First time accepted submitter Autumnmist writes "Craigslist has sent a Cease and Desist to PadMapper, a site that does a mashup of Craigslist (as well as Rent.com, Apartments.com) apartment listings and Google Maps. Craigslist is great, but apartment hunting through Craigslist has always been a needle in a haystack proposition, because all apartments for an entire city area are shown in a giant list. PadMapper made Craigslist better by locating each listing on a Google Map of the area. From PadMapper: 'I recently received a Cease and Desist letter from Craigslist, and wasn't able to get a meeting or convince Craigslist's lawyer that PadMapper was beneficial to Craigslist and apartment hunters in general. They allow mobile apps to display their listings if you buy a license from them, but not websites."
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Techdirt has a story about statements from Congressional staffer Stephanie Moore, who had some interesting — and somewhat insulting — things to say about the 'net-wide protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). "Netizens poisoned the well, and as a result the reliability of the internet is at risk," she said. Moore went on, "Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did." The article also points out comments from Steve Metalitz, a lawyer who represents members of the entertainment industry: "Most countries in the world already have this option at their disposal to deal with this problem. If site blocking broke the internet, then the internet would already be broken."
whisper_jeff writes "Judge Posner has dismissed the patent case between Apple and Motorola, with prejudice (meaning they can't refile), putting an end to this patent dispute between the two companies. Posner wrote, 'Both parties have deep pockets. And neither has acknowledged that damages for the infringement of its patents could not be estimated with tolerable certainty.' I know many on Slashdot will be happy to hear Apple's lawsuit failed; I am happier to hear that Motorola has been prevented from abusing FRAND patents, a situation I feel could set a very bad, very dangerous precedent for the entire industry."
Hugh Pickens writes "According to Business Week, the traffic accident that left U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson unconscious and alone in his bashed-up Lexus on June 9 raises questions about why the 10th official in line to succeed the president was left so vulnerable. It also highlights potential gaps in security for senior U.S. government officials, who receive varying levels of protection. 'They lost track of him,' says James Carafano, a terrorism scholar at the Heritage Foundation. 'Post 9/11, that's a bit of a head scratcher.' Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are high in the line of succession and have national-security responsibilities, are provided protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but other federal officials, even in cabinet-level positions or other top posts, often travel without the security details that even a big-city mayor or state governor would be provided. Threats to cabinet-level officials aren't overblown, says Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who has urged that the government revamp its succession plans and says a nuclear bomb hidden in a suitcase detonated in Washington could leave a headless government. 'The lack of interest in continuity may stem from the same reasons some smart people refuse to create wills, even though failure to do so leaves behind horrific messes for their loved ones,' writes Ornstein. 'Yet the threat is real. Our leaders' failure to establish plans to ensure that our Constitution survives is irresponsible.'"
An anonymous reader writes with an update to news from last month that many popular file-sharing sites, including the Pirate Bay, had been blocked in India. Now, India's Madras High Court has amended its earlier decision. "The court order wasn’t targeted at a specific site or ISP and gave the copyright holder carte blanche to demand broad blockades. The ISPs were seen as the bad guys by subscribers and 'Anonymous' groups, but had no other option than to comply." Instead of forcing ISPs to block an entire site in order to prevent the sharing of a single file, now only particular URLs must be blocked. "The new order was issued following an appeal filed by a consortium of ISPs."
An anonymous reader writes "Growing up in the digital age, 18 – 25s may appear to be a more tech-savvy generation, but that does not translate into safer computing and online practices. A new study reveals that they are the most at-risk group, and prone to cyber-attacks. That makes this group even more vulnerable to online security threats. Younger users tend to prioritize entertainment and community over security, perhaps due to overconfidence in their security knowledge. For example, they're more concerned about gaming or other social activities than their online security. They also have less sophisticated security software, and hence, have reported more security problems than other groups."
theodp writes "On Thursday, Google announced a product that enables a business to see where all its workers are at all times. Called Maps Coordinate, it combines a paid-for business version of Google's standard maps product with an application downloaded to a worker's smartphone, creating a real-time record of worker locations. Ironically, Google touted its worker tracking solution on the very same day that CEO Larry Page was a surprise no-show at Google's Annual Shareholder Meeting, leaving Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to explain his absence. Schmidt explained that Page had lost his voice and, as a result, would likely also miss next week's I/O conference and possibly next month's quarterly earnings call. While a Google spokeswoman declined to comment further on Page's condition, Schmidt added that Page will continue as CEO while he recovers. So, why not reassure those worried about the situation by publicly tracking Page's location via Maps Coordinate? After all, Google's a true believer in eating its own dog food, right?"
dcblogs writes "The City of Takoma Park, Md. this week granted a waiver to its public library to allow it to use some new HP hardware, whose products are otherwise banned under its 'nuclear free zone' ordinance. That law, adopted in 1983 one month after the Cold War-era movie 'The Day After' was aired, prohibits the city from buying equipment from any company connected to U.S. nuclear weapons production. The library bought new Linux-based, x86 systems from a Canadian vendor and didn't realize the vendor was using HP hardware. The hardware arrived in April and was unused until the Takoma Park city council granted it a waiver this week. The city's list of banned contractors was developed in 2004 by a now inactive group, Nuclear Free America, and hasn't been updated since."
colinneagle writes "Among the eye-opening statements in his recent TED talk, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said, 'Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet. Our voices matter and our actions matter even more.' After you download and install Collusion in Firefox, you can 'see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods,' Kovacs stated. 'Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don't know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It's now time for us to watch the watchers.' I've been using Collusion for some time now and it is jaw-dropping to watch all the sites that still stalk us across the web even with DNT and privacy add-ons. The Collusion page states: 'The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.'"
sl4shd0rk writes "Federal Judge Richard Posner seems to be a man who gets the screwed up patent system in the U.S. As Apple pressed for more injunctions against Motorola regarding alleged patent infringement, Judge Posner has stressed the two companies should just 'get along' and pay each other royalties. A jury trial set to start last week was cancelled when Posner ruled that neither side could prove damages, and grilled Apple's legal team saying an injunction against Motorola would be 'contrary to the public interest.' Furthermore, as Apple tried to plead its injunction case concerning four patents, Posner called the U.S. patent system 'chaos' and said an order barring the sale of Motorola phones could have 'catastrophic effects.'"
snydeq writes "Law professor Tim Wu sheds light on a growing legal concern: the extent to which computers have a constitutional right to free speech. 'This may sound like a fanciful question, a matter of philosophy or science fiction. But it's become a real issue with important consequences,' Wu writes. First it was Google defending — and winning — a civil suit on grounds that search results are constitutionally protected speech. Now it is doubling down on the argument amidst greater federal scrutiny. 'Consider that Google has attracted attention from both antitrust and consumer protection officials after accusations that it has used its dominance in search to hinder competitors and in some instances has not made clear the line between advertisement and results. Consider that the "decisions" made by Facebook's computers may involve widely sharing your private information. ... Ordinarily, such practices could violate laws meant to protect consumers. But if we call computerized decisions "speech," the judiciary must consider these laws as potential censorship, making the First Amendment, for these companies, a formidable anti-regulatory tool.'"
hapworth writes "Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has warned that one of the greatest cyber threats facing the world is the lack of effective online voting systems, claiming that unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse. Not everyone is buying that theory, however (and there's reason to suspect Kaspersky has a vested interest in online voting, which may need his firm's cybersecurity products). As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"
First time accepted submitter moj0joj0 writes "Two days after YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files, was blocked from accessing YouTube, the RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function. The RIAA focused its criticism on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader. The organization also pointed out that there are many other similar applications available at the site, 'which can be used to steal content from CBS, which owns Download.com.' CNET's policy is that Download.com is not in any position to determine whether a piece of software is legal or not or whether it can be used for illegal activity." For a sufficiently broad definition of "steal," you could argue that all kinds of software (from word processors to graphics programs to security analysis tools) could be implicated.
First time accepted submitter Burdell writes "A new startup has technology to read fingerprints from up to 6 meters away. IDair currently sells to the military, but they are beta testing it with a chain of 24-hour fitness centers that want to restrict sharing of access cards. IDair also wants to sell this to retail stores and credit card companies as a replacement for physical cards. Lee Tien from the EFF notes that the security of such fingerprint databases is a privacy concern." Since the last time this technology was mentioned more than a year ago, it seems that the claimed range for reading has tripled, and the fingerprint reader business has been spun off from the company at which development started.
Gottesser writes with this excerpt from Bev Harris's Black Box Voting: "I have found and posted the actual voter list software used widely throughout the USA (TN, WI, PA, CO, KS...) for Accenture voter registration and voter histories. I located the files on a magnetic backup tape of the hard drive of a county elections IT employee, part of a 120-gig set of discovery files. The Accenture voter registration / voter history software is highly problematic, and has been reported switching voter parties in Colorado, and losing voter histories in Tennessee. Although it is now widely known that Accenture voter list software gets it wrong, just WHY the program misreports voter information so often has never been explained. I am hoping that by releasing this software to the public, it may shed light on what's really going on with our voter registration systems. I also posted a Tennessee file with work orders and release notes which shows the Accenture software has a history of tripling votes in certain ('random') voter histories, going back to 2004. Except it is not random: Other files I discovered prove it is with primarily suburban Republican precincts that votes are somehow being recorded twice and sometimes three times for certain voters in the voter history report, and this didn't just happen in 2004; it also happened in the 2008 presidential primary and in May and August 2010, and according to election commission notes in Shelby County, also in the 2012 presidential primary. Computer buffs, have at it. Much source code exists within the structure because it is built on MS Access. I do not read source code, though I can see some structural problems with the software (for example, it allows political party ID to be set differently from one precinct to another)."