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VERY,VERY HOT READS, I Would Read The News In This Thread This Thead Is To post Any Thing Ye Want About The News,,NEWS WAS MOVED,READ MY FIRST POS...

Discussion in 'Safety valve' started by ireland, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Big new reservoir of water ice suspected under Mars

    * 13:54 16 March 2006
    * NewScientist.com news service
    * Maggie McKee, Houston

    A large and previously unknown reservoir of water ice may have been found below the surface of Mars, new radar observations suggest.

    Gaping canyons and river-like channels attest to the fact that large amounts of water once flowed on Mars. But today most of that water has disappeared, and finding out where it went is one of the main aims of research on the Red Planet.

    Scientists are using the radar antenna onboard Europe's Mars Express spacecraft as a divining rod to scout for any water that may have seeped underground.

    MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) works by sending out pulses of radio waves from its main, 40-metre-long antenna and analysing the time delay and strength of the signals that bounce back. Radio waves that penetrate the surface rebound when they encounter a subsurface boundary between materials with different electrical properties – such as rock and water.

    The antenna was deployed in June 2005 and quickly detected what appeared to be water ice stretching 1.8 kilometres below the surface of the northern polar ice cap. Now, it has found what looks like water ice extending as deep as 3.5 kilometres below the southern polar cap.
    Global matrix

    Water ice was expected in the polar caps, since they represent the largest known reservoirs of water on Mars. Estimates suggest that if they melted, they would cover the planet in a layer of water up to 33 metres deep.

    But as it scanned the region around the south pole, MARSIS also turned up an unexpected ice source. It lies near the southern polar cap and is underneath a region of Martian surface that shows no visible signs of ice. The radar signals reveal what appear to be relatively thin layers of underground water ice – layers that may contain water of a equivalent to half of that locked up in the entire southern polar cap.

    "If we can confirm the thinner layers are, in fact, ice rich, we've put our finger on another reservoir of water that is significant in the global water matrix," says MARSIS co-leader Jeff Plaut of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US. He presented the new data at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Houston, Texas, on Monday.

    He says the interpretation of the radar boundaries as layers of ice is bolstered by the fact that they are so near the confirmed ice in the polar cap, but he cautions that the signals could simply be layers of dust.

    If they are actually water ice, they may shed light on the planet's past climate. The polar ice caps themselves are made of icy layers that researchers believe were laid down as snow during periodic swings in the planet's tilt – and therefore its climate – every 50,000 years. Plaut says studying the shape and thickness of the layers could reveal more about the nature of these climatic shifts.
    Lava resurfacing

    And MARSIS is already rewriting how researchers interpret Martian history. It has revealed about 10 buried impact craters – some as wide as 470 kilometres – in the planet's northern lowlands. Only one of these craters is visibly detectable on the planet's surface.

    That is important because researchers date Martian surfaces by counting the number of craters embedded within them. The planet's northern lowlands show relatively few craters, while the southern highlands are pockmarked by impacts. That had long suggested that the northern lowlands had been resurfaced by lava and were thus younger than the southern highlands.

    But recent orbital observations with a laser altimeter have challenged this conclusion. The altimeter revealed some craters whose rims had eroded so much that they were undetectable by sight, suggesting these surfaces were actually older than they appeared.

    The new MARSIS data further supports this idea, says Thomas Watters at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, US, who led the team that discovered the buried craters. "It suggests there is only a small age difference between the highlands' and lowlands' crust," he said at the LPSC meeting.
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  2. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Deaf text-messager killed by train

    Miss Deaf Texas Pageant
    Committee

    p2p news / p2pnet: Was a deaf beauty queen so absorbed by text messaging that it cost her life?

    Tara McAvoy was walking along the railroad tracks from her Austin, Texas, home to her mother's workplace, text-messaging family and friends, "when a train killed her," says the Austin Police Department.

    A horn sounded, but train staff, "weren't able to get a response" from her, CNN has Austin PD detective David Fugitt saying. "At that point, they activated their emergency braking system, but they weren't able to stop in time."

    An investigation is under way with Union Pacific and the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office, Fugitt said, according to CNN.

    McAvoy, 18, was to have represented Texas at the Miss Deaf America Pageant ithis July, says the story.

    Also See:
    CNN - Deaf beauty queen was text-messaging when hit by train, March 16, 2006

    (Thursday 16th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8221
     
  3. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    RFID firms reject virus claims

    p2p news / p2pnet: Dutch findings that RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tags, often called spy chips, could carry their own lethal varieties of viruses, are being rejected by elements of the RFID industry.

    "A typical EPC tag has 96 bits of memory with an ID number," says Kevin Ashton, cofounder and former executive director of MIT's Auto-ID Center and now vice president of marketing for RFID interrogator manufacturer ThingMagic.

    Quoted in the RFID Journal, "For any such threat to be credible, there would have to be more memory, a read-write tag and variable-length tag reads," he says.

    "It would also need a reader and a system stupid enough and vulnerable enough to allow executable malicious code."

    Security features built into the latest EPC tag and reader standard, Class 1 Gen 2, make the air interface protocol very different than the tags and readers used in the Dutch study, the article has Sue Hutchinson, director of product management for EPCglobal US, the US arm of EPCglobal, a GS1-sponsored organization working to commercialize EPC technology and RFID standards, stating.

    The Vrije University studies were important because, "they keep us thinking about these things, and it's of critical importance," says Hutchinson, "but it's a grand leap to say that [what was shown in the study] could happen to EPC tags and readers."

    Melanie Rieback, Bruno Crispo and Andrew Tanenbaum carried out multiple tests of RFID tags made with Philips UHF I-Code SL1 chips, which, according to the paper, had 896 bits of memory, says the RFID Journal adding:

    "During the tests, the tags were programmed with a number of viruses and other types of malware developed at the university. The group used its own RFID middleware and a number of commercially available databases in its trials. The tests showed that tags could be employed to instigate a number of malicious attacks on the databases and middleware used in an RFID network, including buffer overflow and SQL injection, and even open a back door to the RFID application server."

    The pic is from Is Your Cat Infected with a Computer Virus? and shows the world's first virally-infected RFID tag.

    Also See:
    lethal varieties - RFID virus attack warning, March 15, 2006
    RFID Journal - Can Tag Viruses Infect RFID Systems?, March 15, 2006

    (Thursday 16th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8220
     
  4. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Democrats want everyone to have broadband within five years

    3/16/2006 11:21:55 AM, by Eric Bangeman

    Election years are always filled with grand campaign promises in addition to the usual mudslinging. As broadband becomes almost a utility—something most of us cannot live without, political parties are staking out positions on issues that are of particular interest to geeks the technologically adept. The Democratic party is preparing its platform for the fall elections, and one of the planks involves our much-beloved broadband.

    According to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House Minority Leader, the US is lagging behind other industrialized nations when it comes to the reach of broadband, and the Democrats are "guaranteeing" that broadband will be universally available within five years. Ensuring that there's a chicken in every pot and a broadband modem near every PC will help spur economic development, according to the Democrats.

    "We also believe that the nationwide deployment of high speed, always-on broadband and Internet and mobile communications will fuel the development of millions of new jobs in the United States," Pelosi said.

    New jobs are good, but what about current jobs? Pelosi says she wants the flow of jobs being outsourced to other countries to come to an stop. To that end, the Democrats are proposing to end tax subsidies for companies that send jobs outside of the US.

    Universal access to broadband is a laudable goal, and not just an issue for the Democratic party, as President Bush has said that he wants universal access to broadband in 2007. Is it practical? Currently, most residents of urban and suburban areas have at least one option available to them in the form of DSL or cable. Residents of small towns and rural areas are less likely to have fat broadband pipes running into their homes.

    The reach of broadband is likely to grow to near universal levels in the next five years, regardless of the Democratic (or Republican) agenda. That is primarily due to the development of new means of delivery that aren't reliant on current telephone or cable company infrastructure. Although WiMAX is not quite ready for prime time in the US, it should be within the next two years, and become widespread within five. In addition, broadband over power lines has shown enough promise for Google and Goldman Sachs to have invested US$100 million in a BPL carrier last year.

    If the expansion of broadband availability in the next five years is a given, let's focus on making sure that those who have it are well served. The best way to do that is by promoting competition. In recent years, the Federal Communications Commission has sent the message that competition is good... kind of. According to the FCC, competition should exist between modes of delivery—cable vs. DSL, for example—and not within them. That vision has resulted in rulings favorable to the telecoms and cable companies, but arguably harmful to consumers. Next-gen fiber networks and BPL will be treated the same way. Universal access to broadband is a good thing. Making sure everyone has access to quality choices is better.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060316-6395.html
     
  5. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    New virus holds your documents hostage

    3/16/2006 12:02:38 PM, by Nate Anderson

    If we needed any more convincing that malware has gone commercial, a new virus making the rounds provides additional evidence. The Trojan horse encrypts a user's documents and then directs the victim to pay US$300 into an e-gold account in return for the password that will unlock the files. It's not clear yet how the virus is spreading, but once installed on the user's PC, the program encrypts word processing documents, databases, and spreadsheets before deleting itself from the machine.

    While this is not the first attempt at holding the user's PC hostage in exchange for cash, this is the first such virus in English. It was not particularly difficult to crack (researchers at Sophos have already discovered the password: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98"), but the virus does give people one more reason to back up their data. Such schemes are simply the latest unintended side effect of increased globalization, as many of them originate in countries like Russia and Nigeria, but target wealthier Internet users in the US and Europe.

    Virus authors have grown increasingly sophisticated in their techniques over the last decade, and new viruses often attempt to evade the scrutiny of antivirus scanners by choosing a previously unused delivery vector. Originally, most viruses came in (or with) downloaded programs, but as antivirus scanners became popular, they began using the Web (so-called "drive-by installs") and e-mail, a medium that brought the wonder of computer viruses to technology neophytes everywhere.

    Today, delivery methods are even more inventive. RFID chips are the newest, but we have also seen viruses that target AOL's instant messaging program and smartphones. While most schemes to date have not been designed to bilk consumers directly, they are often commerical enterprises that put together collections of zombie PCs and sell their services to the highest bidder, usually for spam or DDOS attacks. Direct extortion of the end-user was probably inevitable, but at least it has one positive effect: it alerts people to the insecurity of their machines and hopefully encourages them to do something about it.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060316-6397.html
     
  6. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Consumer advocate argues for fair allocation of spectrum

    3/16/2006 11:42:53 AM, by Peter Pollack

    This week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on the auctioning of radio spectrum that will be made available by the shifting of television channels. The urban poor and consumers who live in rural areas could be strongly affected by what the action Congress chooses to take on this matter, and that formed the crux of Consumers Union representative Jeannine Kenney's testimony before the Committee.

    How does one connect the rural countryside to the rest of the world? It's an old problem that continues to plague us today. In the early years of the 20th century, AT&T made a commitment to subsidize the installation and maintenance of telephone lines to rural areas by using the profits from much more lucrative urban installations. This was not a magnanimous gesture on AT&T's part: telephone lines are only useful if people can talk with whomever they want, and many city-dwellers wanted to use those lines to stay in touch with their friends and relatives in the country. Connecting just about everyone was a major factor in the original AT&T's growth into the largest corporation in the world.

    Today, the situation is somewhat different, and ironically, the new AT&T likely finds itself on the other side. The goal of broadband connectivity is less about making one-on-one connections than it is about tying individuals and businesses to the Internet "cloud." While City Mouse may still wish to e-mail Country Mouse, as long as Country Mouse has even a 56K connection, communication remains possible. Population density continues to make urban areas far more lucrative for providers than rural ones, and consumer groups are worried that, in the rush to auction spectrum, a situation will arise in which less profitable users are left out in the cold.

    Physical lines are expensive, and running them for miles to supply a broadband connection for just a few houses is difficult to justify economically. Wireless connections are much cheaper, but the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands in common use don't travel far and don't penetrate obstacles very well. For this reason, Kenney advocates making some of the so-called "white space"—unused frequencies in the television band—available for broadband.

    Vacant TV channels are perfectly suited for wireless broadband and other unlicensed wireless Internet services. Signals can travel far and pass through dense objects and topographical barriers. And greater access to vacant TV channels would facilitate a market for low-cost, high capacity and mobile wireless broadband networks. Using these white spaces, the wireless broadband industry could deliver Internet access to every American household at high speeds and low prices—for as little as $10 a month by some estimates. At a time when more than 60 percent of the country does not subscribe to broadband either because it is unavailable or unaffordable, this would represent an enormous social benefit and a catalyzing economic engine, particularly in rural areas.

    Additionally, Kenney broached the subject of competition. While some argue that an unregulated market provides the best competition and therefore the greatest benefits to consumers, there are also cases in which unregulated markets tend tend to move toward monopoly. In the case of broadband access, the market seems to be headed toward a duopoly, with cable providers on one side and the major telco's DSL on the other. A market with only two major players is unlikely to benefit the end user.

    For clear business reasons, the new AT&T—along with its Cingular subsidiary—would like to grab as much spectrum as possible for its own wireless connectivity plans and lock out competition. Kenney believes that AT&T, along with the other, smaller-but-still-huge wireless companies need to be frozen out of the auction for spectrum, or at least have limits placed on how much they can purchase, thus leaving the door open to smaller rivals who can fight to keep prices under control through a true competitive market.

    Consumers need, at a minimum, a third competitive option—wireless broadband that is less expensive and which doesn't depend on DSL or cable modems. It offers the best and perhaps now the only way to close the digital divide and enhance competition, particularly in light of FCC's decision to reclassify cable and DSL as information services, foreclosing competition from other providers through leased access. [...] 21st Century broadband policy must anticipate a future when digital networks are hybrids of wireless and wireline facilities with robust intermodal competition.

    Since the federal government is counting on spectrum auctioning to provide a large influx of cash, it's unclear how far they might go in seriously considering the recommendations of consumer advocates like Kenney. Limiting the participants in an auction drives prices downward, and so the short-term answer is probably "not very far at all." On the other hand, opening broadband up to everyone in the nation is likely to have long-term economic benefits that will result in greater tax revenue in years to come. Since Senators are rarely reelected based on what might happen in years to come, the long-term answer is also probably "not very far at all." Nonetheless, consumers do have a voice in this matter—as do voters—and one never knows what might happen once the wheels start turning. We'll keep you posted.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060316-6396.html
     
  7. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Virus watches mouse clicks
    Posted by l33tdawg on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 08:06 AM (Reads: 272)
    Source: smh.com.au


    Computer hackers have developed a way of recording mouse clicks, as well as keystrokes, using a new form of virus. Hackers have created thousands of viruses that collect keyed-in login information, such as bank account passwords, after infecting a computer. The viruses, known as keylogging trojans, monitor internet usage, collect login information entered by users via keystrokes and send the information back to the author of the trojan. But until recently mouse clicks have been undetectable using such viruses. The new trojan, a variant of PWSteal.Bancos.Q, detects mouse movements and takes snapshots of certain banking web pages in a bid to collect passwords and other sensitive information.



    Virus watches mouse clicks

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    March 16, 2006 - 3:02PM

    Computer hackers have developed a way of recording mouse clicks, as well as keystrokes, using a new form of virus.

    Hackers have created thousands of viruses that collect keyed-in login information, such as bank account passwords, after infecting a computer.

    The viruses, known as keylogging trojans, monitor internet usage, collect login information entered by users via keystrokes and send the information back to the author of the trojan.

    But until recently mouse clicks have been undetectable using such viruses.

    The new trojan, a variant of PWSteal.Bancos.Q, detects mouse movements and takes snapshots of certain banking web pages in a bid to collect passwords and other sensitive information.

    The virus is targeted at banks, such as Westpac, that use virtual keyboards to improve the security of logging in to accounts.

    Internet security expert Allan Bell said banks were introducing virtual keyboards to improve the security of their sites, but hackers had caught up.

    "It's a good example of where, as you improve your defensive techniques, the hacker will look for a technique to get around it," Mr Bell said.

    He said a number of anti-virus programs had already been updated to deal with the problem, but users needed to check with their program provider.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking/mouse-click-trojan-identified/2006/03/16/1142098582135.html
     
  8. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    How close is the Xbox 360 to being hacked?
    Posted by l33tdawg on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 08:05 AM (Reads: 3023)
    Source: Xboxic


    Word is out on the street that a flaw in the Xbox 360 DVD firmware may allow a hacker to install his own custom firmware in there unchecked, and as such gain full control of what the DVD will or will not accept. In practice, this would mean that the drive could gain the capability to boot backups of original game DVD’s by flashing a self-built firmware in there which ignores the mandatory disc signing. The bold claims are being made by user TheSpecialist, who has been credited with a firmware hack before, which actually went unreleased because of several very good reasons. Considering this makes the guy credible enough, let’s move on to a few excerpts from his recent posts:

    Word on the street is that some smart people of this board combined their forces, formed an underground team and are very, VERY close to getting the first 360 backup booting…

    When asked for more information and the kind of modification required he responds:

    Firmware. I doubt you’ll see some kind of OTHER hack soon, that lets you boot unsigned code for example. MS did a very good job on the 360 itself this time. However, they made a big mistake by forgetting about the firmware. They even didn’t remove the debug routines from the FW, quite amazing … The 360 has a little bit more advanced protection in its FW than the original xbox, but still, they did some stupid things (like forgetting about the debug routines, that were very helpful to us, hehe, and most importantly: not signing the firmware). I’m betting they’ll develop the MPU in the drive from scratch for their next gen consoles and sign the code in the FW

    Not signing the firmware is indeed a major mistake, as it allows the hacker to gain full control of the drive. Microsoft can issue a forced update via Live to disable the modification, but a new firmware could be installed again which goes undetected. As such the hacker is in control of the cat/mouse game.



    How close is the Xbox 360 to being hacked?
    Posted in Xbox 360, Hardware by Curry on March 15th, 2006 at 13:46

    Word is out on the street that a flaw in the Xbox 360 DVD firmware may allow a hacker to install his own custom firmware in there unchecked, and as such gain full control of what the DVD will or will not accept. In practice, this would mean that the drive could gain the capability to boot backups of original game DVD’s by flashing a self-built firmware in there which ignores the mandatory disc signing.

    The bold claims are being made by user TheSpecialist, who has been credited with a firmware hack before, which actually went unreleased because of several very good reasons. Considering this makes the guy credible enough, let’s move on to a few excerpts from his recent posts:

    Word on the street is that some smart people of this board combined their forces, formed an underground team and are very, VERY close to getting the first 360 backup booting…

    When asked for more information and the kind of modification required he responds:

    Firmware. I doubt you’ll see some kind of OTHER hack soon, that lets you boot unsigned code for example. MS did a very good job on the 360 itself this time. However, they made a big mistake by forgetting about the firmware. They even didn’t remove the debug routines from the FW, quite amazing … The 360 has a little bit more advanced protection in its FW than the original xbox, but still, they did some stupid things (like forgetting about the debug routines, that were very helpful to us, hehe, and most importantly: not signing the firmware). I’m betting they’ll develop the MPU in the drive from scratch for their next gen consoles and sign the code in the FW

    Not signing the firmware is indeed a major mistake, as it allows the hacker to gain full control of the drive. Microsoft can issue a forced update via Live to disable the modification, but a new firmware could be installed again which goes undetected. As such the hacker is in control of the cat/mouse game.

    An important detail however is that the system will not run any unsigned code itself. As such it is impossible to flash the firmware by software, and you will need to have a hardware programmer to reprogram the firmware. Obviously this disqualifies the hack for any general usage. Thankfully, even if it would be usable to pirate games, hacker ethics and fear of Microsoft’s legal department stops the guys from actually distributing their findings. However, considering the fact that modding consoles has become an industry on its own, people with less noble intentions may intend to capitalize on the hackers’ findings now that it is out in the open where Microsoft slacked on security.

    Considering the remarks made between the lines about the other parts of Xbox 360 security, actually running homebrew code such a Media Center modification is still a long way off, if it will ever be possible at all.

    Disclaimer: Xboxic is firmly opposed to illegal modification of consoles and any illegal activity or breaking copyrights. We post this because this is Xbox-related news, not because we intend to spread piracy and promote illegal usage of consoles.
    http://www.xboxic.com/news/455
     
  9. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    'Free IPod' Takes Privacy Toll


    By Ryan Singel | Also by this reporter
    02:00 AM Mar, 16, 2006 EST

    The big business of renting, selling and buying personal information about netizens was put on notice this week by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in a high-profile case that exposed shady privacy practices and the dubious value of the once-promising Truste "privacy seal."

    Spitzer announced Monday that e-mail marketing giant Datran Media had agreed to a $1.1 million fine for knowingly buying marketing lists from companies with privacy policies that promised not to sell or transfer the lists to a third party.

    The case, which Spitzer described as the biggest violation of a privacy policy yet, promises to change the way the industry does business, said Chris Hoofnagle, an attorney with the Electronic Privacy Information Center who regularly publicized sales of lists that were supposedly protected by privacy policies.

    "Every attorney that represents a list broker is going to call their client this week and say, 'This case in New York has made law, and that law says that if you are renting a list you have to make sure the seller's website's privacy policies are legitimate,'" said Hoofnagle.

    Datran's biggest purchase, according to the text of the settlement (.pdf), was a list of 7.2 million Americans' names, e-mail addresses, home phone numbers and street addresses from Gratis Internet, a company best known for promising free iPods, televisions and DVDs to users willing to sign up for promotions offered by partners such as Citibank, Blockbuster and BMG's music club.

    The sites inspired dozens of "Is there really such a thing as a free iPod?" stories in the press (including one by Wired News), and internet forums were packed with pleas for information on how to acquire a free version of Apple Computer's signature fetish item. The freebie required a registrant to sign up five others into the program, and eventually the legalized pyramid scheme reached its inevitable saturation point.

    While many did indeed get a free iPod, all ended up with inboxes full of marketing pitches, which began showing up within hours of registering.

    Gratis assured registrants they could opt out of such mailings, and claimed in its privacy policy, as of September 2004, that the company would send out marketing messages on behalf of other companies but would never sell or transfer its lists to any third party.

    Those promises were not true, according to the settlement between Spitzer and Datran.

    Rumblings of rogue e-mail marketing surfaced in 2004 soon after Gratis' sites were judged legitimate by press outlets and bloggers. The reports prompted Wired News to re-examine the company, and executives assured Wired News that they never sold their customers' e-mail addresses.

    Seemingly bolstering its claim was the fact that Gratis' network of sites prominently displayed the logo of Truste, a nonprofit group that claims to certify and monitor website privacy and e-mail policies.

    When asked by Wired News in 2004 how third-party spammers got hold of Gratis members' e-mail addresses, Truste said it could not find a problem with Gratis' practices.

    "The results of our investigation indicate that Gratis Internet did not violate their privacy policy," Truste investigator Alexander Yap wrote in an October 2004 e-mail. "Truste did, however, work with them to strengthen and clarify their privacy statement."

    Several months later, Truste revoked Gratis' seal of approval, then quickly reinstated it, then pulled it again, but declined to state publicly its reasons.

    In the wake of this week's settlement, Truste's spokeswoman did not return repeated phone calls, and executive director Fran Maier did not respond to e-mailed questions about why Truste never discovered the alleged sale or informed the public that Gratis was not adhering to its privacy policy.

    Truste has long been criticized as ineffective and too eager to make apologies for companies that violate the spirit of their privacy promises.

    For its part, Datran sounded a note of contrition and passed along a warning to other marketing companies buying lists that were supposed to remain private.

    "We take this matter very seriously," wrote Datran spokesman Mark Naples. "Therefore, we believe it was important to confront it head-on and resolve it quickly. Importantly, while Datran discontinued the practice in the first half of 2005 -- and began to do so before any inquiry from the attorney general -- many marketing and list-owner companies continue to engage in this practice."

    Datran's contrition is enough to retain membership in the Direct Marketing Association, whose logo is prominently displayed on the company's website, according to Patricia Kachura, a DMA vice president.

    "We would take the position that if the attorney general has looked into this, it sounds as if these practices have been corrected to their satisfaction, so we might look at this practice over the long term or at other companies, but I think this particular situation seems to have been resolved."

    But Gratis co-founder Peter Martin disputes the allegation that his company ever sold or rented out customer information, saying that it hired Datran to work on creative design and back-office support for its e-mail campaign.

    "Appointing a specialized vendor to manage such 'in-house' marketing operations is a commonplace, industry-wide practice," Martin said in an e-mail statement. "That's what happened here (between Gratis and Datran) and it is a standard and totally lawful practice."
    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70420-0.html?tw=rss.index
     
  10. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Your secret PIN may not be so secret


    By Greg Sandoval
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    Published: March 16, 2006, 4:00 AM PST
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    An unprecedented theft of personal identification numbers from thousands of consumers across the country is calling into question the basic safety of paying with debit cards.

    The debit card breach, which the trade publication American Banker says could have allowed thieves to gain access to as many as 600,000 bank accounts, has raised larger questions about whether merchants are improperly storing customers' personal data.

    The problem, according to security experts, is the storage of PINs attached to debit cards. The compromise of so many PINs suggests that a national retailer stockpiled customer information even though such a practice is against rules set down by the major credit card companies. What the breach has revealed, say security analysts, is that safety measures around these numbers could represent an Achilles heel for debit cards.

    "The process of authentication for PIN numbers has been perceived for a long time to be very secure," said Edward Kountz, a financial services analyst at Jupiter Research. "These thefts call into question how secure they really are."

    The recent debit card crime spree stretched from Seattle to North Carolina. And for the past month, most of the media attention has focused on which company suffered the security breach. Many of the victims shop at OfficeMax, an office-supply chain headquartered in Itasca, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. The company has denied suffering a breach and said a third-party audit found no problems (though the company is still working with authorities investigating the case).

    Law enforcement officials in New Jersey have arrested 14 people in connection with the case. The suspects, all U.S. citizens, are accused of using stolen credit and debit card information to produce counterfeit cards. These were used to make fraudulent purchases and withdrawals from cardholder accounts, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. Most of the arrests were made during the past two weeks.

    But as FBI and Secret Service agents continue to investigate, security experts are beginning to worry less about where it happened and are turning their attention to whether a similar crime could happen again.

    Indeed, the robbery could mark the dawning of a new age in computer crime, said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. "The moral of the story is there must be hundreds of companies that store PIN data," Litan said.

    Litan pointed out that most retailers use the same technology and follow many of the same procedures.

    At most retail stores, registers feed information into a "terminal controller," which acts as a master computer server, Litan said. The terminal controller encrypts the data at each register. At some stores, an encryption "key" is also kept at the terminal controller. This would make it very convenient for electronic intruders who managed to break into the controller. They could slip away with the data as well as the key to unlock the encryption.

    Storing encryption keys and customer data is prohibited in section 3.2.3 of the Payment Card Industry data security standard, a set of requirements created by Visa and adopted by other big card issuers. Companies can be fined if found violating the rule. But it is possible to acquire and save customer data by mistake.

    "(It's possible) that a manager of a store has no clue they are doing it," Litan said. "The information can be buried in old software."
    Quoting unnamed sources, American Banker reported that the leading theory among experts is that hackers likely breached the computer systems of an unknown retailer at possibly 30 U.S. store locations, mainly on the West Coast and Southeast. The thieves made off with the cards' magnetic stripes, PINs and PIN keys.

    Still, one theft of PIN codes, even if it involved hundreds of thousands of customers, doesn't mean the current system is broken, said Mike Urban, a fraud technology operations director at Fair Isaac, which monitors ATM networks for counterfeit transactions.

    "I'm not sure that this problem is all that widespread," Urban said. "In this business, it's all about following procedures and implementing the correct systems. It's certainly possible that this could happen again. All I'm saying is that it's not something that we've heard much about until now."
    http://news.com.com/2100-1029_3-6050259.html?part=rss&tag=6050259&subj=news
     
  11. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    ESA wants Illinois to foot legal bill for ratings fights

    3/16/2006 12:41:20 PM, by Eric Bangeman

    Videogame violence and sexual content has become a hot-button issue. State legislatures have continued to pass bills regulating the sale of videogames based on the ESRB ratings, despite the fact that none of them have stood up to judicial review. Now the Entertainment Software Association is crying "enough is enough," as the president of the organization is pressing the State of Illinois to reimburse it for the recent legal fight to get the Illinois legislation overturned.

    ESA President Doug Lowenstein says that the group spent US$644,545 fighting the Illinois law. As allowed under the rules of Federal Court, he is asking the judge that overturned the Illinois law to award ESA legal fees. As Illinois has been in a state of perpetual budget crisis for the past few years, the petition will not prove popular with state officials.

    Lowenstein says the state could have avoid the whole mess altogether, as he accused Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich of pushing the bill through the state legislature to score political points even though he knew it wouldn't pass constitutional muster:

    "From the day Governor Blagojevich announced that he would seek anti-video game legislation, it was clear to everyone that the proposal would be found unconstitutional and would waste taxpayers dollars in a protracted legal fight that would leave parents no better off," he said. "That is precisely what happened. As we said from the outset, we would have preferred to spend our resources on cooperative programs to help parents ensure their kids play appropriate games, rather than divert money to respond to politically motivated attacks on video games. But the State has left little choice, and this petition is consistent with the rules of the federal courts regarding award of attorney's fees to prevailing parties."

    As an Illinois resident who followed the progress of the bill through the state legislature to the governor's desk, I can attest that the issue of whether the bill would stand up to court scrutiny was raised before it passed. Despite the serious questions about the law's constitutionality, it was easily passed and signed. Regardless of whether or not the legislation was expected to stand up in court, it was a chance for lawmakers of all persuasions to go on record that they did indeed "think of the children™."

    In the overall framework of a multibillion-dollar state budget, US$645,000 doesn't amount to much. However, there may be some public backlash if the ESA is awarded legal fees in this and other, similar battles. More importantly, it could sideline other attempts at approving similar laws. Passing hot-button legislation is the easy thing to do, but when the end result is having it overturned and the state be put on the hook for court costs and legal fees, it ultimately does no one any favors.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060316-6398.html
     
  12. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Korea drops file share cases

    p2p news / p2pnet: Korean prosecutors have decided abandon cases involving 82 people the Big Six movie studios wanted to nail for alleged copyright infringement.

    "An investigator said Thursday that police raided a peer-to-peer (P2P) program operator in Seoul after securing the identities of the Internet users by combing their log-in records since last month," says the Korea Times.

    "Currently, 57 users have been summoned and questioned by prosecutors and the remainder are being traced,'" the investigator said.

    The Net users, "mostly teenagers," are suspected of illegally downloading the files of a "Hollywood blockbuster" released last year, says the story.

    But, "most of the 82 Internet users are likely to go unpunished as the prosecution tentatively decided not to charge them, considering that many of them deleted the files immediately or settled the case with the accuser".

    The Korea Times doesn't say how of the victims many paid the blackmail, and how many had deleted the files in question.

    "Prosecutors also said that the law enforcement authorities would be lenient to teenage suspects" and, "Investigators are also considering whether to set the guidelines for movie file downloading in accordance with music file downloading," it says.

    In the US, the members of the Big Four Organized Music cartel, Vivendi Universal, Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG, have no qualms about age.

    There, children aged 12 are considered fair game.

    Also See:
    Korea Times - Movie File Swappers to Go Without Charges, March 16, 2006

    (Thursday 16th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8224


    Movie File Swappers to Go Without Charges


    By Chung Ah-young
    Staff Reporter

    The prosecution has tentatively decided not to bring criminal charges against 82 Internet users for copyright violations involving downloading movie files from file sharing Web sites.

    An investigator said Thursday that police raided a peer-to-peer (P2P) program operator in Seoul after securing the identities of the Internet users by combing their log-in records since last month.

    ``Currently, 57 users have been summoned and questioned by prosecutors and the remainder are being traced,'' the investigator said.

    The action came after Media Film International (MFI), a film copyright holder for ``Lord of War,'' lodged a complaint against the perpetrators for copyright infringement.

    The Internet users, mostly teenagers, are suspected of illegally downloading the files of the Hollywood blockbuster, which was released last year. The movie is an action adventure story set in the world of international arms dealings.

    Under current copyright protection law, the prosecution and police are only allowed to investigate and punish individuals or companies that distribute content without authorization when the copyright holders file a complaint.

    The investigation came amid recent moves by the film industry and relevant portal sites to introduce the so-called ``youngparazzi,'' a system whereby ordinary Internet users can report illegal downloading of copyright materials in return for a reward.

    However, most of the 82 Internet users are likely to go unpunished as the prosecution tentatively decided not to charge them, considering that many of them deleted the files immediately or settled the case with the accuser.

    Prosecutors also said that the law enforcement authorities would be lenient to teenage suspects.

    Investigators are also considering whether to set the guidelines for movie file downloading in accordance with music file downloading.

    Prosecutors plan to introduce relevant guidelines for coping with complaints of illegal movie file downloading.

    The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office set the guidelines for accusing those who violate copyright laws via the Internet in January.

    Under the guidelines, Internet users suspected of illegally circulating and swapping music files for commercial purposes will be subject to criminal charges.

    Also, a local court ordered Soribada, the country's pioneering music swapping site, to shut down the first version of its file-sharing software and computer servers last year.

    Online file-sharing through peer-to-peer networks has become an increasingly contentious issue in Korea, where more than 70 percent of households have Internet connections.

    Despite the ruling, piracy of copyrighted material is still widespread nationwide as high-speed Internet programs make it possible to quickly download full-length movies or music files.

    http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200603/kt2006031618175211990.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  13. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    P2p, TV and The Netherlands

    p2p news / p2pnet: Tomorrow is T-for-Tribler Beta launch day. But it's also slotted for a one-day CC workshop in Holland on the technical and legal aspects of p2p TV.

    It'll examine if and how p2p protocols are applicable for TV distribution in The Netherlands under current Dutch Creative Commons licenses and will:

    * Explore current p2p systems
    * Study the possibilities for P2P-TV in the Dutch broadcast and narrowcasting environment
    * Investigate legal aspects of the use of Dutch CC licenses in P2P-TV


    Panelists will include Cory Doctorow and Johan Pouwelse, and the workshop will be chaired by Monique de Haas van of Dondersteen Media.

    The idea is to raise the awareness of two phenomena in content distribution, which complement and strengthen each other.

    The first is disruptive peer-to-peer (P2P) technology which is now moving into the realm of TV distribution (P2P-TV), and the second is the innovation in content licensing, ie, Creative Commons (CC).

    The two phenomena can be applied as a strong positive force in the future of television, believe the organizers.

    "A significant problem with current client/server technology for multimedia content distribution is the high cost associated with reaching an audience of millions," they say. "P2P technology is the natural supplement of the CC initiative because it dramatically lowers this cost. Broadcasters have shown nterest in the CC initiative."

    For example, the Creative Archive in Britain (cooperation of BBC, Channel 4, The Open University, and the British Film Institute) uses the Creative Archive license. Under this license they make available online programs from their archives.

    Here's the run-down.

    09.30 Registration

    10:00 Welcome and introduction, Syb Groeneveld (Creative Commons Netherlands) and Inald Lagendijk (professor in ICT department, TU Delft)

    Session 1: P2P systems

    10.25– 10.55 Experiences from the Creative Archive, George Wright, (Senior Producer, BBC Interactive Television)
    10.55 – 11.20 Trends & Statistics in P2P, David Ferguson (Vice President of Engineering, Chachelogic)
    11.20 – 11.30 Coffee break
    11.30 – 12.15 Official release and demonstration of the Tribler.org P2P-TV software, by Johan Pouwelse (senior researcher TU Delft) and Huib de Ridder (Professor in Industrial Design department, TU Delft)

    12:15 Lunch

    Session 2: P2P for broadcasting

    13.30 – 14.00 The future of digital broadcasting, Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing & Craphound)
    14.00 – 14.30 Web archiving and P2P systems, Julien Masanes (European Internet Archive)
    14.30 – 15.00 The evolution of the mediaspace, Kari-Hans Kommonen (Media Lab Helsinki)
    15.00 – 15.30 DRM & Licensing systems, Frank Kamperman (Philips)

    15.30 Break

    Session 3: Aspects for implementation

    15.45 – 16.45 Panel debate with:

    Paula Le Dieu, Director, iCommons (Creative Commons)
    Esther Hoorn, Institute for Information Law
    Representatives Public & Commercial broadcasters
    Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing & Craphound)

    16.45 Conclusions, wrap-up, drinks.

    (Thanks, Lennart)

    Also See:
    T-for-Tribler - Tribler p2p Beta out today, March 16, 2006

    (Thursday 16th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8223
     
  14. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Tribler p2p Beta online

    p2p news / p2pnet: Tomorrow is T-Day, the official day for a limited Beta release of Holland's new generation p2p network, developed by a team of more than a dozen scientists, as Johan Pouwelse, one of the group, told p2pnet recently.

    Extensive testing and debugging has already been carried out and now a strictly rationed number of downloads – 1,000 to be exact – are being allowed for Windows XP/2000/98 version, after which the link will be closed.

    "Please give it a try, so we can turn this into a public release soon," say the developers on the Tribler site, going on:

    Warning 1: For the internal test version, the software will output some debug text and error message to tribler.exe.log. Some of them are normal output, such as"secover: Handler registered for RESERVE_PIECES", "buddycast: BuddyCast starts up". If you see "Traceback (most recent call last):" in the log file, some errors may occur and please send your log file to us using the above bug report form.

    We also have a working Debian package. This version will be released shortly after the XP version. Tribler is based on the source code of the ABC project. We hope our extensions of the Bittorrent protocol and Debian port can be included in the mainline client someday. Get the source code here.

    Meanwhile, in case you missed our earlier post:

    Tribler falls under the I-Share project of the Delft University of Technology's Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science and will introduce, "the person behind the computer," says Pavel Garbacki, who's worked on I-Share's Tribler component for the past three years.

    The current favourite, BitTorrent, doesn't save information and users remain anonymous, he says . Tribler however saves users' historie and, "just like with MSN, with Tribler people can create groups of friends.

    "So you'll know who you download files from. These are people you can trust, and therefore you won't get viruses, and they're also people who have the same interests as you."

    Nor are these the only differences.

    "With Tribler, the costs are much lower and downloading times twice as fast," Garbacki promises.

    The group is also working on adding tag-based navigation for Tribler, and reducing protocol overhead to enable HTML seeding.

    "The past decade has shown that metadata are often unavailable and searching is best done using the text itself rather than relying on metadata," says the development zone.

    "In general, metadata run short in quality and quantity. Tags can address these deficiencies. Websites such as Flickr.com, Del.icio.us, and CiteUlike.org have shown the popularity of tags for search and attracted a combined user base of millions. The key to these websites is their use of volunteers to augment content with tags. Every visitor to such websites can participate in this collaborative categorization, thus creating a limited two-way web. Different websites may have different underlying reasons why people tag, but the altruistic effect is helping other users in exploring the content because the system performs better if more users participate.

    "We developed software to generate tags from Wikipedia in cooperation with researchers from HIIT, Finland. The challenge is not only generating tags, but also organizing them into top-tags, sub-tags, subsub-tags, and adding weights. We implemente d the generic GenerateTopTags function to generate tags. This function can generate both top-tags, sub-tags, subsub-tags, and handle the AND operator. It increases the freedom users have in searching and exploring content, and this bootstrap should stimulate more users to generate more tags for their own content."

    Check out Tribler: A social based Peer toPeer system.

    Also See:
    Tribler site - Tribler test release, March 16, 2006
    earlier post - Tribler: New Dutch p2p network, February 21, 2006

    (Thursday 16th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8222
     
  15. arniebear

    arniebear Active member

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    SXSW to MPAA: STFU
    JUST A THOUGHT FROM 15 March 2006

    One of the most interesting panels at SXSW Interactive 2006 was The Future of Darknets, moderated by JD Lasica. And while the concept of Darknets - communities using private subnetworks to communicate and collaborate out of view of the larger internet - is indeed fascinating, the panel was not interesting because of the intended topic. In fact, we never actually got to hear much about DarkNets, much to my disappointment, because the panel was hijacked the moment one panelist said, "Hello, my name is Kori Bernards, and I'm from the Motion Picture Association of America."

    What followed was an hour-long firing squad as one audience member after another directed angry questions her way. The feeling of pent-up frustrations with the movie biz was palpable, especially as her claims of flexibility and excitement within the MPAA to find "creative new solutions" to the problems raised by the audience rang more and more hollow, the more times she repeated them.

    A couple times I almost felt sorry for her. And there were times when the cries of freedom coming from the crowd sounded like little more than selfish little privileged kids wanting to do what they want, when they wanted.

    And then I remembered all those awful anti-piracy trailers they make us watch before the movies we paid to see, the total unabashed lie of their "we just wanna protect artists" line, and the way they want to make us pay over and over for the same content in multiple formats, and all my sympathy for the MPAA evaporated.

    Think about this: I can go to the store and buy a five inch reflective disc that holds digital media. If that disc is a music CD, I can pop it in my computer, encode it, put it on my iPod, and listen to it whenever I like. But if that disc is a movie DVD, I cannot, even though the same iPod is perfectly capable of playing the same digital content that I own just the same. (Oh, and by the way, Apple created a billion dollar industry in legal song downloading because of this. Where's the Apple Movie Store? Ask the MPAA.)

    Now, being the geek I am, I know I can encode movies and do what I just described. But I've got to use one of a handful of quasi-legal programs. The MPAA doesn't want me to do that, and they've threatened legal action against those that do. Plus, there's no way to do it using the same tools that came with my computer and iPod (namely iTunes) because of that same legal threat.

    The audience was filled with other examples of an industry gone crazy. One guy moved to the UK and all his DVDs stopped working because they were region-encoded (as most are). Her answer? That was in the contract you agreed to when you bought the DVD. Another guy asked why he can't just download the Sopranos. After all, he's a HBO subscriber, so he paid for it, he just happened to miss the last episode. Her answer, again, was that the time is part of the contract. My answer: Give it a couple years and HBO will be doing this, or they'll be out of business.

    Another audience member said she worked at a small film studio, doing clearances for copyrighted works to appear in movies (simply having a movie on in the background of another movie requires a release, at least according to the MPAA) and most of the time the artists involved all said it was fine - it was the studio lawyers who stood in the way.

    And that's really the problem, isn't it? There are these industries of middlemen - RIAA, MPAA - that claim to "protect artists" but what they're really protecting is themselves. Artists (and I include myself in that word) need to rise up and tell these people to go get stuffed. We can decide when a mashup is perfectly fine with us. We can decide to embrace file traders to build awareness of our work. We don't need you anymore. You're just holding us back.

    After all, when we allow these industry groups to frame the debate about the internet and file trading as artists versus pirates, it's a false dichotomy. No one in that angry audience in Austin wants to dupe a movie to sell it on the street. That's piracy. We just want to put movies on our hard drives and iPods, share our mix CDs with each other (just like we used to do with tapes), and mash that funny video with that cool song to produce something new, something we'll give away for free.

    All these acts are illegal, or at least under threat by industry groups. Meanwhile, real pirates are on the streets selling bootleg DVDs. What are these industry groups doing about that very real threat? If only they realized that artist geeks like us are exactly the kind of people who could come up with some really interesting ways to attack the real piracy problem, if only they let us do what we want with the media we buy?

    Until we (users, industry groups, lawyers, and politicians) finally make a clear legal and procedural distinction between copying a work for noncommercial creation of new works (like mashups or backups) and wholesale piracy for profit (like duplicating a work for the purpose of resale), we're just going to keep shouting at each other in conference rooms and newspapers, and real innovation will never get made.
     
  16. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    THIS IS SO HOT IT BURNS MY EYES,I HAD TO BRING THIS TO YOU ALL..I KNOW I WAS NOT GOING TO POST ANY NEWS...ANYMORE..ONE LAST TIME
    to do the news right i would need a board of my own,thats not going to be..so........
    CHEERS

    MPAA backs RIAA in p2p case


    p2p news / p2pnet: New York social worker Tenise Barker is another RIAA victim accused of being a 'thief' and the perpetrator of a non-existent 'crime'.

    She's being persecuted by the wrongly named RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), owned by Sony BMG (Japan, Germany), Vivendi Universal (France), EMI (Britain) and, finally, Warner Music, the only US company.

    And now Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney, Hollywood's Big Six movies studios, are in on the act via their MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). They've entered an amicus brief supporting RIAA arguments that merely "making available" comprises copyright infringement.

    RIAA clone the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association of America) tried it on in Canada, but didn't get to first base. In March, 2004, Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruled having music in a computer directory that might be shared remotely by someone else didn't constitute copyright infringement under Canadian law.

    The entertainment industry and software cartel have equated simple copyright infringement with major crime. "This isn't, however, a criminal matter, efforts by the cartel's RIAA to elevate it to that level notwithstanding," we wrote recently.

    "It's a civil one. And what's at issue isn't if someone's broken a law - it's whether or not he or she has infringed a copyright, which is a very long way from 'criminal' or 'illegal'."

    In Barker's case, the RIAA is trying to claim she infringed copyright by making a file available for distribution and with the MPAA involved, the RIAA will be able to increase its PR mileage, using the ever-willing corporate news media as foils.

    Their cooperation is a given because, as Edward Jay Epstein says in his The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood, the major movie studios, "own all six broadcast networks in America," as well as "64 cable networks whose reach accounts for most of the remainder of the prime-time television audience," going on that they, "control a large part of the entertainment media, including magazines ..."

    Both entertainment industry organizations regularly use the mainstream media as PR mouthpieces, and painting 'copyright crime' victims as thieves, suggesting alleged p2p file sharers been found guilty of heinous offences.

    In reality, none of the more than 18,000 men, women and children pilloried by the RIAA has ever appeared in a civil court, or been found 'guilty' of anything. Further more, nothing has been stolen, no money has changed hands, and neither the MPAA nor RIAA has ever been able to demonstrate that a file shared equals the loss of even a single sale.

    Patti Santangelo will be the first to put her case to a civil jury, refusing to allow the RIAA to blackmail her, or to terrorize her children.

    Also See:
    RIAA victim - RIAA's latest file share claim, January 26, 2006
    amicus brief - MPAA Joins RIAA Against Tenise Barker, March 17, 2006
    first base - Keep on downloading! Cdn file sharers told, March 31, 2004
    very long way - Help Zi against the RIAA, January 27, 2006
    cooperation is a given - MPAA launches massive attack, February 24, 2006
    terrorize her children - RIAA targets Santangelo's kids, February 16, 2006

    (Saturday 18th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8244
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  17. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    ONE MORE,AND IT ALSO HOT

    French finish draft of law to open iTunes
    Posted by Dan Bell on 17 March 2006 - 23:18 - Source: C|Net

    Both yronnen andheystoopid used our news submit to tell us about this latest legal issue being debated in France. Member heystoopid had this to say about the situation: "Ah, interesting times are a coming, if this new French law is passed, it will have major ramifications, to any DRM"d product sold in France ranging from the humble audio CD (SACD inclusive) to the mighty Bluray movie discs. Oh well, I can foresee both the MPAA and the RIAA, along with it"s French equivalent (which is amply rewarded by optical recordable media taxes for it claimed losses) will be fighting this one with the largest budget and biggest fictitious propaganda scare stories that money can buy, all whilst twice milking the recording artists and actors to pay for this money fest, that you can be sure! (a tithe on all royalty payments due to them only) Oh well, the fun truly begins in France!"

    French parliamentarians finished drafting a law on Friday that would open up Apple Computer"s market-leading iTunes online music store to portable music players other than its popular iPods.The new law, now set for a vote on Tuesday, would allow consumers to circumvent software that protects copyrighted material--known as digital rights management (DRM)--if it is done to convert digital content from one format to another.

    Such circumvention is currently illegal in much of the world. The law, which the government says is designed to boost the legal digital music market, is expected to go into effect by the French parliament"s summer recess. It is designed to adapt the country"s copyright rules to the fast changing market for online content.Currently, songs purchased from the market-leading iTunes service can only be played on iPods or Motorola"s iTunes mobile phone, and iPods are not compatible with music that uses DRM from rival companies like Microsoft.

    Let's keep an eye on this one. The main problem with DRM right now is lack of interoperability. Indeed, something should be done about it. Perhaps France will lead the way in breaking the lock on protected content, which is more about control of consumer purchases than piracy of goods. It has evolved into a means of creating an artificial brand loyalty. The iPod is an excellent device, no doubt and has earned it's audience. But, we have to think it could stand on it's own! We also have to think that iTunes is not required to make the iPod profitable at this stage of the game.

    One thing that has never set well with many, is the fact that circumventing digital rights management controls, to make fair use backups of their purchases - is a crime. Now, it's gone beyond that, we have a situation where we are locked into certain players due to DRM controls. Rapid changes in technology is making DRM unacceptable and the legal systems around the world are falling dreadfully behind. You can read the story in it's entirety, at the source, by visiting this link to C|Net.
    http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/13202



    French finish draft of law to open iTunes
    By Reuters
    Published: March 17, 2006, 12:42 PM PST
    Tell us what you think about this storyTalkBack E-mail this story to a friendE-mail View this story formatted for printingPrint

    French parliamentarians finished drafting a law on Friday that would open up Apple Computer's market-leading iTunes online music store to portable music players other than its popular iPods.

    The new law, now set for a vote on Tuesday, would allow consumers to circumvent software that protects copyrighted material--known as digital rights management (DRM)--if it is done to convert digital content from one format to another. Such circumvention is currently illegal in much of the world.

    The law, which the government says is designed to boost the legal digital music market, is expected to go into effect by the French parliament's summer recess. It is designed to adapt the country's copyright rules to the fast changing market for online content.

    Currently, songs purchased from the market-leading iTunes service can only be played on iPods or Motorola's iTunes mobile phone, and iPods are not compatible with music that uses DRM from rival companies like Microsoft.

    Consumers are prepared to pay twice as much for a song that can freely move between different devices, a recent study of the European Union project Indicare showed.

    Government officials said the law was aimed at preventing any single media playing operating system, whether Apple's iTunes or Microsoft's Windows Media Player, from building a dominant position.

    Apple and Microsoft are the two main players in the sector.

    "We must not permit piracy nor the emergence of a monopoly," Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France, told Reuters in an interview Friday.

    The law could potentially hurt sales of iPods in France if consumers were able to play iTunes songs on other players.

    Apple representatives in the U.S., Great Britain and France did not respond to numerous requests for comment. Comment was not immediately available from Microsoft.

    The new law is due for a vote in France's National Assembly on Tuesday and will then be sent to the upper house, the Senate, for approval.

    A representative for the French parliament told Reuters the vote was postponed until next week partly due to the complexity of the proposed legislation.

    "We cannot accept that numerical data is available in one language that cannot be translated into another," Vanneste said. "Bypassing DRMs to allow this translation will no longer be illegal under this law."

    The law would also affect French online music stores such as Fnac, part of retail group PPR, Virgin, whose French retail operations are owned by media group Lagardere and Vivendi Universal Music, part of the telecoms and media group Vivendi.

    For example, on its French Web site, Fnac tells customers they need Microsoft's Windows Media Player to download songs.

    No one at Fnac was available for comment.

    The draft legislation also comes with new sanctions. People who download material illegally would be subject to a fine of 38 euros ($46.26) and those sharing illegally downloaded material with others would face fines of 150 euros ($183).
    In other news:


    People who make and sell software for illegal file-sharing would remain subject to a maximum fine of 300,000 euros ($366,000) and prison sentences of up to three years.

    Police agents would be able to monitor file-sharing networks and trace e-mail addresses by issuing a court order to the Internet service provider.

    The proposed law would also secure the right to make private copies of legally downloaded material, but the number of private copies could be limited and has yet to be determined.

    DVDs have been excluded from the law for now.

    An earlier amendment, which would have legalized the use of peer-to-peer networks to download songs and films for a flat monthly fee of several euros, was killed by fierce opposition from artists, film production houses and record companies.

    http://news.com.com/French+finish+draft+of+law+to+open+iTunes/2100-1025_3-6051094.html?tag=nefd.top
     
  18. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    What Does DRM Really Mean?
    04.08.03
    Total posts: 3


    By Brett Glass

    * You start up a DVD movie and before the film starts, you encounter an annoying advertisement. But when you try to fast-forward past the commercial, your player does not respond.
    * You can play your new audio CD on your stereo system, but when you insert it into the CD drive on your Macintosh computer, the CD doesn't work. Worse still, the machine crashes and refuses to reboot. The disc remains stuck in the drive until you force the tray open by inserting a paper clip.
    * You try to reinstall your tax preparation software on the new PC you just bought, but it comes up in a "trial" mode: You can't file or print your return—unless you pay for the product again.
    * You want to time-shift a TV program for later viewing, but your digital video recorder detects a signal known as the broadcast flag in the program and won't record it.
    * You buy an e-book and discover you can read it on-screen but can't print a chapter, even though the book is by Dickens and entered the public domain more than a century ago.

    In each of these scenarios, you've run headlong into digital rights management (DRM). So far, such measures have halted few of us in our tracks. But in the future, as DRM becomes increasingly widespread, situations like those mentioned above may be all too common. Here we explain what DRM is about, how it's done, and what the future is likely to hold. And because this is such a big and complex subject, we provide lots of URLs with pointers to additional information.[/color]


    Electronic Arts DRM Makes Games Unplayable with CD Burners
    Category: Industry Buzz - November 15, 2005
    By Tim Coyle [2683 Reads]
    Print Page | Email Story | Discuss [0 Posts]
    ea_customer_support_logo.jpg

    I originally heard about this issue on Leo Laporte’s Tech Guy radio show where some Electronic Arts computer games will not run if they detect certain CD cloners or even some cd burning software on your computer. This is really overboard – if you buy a video game and bring it home it will not play because another program on your computer is determined to be a piracy threat? And sure enough, going to the EA website provides a work-around for playing your legally bought video game with your legally installed CD burning software. Here’s what the website says:

    This error is presented when active CD Emulation software is detected by the copy protection on the game CD. This software must be disabled for the game to launch properly. It is very common for CD/DVD copying software to include such software as a suite of products, so you will need to make sure that if your CD/DVD copying software includes such software that it is disabled as well.

    Below is a list of software that is known as, or known to include CD Emulation Software that could potentially prevent the game from playing properly:

    * Fantom CD Emulator
    * Alcohol 120%
    * Nero Image Drive
    * Phantom CD
    * Clone CD
    * Ark Virtual Drive
    * Veritas DLA

    If you are unsure about how to turn off emulation settings, consult your emulation program help files. If you have emulation software not listed above that does not provide adequate information about how to turn off emulation to avoid software conflicts, and then remove the software from your machine.

    So they go through the trouble of blocking the game from being played but most of got enough complaints to put up a work-around on their website? I think this is just as bad as Sony installing root kits on your system.
    http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/entry/1648/electronic_arts_drm
     
  19. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    RIAA p2p file share defeat

    p2p news / p2pnet: The Big Four Organized Music record label cartel's RIAA is licking its wounds after losing a bid for unfettered access to the hard drive of an Oregon mother it's victimizing in a p2p file sharing case.

    The woman, Tanya Andersen, lives alone with her nine-year-old daughter, Kylee, surviving on Social Security disability payments.

    On behalf of the Big Four's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) RIAA, "settlement" worker Mark Eilers accused her of "illegally" downloading music files, demanding an extortion payment to get the labels off her back.

    But Andersen, 43, says she's has never downloaded or distributed music in her life and since February last year, when the labels' civil copyright infringement lawsuit was filed, has been trying to end her nightmare by having the RIAA examine her computer so they could see for themselves.

    The RIAA had always ignored her but then, out of the blue, suddenly wanted a court order to allow it to ferret freely through her hard drive.

    Andersen and her lawyers, Lybeck Murphy from Mercer Island, Washington, refused to give carte blanche access, and judge Donald Ashmanskas has told Andersen to go ahead and hire her own independent private forensic expert to look for specific files, also ordering the RIAA to foot the bill for the examination.

    "Finally!!!" - declares Andersen. "I've been asking them to look at the computer ever since I first heard from them.

    "I'm glad the judge has finally given me the opportunity to show I didn't do what I'm being accused of, and that the RIAA won't be able to just search through my entire computer and invade my privacy by looking at stuff they don't need to look at, like tax info, family photos, financial stuff, etc," Andersen says.

    "One other thing I wanted to tell you about," she adds. "These cases are starting to finally get some news attention, here. A couple months ago, I was on channel 6 in Portland. (It was a real short news segment.) Then, on Thursday, I went to Seattle and the news team there talked to me for quite some time. I'm glad awareness of what these people are trying to pull is beginning to spread."

    The interview is slated to air on CBS affiliate Kiro 7 tomorrow (Monday).

    Not at all incidentally, the RIAA is also being sued by Andersen - in a RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization) case which is on hold pending the results of the investigation of Andersen's hard drive.

    RICO suits are more normally used in Organized Crime prosecutions.

    Digg this.

    Also See:
    end her nightmare - The 'We're Not Taking Any More' club, September 17, 2005
    Organized Crime - RIAA RICO case hearing, January 30, 2006

    (Sunday 19th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8247
     
  20. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    BushTorrent goes online

    p2p news / p2pnet: Has George W finally clued into the benefits of p2p file sharing?

    BushTorrent has just gone online and, "Welcome my fellow torrent lovers," says its infamous webmaster. "I have made this site all about me. I wanted discussion forums so I can see what you all say about me - just kidding. I'll be writing a blog so you will know what is really going on in my life. I also have a section with my favourite downloads from all around the world in all different languages, including some in my language. Of course I will have my famous quotations and my special photo album just for your viewing.

    "See, I am partial to country music and I wanted a way to get what song I wanted when I wanted it when I go bike riding. Voila! I created BushTorrent.Com. Here I can find my favorite songs and they're in my IPod in a heartbeat. I found some news video from Hurricane Katrina on BushTorrent.Com and golly gee, that hurricane really did destroy New Orleans. It's important that we educate ourselves and keep ourselves entertained or life just ain't worth living.

    "When my wife Laura is busy as First Lady she likes to find her favorite Ronald Reagan movie ( Bedtime with Bonzo) on BushTorrent.Com instead of having to run down to the video rental store. Laura likes her music in the MP3 format (old fashioned girl that she is) and she is not disappointed here, she now has every Billy Ray Cyrus song ever recorded.

    "My twin daughters Jenna and Laura tell me they really like unusual art films. They were so thrilled to get the 'Paris Hilton' art film. I should make time and watch that French torrent with them.

    "Freedom of speech was born in the USA and I want to spread these freedoms all over the world. My website will help you find what you need through my reliable sources. See, I want freedom of speech to be free. Plus I have a feeling I am going to need this job."

    Who's backing this exciting new venture? Russia's TorrentReactor, with about 800,000 registered members at last count, they tell p2pnet.

    Does this mean TR is closing down? Nope. Rather, BushTorrent is a generous gesture aimed at giving George W a leg up for his coming enforced retirement ; p

    Meanwhile, rumours that the MPAA and RIAA have issued Cease & Desist warnings to the White House may not be entirely accurate.

    Digg this.

    Also See:
    bike riding - George W. Bush's bike adventure, July 7, 2005

    (Sunday 19th March 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/8246
     

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