An anonymous reader writes "U.S. consumers will be making a multimillion dollar donation to an Australian government agency in the near future, whether they like it or not. After the resolution of a recent lawsuit, practically every wireless-enabled device sold in the U.S. will now involve a payment to an Australian research organization called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, which hired U.S. patent lawyers who told a very lucrative tale in an East Texas courtroom, that they had '[invented] the concept of wireless LAN ... [and] when the IEEE adopted the 802.11a standard in 1999 — and the more widely-used 802.11g standard years later — the group was choosing CSIRO technology. Now CSIRO had come to court to get the payments it deserved.'"
zacharye writes with this snippet from BGR: "Nearly a dozen suspects have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the theft and sale of AMOLED display technology under development at Samsung. Yonhap News Agency on Thursday reported that 11 suspects either currently or formerly employed by Samsung Mobile Display have been arrested. One 46-year-old researcher at Samsung is believed to have accepted a payment of nearly $170,000 from an unnamed 'local rival firm' in exchange for trade secrets pertaining to proprietary Samsung technology used in the company's AMOLED panels..."
pigrabbitbear writes "The recent web pornography ban in Egypt has raised questions about the evils of censorship (and porn) and the changing tide of popular attitude of Egyptians. It perhaps reflects the emerging influence of more conservative Muslim elements in government, a shift. Apparently the same ban was passed 3 years ago but was not enforced because their filtering system was not effective. But porn bans are nothing new. Other countries with strict censorship laws like China and Saudi Arabia have successfully implemented bans that restrict pornography along with anything else they deem inappropriate for public viewing. In 2010 the UK discussed a ban that would require users to specifically request access to pornographic material from their internet service providers. And porn-banning rhetoric has even stomped through the U.S. news media over the last few months, thanks to GOP also-ran Rick Santorum claiming President Obama is failing to enforce pornography laws. (There have also been some awesomely ridiculous pornography PSAs.)"
Orome1 writes "Industry and government efforts have dealt a significant blow to spam, according to a Commtouch report that is compiled based on an analysis of more than 10 billion transactions handled on a daily basis. The sustained decrease in spam over the last year can be attributed to many factors, including: Botnet takedowns, increased prosecution of spammers and the source industries such as fake pharmaceuticals and replicas. However, spam is still four times the level of legitimate email and cybercriminals are increasing their revenues from other avenues, such as banking fraud malware."
Lucas123 writes "Major tech vendors are funding patent trolls, companies that derive the bulk of their income, if not all of it, from licensing huge libraries of patents they hold as well as by suing companies that use their patents without permission, according to an investigation by Computerworld. Tech companies — including Apple and Micron — have railed against patent 'nuisance' lawsuits, only to fund or otherwise support some of the patent trolls. Because of patent trolls, more politely called mass patent aggregators, patent litigation has in part increased by more than 230% over the past 20 years. 'Most of the major tech companies are backing a troll in some way, probably financially,' says Thomas Ewing, an attorney who has authored reports on what he calls 'patent privateering.'"
New submitter si622test1 writes "A judge has determined that the ex-astronaut-turned-politician who was sued by California Republicans for putting 'astronaut' as his occupation while running for Congress will be allowed to do so, saying that Hernandez is an astronaut for 'more than the time spent riding a rocket.'"
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ZDNet: "Security researchers from two universities say they found how hackers can retrieve credit card data and other personal information from used Microsoft Xbox 360s, even if the console is restored back to factory settings and its hard drive is wiped. Microsoft is now looking into their story of buying a refurbished Xbox 360 from a Microsoft-authorized retailer, downloading a basic modding tool, gaining access to the console's files and folders, and eventually extracting the original owner's credit card information. Redmond is still investigating, but it's already calling the claims 'unlikely.'"
Fluffeh writes "Can a farmer commit patent infringement just by planting soybeans he bought on the open market? This week, the Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on the question. The Court is pondering an appeals court decision saying that such planting can, in fact, infringe patents. Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled, as it had on several previous occasions, that patent exhaustion did not cover second-generation seeds. The Supreme Court has now asked the Solicitor General, the official in charge of representing the Obama administration before the Court, to weigh in on the case."
An anonymous reader writes "A 28-year-old woman was recently accused of assault and arrested based on a thumbnail photo from her profile pic on Facebook. Artist Lizz Aston was identified in a lineup after police used a picture from her Facebook profile. From the article: 'In an interview she said, "I told the officer I was at an art opening for a friend, then went home with my boyfriend because he injured his knee. We stayed in for the rest of the night and I did research on the computer for an art installation I was working on. The officer didn't care ... I don't think the police looked into it further." Aston said, the officer "read me my rights. I was searched, finger printed and processed."'"
LordofEntropy writes "Though unlikely to pass any First Amendment test. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer has a bill on her desk that would in essence make 'trolling' illegal. The law states 'It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.'" This did indeed manage to pass through both houses of legislature and only needs a signature to become law.
Hkibtimes writes, quoting the International Business Times: "The Anonymous hacking collective has landed in China, home of some of the most tightly controlled Internet access in the world, and defaced hundreds of government websites in what appears to be a massive online operation against Beijing. Anonymous listed its intended institutional targets on Pastebin and has now attacked them."
New submitter CAPSLOCK2000 writes "The Dutch Pirateparty has refused an order from BREIN to take down a proxy to The Pirate Bay. Last month BREIN (the distribution-industries paralegal outfit) forced a number of ISPs to block The Pirate Bay; the first site ever blocked in the Netherlands. Immediately people started using proxies at other ISPs to get to TPB. BREIN then threatened a number of those proxies with legal action. As most of these are run by hobbyists without legal or financial means there was little resistance. Now the Dutch Pirateparty has decided to stand up to the intimidation and refuses to take down its proxy. Today they sent their response in style: by uploading it to The Pirate Bay. In translation: 'The Pirateparty disputes your claim and will not comply with your request.'" Via Torrentfreak, Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot: "There are a plethora of proxy sites on the internet. On almost any them TPB can by reached, even with a single URL. That's not even mentioning the ways you can get to TPB if you're willing to put in more effort than saving a single URL. If this keeps going there will be no Internet left by the time BREIN has achieved its goal of making TPB inaccessible. ... In their self-righteous zealousness they have brought substantial damage to the free and open Internet."
suraj.sun writes, quoting the Denver Post: "A federal court has thrown out a 2010 Colorado law, which had already been temporarily blocked in federal court last year, meant to spur online retailers like Amazon to collect state sales tax. 'I conclude that the veil provided by the words of the act and the regulations is too thin to support the conclusion that the act and the regulations regulate in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly,' U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn wrote in his opinion. The law and the rules to carry it out 'impose an undue burden on interstate commerce' and are unconstitutional, the judge wrote. The tax mainly affected online sales of out-of-state companies that have in-state affiliates, usually generating sales through links on their websites." I wonder what this means for the plethora of similar bills in other states. Will Amazon continue to call for a national Internet sales tax if they are all struck down?
Fluffeh writes "In the ongoing Megaupload saga, Carpathia, the company that hosted Megaupload, is in a tough pickle. The EFF wants the data to remain on the servers so that users can get legitimate data back, the MPAA doesn't want the servers back, because it will lead to piracy. Megaupload wants to buy the servers to get all the data, but isn't allowed to as that would have the servers leaving the court's jurisdiction. The U.S .Government won't pay Carpathia for the time that the servers are sitting idle and has a new song in its repertoire by announcing yesterday that the servers 'may contain child pornography,' which would render them 'contraband' and limit Carpathia's options for dealing with them."
Fluffeh writes "Motorola Mobility has found itself on the receiving end of an antitrust investigation by the European Commission due to its alleged abuse of standards-essential patents related to WiFi, H.264, and 3G wireless networking. The EC investigation comes shortly after it launched a similar investigation of Samsung, which has been attempting to leverage its 3G-related patents against Apple. The investigation could be especially worrisome for Google, which was recently granted approval of its planned merger with Motorola."