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Archive for 2012/01/10
Google is profiting from ads for illegal products generated by its flagship automated advertising system, the BBC has foundPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, Google, Online advertising
Google admits profiting from illegal Olympic ticket ads
As more and more devices we buy are general-purpose hardware devices with custom software designed to make that hardware do certain things out of the box, that custom software that drives the device is also custom-izable software that lets the hardware be recoded and repurposed to do completely different things.
Shortly, we’ll see basically every industry trying to crack down on the freedom to tinker, to keep the products they sold us in the same state as they were before we owned them. This is exactly where we’re headed if the current trends continue.
The problem is that many people don’t understand what a general-purpose computer is. Legislators still think in terms of hardware: A cassette player can only play a cassette. Therefore, a music player today must only play music.
That’s wrong of course. A music player today can be recoded to play, stream, receive, remix, or do other things with music. Or, for that matter, it could probably be recoded to become a networked earthquake early-warning sensor instead, if its microphone was sensitive enough to sense the low-frequency sounds that forebode earthquakes.
This idea — that an off-the-shelf entertainment device can be repurposed to become an earthquake early-warning sensor with just the copying of a file — is mind-boggling to today’s legislators. It is just so far out it doesn’t reflect sunlight any more. And it is with this mindset that they legislate that breaking any DRM — repurposing devices that you own — should be punishable with jail time.
Google has been accused of methodically interfering with an anti-competition investigation into Android by South Korea’s Fair Trade CommissionPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Google, Public Policy
Google deleted files and made its employees work from home in an attempt to frustrate the investigation
The Vatican has been caught plundering Wikipedia for background on 22 new cardinals announced by the PopePosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models
The hasty cut-and-paste job was spotted by a sharp-eyed blogger, Sandro Magister, a journalist from the news magazine Espresso and an expert on the Vatican.
BSkyB nabs stake in telly babble app biz Zeebox – Multi-million pound tie-up to study viewing habitsPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models
The co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, Rep. Jim Langevin, has come out against SOPAPosted: 2012/01/10 in Copyright, Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Legislation
ICE under John Morton has become a massive joke and a disgrace to American ideals of innocent until proven guilty and important things like free speech and due processPosted: 2012/01/10 in Blocking, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Illegal File Sharing, Public Policy
The House Oversight Committee in Congress has done a cool thing that pretty much every committee in Congress should have done long ago: put a ton of its archived video of Committee hearings online. You can see them all on YouTube. The actual project was done by Carl Malamud — and as we’ve noted in the past, if Malamud is involved in a project, it’s almost certainly a good thing. Malamud is a leading force in terms of open government and government transparency, and it’s great that Rep. Darrell Issa and the House Oversight Committee worked with him on this project.
Blast from the past:
Carl Malamud is an unstoppable technical and social hacker. From the first Internet radio show, Geek of the Week (check out TimBL trying to explain the Web in 1993), to his online magazine, his hacker tax credit proposal and government data in XML to NetTopBox and associated technologies, he and webchick have been putting cool stuff on the Net with style and beauty. They make a very cute storTrooper family.
Carl Malamud is a technologist, author, and public domain advocate, currently known for his foundation, public.resource.org. As founder of the Internet Multicasting Service, Malamud was responsible for creating the first Internet radio station, for putting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database on-line, and for creating the Internet 1996 World Exposition. Malamud is the author of eight books, including “Exploring the Internet” and “A World’s Fair.” He was a visiting professor at the MIT Media Laboratory and is the former chairman of the Internet Software Consortium.
A free android application that you can use to scan bar codes to help identify if products are either created by or intimately related to SOPA supporting companiesPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Public Policy
14:00 – 15:00 – Censorship & Surveillance and how to counter it.
In early 2011 we saw a giant revolution took place in North Africa, the arab spring, some are now free of dictators, others are still busy to fight the oppressors. The dictator doesn’t want to let chaos spread and censors the media and the internet, it’s 2012 after all… Wikileaks released the Spyfiles in late 2011, flyers and video which have been obtained at various conferences like IIS World, what goes on in that world? What can we learn from these events and how can be secure ourselves and others in anti-forensics?
Boardmembers from various hackerspaces have decided to use eth0 as a meeting place to organise a hackerspaces wide discussion on what those hackerspaces are about, and what direction they should develop in.
Dutch language news article:
Chrome now includes expanded functionality to analyze executable files (such as .exe and .msi files) that you download. If a file you download is known to be bad, or is hosted on a website that hosts a relatively high percentage of malicious downloads, Chrome will warn you that the file appears to be malicious and that you should discard itPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, Filtering, Google, New Business Models
Chrome will now start loading some web pages in the background, even before you’ve finished typing the URL in the omnibox. If the URL auto-completes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will begin to prerender the page. Prerendering reduces the time between when you hit Enter and when you see your fully-loaded web page–in some cases, the web page appears instantly.
Big shopping centres are watching how their customers shop by tracking the movements of their mobile phones, says Jane Bradley
IT IS the stuff which George Orwell warned of in his bestselling book 1984.
For unsuspecting shoppers who enter a shopping centre are now often tracked on a screen by retail staff – using their mobile phone signals to locate their path through the shops.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts will be in federal court Tuesday challenging the suspicionless search and seizure of electronicsPosted: 2012/01/10 in Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy
Laptop seizures at customs cause thorny legal dispute
Security through obscurity is the idea that content can be kept safe by making it difficult to discover, rather than inaccessible without authorization. Your content is not anymore secure, but attackers can be discouraged by the effort required to steal it. For example, programmers sometimes deliberately obfuscate code to conceal its purpose to prevent tampering, deter reverse engineering, or to simply challenge someone reading the source code.
Privacy through obscurity refers to the same idea, except that we’re talking about who can access your content. Your content is not anymore private, but attackers interested in it can be discouraged by the effort required to view it. For example, the Twitter website does not easily show you a discussion between two or more users: you have to navigate back and forth to each person’s page; the content is all there, but it’s just difficult to consume.
Internet Service Provider Elisa has confirmed it has begun blocking the domains and IP addresses of The Pirate BayPosted: 2012/01/10 in Blocking, Education / Awareness, Filtering, Illegal File Sharing, Jurisprudence
“While this block can temporarily stop the basic filesharer from using The Pirate Bay, we already see a surge of interest in blocking technology, censorship, net neutrality, copyright legislation and court practice in the media,” Joonas Mäkinen of Finland’s Pirate Party told TorrentFreak.
“This probably ends up being beneficial to filesharing and shows the blocking attempts to be counter-productive. Side-effects will be that the more blocks there are, the more workarounds people learn. This could severely hinder solving important crimes in the future,” he concludes.
Netflix Internet Film Subscription Service Finally Goes LIVE in the UK – Estimated to account for “nearly a third” of all peak downstream internet trafficPosted: 2012/01/10 in Bandwidth Management, Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports
The “all-you-can-eat” service is available on a raft of different devices from computers (Mac, Windows), to games consoles (Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360), mobile phones (Android , iPhone) and related tablets. As usual the video quality will depend upon your broadband speed.
According to Netflix, its films come with three different video quality settings (based on Microsoft Silverlight technology). The lowest quality requires a “minimum speed” of 500Kbps (0.5Mbps) and will consume up to 0.3GB/hour of data. By contrast the High Definition (HD) stream eats up to 2.3GB/hour and will need a stable speed of about 5Mbps.
Infinera, a firm that aims to provide the world’s most economically compelling optical networks, has warned that Netflix represents “a huge challenge” for telecoms providers and is estimated to account for “nearly a third” of all peak downstream internet traffic.
Security breach by ‘hacktivists’ reveals email addresses of 221 British military staff and 242 Nato officialsPosted: 2012/01/10 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness
Thousands of British email addresses and encrypted passwords, including those of defence, intelligence and police officials as well as politicians and Nato advisers, have been revealed on the internet following a security breach by hackers.
Everyone involved in a paper—all authors, the institutions they worked at, and, most significantly, the publisher—agree before a work can be made open access by the NIH or other federal agencies
The hackers got into the servers for the “Patras” program, which logs location data on suspected criminals through cell phone and car GPS systems. Concerned about security breaches, the government eventually had to take the entire set of Patras servers offline.