An anonymous reader writes "As we (very gradually) move away from feudal, leader-based forms of governance to collaborative and open source governance, some interesting new issues arise. The biggest is usually user authentication: how can we avoid sock-puppets and spammers from overtaking the voting process? Enter the concept of the streetwiki, an ingenious system for having humans validate their physical neighbors. Bleeding-edge social organization meets ancient validation protocol."
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An anonymous reader writes "Hugo Campos got an implanted cardiac defibrillator shortly after collapsing on a BART train platform. He wants access to the data wirelessly collected by the computer implanted in his body, but the manufacturer says No. It seems weird that a patient can't get access to data about his own heart. Hugo and several medical device engineers are responding to live Q/A on Sunday night on such topics via ACM MedCOMM webcast at ACM SIGCOMM."
theodp writes "Perturbed by a GigaOm item which likened him to 'Darth Vader doing some charity work as he completes the Death Star,' Intellectual Ventures CEO Nathan Myhrvold talks about the goals of his 'Global Good' program and fires back at critics in an interview with GeekWire's Todd Bishop. The technology industry is a little too obsessed with 'sending little messages to each other and having fun on a social network' for Myhrvold, who hopes to tackle bigger problems like malaria, polio, and HIV with the help of funding from buddy Bill Gates. 'I don't mean to call Zynga out in a negative way,' says Myhrvold, 'but is Zynga doing God's work? Is Facebook doing God's work? Even setting aside what God's work means, I think it's pretty easy to say, those companies are doing wonderful things, but they are for-profit ventures. It's either tools or toys for the rich.' BTW, if you're ready to do God's work, IV's looking for a Vice President, Global Good."
CuteSteveJobs writes "Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has been forced to back down on her government's unpopular plan to force ISPs to store the web history and social networking of all Australians for two years. The plan has been deeply unpopular with the public, with hackers attacking the government's spy agency. Public servants at the spy agency promoting the scheme been scathing of the government, saying: 'These reforms are urgently needed to deal with a rapidly evolving security environment, but there isn't much appetite within the government for anything that attracts controversy,' but a document on the scheme released under the Freedom of Information Act had 90% of it redacted to prevent 'premature unnecessary debate.' Roxon hasn't dropped the unpopular scheme entirely, but only delayed it until after the next election."
Shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney officially announced (via phone app) his selection of 42-year-old Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as running mate for the 2012 U.S. presidential race. Ryan's selection was announced by the Romney campaign to various media outlets earlier this morning. Ryan is considered popular among a wide range of Republican voters, being a budget hawk who favors less liberal laws concerning abortion. Ryan's lauded popularity among Tea Party voters is mixed; some reports describe him as a Tea Party favorite, others as a far-right imposter.
morcego writes "Brazil's National Traffic Council (CNT) published Friday a resolution that institutes the National System of Automatic Vehicle Identification (Siniav). According to the Q&A published (Google translation from Portuguese), only 'visible and public' information will be available (vehicle year or fabrication, make, model, combustible, engine power and license plate number), without any personal information about the owner or registration data. This system will be mandatory for all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc) and should cost vehicle owners approximately R$5 (less than US$3)."
New submitter ottdmk writes "You may recall this recent Slashdot story about Mformation being awarded 147.2 million dollars in a patent suit against RIM. Well, it appears a California appeals judge has disagreed with that verdict. As part of the ruling, if Mformation successfully appeals, the matter will go to a new trial instead of the jury award being restored."
tripleevenfall writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minneapolis police used automated scanning technology to log location data for over 800,000 license plates in June alone, with 4.9 million scans having taken place this year. The data includes the date, time, and location where the plate was seen. Worse, it appears this data is compiled and stored for up to a year and is disclosed to anyone who asks for it."
An anonymous reader sends word of a change Google will be making to its search algorithms. Beginning next week, the company will penalize the search rankings of websites who are the target of many copyright infringement notices from rightsholders. Quoting The Verge: "Google says the move is designed to 'help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily' — meaning that it's trying to direct people who search for movies, TV shows, and music to sites like Hulu and Spotify, not torrent sites or data lockers like the infamous MegaUpload. It's a clear concession to the movie and music industries, who have long complained that Google facilitates piracy — and Google needs to curry favor with media companies as it tries to build an ecosystem around Google Play. Google says it feels confident making the change because because its existing copyright infringement reporting system generates a massive amount of data about which sites are most frequently reported — the company received and processed over 4.3 million URL removal requests in the past 30 days alone, more than all of 2009 combined. Importantly, Google says the search tweaks will not remove sites from search results entirely, just rank them lower in listings."
An anonymous reader writes "This week, Google was given approval of a network OS patent that it applied for back in 2009. The design of the OS is built for 'providing an operating system over a network to a local device' to provision new versions of operating systems onto hardware devices. Filed in March 2009, the idea for Chrome OS was protected by Google early in the development process of the OS, but it was hardly new and unique, given the general description of its features in the patent itself. It is the best sign yet that Google is working toward seamless hardware and software experiences."
jfruh writes "Cynthia Navarro starts her sessions training police to mine social media in dramatic fashion: by quickly finding data about the officers themselves. She also provides information about who's where online — for instance, younger suspects will probably be focused on Twitter, while older folks are on Facebook or even MySpace. 'How much information can be gathered? Look no further than the 2011 Stanley Cup Riots in Vancouver, BC. By examining hours of video and social media posts made during the event, a taskforce was able to post pictures of over 100 suspected rioters online — over 30 of which were identified by police.' It's all part of a drive to teach even nontechnical police officers at small and midsized departments how to use social media to track suspects."
hypnosec writes with news that Sergey Aleynikov, once a programmer for Goldman Sachs, has been arrested and charged again for stealing code from his employer in 2009. Aleynikov was originally charged for the crime in 2009. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 97 months in prison, but an appeals court overturned the verdict, saying the corporate espionage laws were misapplied. Manhattan District Attorney Cryus Vance said, "This code is so highly confidential that it is known in the industry as the firm's 'secret sauce.' Employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State in appropriate cases." The Fifth Amendment's "double jeopardy" clause is unlikely to stop this case because it's within a different jurisdiction — the earlier trial was in federal court, and this one is in New York State court.
New submitter glebovitz writes "In case anyone missed the other Nokia news: on the same day they announced the sale of Qt to Digia, they also sold 500 patents to Vringo. Vringo, a video ring tone company, recently merged with patent portfolio company Innovate/Protect which includes Donald Stout, the founder of patent holding company NTP, on its board. Forbes refers to NTP as 'a patent troll which milked Research In Motion for $612.5 million in a patent infringement settlement reached in 2006.' As Eric Savitz writes in the article, 'Vringo decided to basically turn itself into a patent troll.'"
OverTheGeicoE writes "Why is it that airport security never seems to change in the United States? Perhaps it's because most Americans think the TSA is doing a 'good job,' according to a surprise Gallup poll, allegedly commissioned by no one but the kind editors at Gallup. The poll found that 54% of Americans believe the TSA is doing a good or excellent job, and that 57% have a good or excellent opinion of the agency. So why all the criticism? According to the article, criticism of the TSA comes primarily from 'Internet sites, where reporting standards are generally not at the same level as newspapers, where reporters are taught to consider what is told to them with skepticism and to seek responses to charges.' Furthermore, 'the TSA is put into a difficult situation when such charges are posted with little or no fact checking by reporters.' Other sources, of course, have different interpretations of Gallup's results, including questions about whether the poll was biased. If Americans secretly do love the TSA, that could explain why the recent whitehouse.gov petition failed to gather enough signatures for a 'response.' In fact, you'll find so little information about the petition remains on whitehouse.gov that you'll wonder if my link is correct. And these are not the droids you're looking for. Move along."
First time accepted submitter Penurious Penguin writes "Last week Craigslist demanded exclusive license to the content you post there, an odd demand which would have prevented ad-content on Craigslist from being advertised anywhere else but Craigslist. Thankfully, today we read from the EFF, the Good News: Craigslist drops exclusive license to your posts. From the article: 'For many years, craigslist has been a good digital citizen. Its opposition to SOPA/PIPA was critically important, and it has been at the forefront of challenges to Section 230 and freedom of expression online. We understand that craigslist faces real challenges in trying to preserve its character and does not want third parties to simply reuse its content in ways that are out of line with its user community’s expectations and could be harmful to its users. Nevertheless, it was important for craigslist to remove the provision because claiming an exclusive license to the user’s posts--to the exclusion of everyone, including the original poster--would have harmed both innovation and users’ rights, and would have set a terrible precedent. We met with craigslist to discuss this recently and are pleased about their prompt action.'"