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08.13.11

Links – WebODF, Murdoch’s Legacy and some Patent Anti-Trust

Posted in Site News at 10:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Security

    • Why Hackers Find Many U.S. Companies Easy to Hack

      workers at big corporations are poorly trained in security, which makes it “ridiculously easy” for hackers to trick them and reveal key information to plan cyber attacks against them. … contestants successfully persuaded another employee to pass on information about the configuration of her PC. With the help of that information, a hacker can easily decide what would be the suitable malware to carry out the attack.

      This analysis blames users instead of the Microsoft monoculture present in most big companies. It’s true that corporate training is dismal, because Microsoft claims their software requiring no training, but the problem does not exist outside of Windows. With at least half of all Windows computers compromised, criminals already have their foot in the door of every company that uses Windows. The usual drive by web attacks and chain emails have done the job. The other pointed techniques can work, obviously, but would not outside a full Microsoft stack of buggy mail clients and browsers on top of Windows. The “suitable malware” is mostly for Windows.

    • Passwords by xkcd
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Goldman’s new money machine: warehouses

      A string of warehouses in Detroit, most of them operated by Goldman, has stockpiled more than a million tonnes of the industrial metal aluminium, about a quarter of global reported inventories.

    • Central Planning and The Fall of the US Empire

      an extreme concentration of wealth at the center of our market economy has led to a form of central planning. The concentration of wealth is now in so few hands and is so extreme in degree, that the combined liquid financial power of all of those not in this small group is inconsequential to determining the direction of the economy. As a result, we now have the equivalent of centralized planning in global marketplaces. A few thousand extremely wealthy people making decisions on the allocation of our collective wealth. The result was inevitable: gross misallocation across all facets of the private economy.

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • More of the Rupert Murdoch legacy.

      Viet Dinh, the guy who wrote the Patriot Act … That’s what News Corporation calls an “independent director”—the godfather of the CEO’s grandchild. … Michael Wolff writes about News Corp.’s “Mob-like structure.” It’s all about the organization. It’s an organization all about doing what Rupert wants you to do … the New York Post and Fox News maintain enemy lists. Almost anyone who has directly crossed these organizations, or who has made trouble for their parent company, will have felt the sting here. That sting involves regular taunting and, often, lies

    • More Murdoch

      Among the areas that the FBI is said to be looking at in its investigation of News Corp. are charges that one of its subsidiaries, News America Marketing, illegally hacked the computer system of a competitor, Floorgraphics, and then, using the information it had gleaned, tried to extort it into selling out to News Corp.; allegations that relationships the New York Post has maintained with New York City police officers may have involved exchanges of favors and possibly money for information; and accusations that Fox chief Roger Ailes sought to have an executive in the company, the book publisher Judith Regan, lie to investigators about details of her relationship with New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik in order to protect the political interests of Rudy Giuliani, then a presidential prospect.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Geeks Without Borders to the Rescue

      The Wi-Fi technology that GEEKS is pursuing is mesh networking technology. Specifically, open80211s (o11s), which implements the AMPE (Authenticated Mesh Peering Exchange) enabling multiple authenticated nodes to encrypt traffic between themselves. Mesh networks are essentially widely distributed wireless networks based on many repeaters throught a specific location.

      These measures would be good everywhere because they route around network censorship.

    • A few stories search engine hijacking through ISP provide DNS.

      12. One is from International Computer Science Institute the other from Microsoft and from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU but also has input from Google and EFF.

      But according to the EFF, “As of August 2011, all major ISPs involved have stopped proxying Google, but they still proxy Yahoo and Bing.” … “What feedback you do receive typically will come from a small group of highly technical users,” says Paxfire. “Even that feedback tends to fall away after just a few weeks—as they get used to the new behavior.”

      My ISP did this through DPI and redirected my typos to Bing even though I was using my own DNS, so the privacy issue and advertising swap out issues are not taken care of though the seach engine “hijack” may be better hidden. TOR and such are the only real solutions to the problem and NO, I’m not used to it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Software is Just Math. Really.

      there’s nothing remotely fuzzy about the distinction between physical objects and software. … You can simulate a nozzle with a computer program, but loading fluid dynamics equations into your laptop won’t turn it into a nozzle. To create a nozzle, you need physical substances like steel and plastic. Hence, a nozzle isn’t math, and it’s eligible for patent protection. A web browser, spreadsheet, or video game is just math, and therefore it’s not (at least according to the Supreme Court’s precedents) eligible for patent protection.-

    • All Your BASH are belong to Us.

      This is an awful story of confused copyright, trade secrets and bad faith. Employees spinning off their own company, TeamHPC, had ALL of their personal digital media confiscated by police to find, “Linux Software” belonging to the parent companies, Atipa Technologies and Microtech Computers. The FBI and local police kept it all for three years. There are nasty accusations of non payments, rolodex theft, etc. Now Microtech is claiming that bash scripts distributed with HPC clusters are trade secrets. The article lacks details about script ownership, licensing and NDAs but makes it look like Microtech is trying to claim ownership of “open source” scripts and has spent years harassing their former employees by abusing the legal system for anti-competitive purposes.

      … expecting a Bash script to protect a trade secret is like listing the recipe for Coca-cola on soft drink cans as part of the ingredients and expecting it not to be copied.

      Predictably, Microtech is a proud Microsoft Partner. This case could not undermine software freedom in general but people should shy away from Microsoft when it comes to gnu/linux service.

    • More details start to emerge in the Apple blocking of Samsung Galaxy Tab into the EU. Microsoft Florian managed to plant his hyperbole at the Guardian which echoed elsewhere PJ asks in her notes:

      Is it a “win” if you show up by yourself and the defendant doesn’t know it’s even happening?

      Apple should be ashamed of themselves to claim Android is a “slavish” copy of iPad’s look and feel. The interface concepts were developed by Palm and Handspring, particularly the Treo smartphone in the late 90s. People in doubt of Apple’s relative place in the world can compare screenshots of Opie to the clunky iPods that Apple mostly borrowed from PortalPlayer and rolled out in late 2001 or OSX itself at the time.

    • At least disco was already dead

      remember when Apple sued Microsoft for copying the “look and feel” of Macs via use of the “desktop metaphor” Apple claimed to own — even though it had been invented at Xerox PARC? Sort of sounds like the multi-touch interface, which had been around in a basic sense since the 1980s and was shown in full force by Jeff Han of NYU at a TED talk almost a year before Jobs announced the iPhone. Check the video below:

    • Repters start to ask the right questions about Apple’s patent attack

      Apple Inc’s increasingly effective patent war against rivals like Samsung Electronics may mask its real target: arch-foe Google Inc.

    • Trademarks

      • For Apple, No Tactic Is Too Sneaky When It Comes to Defending the iPad

        it turns out that this isn’t a story of Apple protecting some hard-won patented innovations. Instead, the company is trying to block competitors based on a trademarked design — basically, a tablet shape. And it’s filing for these preliminary injunctions without giving the other parties any warning that would let them defend their position in court. … According to Mueller, Apple brought action in Düsseldorf district court, which apparently has a reputation similar to that of the Eastern District of Texas in terms of favoring plaintiffs. … this was a court appearance in which only Apple showed up because Samsung didn’t even know about it [and did not have to be notified].

        All the news comes from Microsoft Florian, so it should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Is it trademark, patents or both?

    • Copyrights

      • What monopolies are all about.

        Once upon a time, in France there was a king and many splendid fabrics,

        Some patterns were more popular than others, and to get some additional revenue to the crown’s tax coffers, the King sold a monopoly on these patterns to selected members of the nobility … but the peasants and commoners could produce these patterns themselves. … Towards the end, the penalty [for making popular fabric] was death by public torture, drawn out over several days.

        This article uses the propaganda term piracy, but the violence was all committed by copyright owners.

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