9 July 2009 – Brief

“It’s got it all — lust, passion, romance and 14,000
jobs being eliminated every day.”
Michael Moore

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Michael Jackson Is DeadNSFW

sock tribute –  shamon
enough MJ

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Jackson’s Brain
“As soon as we are done with the brain, we will return it,” Winter said. “There is a whole series of tests that will be done.” more

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Copyright Laws Threaten Our Online Freedom

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French hackers unveil the HADOPI router: cracks nearby WiFi and makes your traffic traceable to your neighbors
French hackers claim to have sabotaged Internet forensics by creating a firmware for routers that cracks nearby WiFi networks and routes your traffic through them at random, creating false trails leading to your neighbors instead of you. They’re calling it the HADOPI Router, in honor of Nicolas Sarkozy’s crazy Internet law of the same name.

HADOPI originally required ISPs to disconnect users after three unsubstantiated claims of copyright infringement (Princeton’s Ed Felten compared this to giving publishers the power to take away all the printed matter in your household if you were accused of committing three acts of illegal photocopying or cut-and-paste). The law was initially defeated in the French parliament, then it passed on reintroduction, only to be struck down by France’s high court on the grounds that it violated human rights. more
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youtube.jpgYouTube Ordered to Pay $1.6M to ASCAP
A district judge has ordered YouTube to pay $1.61 million in royalties to U.S. songwriters, and $70,000 per month going forward. The judgment came last Wednesday in New York, but we didn’t see coverage of it until today when Techdirt picked it up; there was an earlier report on Law360 that you can read if you register. Songwriters, like everyone else, want a piece of YouTube; for instance the co-writer of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” recently claimed he’s been exploited by the “rickrolling” phenomenon, only earning £11 from Google for his trouble.

The particulars of the fee are only temporary as YouTube and ASCAP go to trial over blanket licenses for ASCAP’s songs in a case brought last May. As Techdirt describes it more

youtube.jpg

YouTube User Happiness Survey

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Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims

Rupert Murdoch’s News Group News­papers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.

The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public ­figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemized phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators. more

there ought to be a law….
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How to creatively get even
unitedLogo
United Breaks Guitars
update

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cwdSecret itty bitty logo-googlePresentation Defends Invasive Behavioral Ads
Online search giant Google, already under fire for its privacy policies and a self-serving online book publication deal, is now apparently trying to persuade Capitol Hill policymakers that its so-called behavioral advertising, which targets users based on their browsing–is benign, said Consumer Watchdog. The nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group has obtained  a “confidential” and “proprietary” Google presentation for lawmakers that, ironically, touts Google’s commitment to “transparency,” but skirts tough questions about its secretive user data tracking, storage and sharing policies.

Google increasingly spies on what consumers do online, including what web sites they visit; creates dossiers on users’ online behavior without their prior permission; then harvests this private information to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, said Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog posted the presentation along with an annotated version, prepared by an industry insider, that calls out Google’s deceptions. The group urged lawmakers and the Justice Department to view both versions and consider strict limits on how Google collects and uses its customers’ online behavior.

View the documents two ways:
Original: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/GoogleJuly09-CWD.pdf
Annotated: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/GoogleJuly09Annot-CWD.pdf
more

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Possible Environmental Causes For Alzheimer’s, Diabetes
A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have found a substantial link between increased levels of nitrates in our environment and food, with increased deaths from diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Volume 17:3 July 2009).

Led by Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH, of Rhode Island Hospital, researchers studied the trends in mortality rates due to diseases that are associated with aging, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease, as well as HIV. They found strong parallels between age adjusted increases in death rate from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes and the progressive increases in human exposure to nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines through processed and preserved foods as well as fertilizers. Other diseases including HIV-AIDS, cerebrovascular disease, and leukemia did not exhibit those trends. De la Monte and the authors propose that the increase in exposure plays a critical role in the cause, development and effects of the pandemic of these insulin-resistant diseases, more

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mount rushmore

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HR 1207 Co-Sponsors (as of 7/8/2009)

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A message to Warner Music Group

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chinaflag
Thousands of Chinese troops flooded into this city Wednesday to separate feuding ethnic groups after three days of communal violence left 156 people dead, and a senior Communist Party official vowed to execute those guilty of murder in the rioting in western China.

Long convoys of armored cars and green troop trucks with riot police rumbled through Urumqi, a city of 2.3 million people. Other security forces carrying automatic rifles with bayonets formed cordons to defend Muslim neighborhoods from marauding groups of vigilantes with sticks.

Military helicopters buzzed over Xinjiang’s regional capital, dropping pamphlets urging people to stay in their homes and stop fighting. Special police from other provinces were called in to patrol the city.

The crisis was so severe that President Hu Jintao cut short a trip to Italy, where he was to participate in a Group of Eight summit. It was an embarrassing move for a leader who wants to show that China has a harmonious society as it prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Communist rule. more

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swissflag
Swiss ready to seize UBS data to stifle Washington
The Swiss government on Wednesday waded into the legal battle between UBS and the US authorities by saying it would forbid the bank from handing over confidential client information, if a crucial court case next week required it.

Bern warned it might go as far as confiscating the data, should a US court in Miami rule the bank was obliged to transfer the client names requested.

The move marks a major escalation in the war of words between Bern and Washington over US demands that UBS hand over names of up to 52,000 US taxpayers holding offshore accounts in Switzerland. more

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US officials eye North Korea in cyber attack
.S. authorities on Wednesday eyed North Korea as the origin of the widespread cyber attack that overwhelmed government Web sites in the United States and South Korea, although they warned it would be difficult to definitively identify the attackers quickly.

The powerful attack that targeted dozens of government and private sites underscored how unevenly prepared the U.S. government is to block such multipronged assaults.

While Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission Web sites were shut down by the software attack, which lasted for days over the holiday weekend, others such as the Pentagon and the White House were able to fend it off with little disruption.

The North Korea link, described by three officials, more firmly connected the U.S. attacks to another wave of cyber assaults that hit government agencies Tuesday in South Korea. The officials said that while Internet addresses have been traced to North Korea, that does not necessarily mean the attack involved the Pyongyang government.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

South Korea intelligence officials have identified North Korea as a suspect in those attacks and said that the sophistication of the assault suggested it was carried out at a higher level that just rogue or individual hackers.

U.S. officials would not go that far and declined to discuss publicly who may have instigated the intrusion or how it was done.

In an Associated Press interview, Philip Reitinger, deputy under secretary at the Homeland Security Department, said the far-reaching attacks demonstrate the importance of cybersecurity as a critical national security issue.

The fact that a series of computers were involved in an attack, Reitinger said, “doesn’t say anything about the ultimate source of the attack.” more

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logo-googlevs. ms.jpg

itty bitty Google to Challenge Microsoft With Operating System
Google Inc., owner of the most- visited Internet search engine, is developing a computer operating system based on its Chrome Web browser, taking aim at Microsoft Corp. in its strongest market.

The system will be designed at first for low-cost laptops called netbooks, Google said in a blog post. The company is in talks with partners on the project and computers running the software will be available in the second half of 2010.

The plan escalates Google’s rivalry with Microsoft, which extends to Web search, browsers and business applications such as word processing and spreadsheets. Windows, Microsoft’s flagship product, runs about 90 percent of the world’s personal computers. Google is also trying to spur Web-ad sales after reporting its first sequential revenue drop as a public company.

“There is a possibility that the new OS can break the paradigm Microsoft and Intel created over the past 20 years,” aid Yukihiko Shimada, a computer analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. in Tokyo. “There is plenty of business opportunity for Google in this market.”

Google said it’s working with computer makers to introduce a number of netbooks next year, without identifying any of the companies. The Chrome OS will be open-source, meaning the program code will be open to developers, Google said. The software will work on top of the Linux operating system.

Netbook Competition
Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment. Windows accounted for 28 percent of the company’s $60.4 billion annual revenue in the 12 months ended June 30, 2008.

Microsoft has stepped up its efforts in the netbook market. It said in May it plans to remove a restriction of running three applications at a time on its forthcoming Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is designed for netbooks. The announcement eliminated one of the most significant differences between the basic edition of the operating system and a pricier one.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, rose $5.86, or 1.5 percent, to 402.49 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 4 p.m. New York time. Microsoft advanced 3 cents $22.56. Google has risen 31 percent this year and Microsoft has added 16 percent.

Online Strategy
The Chrome OS is consistent with Google’s focus on getting people to use software online, which contrasts with Microsoft’s approach of providing programs on the computer itself. Google started offering business software in 2007, allowing users to access spreadsheets and word-processing documents via the Web, just as anyone might access the search engine or Google News.

“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better,” Google said. “The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no Web.”

Google is trying to encourage people to spend more time online to fuel demand for Internet ads, which accounted for more than 90 percent of its 2008 revenue of $21.8 billion. In the first quarter of this year, Google had its first sequential sales drop since it went public in 2004 as the recession prompted companies to curb advertising spending.

The open-source Chrome OS will probably win over companies that don’t want to pay for Windows, said Jim Friedland, an analyst at Cowen & Co. in New York. The system may also help Google sell Web-based applications, such as the Gmail e-mail service, that run on top of it, he said.

“They really haven’t cracked the enterprise yet,” said Friedland, who rates Google’s shares “outperform” and doesn’t own any. “We’ve seen some inroads around the edges.”

‘More Options’
Computer makers such as Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc. already have plans to offer computers running Android, an open- source operating system backed by Google and initially designed for mobile phones. Acer, the world’s second-largest laptop maker, said last month it plans to release a low-cost notebook powered by Android. Asustek Computer has also developed a netbook that runs on Google’s software.

“Having another OS or another interface does create more options, and with the weight of the Google name behind it, does lift its prominence,” said Bryan Ma, a computer analyst at IDC in Singapore.

Google said that while the Chrome OS is separate from Android, the two will overlap in some areas. The Chrome operating system is designed to save users from having to deal with viruses and security updates, Google said.

“Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems,” Google said. “While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.”

‘Beneficial to Users’
Hewlett-Packard is studying the Chrome OS and is open to “various approaches to meet its own customer needs,” Marlene Somsak, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mail. She declined to comment on whether Hewlett-Packard plans to introduce products based on the system.

Dell constantly assesses new technologies as part of its product-development process, said Anne Camden, a spokeswoman for the company.

Tony Chen, chief operating officer of Asustek’s notebook unit said by phone the company will consider “anything that’s beneficial to users.” Fujitsu Ltd. spokeswoman Nozomi Endo said the company will monitor market conditions before deciding whether to introduce products using Google’s operating system.

Spokespeople for Acer, Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., NEC Corp., Panasonic Corp., and Toshiba Corp., declined to comment.

Search Rivalry
The Chrome OS — which will run on traditional Intel Corp.- based x86 chips along with semiconductors designed by ARM Holdings Plc — will work on lightweight netbooks along with more powerful computers, including desktop PCs, Google said.

Google’s Chrome still faces an uphill battle against Microsoft’s browser. Chrome, which was unveiled last year, had 1.2 percent market share in February, compared with 67 percent for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, according to research firm Net Applications, which tracks Web statistics.

In May, Microsoft introduced a search engine called Bing that has enhanced shopping, travel and sorting features. Bing’s market share climbed to more than 10 percent in June, according to Comscore Inc.

Google’s search engine is No. 1 in the U.S., holding more than 60 percent market share. Microsoft is No. 3, according to ComScore. bloomberg

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redxpwm

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panda
yum!

want to see your product
placed and linked here?

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