01.20.12

Links – quick SOPA/PIPA update, Hanford, UEFI, and Apple owns your work.

Posted in Site News at 5:08 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Linux Foundation Report Shows Growing Linux Adoption Rates in the Enterprise

    Management is interfering less and techs at big businesses want their freedom and performance as much as anyone else.

  • Why UEFI secure boot is difficult for Linux

    I wrote about the technical details of supporting the UEFI secure boot specification with Linux. Despite me pretty clearly saying that this was ignoring issues of licensing and key distribution and the like, people are now using it to claim that Linux could support secure boot with minimal effort. … We can write the code required to support secure boot on Linux in a minimal amount of time – in fact, most of it’s now done. But significant practical problems remain, and so far we have no workable solutions for any of them.

    The key distribution looks like the nastiest of the issues. If there’s no certifying authority and you can’t run without signed code, everyone will have to sign everything themselves before installation or distributions will have to carry binaries for each and every key. The practical dificulties of “custom mode” are also a significant concern. The Register’s summary raises the ARM lockout but repeats Microsoft’s talking points about lockdowns magically making Windows safe and stable.

  • Hardware

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • NYPD and Pentagon to place mobile scanners on the streets on NYC

      According to MIT’s Technology Review, the THz waves used by the scanners “unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication.

      This is a version of the dreaded porno scanners used in airports. The thing can undress you at 16 feet.

    • The nationwide repression of mass protests in the US was accompanied by a nationwide attack on news reporters.

      If police forces nationwide seem to be taking similar steps against the Occupy movement, it’s not a coincidence: Police chiefs in cities with occupations going on have been getting together to discuss strategies and tactics, including via conference calls organized by the Police Executive Research Forum, an association of law-enforcement officials.

      Reporters of all political stripes around the country were kept away from protests, harassed and arrested by thuggish and taunting police officers. Some were pepper sprayed and injured.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Problems plague cleanup at Hanford nuclear waste site

      several senior engineers cited design problems that could bring the plant’s operations to a halt before much of the waste is treated. Their reports have spurred new technical reviews and raised official concerns about the risk of a hydrogen explosion or uncontrolled nuclear reaction inside the plant. … “the design processes are cut short, the safety analyses are cut short, and the oversight is cut short. … We have to stop now and figure out how to do this right, before we move any further.”

      Criticality issues at this stage are shocking.

  • Finance

    • Everything You Need to Know About Wall Street, in One Brief Tale

      Jeffrey Verschleiser is one of the biggest assholes in the entire world! … Whenever any right-wing loon, or Bloombergite, tries to tell you the mortgage crisis was caused by the government forcing the poor banks to lend to broke black people, please direct them to this passage. The banks not only wanted to give out these loans, they wanted to give them out at the speed of light. They wanted to crank them out so fast that their own auditors literally couldn’t read the writing on the loan applications.

  • Censorship

    • SOPA Opera Update: Opposition Surges

      When we first launched SOPA Opera, few members in Congress – besides the bills’ co-sponsors and its initial opponents – had made their opinion known on the proposed laws to regulate the Internet. That changed on Wednesday.

      The split is not as good as the graph makes it out because 41 of the 101 opposition leave open a vote for a modified version of PIPA or SOPA – so one of these nasty bills can still pass. Everyone knows there’s huge popular opposition now.

    • With MegaUpload Down, Who’s Next? RapidShare? SoundCloud? DropBox?

      Forget SOPA and PIPA, apparently the US Federal Government doesn’t need new legislation in place to shut down major file storage sites and lock millions of users out of their file lockers. The bigger question, then, is who’s next? … It’s the new war on drugs. The plan is to have taxpayers foot the bill and then attack websites … MegaUpload’s downfall was that they seemingly promoted the sharing of copy-written material. … [and] actively hiding the fact its users shared illegal content … The case of TVShack and Richard O’Dwyer is slightly different. … the young British student is now facing extradition to the US for simply linking to sites hosting illegal content. … a crime which could land him in a US jail for five to ten years under pre-SOPA and PIPA laws.

      It’s like mp3.com all over again, except this time the bullies will throw foreign site owners in US jails. The charges against MegaUpload are also contradictory. If the site was concealing and deleting rather than promoting music and movies owned by jerks, the jerks should have been happy. Michael Mozart accuses big publishers of promoting copyright infringment, will the DOJ shut down CBS and friends?

    • Kim Dotcom explained the MegaUpload business model before he was arrested, From Rogue To Vogue: Megaupload and Kim Dotcom

      I think what really happened is that UMG realized how powerful our message was, how potent it would become, and how positively it would affect Mega’s image. From rogue to vogue. They decided to stop us at all costs … UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90% of earnings. … We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free. Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads.

      That is exactly like mp3.com. The shutdown is not about “piracy” it’s about eliminating competition.

    • EFF: No more back room deals — Users must have a voice in governing the Internet

      MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd gave an interview to the New York Times yesterday, in which “Mr. Dodd said he would welcome a summit meeting between Internet companies and content companies, perhaps convened by the White House, that could lead to a compromise.” … there is no need to assume that legislation is necessary. As we discuss the future of the Internet, all stakeholders, including the people who use Internet services and consume (and create and share) movies and music, must have a seat at the table. The internet is too important to be debated, dissected and possibly disabled in a private meeting.

    • Wikipedia shows traffic uptick during SOPA protest

      Some people predicted that the blackout would harm Wikipedia’s reputation. The opposite happened.

    • India OKs censoring Facebook, Google, Microsoft, YouTube

      The Indian government has given the green light for the prosecution of “21 social networking sites.” The list features 10 foreign-based companies, and could affect websites provided by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and YouTube.

      Techdirt reported on this several weeks ago. The case has received official sanction from more levels of government and represents a real threat now.

    • Senat postpones PIPA vote.
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War

      We must be prepared to battle censorship on the Internet as a matter of our everyday lives. … Educational campaigns explaining why the battles against Internet censorship are so crucial must continue on our sites, and in our other personal and professional communications as well, every single day.

  • DRM

  • Copyrights

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