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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Government

US Scientific R&D Could Face Fiscal Cliff Doom 609

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept.
The tough economic times have had a huge effect on scientific research and development funding. The looming "fiscal cliff" may be the last straw for many programs. "The American science programs that landed the first man on the moon, found cures for deadly diseases and bred crops that feed the world now face the possibility of becoming relics in the story of human progress. American scientific research and development stands to lose thousands of jobs and face a starvation diet of reduced funding if politicians fail to compromise and halt the United States' march towards the fiscal cliff's sequestration of federal funds."
Privacy

Confidential Police Documents Found In Confetti At Macy's Parade 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the putting-it-all-together dept.
cstacy writes "The Nassau County (New York) Police Department is 'very concerned' about reports that shreds of police documents (with social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, incident reports, and more) rained down as confetti in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The documents also unveiled the identities of undercover officers, including their SSNs and bank information, according to WPIX-TV. Macy's has no idea how this happened, as they use commercial, colored confetti, not shredded paper."
Movies

Researchers Find Megaupload Shutdown Hurt Box Office Revenues 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-preview dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard this one before, over and over again: pirates are the biggest spenders. It therefore shouldn't surprise too many people to learn that shutting down Megaupload earlier this year had a negative effect on box office revenues. The latest finding comes from a paper titled: 'Piracy and Movie Revenues: Evidence from Megaupload.'"
Crime

Search For "Foolproof Suffocation" Missed In Casey Anthony Case 379

Posted by samzenpus
from the day-late-and-a-dollar-short dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Orlando Sentinel reports that a google search was made for the term 'foolproof suffocation' on the Anthony family's computer the day Casey Anthony's 2-year-old daughter Caylee was last seen alive by her family — a search that did not surface at Casey Anthony's trial for first degree murder. In the notorious 31 days which followed, Casey Anthony repeatedly lied about her and her daughter's whereabouts and at Anthony's trial, her defense attorney argued that her daughter drowned accidentally in the family's pool. Anthony was acquitted on all major charges in her daughter's death, including murder. Though computer searches were a key issue at Anthony's murder trial, the term 'foolproof suffocation' never came up. 'Our investigation reveals the person most likely at the computer was Casey Anthony,' says investigative reporter Tony Pipitone. Lead sheriff's Investigator Yuri Melich sent prosecutors a spreadsheet that contained less than 2 percent of the computer's Internet activity that day and included only Internet data from the computer's Internet Explorer browser – one Casey Anthony apparently stopped using months earlier — and failed to list 1,247 entries recorded on the Mozilla Firefox browser that day — including the search for 'foolproof suffocation.' Prosecutor Jeff Ashton said in a statement to WKMG that it's 'a shame we didn't have it. (It would have) put the accidental death claim in serious question.'"
Twitter

Legislators Call On Twitter To Ban Hamas 486

Posted by Soulskill
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Hill: "The past week's violence in Gaza has rekindled calls for Twitter to shutter the accounts of U.S.-labeled terror groups such as Hamas. Seven House Republicans asked the FBI in September to demand that Twitter take down the accounts of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Somalia's al Shabaab. The letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who said Wednesday that the recent events vindicated the request. 'Allowing foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling the enemy,' [Poe said] 'Failure to block access arms them with the ability to freely spread their violent propaganda and mobilize in their War on Israel.'"
Piracy

FBI Asked Megaupload To Preserve Pirated Files, Then Used Them Against Dotcom 241

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-many-ways-can-you-screw-this-up dept.
avxo writes "According to an article on the New Zealand Herald, Kim Dotcom says his team has evidence showing that the Department of Homeland Security served a search warrant on Megaupload in 2010, forcing it to preserve pirated movies. According to Mr. Dotcom, those preserved movies are the center of the latest legal battle. 'When the FBI applied to seize the Megaupload site in 2012, it said the company had failed to delete pirated content and cited the earlier search warrant against the continued existence of 36 of the same 39 files.' He added: '[t]he FBI used the fact the files were still in the account of the ... user to get the warrant to seize our own domains. This is outrageous.'"
Education

Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma 118

Posted by timothy
from the work-study dept.
David Hume writes "The Los Angeles Times has a story about the two-year University of Tulsa Cyber Corps Program. About '85% of the 260 graduates since 2003 have gone to the NSA, which students call "the fraternity," or the CIA, which they call "the sorority."' 'Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.' According to the University of Tulsa website, two programs — the National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Information Assurance Scholarship Program — provide scholarships to Cyber Corps students."
Privacy

"Anonymous" File-Sharing Darknet Ruled Illegal By German Court 285

Posted by timothy
from the your-virtual-papers-please dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A court in Hamburg, Germany, has granted an injunction against a user of the anonymous and encrypted file-sharing network RetroShare. RetroShare users exchange data through encrypted transfers and the network setup ensures that the true sender of the file is always obfuscated. The court, however, has now ruled that RetroShare users who act as an exit node are liable for the encrypted traffic that's sent by others."
Security

Stratfor Hacker Could Be Sentenced to Life, Says Judge 388

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-proportional dept.
dgharmon writes with this excerpt from rt.com: "A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor. Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year's hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it's been revealed that Judge Preska's husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack."
Advertising

Ad Blocking – a Coming Legal Battleground? 686

Posted by timothy
from the you-must-watch-and-hear-this-ad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Computerworld asks: What will happen if big advertisers declare AdBlock Plus a clear and present danger to online business models? Hint: it will probably involve lawyers. From the article: 'Could browser ad blocking one day become so prevalent that it jeopardises potentially billions of dollars of online ad revenue, and the primary business models of many online and new media businesses? If so, it will inevitably face legal attack.'"
Government

LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far 219

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the freedom-hating-socialists dept.
Mojo66 writes "After project savings had been estimated to amount to at least €4 million in March, more precise figures are now in: Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city's own Linux platform. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million. The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich's city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million, while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million. The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million. A detailed report (in German) is available."
Education

Judge Issues Temporary Order Blocking Expulsion For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag 305

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dang-terrorist-judges dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an update about the student refusing to wear an RFID badge in Texas. From the article: "A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a 'Smart' Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip."
Microsoft

Microsoft Granted Patent For Augmented Reality Glasses 89

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-tonight-shades dept.
another random user writes with an excerpt from the BBC about Microsoft's vision for augmented reality glasses: "A patent granted to the U.S. tech firm describes how the eyewear could be used to bring up statistics over a wearer's view of a baseball game or details of characters in a play. The newly-released document was filed in May 2011 and is highly detailed. ... Although some have questioned how many people would want to wear such devices, a recent report by Juniper Research indicated that the market for smart glasses and other next-generation wearable tech could be worth $1.5bn by 2014 and would multiply over following years." Noticeable differences from Google's version: two lenses, a wrist computer, and wires.
Piracy

Police Raid Home of 9-Year-Old Pirate Bay User, Seize "Winnie the Pooh" Laptop 376

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-some-mighty-fine-police-work-there-lou dept.
zacharye writes "Copyright enforcement might be getting out of hand in Scandinavia. As anti-piracy groups and copyright owners continue to work with authorities to curtail piracy in the region, police this week raided the home of a 9-year-old suspect and confiscated her "Winnie the Pooh" laptop. TorrentFreak reports that the girl's home was raided after local anti-piracy group CIAPC determined copyrighted files had been downloaded illegally at her residence. Her father, the Internet service account holder, was contacted by CIAPC, which demanded that he pay a 600 euro fine and sign a non-disclosure agreement to settle the matter. When the man did not comply, authorities raided his home and collected evidence, including his 9-year-old daughter's notebook computer."
Patents

Samsung Claims iPad Mini, iPad 4, New iPod Touch Also Infringe Patents 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-them-up-against-the-wall dept.
SternisheFan writes "Here we go again. Korean electronics giant Samsung has added three new Apple products to the list of products that the company claims infringes on its patents. In a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Samsung has added the iPad mini, the new iPad 4, and the fifth-generation iPod touch to an existing lawsuit that covers devices such as the iPhone 5, iPad 4, and earlier iPod touch devices. According to the filing, Samsung believes that 'good cause exists' to add these three devices to the original infringement claim, 'because Apple's new products were not yet available when Samsung submitted its original contentions on June 15, 2012 or its first motion to supplement its infringement contentions on October 1, 2012.'"
Crime

Fox News Parent NewsCorp May Face Corruption Investigation 145

Posted by timothy
from the semi-absolute-power dept.
rtfa-troll writes "The Guardian reports that News Corporation may face FCPA investigations after an 'official of the British ministry of defence' was charged 'for allegedly receiving £100,000 from Murdoch's tabloid newspapers.' News Corporation, headed by Rupert Murdoch, is loved by most of the readers of Slashdot as the owner of Fox News and as the company which put the overly complicated paywall on the Wall Street Journal. The article states that the charges 'would be hard for the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to ignore and would warrant investigation under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which could lead to risks for 27 TV licences within the Fox network.'"
Privacy

Saudi Arabia Implements Electronic Tracking System For Women 591

Posted by timothy
from the our-friends-in-the-middle-east dept.
dsinc writes "Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements. Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together. 'The authorities are using technology to monitor women,' said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the 'state of slavery under which women are held' in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the 'yellow sheet' at the airport or border."
Businesses

US Judge Orders Apple To Share HTC Deal Details With Samsung 106

Posted by timothy
from the mandatory-transparency dept.
another random user writes with this news from the BBC: "A U.S. judge has ordered Apple to disclose details of its patent-sharing deal with HTC to its rival, Samsung. Apple and HTC signed a 10-year licence agreement earlier this month, but did not make the details public. Samsung, which is also involved in various patent disputes with Apple, asked the courts to tell Apple to furnish the information. It said it was 'almost certain' the deal covered some of the patents at the centre of its dispute with Apple. The court ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement 'without delay,' subject to an 'attorneys' eyes only' designation, meaning it will not be made public."
Facebook

Facebook To Eliminate Voting On Privacy Changes 52

Posted by timothy
from the three-sheep-and-a-wolf dept.
Orome1 writes "Facebook has announced some proposed updates to their Data Use Policy (how user data is collected and used) and their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (explains the terms governing use of their services). These updates include new tools for managing Facebook Messages, changes to how they refer to certain products, tips on managing one's timelines, and reminders about what's visible to other people on Facebook. Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing, said: 'We found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality,' he explained. 'Therefore, we're proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement.'"
Government

World Governments Object To New gTLDs 135

Posted by timothy
from the world-governments-acting-as-usual dept.
hypnosec writes "ICANN is receiving more and more requests for new generic top level domains, and governments around the world are busy registering their complaints and objections with the proposed names. To date, more than 200 objections have been raised against proposed gTLDs, with Australia leading the pack with over 120 objections. Some of the other countries which are at the forefront of registering their objections include France, Germany and India. US and UK are near the bottom of the list. ICANN's "early warnings" about national objections to gTLDs serves as formal objections but it doesn't mean that these domains will never be signed off. There is always room for discussions and mediation that would allow prospective registrants to keep on pursuing their claims. Australia has objected to names such as '.baby,' '.app,' and '.beauty' among other. It has also objected to names such as '.sucks' and '.wtf,' stating that these names have 'an overtly negative or critical connotation.'"

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