Ashcroft: 0 for 5,000
"With the latest Detroit convictions overturned, Ashcroft has not convicted a single person of terrorism since 9/11. ... Until that reversal, the Detroit case had marked the only terrorist conviction obtained from the Justice Department's detention of more than 5,000 foreign nationals in anti-terrorism sweeps since 9/11. So Ashcroft's record is 0 for 5,000. When the attorney general was locking these men up in the immediate wake of the attacks, he held almost daily press conferences to announce how many 'suspected terrorists' had been detained. No press conference has been forthcoming to announce that exactly none of them have turned out to be actual terrorists."
This is a horrifying statistic. How can it be possible?
European privacy groups rally opposition to mandatory data retention
"[But wait... I thought the European Commission's approach to privacy was inherently superior to the American approach? Even in the aftermath of 9-11, I don't recall this idea being seriously proposed here... --Declan]"
Not so much highlighting the piece, but McCullagh's smart-arsed comment. People like Declan give out about anti-americanism, but continue to perpetuate it in the opposite direction. There's a word for that, what is it again? Oh right: Twat.
Investor's Business Daily: Breaking News
"Yahoo agreed Tuesday to acquire MusicMatch, a privately held provider of personalized music software and services, for $160 million. The company said it expects the deal to increase its music reach to 23 million listeners from its current estimated audience of 12.9 million. Yahoo expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter. Yahoo shares rose $1.13 to $33 in afternoon trading."
Bad news for competition.
'Star Wars' emerges from darkness
"Over the past four years, Lowry Digital Images has emerged as the pre-eminent destination for studios looking to prepare their classics for DVD. Having cleaned up the Indiana Jones films for last year's DVD package to the satisfaction of Lucas, director Steven Spielberg and studio Paramount, the Burbank-based firm earned the chance this year to do the same for the Star Wars trilogy."
Kerry on attack over weapons ban
"The US Democrat presidential candidate has attacked President Bush for failing to push for the renewal of a 10-year ban on private use of assault weapons. John Kerry accused his rival of placing gun lobby interests above those of police and gun crime victims' families. The law expired at midnight on Monday after Republican legislators refused to make time for a vote to extend it."
We are sorry that our President is an idiot.
"Apparently the French care instructions on this bag manufactured in Seattle is the same as the English except for the last two lines: 'We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We didn't vote for him.'"
Spammers given boot by net host
"Campaigners against spam on the internet have won a major battle against the world's second largest internet service provider. US firm Savvis was allegedly earning up to $2 million a month from 148 of the world's worst spammers, a former employee had claimed. Following talks with anti-spam groups, Savvis has now promised to get rid of the spammers using its network."
Feel the Hate
"I don't know where George Soros gets his money,' one man said. 'I don't know where - if it comes from overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from.' George Soros, another declared, 'wants to spend $75 million defeating George W. Bush because Soros wants to legalize heroin.' After all, a third said, Mr. Soros 'is a self-admitted atheist; he was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the Holocaust.'"
I'm not a big fan of Soros because of Eircom, but that's ridiculous.
Why does it take so long to mend an escalator?
"A one-legged man, 'Bumper' Harris, was hired to ride for a whole day on the first installation - it was at Earls Court - to show how easy it was. Some people were sceptical (how had he lost his leg?) but others broke their journey there just to ride up and down."
Cryptography system goes underground
"A group of scientists in Austria and Germany has installed an optical fibre quantum cryptography system under the streets of Vienna and used it to perform the first quantum secure bank wire transfer (A Poppe et al. 2004 Optics Express 12 3865). The quantum cryptography system consisted of a transmitter (Alice) at Vienna's City Hall and a receiver (Bob) at the headquarters of an Austrian bank. The sites were linked by 1.45 kilometres of single-mode optical fibre."
Watchdog's Big Brother UK warning
The UK could "sleepwalk into a surveillance society" as a result of ID cards and other plans, UK information commissioner Richard Thomas has warned.
59-Story Crisis: Citicorp Tower
William LeMessurier ... served as design and construction consultant on the innovative Citicorp headquarters tower, which was completed in 1977 in New York. The next year, after a college student studying the tower design had called him to point out a possible deficiency, LeMessurier discovered that the building was indeed structurally deficient. LeMessurier faced a complex and difficult problem of professional responsibility in which he had to alert a broad group of people to the structural deficiency and enlist their cooperation in repairing the deficiency before a hurricane brought the building down.
DoJ Directs Public Document Destruction
Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department has deemed not 'appropriate for external use.' The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library.
Porn Blogs Manipulate Google
When Google bought blogging software pioneer Blogger last year, it probably didn't expect that its new technology would be used to goose the page rankings of porn sites.
321 Studios Shuts Its Doors
321 Studios, the company that sold DVD-copying software and faced an avalanche of lawsuits from the entertainment industry, shut down Monday.
The political economy of the MPAA’s War on Piracy
The awards screener ban instituted last fall by the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) clearly showed that it and the Major Motion Picture Studios (MMPS) that it represents had no compunction about pursuing policies that were inimical to the interests of the independent filmmaking community. They were unprepared for the vociferous and organized opposition to the ban and were left utterly dumbstruck by the surprise third-act reversal when a United States District Judge lifted the screener ban.
Internet addicts sent home from Finnish military
Finnish "packet poppers" sent off for service have exhibited painful longing for their PCs - a longing so profound that military doctors have become concerned for the youngsters' condition. The Finnish Defense Forces, showing their kind hearts, have decided to excuse IP addicts from their six months duty all together, according to a report from Reuters.
US looks to be master of Aussie IP
Australia has edged closer to embracing some of the least favorable aspects of US intellectual property law, including the DMCA, by agreeing to a trade agreement between the two countries.
MS admits Newsbot Biased Towards MSNBC
They'll just never get it
, will they...
""As Newsbot resides on MSNBC and is branded as such, MSNBC is considered a first among equals, meaning that if they and another top-tier source offer the same story, information, etc., MSNBC will be listed first, followed by other sources," says Elizabeth Herrera Smith, Microsoft spokeswoman."
Combining Port Knocking With OS Fingerprinting
The linked story just reminded me about port knocking. For those of you that aren't au faix, port knocking is a relatively new means of access to computer systems, where you firewall the entire system off leaving no apparent means of access for sysops. However a daemon is constantly watching the firewall logs for knocks or pings to particular ports in a particular sequence. Get the sequence right, and it opens a port and lets you in. This story adds an OS fingerprinting kicker, which is nice, but port knocking itself is the groovy feen.
Alabama IT Whistleblower Fired For Spyware
chalker writes "... an IT sysadmin for the Alabama Department Of Transportation, wanted to get evidence that his boss spent the majority of his time playing solitaire on his computer. Since emails to higher up supervisors were ignored, he installed Win-Spy, which grabbed screenshots several times per day over a period of 7 months. 70% of the resulting screenshots showed an active game of solitaire, and another 20% showed his boss checking the stock market. When he reported this to superiors, he was fired, even though he had 21 years of service in the position. His boss got a reprimand to 'stop playing games'. He is appealing his termination in court since he claims it was part of his job description to 'confirm and document' computer misuse for ALDOT. His complete story is here."
ICANN Security Committee Chairman Speaks Out
"Netzar writes 'A long-awaited report evaluating the impact of VeriSign's controversial Site Finder service was released ... by ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) last week. The report slams Site Finder and calls for a permanent end to the service."
Blackhat Briefings: It's the stupidity, stupid
"Robert Morris worked at AT&T's famed Bell Labs for 26 years, from 1960 until 1986. Then he began his second career: An eight year stint with the NSA, where he became the agency's chief scientist. Morris describes himself as "a teenage code clerk." He was trained in math at Harvard, helped invent the first modems at Bell Labs, and tells great stories -- declassified, of course -- about the history of communications intelligence."
Munich's Linux Migration Raises EU Patent Issues
"Techweb has a story about the German city of Munich's Windows-to-Linux migration. It appears the move to replace 14,000 Windows desktops with Linux has hit a bump. Green Party alderman Jens Muehlhaus, who is a supporter of open-source software, has petitioned the mayor to examine the status of software patents in the European Community. The issue involves a proposed directive on software patents that is being considered by various European governments. Muehlhaus fears that a patent owner could issue a cease-and-desist order against Munich, thus hurting the operation of various city departments."
[US] Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants
It's a slippery path, but they keep going down it...
"NEW ORLEANS -- It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business. Leaders in law enforcement say it will keep officers safe, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused."
Florida officials: Some voting records wiped out
I'm sorry, but the phrase "how convenient" always pops into my head when these things happen.
"MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- A computer crash erased detailed records from Miami-Dade County's first widespread use of touchscreen voting machines, raising again the specter of election troubles in Florida, where the new technology was supposed to put an end to such problems."
No Defense for Linux
More Linux Bad
FUD saying that Linux shouldn't be used in the military. Written, oddly enough, by the boss of a company that supplies a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) to the military. The quality of journalism just gets better and better, doesn't it?
CreditCards.com Domain Name Sells for $2.75 Million
There's been a lot of (cautious) talk in the pub lately about the possibility that the recovery perhaps, maybe, just about could be here. And my phone has been ringing more than usual of late. I can't decide whether this story is proof positive, or a deadly omen...
Google Froogle Shmoogle
Gotta say, if the guy really was using Froogles.com before Google came up with Froogle, there doesn't seem much room for error. Sure, he could be riding their coat-tails now, but doesn't Google carry more responsibility for not looking for something a bit more original first? They're a big company after all, it's not like that ain't got the legal staff...
The rights and wrongs of chipping children
We could wail hysterically about this story
telling us about a Japanese school's decision to plant RFID chips on their students, or look at a summation of the responses
and laugh our asses off.
One guy gives us the wonderful flipside of being able to track them via GPS (these things have a range measured in feet and inches); another tells us that our children are our most prized possesions (see refutation of point one); and the last tells us that it's ok cos people that work in multinationals have cardkeys.
If this is a collection of the better responses to the story, you'd have to wonder what the others were like. And whether silicon.com mightn't have altogether the brightest audience in the tech news world...
Yes, de interweb IS b0rked today...
It's the latest MyDoom variant attacking the search engines and using up lots and lots of lovely bandwidth.
Fox News Memos: The Whole Batch
If you don't know what the Fox News memos are, you probably shouldn't be reading this.
INDUCE my arse...
...as Jim Royle would say. On the face of it, the Stateside INDUCE Act
makes technology companies liable for encouraging people to break copyright (I won't refer to it as "steal", like they do in Wired
, because the words "steal" and "pirate" are, appropriately enough, Hollywood labels). Which is a good thing, right?
But no, it's another Orrin Hatch
masterwork -- badly crafted, overly broad nonsense that would undermine the Betamax decision that makes it ok for U.S. citizens to time-shift television -- that would be recording to you and me.
According to Corante
even that isn't enough for Marybeth Peters of the US Copyright Office, who reckons they should just go the whole hog and explicitly overturn Betamax. Lovely.
Ted Turner's Beef With Big Media
Sometimes big businessmen say things you don't expect them to say. I've been putting off reading this because I thought it would be the usual "free market" garbage from another pushy right-wing twit. It wasn't. At all. Perhaps I'm the twit.
"The FCC says that we have more media choices than ever before. But only a few corporations decide what we can choose. That is not choice. That's like a dictator deciding what candidates are allowed to stand for parliamentary elections, and then claiming that the people choose their leaders. Different voices do not mean different viewpoints, and these huge corporations all have the same viewpoint--they want to shape government policy in a way that helps them maximize profits, drive out competition, and keep getting bigger."