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Facebook

Facebook Countersues Yahoo Over 10 Patents 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the hoist-with-your-own-petard dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As expected, Facebook today filed its own patent infringement lawsuit against Yahoo. The social networking giant is claiming the online giant infringes on 10 of its patents. This is a countersuit and will likely lead to some sort of settlement between the two parties. Facebook says Yahoo is infringing on a wide range of its services, including its homepage, content optimization, relevance engine, Flickr photo-sharing service, and advertising throughout the service. Two months ago, Yahoo threatened Facebook with patent war. Last month, the online giant sued the social networking giant over 10 patents and the technology industry made sure to criticize Yahoo like never before."
Security

FTC Fines RockYou $250,000 For Storing User Data In Plain Text 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "You probably don't remember the RockYou fiasco as it happened in late 2009. In case you don't, social game developer RockYou suffered a serious SQL injection flaw on its flagship website. Worse, the company was storing user details in plain text. As a result, tens of millions of login details, including those belonging to minors, were stolen and published online. Now, RockYou has finally settled with the Federal Trade Commission."
Censorship

Smearing Toddler Reputations Via Internet: Free Speech Or Extortion? 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the class-act dept.
retroworks writes "Crystal Cox, a Montana woman who calls herself an 'investigative journalist,' was slapped with a $2.5-million judgment last year for defaming an investment firm and one of its lead partners. Cox had taken control of the Google footprint of Obsidian Finance and its principal Kevin Padrick by writing hundreds of posts about them on dozens of websites she owned, inter-linking them in ways that made them rise up in Google search results; it ruined Obsidian's business due to prospective clients being put off by the firm's seemingly terrible online reputation. After Obsidian sued Cox, she contacted them offering her 'reputation services;' for $2,500 a month, she could 'fix' the firm's reputation and help promote its business. The Forbes Article goes on to describe how she tried to similarly leverage attorneys and journalists reputations. Finding some of her targets were too well established in google rank to pester or intimidate, Cox moved to family members, reserving domain names for one of her target's 3-year-old daughter. Forbes columnist Kashmir Hill makes the case that this clearly isn't journalism, and establishes a boundary for free speech online."
Communications

Competition To Identify Sexual Predators In Chat Logs 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-see-what-you-wrote-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from the University of Lugano, Switzerland, and other universities from the U.S. and Europe organize a competition to automatically identify sexual predators in chat logs. The task is described as: 'The goal of this sub-task is to identify classes of authors, namely online predators. You will be given chat logs involving two (or more) people and have to determine who is the one trying to convince the other participants(s) to provide some sexual favor. You will also need to identify the particular conversation where the person exploits his bad behavior.' Their data set covers hundreds of chat logs with dozens of true positives (i.e., chats where one is trying to hit on another)."
Government

The Politics of the F.D.A. 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
A fight over posting calorie counts for popcorn is just one example of the clash between the White House and the agency charged with protecting public health. Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the F.D.A. commissioner, was forced to scrap plans to have calorie counts posted for foods served in movie theaters and on airplanes after a phone call from the White House deputy chief of staff in 2010. From the article: "White House officials describe their disagreements with the F.D.A. as part of the normal, constructive give-and-take over policy that has never undermined the agency’s mission. 'Under President Obama’s leadership, the Food and Drug Administration has new authority and resources to help stop kids from smoking, protect our food supply and approve more affordable prescription drugs,' said the White House press secretary, Jay Carney. The administration also views the agency’s hostility to its oversight as hopelessly naïve, given a 24-hour news cycle and a ferocious political environment that punishes any misstep. 'They want a world that doesn’t exist anymore,' an administration official said."
Censorship

Swedish Researchers Expose China's Tor-Blocking Tricks 73

Posted by timothy
from the one-book-swedish-made-data-pump dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A pair of researchers at Karlstad University have been able to establish how the Great Firewall of China sets about blocking unpublished Tor bridges. The GFC inspects web traffic looking for potential bridges and then attempts 'to speak Tor' to the hosts. If they reply, they're deemed to be Tor bridges and blocked. While this looks like another example of the cat and mouse game between those wishing to surf the net anonymously and a government intent on curtailing online freedoms, the researchers suggest ways that the latest blocking techniques may be defeated."
United States

Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Arrestable Offense 747

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-have-nothing-to-hide dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "Taking a page out of the TSA handbook, the Supreme Court has voted to allow strip searches for any offense, no matter how minimal. The article cites these two tidbits from Justice Anthony Kennedy: 'Every detainee who will be admitted to the general [jail or prison] population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,' and 'Maintaining safety and order at detention centers requires the expertise of correctional officials.'"
Censorship

Biosecurity Board Recommends Full Publication of Bird Flu Studies 21

Posted by timothy
from the keeping-mum-about-the-zombies-though dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two controversial scientific papers on a mutant form of the H5N1 avian flu virus should be published in uncensored form after a review determined there would be no immediate threat from releasing the data, a U.S. biosecurity panel said, revising its earlier decision."
Security

UK Proposing Real-Time Monitoring of All Communications 145

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the good-day-to-bury-bad-news dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In response to a plans to introduce real time monitoring of all UK Internet communications, a petition has been set up in opposition." Previously covered here, El Reg chimes in with a bit of conspiracy theorizing and further analysis: "It would appear that the story is being managed: the government is looking to make sure that CCDP is an old news story well ahead of the Queen's Speech to Parliament on 9 May. Sundays — especially Sunday April the 1st — are good days to have potentially unpopular news reach the population at large."
Privacy

UK Police Investigate Alleged Phorm Lunch With Officer 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-crimes-committed-here dept.
twoheadedboy writes "City of London Police are looking into claims one of its officers was given hospitality by Phorm months before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to not take the company or BT, which was using the software, to court. BT was trialling Phorm, which uses uses cookies to build a profile of users' habits and interests based on websites they visit, in 2006 and 2007, attracting the scorn of privacy campaigners. After much back and forth, the CPS dropped the case in April 2011. Now, privacy campaigner Alex Hanff, who discovered a document appearing to show an officer had been taken to lunch by Phorm in 2010, wants the case to be reopened."
Australia

Bill Introduced To Ban Sale of MA15+ Games To Anyone Under 18 in SA 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the did-i-say-fifteen-i-meant-eighteen dept.
dotarray writes "The introduction of an R18+ rating for video games into Australia has been designed to bring game classification in line with the current system in place for films and other media. One state, however, would like to widen that gap." This is being billed (by John Rau's office) as a saner approach than eliminating the MA15+ rating entirely.
Google

Oracle and Google Settlement Talks Falter; Trial Set for April 16 118

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the let-the-games-begin dept.
Fluffeh writes "Recently, a Judge ordered Oracle and Google to have yet another sit down and chat, but these talks have come to an impasse: 'Despite their diligent efforts and those of their able counsel, the parties have reached an irreconcilable impasse in their settlement discussions,' Judge Paul Grewal of US District Court for the Northern California wrote Monday. 'No further conferences shall be convened. The parties should instead direct their entire attention to the preparation of their trial presentations. Good luck.'"
Censorship

More Fuel For Facebook Censorship Advocates In India 122

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the censorship-makes-the-world-go-round dept.
thodelu writes "Close on the heels of Friday's communal clashes in a town in India that were triggered by a Facebook post which contained morphed images apparently deriding a religious place of worship, there has been another incident. City police have removed images from another similar blog post citing 'cyber criminal' laws. There has been an ongoing effort in India to censor the web which would get more backing as a result of these events. Could we be seeing another Great Firewall of China?"
Music

Despite Drop In Piracy, French Music Industry Still In Decline 272

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the everybody-loses dept.
New submitter Hentes writes "France has one of the strictest anti-piracy laws. After 17 months of operation, Hadopi has released a report, claiming that illegal P2P downloads have been reduced significantly in the country: the studies they cite measured 43% and 66% decrease in copyright infringement. But that huge amount of 'lost revenue' doesn't seem to show up in the French recording industry, as the overall recorded music market has decreased by 3.9% in 2011. Even more interesting is that digital music sales have skyrocketed in France. Could it be that it's not piracy killing the traditional recording industry but digital distribution?"
Privacy

Many Police Departments Engage in Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking 85

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the are-they-watching-you? dept.
alphadogg writes with a distressing bit of analysis of the training materials acquired by the ACLU last week. From the article: "Many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. track mobile phones as part of investigations, but only a minority ask for court-ordered warrants, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union. More than 90 law enforcement agencies said they track mobile phones during investigations, but only six reported receiving court-approved warrants after demonstrating that there's probable cause of a crime, according to an ACLU report based on public information requests filed by the group last year." The ACLU has a handy page allowing you to see if your local PD engages in such practices.

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