updates run along the lines of, "OMG it's so dark! All of our candles are scented and now the place smells like the trash room of a perfume factory! I can't believe I can see Orion from Manhattan! It looks like a scene from 'The Walking Dead' outside my window! Hey which flashlight app do you guys like best?!" no one will pity you when your phone gives its last feeble beep.

Unplug. Play some cards. Make like this unintentionally hilarious Brooklyn-dweller and "live by candlelight, get in touch with (your) 19th-century self."

AFTER THE STORM

-- Mention it politely.

As things return to normal, Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/tech/social-media/emergency-netiquette/index.html)

calikid
11-12-2012, 02:40 PM
I must say, after 10 years with Sprint I switched to Cricket about a year ago, and never regretted the decision.

Prepaid or postpaid?: The fight for your cell phone dollars (Smartphones Unlocked)

No-contract carriers can slice your smartphone bill over the course of two years. But you may still opt for a pricier contract instead.
by Jessica Dolcourt
By definition, the no-contract carrier model is designed to save you money over the two-year contract agreement that reigns supreme here in the U.S.

The question is: How much do you really gain by going prepaid, and what do you lose from the subscriber experience? Without a doubt, no-contract carriers like MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless can dramatically cut your monthly cell phone bill, but there are trade-offs.

I'm not going to dive into every carrier's pricing structure and phone offerings, so for the sake of comparison, I'm going to break down the cost of ownership over a two year span for two carriers: Verizon, which has the most U.S. subscribers, and MetroPCS, the country's largest prepaid network.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 makes a good model device thanks to its ubiquity across seven carriers; the 16GB version has a $199.99 base price for most contract providers.

That's a cost that Verizon and others subsidize so that you can get your phone for less than the $500 that MetroPCS will charge. The trade-off for a "cheaper" phone is committing to two years of data fees no matter what, and getting slapped with a hundreds-dollar termination fee if you try to leave early.

In addition, Verizon and others add an activation fee for new lines of service. If you're a new cell phone customer, or switching from another carrier, chances are high that you'll be tacking a nominal fee onto the transaction, and that adds up to the phone's overall cost.





Verizon Wireless -- 2-year contract
Samsung Galaxy S3 cost $200
Activation fee (one-time) $35
Monthly access rate $40
Monthly rate (4GB data) $70
Access fee, 24 months $960
Data fee, 24 months $1,680
2-year total, excluding taxes $2,915


MetroPCS -- No contract carrier
Samsung Galaxy S3 cost $500
Activation fee $0
Monthly rate (Unlimited 4G LTE) $55
Data fee, 24 months $1,320
2-year total, excluding taxes $1,820


Assuming you use Verizon's new pooled Share Everything data plan, you'll have to pay a monthly access fee for any device, on top of the monthly bundle for unlimited talk, text, and a .....
Story Continues (http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-57547193-85/prepaid-or-postpaid-the-fight-for-your-cell-phone-dollars-smartphones-unlocked/)

calikid
11-13-2012, 02:03 PM
Hang on to your hats folks, looks like we're in for another rough ride.

Senate readies for fight over cybersecurity surveillance

Sen. Joe Lieberman says his cybersecurity bill is necessary to prevent terrorists from dumping "raw sewage into our lakes." But privacy groups call it a big step toward Big Brother.
by Declan McCullagh

Sen. Joseph Lieberman spent years fighting unsuccessfully for a so-called Internet kill switch granting the president vast power over private networks during a "national cyberemergency."

Now Lieberman, who did not seek reelection, is hoping a more modest version of his proposal will be approved before he leaves office. Majority Leader Harry Reid has inserted the cybersecurity bill into the Senate's post-election calendar, and a vote could happen as early as this week after debate on a proposal to open more public land for hunting and fishing.

That move has reignited a long-simmering dispute over privacy, regulation, and cybersecurity, with Republicans saying Lieberman's bill is overly regulatory, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calling it deeply "flawed." Civil liberties groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation oppose Lieberman's bill on privacy grounds, warning it gives "companies new rights to monitor our private communications and pass that data to the government."

"What we hope changes this time is that Sen. Reid will not block amendments like he did last time," a spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, told CNET yesterday. "A lot of people have good ideas for improving/changing the bill, but they were all blocked from offering their amendments for a vote last time--despite Sen. Reid's public pledge that the bill would be 'subject to as fair, thorough, and open a process as is conceivable.'"

During a vote in August that fell largely along party lines, Republicans blocked Lieberman's Cybersecurity Act of 2012 from moving forward. It received a vote of 52 to 46, but under Senate procedures, a 60-vote supermajority was required.

Neither Reid nor Lieberman responded to requests for comment from CNET yesterday. An aide to Sen. Tom Carper -- a Delaware Democrat who is co-sponsoring Lieberman's bill and is expected to take the lead on cybersecurity topics next year -- said Carper is ready to work with critics to address their concerns, but the Senate shouldn't put off addressing cybersecurity threats any longer.

One significant development since the failed vote over the summer: President Obama's threat to bypass the Congress by implementing part of Lieberman's bill through an executive order.

Many Democrats like that idea. In a letter to the White House in September, Delaware's Christopher Coons and Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal say it's time for an executive order "directing the promulgation of voluntary standards" by the Department of Homeland Security. A few weeks later, Lieberman recommended much the same thing.

This could ratchet up the pressure on Republicans to agree to Lieberman's approach. On the other hand, an executive order wouldn't get Democrats everything they want, so they have an incentive to try again in the Senate.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57548789-38/senate-readies-for-fight-over-cybersecurity-surveillance/)



Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Excerpts

"There is established a National Cybersecurity Council... The Council shall establish procedures under which each owner of critical cyber infrastructure shall report significant cyber incidents affecting critical cyber infrastructure... The term `critical cyber infrastructure' means critical infrastructure identified by the Council...

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law...[Homeland Security] may acquire, intercept, retain, use, and disclose communications and other system traffic that are transiting to or from or stored on agency information systems and deploy countermeasures with regard to the communications and system traffic...

"The Secretary may enter into contracts or other agreements, or otherwise request and obtain the assistance of, private entities that provide electronic communication or information security services to acquire, intercept, retain, use, and disclose communications and other system traffic or to deploy countermeasures..."

calikid
11-14-2012, 02:02 PM
Can you hear me now? PROTECT MY PASSWORD Skype!

Skype disables password resets due to e-mail security flaw

The site has removed its password reset page to deal with a security hole that lets someone take control of another person's account.
by Lance Whitney

Skype is investigating a security problem that allows someone to take over a user's account by resetting the account password.

The site confirmed today that it has taken down its password reset page as it probes the issue.



We have had reports of a new security vulnerability issue. As a precautionary step we have temporarily disabled password reset as we continue to investigate the issue further. We apologize for the inconvenience but user experience and safety is our first priority.


The problem was first documented on a Russian forum two months ago, according to blog site TG Daily. The people who uncovered the flaw reportedly told Skype about it, but the company apparently failed to address the matter until now.

The flaw itself isn't that difficult to exploit.

A person merely has to create a new Skype account using the same e-mail address as the intended victim. That person can then reset the password for all accounts associated with that e-mail address, thereby locking out the original account owner from Skype.

The Next Web tested the process on some of its own staff members (with their knowledge) and was successfully able to change their Skype passwords and lock them out of their accounts.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57549526-75/skype-disables-password-resets-due-to-e-mail-security-flaw/)

CasperParks
11-14-2012, 09:07 PM
Anyone with Google's chrome browser should check this out...

http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/

Works best using Google Chrome.

Here is a video of it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TU6RAjABX40#!

calikid
11-15-2012, 01:10 PM
A job board on Facebook? If they are not careful, Facebook management might actually find something useful for that honored time burner site!

Recruiters post 1.7 million jobs on new Facebook jobs board

The new app makes job recruiting on the social network more high profile, something that should worry LinkedIn.
by Donna Tam

Facebook today launched a job-board application, featuring 1.7 million listings from five different recruiting organizations.

The new application, a product of the Social Jobs Partnership that Facebook started last year with several public agencies, aggregates jobs that are already available through the separate organizations to give job seekers a central location to look for work.

This initial slew of jobs -- sorted by industry, location, and skills -- comes from BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Work4Labs, Jobvite, and Monster.com.

"Today's launch of the Social Jobs Application highlights what we've known all along -- that both recruiters and job seekers benefit when jobs are posted where candidates spend their time, and research overwhelmingly tells us that this is on Facebook," Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4Labs, said in a press release. "Undoubtedly, there will be an acceleration of the shift to social media as the primary channel to find a job with the extraordinary push of this consortium. We are fully committed to making the Social Jobs Application on Facebook the best possible resource for connecting candidates and companies."

Facebook is not making any money directly off this application, so this doesn't mean the company is getting into the jobs listing business just yet. Still, LinkedIn must be worried. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57549764-93/recruiters-post-1.7-million-jobs-on-new-facebook-jobs-board/)

calikid
11-16-2012, 01:07 PM
Wouldn't want to lose any paying customers, now would they?

Cable companies say they won't disconnect accused pirates

Verizon and Time Warner Cable say they won't pull the plug on customers as a result of piracy complaints from Hollywood movie studios and record labels as part of the "six strikes" program.
by Declan McCullagh
NEW YORK CITY -- Verizon and Time Warner Cable said today they won't pull the plug on customers accused of piracy through a forthcoming "six strikes" program.

Link Hoewing, Verizon's vice president, and Fernando Laguarda, Time Warner Cable's vice president, said at a forum organized by the Internet Society that after they repeatedly inform customers that that their activities appear to violate copyright law, the companies' obligation is fulfilled -- and no account termination will take place.

That could reduce some of the privacy and due process concerns about the Center for Copyright Information, a joint venture between Hollywood copyright holders and Internet service providers, which is about to begin operations. AT&T, Cablevision, and Comcast are also members.

But it doesn't mean that offenders will be off the hook. Copyright holders acknowledged that they retain their rights to, if they choose, sue the more serious offenders. That's what the record labels did in the case of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman slapped with a $220,000 penalty for copyright infringement.

Ben Sheffner, the Motion Picture Association of America's vice president of legal affairs, told CNET after the event that he doesn't see his organization following the same path. "We have no plans to sue anybody," he said. "We don't. Suing somebody is not part of the system and we have no plans to sue."

Leaked documents from AT&T made public last month say the network provider will begin to send out warning notices on November 28
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57550782-38/cable-companies-say-they-wont-disconnect-accused-pirates/)

CasperParks
11-16-2012, 05:13 PM
Wouldn't want to lose any paying customers, now would they?

Cable companies say they won't disconnect accused pirates

by Declan McCullagh
NEW YORK CITY -- Verizon and Time Warner Cable said today they won't pull the plug on customers accused of piracy through a forthcoming "six strikes" program.

Leaked documents from AT&T made public last month say the network provider will begin to send out warning notices on November 28
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57550782-38/cable-companies-say-they-wont-disconnect-accused-pirates/)

I am not as concerned with illegal downloads.

It is the monitoring of personal daily lives that is dangerous, it is like having a stalker.

calikid
11-19-2012, 01:29 PM
Privacy on the Internet... what's that? The CIA director can't even have a mistress without the FBI getting all up in his email. Some hard lessons on email.

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal
By Chris Soghoian

When the CIA director cannot hide his activities online, what hope is there for the rest of us? In the unfolding sex scandal that has led to the resignation of David Petraeus, the FBI’s electronic surveillance and tracking of Petraeus and his mistress Paula Broadwell is more than a side show—it's a key component of the story. More importantly, there are enough interesting tidbits (some of which change by the hour, as new details are leaked), to make this story an excellent lesson on the government’s surveillance powers—as well as a reminder of the need to reform those powers.

Metadata is king

Ms. Broadwell apparently attempted to shield her identity by using anonymous email accounts. However, it appears that her efforts were thwarted by sloppy operational security and the data retention practices of the companies to whom she entrusted her private data.

The New York Times reported that “ecause the sender’s account had been registered anonymously, investigators had to use forensic techniques—including a check of what other e-mail accounts had been accessed from the same computer address—to identify who was writing the e-mails.”

Webmail providers like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft retain login records (typically for more than a year) that reveal the particular IP addresses a consumer has logged in from. Although these records reveal sensitive information, including geo-location data associated with the target, US law currently permits law enforcement agencies to obtain these records with a mere subpoena—no judge required.

Although Ms. Broadwell took steps to disassociate herself from at least one particular email account, by logging into other email accounts from the same computer (and IP address), she created a data trail that agents were able to use to link the accounts.

The Wall Street Journal similarly revealed that “agents spent weeks piecing together who may have sent [the emails]. They used metadata footprints left by the emails to determine what locations they were sent from. They matched the places, including hotels, where Ms. Broadwell was during the times the emails were sent.” NBC added further details, revealing that “it took agents a while to figure out the source. They did that by finding out where the messages were sent from—which cities, which Wi-Fi locations in hotels. That gave them names, which they then checked against guest lists from other cities and hotels, looking for common names.”

Based on these reports, it seems that Ms. Broadwell did at least avoid the common mistake of sending sensitive emails from her residential Internet connection. However, she did not, it seems, take affirmative steps to shield her IP address (such as by using Tor or a privacy-preserving VPN service). Instead, she apparently logged in to her email accounts from public WiFi networks, such as those in hotels. Had she sent just one email, she might have been able to at least maintain plausible deniability. However, each new hotel (and associated IP login record) reduced the anonymity set of potential suspects. By the second or third hotel, it is likely that the list of intersecting names from the various guest lists contained just a single name: Ms. Broadwell’s.

While the details of this investigation that have leaked thus far provide us all a fascinating glimpse into the usually sensitive methods used by FBI agents, this should also serve as a warning, by demonstrating the extent to which the government can pierce the veil of communications anonymity without ever having to obtain a search warrant or other court order from a neutral judge.

The guest lists from hotels, IP login records, as well as the creative request to email providers for “information about other accounts that have logged in from this IP address” are all forms of data that the government can obtain with a subpoena. There is no independent review, no check against abuse, and further, the target of the subpoena will often never learn that the government obtained data (unless charges are filed, or, as in this particular case, government officials eagerly leak details of the investigation to the press). Unfortunately, our existing surveillance laws really only protect the “what” being communicated; the government’s powers to determine “who” communicated remain largely unchecked.

[B]Digital “dead drops” don’t protect you from government surveillance

For more than a decade, a persistent myth in Washington DC, fueled by several counterterrorism experts, has been that it is possible to hide a communications trail by sharing an email inbox, and instead saving emails in a “draft” folder. This technique has been used by Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Richard Reid (the shoe bomber), the 2004 Madrid train bombers, terrorists in Germany, as well as some domestic “eco-terrorists.” This technique has appeared in federal court documents as early as 2003, and was described in a law journal article written by a DOJ official in 2004. It is hardly a state secret.

Apparently, this method was also used by General Petraeus. According to the Associated Press, “[r]ather than transmitting emails to the other's inbox, they composed at least some messages and instead of transmitting them, left them in a draft folder or in an electronic ‘dropbox,’ the official said. Then the other person could log onto the same account and read the draft emails there. This avoids creating an email trail that is easier to trace.”

The problem is, like so many other digital security methods employed by terrorists, it doesn’t work. Emails saved in a draft folder are stored just like emails in any other folder in a cloud service, and further, the providers can be compelled, prospectively, to save copies of everything (so that deleting the messages after reading them won’t actually stop investigators from getting a copy).

Ironically enough, by storing emails in a draft folder, rather than an inbox, individuals may be making it even easier for the government to intercept their communications. This is because the Department of Justice has argued that emails in the “draft” or “sent mail” folder are not in “electronic storage” (as defined by the Stored Communications Act), and thus not deserving of warrant protection. Instead, the government has argued it should be able to get such messages with a mere subpoena.
Story Continues (http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-national-security/surveillance-and-security-lessons-petraeus-scandal)

calikid
11-20-2012, 01:48 PM
Can't help but think of the "Patriat Act", something many consider anything BUT patriotic. Here a bill starts out as eMail privacy protection legislation for the average citizen, and because the L.E. complains, it morphs into a carte blanche eMail invasion of privacy bill. Freedom to protect my affairs from prying eyes without some form of reasonable suspicion is all I ask. Legislators that knuckle under to pressure to deprive me of this freedom will be duly voted out of a job.

Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans' e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.


by Declan McCullagh
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.



Revised bill highlights

✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans' electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the public," including university networks.

✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant -- or subsequent court review -- if they claim "emergency" situations exist.

✭ Says providers "shall notify" law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they've been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to "10 business days." This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

It's an abrupt departure from Leahy's earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill "provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government obtain a search warrant."

Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to "reconsider acting" on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/)

CasperParks
11-20-2012, 02:37 PM
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/)

The further they tread along a trail of woes, the greater a divergence from other paths with fewer thistles and thorns to transverse.

calikid
11-21-2012, 12:46 PM
And I thought the computer on my son's desk was the worlds oldest.

World's oldest working computer gets fired up

Visitors can now check out the fully restored nearly 3-ton WITCH as it lights up The National Museum of Computing with its flashing bulbs and chattering printers.
by Dara Kerr

With the advent of smaller, thinner, and lighter devices, it now seems crazy to think of a computer as a room-sized mechanism meant mostly for government use. But that's exactly what a computer was 61 years ago.

Now, visitors can see what the first hardware designers were doing when they created what is currently the world's oldest working digital computer -- the Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computing from Harwell, or WITCH. The more than half-a-century old device has been restored and rebooted at its home in The National Museum of Computing in Buckinghamshire, England.

"In 1951 the Harwell Dekatron was one of perhaps a dozen computers in the world, and since then it has led a charmed life surviving intact while its contemporaries were recycled or destroyed," trustee of the museum Kevin Murrell said in a statement.

Work began three years ago on restoring WITCH, which was first used in 1951 for atomic research. The computer was run on telephone exchange relays and hundreds of Dekatron gas-filled tubes that could each hold a single digit in memory. Paper tape was used to both input data and store the output of the machine.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57552873-93/worlds-oldest-working-computer-gets-fired-up/)

calikid
11-22-2012, 12:38 PM
Safe web browsing for those online deals.

How to stay safe when holiday shopping online

Ready or not, holiday shopping season is upon us, and many of us will be buying gifts online. We've put together some tips to help get you safely through your shopping list.
by Seth Rosenblatt

It's that time of the year again, when savvy shoppers like yourself head to your favorite online retailers to avoid the ridiculous shenanigans and flesh-pressing of Black Friday. But just because you know enough to buy online doesn't mean that there aren't some good tips worth paying attention to. Here are a few worth repeating for habitual online shoppers.

Change your passwords now because chances are, you haven't in a long time. Change your e-mail account password, change your banking password, and change the passwords for online shopping accounts like at Amazon. A good tip for choosing new passwords is to use at least four random words separated by spaces, as demonstrated in this XKCD comic. Not all sites accept spaces (such as Microsoft accounts), but many do -- including Google and Amazon. It's a good idea to change them again after you've completed all your seasonal shopping, too.

Log out when you're done. Cookies can often keep you logged in to accounts even after you close the browsing tab, an obvious no-no. Get in the habit of clicking that "log out" button.

Use two browsers to minimize your exposure to vulnerabilities. I use one browser for mission critical transactions such as e-mail and banking, and another for casual browsing.

Browse smarter by looking for HTTPS in the URL bar and green security badges on your shopping sites. If you think you're looking at a legit site and it doesn't have either of those, I would check the URL twice to make sure you're not getting phished.

Pay with a credit card to minimize fraud risks. Story continues (http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57553373-285/how-to-stay-safe-when-holiday-shopping-online/)

calikid
11-23-2012, 03:11 PM
IMHO, this is a mistake. As a user of Firefox, AND Win7 64bit, I would encourage them to move forward into the 21st century. My PC has 12Gigs of RAM that Win7 32bit doesn't even know exists. To paraphrase JFK, don't do it because it is easy, do it because it is hard and has great benefits.

Mozilla quietly ceases Firefox 64-bit development

Mozilla's engineering manager has requested that developers stop work on Windows 64-bit builds of Firefox.
by Charlie Osborne
Mozilla engineering manager Benjamin Smedberg has asked developers to stop nightly builds for Firefox versions optimized to run on 64-bit versions of Windows.

A developer thread posted on the Google Groups mozilla.dev.planning discussion board, titled "Turning off win64 builds" by Smedberg proposed the move.

Claiming that 64-bit Firefox is a "constant source of misunderstanding and frustration," the engineer wrote that the builds often crash, many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions, and hangs are more common due to a lack of coding which causes plugins to function incorrectly. In addition, Smedberg argues that this causes users to feel "second class," and crash reports between 32-bit and 64-bit versions are difficult to distinguish between for the stability team.

Users can still run 32-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows.

Although originally willing to shelve the idea for a time if it proved controversial, Smedberg later, well, shelved that idea:



Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57553467-93/mozilla-quietly-ceases-firefox-64-bit-development/)

CasperParks
11-24-2012, 08:00 AM
Always reluction to download stuff from the internet, unless the normal updates.

Any thoughts on this company?

Suppose to be a free soft that helps with Anonymity online.

torproject.org (https://www.torproject.org/)

calikid
11-24-2012, 01:03 PM
Always reluction to download stuff from the internet, unless the normal updates.

Any thoughts on this company?

Suppose to be a free soft that helps with Anonymity online.

torproject.org (https://www.torproject.org/)



I will take a closer look.
But my initial reaction, in this post 9/11 anti-terrorism world we live in, would be to act carefully when selecting an affiliation.

calikid
11-24-2012, 02:49 PM
I will take a closer look.
But my initial reaction, in this post 9/11 anti-terrorism world we live in, would be to act carefully when selecting an affiliation.



My bad. Thought you were referring to helping the group, "Anon"...

Doc
11-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Always reluction to download stuff from the internet, unless the normal updates.

Any thoughts on this company?

Suppose to be a free soft that helps with Anonymity online.

torproject.org (https://www.torproject.org/)

Find some Security sites and forums and read some reviews before downloading anything. I'll help if you need it.

CasperParks
11-24-2012, 05:46 PM
Always reluction to download stuff from the internet, unless the normal updates.

torproject.org (https://www.torproject.org/)

Doc and Calikid,

I will avoid downloading it, not worth the risk.

Thanks for the input.

calikid
11-26-2012, 01:35 PM
What I want to know is, did this legislation get away from the Senator? Or is this an issue he is refusing to let go? If the latter, might be time for his constitutes to find new representation.
About-face on e-mail surveillance bill

Senator abandons controversial proposal
by Steven Musil

After public criticism of a proposal that would let government agencies warrantlessly access Americans' e-mail, a prominent senator says he will "not support" such an idea.

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power -- including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts -- than they possess under current law. The Vermont Democrat said on Twitter that he would "not support such an exception" for warrantless access, a few hours after a CNET article disclosed the existence of the measure.

Leahy's about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress -- with more than 2,300 messages sent so far -- titled: "Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!"

Leahy's proposal would have allowed over 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would have given the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57553693-92/about-face-on-e-mail-surveillance-bill/)

Garuda
11-26-2012, 01:43 PM
From what I understand, he's withdrawn the amendments he had suggested to the Bill. The Bill itself is still up for discussion (and vote).

calikid
11-26-2012, 07:47 PM
Forced to divluge password? Did this judge go to far? Making the plaintiff a victim for a second time.

Judge Orders Sex Plaintiffs to Hand Over Cellphones, Online Accounts
By Ben Weitzenkorn

A judge has ordered nearly two dozen women who are participants in a lawsuit alleging unlawful sexual harassment to hand over their cellphones, as well as login information for their email accounts, blogs and Facebook and other social-networking accounts.

The order was issued so that the defense may access photos, posts, emails, text messages and chat logs it deems relevant to the case.

The court order, issued by federal magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty in U.S. District Court in Denver on Nov. 7, cites as examples several items that were found on the Facebook profile of plaintiff Wendy Cabrera.

Cabrera was employed at an HoneyBaked Ham Company store in suburban Highlands Ranch, Colo., but was fired in 2010.

In September, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued HoneyBaked Ham, alleging that Cabrera was fired for complaining that manager James Jackman had propositioned female employees, fondled them and commented on their appearances.

According to the court order, between 20 and 22 women have since joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

The court order notes that Cabrera's Facebook account included statements indicating that she expected to see financial reward from the case; a photograph of Cabrera wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an obscenity she had claimed was offensive to her; writings on her post-employment situation and demeanor; and "self-described sexual aggressiveness."

"Should the outcome be different because it [the information] is on one's Facebook account [instead of stored elsewhere]?" the judge wrote in the order.

"There is a strong argument that storing such information on Facebook and making it accessible to others presents an even stronger case for production, at least as it concerns any privacy objection," he wrote.

"It was the claimants (or at least some of them) who, by their own volition, created relevant communications and shared them with others."

[Boss Demands Employee's Facebook Password]

The order requires that all plaintiffs joining in the EEOC lawsuit hand over "any cellphone used to send or receive text messages from January 1, 2009 to the present," as well as "all necessary information to access any social media websites" and "all necessary information to access any email account or web blog" used by the plaintiffs since Jan. 1, 2009.
story continues (http://news.yahoo.com/judge-orders-sex-plaintiffs-hand-over-cellphones-online-184056250.html)

calikid
11-28-2012, 03:45 PM
So AT&T values us as customers, but doesn't hesitate to hand off customer personal data when the government comes knocking. And the government is so grateful, they hand out immunity from civil procedings... Privacy.... what's that?

Supreme Court confirms telco immunity on spying charges

The court declined to hear an appeal of Hepting v. AT&T, a case that was brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2006 after it was revealed that then-president George Bush had given the NSA full access to the databases of AT&T and others in a nationwide surveillance sweep following the September 11 attacks.

"We're disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision, since it lets the telecommunications companies off the hook for betraying their customers' trust and violating the law by handing their communications and communications records to the NSA without a warrant," said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn. "But the fight to stop the illegal spying on the American people continues." Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/mention/supreme-court-confirms-telco-immunity-spying-charges)

CasperParks
11-28-2012, 06:45 PM
So AT&T values us as customers, but doesn't hesitate to hand off customer personal data when the government comes knocking. And the government is so grateful, they hand out immunity from civil procedings... Privacy.... what's that?

Supreme Court confirms telco immunity on spying charges

The court declined to hear an appeal of Hepting v. AT&T, a case that was brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2006 after it was revealed that then-president George Bush had given the NSA full access to the databases of AT&T and others in a nationwide surveillance sweep following the September 11 attacks.

"We're disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision, since it lets the telecommunications companies off the hook for betraying their customers' trust and violating the law by handing their communications and communications records to the NSA without a warrant," said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn. "But the fight to stop the illegal spying on the American people continues." Story Continues (https://www.eff.org/mention/supreme-court-confirms-telco-immunity-spying-charges)

Saw that one coming...

CasperParks
11-28-2012, 07:23 PM
I have not downloaded the ieSpell for Internet Explore to use in forms. Afraid it would mess with spell check for the word program. My spelling is terrible without spell check.

If spelling gets complicated, I write in word then copy and paste into forms.

Somewhat hearing impaired. I do not hear and pronounce certain letters, vowels and consonants making spelling difficult. I grew up borderline hearing impaired, just below the mark for hearing aids. I almost did not make into the Navy because of my hearing. Years later as an adult, the cost of hearing aids was beyond budgets. Four years ago, the VA provided me with hearing aids.

It took me a minute to figure out “vowels” for this post.

I ended-up putting “vouels” into Google Search because Word wasn’t getting it right. Google asked, "do you mean vowels".

Word did catch "terrable" to "terrible" not "vouels" to "vowels".

What is amazing, Google search has a better spell check than Microsoft Word.

calikid
11-29-2012, 03:40 AM
I have not downloaded the ieSpell for Internet Explore to use in forms. Afraid it would mess with spell check for the word program. My spelling is terrible without spell check.

If spelling gets complicated, I write in word then copy and paste into forms.

Somewhat hearing impaired. I do not hear and pronounce certain letters, vowels and consonants making spelling difficult. I grew up borderline hearing impaired, just below the mark for hearing aids. I almost did not make into the Navy because of my hearing. Years later as an adult, the cost of hearing aids was beyond budgets. Four years ago, the VA provided me with hearing aids.

It took me a minute to figure out “vowels” for this post.

I ended-up putting “vouels” into Google Search because Word wasn’t getting it right. Google asked, "do you mean vowels".

Word did catch "terrable" to "terrible" not "vouels" to "vowels".

What is amazing, Google search has a better spell check than Microsoft Word.

Reminds me of that Google joke by Amy Schumer:
"We need Google search in hospital deliver rooms. That way when a mother tries to name her baby Shaniqua, Google can say "Did you really mean Jennifer?"".

calikid
11-29-2012, 01:50 PM
Free 5gigs of online storage? That Google, always upping the ante in the competition for online eyeballs. May have to check this one out.

Gmail allows 10 GB file sharing with Google Drive
By Doug Gross
(CNN) -- Frustrated that you can't share files the size of your entire music collection via e-mail? Google wants to help.

Gmail users can now send files of up to 10 GB using Google Drive, the Web giant's cloud-storage service.

That's 400 times bigger than files that can be shared in a regular e-mail, according to a blog post by Google's Gmail team.

And because the files are stored in the cloud, all recipients will always have the latest version of the file -- in the case of a document that's being amended over time, for example.



"So whether it's photos from your recent camping trip, video footage from your brother's wedding, or a presentation to your boss, all your stuff is easy to find and easy to share with Drive and Gmail," the post reads.

Drive, and before that Google Docs, already allowed users to share large files. But the new feature is more streamlined, letting them do so without leaving Gmail.

Launched in April, Google Drive offers users 5 GB of free storage, with each additional 25 GB going for $2.49.

The move is part of an ongoing effort by Google to synchronize its various services, from Gmail to social network Google Plus to the Android mobile operating system. The ability to sync with Gmail offers Google a built-in edge over standalone cloud storage tools like Dropbox.

"Should services like Dropbox be concerned? Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/tech/web/gmail-google-drive/index.html)

Doc
11-29-2012, 04:06 PM
I don't trust online storage and really have no need for it, anyway. Also, I am trying to reduce my involvement with Google. I know they are all selling my information but Google is the only one that is probably selling it to the North Koreans. :bleh:

A99
11-29-2012, 05:49 PM
Casper,

Just a suggestion and I hope you try it out too. But go to Radio Shack and purchase an amplifier box. It's only somewhere around $25 dollars but, for me, it works like a charm. I too suffer from hearing loss to the extent that I can barely even hear my own voice when I talk unless I talk into that amplifier that's connected to an earpiece. And in one on one conversations, even in noisy enviroments, I can hear what someone is saying just as well as any normal hearing person when they talk directly into that amplifier. Hearing aids are for the birds. Even though they claim they have improved them to block out background noise, they in fact don't do that anywhere near effectively enough to justify their use. What good is it if the aid ends up turning up all of the noise in the room whereby drowning out the voice of the person you want to hear?
My hearing though is so bad, I was placed in a school for the deaf in first grade. But then we moved and I then was mainstreamed into a regular Catholic private elementary school because there were no schools for the deaf anywhere nearby. But it has not been easy because I have always had to rely on other peoples notes from classes throughout school, college and grad. school because I never could hear teachers or professor's lectures in my classes.
But anyway, I am thankful that at least I can hear as good as everybody else via amplification. The amplifier box works best for me and it's very cheap too! You should try it out!

------------------------
I'm just saying that if you have any difficulty in hearing people in certain environments, try out that amplifier box because it will correct that problem. Even if you only have a slight to low mod. loss... that amplifier might come in handy for you in certain situations.

calikid
11-30-2012, 02:25 PM
It's a litigious world we live in. Know how to CYA.

How to retweet without needing a lawyer
by Daniel Terdiman

Experts agree that retweeting another's defamatory or libelous post can open Twitter users up to legal liability. The odds are slim, but here's how to protect yourself against a lawsuit.

In the realm of communications, there are few things that one can do that can convey so much meaning, yet require so little effort. Add a simple "RT" to a tweet, or hit the little retweet button in any Twitter client, and you elevate 140 characters that might otherwise slip by unnoticed to another level, a level that, at the very least, you're saying is worth your followers' attention.

Retweeting is so easy that many people hardly think about what it means, and barely recognize that what they're doing, quite literally, is republishing someone else's thoughts.

Most of the time, that's a totally benign action, but what if the original tweet was an attack on someone? Or even worse, a malicious and dishonest accusation?

There's no doubt that someone who pens an original tweet can be sued if they libel or defame someone else, just as if they'd published in a newspaper or magazine. Witness the lawsuit against rocker Courtney Love for some ill-considered tweeting. And in England, thousands of people are facing recriminations for tweeting a BBC story that mistakenly linked a government official to sexual abuse of a child. But is there legal liability for retweeting something libelous or defamatory?

The answer is complicated.

According to Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, retweets are little different from any other form of communication. Translation: a libelous or defamatory retweet can absolutely expose its sender to legal liability. But as is the case with other media like newspapers or books, intent is everything.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57556346-93/how-to-retweet-without-needing-a-lawyer/)

Garuda
11-30-2012, 05:27 PM
From London to Sydney in less than 5 hours?

It is being hailed as the greatest breakthrough in air travel since the invention of the jet.

British experts unveiled an engine that promises to fly passengers from London to Sydney in under five hours at speeds of up to 4,000mph (about 6,400kmph).

Its creators believe the revolutionary design, which gained formal approval from the European Space Agency, could also be used to send satellites into space at a fraction of the current cost.

More at: http://www.iol.co.za/travel/travel-news/from-london-to-sydney-in-less-than-5-hours-1.1433834

CasperParks
12-01-2012, 01:50 AM
Casper,

Just a suggestion and I hope you try it out too. But go to Radio Shack and purchase an amplifier box. It's only somewhere around $25 dollars but, for me, it works like a charm. I too suffer from hearing loss to the extent that I can barely even hear my own voice when I talk unless I talk into that amplifier that's connected to an earpiece. And in one on one conversations, even in noisy enviroments, I can hear what someone is saying just as well as any normal hearing person when they talk directly into that amplifier. Hearing aids are for the birds. Even though they claim they have improved them to block out background noise, they in fact don't do that anywhere near effectively enough to justify their use. What good is it if the aid ends up turning up all of the noise in the room whereby drowning out the voice of the person you want to hear?
My hearing though is so bad, I was placed in a school for the deaf in first grade. But then we moved and I then was mainstreamed into a regular Catholic private elementary school because there were no schools for the deaf anywhere nearby. But it has not been easy because I have always had to rely on other peoples notes from classes throughout school, college and grad. school because I never could hear teachers or professor's lectures in my classes.
But anyway, I am thankful that at least I can hear as good as everybody else via amplification. The amplifier box works best for me and it's very cheap too! You should try it out!

------------------------
I'm just saying that if you have any difficulty in hearing people in certain environments, try out that amplifier box because it will correct that problem. Even if you only have a slight to low mod. loss... that amplifier might come in handy for you in certain situations.

Hearing aids are rough when driving and loud rooms. I hate going into a room wearing hearing aids if the radio or TV is on, and or a lot of people are talking at the same time.

I don’t wear them daily, unless going out. I turn them off and use them as earplugs. Turn them on when talking to people at the stores or doctor’s office.

calikid
12-03-2012, 01:15 PM
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!

Former spy chief says U.S. has had its cyber '9/11 warning'

Former NSA director tells the Financial Times that a cyberattack could cripple the nation's banking system, power grid, and other essential infrastructure.
by Steven Musil

The United States faces "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack" unless urgent action is taken, a former U.S. intelligence chief warns.

John "Mike" McConnell, who served as director of the National Security Agency under President Clinton and then as director of national intelligence under George W. Bush and President Obama, told the Financial Times (subscription required) that such an attack would cripple the nation's banking system, power grid, and other essential infrastructure.

"We have had our 9/11 warning. Are we going to wait for the cyber equivalent of the collapse of the World Trade Centers?" McConnell said, referring to attacks on the Web sites of major banks and a cyberattack earlier this year that rendered two-thirds of the computers at Saudi Arabian oil company useless.

U.S. officials have blamed Iran for creating the Shamoon virus, which was responsible for a cyberattack that infected more than 30,000 computers at Saudi Aramco and... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57556669-83/former-spy-chief-says-u.s-has-had-its-cyber-9-11-warning/)

calikid
12-04-2012, 02:14 PM
Seems Law Enforcement is addicted to technology.
Whatever happened to the gumshoe detective?
The guys that beat the streets for intel?
So much easier to sit on your butt down at H.Q. and read other people's Texts than actually get up and work for a living.

Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans' text messages

State and local law enforcement groups want wireless providers to store detailed information about your SMS messages for at least two years -- in case they're needed for future criminal investigations.
by Declan McCullagh

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans' private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.

CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement "can hinder law enforcement investigations."

They want an SMS retention requirement to be "considered" during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era -- a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians.

As the popularity of text messages has exploded in recent years, so has their use in criminal investigations and civil lawsuits. They have been introduced as evidence in armed robbery, cocaine distribution, and wire fraud prosecutions. In one 2009 case in Michigan, wireless provider SkyTel turned over the contents of 626,638 SMS messages, a figure described by a federal judge as "staggering."

Chuck DeWitt, a spokesman for the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, which represents the 63 largest U.S. police forces including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, said "all such records should be retained for two years." Some providers, like Verizon, retain the contents of SMS messages for a brief period of time, while others like T-Mobile do not store them at all. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57556704-38/cops-to-congress-we-need-logs-of-americans-text-messages/)

calikid
12-05-2012, 02:20 PM
Guess Apple will finally have to admit the MAC can catch Malware/Virus too.
Price they pay for becoming a mainstream giant. Finally rate becoming a hacker target.


OSX/Dockster Spyware
On November 30th, Intego blogged about OS X spyware it calls OSX/Dockster.A. This relatively simple backdoor trojan, found on Virus Total, provides a remote shell to give a remote attacker access to the system, provides a channel for downloading additional files, and has keylogger functionality. They flagged it as low-risk, as at that time it was not known to be in the wild. It was, however, suggested that its exposure to Virus Total might be intended as a test before pushing it to the public.

Sure enough, F-Secure has blogged today (3rd December 2012) about a Dalai Lama-related website from which the Java-based exploit CVE-2012-0507 (also used by Sabpab and Flashback) to push the Dockster malware.
Story Continues (http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/blog/2012/12/3/osxdockster-spyware/715.aspx)

calikid
12-06-2012, 01:02 PM
I can see the finger pointing now.
The banks will blame it on the wireless providers.
The wireless providers will blame it on the banks.
Law Enforcement will blame it on to many privacy rights.

Zeus botnet steals $47M from European bank customers

New variant dubbed 'Eurograbber' intercepts bank text messages sent to mobile phones to defeat two-factor authentication process.

by Steven Musil
A new version of the Zeus botnet was used to steal about $47 million from European banking customers in the past year, security researchers report.

Dubbed "Eurograbber" by security vendors Versafe and Check Point Software Technologies in a report (PDF) released today, the malware is designed to defeat the two-factor authentication process banks use for transactions by intercepting bank messages sent to victims' phones.

A variant of the Zeus malware used to steal more than $100 million, Eurograbber typically launched its attack when a victim clicked on a malicious link most likely included in a phishing attempt. After installing customized variants of the Zeus, SpyEye, and CarBerp Trojans Trojans to the victim's computer, victims would be prompted by the malware during their first visit to the bank site after infection to enter their mobile phone number.

During that first visit, Eurograbber would offer a "banking software security upgrade" that would infect victims' phones with a variant of the "Zeus in the mobile" (ZITMO) Trojan, which was specifically designed to intercept the bank's text message containing the bank's transaction authorization number (TAN), the key element of the bank's two-factor authorization. Eurograbber would then quietly use the TAN to quietly transfer funds out of the victim's account.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57557434-83/zeus-botnet-steals-$47m-from-european-bank-customers/)

CasperParks
12-09-2012, 11:05 PM
Newer cars and light trucks have black boxes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flAIx-qSgOc

I wonder what year manufacturers started installing black boxes, want to avoid buying anything that has one.

norenrad
12-10-2012, 12:32 AM
More control.

enigphilo
12-10-2012, 12:55 AM
Casper the article I read said they started as early as the late 90's

"GM was the pioneer here, starting to install them in the late '90s, and by 2005 a number of marques (GM, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki) were putting them on everything. According to the NHTSA, about 91.6% of cars currently have them. Here's a list. Notable exceptions are Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but this new law will change that."

CasperParks
12-10-2012, 02:14 AM
Casper the article I read said they started as early as the late 90's

"GM was the pioneer here, starting to install them in the late '90s, and by 2005 a number of marques (GM, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki) were putting them on everything. According to the NHTSA, about 91.6% of cars currently have them. Here's a list. Notable exceptions are Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but this new law will change that."

Thanks for the information.

As earlier as the late 1990s, I had figured maybe 2002.

Probably illegal to remove one.

calikid
12-10-2012, 01:10 PM
A good read for everyone with computer data (all of us??!)

Surveillance Self-Defense (The SSD Project)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it.

Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) exists to answer two main questions: What can the government legally do to spy on your computer data and communications? And what can you legally do to protect yourself against such spying?

After an introductory discussion of how you should think about making security decisions — it's all about risk management — we'll be answering those two questions for three types of data:

First, we're going to talk about the threat to the data stored on your computer posed by searches and seizures by law enforcement, as well as subpoenas demanding your records.

Second, we're going to talk about the threat to your data on the wire — that is, your data as it's being transmitted — posed by wiretapping and other real-time surveillance of your telephone and Internet communications by law enforcement.

Third, we're going to describe the information about you that is stored by third parties like your phone company and your Internet service provider, and how law enforcement officials can get it.

In each of these three sections, we're going to give you practical advice about how to protect your private data against law enforcement agents. Paper Continues (https://ssd.eff.org/)

calikid
12-11-2012, 02:14 PM
Did you notice Facebook was off the air for half hour yesterday? What was that all about, and what aren't they telling us?

Facebook suffers major outage, knocked offline

It's not just you. The social network experienced a major outage today, though it remains unclear what caused it.
by Zack Whittaker

Facebook experienced a short but significant outage during the early evening, which knocked many users -- if not the entire network -- off the social network for about 20 to 25 minutes.

It is unclear at this stage what caused the outage, but Facebook's main site and mobile site failed to load. The Facebook API, which allows developers to install features such as the "Like" button on external Web sites, also failed to work, suggesting a meltdown of the entire network.

It appears that Facebook suffered DNS-related issues, resulting in the Web site not loading for many.

Some Facebook sub-domains still allowed users to access the social network, such as through beta.facebook.com.

Update at 3:45 p.m. PT: It appears that Facebook is back for many. While 20 to 25 minutes is far from a lengthy outage, for the world's largest social network it certainly left its mark.

It comes only hours after Google's Gmail service experienced an outage of about 30 to 40 minutes for both enterprise and consumer users of the cloud-based e-mail service.

It is also unclear as to how many were affected by the outage, although a scan of Twitter suggested that it affected users in North America and Europe, supporting the theory that it was near to or was a global outage. Story continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57558347-93/facebook-suffers-major-outage-knocked-offline/)

Doc
12-11-2012, 04:49 PM
It almost seems as if someone did a couple of test runs.

calikid
12-12-2012, 03:02 PM
That holiday time of year when thoughts turn to cybershopping for gifts.
Don't be a victim, protect your yourself against cybertheft.

Seven tips for safer online shopping
By Heather Kelly

Doing your holiday shopping online is generally preferable to braving the season's frantic mall crowds, slow moving checkout lines and tiresome holiday background music. But don't get too relaxed. There are still some security precautions everyone should take before sharing payment information online.

Increasingly, people are using their smartphones and tablets for online shopping. There was a 190% in mobile purchases this year on Cyber Monday, and 193% jump on Black Friday, according to mobile payments company PayPay. The shift to mobile presents its own unique security challenges, including malware apps and text phishing scams.

Here are online shopping security tips to keep in mind all year round, on all your devices.

Check for "HTTPS"

Not all webpages are equally secure. Before entering any personal or payment information, make sure to look up at your browser bar. The URL should start with HTTPS, not HTTP. That one letter on the end, S, is the difference between a secure site and an unsecured site.

Bing takes on Google in fight for holiday shoppers

A secondary thing to look for is the small lock icon in your address bar. This lock indicates that you have an SSL (secure sockets layer) connection. The icon is standard for most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

On mobile devices, the address bar is tinier and easier to overlook. Do a little pinch-and-zoom to locate the S before sharing your payment information.

Watch your WiFi

Shopping from mobile devices means an increased chance you'll be on an unfamiliar WiFi network.

"Only window shop on public WiFi," recommends Derek Halliday, lead security product manager at Lookout, a mobile security company.

Holiday shoppers share tips for buying American

Avoid entering your credit card number or other private information when you're on an unsecured, public WiFi connection where people could snoop. Wait until you are back at home or work.

Vet the vendors and apps

The Internet is packed with stores, some reputable and others downright shady. While bargain hunting, it can be tempting to make your purchase from the site offering the lowest price, but take a moment to research any vendors you're not familiar with.

"If something seems to good to be true, it probably is," says Claudia Lombana, a PayPal shopping specialist.

Before you hand over your payment information, do a quick search for reviews of the vendor. Calculate the total cost of an item, including shipping and tax, when determining the lowest price.

The same tips apply when you're using a mobile app. Only download apps for your smartphones and tablets through official stores, like the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.

The occasional unsavory app has been known to slip through these proper channels. Always check the reviews in the app stores to see what other users have to say. If there are bunch of one star reviews or warnings, don't download the software. Another option is to download a mobile security app to scan new software and links.

Beware of phishing, SMiShing and other scams Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/12/tech/mobile/online-shopping-security/index.html)

calikid
12-13-2012, 01:03 PM
911: TNG. The 411 on a 911 upgrade. The future of i911 to include texting for folks with hearing problems, etc. I can't help but think the recent storm in NYC had something to do with pushing this project along...

FCC wants texting apps like iMessage in text-to-911 plan

Proposal would require apps that send text messages to phones to be part of a nationwide initiative to send text messages to authorities in emergencies.
by Steven Musil

The Federal Communications Commission wants to require all cellular carriers and Internet-based messaging providers to support text-to-911 messages.

While the four largest U.S. wireless carriers have already signed on to the plan, the U.S. agency today proposed guidelines that would require "over the top" text messaging apps -- those that are capable of sending text messages to phones -- to be part of the initiative, which is expected to operational by 2014. Apps that would presumably be part of the initiative include Apple's iMessage, BlackBerry's BBM, Android's MightyText, and Saumsung's ChatOn, among others.

While most text messages are SMS that are already carrier supported, the FCC noted that an increasing number of consumers are using Internet-based text messaging apps on smartphones and other mobile devices.

"By proposing to extend text-to-911 requirements to certain 'over the top' applications," the agency in a statement, "the FCC's proposal would ensure that as text messaging evolves, consumers will be able to reach 911 by the same texting methods they use every day."

Dubbed "Next Generation 9-1-1," the FCC has been working on this project for the last two years. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile are already working on major deployments expected to be rolled out in 2013, with the service being fully available nationwide by May 15, 2014.

epo333
12-15-2012, 02:57 AM
How to get targeted ads on your TV?

Try a camera in your set-top box.

A set-top box could push ads based on what it sees and hears in your home.


by Casey Johnston- Dec 3 2012, 6:45pm EST

Intellectual Property
126

Verizon has filed a patent for a DVR that can watch and listen to the goings-on in your living room. In the application, the company proposes to use the technology to serve targeted ads appropriate to whatever you’re doing in the, uh, privacy of your own home—fighting, cuddling, or hanging out with your cats.

Verizon is far from the first company to think of this unassailably creepy use for a set-top box. Comcast patented similar monitoring technology in 2008 for recommending content based on people it recognizes in the room; Google proposed yet another patent for Google TV that would use audio and video recorders to figure out how many people in a room are watching the current broadcast.

Verizon filed for the application in May 2011, and it was just published last week. (By law, all patent applications are published after 18 months.) In the document, which was first noticed by FierceCable, Verizon gives two examples of the context-sensitive DVR’s use in a couple’s living room: sounds of arguing prompt ads for marriage counseling, while sounds of “cuddling” prompts ads for contraceptives. Charming.

Generally, these uses of cameras and mics frighten the living daylights out of customers (understandably so), so all of these patents have yet to be put to use. Still, the wheels continue to turn in content providers’ heads about how to get eyes and ears in your living room, even as the creepiness factor persists.

calikid
12-16-2012, 06:35 PM
Creepy is right. How about a STB that ELIMINATES the commercials? Hehe. I'd pay a dollar for that!

calikid
12-17-2012, 01:06 PM
Time to change up those pa$$words again.

Massive bank cyberattack planned
By David Goldman

Security firm McAfee on Thursday released a report warning that a massive cyberattack on 30 U.S. banks has been planned, with the goal of stealing millions of dollars from consumers' bank accounts.

RSA startled the security world with its announcement that a gang of cybercriminals had developed a sophisticated Trojan aimed at funneling money out of bank accounts from Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Citibank (C, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) subsidiary PayPal and dozens of other large banks. Known as "Project Blitzkrieg," the plan has been successfully tested on at least 300 guinea pig bank accounts in the United States, and the crime ring had plans to launch its attack in full force in the spring of 2013, according to McAfee, a unit of Intel .....
Project Blitzkrieg began with a massive cybercriminal recruiting campaign, promising each recruit of a share of the stolen funds in exchange for their hacking ability and busywork. With the backing of two Russian cybercriminals, including a prominent cyber mafia leader nicknamed "NSD," the recruits were tasked with infecting U.S. computers with a particular strain of malware, cloning the computers, entering stolen usernames and passwords, and transferring funds out of those users' accounts.

The scheme was fairly innovative. U.S. banks' alarm bells get tripped when customers try to access their accounts from unrecognized computers (particularly overseas), so banks typically require users to answer security questions. Cloning computers lets the cybercriminals appear to the banks as though they are the customers themselves, accessing their accounts from their home PCs -- thereby avoiding the security questions.

And since most banks place transfer limits on accounts, recruiting hundreds of criminals to draw smallish amounts out of thousands of accounts is a way to duck those limits. The thieves could collectively siphon off millions of stolen dollars.

Story continues (http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/13/technology/security/bank-cyberattack-blitzkrieg/index.html)

calikid
12-18-2012, 03:50 PM
Is it wrong that just reading the list of supports gives me pause?
U.S. refuses to sign UN Internet treaty
By Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable

The United States, along with the United Kingdom and Canada, is refusing to sign a United Nations treaty on telecommunications and the Internet that has been under negotiation for the past two weeks.

Terry Kramer, the U.S. Ambassador to the World Conference on International Telecommunications, said Thursday that "the U.S. cannot sign the [treaty] in [its] current form."

"We candidly cannot support an ITU treaty that is inconsistent with a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance," said Kramer during a conference session. "As the ITU has stated, this conference was never meant to focus on Internet issues. However, today we are in a situation where we still have text and resolutions that cover issues on spam and also provisions on Internet governance."

"Internet policy should not be determined by member states but by citizens, communities, and broader society, and such consultation from the private sector and civil society is paramount," he continued. "This has not happened here."

The U.S. decision to withdraw comes following a surprise move late Wednesday in which the chair of the conference called a voice vote on controversial proposal that encourages governments to help expand global Internet access. It was approved in a controversial manner that left some participants confused and upset. Additionally, many countries -- the U.S. included -- are opposed to including in the treaty any language about the Internet at all.

Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, chair of the conference, released a statement arguing the agreed-upon treaty does not include Internet provisions. Instead, he said the controversial proposal voted upon Wednesday is found in a non-binding annexed resolution to the treaty.

"The conference did NOT [sic] include provisions on the Internet in the treaty text," said Touré. "Annexed to the treaty is a non-binding Resolution which aims at fostering the development and growth of the Internet."

Kramer had initially indicated the U.S. would remain engaged in negotiations after Wednesday's diplomatic ruckus. He also denied rumors the U.S. would be leaving the conference earlier this week.

Later on Thursday, several other countries indicated they agreed the conference is the wrong forum to discuss Internet issues.

Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT, the conference was intended to update a treaty governing international telecommunications that hasn't been refreshed since 1988.

Since the conference began, the American delegation has argued that Internet governance issues are outside the scope of the conference. Other countries, including Russia and China, disagreed, submitting proposals intended to help governments fight cyberattacks and spam. The Americans -- and many open Internet advocates -- warned those proposals would be used to censor Internet users Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/tech/web/un-internet-treaty/index.html)

calikid
12-19-2012, 01:50 PM
Why do I feel so used? Everybody wants to make a buck off of me! Guess I should (c) all my family pics before posting them. (sigh)

Instagram can now sell your photos for ads
By Julianne Pepitone

Instagram shocked users with an update to its terms of service that will let the company sell users' photos to other companies.





The new terms of use, effective January 16, are littered with changes throughout -- but the biggest changes came in the section about users' rights. "A business or other entity may pay" Instagram to display users' photos and other details "in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."

Even minors are subject to the new terms: "If you are under the age of eighteen .... you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision." Users can't opt out of the new provisions. The only way to avoid them is to delete your Instagram account altogether.

The updated terms significantly broaden what Instagram can currently do with users' content. The current terms simply note that "Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content."

Hammering the point home, Instagram changed the current language about users granting a "limited license" for use of their content. The new terms make it a "sub-licensable" agreement, again making it clear that Instagram can give content to third parties. It could, for instance, let a major retail chain buy Instagram photos of people shopping in their stores to run in an ad. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/18/technology/social/instagram-sell-photos/index.html)

Garuda
12-19-2012, 02:37 PM
Putting a copyright notice on them won't protect the pictures if the Terms of Service says they can be used.

You need to start putting watermarks etc that can't be removed, so basically, they can't be used again.

Also note that Instagram now says that they have no intention of selling anybody's pictures.
But then again, that intention can change, and if the Terms of Service aren't modified, they'd still be within their rights to do so within the terms of this new version...

calikid
12-20-2012, 01:01 PM
The excuse is it happens to everybody? Wouldn't better advice be to keep in mind that users have a choice, and decisions about users should be give careful consideration BEFORE implementation?

How to prevent and respond to a user revolt

Every startup will face an Instagram-style controversy. But how do you minimize the damage and prevent it from ever happening again?
by Ben Parr

The last thing you need as an entrepreneur is for your company to be engulfed in a public controversy. Just ask Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Path, Airbnb, Geeklist, and the countless other companies, big and small, that have been the target of press backlash and user vitriol.

It doesn't matter how careful you are: the more successful you become, the more likely it is that you'll make a mistake that ignites the blogosphere. There are ways to minimize the fallout and, more importantly, ways to prevent a large-scale user revolt in the first place.

Let's take Instagram's recent Terms of Service controversy as an example. Here's what happened, from my point of view:
•Instagram decided to change its TOS in order to monetize its product and support advertising. People shouldn't have been surprised. Instagram's been moving toward advertising for a while.
•Some of the new terms weren't clear though. The result was a bunch of panic over Instagram potentially selling users' photos and using those photos in ads.
•Facebook never was going to sell users' Instagram photos and didn't even have the right to. But Facebook/Instagram never posted an explanation about why the changes to the TOS were being made and what each change meant. So people freaked out.
•A few hours later, Instagram responded, explaining that it wasn't going to sell photos and would modify the language of the TOS to reflect user concerns.

During the heat of the controversy, my Twitter feed was filled with people claiming that they either were going to quit or that people were overreacting (I fell into the latter camp). But regardless, it was a sh*tstorm that could and should have been prevented.

So how do you, as an entrepreneur, avoid the kind of mess that engulfed Instagram? I have a few tips:

DO: Anticipate backlash
All redesigns end up with some form of backlash from users, who are always more comfortable with what they already know. Sometimes the backlash is a small one that quickly goes away, sometimes it can really hurt a business, and sometimes it can be downright lethal.

You should always prepare for a potential backlash when you make a big change to your product. The same is true for any changes to your Terms of Service, any addition of ads, and any decisions that could be seen as restricting user choice or infringing on user privacy.

Don't allow yourself to be taken by surprise.

DO: Explain major changes clearly and publicly
Any major changes you make should be accompanied by a blog post that explains the logic behind each change. This blog post should also solicit feedback and indicate that you are listening to user suggestions. Do it even if you don't think it's necessary.

DON'T: Have a knee-jerk reaction
That's exactly what the Geeklist founders did during a recent controversy, and it only made the problem worse. Don't react emotionally. It's better to take an extra few hours to get the facts right and compose a calm response.

DO: Apologize and make changes
That's exactly what Dave Morin of Path did when it was engulfed in a privacy controversy. His calm and apologetic blog post quickly killed the dustup.

You have to not only swallow your pride and apologize but you also have to outline the actions you will take to make sure the mistake will never happen again.

DO: Be transparent
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-33617_3-57559817-276/how-to-prevent-and-respond-to-a-user-revolt/)

calikid
12-24-2012, 02:29 PM
I can't decide if Russian is being blackmailed or bribed into enforcing US Intellectual Property Laws.

U.S., Russia forge 'action plan' on piracy

The two countries agree on a plan to curtail theft of intellectual property, after President Obama grants Russia "permanent normal trade relations" and the two nations agree to have the WTO's tenets apply between them.

by Edward Moyer

The U.S. and Russia have agreed on an "action plan" to fight the theft of intellectual property, including online piracy of copyrighted materials.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the agreement yesterday, saying that the plan's priorities include, quote:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Combating copyright piracy over the Internet, including actions such as takedowns of infringing content, action against persons responsible for IPR [Intellectual Property Rights] crimes, coordination with rights holders, cooperation and information exchange between IPR enforcement officials, and devotion of resources and personnel to law enforcement agencies to combat piracy over the Internet.

"Enhancing IPR Enforcement, including actions against counterfeiting, piracy, and circumventing technological protection measures; imposing deterrent penalties and sentences; conducting raids; seizing and, where appropriate, destroying IPR infringing products and the equipment and materials used to produce such products; and promoting transparency and public awareness of IPR enforcement actions.
"Coordinating on Legislation and other Issues, including on Russia's draft legislation on liability for Internet service providers to combat Internet piracy, consulting on implementation of Russia's WTO pharmaceutical test data protection commitments, administrative penalties, and exchanging information on enforcement mechanisms and best practices for judges."

In the past, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative has maintained that Russia has done too little to protect U.S. intellectual property. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57560621-38/u.s-russia-forge-action-plan-on-piracy/)

calikid
12-26-2012, 12:39 PM
Paid for, no doubt, by your taxes.

California PUC approves giving free cellphones to poor, homeless
By Cynthia Hubert

The poorest of the poor in California soon will have easier access to one of society's modern conveniences: the cellphone.

A federal program designed to help homeless and other impoverished people connect with family, friends, housing programs and potential employers will provide potentially millions of Californians with free cellphones and service, officials said this week.

The phone giveaways, approved last week by the state Public Utilities Commission, undoubtedly will be controversial, officials acknowledged. But backers said they believe the program will improve quality of life for Californians who cannot afford phones.

"In this day and age, having access to communications is not a luxury," said Jayne Wallace, whose company, Assurance Wireless, will organize phone distribution in the state. "Having a cellphone can make a huge difference in the lives of many people," including seniors and the disabled, she said.

California residents who receive Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, food stamps and other aid will be eligible for the federal "Lifeline" program, as well as those whose annual incomes are below $15,000, officials said. Roughly 4.6 million California households could be eligible, based on rough estimates by Assurance. Story Continues (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/14/5053797/california-puc-approves-giving.html)

calikid
12-27-2012, 12:55 PM
Free is a good price. Skype killer?

Free Calling for Gmail Users Extended through 2013
by Anita Li

Gmail users in the U.S. and Canada will get free calling for another year, Google announced Wednesday.

"You'll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013," Mayur Kamat, a product manager at the company, said in a blog post.

Users with Internet connection and a microphone can make calls to any phone from within the email client. An option to "Call phone," indicated by a phone-receiver icon, is part of Google Chat's menu; when clicked, a pop-up with a dial pad appears.



Google debuted voice calls in August 2010, and extended free calling at the end of every year-- through 2011 and 2012 -- since then.

While international calls are not free, users can dial to another country from Gmail "at insanely low rates," Kamat wrote. Rates for the calls start at $0.02 per minute, according to Google. Story Continues (http://mashable.com/2012/12/27/free-calling-gmail/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mashable%2Ftech+%28Mashable+% C2%BB+Tech%29)

calikid
12-28-2012, 02:27 PM
The reason the record industry garners little respect from the masses in their efforts to enforce copyrights.
They take the works of artist and make millions of $$$, and the artist sees little or no money for their creative product.
"Bad contracts and greedy record execs".

On Web, 'Time Has Come' for '60s singer
By Doug Gross

His song is one of the enduring anthems of the turbulent 1960s, a soulful call to action awash in a psychedelic wave of sound.

It has appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows, even a multimillion-seller video game, and has been covered by artists from Sheryl Crow to Joan Jett to The Ramones.

So, decades later, what does Lester Chambers have to show for "Time Has Come Today"?

So little that, early this year, the 72-year-old found himself posting a photo online. In it, he held a poster declaring that he was living on Social Security and charity, having gone nearly 30 years before seeing his first, paltry royalty check.

The poster was taped to one of his gold records.

"It's been a long journey," said Chambers, who said he never blew his money on drugs or booze like so many artists before and after. "I have not understood what happened yet and how it happened."

But now, through a series of events only possible in the digital age, he's getting a chance to start again -- this time making and selling music on his own terms.

"We've got a lawyer now," Chambers said. "It's called the computer." Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/24/tech/web/lester-chambers-kickstarter/index.html)

calikid
12-31-2012, 02:06 PM
Surveillance of foreign phone calls and email a useful tool?
Or will (has?) it become; it works so good we need to use it on our citizens too?

FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program Renewed By Senate
(Senate Passes FISA Renewal 73-23)

The U.S. Senate renewed the warrantless wiretapping program begun during the George W. Bush administration by a 73 to 23 vote on Friday, sending the FISA Amendments Act to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

The vote marked a symbolic next step for the wiretapping program, which collects Americans' communications with foreign intelligence targets abroad. Four years ago, in the midst of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, an identical version of the bill was the subject of a highly contentious debate in the Senate. Obama and others argued then that Bush's program went too far in violating Americans' privacy. This year, with a supportive Obama in the Oval Office and the media focus on the fiscal cliff, the bill was renewed with much less attention.

After voting down reform three reform amendments on Thursday, the Senate continued debate on the spy bill on Friday morning. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) offered an amendment meant to force the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to reveal how frequently they have collected Americans' communications as part of their efforts to amass intelligence on foreign targets. Even an estimate would suffice, Wyden has argued -- but the spy agencies have rebuffed his efforts to get a general number, claiming it is not possible.

"This is the last oportunity for the next five years for the Congress to exercise a modest measure of real oversight over this intelligence surveillance law," said Wyden, referring to the 2017 expiration date in the new law. "It is not real oversight when the United States Congress cannot get a yes or no answer to the question of whether an estimate currently exists as to whether law abiding Americans have had their phone calls and emails swept up under the FISA law." Story Continues (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/fisa-warrantless-wiretapping-senate_n_2376039.html)

CasperParks
12-31-2012, 11:47 PM
Surveillance of foreign phone calls and email a useful tool?
Or will (has?) it become; it works so good we need to use it on our citizens too?

FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program Renewed By Senate
(Senate Passes FISA Renewal 73-23)

The U.S. Senate renewed the warrantless wiretapping program begun during the George W. Bush administration by a 73 to 23 vote on Friday, sending the FISA Amendments Act to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

The vote marked a symbolic next step for the wiretapping program, which collects Americans' communications with foreign intelligence targets abroad. Four years ago, in the midst of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, an identical version of the bill was the subject of a highly contentious debate in the Senate. Obama and others argued then that Bush's program went too far in violating Americans' privacy. This year, with a supportive Obama in the Oval Office and the media focus on the fiscal cliff, the bill was renewed with much less attention.

After voting down reform three reform amendments on Thursday, the Senate continued debate on the spy bill on Friday morning. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) offered an amendment meant to force the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to reveal how frequently they have collected Americans' communications as part of their efforts to amass intelligence on foreign targets. Even an estimate would suffice, Wyden has argued -- but the spy agencies have rebuffed his efforts to get a general number, claiming it is not possible.

"This is the last oportunity for the next five years for the Congress to exercise a modest measure of real oversight over this intelligence surveillance law," said Wyden, referring to the 2017 expiration date in the new law. "It is not real oversight when the United States Congress cannot get a yes or no answer to the question of whether an estimate currently exists as to whether law abiding Americans have had their phone calls and emails swept up under the FISA law." Story Continues (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/fisa-warrantless-wiretapping-senate_n_2376039.html)

What bothers me to most:


Passed by a 73 to 23 vote on Friday, sending the FISA Amendments Act to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

An alarming number of alleged elected officials tossed basic human rights into black-hole.

As Citizens suffocate beneath lies, deceit, greed and lust for power; freedom and justice vanish amid a swirling void of disregard.

Using any excuse against the general population, they shorten and tighten the chains.

calikid
01-01-2013, 12:48 PM
Time to update older versions of I.E. to avoid the hackers (IE9 and IE10 are safe[r]).
Microsoft issues fix for IE flaw that could allow PC hijack

One-click workaround designed to prevent attackers from gaining control of vulnerable Web browsers.
by Steven Musil

Microsoft issued a fix today for a zero-day vulnerability in older versions of Internet Explorer that could allow attackers to gain control of Windows-based computers to host malicious Web sites.

The company confirmed Saturday that it was investigating a remote code execution vulnerability in IE 6, IE 7, and IE 8 that could allow an attacker to use the corrupted PC to host a Web site designed to exploit the vulnerability with other users. Versions of the browser after IE 8 are unaffected, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said in an update to that security advisory that it has developed a one-click fix that prevents the vulnerability from being exploited without affecting users' ability to browse the Web. Microsoft also said the fix doesn't require a reboot. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57561426-83/microsoft-issues-fix-for-ie-flaw-that-could-allow-pc-hijack/)

calikid
01-03-2013, 03:24 PM
Those crazy college kids!
Snapchat: Sexting tool, or the next Instagram?
By Doug Gross

You may not have heard of Snapchat. But if there are teenagers or 20-somethings in your life, it's a safe bet that they have.

Snapchat is a mobile app which lets users share images or videos that disappear after a few seconds. That's right -- they vanish forever in the time it takes you to read a tweet.

In a little over a year since it was released by a Stanford student and his recently graduated business partner, Snapchat has has quietly amassed millions of users and now claims to process more than 30 million messages a day. Some bloggers have called it the "next Instagram."

Not bad for a mobile tool which, rightly or wrongly, is often cited for one very specific ability -- the "sexting" of naughty images to other users. In an age when young people are constantly being warned not to post inappropriate things online, Snapchat offers a degree of freedom by letting users share unfiltered thoughts or images without much fear of reprisal.

"Like most people born before the 1990s, I'm not a Snapchat user, and I've long assumed the worst about the app -- that combining cameras; young people; and secret, self-destructing messages could only mean trouble," wrote Slate's Farhad Manjoo last week.

But increasingly, he writes, it appears possible that "teenagers are more likely using the app to safely explore the sort of silly, unguarded, and sometimes unwise ideas that have always occupied the teenage brain ... in a manner that won't haunt them forever. In other words, they're chatting with Snapchat precisely because it's not like chatting with Facebook." Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/tech/mobile/snapchat/index.html)

calikid
01-04-2013, 01:13 PM
Making the world a safer place for you and me? Seems more of a civil matter to me. The copyright police? Let MPAA hire their own attorney, leave my tax dollars out of it.

Record 5-Year Prison Term Handed to Convicted File Sharer
By David Kravets
The leader of the in-theater camcording gang known as the IMAGiNE Group was handed a 60-month prison term Thursday in what is the nation’s longest sentence in a file-sharing case.

The sentence handed to Jeramiah Perkins, 40, of Portsmouth, Virginia, surpassed one of largest file-sharing terms handed to IMAGiNE co-defendant Gregory A. Cherwonik, 53, of New York, who received 40 months in November for his role in the operation.

In all, five IMAGiNE members have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement for operating what prosecutors described as the world’s most prolific piracy release group between 2009 and 2011.

The Motion Picture Association of America said IMAGiNE was more successful than any other illegal internet release group because of its “short latency periods between the theatrical release and their pirated release, their consistently good quality of audio captures, their high volume of releases, and their connection to international suppliers.”

What’s more, the group sought “to be the premier group to first release to the internet copies of new motion pictures only showing in movie theaters,” Story Continues (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/01/record-filing-sharing-term/)

calikid
01-07-2013, 01:06 PM
CES is this week, the place to be for ALL the fun new toys. :)


Qualcomm's keynote at 2013 CES: Join us Monday, 6:30 p.m. PT (live blog)


Join CNET for live coverage of Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs' keynote (http://live.cnet.com/Event/CES_2013_Qualcomm_keynote_live_blog), which starts at 6:30 p.m. PT Monday. Our live blog will bring you live video, news updates, photos, and running commentary.

CES 2013: Qualcomm keynote live blog

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs will take the stage to talk up the mobile revolution.

calikid
01-08-2013, 01:14 PM
Smaller, faster, cheaper. What good times we live in. Tired of the the old WiFi "G" speeds of 54 Mbit/s? Want the faster new wireless speeds that 802.11ac has to offer? Get it without tossing your laptop.

Trendnet intros first USB 3.0 802.11ac adapter
Trendnet announces at CES 2013 the first USB 3.0 802.11ac adapter that quickly adds support for the latest Wi-Fi standard to any existing computer.
by Dong Ngo

If you are looking to upgrade your existing computer to support 802.11ac, without having to get a new computer entirely, here's something to look forward to.

Trendnet announced today at CES 2013 its first USB 3.0 802.11ac W-Fi adapter, the AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB 3.0 adapter, model TEW-805UB.

This adapter card supports the dual-stream setup Wi-Fi standard and offers the cap speed of up to 867Mbps, when used with a 802.11ac router. It also works with existing Wireless-N routers and offers up to 300Mbps data rate in this case. Story Continues (http://ces.cnet.com/8301-34439_1-57562249/trendnet-intros-first-usb-3.0-802.11ac-adapter/)

calikid
01-09-2013, 02:35 PM
I don't know if I should be angry that governments are turning my beloved internet into a battleground, or relieved that they are firing off packets at each other rather than bullets.

Iran said to be responsible for cyberattacks on U.S. banks

The massive wave of DDoS attacks that hit U.S. banks recently was thought to have been done by a fringe hacker group, however government officials now believe it was the work of Iran.
by Dara Kerr

Several U.S. banks were hit with online attacks over the past few months, but it's been unclear who was responsible. Now, government officials and security researchers are saying Iran was waging these cyberattacks, according to a report by the New York Times.

"There is no doubt within the U.S. government that Iran is behind these attacks," James A. Lewis, a former official in the State and Commerce departments and a computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told the Times.

The attacks were aimed at several major banks, including Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC, and others. They involved inundating the banks' Web sites with bogus traffic, known as distributed denial-of-service attacks.

"The amount of bandwidth that is flooding the websites is very large, much larger than in other attacks, and in a sense unprecedented," chief executive of private security firm CrowdStrike Dmitri Alperovitch told the Wall Street Journal in September.

Apparently, it was the huge amount of traffic, along with the know-how to carry out these types of attacks, that convinced U.S. government officials that attacks were coming from Iran. These officials, however, have not provided any technical evidence to back up their claims.

While the cyberattacks were an inconvenience to both the banks and their customers, no private data or information was known to be stolen. According to the New York Times, security experts said this is further proof that the DDoS attacks were state-sponsored.

An unknown group called the "cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam" has claimed responsibility for the attacks -- saying that it was retaliating for the release of the controversial video posted to YouTube that mocked the Prophet Mohammad. The group has warned that the attacks would continue until the video was removed from "the Internet." However, according to the New York Times, officials now believe that Izz ad-din Al qassam was actually a cover for Iran. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57562931-83/iran-said-to-be-responsible-for-cyberattacks-on-u.s-banks/)

calikid
01-10-2013, 01:32 PM
You thought we had problems with misidentified IFOs before, just wait..... already in that Toy 'R Us near you.

Drones go mainstream
By Steve Hargreaves

They're coming. And they're not just for the military anymore.
Dozens of companies have sprung up in the last few years making remote controlled, mini-aircraft mounted with cameras, that are increasingly being used for commercial and even entertainment purposes.

But these aren't the remote controlled helicopters you remember flying as a kid. Today's drones are lighter, have better software, longer lasting batteries and vastly improved camera technology.

On the higher end of the cost spectrum are drones with high definition cameras that can operate a mile or more from the person flying it. They can cost tens of thousand of dollars, and are aimed at a variety of commercial uses.

Law enforcement agencies and border patrol are using them to keep tabs on suspected scofflaws. Journalists and sports photographers use them in lieu of expensive helicopters. Real estate agents employ them for aerial photos and video. Wildlife researchers and search-and-rescue outfits are using them or studying the potential. Even the utility industry is interested in having them hunt for downed power lines after a storm.

One of the most promising uses might be in agriculture, said Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired magazine who now runs the drone maker 3D Robotics.

3D Robotics makes a $500 drone that flies itself via GPS, scouring fields for information on crop conditions including water levels, pest infestations and other signs of trouble. Currently, Anderson said farmers pay $1,000 an hour for aircraft flyovers, a cost that's prohibitively expensive.

"Farmers have no idea what's going on in the fields," said Anderson. "It can lead to over irrigation, over pesticide use, all sorts of problems."

There is also a growing market for smaller, simpler drones marketed to kids and adults for recreational use. For example, the Parrot AR Drone, has a range of about 160 feet, is controlled by a smart phone app, and can be bought at Toys R Us for $300. It's aimed at teens and adults that want an enhanced video game experience. Parrot said sales have already exceeded 500,000.

Privacy: While the American Civil Liberties Union is still finalizing its position on drones, the group has some reservations about how the technology could infringe on citizens' rights.

"The technology of surveillance is becoming retail, and that will pose real challenges to our traditional notion of privacy," said Catherine Crump, an ACLU attorney.

With ever-shrinking size and ever better camera technology, the group is concerned that people acting under the assumption that they're in the privacy of their own homes or yards could be wrong. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/09/technology/drones/index.html)

calikid
01-11-2013, 01:35 PM
On the "you get what you pay for" front. Free email does has it's costs... as in, you can't withhold payment for poor service when that service is free.
Mobile Outlook.com, Hotmail users hit by access troubles

Those trying to access Microsoft's Hotmail and Outlook.com from iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and other mobile devices are continuing to encounter problems.
by Mary Jo Foley

An undetermined number of mobile users of Microsoft's Hotmail and Outlook.com have been unable to access the service for the past several days.

The problem is affecting iPhone, iPad, and Android phone users, according to posts on the Microsoft Answers forum. It also, according to some, is affecting some Windows Phone and Surface RT users, as well.

The problem seems to stem from issues with Exchange ActiveSync, the Microsoft protocol for accessing Exchange Server natively from mobile devices.

On January 10, I asked Microsoft for an update on the issue, which still seems only partially resolved. A representative e-mailed me the following statement:

"Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting a small percentage of mobile users' access to Hotmail and Outlook.com, and we are working to restore full access to the service as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage users to visit the Hotmail and Outlook.com status page."

(Note: The status page gives information specific to whichever Microsoft account is signed in.)

A post by a moderator about the ongoing access problems provided this update:

"Hotmail is working for all Web users and POP-based accounts. Some mobile device users relying on EAS (Active Sync) may see problems accessing their e-mail, calendar, and contacts. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57563423-75/mobile-outlook.com-hotmail-users-hit-by-access-troubles/)

calikid
01-14-2013, 03:19 PM
Ho ho ho. Who says Santa is pretend?
Actually, it's about time. I have always wondered why I had to pay over and over for the same "White Album".
Was I paying for intellectual property, or was it a media fee?
Once I paid for the White Album on a vinyl record, the next/additional $25.00 they charged me for a $0.25 plastic compact disk seemed a bit exorbitant.
Seems the leap from CD to MP3 might be a bit easier... take THAT iTunes!

Amazon giving you free MP3s for CDs you bought
By Stan Schroeder

Amazon has launched AutoRip, a service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs they've purchased anytime since 1998.

Even better, customers who purchase a new CD will receive their digital copy before the actual, physical CD arrives at their doorstep.

"What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs ... and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free? Well, starting today, it's available to all of our customers -- past, present, and future -- at no cost," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/10/tech/web/amazon-free-mp3s/index.html?iref=allsearch)

CasperParks
01-14-2013, 05:04 PM
Ho ho ho. Who says Santa is pretend?
Actually, it's about time. I have always wondered why I had to pay over and over for the same "White Album".
Was I paying for intellectual property, or was it a media fee?
Once I paid for the White Album on a vinyl record, the next/additional $25.00 they charged me for a $0.25 plastic compact disk seemed a bit exorbitant.
Seems the leap from CD to MP3 might be a bit easier... take THAT iTunes!

Amazon giving you free MP3s for CDs you bought
By Stan Schroeder

Amazon has launched AutoRip, a service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs they've purchased anytime since 1998.

Even better, customers who purchase a new CD will receive their digital copy before the actual, physical CD arrives at their doorstep.

"What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs ... and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free? Well, starting today, it's available to all of our customers -- past, present, and future -- at no cost," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/10/tech/web/amazon-free-mp3s/index.html?iref=allsearch)

I'd like to see the same thing for books. Buy a print book and get a free copy of the same e-book.

calikid
01-15-2013, 01:07 PM
I'd like to see the same thing for books. Buy a print book and get a free copy of the same e-book.

Yes, media, what IS it we are paying for over and over again?

On a related issue; I read an interesting article recently about who owns the rights to your book list after you pass on (ie die).
For instance, my father is an avid reader who has purchased a massive collection of books online at Amazon (for his Kindle).
Can he "will" his books to me? Or do they expire when he does?

calikid
01-15-2013, 01:13 PM
State sponsored snooping. Espionage worthy of James Bond

'Red October' malware spies on governments worldwide

It might have taken five years to discover, but a government-snooping spying campaign dubbed Red October has been exposed by Kaspersky Lab.
by Charlie Osborne


Kaspersky Lab has discovered yet another worldwide spying campaign that targets governmental bodies, political groups and research institutions.

On par with the memorable Flame malware, Kaspersky and a number of Cyber Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) discovered the malware -- known as Rocra or Red October -- which mostly targets institutions based in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia.

Kaspersky says that Red October has been gathering data and intelligence from "mobile devices, computer systems and network equipment" and is currently still active. Data is gathered and sent to multiple command-and-control servers which the security firm says rivals the complex nature of Flame.

The malware is sent via a spear-phishing email which, according to the firm, targets carefully-selected victims with an organization. Containing at least three different exploits in Microsoft Excel and Word, the infected files, once downloaded, drops a trojan on to the machine which then scans the local network to detect if any other devices are vulnerable to the same security flaw.

By dropping modules that can complete a number of "tasks," usually as .dll libraries, an infected machine obeys commands sent by the command center and then immediately discards the evidence. Separated in to "persistent" and "one-time" tasks, the malware is able to spy and steal in a number of ways, including:
•Waiting for a Microsoft Office or PDF document and executing a malicious payload embedded in that document;
•Creating one-way covert channels of communication,
•Recording keystrokes, making screenshots,
•Retrieve e-mail messages and attachments;
•Collect general software and hardware environment information,
•Extracting browsing history from Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and saving passwords,
•Extracting Windows account hashes;
•Extract Outlook account information,
•Performing network scans, dump configuration data from Cisco devices if available.

Some .exe tasks remain on the system while waiting for the correct environment, for example, waiting for a phone to connect. Microsoft's Windows Phone, the iPhone and Nokia models are all said to be vulnerable.

Designed to steal encrypted files and even those that have been deleted from a victim's computer, the malware -- named as a hat-tip to the novel "The Hunt for Red October" -- has several key features which suggests it may be state-sponsored, although there is no official word on this yet.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57563851-92/red-october-malware-spies-on-governments-worldwide/)

calikid
01-15-2013, 01:15 PM
And you thought UFO docs redacts were bad!

Secret document on FISA snooping law released -- sort of

A U.S. privacy group has been successful in getting a document released that details how U.S. authorities interpret the FISA snooping law. The trouble is, most of it isn't readable.
by Zack Whittaker

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been successful in having a secret document released by the U.S. government, that helps U.S. authorities to interpret the federal snooping law, the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA).

The trouble is, the document is pretty much entirely all redacted. (So much for transparency...)

In a nutshell, last month the U.S. Congress reauthorized the FISA Amendments Act for another five years, allowing the U.S. government and its law enforcement agencies to conduct "unconstitutional surveillance," according to the EFF. However, the law is complicated and lengthy, and there is a "secret interpretation" of the law that allows U.S. authorities to know whether they can conduct wiretapping and snooping on U.S. citizens and non-residents.

Here's the only bit that you can see:

The 'secret interpretation' of FISA. Credit: EFF.
It's not much, but it's a start. But, as you might imagine, the EFF is far from happy about the result of its Freedom of Information request to the U.S. government.



(U) The Government has provided copies of the opinions and the filings by the Government to this Committee, and the Government will continue to inform the Committee about developments in this matter.


In 2011, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) submitted an amendment to Congress that would have forced the U.S. attorney general to disclose the government's interpretation of the act. The amendment was withdrawn, however.

The secret interpretation has been condemned by senators, who have on many occasions complained that FISA was being "secretly interpreted in ways that differ markedly from the language of the statute."

The Foreign Intelligence Services Court (FISC), in which FISA warrants go through -- which has been previously been discussed -- are held in secret and there are no public records. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57563855-83/secret-document-on-fisa-snooping-law-released-sort-of/)

U.N.C.L.E.
01-15-2013, 08:45 PM
Don't know if this has been posted anywhere yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EPlyiW-xGI

CasperParks
01-16-2013, 01:57 AM
Don't know if this has been posted anywhere yet:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EPlyiW-xGI


U.N.C.L.E.

Excellent find...

Here's the 2:42 second preview. Worth watching the above video. It streams in at 53:52, time well spent.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyCwbkDzYK4

calikid
01-16-2013, 12:59 PM
"Let the punishment fit the crime" was never a threat to law breakers, but rather a cry to limit the power of the government to set draconian sentencing for infractions of the law.
The recent suicide of activist Aaron Swartz is a prime example, facing 50 years for digitally "checking out to many books" was more than he could handle. You would think they caught a 9/11 terrorist the way he was treated.
Prosecutor misconduct, just bad law, or both?

New 'Aaron's Law' aims to alter controversial computer fraud law

Silicon Valley congresswoman wants to change a 1984 law that was used to prosecute Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last week.
by Steven Musil

The suicide last week of Internet activist Aaron Swartz has led a Democratic congresswoman from Silicon Valley to call for reforms to computer fraud laws linked to his death.

Swartz, who championed open access rights to documents on the Internet, was arrested in July 2011 and accused of stealing 4 million documents from MIT and Jstor, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers.

He faced $4 million in fines and more than 50 years in prison if convicted. Critics of the prosecutors in the case accused the feds of unfairly trying to make an example out of the 26-year-old Swartz.

Swartz's family called his death "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death."

Rep. Zoe Lofgren cited the family's statement in announcing today that she has authored a bill called "Aaron's Law" that aims to change the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the wire fraud statute to exclude terms of service violations.

"His family's statement about this speaks volumes about the inappropriate efforts undertaken by the U.S. government," Lofgren wrote on Reddit. "There's no way to reverse the tragedy of Aaron's death, but we can work to prevent a repeat of the abuses of power he experienced."

"We should prevent what happened to Aaron from happening to other Internet users," she wrote. "The government was able to bring such disproportionate charges against Aaron because of the broad scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the wire fraud statute. It looks like the government used the vague wording of those laws to claim that violating an online service's user agreement or terms of service is a violation of the CFAA and the wire fraud statute." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57564193-93/new-aarons-law-aims-to-alter-controversial-computer-fraud-law/)

U.N.C.L.E.
01-16-2013, 08:46 PM
Some of this reminds me of a brilliant poster at OMF who had one of his (original) diagrams used in the Isaac DRONE stuff... damn, I can't remember his name Nikoli R (not the Russian Tsar) and his website had eger or something in the address. Does anyone here know who I am referring to?

U.N.C.L.E.
01-16-2013, 08:48 PM
Some of this reminds me of a brilliant poster at OMF who had one of his (original) diagrams used in the Isaac DRONE stuff... damn, I can't remember his name Nikoli R (not the Russian Tsar) and his website had eger or something in the address. Does anyone here know who I am referring to?

Regarding the Primer Fields video that I linked above.

calikid
01-17-2013, 01:36 PM
Some of this reminds me of a brilliant poster at OMF who had one of his (original) diagrams used in the Isaac DRONE stuff... damn, I can't remember his name Nikoli R (not the Russian Tsar) and his website had eger or something in the address. Does anyone here know who I am referring to?

I have some notes in my archives from a "Nikola Romanski", I think his handle was atto.
He did some Caret codex research/reviews.

calikid
01-17-2013, 01:44 PM
When 21st Century technology turns into a nightmare. Minor tech glitch results in angry people and cops at the door.
Ordinary man gets blamed when Sprint customers lose phones

Wayne Dobson doesn't even have a cell phone. But a glitch in GPS that seems to only affect Sprint customers sends people with lost phones to his Las Vegas house.
by Chris Matyszczyk

If I were Wayne Dobson, I'd move house. I'd move a few blocks away from his Las Vegas home. Or I'd leave Las Vegas altogether.

Dobson, you see, suffers constantly by virtue exclusively of where he lives.

Angry Sprint customers turn up at his door and demand he gives them their cell phones back.

He doesn't have their cell phone. He doesn't have anyone's cell phone. He doesn't even own a cell phone.

As the Las Vegas Review-Journal painfully portrays it, 59-year-old Dobson is at his wit's end.

However, he's also at the end of an impossible GPS glitch that makes Sprint customers believe their cell phones are secreted on his property.

It's no fun for him to open his door and encounter people begging for their phone back because it has intimate family pictures -- or merely intimate pictures.

Things became truly annoying in December, though, when four youths turned up at 2:30 a.m. with menace aforethought. They were in possession of an app that told them -- for sure, for sure -- that Dobson had one of their phones.

Things didn't get better when, on another occasion, someone thrust lights into his house at 4 a.m. That someone was a police officer, who believed a 911 call reporting potential domestic violence had come from Dobson's house.

A police spokeswoman explained what could have been a deadly situation to the Review-Journal like this: "We're relying on the accuracy of the information that's given to us by the carrier. It's just not a perfect technology."
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57564344-71/ordinary-man-gets-blamed-when-sprint-customers-lose-phones/)

U.N.C.L.E.
01-17-2013, 04:07 PM
Thank you calikid, that is who I am thinking of. Here's a link to his site:
http://www.greatdome.net/nikkinet/vat/

U.N.C.L.E.
01-17-2013, 04:30 PM
more here: http://mata.toa.egrd.net/

calikid
01-18-2013, 02:26 PM
Just like a weed, this keeps popping back up. Hoping to wear down the vigilant.

After a year in the grave, can SOPA and Protect IP return?

CNET asked the leaders of the congressional committees that write U.S. copyright law, plus the groups that backed the controversial legislation a year ago, to tell us what will happen next.
by Declan McCullagh

It was one year ago today that an unprecedented outcry against the Stop Online Piracy Act proved to Washington officialdom that sufficiently irritated Internet users are a potent political force. After Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist and other major sites asked their users to contact their representatives, the deluge of traffic knocked some Senate Web sites offline, and votes on both bills were indefinitely postponed.

The massive public outcry that, by some counts, involved more than 10 million Internet users concerned about the proposals' impact on free expression has turned the protests into a cautionary tale on Capitol Hill. Aides now worry about tech-related legislation becoming "SOPA-fied," and neither bill has been reintroduced in 2013. Anti-SOPA groups like Public Knowledge are even talking about counterattacking with a bill that would expand fair use or curb what they say are copyright abuses.

There are, on the other hand, some hints that SOPA -- or its sibling, or cousin -- could return. The White House has endorsed SOPA-esque legislation targeting offshore Web sites, Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57564637-38/after-a-year-in-the-grave-can-sopa-and-protect-ip-return/)

CasperParks
01-18-2013, 03:52 PM
Just like a weed, this keeps popping back up. Hoping to wear down the vigilant.

After a year in the grave, can SOPA and Protect IP return?

CNET asked the leaders of the congressional committees that write U.S. copyright law, plus the groups that backed the controversial legislation a year ago, to tell us what will happen next.
by Declan McCullagh

It was one year ago today that an unprecedented outcry against the Stop Online Piracy Act proved to Washington officialdom that sufficiently irritated Internet users are a potent political force. After Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist and other major sites asked their users to contact their representatives, the deluge of traffic knocked some Senate Web sites offline, and votes on both bills were indefinitely postponed.

The massive public outcry that, by some counts, involved more than 10 million Internet users concerned about the proposals' impact on free expression has turned the protests into a cautionary tale on Capitol Hill. Aides now worry about tech-related legislation becoming "SOPA-fied," and neither bill has been reintroduced in 2013. Anti-SOPA groups like Public Knowledge are even talking about counterattacking with a bill that would expand fair use or curb what they say are copyright abuses.

There are, on the other hand, some hints that SOPA -- or its sibling, or cousin -- could return. The White House has endorsed SOPA-esque legislation targeting offshore Web sites, Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57564637-38/after-a-year-in-the-grave-can-sopa-and-protect-ip-return/)

Slight of hand it will slip through, tucked under the Guise of a Crisis.

calikid
01-21-2013, 02:23 PM
Good deal from Microsoft, waiting could cost you.

Windows 8 Pricing Goes Back to Normal
By Harry McCracken

One of the many things about Windows 8 which is new is its pricing. When Microsoft released the operating-system upgrade in October, it let PC owners upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 — a much, much lower pricetag than Windows has historically carried. It was so cheap that if you were the least bit intrigued by Windows 8, the cost was unlikely to prevent you from taking the plunge.

But Microsoft said all along that the $39.99 price was a special offer, good only through January 31. And now Windows’ official blogger, Brandon Le Blanc, is confirming that the deal is ending. As of February 1, Windows 8 Pro will be a $199.99 upgrade, and the slightly more basic Windows 8 will be $119.99.

When Microsoft announced the cheap introductory price, I thought it would probably turn into a permanent recalibration of the price of Windows — in the tech world, it’s pretty rare that the cost of anything goes up. I was wrong. Story Continues (http://techland.time.com/2013/01/18/windows-8-pricing-goes-back-to-normal/#ixzz2IcV4cqYQ)

calikid
01-22-2013, 12:48 PM
Last pitch I make for Bill Gates this week. The new Win8 Pro does NOT include media player. An option Microsoft intends to charge for. Among other things you will not be able to play DVDs in Win8 without either buying a 3rd party player or shelling out for the MS application. But for a limited time it is FREE from Microsoft. Just go to the link below, enter an email address, and get a FREE CD Key sent to you. Sorry I don't know the expiration date on this one, but it only takes a second, and the price is right.

Add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 Pro

If your PC is running Windows 8 Pro and you'd like to get Windows 8 Media Center Pack so you can watch and record live TV with Windows Media Center, you can take advantage of the following special offer:

For a limited time, get Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs) **

calikid
01-23-2013, 01:32 PM
Calling all Hackers. Help us make America safe. Just register here, we wouldn't put on a list or anything. Honest!

U.S. government invites hackers to work on 'Civic Hacking Day'

Agencies like NASA, Department of Labor, and the Census Bureau will give hackers access to data for a weekend in June in an effort to help the country's communities.
by Dara Kerr

The U.S. government is hoping that hackers can help make the nation a better place.

The White House announced today that it will kick off a "National Day of Civic Hacking" on June 1 and 2 and is inviting those with tech know-how to use their coding skills to improve communities across the country.

"Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans," the White House wrote in a statement.

The National Day of Civic Hacking was put together by a coalition of organizations, companies, and government agencies that includes Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America, NASA, Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Civic Hacking Day, different activities such as block parties, hackathons, and brigade meetups will commence across the country.

From Augusta, Ga., to Denver, Colo., the participating agencies will give hackers government data with coding challenges that are specifically targeted for helping local neighborhoods, cities, and states. While the government has specifically asked for the help of techies, anyone can participate.

According to the event organizers, here are some of the benefits of getting involved:
•Demonstrate a commitment to the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.
•Exercise a government's interest in using open data and technology, in partnership with others, to address your local community's felt needs.
•Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57565302-93/u.s-government-invites-hackers-to-work-on-civic-hacking-day/)

calikid
01-24-2013, 01:47 PM
Can't help but wonder what this 2-1/2men star will look like in a turtle neck? The big screen? Due respects to the late Mr Jobs, but IMO not a likely hit.

'jOBS' biopic starring Ashton Kutcher to hit theaters April 19

The indie movie about the Apple co-founder's life from the 1970s through '90s is set to debut Friday at the Sundance Film Festival.

by Steven Musil

The Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher will open in theaters on April 19, the movie's distributor announced today.

The indie film, which is set to debut Friday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, covers Jobs' life during the years 1971 through 2000 -- a time frame that includes the founding of Apple, as well as his ouster, the formation of Next and Pixar, and then Jobs' return to the company when Apple acquired Next.

The movie should not be confused with a separate production penned by "The Social Network" and "The West Wing" writer Aaron Sorkin. That movie is said to be based on Walter Isaacson's biography, while "jOBS" is based on widely available information. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57565560-37/jobs-biopic-starring-ashton-kutcher-to-hit-theaters-april-19/)

Doc
01-24-2013, 01:47 PM
Good deal from Microsoft, waiting could cost you.

Windows 8 Pricing Goes Back to Normal
By Harry McCracken

One of the many things about Windows 8 which is new is its pricing. When Microsoft released the operating-system upgrade in October, it let PC owners upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 — a much, much lower pricetag than Windows has historically carried. It was so cheap that if you were the least bit intrigued by Windows 8, the cost was unlikely to prevent you from taking the plunge.

But Microsoft said all along that the $39.99 price was a special offer, good only through January 31. And now Windows’ official blogger, Brandon Le Blanc, is confirming that the deal is ending. As of February 1, Windows 8 Pro will be a $199.99 upgrade, and the slightly more basic Windows 8 will be $119.99.

When Microsoft announced the cheap introductory price, I thought it would probably turn into a permanent recalibration of the price of Windows — in the tech world, it’s pretty rare that the cost of anything goes up. I was wrong. Story Continues (http://techland.time.com/2013/01/18/windows-8-pricing-goes-back-to-normal/#ixzz2IcV4cqYQ)

This Windows release does not seem to be generating the same level of discussion as previous versions, positive or negative. I'm very happy with Windows 7 and I still have a couple of PCs at home and at my office running XP for convenience sake. I can't think of a reason to try Windows 8 yet. Is anyone else seeing it this way?

calikid
01-24-2013, 01:57 PM
This Windows release does not seem to be generating the same level of discussion as previous versions, positive or negative. I'm very happy with Windows 7 and I still have a couple of PCs at home and at my office running XP for convenience sake. I can't think of a reason to try Windows 8 yet. Is anyone else seeing it this way?

IMO, this is the next step towards a unified OS that will power PCs & laptops (as always), but that will also power Win8 phones, tablets, RISC chip base devices, etc. More of a progressive/evolutionary move than a quantum leap forward.

CasperParks
01-25-2013, 06:15 AM
News artical at ABC: Hybrid Air Car, 117 MPG

Some gas-electric hybrids can do better than 50 mpg, but not a lot of people own them. Though you spend less on gas, you generally spend more up front on the price of the car. Their batteries are heavy and expensive.

But what if someone offered you a car that could get up to 117 mpg in city driving? A car that would cost about $1,500 less than typical hybrids? It need not look like some pod from a Lady Gaga concert. When it’s not running on gasoline, it uses … the air. There would be a sturdy tank of compressed air in the floor or trunk, recharged by the engine or the brakes.

Peugeot Citroen, the French automaker, has now shown off a prototype for such a system and claims on its website (in French) that it could start selling air-hybrid cars in Europe by 2016. The company, according to European news reports, says that on local streets, the cars would mostly run on compressed air, cutting gasoline use — and costs — by as much as 80 percent. The technology would start in existing subcompact models, the company said, but soon expand to include vehicles of all sizes.

“We are not talking about weird and wacky machines,” a company spokesman was quoted as saying. “These are going to be in everyday cars.”

Click here to read more at ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2013/01/hybrid-air-car-could-get-117-mpg-says-peugeot-citroen/)

calikid
01-25-2013, 02:09 PM
Wait, we PAY for a phone and they tell us what we can and cannot do with it? Makes no sense. IMO, the true way to insure customer fidelity is to provide good service, not turn customer into criminals.

Unauthorized unlocking of smartphones becomes illegal Saturday

The feds mandate fidelity between carriers and users: New rule under DMCA outlaws unlocking new handsets without carrier permission.
by Eric Mack

For all you polyamorous types out there who don't like the long-term monogamy demanded by most American wireless carriers when it comes to smartphones, I have bad news.

Starting this Saturday, it becomes illegal in this great land to unlock a new smartphone without the permission of the carrier that locked it in the first place.

This all goes back to a final rule issued in late October by the Librarian of Congress (PDF) -- the Library of Congress handles the rulemaking for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is the specific law we're talking about here. The rule says this, among other things:



...with respect to new wireless handsets, there are ample alternatives to circumvention. That is, the marketplace has evolved such that there is now a wide array of unlocked phone options available to consumers. While it is true that not every wireless device is available unlocked, and wireless carriers' unlocking polices are not free from all restrictions, the record clearly demonstrates that there is a wide range of alternatives from which consumers may choose in order to obtain an unlocked wireless phone.

In other words, the world's most powerful librarian finds that nobody is forcing us to buy locked phones, no matter how awesome the discounted price of a handset when you shackle yourself to a carrier for a few years. So if you want an unlocked phone, you've got to buy it that way, starting Saturday -- that's when a 90-day transition period to the new rule runs out.

So far, much of the response to the new rule taking effect has been confusion, with a number of people tweeting about the potential implications for the sales of unlocked phones on places like Amazon. Story Continues


(http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57565730-1/unauthorized-unlocking-of-smartphones-becomes-illegal-saturday/)

calikid
01-28-2013, 02:23 PM
I'm all for protecting infrastructure, but what safeguards are in place to prevent abuses, like turning this organization into "spy on your own citizens" operation?
Pentagon to boost Cyber Command fivefold, report says

Faced with rising cyberattack numbers and heckling by the likes of Anonymous, the Pentagon has decided to increase its staffing from 900 to 4,900 workers, according to the Washington Post.
by Charlie Osborne

Cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming a common occurrence worldwide.

When it takes little more than a script kiddie or a downloadable toolkit to cause havoc in corporate systems -- or even transform a governmental Web site into a game of Asteroids as part of a protest, governments are in serious trouble unless they begin to invest more in the future of their digital defense.

When Anonymous recently took down the U.S. Sentencing Commission's Web site through code distributed by the hacktivist collective for "Operation Last Resort," ussc.gov was transformed much to the amusement of many -- but it underscored a serious problem.

If, with collective ease, political hackers can take down a Web site by not just instigating a denial-of-service attack (DoS) but mocking a government through creating a shooting game and distributing files, what will the next level be?

This outcome is something governments not only have to avoid, but be prepared for. The Pentagon currently only has 900 members within its cybersecurity force, but that is about to change.

According to the Washington Post, although the move is yet to be formally announced, the U.S. government will be increasing this number to 4,900 within several years. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57566120-83/pentagon-to-boost-cyber-command-fivefold-report-says/)

calikid
01-29-2013, 02:48 PM
The wave of the future? MS Office designed for tablets. You like updates? Looks like they may cost you in the form of a paid subscription.

Microsoft Office 2013 review:
Designed for tablets, but great for everyone

The good: Microsoft Office 365 Home Edition is a significant update that delivers all the familiar software, with a reinvented interface, tools that make common processes easier, and a cloud-friendly system that lets you work from anywhere.

The bad: The $100-a-year subscription will be hard for many people to swallow. The upgraded apps are not available for Mac at this time, and won't be for 12 to 18 months.

The bottom line: Familiar tools coupled with new features and a simplified and redesigned interface make Office 2013 well worth the paid upgrade.

I really like the new Microsoft Office 2013, even knowing there are several free productivity suites available out there. I wouldn't blame you for asking why you would pay for it when you could get a comparable set of office tools from Google Docs and several other services for a lot less or even free. But after using Office 365 Home Premium on both a tablet and a desktop PC for the last few days, I can tell you that there are plenty of reasons to trade up.

A note about nomenclature: there are an enormous number of versions of the Microsoft Office suite available across the home and business categories. You can purchase and download standalone versions with either Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 ($139) or Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 ($219). There are additional versions with volume pricing for small and large businesses. But what Microsoft is banking on are the subscription services that have a few more perks, such as endless upgrades as they become available, and still offer most of the same downloadable software. Story Continues (http://reviews.cnet.com/microsoft-office-2013/)

Doc
01-29-2013, 05:13 PM
I use two older versions of Office at home at at various offices where I work. My primary use is writing letters and writing reports, usually from existing templates. One of the staff makes and updates forms using the same software. For my use I can't see trading up.

CasperParks
01-29-2013, 05:43 PM
No way I'd upgrade and have to pay a yearly fee to use word.

calikid
01-30-2013, 01:23 PM
Bad law deserves to be repealed.
Want to unlock your phone? Fix the DMCA

commentary The anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA has been stifling research, slowing innovation, and annoying consumers for more than a decade. So why does it still exist?

This week, a new federal mandate kicked in that makes it illegal for you to unlock a phone that you bought locked from a carrier. The rule states that unauthorized unlocking of a phone you bought -- even if you paid full price for it, minus a carrier subsidy -- is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Specifically, it violates a portion of the law enacted in 2000 that makes it illegal to bypass technology designed to restrict access to a certain product. And that provision has bedeviled consumers, researchers, and lawyers for 12 years -- it's time for it to disappear or be substantially rewritten.

The first time I wrote about the DMCA and anti-circumvention was in the wake of the 2005 Sony root kit fiasco, in which Sony had surreptitiously installed restrictive DRM software on the computers of consumers who played or attempted to rip CDs. Under the anti-circumvention provisions, the Princeton security researcher who discovered the root kit had actually broken the law by reverse-engineering the software, and consumers risked breaking the law if they attempted to hack it in order to uninstall it. (On its own, the software would disable your CD drive if you tried to get rid of it.) The Princeton researcher who brought the root kit to light actually delayed his findings because he feared prosecution under the DMCA. That problem? That's still around.

Then it became clear that anti-circumvention would prevent you from being able to rip a DVD to your computer the way you can rip a CD. In 2000, Universal Studios won an injunction against three hackers who had created software to defeat digital rights management technology on DVDs. The court ruled, in fact, that you have zero fair use rights to your encrypted DVDs: That is, just because you bought it doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it, if "whatever you want" includes making your own digital copy for backup, to put on a mobile device, or to watch from a computer. In 2006, I blogged about a survey that reported 90 percent of people (more if those people had kids) think you should have the right to rip your DVDs for backup or mobile use. I bet that number is 100 percent by now, but that problem? That's also still around.

The provision outlawed jailbreaking phones until 2010; it's still illegal under the DMCA to jailbreak a tablet, because apparently "tablet" is a scary, fuzzy concept for the Library of Congress, which is the body that can grant exemptions to the DMCA, if they can be persuaded to understand what you're talking about with all this new technology. (You also can't jailbreak a game console, while we're at it.) Amazon used anti-circumvention to try to stamp out software that converted e-books to audio so that the blind could listen to them -- fortunately, the Library of Congress did allow an exemption for that purpose, but not until 2010 (and it wasn't a very good exemption until 2012). Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-57566494-256/want-to-unlock-your-phone-fix-the-dmca/)


Molly Wood

by Molly Wood

calikid
01-31-2013, 03:05 PM
China vs the New York Times? Seems like an unfair battle. IMO the NYTs should employee better IT staff & take responsibility for corporate security. But most likely the NYTs will cry foul and ask the USG for protection. Resulting in an excuse for less privacy for you and I. Interesting the headline wasn't China Hacks NYTs, but rather CHINA WAGES WAR. Guess we know where this is going.

Chinese hackers said to wage cyberwar on The New York Times

Unusual activity was seen in the paper's computer systems during a probe on China's prime minister. The Times then discovered that the corporate passwords for every employee had been stolen.
by Dara Kerr

After a lengthy newspaper investigation on China's prime minister, The New York Times claims, the newspaper's computer systems were infiltrated and attacked by Chinese hackers.

The attacks began four months ago and culminated with hackers stealing the corporate password for every Times employee, according to the paper. The personal computers of 53 of these employees were also broken into and spied on.

The Times discovered the attacks after observing "unusual activity" in its computer system. Security investigators were then able to get into the system and track the hackers' movements, see what the infiltrators were after, and eventually "expel them."

Hackers penetrated the newspaper's computers as one of its reporters, David Barboza, was wrapping up an investigation into the family wealth of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Once the story published in October, the hackers' activity intensified. According to The New York Times, they were after information on the sources and contacts for Barboza's story.

In order to find out more of who was behind the cyberattacks, The Times hired computer security firm Mandiant. Experts from this firm were able to detect and block the attacks, while watching the hackers' every move, the paper said.

The newspaper's executive editor, Jill Abramson, said, "no evidence that sensitive e-mails or files from the reporting of our articles about the Wen family were accessed, downloaded, or copied."

According to the Times, the methods these hackers used were similar to past attacks by the Chinese military. These methods include routing attacks through U.S. university computers, constantly changing IP addresses, using e-mail malware to get into the computer system, and installing custom software to target specific individuals and documents.

China's Ministry of National Defense has denied that the government had anything to do with the hacking spree. "Chinese laws prohibit any action including hacking that damages Internet security," the Ministry told the Times. "To accuse the Chinese military of launching cyberattacks without solid proof is unprofessional and baseless."

It's not unusual for governments to wage cyberattacks against other country's media, agencies, and facilities. Iran allegedly waged an attack on the U.K.'s BBC News last March; and earlier this month, the U.S. government claimed Iran was responsible for a massive wave of cyberattacks on U.S. banks. The U.S. has also allegedly waged its own hacking war against Iranian power plants, oil companies, and nuclear facilities with three viruses called Flame, Stuxnet, and Duqu.

Chinese cyberespionage against the U.S. has reportedly been a growing threat for some years now. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57566805-83/chinese-hackers-said-to-wage-cyberwar-on-the-new-york-times/)

calikid
02-01-2013, 01:45 PM
A good rundown on which devices can play what video formats.

How trapped are your digital movies and TV shows? Follow the link for some informative graphic tables.

How trapped are your digital movies and TV shows?

Buying films or TV episodes from a digital media outlet may be great if you watch though one particular device. But what happens if you change from iOS to Android? From a PC to a Mac? From a Roku to Apple TV? We chart it out.
by Danny Sullivan

Have you decided to ditch DVDs and Blu-rays to instead buy movies and TV shows only in a pure digital format?

There are certainly advantages to that. But one of the biggest downsides of going all digital is that how you can view your content is largely dependent on the service you purchased it from.

Digital video providers
In this column, I look at how "trapped" video content purchased from iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Xbox and Google Play may be. The first four video marketplaces were listed yesterday by NPD as among the top ways people purchase digital video. Google Play is probably still in the "Other" category. But with Android devices growing and Google continuing to push its own Google Play marketplace, it seemed well worth including in this survey.

Why would anyone give up on physical discs? My last column, "Keep your Blu-rays and DVDs, Hollywood -- I've gone digital," covered some of the reasons I want to abandon them. Digital means I don't have to get off my couch, find a movie disc and shove it into my Blu-ray player. My Roku player can just pull a movie I own down from the cloud. Digital also means if I'm on a trip, and away from my physical movie collection, I can pull the movie down to my laptop or tablet.

The digital trade-offs
But as many people who commented in response to my last column note, giving up on discs means giving up control. They're entirely correct, too. You're giving up the ability to absolutely, positively know that the movie or TV show you own is available to watch in the highest possible quality, without some terms of service down the road possibly taking it away.

Quality is a big issue. For the convenience of having your video content made available to a variety of devices via the cloud, you might find that the best quality isn't always available. That Blu-ray might come with an iTunes, Amazon or UltraViolet digital redemption code, but that doesn't mean you'll get a digital copy equal to your Blu-ray's quality. Even if you do, some devices might be restricted to only getting standard definition quality.

The trapped video matrix
Enough preamble. Below is a chart of how trapped your video might be, followed by explanations. I've tried to cover the major ways people might try to view their digital films, and I've actually tested all of these to see if they work as promised.

Yes, if you have a physical disc, there are ways to rip the movie, strip it of copy protection and get it into various devices. I'm not including that option because my assumption is that most people aren't wanting to spend the time and effort involved in doing that. Rather, I think they'd like to purchase movies from providers that give them as much native freedom and control as possible.

And yes, I know, technically discs are a digital video format. But I'm using "digital" in the same way that Hollywood itself does, as a term to mean an alternative to physical media.

On to the chart: Story continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-33620_3-57566817-278/how-trapped-are-your-digital-movies-and-tv-shows/)

CasperParks
02-01-2013, 06:02 PM
A good rundown on which devices can play what video formats.

How trapped are your digital movies and TV shows? Follow the link for some informative graphic tables.

How trapped are your digital movies and TV shows?

Buying films or TV episodes from a digital media outlet may be great if you watch though one particular device. But what happens if you change from iOS to Android? From a PC to a Mac? From a Roku to Apple TV? We chart it out.
by Danny Sullivan

Have you decided to ditch DVDs and Blu-rays to instead buy movies and TV shows only in a pure digital format?

There are certainly advantages to that. But one of the biggest downsides of going all digital is that how you can view your content is largely dependent on the service you purchased it from.

Digital video providers
In this column, I look at how "trapped" video content purchased from iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Xbox and Google Play may be. The first four video marketplaces were listed yesterday by NPD as among the top ways people purchase digital video. Google Play is probably still in the "Other" category. But with Android devices growing and Google continuing to push its own Google Play marketplace, it seemed well worth including in this survey.

Why would anyone give up on physical discs? My last column, "Keep your Blu-rays and DVDs, Hollywood -- I've gone digital," covered some of the reasons I want to abandon them. Digital means I don't have to get off my couch, find a movie disc and shove it into my Blu-ray player. My Roku player can just pull a movie I own down from the cloud. Digital also means if I'm on a trip, and away from my physical movie collection, I can pull the movie down to my laptop or tablet.

The digital trade-offs
But as many people who commented in response to my last column note, giving up on discs means giving up control. They're entirely correct, too. You're giving up the ability to absolutely, positively know that the movie or TV show you own is available to watch in the highest possible quality, without some terms of service down the road possibly taking it away.

Quality is a big issue. For the convenience of having your video content made available to a variety of devices via the cloud, you might find that the best quality isn't always available. That Blu-ray might come with an iTunes, Amazon or UltraViolet digital redemption code, but that doesn't mean you'll get a digital copy equal to your Blu-ray's quality. Even if you do, some devices might be restricted to only getting standard definition quality.

The trapped video matrix
Enough preamble. Below is a chart of how trapped your video might be, followed by explanations. I've tried to cover the major ways people might try to view their digital films, and I've actually tested all of these to see if they work as promised.

Yes, if you have a physical disc, there are ways to rip the movie, strip it of copy protection and get it into various devices. I'm not including that option because my assumption is that most people aren't wanting to spend the time and effort involved in doing that. Rather, I think they'd like to purchase movies from providers that give them as much native freedom and control as possible.

And yes, I know, technically discs are a digital video format. But I'm using "digital" in the same way that Hollywood itself does, as a term to mean an alternative to physical media.

On to the chart: Story continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-33620_3-57566817-278/how-trapped-are-your-digital-movies-and-tv-shows/)

Similar issues with e-books...

Doc
02-01-2013, 06:54 PM
I'm still using DVDs primarily. Occasional BluRay but generally avoiding it. About 10% from online digital sources, mostly Hulu and Youtube. There are lots of free films and TV shows out there. I have the ability to rip and change formats if I ever want to. Re the DVDs: I like HD when I can get it but some of my older DVDs in lower resolution are OK, too. I buy a lot of foreign films at low cost and don't care about the resolution of those, either. I'm not an early adopter of new tech but I do get on board eventually, usually after the bugs are worked out.

calikid
02-01-2013, 09:09 PM
I own something like 400 DVDs. Storage Space IS becoming an issue. Maybe a digital library could help with that....

calikid
02-02-2013, 02:18 PM
Strong passwords. Thanks for the recommendation Twitter, never would have considered it. :rolleyes:
How about stronger firewalls on your database server instead?

Twitter: Hacking attacks may have accessed data of 250K users

In a blog post this afternoon, Twitter explained that the attacks may have comprised data for a quarter of a million users, and issued recommendations for stronger password security.
by Daniel Terdiman

Twitter said today that it recently detected a series of attempts to hack into user data, and that the attackers may have successfully absconded with some users' information.

In a blog post this afternoon, Twitter explained the situation, and the steps it has taken to fight off the hackers.



This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information -- usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords -- for approximately 250,000 users.

As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts. If your account was one of them, you will have recently received (or will shortly) an email from us at the address associated with your Twitter account notifying you that you will need to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to Twitter.


In an email affected users (including myself) received, Twitter wrote that it "believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We've reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account."

Many people are speculating on Twitter that the affected accounts are all among the service's earliest -- in other words, that they were accounts created in 2006 or 2007, since only accounts that old seem to have received the notice from Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57567257-93/twitter-hacking-attacks-may-have-accessed-data-of-250k-users/)

calikid
02-05-2013, 02:44 PM
If the network is NOT connected to the internet, how was it breached? False flag? Yet another reason the Government needs to invade our privacy. So much easier than implementing stringent security procedures.

Hackers hit U.S. Department of Energy

During a cyberattack on the agency's computers and servers, the personal data of employees and contractors is stolen, but, reportedly, no classified data is leaked.
by Dara Kerr

The U.S. Department of Energy has confirmed that its computer systems were hacked into last month. According to The New York Times, the federal agency sent around an internal e-mail on Friday telling its employees about the cyberattack.

"The Department of Energy has just confirmed a recent cyber incident that occurred in mid-January which targeted the Headquarters' network and resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of employee and contractor Personally Identifiable Information," the e-mail said.

The agency said that it is working to figure out the "nature and scope of the incident" but that so far it believes "no classified data was compromised." It's unclear which divisions within the Department of Energy were attacked or who was behind the hack.

The Department of Energy is in charge of much of the country's vital infrastructure, such as energy production, nuclear reactor production, and radioactive waste disposal. It has troves of classified and sensitive data that if leaked could be detrimental to the country's security. According to Reuters, the most highly classified information is stored on networks that aren't connected to the Internet.

The head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently announced that she believes a wave of cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure is a serious possibility. Dubbing such an event a "cyber 9/11," Napolitano warned that cyberterrorists could take down the nation's power grid, water infrastructure, transportation networks, and financial networks.

While it doesn't seem like the January cyberattack on the Department of Energy compromised any data or infrastructure, it does show that hackers were able to breach the government's computer systems. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57567581-83/hackers-hit-u.s-department-of-energy/)

CasperParks
02-12-2013, 05:40 AM
Saw one of these on the news, found more on youtube.

Living Room

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ituFqnI0ANo

Home Office

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6DSu3IfRlo

Kitchen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZBryYvRfFI

calikid
02-12-2013, 01:53 PM
If you think it's hard to read your phone's tiny screen now, better stop, before You Go Blind.
Or, it's so hard to dial a number with hairy palms. :biggrin2:

Watching porn is bad for your smartphone
By David Goldman

We're not making any moral judgments here. But it is definitively a bad idea to visit pornography sites on your smartphone or tablet.

Nearly one-quarter of malware on mobile devices comes from porn websites, according to a new study from Blue Coat, a Web security and optimization company.

Mobile users don't check out porn sites often -- less than 1% of all mobile traffic is pornography. But when they do go to those sites, the risk of inadvertently downloading malware to their devices increases three-fold. That makes watching porn on smartphones a far bigger threat than viewing porn on a PC.

Porn led to more malware on smartphones and tablets than e-mail spam, malicious websites, and fake apps combined.

Part of the problem, Blue Coat said, is that the nature of mobile devices makes differentiating legitimate sites from malicious ones a tricky task. There is no way to hover over shortened URLs to reveal their true destination, for example.

"No matter how tantalizing a link might look on a desktop, there are cues that you shouldn't go there, such as an address that just doesn't look safe," said Hugh Thompson, chief security strategist for Blue Coat. "When you click a link on a mobile phone, it's harder to know what form of Russian roulette they're playing."

Porn is a leading traffic driver on the Internet, and for many years, porn sites had been a primary source of malware on PCs as well.

"When you delve into the world of online pornography, you don't often know where you are, or where the content is coming from," said Thompson. "But when you're visiting those sites, you are more inclined to make riskier choices than elsewhere on the Web."

But cyberattackers are increasingly finding new ways to target an even larger audience, including phishing, uploading malicious advertisements and poisoning search engine results.

Security experts predict that broader-based cybercrime schemes are likely to appear on smartphones and tablets soon. For now though, mobile attacks appear to be mirroring techniques used on traditional computers.

Still, major security firms have widely predicted that this will be the year mobile devices will finally emerge as a major target for cybercriminals. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/11/technology/security/smartphone-porn/index.html)

calikid
02-13-2013, 01:17 PM
IMO the legislative branch has been unable to pass anything because they always look for the easy answer. So much easier to deprive EVERYONE of privacy rights than it is to actually "harden" the infrastructure. The limits imposed on a Presidential Decree (ie limited to Federal agencies) may actually make for a better solution, as the government will be forced to lead by example. The problem of cybercrime is real, the solutions varied.

President Obama cracks whip on cybercrime
By David Goldman

Having run out of patience for Congress to act on a cybersecurity bill, President Obama has decided to take matters into his own hands.

Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday addressing the country's most basic cybersecurity needs and highlighted the effort in his State of the Union address.

"We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy," Obama said.

The order will make it easier for private companies in control of the nation's critical infrastructure to share information about cyberattacks with the government. In return, the Department of Homeland Security will share "sanitized" classified information with companies about attacks believed to be occurring or that are about to take place.

The order also directs the government to work with the private sector on standards that will help protect companies from cybercrime, though there is nothing in the order about how this will be enforced.

This is hardly comprehensive, but at least it's something aimed at protecting our nation's power, water and nuclear systems from attack. That's more than Congress can say it has accomplished. Lawmakers failed to pass any of the dozens of cybersecurity bills aimed at meaningfully securing critical infrastructure from an online criminals.

Meanwhile, the number of attacks on critical infrastructure companies reported to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity response team grew by 52% in 2012, according to a recent report. Several of them resulted in successful break-ins. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/12/technology/security/obama-infrastructure-cybersecurity/index.html)

Doc
02-13-2013, 02:09 PM
If you think it's hard to read your phone's tiny screen now, better stop, before You Go Blind.
Or, it's so hard to dial a number with hairy palms. :biggrin2:

Watching porn is bad for your smartphone
By David Goldman

We're not making any moral judgments here. But it is definitively a bad idea to visit pornography sites on your smartphone or tablet.

Nearly one-quarter of malware on mobile devices comes from porn websites, according to a new study from Blue Coat, a Web security and optimization company.

Mobile users don't check out porn sites often -- less than 1% of all mobile traffic is pornography. But when they do go to those sites, the risk of inadvertently downloading malware to their devices increases three-fold. That makes watching porn on smartphones a far bigger threat than viewing porn on a PC.

Porn led to more malware on smartphones and tablets than e-mail spam, malicious websites, and fake apps combined.

So, I shouldn't click on "Cheating MILFS want a hookup with you tonight" ? :confused:

calikid
02-14-2013, 02:14 PM
The boys obviously had skills. If only they'd use their (programming) powers for good, instead of evil.

Ransomware cybercrime ring dismantled in Europe

Suspects are accused of infecting millions of computers with a virus to extort perhaps millions of dollars from computer users in 30 countries.
by Steven Musil

A cybercrime ring that infected millions of computers with ransonmware to extort possibly millions of dollars from people in 30 nations has been broken up, the European police agency said today.

Masquerading as police agencies, the suspects paralyzed computers with a virus and told their owners that illegal online activity had been detected and that a fine would have to be paid to unlock their computers, Europol announced in Madrid.

Investigators said they had identified up to 48 variants of the virus, which typically installs itself by tricking users into downloading a malicious executable filed via a socially engineered message.

The gang demanded fines of 100 pounds ($134), which at least 3 percent of victims paid, Europol Director Rob Wainwright said at a news conference in Madrid... Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57569321-83/ransomware-cybercrime-ring-dismantled-in-europe/)

calikid
02-15-2013, 01:59 PM
I cannot help but wonder, once the filters are in place, what other censorship will the government impose to "save the children"?

Iceland works to block Internet porn

In an effort to ensure that children aren't exposed to violent pornography, the Nordic nation is trying to enact laws that would ban all X-rated Web sites.
by Dara Kerr

If Iceland's Interior minister gets enough support, his country could be the first in the West to ban all Internet pornography. Ogmundur Jonasson is working on new legal measures that could make access to online porn nearly impossible, according to the Daily Mail.

"We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," Jonasson told the Daily Mail. He added that the move isn't about censorship but rather the safety of women who appear in porn and children who may be exposed to it.

Jonasson's proposals include blocking porn IP addresses and making it illegal to use Iceland-based credit cards on X-rated Web sites.

Iceland has long held an adversarial stance against pornography. According to the Daily Mail, the country has already made it illegal to print and distribute porn. Now, Jonasson seems to want to bring Iceland's laws up to the Internet age.

The country's move to prohibit all porn stems from a 2010 government study. The study found that the violent nature of pornographic photos and videos, which are widely available on the Internet, have increased the rate of sexual abuse and rape in the country. It also concluded that children who were exposed to violent pornography showed signs of trauma. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57569538-93/iceland-works-to-block-internet-porn/)

calikid
02-20-2013, 01:53 PM
"Be careful out there, and keep your trousers on..." Has always good advice.

Police: Naked scammers seduce, blackmail men on Web
By Doug Gross

Who would have thought that getting naked and naughty with a stranger online could have negative consequences?

It turns out that in addition to the potential for walk-ins by significant others and soul-crushing lack of self-respect in the morning, would-be Internet Lotharios now have to worry about being blackmailed.

Police in Singapore are reporting what appears to be a ring (or rings) of online scam artists who use attractive women to "friend" victims on social sites, seduce them into cybersex on webcams and then threaten to post images or videos of them online if they don't pay up.

"They would commence a webcam conversation with the victims and initiate cybersex by undressing themselves first before persuading the male victims to appear nude or perform sexual acts in front of the webcams," the Singapore Police Force wrote in a post on its website. "Unknown to the victims, the suspects had recorded the acts."

According to the police, more than 50 such cases were reported in 2012, up from 11 the previous year.

In the wonderfully sensational style of journalism reminiscent of Next Media Animation's "animated news" (the Taiwanese folks who showed us Tiger Woods' 2009 traffic mishap and Steve Jobs turning into a ninja) Singapore TV station HD 5 created a 10-minute "reconstruction" of the scam.

It shows our hero Danny, a dorky student, being "friended" on Facebook by the lovely Lilly, who proceeds to talk him out of his pants on camera before abruptly disappearing. The tryst-gone-wrong is then followed by an e-mail and phone call from a shadowy dude demanding $50,000. Story Continues
(http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/18/tech/web/naked-webcam-blackmail/index.html)

calikid
02-21-2013, 05:11 PM
To many secrets in the world. Demonizing hactivists is one way to secure dirty little secrets, another (IMO a better way) would be for the governments not to engage in questionable conduct.

White House warns of dangers posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, other 'hacktivists'

New Obama administration strategy says organizations such as WikiLeaks and hacking group LulzSec may conduct "economic espionage against U.S. companies."

by Declan McCullagh

The White House warned today of the threat posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, and other "hacktivist" groups that have the ability to target U.S. companies and expropriate confidential data.

A new administration-wide strategy (PDF) disclosed at a high-profile event in Washington that included Attorney General Eric Holder says the theft of trade secrets is on the rise and predicts such theft will undermine U.S. national security unless halted.

It's a "steadily increasing threat to America's economy and national security interests," Holder said at the event, which also featured officials from the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Disgruntled insiders [may leak] information about corporate trade secrets or critical U.S. technology to 'hacktivist' groups like WikiLeaks," the White House warns. Such groups could "develop customized malware or remote-access exploits to steal sensitive U.S. economic or technology information."

It's an unanticipated inclusion in a strategy that was expected to be focused on state-sponsored intrusions -- especially in the wake of disclosures this week about the Chinese military's involvement in penetrating the networks of U.S.-headquartered companies -- and signals that the government's interest in WikiLeaks has not abated. Vice President Joe Biden has called WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange a "high-tech terrorist," and a grand jury has been empaneled in Alexandria, Va., as part of a criminal investigation of the group.

While WikiLeaks is probably best known for disclosing sensitive U.S. government files, it has also released internal bank documents (and once promised to release more) and has been the subject of a controversial funds blockade by Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal. For its part, LulzSec successfully targeted News Corp., HBGary, and Sony in 2011, but has been far less active since, especially after it was infiltrated by the FBI.

The White House strategy views both organizations as part of a broader problem of nongovernment groups taking aim at U.S. companies' networks, and predicts:



Some intelligence services with less developed cyberprograms already use relationships with nominally independent hackers to augment their capabilities to target political and military information or to carry out operations against regime enemies. For example, the Iranian Cyber Army, a hacker group with links to the Iranian Government, has used social engineering techniques to obtain control over Internet domains and disrupt the political opposition...

Political or social activists also may use the tools of economic espionage against U.S. companies, agencies, or other entities. The self-styled whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks has already published computer files provided by corporate insiders indicating allegedly illegal or unethical behavior at a Swiss bank, a Netherlands-based commodities company, and an international pharmaceutical trade association. LulzSec -- another hacktivist group -- has exfiltrated data from several businesses that it posted for public viewing on its Web site.


In response to these threats, as well as to state-sponsored groups such as the ones Mandiant disclosed this week, the administration says it will increase "international law enforcement cooperation" and that the FBI and Justice Department will "prioritize these investigations and prosecutions." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57570384-38/white-house-warns-of-dangers-posed-by-wikileaks-lulzsec-other-hacktivists/)

CasperParks
02-21-2013, 06:05 PM
To many secrets in the world. Demonizing hactivists is one way to secure dirty little secrets, another (IMO a better way) would be for the governments not to engage in questionable conduct.

White House warns of dangers posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, other 'hacktivists'

New Obama administration strategy says organizations such as WikiLeaks and hacking group LulzSec may conduct "economic espionage against U.S. companies."

by Declan McCullagh

The White House warned today of the threat posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, and other "hacktivist" groups that have the ability to target U.S. companies and expropriate confidential data.

A new administration-wide strategy (PDF) disclosed at a high-profile event in Washington that included Attorney General Eric Holder says the theft of trade secrets is on the rise and predicts such theft will undermine U.S. national security unless halted.

It's a "steadily increasing threat to America's economy and national security interests," Holder said at the event, which also featured officials from the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Disgruntled insiders [may leak] information about corporate trade secrets or critical U.S. technology to 'hacktivist' groups like WikiLeaks," the White House warns. Such groups could "develop customized malware or remote-access exploits to steal sensitive U.S. economic or technology information."

It's an unanticipated inclusion in a strategy that was expected to be focused on state-sponsored intrusions -- especially in the wake of disclosures this week about the Chinese military's involvement in penetrating the networks of U.S.-headquartered companies -- and signals that the government's interest in WikiLeaks has not abated. Vice President Joe Biden has called WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange a "high-tech terrorist," and a grand jury has been empaneled in Alexandria, Va., as part of a criminal investigation of the group.

While WikiLeaks is probably best known for disclosing sensitive U.S. government files, it has also released internal bank documents (and once promised to release more) and has been the subject of a controversial funds blockade by Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal. For its part, LulzSec successfully targeted News Corp., HBGary, and Sony in 2011, but has been far less active since, especially after it was infiltrated by the FBI.

The White House strategy views both organizations as part of a broader problem of nongovernment groups taking aim at U.S. companies' networks, and predicts:

In response to these threats, as well as to state-sponsored groups such as the ones Mandiant disclosed this week, the administration says it will increase "international law enforcement cooperation" and that the FBI and Justice Department will "prioritize these investigations and prosecutions." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57570384-38/white-house-warns-of-dangers-posed-by-wikileaks-lulzsec-other-hacktivists/)

Years ago, many warned governments would use the label ‘terrorist’ with a broad stroke.

whoknows
02-21-2013, 06:39 PM
I know I have heard this said elsewhere but I think it should be reiterated, that the whole wikileaks and Bradley Manning thing was a setup by the US gov to further destabilize the Muslim world, not that there wasn’t plenty of it already goin around. Many of the later events Libya, Egypt, Tunisa and Syria can easily be traced back to the leaks .

Doc
02-22-2013, 02:15 AM
Controlling the flow of information is vital to nations a corporations. The digital wars are just getting started.

calikid
02-22-2013, 01:17 PM
Break out your debit cards. On line gambling is here in the USA at last, care of the Nevada legislators. Can Atlantic City be far behind?

Nevada becomes first state to allow online gambling

The state's governor signs a bill deeming Internet gaming legal; the law also allows Nevada to partner with other states.
by Dara Kerr

The state known for its lady luck has become the first in the nation to forge into the online gambling world.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed an online gambling bill today that legalizes Internet gaming, according to the Associated Press.

"This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada," Sandoval said, according to the Associated Press. "Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada."

For years, the U.S. has maintained strict laws against online gambling and went after any sites providing Internet poker or other games. "We're going after the people making the money -- the owners of these virtual casinos, gaming rooms, and off-track betting parlors," the head of the Cyber Crime Fraud unit at the FBI Leslie Bryant said in a statement about online gambling.

According to the Associated Press, Nevada already has 20 pending licensing applications from Web site operators and software vendors.

The state's Assembly and Senate easily passed the new bill before the governor signed it today.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57570658-93/nevada-becomes-first-state-to-allow-online-gambling/)

calikid
02-26-2013, 02:40 PM
FIrefox has been beta testing Porn mode for quite awhile.
Let's see if this beta "gets off" the ground.
Now if only they can make one handed browsing easier.
Blue puns intended. :das

Firefox betas pull the shades per-tab on 'porn mode'

The latest versions of Firefox Beta and Firefox Beta for Android come with the ability to browse privately on a per-tab basis, among other improvements.
by Seth Rosenblatt

Private browsing, or 'porn mode' for people with more prurient Web browsing requirements, will soon be available in Firefox on a per-tab basis.

The latest versions of Firefox 20 Beta (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) and Firefox 20 Beta for Android (download) have been updated to allow people to choose private browsing on a per-tab basis. Private browsing disables built-in browser recording, including history and cookies.

This is a pretty big change for Private Browsing aficionados, since previously in Firefox switching to Private Browsing would save all your tabs, close the window, and open a new Private Browsing window without any previously-running tabs. The new behavior allows Private Browsing tabs to run side-by-side with non-Private tabs.

Mozilla continues to crack down on unexpected or unauthorized alterations to the browser. In this beta, Firefox will offer to reset the location bar search provider to the default if it has been changed by a third-party such as an add-on provider.

Other improvements to Firefox Beta for desktops include a new Download Manager that moves the feature to the browser's toolbar from its traditional management pane in a new window, and a plug-in warning that lets you know when a plug-in has been frozen for more than 45 seconds. It gives you the option of restarting the plug-in, instead of the entire browser.

Under the hood, the new Firefox Beta for desktops now supports getUserMedia for recording from your mic or webcam in the browser; CSS FlexBox, Story Continues (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3514_7-57571240/firefox-betas-pull-the-shades-per-tab-on-porn-mode/)

calikid
02-26-2013, 02:46 PM
Another attempt to cast ISPs in the role of copyright police.

'Copyright Alert System' rolls out to catch illegal downloaders

Five major ISPs, including AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast, sign on to help copyright holders "educate" consumers downloading copyrighted movies, games, music, and more.

by Dara Kerr

The "Copyright Alert System," aka "six strikes," kicked off today with the cooperation of five major Internet service providers. The goal of the new campaign is to curb copyright infringement by going after consumers rather than pirates.

While the CAS seems like something that would raise the hackles of privacy and civil liberty groups, the plan isn't to arrest, sue, or fine people downloading illegal movies, games, or music. Instead, the group managing the program -- the Center for Copyright Information -- says its objective is to "educate" such downloaders that they are infringing on protected intellectual copyrights.

"Implementation marks the culmination of many months of work on this groundbreaking and collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows," executive director for the Center for Copyright Information Jill Lesser wrote in a blog post today. "The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy."

The Center for Copyright Information is a joint venture between Hollywood copyright holders and ISPs -- it is also backed by the White House. AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast are the participating ISP members in the venture. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57571237-83/copyright-alert-system-rolls-out-to-catch-illegal-downloaders/)

calikid
02-28-2013, 03:31 PM
Not just Big Brother that might be watching!

Student sets up video sting, allegedly catches teacher

Using two cell phones set to record video -- to ensure all angles are covered -- a high school student lies in wait to catch an alleged backpack thief. There is a surprise.
by Chris Matyszczyk

There are many intelligent teens in America's high schools.

They know how to fight for their rights and how to right their wrongs. They are being well-educated, after all.

Yet one California high schooler was stupefied after she set up a sting operation to catch a thief.

As ABC News 10 in Sacramento reveals, Justine Betti was miffed that money and other valuable items seemed to be disappearing from students' backpacks during gym class.

No kids, you shouldn't keep money in your backpacks, but, as you would say, whatever.

Anyway, Betti decided that she was savvy enough to collect evidence. So she hid in a locker and sat in wait for the alleged thief to come by.

Sure enough, somebody did. That somebody was allegedly her teacher.

She told ABC 10: "After all the kids left she stayed in there and went through people's backpacks. I saw her take money and then I told people."

Oh, of course no one believed her. Would you have? So Betti resolved that it was only through technology that she could muster the proof.

So she said she hid in the locker again, with one cell phone and set up another one in an adjacent locker, ready to record video.

The teacher ("she was so nice," said Betti) allegedly repeated her behavior, which both cameras captured.

Armed with the video evidence, Betti and her friends paid a visit to the principal at Linden High School.

He said he would investigate, though he reportedly told her to delete the videos -- which, on "Law And Order," they refer to as destroying evidence.

"But I had already sent it to my dad, " Betti said.

A few other people had already -- unsurprisingly -- shared it too.

The teacher, reportedly a very popular one, has now been placed on administrative leave by the school.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57571718-71/student-sets-up-video-sting-allegedly-catches-teacher/)

calikid
03-01-2013, 02:07 PM
Is NO privacy an accceptable answer? How much choice do we get when we sign off on those EULAs?

Figuring out the future of online privacy

By Heather Kelly

What level of privacy will we have online in the future?

Will people share their personal data freely in exchange for more customized service? Or will they become fiercely protective of private information, using tools and browsers that protect their identity from advertisers and other third parties?

Privacy experts from Facebook, Google, Mozilla and Microsoft have been tackling these big questions this week at the RSA security conference in San Francisco.

Public changes to privacy policies, like the ones that make news when Facebook or Google change their settings, are just a small part of the story. Behind the scenes, these companies have full-time staffs of privacy experts, lawyers and engineers who are juggling an array of privacy demands. In addition to what the users expect, there are government regulations, industry standards and rules that vary across operating systems.

Companies that provide free services, such as search engines or social networks, have to strike the right balance between respecting their customers' privacy concerns and serving advertisers.

"It's important and easy for everyone to acknowledge that much of the incredible growth of the Internet today has been fueled by advertising," said Keith Enright, Google's senior privacy counsel. "I believe that will continue to be true."

For Web titans, the money still flows in from advertisers, not consumers. Facebook made $4.2 billion, or 84% of its revenue, from online advertising in 2012. Google saw $43.6 billion in advertising last year, accounting for almost 95% of the company's revenue.

Customers' leverage
They may not be paying for the services directly, but customers still have a lot of power -- and companies know that they need to listen. People can switch to another browser, ditch Facebook and go back to writing e-mails, stop Googling and start Binging. And privacy is becoming more and more important to them.

"Privacy is increasingly becoming a feature," said Brendon Lynch, Microsoft's chief privacy officer.

The customer demand for stronger data controls led to the introduction of the "do not track" feature. "Do not track" is a setting that can be now found on all the major browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. When turned on, it asks sites not to track that person's online activities. A Microsoft survey found that 75% of people were concerned about online tracking and thought the setting should be turned on by default.

"Do not track" seems like a clear, smart option to give consumers, but it has has been difficult to enforce. There are talks under way by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international organization that develops standards for the Web, to make it official. However, advertisers and other third parties are pushing back.

Changes to consumers' data, like "do not track," can come at the expense of advertisers, creating friction. When Mozilla recently announced that it was testing a feature that disabled third-party cookies by default in its Firefox browser, the general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau called it "a nuclear first strike" against the ad industry on Twitter.

"We can't just sit back and allow the industry to just continue to ignore a core component of the user experience online," said Alex Fowler, Mozilla's global privacy and public policy leader.

The issues will become only more complex in the future, when small sensors and devices that can track things like location, fitness and environment become ubiquitous. The more devices that connect to the Internet, from smart cars to home thermostats, the more data there are about a person to collect.

Location data are already being tagged on to photos, tweets and other online actions when people use their mobile phones. For many people, they are considered private data, whether they show where someone is at that exact moment or where they've been over time.

"How can you take the data, make it less sensitive but still make it of value to the user?" asked Lynch.

Balancing privacy and usefulness

According to the panelists, personal data such as location have many potentially positive uses. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/28/tech/web/online-privacy-policies/index.html)

calikid
03-04-2013, 02:45 PM
Can't say the fat cat record executives have my sympathy. $18USD for a 25cent plastic disk? Maybe $1 goes to the band? IMO Greed was their downfall, not technology.
Poll: Should music be free?

Paying for music is now a voluntary act, so why would anyone ever buy a CD, LP, or download?
by Steve Guttenberg

Music, or should I say most recorded music, is already free; you can get it whenever and wherever you want it and pay nothing.

I've bought thousands of CDs, SACDs, LPs, and a few hundred downloads. Of course, when I started buying music I didn't have too many "free" options, other than radio or taping friends' albums. Radio was a great way to discover new music, but once I heard something I really liked, I bought it. My $3.98 "Led Zeppelin II" LP was a great investment; I've played it hundreds of times, and it sounds better than ever over my high-end hi-fi.

Times change, though. Fans no longer feel a need to support their favorite bands by buying their music. Some go to concerts or buy merchandise, and that's great, but they see no need to buy music. Some have paid subscriptions to Spotify or Pandora, and sure, that's better than nothing. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57572081-47/poll-should-music-be-free/)

CasperParks
03-04-2013, 07:21 PM
Can't say the fat cat record executives have my sympathy. $18USD for a 25cent plastic disk? Maybe $1 goes to the band? IMO Greed was their downfall, not technology.
Poll: Should music be free?

Paying for music is now a voluntary act, so why would anyone ever buy a CD, LP, or download?
by Steve Guttenberg

Music, or should I say most recorded music, is already free; you can get it whenever and wherever you want it and pay nothing.

I've bought thousands of CDs, SACDs, LPs, and a few hundred downloads. Of course, when I started buying music I didn't have too many "free" options, other than radio or taping friends' albums. Radio was a great way to discover new music, but once I heard something I really liked, I bought it. My $3.98 "Led Zeppelin II" LP was a great investment; I've played it hundreds of times, and it sounds better than ever over my high-end hi-fi.

Times change, though. Fans no longer feel a need to support their favorite bands by buying their music. Some go to concerts or buy merchandise, and that's great, but they see no need to buy music. Some have paid subscriptions to Spotify or Pandora, and sure, that's better than nothing. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57572081-47/poll-should-music-be-free/)

Calikid,

I agree with you, "Greed was their downfall, not technology".

Dragonfire
03-05-2013, 05:58 PM
Hindenburg mystery solved 76 years after historic catastrophe: static electricity caused the airship to explode
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 00:20 GMT, 4 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:03 GMT, 4 March 2013
Comments (91) Share
..The mystery of the Hindenburg disaster has finally been solved 76 years after the in-flight exposition occurred.

The cause of the May 6, 1937, incident that killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crew members on board was static electricity, says a team of experts who have been looking into the real trigger.
They say that after the ship flew into a thunderstorm a build up of hydrogen led to the explosion.


The iconic airship had reportedly become charged with static as a result of the electrical storm and broken wire or a sticking gas valve leaked the hydrogen into the ventilation shafts.

When ground crew members ran to take the landing ropes they effectively "earthed" the airship causing a spark.
The fire is believed to have started on the tail of the airship, igniting the leaking hydrogen.

Jem Stansfield, a British aeronautical engineer, and his team of researchers based at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, blew up and set fire to scale models of blimps more than 24m long to prove the real cause.
In a documentary that will be broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain on Thursday, Stanfield and other experts explain the sequence of events that triggered the explosion.

The researchers say their reason for conducting the experiments was to rule out theories ranging from a bomb planted by a terrorist to explosive properties in the paint used to coat the Hindenburg, the Independent reports.
The 245m German airship was preparing to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, when it caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames in front horrified onlookers.


Hindenburg mystery solved 76 years after historic catastrophe: static electricity caused the airship to explode
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 00:20 GMT, 4 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:03 GMT, 4 March 2013
Comments (91) Share

..The mystery of the Hindenburg disaster has finally been solved 76 years after the in-flight exposition occurred.

The cause of the May 6, 1937, incident that killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crew members on board was static electricity, says a team of experts who have been looking into the real trigger.
They say that after the ship flew into a thunderstorm a build up of hydrogen led to the explosion.
Scroll down for video


Real cause: The cause of the Hindenburg disaster that killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crew members on board was static electricity, says a team of experts who have been looking into the real trigger


The iconic airship had become charged with static as a result of an electrical storm and broken wire or sticking gas valve leaked hydrogen into the ventilation shafts

Through research: Jem Stansfield, a British aeronautical engineer, and his team of researchers based at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, blew up and set fire to scale models of blimps more than 24m long to prove the real cause
The iconic airship had reportedly become charged with static as a result of the electrical storm and broken wire or a sticking gas valve leaked the hydrogen into the ventilation shafts.

When ground crew members ran to take the landing ropes they effectively "earthed" the airship causing a spark.
The fire is believed to have started on the tail of the airship, igniting the leaking hydrogen.

Jem Stansfield, a British aeronautical engineer, and his team of researchers based at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, blew up and set fire to scale models of blimps more than 24m long to prove the real cause.
In a documentary that will be broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain on Thursday, Stanfield and other experts explain the sequence of events that triggered the explosion.

The researchers say their reason for conducting the experiments was to rule out theories ranging from a bomb planted by a terrorist to explosive properties in the paint used to coat the Hindenburg, the Independent reports.
The 245m German airship was preparing to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, when it caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames in front horrified onlookers.


Conspiracy theories: Stansfield's goal was to rule out conspiracy theories ranging from a bomb planted by a terrorist to explosive properties in the paint used to coat the Hindenburg, the Independent reports



Ready to land: The 245m German airship was preparing to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey


Conflicting theories: Investigations conducted after the disaster deemed that a sudden spark had ignited leaking hydrogen gas in the airship, but investigators could not come to an agreement on what caused the spark or the leaking gas
Solving the Hindenburg mystery. Channel 4 look into the tragedy...
Loading video... Investigations conducted after the disaster deemed that a sudden spark had ignited leaking hydrogen gas in the airship.

However, investigators could not come to an agreement on what caused the spark, or the leaking gas.
Conspiracy theories began to spread that the Hindenburg had been wiped out by a bomb or that someone had shot down the airship from below.

Stansfield and his team were able to dispel those rumors after they recreated different scenarios with mini-replicas, studied archive footage of the disaster and collected eyewitness accounts.

‘I think you had massive distribution of hydrogen throughout the aft half of the ship; you had an ignition source pull down into the ship, and that whole back portion of the ship went up almost at once,’ said airship historian Dan Grossman.

Read more, see photo's, and watch videos at :http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287608/Hindenburg-mystery-solved-76-years-historic-catastrophe-static-electricity-caused-airship-explode.html

calikid
03-06-2013, 02:46 PM
Whole new meaning to the term sticky keys. :p

E-book porn flourishes on Amazon's Kindle

Platforms for e-book self-publishing like Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing let amateur porn producers slap together adult picture books and sell them online with ease.
by Donna Tam

Amazon has a problem with pornography.

The company created technology to filter smut from its library of video and print offerings and it also pays humans to do the same thing. In spite of that, Kindle users can still download e-books with the same sort of raunchy images and titles normally seen in nudie mags sold at liquor store newsstands.

That's because these salacious e-books are self-published, spawned from sources with names like Camera Erotica Publications and ErotiPics. Some of the milder titles include "The Dirty Blonde 2," which comes with a self-prescribed adults-only warning, a weak attempt at a storyline, and more than 80 photos of a woman posing in various stages of undress. It's yours for only $2.99 or, like many of the titles, you can even borrow it through Amazon Prime's lending library.

Access to e-book porn isn't limited to the Kindle world. Searching for the term "adult picture book" on the Barnes & Noble Nook store also produces a list of hundreds of adult-oriented e-books created by the company's PubIt! Nook Books system.

Both companies, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, make it clear in their content policies that pornography is not allowed in self-published e-books. But whatever their official policies might be, searches by CNET have turned up no shortage of smutty e-book titles, available to browse in crisp, black-and-white e-ink or in full color on the Kindle Fire HD or the Nook HD+.

Porn is also available in Apple's iBook store, but the covers and titles are much tamer. Apple has a self-publishing system that is longer and involves an application process.

Lines of defense?
Amazon reviews books when they are added to the library, but clearly it doesn't catch everything. When CNET e-mailed an Amazon spokesperson a link to one of the Camera Erotica titles, the e-book was subsequently removed from the Kindle Store, though other titles from the same author remain. The company explained that it uses proprietary software to check for content and copyright issues when e-books are submitted.

For some books, a manual screening process is done by people, but Amazon wouldn't say what percentage of Kindle Direct Publishing books were screened this way or specifically how much porn is caught during screening. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57572494-93/e-book-porn-flourishes-on-amazons-kindle/)

calikid
03-08-2013, 01:03 PM
Mover over PayPal, there is a new coin of the realm on the horizon.

Why cyber currency Bitcoin is trading at an all-time high
By Steve Hargreaves

Bitcoin sounds like something from science fiction: A purely digital currency, created by an anonymous hacker, that operates outside the world's traditional banking systems. The four-year-old currency is very real, though, and it's trading an all-time high, tripling in value in the last two months alone.

One bitcoin is was worth about $40 U.S. dollars on Tuesday, and surged on Wednesday to nearly $49. That's up from around $13 in January, and 5 cents in 2010, according to Mt. Gox, the bitcoin market's main exchange. On that and other trading sites, buyers can swap their digital coins for cold, hard cash.

Watchers of the alternative currency attribute some of bitcoin's rise to the recent decision by several popular-in-geek-circles vendors to accept the coins -- most notably, blog hosting site Wordpress and the online community Reddit.

"These guys are killing it on retail," Peter Vessenes, chairman of the trade group Bitcoin Foundation, said of bitcoin's growing acceptance with merchants.

The coins are also much easier to obtain than they used to be. Until recently, a buyer typically needed to navigate an international wire transfer and wait days for the transaction to clear. Sites like like Coinbase and Bitinstant let customers buy bitcoins with U.S. cash or bank transfers. Vessenes' own bitcoin exchange, CoinLab, is set to launch later this month.

Some longtime advocates are leery of the recent run-up.

"Most people don't think $40 is a valid price right now," said Jon Holmquist, head of marketing at two Bitcoin-related startups, Coinabul and Bitcoinstore.

Stefan Thomas, founder of community site We Use Coins, thinks the rise is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"When the price starts going up, you get a lot of speculators that want to ride the wave," he said.

Because the number of transactions and overall value of coins in circulation is relatively low, the currency is quite volatile -- it went from under $1 to over $28, then back to $7 in 2011 alone.

Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an anonymous developer using the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto" -- the Japanese equivalent of a bland name like "John Smith." It has no central-bank backing. The idea was to create a currency that's free from government intervention and can be used to conduct transactions without hefty exchange or processing fees.

One deal chronicled on the bitcoin data site BlockChain involved a transfer worth nearly $80,000. The processing fee was 1.8 cents. Beat that, Western Union.

Coins are "minted" by a network of computers running specialized software on powerful (and often pricey) hardware systems. The software is designed to release new coins at a steady -- and finite -- pace. Right now, one new "block" of 25 bitcoins is generated roughly every 10 minutes, adding to the pool of around 10.8 million circulating coins.

The underlying system that generates coins is extremely difficult to attack, but the "digital wallets" bitcoin owners use to store their wealth haven't been so lucky. A series of high-profile thefts in 2011 crashed the currency's value, and one exchange operator lost 24,000 bitcoins to a thief in September. Critics also contend that the anonymous nature of the currency could make it the monetary instrument of choice for money launderers. It's already the standard currency for Silk Road, a notorious online drug bazaar. Story Continues (http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/06/technology/innovation/bitcoin/index.html)

CasperParks
03-08-2013, 07:11 PM
Snippet of news article:


Commotion Wireless: Free and Open Way to Network

A mesh network is created by connecting devices like computers and mobile phones through a "peer to peer" method -- meaning that instead of using an Internet service provider's connection through a Wi-Fi access point or cell tower, the devices are communicating with each other directly, free of any interference.

"At minimum, Commotion requires two or more Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, routers, or smartphones, to create a stand-alone network," Commotion says on its project's website. "New users may join an existing network using other Wi-Fi devices or standard GSM mobile phones."

The technology behind mesh networking isn't new -- in fact, Meinrath says he's been working with it for almost 13 years -- but Commotion Wireless is the first project of its kind to include GSM mobile phone frequencies. Meinrath says this is important because mobile phones are usually among the first technologies introduced in developing areas of the world.

Read more at ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/commotion-wireless-free-open-network/story?id=18659257)

Doc
03-09-2013, 04:43 PM
Snippet of news article:

I can see this developing into a work-around to thwart governments shutting down the internet in times of unrest. There should be a name for benign hacking that doesn't carry all the baggage of "Hacker". Young geeks who aren't restricted by the idea of limitations in what can be accomplished may be a big factor in maintaining freedom in coming years.

whoknows
03-09-2013, 05:28 PM
I bet there are not a few old dogs that could learn new tricks that could help in that endeavor. I know I have less to lose than a youngster!

calikid
03-11-2013, 12:11 PM
Judicial oversight, now THAT's what I'm talking about! Sanity returns to "the boarder zone".
IMO, reasonable suspicion is a LOW BAR (much lower than probable cause), and should be observed.

Court curbs Homeland Security's laptop border searches

Appeals court slaps down Obama administration's claim that customs agents can peruse Americans' electronic devices for evidence -- without having even a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
by Declan McCullagh

U.S. customs officials must have a reasonable justification before snatching your laptop at the border and scanning through all your files for incriminating data, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Homeland Security's border agents must have "reasonable suspicion" before they can legally conduct a forensics examination of laptops, mobile phones, camera memory cards, and so on.

Today's opinion (PDF) is a limited -- but hardly complete -- rejection of the Obama administration's claim that any American entering the country may have his or her electronic files minutely examined for evidence of criminal activity. Homeland Security has said the electronic border searches could detect terrorists, drug smugglers, and people violating "copyright or trademark laws."

It's only a limited rejection because certain warrantless searches at the border remain permissible: The judges said that "a quick look" or "unintrusive search" of a laptop, such as asking its owner to turn it on and peruse open windows, is perfectly OK. In addition, the court indicated that previous criminal history qualifies as "reasonable suspicion" that justifies a complete forensics analysis.

In 2009, Homeland Security reiterated its view that it should have unchecked authority to seize electronic devices indefinitely, though supervisory approval is required if they're held for more than 15 days. The Justice Department defended this view in legal briefs before the Ninth Circuit, saying that the Fourth Amendment's privacy protections are so limited at the border that "reasonable suspicion" is unnecessary.

Here's an excerpt from the Ninth Circuit's en banc ruling:


The amount of private information carried by international travelers was traditionally circumscribed by the size of the traveler's luggage or automobile. That is no longer the case. Electronic devices are capable of storing warehouses full of information. The average 400-gigabyte laptop hard drive can store over 200 million pages -- the equivalent of five floors of a typical academic library. Even a car full of packed suitcases with sensitive documents cannot hold a candle to the sheer, and ever-increasing, capacity of digital storage.

The nature of the contents of electronic devices differs from that of luggage as well. Laptop computers, iPads and the like are simultaneously offices and personal diaries. They contain the most intimate details of our lives: financial records, confidential business documents, medical records and private emails. This type of material implicates the Fourth Amendment's specific guarantee of the people's right to be secure in their "papers..."

Electronic devices often retain sensitive and confidential information far beyond the perceived point of erasure, notably in the form of browsing histories and records of deleted files. This quality makes it impractical, if not impossible, for individuals to make meaningful decisions regarding what digital content to expose to the scrutiny that accompanies international travel. A person's digital life ought not be hijacked simply by crossing a border. When packing traditional luggage, one is accustomed to deciding what papers to take and what to leave behind. When carrying a laptop, tablet or other device, however, removing files unnecessary to an impending trip is an impractical solution given the volume and often intermingled nature of the files. It is also a time-consuming task that may not even effectively erase the files.

International travelers certainly expect that their property will be searched at the border. What they do not expect is that, absent some particularized suspicion, agents will mine every last piece of data on their devices or deprive them of their most personal property for days (or perhaps weeks or even months, depending on how long the search takes). Such a thorough and detailed search of the most intimate details of one's life is a substantial intrusion upon personal privacy and dignity. We therefore hold that [a forensics exam requires] a showing of reasonable suspicion, a modest requirement in light of the Fourth Amendment.

Led by Judge Consuelo Callahan, some judges dissented, saying that the government should "be mostly free from the Fourth Amendment" and that the majority opinion creates an unworkable rule.

A second dissent written by Judge Milan Smith argues that flagging a traveler merely based on a decades-old conviction does not amount to "reasonable suspicion," saying: Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57573391-38/court-curbs-homeland-securitys-laptop-border-searches/)

Doc
03-11-2013, 04:35 PM
The Ninths Circuit Court was right to not allow such intrusive search for little or no reason. "Reasonable Suspicion" could be anything an agent dreams up and easily justified after the fact by unscrupulous types. I ahve never seen constitutional rights under such open attack from government as they have been this last ten years or so.

calikid
03-12-2013, 02:56 AM
The Ninths Circuit Court was right to not allow such intrusive search for little or no reason. "Reasonable Suspicion" could be anything an agent dreams up and easily justified after the fact by unscrupulous types. I ahve never seen constitutional rights under such open attack from government as they have been this last ten years or so.

The point was that simply being within the "border zone" was good enough reason for officials to examine any and all electronic devices.

This new ruling imposes the "reasonable suspicion" requirement, that had been lacking.
A low standard to be sure, but a great improvement over NONE.

Doc
03-12-2013, 04:15 AM
The point was that simply being within the "border zone" was good enough reason for officials to examine any and all electronic devices.

This new ruling imposes the "reasonable suspicion" requirement, that had been lacking.
A low standard to be sure, but a great improvement over NONE.

I had that part mixed up, then. In my profession, we need to have a "reasonable belief" to be required to report suspected child abuse, which is a higher standard. It should be something closer to that, I'd say. Almost as high a bar as "probable cause", which I suppose is unrealistic in the circumstances they were addressing.

calikid
03-12-2013, 11:40 AM
IMO, should be outlawed.
Meet the 'Corporate Enemies of the Internet' for 2013

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders names five companies as "digital mercenaries" that have decided to sell their surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes.
by Declan McCullagh

National governments are increasingly purchasing surveillance devices manufactured by a small number of corporate suppliers and using them to control dissidents, spy on journalists, and violate human rights, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders warns in a new report released this afternoon.

The group's 2013 report for the first time names five private-sector companies "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" for their choice to become "digital mercenaries" and sell surveillance and censorship technology to authoritarian regimes.

"If these companies decided to sell to authoritarian regimes, they must have known that their products could be used to spy on journalists, dissidents, and netizens," Reporters Without Borders says. The companies: the U.K.'s Gamma Group, Germany's Trovicor, Italy's HackingTeam, France's Amesys, and Blue Coat Systems, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The focus on surveillance technology is a shift from the Paris-based advocacy group's list of the nations that are the most repressive in terms of Internet censorship. This year's list of the worst governments lists Syria, China, Iran, Bahrain, and Vietnam as the five nations that engage in the most extensive surveillance of their citizens. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57573707-38/meet-the-corporate-enemies-of-the-internet-for-2013/)

calikid
03-13-2013, 01:02 PM
Danger Will Robinson!
Along with a good AntiVirus package, timely system updates are the best defense for your system.
Keep current, or risk infection/loss of personal data.

Microsoft's latest patches address new USB hack

The software giant discovers a Windows vulnerability that lets attackers gain access to data in locked or logged-off computers with a USB thumb drive.
by Dara Kerr

A new kind of vulnerability popped up recently, one that lets hackers stick a USB thumb drive into a computer -- even if it's logged-off or locked -- type out a bit of attack code and steal whatever data they want.

In an effort to avoid this type of cyberattack, Microsoft issued its monthly software patches today and included a fix for this Windows vulnerability called MS13-027. This vulnerability lets a hacker get into the computer with a thumb drive and take over administrative privileges.

"When the Windows USB device drivers enumerate the device, parsing a specially crafted descriptor, the attacker could cause the system to execute malicious code in the context of the Windows kernel," Microsoft wrote in a blog post today. "Because the vulnerability is triggered during device enumeration, no user intervention is required. In fact, the vulnerability can be triggered when the workstation is locked or when no user is logged in, making this an un-authenticated elevation of privilege for an attacker with casual physical access to the machine."
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57573972-75/microsofts-latest-patches-address-new-usb-hack/)

Doc
03-13-2013, 01:54 PM
The research into autism is beginning to make some progress. Via email form Christopher Rudy:


SHIFT REPORT:

Autism Comes Out of the Closet.

Where are you on 'the spectrum'?

Full article graphically archived HERE

(http://www.heartcom.org/ShiftReport3-12.htm)
Autism’s “rockstar” (PhD), Temple (http://www.templegrandin.com/)Grandin (http://www.templegrandin.com/), lectured to a large audience of teachers, university students, and parents in Bozeman Montana last Tuesday (5th).Speaking in her distinctive, no-nonsense style, Grandin said, "Autism is a very big spectrum, ranging from people with severe handicaps to high-functioning people like Einstein, Steve Jobs and Mozart. Half the geeks in the Silicon Valley are on the spectrum... The best course of action for mild autism, Asperger's, or ADHD is the same. Help the child to understand their strengths. Focus on things they are good at."


Continued at: www.heartcom.org/ShiftReport3-12.htm (http://www.heartcom.org/ShiftReport3-12.htm)


(http://www.heartcom.org/ShiftReport3-12.htm)

Doc
03-13-2013, 02:05 PM
via email from Robert Morningstar:


http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Uploads/Pix/338/03/338-0311102850.jpgFeature Article • Space Travel and Exploration (http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Subjects/00098-LAST-space-travel-and-exploration.htm?From=News)
SpaceX: Grasshopper Successfully Completes 260 Feet Hover Slam (http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/130140-2013-03-11-spacex-grasshopper-successfully-completes-260-feet-hover-slam.htm?From=News)
Powell Gammill
SpaceX’s Grasshopper doubled its highest leap to date to rise 24 stories, hovering for approximately 34 seconds and landing safely using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control touching backed down on the centermost part of...(read the rest)
(http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Add-Letter.htm?EdNo=&Info=0230663)

calikid
03-15-2013, 12:17 PM
Whoa.... battle of the cores. Can Apple maintain their share with hardware competition like this on the horizon?


Heads up Apple, here comes Samsung's 8-core chip

Samsung is set to begin manufacturing its eight-core phone and tablet processor in the second quarter. That's a problem for Apple because Apple is both competing with Samsung and getting its A6 from the South Korean company.
by Brooke Crothers

Think Apple's A6 chip packs a punch? It appears to have some stiff competition from Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa, slated for commercial production in the second quarter, the company announced today.

Featured in Samsung's Galaxy S4, Octa means it integrates a whopping eight CPU cores. Apple's A6 has two, by comparison.

While a raw core count comparison may be too simplistic, Samsung's chip, on paper, should make Apple worry -- especially since Samsung is simultaneously manufacturing the Exynos chip and Apple's A6. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57574464-94/heads-up-apple-here-comes-samsungs-8-core-chip/)

calikid
03-16-2013, 11:24 AM
Looks like Cisco wants to concentrate on the business market. Sells off consumer branch.
I have had good performance from the Linksys line of products over the years, let's hope Belkin maintains the high standards.

Belkin completes acquisition of Linksys from Cisco

Linksys will still exist as a separate brand; support for all existing products will continue and warranties will be honored.
by Dong Ngo

Belkin announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Linksys from Cisco.

The privately held networking vendor unveiled its interest in Linsys in late January, and now the deal is complete. This means Linksys' technologies, including its routers and the Smart Wi-Fi portfolio and services, will be managed and maintained by Belkin, but as a separate brand and product portfolio.

This also means that Cisco Connect Cloud, with which users can manage and control control home networks powered by a Smart Wi-Fi router via the Internet, will also be branded without Cisco in its name.

Cisco bought Linksys back in 2003 in a deal that was worth $500 million, but kept the Linksys name, calling it Linksys by Cisco. Ever since, Linksys has been the home-networking choice from Cisco, with two major product lines: the Linksys E series and Linksys EA series. The EA series uses Cisco Connect Cloud to extend home networking into a platform that's integrated with the cloud and can run third-party apps.

According to Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin, "The Linksys portfolio will continue to exist and evolve to include even richer user experiences and network management functionality." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57574628-92/belkin-completes-acquisition-of-linksys-from-cisco/)

Doc
03-16-2013, 03:06 PM
I have had good experience with Linksys over the years, too. Back when I first got into this addiction, Belkin made generic items of mixed quality, at least that was what was on the shelves around here. I have noticed that they have improved the overall quality of their items, again, at least the items I see for sale or have used. I hope this means I can still get Linksys quality and ease of use.

BTW, this is one of my favorite threads. Something interesting here just about every day.

calikid
03-17-2013, 09:27 PM
<snip>

BTW, this is one of my favorite threads. Something interesting here just about every day.

Nice of you to say. Wonderful age we live in, affordable tech for the masses. ;)

calikid
03-18-2013, 01:00 PM
Elections are the bedrock of democracy. If officials cannot guarantee security, then maybe online voting is not ready for prime time. Paper ballots have been around for decades/centurys, should continue to work OK until a bulletproof system can be developed.

Cyberattack on Florida election is first known case in US, experts say
By Gil Aegerter

An attempt to illegally obtain absentee ballots in Florida last year is the first known case in the U.S. of a cyberattack against an online election system, according to computer scientists and lawyers working to safeguard voting security.

The case involved more than 2,500 “phantom requests” for absentee ballots, apparently sent to the Miami-Dade County elections website using a computer program, according to a grand jury report on problems in the Aug. 14 primary election. It is not clear whether the bogus requests were an attempt to influence a specific race, test the system or simply interfere with the voting. Because of the enormous number of requests – and the fact that most were sent from a small number of computer IP addresses in Ireland, England, India and other overseas locations – software used by the county flagged them and elections workers rejected them.

Computer experts say the case exposes the danger of putting states’ voting systems online – whether that’s allowing voters to register or actually vote.

“It’s the first documented attack I know of on an online U.S. election-related system that’s not (involving) a mock election,” said David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who is on the board of directors of the Verified Voting Foundation and the California Voter Foundation.

Other experts contacted by NBC News agreed that the attempt to obtain the ballots is the first known case of a cyberattack on voting, though they noted that there are so many local elections systems in use that it's possible that a similar attempt has gone unnoticed. Story Continues (http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/18/17314818-cyberattack-on-florida-election-is-first-known-case-in-us-experts-say?lite)

Doc
03-18-2013, 02:46 PM
There is going to be a war over digital/online voting and election security for a long time to come. There are powerful forces that want to be able to continue gaming elections and they will be relentless. Most of the common sense solutions would put the crooks out of business, so expect a big push for online voting, free internet access and laptops for the poor, etc. all to the purpose of stealing elections. It may not get loud but it will be nasty.

calikid
03-19-2013, 01:10 PM
With this thinking, maybe the Post Office should photocopy every letter before delivery, because there "might be criminal evidence" inside. :nono:

Cops: U.S. law should require logs of your text messages

Silicon Valley firms and privacy groups want Congress to update a 1986-era electronic privacy law. But if a law enforcement idea set to be presented today gets attached, support for the popular proposal would erode.

by Declan McCullagh
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to capture and store Americans' confidential text messages, according to a proposal that will be presented to a congressional panel today.
The law enforcement proposal would require wireless providers to record and store customers' SMS messages -- a controversial idea akin to requiring them to surreptitiously record audio of their customers' phone calls -- in case police decide to obtain them at some point in the future.

"Billions of texts are sent every day, and some surely contain key evidence about criminal activity," Richard Littlehale from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will tell Congress, according to a copy (PDF) of his prepared remarks. "In some cases, this means that critical evidence is lost. Text messaging often plays a big role in investigations related to domestic violence, stalking, menacing, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking."

Littlehale's recommendations echo a recommendation that a constellation of law enforcement groups, including the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, the National District Attorneys' Association, and the National Sheriffs' Association, made to Congress in December, which was first reported by CNET.

They had asked that an SMS retention requirement be glued onto any new law designed to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act for the cloud computing era -- a move that would complicate debate over such a measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians and the technology firms lobbying for a rewrite.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57575039-38/cops-u.s-law-should-require-logs-of-your-text-messages/)

calikid
03-19-2013, 01:14 PM
Maybe I'm not paranoid enough?!?!

The Internet is a surveillance state
By Bruce Schneier

I'm going to start with three data points.

One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.

And three: Paula Broadwell,who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels -- and hers was the common name.

The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.

Increasingly, what we do on the Internet is being combined with other data about us. Unmasking Broadwell's identity involved correlating her Internet activity with her hotel stays. Everything we do now involves computers, and computers produce data as a natural by-product. Everything is now being saved and correlated, and many big-data companies make money by building up intimate profiles of our lives from a variety of sources.

Facebook, for example, correlates your online behavior with your purchasing habits offline. And there's more. There's location data from your cell phone, there's a record of your movements from closed-circuit TVs.

This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.

Sure, we can take measures to prevent this. We can limit what we search on Google from our iPhones, and instead use computer web browsers that allow us to delete cookies. We can use an alias on Facebook. We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters.

There are simply too many ways to be tracked. The Internet, e-mail, cell phones, web browsers, social networking sites, search engines: these have become necessities, and it's fanciful to expect people to simply refuse to use them just because they don't like the spying, especially since the full extent of such spying is deliberately hidden from us and there are few alternatives being marketed by companies that don't spy.

This isn't something the free market can fix. We consumers have no choice in the matter. All the major companies that provide us with Internet services are interested in tracking us. Visit a website and it will almost certainly know who you are; there are lots of ways to be tracked without cookies. Cellphone companies routinely undo the web's privacy protection. One experiment at Carnegie Mellon took real-time videos of students on campus and was able to identify one-third of them by comparing their photos with publicly available tagged Facebook photos.

Maintaining privacy on the Internet is nearly impossible. If you forget even once to enable your protections, or click on the wrong link, or type the wrong thing, and you've permanently attached your name to whatever anonymous service you're using. Monsegur slipped up once, and the FBI got him. If the director of the CIA can't maintain his privacy on the Internet, we've got no hope.

In today's world, governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way. Governments are happy to use the data corporations collect -- occasionally demanding that they collect more and save it longer -- to spy on us. Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/16/opinion/schneier-internet-surveillance/index.html)

calikid
03-20-2013, 02:20 PM
Chalk one up for privacy. Very 1984 law ruled "Unconsitituional" by a San Francisco court. NSL was a useful tool for law enforcement, but IMO too broad and too much potential for abuse.

National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Rules Judge
By PAUL ELIAS
They're called national security letters and the FBI issues thousands of them a year to banks, phone companies and other businesses demanding customer information. They're sent without judicial review and recipients are barred from disclosing them.

On Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco declared the letters unconstitutional, saying the secretive demands for customer data violate the First Amendment.

The government has failed to show that the letters and the blanket non-disclosure policy "serve the compelling need of national security," and the gag order creates "too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted," U.S. District Judge Susan Illston wrote.

She ordered the FBI to stop issuing the letters, but put that order on hold for 90 days so the U.S. Department of Justice can pursue an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The DOJ said it is reviewing the decision.

FBI counter-terrorism agents began issuing the letters after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The case arises from a lawsuit that lawyers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed in 2011 on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company that received an FBI demand for customer information.

"We are very pleased that the court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute," EFF lawyer Matt Zimmerman said. "The government's gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience."

Illston wrote that she was also troubled by the limited powers judges have to lift the gag orders.



Judges can eliminate the gag order only if they have "no reason to believe that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States, interfere with a criminal counter-terrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interfere with diplomatic relations, or endanger the life or physical safety of any person."

That provision also violated the Constitution because it blocks meaningful judicial review.
Story Continues (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/16/national-security-letters_n_2892568.html)

From EFF (http://boingboing.net/2013/03/19/in-depth-explanation-of-effs.html):


The court made five critical findings. First, Judge Illston quickly rejected the government's dangerous argument that NSL recipients had no power to review the constitutionality of the statute. The government had suggested that the court could only review specific problems with specific NSLs, meaning that larger structural problems with the statute would remain untouched. As the court correctly noted, however, the statute specifically allows a court to determine whether an NSL is "unreasonable" or "unlawful" which includes determining whether the statute itself is unconstitutional.

Second, the district court found that the statute impermissibly authorizes the FBI to limit speech without constitutionally-mandated procedural protections. The Supreme Court articulated the scope for such protections in 1965 in Freedman vs. Maryland, a case in which it struck down a Maryland licensing scheme that required films to be submitted to a government ratings board prior to public showings. The problem with the statute wasn't necessarily its substantive reach as it was possible that films could be banned without violating the First Amendment -- if, for example, they met the First Amendment definition of "obscene." Instead, the court was concerned that the procedures for challenging a ban stacked the deck against theater owners...

... Fourth, the district court found that the statute was not "severable," meaning that Congress designed the NSL tool as a whole and that the powers it granted to the FBI were not intended to function separately if one of the powers was found to be unconstitutional. Because the nondisclosure provision was found to be unconstitutional on its face, the power to compel the disclosure of customer records must also fall. NSL statistics are consistent with this observation: 97% of all NSLs are delivered with a gag order.

Finally, the district court found that, regardless of other failings, the statute's standard of review violated separation of powers principles by forcing the courts to defer to the FBI's determinations and preventing independent review. It noted that a "[c]ourt can only sustain nondisclosure based on a searching standard of review." While courts do largely defer to the executive branch's judgment in national security matters, the standard in this statute required the court to consider the government's decision "conclusive" and only allowing the court to consider whether it was made in "bad faith." The court rightly noted that real judicial review requires more.


And also from EFF (http://boingboing.net/2013/03/16/eff-explains-yesterdays-nati.html):


The controversial NSL provisions EFF challenged on behalf of the unnamed client allow the FBI to issue administrative letters -- on its own authority and without court approval -- to telecommunications companies demanding information about their customers. The controversial provisions also permit the FBI to permanently gag service providers from revealing anything about the NSLs, including the fact that a demand was made, which prevents providers from notifying either their customers or the public. The limited judicial review provisions essentially write the courts out of the process.

In today's ruling, the court held that the gag order provisions of the statute violate the First Amendment and that the review procedures violate separation of powers. Because those provisions were not separable from the rest of the statute, the court declared the entire statute unconstitutional. In addressing the concerns of the service provider, the court noted: "Petitioner was adamant about its desire to speak publicly about the fact that it received the NSL at issue to further inform the ongoing public debate."

"The First Amendment prevents the government from silencing people and stopping them from criticizing its use of executive surveillance power," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The NSL statute has long been a concern of many Americans, and this small step should help restore balance between liberty and security."

calikid
03-21-2013, 01:38 PM
And what will they do with the money? An internet tax should be used to improve the internet, but I suspect it will be used to balance the budgets of the massive buracracies we all know and hate.
"If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet."

Internet tax proposal up for a vote in Senate this week

Internet tax supporters, with backing from Walmart, Macy's, and Best Buy, are hoping a Senate vote will give them enough political leverage to require
Americans to pay sales taxes when shopping online.
by Declan McCullagh

Internet tax supporters are hoping that a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as today will finally give them enough political leverage to require Americans to pay sales taxes when shopping online.

Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are expected to offer an amendment to a Democratic budget resolution this week that, by allowing states to "collect taxes on remote sales," is intended to usher in the first national Internet sales tax.

"We're working overtime in pushing this, talking to our members, activating our grassroots," says Stephen Schatz, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation. The group's board members include OfficeMax, Macy's, the Container Store, and Saks, which argue it's only fair to force Americans to pay sales taxes when buying from online retailers.

The justification for the proposal reprises arguments that state tax collectors have made for at least a decade: online retailers that don't always collect taxes are unreasonably depriving state governments of revenue and enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over big box retailers that do collect taxes. On the other hand, there are close to 10,000 jurisdictions that can levy taxes, each with its own rules and ability to conduct audits, and complying with all of those as a small retailer is not a trivial task. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57575489-38/internet-tax-proposal-up-for-a-vote-in-senate-this-week/)

calikid
03-25-2013, 09:33 PM
I've been rocking Win8 Pro for about 2 months now. Hopefully these first few updates will be useful, and don't break anything!

Windows 8 core app updates due tomorrow

Microsoft is starting to roll out major updates to its Mail, Calendar, and People apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT. What other updates are coming and when?

by Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft is set to make available to users substantial updates to at least some of its core Windows 8 and Windows RT applications this week.

Microsoft executives announced today that starting tomorrow, they'll make available via the Windows Store significant updates to the Mail, People, and Calendar apps that are built into Windows 8 and Windows RT.

For a list of all the new features that will be part of this push, check out my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott's post on the Mail/Calendar/People updates (http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-mail-people-calendar-apps-get-minor-but-welcome-updates-7000013051/). Like many early Windows 8 and Windows RT users, I'm happy to see Mail get updates like the ability to create and delete folders and the ability to search for mail on the server, among others. Supposedly performance of all three apps is improved, even on low-power Surface RT devices.

But what about the other "core" Windows 8 and Windows RT apps -- especially Xbox Music, which has felt half-finished since it debuted as one of the bundled apps Microsoft delivered last October with Windows 8 and Windows RT? Today's blog post from the Windows services team is solely about Mail/Calendar/People. But according to one of my sources, who mentioned the coming March core-app updates, Xbox Music and the Bing AppEx applications were supposedly going to be refreshed this month, too.

There are still six more days in March, so it could happen. Or maybe these won't actually roll out until April. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57576139-75/windows-8-core-app-updates-due-tomorrow/)

calikid
03-26-2013, 12:28 PM
Funny that some cars come with HUD (heads up display; projects information onto the windshield with info for the driver), and yet Google Glasses, a similar tech, is now facing a ban. Guess it has to do with content, auto info vs. online banter.

Don't drive on glass! Lawmakers want to ban wearing Google Glass while on the road

A proposed bill in West Virginia would make it illegal to drive while using Google Glass.

The bill specifies that any 'wearable computer with head mounted display' would be banned behind the wheel.

Lawmakers believed the ban would be similar to rules against texting while driving.

Google announces ¿Project Glass¿ effectively turning your smart phone into a pair of glasses. --- Image by © Google/Handout/Corbis
Distraction: West Virginia lawmakers said banning Google Glass while driving comes from the same logic as banning texting while driving

'I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law.' Gary G. Howell, a Republican West Virginia legislator told CNET.


'It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers,' he added.
'We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.'


Though a self-described libertarian, Howell said that 'when I choose to use the Google Glass and cross the center-line of the road because I'm reading a text, then my actions affect someone else.'

Google Glass has been banned in other settings, though more for privacy concerns than for safety. Story COntinues (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298389/Dont-drive-glass-Lawmakers-want-ban-wearing-Google-Glass-road.html)

calikid
03-27-2013, 01:56 PM
Looks good on paper.
Sounds users friendly, but if you are driving to the store anyway, how much time are you REALLY saving?

Walmart to test product locker system at stores

Walmart says it will test out a new locker system that lets shoppers buy goods online and pick them up in stores.

by Josh Lowensohn

Walmart plans to test a locker system at some of its retail locations this summer, the company said today.

The system, unveiled at a press event at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters this morning (via Reuters), will let people purchase items online, then pick them up in stores -- enabling customers to skip lines and guaranteeing that an item is in stock.

Amazon began a similar practice last year, in an effort to sell goods to people with hard-to-ship-to addresses. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57576393-92/walmart-to-test-product-locker-system-at-stores/)

calikid
03-28-2013, 01:17 PM
Yet another reason to dislike spammers. An anti-spam service is hit by a DDoS attack that slows down the Internet.
Guess if you (Spamhaus) play with vipers, you can expect to get bit. To bad the rest of the Internet has to be collateral damage the battle

Massive cyberattack hits Internet users
By Doug Gross

Internet users around the globe are facing slowed-down service, thanks to what's being called the biggest cyberattack in history.

The prolonged denial-of-service assault is targeting The Spamhaus Project, a European spam-fighting group that has gone after CyberBunker, a data-storage company that offers to host any content "except child porn and anything related to terrorism."

The organization has been in a long-running feud with CyberBunker and claims spammers use it as a host from which to spray junk mail across the Web.

Internet security firm CloudFlare said Spamhaus contacted it last week, saying it had been hit with an attack big enough to knock its site offline.

Security experts say the attack uses more sophisticated techniques than most DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks and targets the Web's infrastructure, which has led to other sites performing slowly.

"It's the biggest attack we've seen," Matthew Prince, CloudFlare's CEO, told CNN.

The Spamhaus Project is a nonprofit organization that patrols the Internet for spammers and publishes a list of Web servers those spammers use. According to Prince, the group may be responsible for up to 80% of all spam that gets blocked. This month, the group added CyberBunker to its blacklist.

"While we don't know who was behind this attack, Spamhaus has made plenty of enemies over the years," Prince wrote in a blog post. "Spammers aren't always the most lovable of individuals and Spamhaus has been threatened, sued, and DDoSed regularly."

In a DDoS attack, computers flood a website with requests, overwhelming its servers and causing it to crash or become inaccessible for many users.

One way to defend against those attacks, Prince said, is to deflect some of the traffic targeted at a single server onto a bunch of other servers at different locations. That's what happened in this case, and why Web users experienced some slowdowns on other sites.

He told CNN the last big wave of the attack hit Tuesday morning, but that he doesn't "live under the illusion" that there won't be more.
For its part, CyberBunker isn't taking credit for the attack. But the Dutch company, housed in a former NATO nuclear bunker, isn't shying away, either.

"This here is the internet community puking out SpamHaus," CyberBunker founder Sven Olaf Kamphuis told CNN. "We've had it with the guys ... . What we see right here is the internet puking out a cancer."

He said the owners of various websites got together on a Skype chat and hatched the plans for the attack. He says that StopHaus, a group organized to support CyberBunker in the dispute, ceased the attack after three days but that other hackers and activists kept it up after that.

Kamphuis and other critics say that Spamhaus oversteps its bounds and has essentially destroyed innocent websites in its spam-fighting efforts.
Story Continues (http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/tech/massive-internet-attack/index.html?hpt=te_t1)

calikid
04-02-2013, 01:03 PM
The best LAW Big Business money can buy.

MP3 resale violates copyright law, court rules

A judge sides with Capitol Records in the lawsuit between the record company and ReDigi -- ruling that MP3s can only be resold if granted permission by copyright owners.
by Dara Kerr

A court ruling has put the kibosh on reselling digital media.

In a lawsuit between Universal Music Group's Capitol Records and MP3 reseller ReDigi, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan has sided with the record label and said that reselling songs bought on iTunes, Amazon, or other digital music venues is akin to copyright infringement.

"The court grants Capitol's motion for summary judgment on its claims for ReDigi's direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement of its distribution and reproduction rights," Judge Sullivan wrote in a summary judgment filed Saturday. "The court also denies ReDigi's motion in its entirety."

ReDigi calls itself "the world's first online marketplace for used digital music." The company argued that it was operating under the "first sale doctrine," which says that people can resell or rent goods. This legal doctrine is what Netflix uses for its business model. ReDigi also noted that it's legal for people to sell used CDs and DVDs.

However, Judge Sullivan ultimately concluded that digital media can only be resold if permission is granted by the copyright owner.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57577393-93/mp3-resale-violates-copyright-law-court-rules/)

calikid
04-04-2013, 02:25 PM
Nice to hear Anonymous is an equal opportunity 'thorn in the side'.

Anonymous hacks North Korea's Twitter and Flickr accounts

The "hacktivist" group also took credit for hacking a North Korean news and information Web site, which is currently off line.
by Lance Whitney

Anonymous continues to target North Korea with its latest round of exploits.

Citing the threat posed by the North Korean government, the "hacktivist" group defaced the country's official Twitter and Flickr accounts yesterday.

The North Korean Twitter feed now displays a series of tweets with links that poke fun at the country's leader Kim Jong-un. One linked image portrays Kim Jong-un in a less than flattering light and criticizes him for "threatening world peace with ICBMs and nuclear weapons" and "wasting money while his people starve." The country's Flickr account shows the same image as well as a graphic displaying the words "We are Anonymous."

Anonymous also has reportedly hacked North Korean news and information Web site www.uriminzokkiri.com. The site is currently unavailable, which could be due to distributed denial of service attacks from Anonymous, the group's favorite method of taking down a site.
Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57577904-83/anonymous-hacks-north-koreas-twitter-and-flickr-accounts/)

974

calikid
04-08-2013, 06:24 PM
Now if only the "formerly confidential" UFO files were included. Then we'd have something!

Wikileaks launches searchable archive of government records

The searchable database (http://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/) includes a new collection of diplomatic records from the 1970s and more recent State Department memos.
by Lance Whitney

You can now search among 2 billion confidential, or formerly confidential, government documents courtesy of Wikileaks.

The whistle-blowing group has set up a new "public library of U.S. diplomacy" offering more than 1.7 million diplomatic files from 1973 to 1976. Dubbed "The Kissinger Cables," the files reveal diplomatic cables, intelligence reports, and congressional correspondence, many of which relate to then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

As expected, the documents focus on some hot-button issues, including U.S. involvement with dictatorships in Latin America and Greece and the 1973 "Yom Kippur war" fought by Israel, Egypt, and Syria. Given the period in history, many files also touch upon the Vietnam War and Watergate.

Joining "The Kissinger Cables" is a more recent archive of State Department documents previously dubbed "Cablegate." These 250,000 diplomatic cables, mostly from 2003 to 2010, were originally posted by Wikileaks in 2010 and revealed confidential memos between the State Department and its various embassies throughout the world.

The documents proved embarrasing for both the United States and other governments, prompting several U.S. politicians to call for the prosecution of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange. The leak also led to the arrest of U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning, who was charged with giving the confidential information to Wikileaks. In a military courtroom in February, Manning said he leaked the documents because he wanted to "spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy." Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57578420-38/wikileaks-launches-searchable-archive-of-government-records/)

calikid
04-11-2013, 02:56 AM
Doesn't sound good for Microsoft. Bill Gates, where are you? Oh yeah, retired and spending our money. :(

Research firm: PC sales plunge as Windows 8 flops
Associated Pres


The ailing personal computer market is getting weaker, and it's starting to look like it will never fully recover as a new generation of mobile devices reshapes the way people use technology.

The latest evidence of the PC's infirmity emerged Wednesday with the release of two somber reports showing unprecedented declines in the sales of desktop and laptop machines during the first three months of the year.

As if that news wasn't' troubling enough, it appears that a pivotal makeover of Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows operating system seems to have done more harm than good since the software was released last October.

"This is horrific news for PCs," said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis. "It's all about mobile computing now. We have definitely reached the tipping point."

First-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent from the same time last year, according to International Data Corp. That's the deepest quarterly drop since the firm started tracking the industry in 1994. Another research firm, Gartner Inc., pegged the first-quarter decline at 11 percent.

The deviation stemmed from the firms' slightly different definitions of PCs.

No matter how things parsed, this is clearly the worst shape that the PC market has been in since IBM Corp. released a desktop machine in 1981.

In an attempt to keep the PC relevant, Microsoft released a radical new version of Windows last fall. Windows 8 has a completely new look that's similar to the design of the software running the most popular smartphones and tablet computers. The overhaul requires a relearning process, a leap that many consumers and corporate buyers aren't ready to take.

All signs so far point to Windows 8 being a flop.

"Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn't provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," IDC Vice President Bob O'Donnell said.

The newest version of Windows is designed to work well with touch-sensitive screens, but the displays add to the cost of a PC. Together, the changes and higher prices "have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices," O'Donnell said.

Representatives of Microsoft Corp. were not immediately available for comment. Story Continues (http://news.yahoo.com/research-firm-pc-sales-plunge-windows-8-flops-200210332--finance.html)

calikid
04-12-2013, 02:33 PM
Whoopsie!

Microsoft pulls security update over software conflicts


One of Patch Tuesday's security updates has been removed after Microsoft found that it can cause errors when paired with certain third-party software.

by Lance Whitney

A security update issued by Microsoft on Tuesday isn't playing nicely with other software, prompting Microsoft to pull it from its download center.

Dustin Childs, group manager of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, revealed the problem in a blog posted late yesterday:


We are aware that some of our customers may be experiencing difficulties after applying security update 2823324, which we provided in security bulletin MS13-036 on Tuesday, April 9. We've determined that the update, when paired with certain third-party software, can cause system errors. As a precaution, we stopped pushing 2823324 as an update when we began investigating the error reports, and have since removed it from the download center.


Childs said the system errors don't affect all Windows users and don't cause any data loss. However, he advised all people who installed the update to uninstall Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57579274-75/microsoft-pulls-security-update-over-software-conflicts/)

calikid
04-15-2013, 01:18 PM
IMHO this is not such a bad thing. The manpower it takes to run a checkpoint is disproportionate to the number of arrests made.
But, again IMO, the true benefit is in sending a message that checkpoints exist, and drinking and driving is a bad idea.
Public awareness (of Officer Presence)/discouraging dangerous behavior is the real message.
Social Media is actually helping expand the message.

How Facebook and Twitter mess with DUI checkpoints

One of the more human aspects of social media is that people use Facebook and Twitter to warn their fellow men and women of DUI checkpoints. Now police are attempting to spring more surprises.

by Chris Matyszczyk

The police are sometimes accused of linear thinking, especially when it comes to DUI checkpoints.

They set them up on Friday and Saturday nights. They redouble their efforts on New Year's Eve.

Perhaps the finest example would was one police force in the wine country of Northern California that decided to put a DUI checkpoint at the bottom of a winery's driveway. Yes, on barrel-tasting day.

The police now have a stronger enemy in the people -- the people who are using social media to warn others that this particular Friday or Saturday night has been selected for special drunk-driving checking.

At first, it seems that police were a little bemused by the very idea that people wouldn't want other people to be caught be the police.

Now, however, some police forces have decided to use more sprightly tactics to ensnare those who are unwise enough to imbibe and drive.

As the Associated Press reports, big checkpoints may be on the way out.

They're too obvious, take too long to set up and word travels too quickly, as they're so often located on busy roads -- on the shooting-fish-in-barrel principle. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57579508-71/how-facebook-and-twitter-mess-with-dui-checkpoints/)

calikid
04-17-2013, 04:21 PM
Seems like a good time to implement some new protocols (like rules that would help "can the spam") would be when IPv6 is implemented.

Cyberattackers more powerful, getting upper hand, experts warn
By Bob Sullivan

Banks knocked offline, day after day - on Thursday, it was WellsFargo.com's turn. A digital skirmish between two European firms that grew so large it slowed Internet traffic worldwide. If it feels like the Net has been fragile lately, there’s a good reason: Computer criminals are launching more powerful attacks and are gaining the upper hand.

Security firms have been relatively successful in recent years countering denial of service attacks — criminal assaults that overwhelm websites with fake traffic to make them unreachable, the equivalent of speed-dialing a friend's phone repeatedly so no other calls can get through — with software designed to separate real traffic from fake, or simply by purchasing bigger Internet pipes that can absorb the requests.

But the equation is changing dramatically as criminals have learned how to use the Internet against itself.

Among the Web’s dirty little secrets: Economics strongly favor the criminals. They hijack bandwidth used for normal Web operations, concentrate it and aim it at a target. The more money that firms invest in bandwidth to protect against traffic floods, the more bandwidth crooks can steal and use to attack. Worse yet, the bigger the pipes going into hijacked computers, the fewer computers criminals must control to succeed in an attack.

An attack that might have required 10,000 compromised computers in past years can now be accomplished with 100. That means the costs for the criminals is going down, while security costs are going up.

"The problem is, this is an asymmetric war, an arms race we can't win because they are using our resources against us," said Rodney Joffe, senior technologist at Internet infrastructure company Neustar, which helps companies fight denial of service attacks. "That's why building larger highways won't help. They just make use of our resources."

Wells Fargo told NBC News that some of those resources were used to knock it offline for part of the day Thursday.
“We’re seen an unusually high volume of website and mobile traffic which we believe is a denial of service attack,” the firm said in a statement.

'Not really much we can do'
Last week, a European denial of service incident that targeted spam-fighting organization Spamhaus and its Internet providers involved an incredibly focused attack that stormed the service with one of the largest measured attacks in history. There is debate about how much the rest of the Internet suffered as a result of the attack — in truth, the impact was imperceptible to most — but it would be a mistake to overlook it. Experts expect copycats soon.

The Spamhaus attack used a technique that’s more than 10 years old. Domain name servers that run the guts of the Internet were tricked into sending a flood of traffic at Spamhaus. Hijacked computers with disguised, or spoofed, return addresses asked the DNS servers for long lists of data — specifically, to resolve website addresses — which were reflected and sent by the servers to Spamhaus servers. Exploiting about 1,000 misconfigured DNS servers was enough to generate a record-sized attack. Story Continues (http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/04/17599510-cyberattackers-more-powerful-getting-upper-hand-experts-warn)

calikid
04-18-2013, 03:01 PM
Protecting your SOHO wireless network can be a challenge.

Top Wi-Fi routers easy to hack, says study

The most popular home wireless routers are easily hacked and there's little you can do to stop it, says a new study by research firm Independent Security Evaluators.

by Seth Rosenblatt

The Wi-Fi router you use to broadcast a private wireless Internet signal in your home or office is not only easy to hack, says a report released today (http://securityevaluators.com//content/case-studies/routers/soho_router_hacks.jsp), but the best way to protect yourself is out of your hands.

The report, written by research firm Independent Security Evaluators of Baltimore, found that 13 of the most popular off-the-shelf wireless routers could be exploited by a "moderately skilled adversary with LAN or WLAN access." It also concludes that your best bet for safer Wi-Fi depends on router vendors upping their game. All 13 routers evaluated can be taken over from the local network, with four of those requiring no active management session. Eleven of the 13 can be taken over from a Wide-Area Network (WAN) such as a wireless network, with two of those requiring no active management session.

My router's not safe? Really?
"It is not a safe assumption to make that you're safe," Steve Bono, the company's CEO and principal security analyst, told CNET in a phone interview.

The report notes that all 14 of the devices had critical security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a "remote adversary" and could lead to unauthorized remote control of the router.

Before you dismiss router hacks as exceptionally rare, it's important to note that they've been a small but growing segment of computer security threats. In 2011, one firmware vulnerability affecting six hardware manufacturers combined with two malicious scripts and 40 malicious DNS servers to attack 4.5 million Brazilian DSL modems, with the goal of stealing bank and credit card information.

Craig Heffner, a vulnerability analyst at Maryland-based Tactical Network Solutions, said that he isn't familiar with the Brazil story but isn't surprised by it. "In a lot of countries, there's only one or two ISPs, and you get whatever router they give you," he said. "They often enable remote administration by default, so any vulnerability would be amplified."

And just yesterday, ReadWrite reported on wireless router hacking, based in part on research conducted by security firm Rapid7. ISE's study, while similar, reports "all-new findings," said ISE's marketing head, Ted Harrington.

Harrington further explained why router hacking could turn into a big problem. "What's notable about this is that if you compromise the router, then you're inside the firewall. You can pick credit card numbers out of e-mails, confidential documents, passwords, photos, just about anything," he said.

He added that ISE plans to release additional information from the study in the coming weeks, following the routine security community best practice of giving vendors a chance to respond to vulnerabilities that have been uncovered before publishing them.

"We notified all vendors about all vulnerabilities that we found," said ISE security analyst Jake Holcomb. "We're in the process of receiving Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) numbers" for tracking information security vulnerabilities.

Some vendors, Holcomb said, got back to ISE quickly and had beta firmware with fixes ready to test within 72 hours. "Other vendors escalated their Tier 1 support up the chain but we never heard back from them," he said.

Darren Kitchen, founder of the Hak5 security and tinkering show and a maker of Wi-Fi penetration-testing devices, said he isn't surprised by the results of the study. Routers are "low-powered devices, most made in China and Taiwan, and they're rushed out the door. There's not a consumer demand for security; it's not a feature that will sell it."

Wireless under attack
ISE found the routers were vulnerable to three kinds of attacks:


•Trivial attacks can be launched directly against the router with no human interaction or access to credentials.
•Unauthenticated attacks require some form of human interaction, such as following a malicious link or browsing to an unsafe page, but do not require an active session or access to credentials.
•Authenticated attacks require that the attacker have access to credentials (or that default router credentials are used -- an all-too-common situation) or that a victim is logged in with an active session at the time of the attack.


The attacks were performed under both local adversary and remote adversary situations. A remote adversary is a threat that is not connected to the router via Wi-Fi, while the local adversary is. The most common form of successful attack ISE used was the "one-click attack" known as a cross-site request forgery. Story continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57579981-83/top-wi-fi-routers-easy-to-hack-says-study/)

calikid
04-20-2013, 03:34 PM
There is a reason we need to distinguish between "person of interest" or "suspect" or "perpetrator".
Reputations can take years to build, and seconds to destroy.

Social media as breaking-news feed: Worse information, faster

commentary The unfolding of breaking news on social media can create a dangerous well of misinformation, witch-hunting, and egomaniacal info-spewing. Time for some ground rules for the Internet.
by Molly Wood

Early this morning, the public Facebook page called Binders Full of Women apologized for posting Boston police scanner chatter that erroneously identified a missing Brown undergrad as a suspect in this week's Boston Marathon bombings. The Binders Full of Women feed author subsequently deleted the post. Earlier, in the midst of multiple other posts about the unfolding Watertown, Mass., manhunt and shootout that started last night, the author defensively noted that any misinformation must be excused because, "I am NOT a journalist, and I am only relaying information from the [Boston Police Department] scanner and news sources."

But in point of fact, why, exactly, is a public page dedicated to women's rights issues in America essentially live-blogging a suspect manhunt, warts and all, on Facebook? Not that the Facebook page (whose 319,000 followers all got the same misinformation) was the only offender.

Michael Skolnik, of hip-hop culture and news blog Global Grind also apologized on Twitter for publishing the name overheard from scanner chatter, which was also tweeted by many, many others who either heard it on police scanners or retweeted what they saw online.

And Reddit moderators were apologizing for kicking off the whole domino chain after their commenter community initially targeted the student, Sunil Tripathi, as a possible suspect, and then repeated the news that his name had been used on police scanners.

Meanwhile, a high-school track runner is afraid to leave his house because he was wrongly identified as a possible suspect in crowdsourced photos and by the New York Post. And this poor guy was briefly held, questioned, and released in Watertown last night, but not before he was identified all over Twitter as a "suspect on the ground."

If speed is the currency of the modern information era, misinformation is the increasingly high cost. Some, like Matthew Ingram at Paid Content, argue that journalism is made better by multiple sources. And certainly, high profile mistakes (and occasionally laughable coverage) by the likes of CNN, and downright irresponsible journalism by the New York Post, might seem to suggest that's true.

It's not. We have more information, but it's a morass of truths, half-truths, and what we used to call libel. It's fast, but it's bad. And bad information is a cancer that just keeps growing. I'd argue the opposite of Ingram: that the hyperintense pressure of real-time reporting from Twitter, crowdsourcing from Reddit, and constant mockery from an online community that is empirically skewed toward negativity and criticism is actually hurting journalism. It's making all the news worse. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-57580464-256/social-media-as-breaking-news-feed-worse-information-faster/)

calikid
04-25-2013, 12:32 PM
I shake my head each time I hear that the law must be broken, in order to uphold the law.
If it's a bad law, repeal it. If it's a good law follow it.
No exceptions.
Sorry if it is inconvenient, but if I have to follow the law, then my government (and my ISP) should too.

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance

Justice Department agreed to issue "2511 letters" immunizing AT&T and other companies participating in a cybersecurity program from criminal prosecution under the Wiretap Act, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
by Declan McCullagh

Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.

The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors' Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.

"The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which obtained over 1,000 pages of internal government documents and provided them to CNET this week. "Alarm bells should be going off."

Those documents show the National Security Agency and the Defense Department were deeply involved in pressing for the secret legal authorization, with NSA director Keith Alexander participating in some of the discussions personally. Despite initial reservations, including from industry participants, Justice Department attorneys eventually signed off on the project.

The Justice Department agreed to grant legal immunity to the participating network providers in the form of what participants in the confidential discussions refer to as "2511 letters," a reference to the Wiretap Act codified at 18 USC 2511 in the federal statute books. Story Continues (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57581161-38/u.s-gives-big-secret-push-to-internet-surveillance/)

calikid
04-26-2013, 03:00 PM
Next thing you know, they will be coming back in time to kill Sara Connor. :yikes:

'Stop the kill function' -- Why experts say autonomous military robots should be banned

The Campaign for Killer Robots explains to CNET why lethal machines must remain under human control, for humanity's sake.
by Luke Westaway

Earlier this week, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots kicked off its protest against self-powered military machines. CNET caught up with the people in charge of the campaign to hear exactly why they want killer 'bots banned -- click play on the video above to hear them speak, and witness the kinds of death-dealing devices that the organisation is trying to stop.

One thing I wanted to know was why the campaign was so averse to autonomous robots. As expert roboticist Professor Noel Sharkey told me however, this movement is only about putting the brakes on autonomous killing machines.

"We're not inhibiting autonomous robots", Sharkey told me. "My vacuum cleaner is an autonomous robot."

"The only thing we're trying to stop," Sharkey continues, "Is the kill function. What we don't want are weapons that -- once launched -- can engage targets and kill them without human intervention." Video/Story Contines (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13639_3-57581390-42/stop-the-kill-function-why-experts-say-autonomous-military-robots-should-be-banned-video/)