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Thread: Cutting Edge Technology in the news

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    Cutting Edge Technology in the news

    A home for news about the internet, computers, and smart phone tech.

    CaliKid

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    Did you know your HOME wireless network can appear on google maps?

    Removing your Wi-Fi network from Google's map
    by Declan McCullagh

    If you're worried about the street address of your home Wi-Fi hotspot being public, Google has a solution.

    The Mountain View, Calif.-based company late today announced a way for the owners of Wi-Fi networks to be removed from Google's crowdsourced geolocation database, which it reworked this summer after CNET drew attention to privacy concerns.

    It's simple: all you need to do is append "_nomap" to the name of the Wi-Fi network. So "theharrisons" becomes "theharrisons_nomap".

    "As we explored different approaches for opting-out access points from the Google Location Server, we found that a method based on wireless network names provides the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse," Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, wrote in a blog post. "Specifically, this approach helps protect against others opting out your access point without your permission."

    Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including access points but also PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones, transmit a unique hardware identifier, called a MAC address, to anyone within a radius of a few hundred feet.

    Android devices collect a subset of these MAC addresses and beam them back to Google to be used in the company's geolocation database--a useful feature that allows faster location fixes for cell phones. (Apple, Microsoft, and Skyhook Wireless operate similar databases but do not provide an opt-out mechanism.)

    The privacy risks arise when a device's location can be tracked. CNET confirmed in July that Google's Street View cars recorded not just the locations of Wi-Fi access points, but also the addresses of some laptops, cell phones, and other devices.

    Android's crowdsourced database also can track locations of some Wi-Fi devices, including those in use as a wireless access point. One device spotted in a San Francisco coffeehouse showed up at a street address in an Atlanta suburb a few days later, for instance.

    Story Continues
    Last edited by calikid; 11-16-2011 at 09:05 PM.

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    Has law enforcement become the new Big Business security department?
    FBI and ICE Seize 150 Websites Trafficking Counterfeit and Pirated Merchandise


    WASHINGTON — To mark the official beginning of the online holiday shopping season, known as Cyber Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the Department of Justice and the FBI Washington Field Office have seized 150 website domain names that were illegally selling and distributing counterfeit merchandise.

    "For most, the holidays represent a season of good will and giving, but for these criminals, it's the season to lure in unsuspecting holiday shoppers," said ICE Director John Morton. "More and more Americans are doing their holiday shopping online, and they may not realize that purchasing counterfeit goods results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products. And the ramifications can be even greater because the illicit profits made from these types of illegal ventures often fuel other kinds of organized crime."

    "Through this operation we are aggressively targeting those who are selling counterfeit goods for their own personal gain while costing our economy much-needed revenue and jobs," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Intellectual property crimes harm businesses and consumers, alike, threatening economic opportunity and financial stability, and today we have sent a clear message that the Department will remain ever vigilant in protecting the public's economic welfare and public safety through robust intellectual property enforcement."

    This operation is the eighth phase of Operation In Our Sites, a sustained law enforcement initiative to protect consumers by targeting counterfeit and piracy on the Internet, and the second year it has coincided with Cyber Monday. These 150 domain name seizuresrepresent a more than 80 percent increase over the 82 websites that were seized during last year's Cyber Monday-related operation.

    The 150 seized domains are in the custody of the federal government. Visitors to these websites will now find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.

    During this operation, federal law enforcement agents made undercover purchases of a host of products, including professional sports jerseys, golf equipment, DVD sets, footwear, handbags and sunglasses, representing a variety of trademarks from online retailers who were suspected of selling counterfeit products. In most cases, the goods were shipped directly into the United States from suppliers in other countries. If the trademark holders confirmed that the purchased products were counterfeit or otherwise illegal, seizure orders for the domain names of the websites that sold the goods were obtained from federal magistrate judges.

    Since the operation's June 2010 launch, the IPR Center has seized a total of 350 domain names, and the seizure banner has received more than 77 million individual views.

    Of the 350 domain names seized, 116 have now been forfeited to the U.S. government. The federal forfeiture process affords individuals who have an interest in the seized domain names a period of time after the "Notice of Seizure" to file a petition with a federal court and additional time after the "Notice of Forfeiture" to contest the forfeiture. If no petitions or claims are filed, the domain names become property of the U.S. government.
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    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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    Maybe your laptop doesn't belong on your lap...
    Wifi-enabled laptops may be nuking sperm
    Reuters - NEW YORK


    The digital age has left men's nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections.

    In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download.

    Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done.

    A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer.

    And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples.

    The culprit? Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication, say Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues.

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    Last edited by calikid; 11-29-2011 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Format issues
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    So these guys not only rip off big business, they stick the little guys with the bill.
    Why can't people with such talent make a legal living? What a bunch of jerks.

    Criminals create online traffic jams to cover for bank heists

    FBI warns of new scheme that may make it impossible for you to get your money back

    Shady money mules draped in $100,000 worth of jewelry and operating under the cover of darkness — it sounds like the opening scene to a bad mystery movie but it's real, and it's part of a new cyber crime campaign drawing national attention.

    The FBI is warning people to be aware of a new cyber crime scheme in which online crooks launch crippling cyber attacks against banks while simultaneously harvesting your bank-account credentials and making it impossible for you to get your money back once the fraud is complete.

    Cyber criminals first send phishing emails claiming to be from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), informing recipients there was a problem with their bank-account transaction and it could not be processed. Once victims click on the link in the bogus email, they are infected with "Gameover," a variant of the infamous Zeus Trojan, which enables crooks to harvest bank-account credentials.

    This could be game over for the scam, but the next step is where it gets particularly dangerous.

    After their targeted computers are compromised with Gameover, the attackers launch distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) against the victims' financial institutions as a type of smokescreen to cover up the heist.

    A DDoS is the online equivalent of a traffic jam; no damage is done, but no data can get in or out of a website while it's happening.

    "The belief is the DDoS is used to deflect attention from the wire transfers as well as to make them unable to reverse the transactions (if found)," the FBI wrote.

    Here's where the expensive jewelry comes into play:Story Continues
    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Format Issues
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    Is YOUR phone spying on you? Certainly seems that way.
    Carrier IQ: More privacy alarms, more confusion

    by Declan McCullagh

    Controversy over a mobile data-logger called Carrier IQ escalated today, with a U.S. senator raising an alarm and Apple and Verizon distancing themselves, even though it's still unclear how the software works.

    An Android developer, Trevor Eckhart, reported last month that Carrier IQ software phoned home with details about how the phone was being used and where it was. Earlier this week, Eckhart posted a video elaborating on his claims, which was followed by another report that the software has been found on iPhones.

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    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:32 PM. Reason: clean up format
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    If ever there was a doubt that government dances to the tune of big business, SOPA will end that fantasy.
    Anti-piracy bill meets Web-freedom backlash
    By Doug Gross, CNN

    (CNN) -- A bill moving through Congress is intended, on its surface at least, to do something relatively simple: Crack down on the illegal pirating of movies, music and other copyrighted material.

    But a major online backlash has evolved, with everyone from lawmakers to Web-freedom advocates to some of technology's biggest players calling it a greedy and dangerous overreach that could have a chilling effect on free speech and innovation.

    Google, Yahoo and Facebook are among the Web heavyweights who have joined the chorus against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which backers hope to have ready for a vote by the end of the year.

    Its intent is to help put a stop to foreign websites that illegally post, and sometimes sell, intellectual property from the United States. Federal law-enforcement agencies would be empowered to shut down those sites, and cut off advertising and online payments to them.

    "The Stop Online Piracy Act helps stop the flow of revenue to rogue websites and ensures that the profits from American innovations go to American innovators," Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, chairman of the powerful House Judiciary committee and the sponsor of the plan, said when the bill was introduced last month.

    "The bill prevents online thieves from selling counterfeit goods in the U.S., expands international protections for intellectual property, and protects American consumers from dangerous counterfeit products. "

    Its supporters include some powerful lobbying groups, including the Motion Picture Association of America, the pharmaceutical industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    On the other side are Web-freedom advocates, who were quick to say the effort goes too far. And this week, in the wake of a Wednesday hearing on the plan, that discontent grew louder and more widespread.

    "Our government is tampering with its basic structure so people will maybe buy more Hollywood movies," says an animated video by Kirby Ferguson, the New York filmmaker behind the Web video series "Everything Is a Remix," that is making the rounds online.

    "But Hollywood movies don't get grassroots candidates elected. They don't overthrow corrupt regimes, and the entire entertainment industry doesn't even contribute that much to our economy. The Internet does all these and more."

    Story Continues
    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Format clean up
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    What? Only bricks and morter get civil rights? This judge needs to move into the 21st century!
    Oregon judge rules bloggers aren't journalists
    by Steven Musil

    A recent court ruling has re-ignited the debate about whether bloggers are journalists.

    A U.S. District Court judge in Portland, Ore., ruled that a blogger who wrote about an investment firm that subsequently accused her of defamation must pay the company $2.5 million because she's a blogger who doesn't legally qualify as a journalist.

    Crystal Cox, whose blogs are a mixture of fact, opinion, and commentary, wrote several posts that were critical of Obsidian Finance Group and its co-founder, Kevin Padrick. In one blog post, Cox accused Padrick of fraud while serving as trustee in a real estate bankruptcy case.

    The firm considered the posts defamatory and filed a $10 million lawsuit against Cox in January. The blog the court focused on during the case was more factual in tone because, Cox testified, she had an inside source who was leaking her information. Obsidian demanded she reveal the source of her information to prove its veracity.

    Cox, who acted as her own attorney in the case, refused to reveal her source, arguing that she was afforded the same protections as journalists under Oregon's Shield Law. (Shield laws protect journalists who refuse to reveal in court the source of information obtained during the news-gathering process.)

    'Medium of communication,' as defined by Oregon law, "has its ordinary meaning and includes, but is not limited to, any newspaper, magazine or other periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system." (Emphasis added.)

    Despite Oregon's legal definition of "any medium of communication," Judge Marco A. Hernandez disagreed with Cox, saying that "although [the] defendant is a self-proclaimed 'investigative blogger' and defines herself as 'media,' the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law in the first instance."

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    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:29 PM.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Really surprised me that Playboy was AGAINST the new XXX domain!
    New .xxx domain for porn debuts to mixed feelings
    By Peter Pachal - Dec 6, 2011

    For some, today's official grand opening of the .xxx domain is the best thing to happen to Internet pornography since it was injected with life in the 1990s, as depicted in the movie Middle Men. For others, it's a dangerous move that comes with too many negative consequences, some subtle and some severe.

    The idea of setting aside an Internet domain for adult material has been around for over a decade. In 2000 and 2004, proposals were submitted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), but garnered widespread opposition from conservative groups.

    After ICANN initially approved the domain in 2005, .xxx faced six years of legal and procedural hurdles before getting the final go-ahead in March 2011. Since then the ICM Registry (which polices the domain) hosted an initial closed sale for some .xxx domains, and today they're available to anyone who wants one, at $60 a pop.

    Cases for and against
    Many conservative groups suggest that creating a top-level domain (TLD) for porn is tantamount to an endorsement of it. The same logic is what keeps most cities from creating an official red-light district, like in Amsterdam, where adult activities are permitted, if regulated. By setting aside part of the Web for porn, those groups would have to accept that it'll be around in some form no matter what.

    "We are not in favor of the establishment of that domain," Patrick Vaughn, general counsel for the American Family Association, told Mashable. "It just creates more real estate for the pornography industry, and it doesn't exclude the sites that already exist. It might have been helpful if they set up .xxx, and that was the only place to find pornography. As this is, it just gives [pornographers] more to work with."

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    Last edited by calikid; 12-10-2011 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Add launch date
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    And here I thought Android vs Apple in the smartphone platform mirrored the MS vs Apple of the PC world. Is Google/Android app store simply becoming Apple lite?
    How Android isn't really that open

    by Roger Cheng

    GetJar CEO Iljas Laurs doesn't mince words when he says Android isn't as open a platform as Google would like you to think.

    "To me, closed is anything that doesn't have total freedom," Laurs told me. "By that definition, Android is already closed."

    Laurs has some bold predictions for 2012. He believes Google will start to exert a tighter control over Android, restricting what kinds of apps are developed and what technologies they can use.

    "You can't blame a company for getting as much as power as it can get," he said. "If I were Google, it's what I would do."

    He calls the 30 percent cut of the revenue generated from apps paid out to Google a tax on developers. The cut is supposed to account for Google hosting the app, running it on the Android Marketplace, and handling the transaction. While that may be great for some smaller developers, he said larger players may not necessarily need all of those services, and could manage the apps on their own for a lower price.

    Laurs said the 30 percent cut is an industry standard only because Apple, which runs a closed system, dictates it.


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    Last edited by calikid; 12-12-2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: correct format error
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
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