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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts

Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the personal-responsibility dept.
Fluffeh writes "Judge Holderman ruled against copyright holders who were trying to paint a rather distorted picture. They sue just one Internet user, but use that lawsuit as a pretext to subpoena other defendants who had participated in the same BitTorrent swarm. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that the other users had participated in a "conspiracy" to assist one another in distributing particular copyrighted works. Because the copyright holder's threat is based on the cost of litigation (and risk of public embarrassment — as this is a tactic used increasingly by the pron industry) more so than the damages a defendant would face in the event of a loss, innocent defendants have virtually as much incentive to settle as guilty ones do. That's not how things are supposed to work, and more and more judges are refusing to play along. Coupled with recent rulings in Florida, the copyright holders seem to be finding less and less favor with judges."
The Internet

Taliban Offer Question-and-Answer Service Online 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the dear-zabihullah dept.
First time accepted submitter nachiketas points out this story about a new online service offered by the Taliban. "Worried about whether Islamic verses on Facebook are allowed? Or that suicide bombers kill innocent civilians? Afghanistan's Taliban have set up a new question-and-answer section on their website to address such issues. The facility on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the Taliban's own name for their movement — allows readers to submit queries to spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. It is a demonstration of how far the insurgents' attitude towards technology has changed."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Note-Taking Device For Conferences? 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-notes dept.
First time accepted submitter Duncan J Murray writes "I will be attending a 3-day science conference soon, consisting mainly of lectures, and was wondering what people thought would be the ultimate hardware/software combo note-taking device, taking into account keyboard quality, endurance, portability, discretion & future ease-of-reference. Is a notepad and pen still king? What about an Ipad? N900? Psion 5mx? A small Thinkpad X-series? And if so which OS? Would you have a GUI? Which text-editor?"
Security

Researchers Say Kelihos Gang Is Building New Botnet 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-who's-back dept.
alphadogg writes "The cyber-criminal gang that operated the recently disabled Kelihos botnet has already begun building a new botnet with the help of a Facebook worm, according to security researchers from Seculert. Security experts from Kaspersky Lab, CrowdStrike, Dell SecureWorks and the Honeynet Project, announced that they took control of the 110,000 PC-strong Kelihos botnet on Wednesday using a method called sinkholing. That worm has compromised over 70,000 Facebook accounts so far and is currently distributing a new version of the Kelihos Trojan."
Australia

Australian WiFi Inventors Win US Legal Battle 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the piece-of-the-pie dept.
First time accepted submitter Kangburra writes "Australian government science body CSIRO said Sunday it had won a multi-million-dollar legal settlement in the United States to license its patented technology that underpins the WiFi platform worldwide. Scientists from the agency invented the wireless local area network (WLAN) technology that is the basis of the WiFi signal employed by computers, smartphones and other Internet-ready devices around the world."
Facebook

Google, Amazon, Microsoft Go East For Network Gear 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-buy dept.
theodp writes "Wired's Cade Metz has the scoop on the move away from U.S. network equipment stalwarts, calling it of the best-kept secrets in Silicon Valley. 'Cloud computing is an arms race,' writes Metz. 'The biggest web companies on earth are competing to see who can deliver their services to the most people in the shortest amount of time at the lowest cost. And the cheapest arms come straight from Asia.' Or, as Joyent's Howard Wu puts it, 'It's kind of like buying couches. If you buy one, you go to a retail store. If you buy 10,000 couches, you go straight to the factory.'"
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Files Brief To Allow Users Access To Their MegaUpload Files 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-your-back-ups dept.
Fluffeh writes "The EFF has filed a brief in Federal Court on behalf of Kyle Goodwin (and potentially millions of other users) so that he can access his legally sound backup files. 'Goodwin is a local high school sports reporter and the sole proprietor of the company OhioSportsNet, who stored his video footage on Megaupload.com as a backup to his video library on his hard drive. He had paid €79.99 (about $107) for a two-year premium membership. Just days before the government seized the site, Goodwin's hard drive crashed. The brief states that his lost videos include footage to make highlight reels for parents to send to their children's prospective colleges, and an unfinished full-length documentary about the Strongsville girls soccer team's season.' According to the EFF, authorities told Carpathia (the hosting company that MegaUpload was using to host their content to the tune of $9,000 a day) that after it was done examining the servers and had copied portions of the data, the hosting company could delete the files and re-purpose its servers. Carpathia noted in a statement last week that it would like to allow Megaupload users to recover their data, but has struggled to find a way to do so."
Privacy

ACLU Obtains Cell Phone Tracking Training Materials 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the step-by-step dept.
guttentag writes "The New York Times has published a large collection of law enforcement training documents obtained by the ACLU. The documents describe in detail what kind of information can be obtained from cell phones and cell phone carriers, and how to obtain it. The 189-page PDF also contains dozens of invoices from the major carriers for their services to law enforcement that describe the fees for those services."
Space

Using Pulsars For Spacecraft Navigation 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-are-we? dept.
Jimme Blue writes "The use of pulsars as a GPS analogue holds the promise of fixing a spacecraft's location to within 5 km, anywhere in the galaxy. While not ready for immediate use, it may be ready for use within the Solar System in the next 10-15 years. From the article: '"The principle is so simple that it will definitely have applications," said Prof Werner Becker from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. "These pulsars are everywhere in the Universe and their flashing is so predictable that it makes such an approach really straightforward," he told BBC News.'"
Crime

Forensic Experts Say Screams Were Not Zimmerman's 1046

Posted by samzenpus
from the hearing-is-believing dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "As the Trayvon Martin controversy splinters into a debate about self-defense, a central question remains: Who was heard crying for help on a 911 call in the moments before the teen was shot? Now the Orlando Sentinel reports that Tom Owen, a leading expert in the field of forensic voice identification sought to answer that question by analyzing the recordings. His result: It was not George Zimmerman who called for help. Owen, forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used voice identification software to rule out Zimmerman. Another expert contacted by the Sentinel, utilizing different techniques, came to the same conclusion. Owen used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to compare Zimmerman's voice to the 911 call screams. 'I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,' says Owen. The software compared that audio to Zimmerman's voice and returned a 48 percent match. Owen says to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he'd expect higher than 90 percent. Owen cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon's, because he didn't have a sample of the teen's voice to compare however 'you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it's not Zimmerman.'"
Government

Exclusive Look at FBI's New Sentinel System 27

Posted by samzenpus
from the sneak-peek dept.
gManZboy writes "Six years and $450 million into the project, the FBI's Sentinel case-management system appears to be almost ready for deployment. Sentinel aims to replace a hodge-podge of digital and paper processes with purely digital workflows, helping FBI agents collaborate and "connect the dots" on investigations. The question now is how well the problem-plagued system will live up to those expectations. FBI CIO Chad Fulgham demonstrated Sentinel for InformationWeek on March 28, the first time the agency has shown its new case-management system to an outsider. 'This isn't just a case-management system. It's a great platform to grow on,' Fulgham said during the demo at FBI headquarters. The agency's IT team plans to move other apps over to Sentinel, giving them a similar look and feel on the same underlying hardware."
The Military

Navy Planning To Build Laser Cannon In Four Years 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the sea-the-future dept.
CowboyRobot writes "The US Navy is months away from requesting bids from contractors to construct a laser weapon for its ships, now that the technology is feasible. 'The key point came last April, when the Navy put a test laser firing a (relatively weak) 15-kilowatt beam aboard a decommissioned destroyer... the Martime Laser Demonstrator cut through choppy California waters, an overcast sky and salty sea air to burn through the outboard engine of a moving motorboat a mile away.'"
Businesses

Teacher's Aide Fired For Refusing To Hand Over Facebook Password 407

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-your-hands-off-my-friends-list dept.
An anonymous reader writes "You can add this one to the short but growing list of employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. After refusing to give her Facebook password to her supervisors, Kimberly Hester was fired by Lewis Cass Intermediate School District from her job as an aide to Frank Squires Elementary in Cassopolis, Michigan. She is now fighting a legal battle with the school district."
Privacy

British Government To Grant Warrantless Trawl of Communications Data 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the express-lane dept.
First time accepted submitter cardpuncher writes "Having opposed the previous government's attempts to introduce mass surveillance of Internet communications, the Conservatives are planning to introduce the very same policy they previously described as a 'culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime.' The plan is essentially to allow stored communication data to be trawled without the inconvenience of needing a warrant or even any reasonable suspicion."
Privacy

Yahoo To Implement Do Not Track 40

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-looking-at-me dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Yahoo has decided that it's now time to start implementing a Do Not Track system across its various Web properties. The company is one of the last large Web content providers to officially commit to using a DNT technology, and Yahoo said that it plans to have the system implemented by early summer. Yahoo officials said that their Do Not Track implementation has been in development since 2011 and that it will be a simple way for consumers to turn on the DNT option."

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.

Working...