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Terrorists’ Newest Weapon: Hacktivism


Terrorist groups that have long used the Internet to spread propaganda are increasingly tapping the Web to teach Islamic extremists how to be hackers, recruit techies for cyberwarfare and raise money through online fraud, U.S. officials say. A senior defense official said intelligence reports indicate extremist groups are seeking computer experts, including those capable of breaching government or other sensitive network systems. The official said the extent and success of those recruiting efforts are unclear.

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Best Handset For Freedom?

Father Thomas Dowd writes “The pictures we are seeing of Iran are being captured on cell phones and the text is being twittered over SMS. Still, the government has some control over the networks, and we are all familiar with fears of wiretap technologies to spy on users. If the cell phone is the new tool of freedom, what would the best ‘freedom handset’ contain? I’m thinking of a device with an open OS, where each phone could be a router for encrypted messages passed through Bluetooth/WiFi/whatever, thereby totally bypassing physical infrastructures when necessary. Of course, some sort of plausible deniability encryption a la Truecrypt would also be good, in case the secret police catch you with your phone. What else might we need?”

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Smart Grid: The First Green Bubble?

The Smart Grid is the hottest thing in Green IT these days, attracting not just lots of press, but attention from heavyweights like Cisco, IBM, Intel, and Google. There’s also plenty of venture capital money chasing the Next Big Thing — but there’s some evidence that the Smart Grid may be the next tech bubble to burst.

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US House Democrats Unveil a Health Care Plan

gollum123 sends in this piece from a political blog in the NY Times. Here is the text of the bill in question (PDF). “House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama’s call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward [an] 852-page draft bill that would require all Americans to obtain health insurance, force employers to provide benefits or help pay for them, and create a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers — a move that Republicans will bitterly oppose. … But the chairmen said they still did not know how much the plan would cost, even as they pledged to pay for it by cutting Medicare spending and imposing new, unspecified taxes. The three chairmen described their bill as a starting point in a weeks-long legislative endeavor that they said would dominate Congress for the summer and ultimately involve the full panorama of stakeholders in the health care industry, which accounts for about one-sixth of the nation’s economy. … House Republicans, who have had no involvement in the development of the health legislation so far, quickly denounced the Democrats’ proposal as a thinly disguised plan for an eventual government takeover of the health care system. … The House Democrats’ plan is one of three distinct efforts underway on Capitol Hill to draft the health overhaul legislation. In the Senate, both the Finance Committee and the health committee have separate bills in the works, and in recent days those efforts seem to have stumbled.”

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Battery-Life Statistics

theodp writes “What if automakers measured gas mileage by rolling their cars downhill with their engines idling? They might, Newsweek’s Daniel Lyons suggests, if they took inspiration from the MobileMark 2007 notebook battery-life benchmark test, the creation of a consortium called BAPCo, whose members are — surprise — computer makers and other tech companies. Laptops score big numbers, Lyons explains, because they’re tested with screens dimmed to 20%-30% of full brightness, Wi-Fi turned off, and the main processor chip running at 7.5% of capacity. Professional reviewers see company-generated battery-life claims as a joke. ‘The rule of thumb is that in real-world use you get about 50 percent of rated battery life,’ says a Gizmodo associate editor. Leading the call for reform is the not-necessarily-altruistic AMD, who gripes that MM07 was created in Intel’s labs and rigged so Intel chips would outscore AMD chips, which draw more power when idle.”

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Bing to define Microsoft’s capability to innovate

M|cr0s0ft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday gave a casual speech in front of more than 1500 members and guests of the Executives Club of Chicago, explaining the importance of innovation during a “reset” of the economy.

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In Round 2, Jammie Thomas Jury Awards RIAA $1,920,000

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes “Well the price went up from 50 per song file to ,000 per song file, as the jury awarded the RIAA statutory damages of ,920,000.00 for infringement of 24 MP3s, in Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset. In this trial, although the defendant had an expert witness of her own, she never called him to testify, and her attorneys never challenged the technical evidence offered by the RIAA’s MediaSentry and Doug Jacobson. Also, neither the special verdict form nor the jury instructions spelled out what the elements of a ‘distribution’ are, or what needed to be established by the plaintiffs in order to recover statutory — as opposed to actual — damages. No doubt there will now have to be a third trial, and no doubt the unreasonableness of the verdict will lend support to those arguing that the RIAA’s statutory damages theory is unconstitutional.”

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on In Round 2, Jammie Thomas Jury Awards RIAA $1,920,000

Bill Ready To Ban ISP Caps In the US

xclr8r writes “Eric Massa, a congressman representing a district in western New York, has a bill ready that would start treating Internet providers like a utility and stop the use of caps. Nearby locales have been used as test beds for the new caps, so this may have made the constituents raise the issue with their representative.”

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Dell Drums Up Virtualization-in-a-Box


Less than three months after announcing a slew of products and services to propel its thrust into the data center market, Dell on Wednesday released several out-of-the-box virtualization solutions targeting both enterprises and SMBs. These are aimed at simplifying virtualization and helping customers cut their costs. In addition to hardware and hypervisors, Dell is offering virtualization, lifecycle and system management capabilities. Dell also announced a set of flexible, modular virtualization consulting services.

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Why Hard Disk Is a Better Bargain Than SSD

Lucas123 writes “While solid state disk may be all the rage, what’s often being overlooked in the current consumer market hype is that fact that hard disk drive prices are at an all-time low — offering users good performance and massive amounts of capacity for 10 to 30 cents a gigabyte. And in a side by side comparison of overall performance of consumer SSDs and HDDs, it’s hard to justify spending 10 times as much for a little more speed.”

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