Overreaction or political a** covering?
After data loss, VA research centers closed
By Rick Maze - firstname.lastname@example.org Posted : Friday Feb 16, 2007 15:00:16 EST
The secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department has ordered seven research centers to cease activity until it is clear that all electronically stored personal data is protected by encryption.
The order, which applies to VA Research Enhancement Awards Program (REAP) sites, comes after the loss of a hard drive in Birmingham, Ala., that contained personal information on more than 500,000 veterans and 1.3 million non-VA physicians. Although the VA had issued instructions last year that personal data was supposed to be encrypted, investigators found that the external hard drive lost in Alabama was not secured.
... VA Secretary R. James Nicholson said he did not know why the data was not encrypted but has ordered the other research centers to cease all research activity until each site is inspected by the VA’s office of information technology.
The Internet as a tool for political control.
Decree obliges Internet cafe owners to report customers visiting illegal websites to police, record navigations
Français: Des cybercafés transformés en auxiliaires de police
Country/Topic: Belarus Date: 16 February 2007 Source: Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Person(s): Target(s): web dissident(s) Type(s) of violation(s): legal action
(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has condemned a decree adopted by the council of ministers which forces owners of cybercafés and Internet clubs to report Internet users looking at illegal websites to the police.
The new law, approved on 10 February 2007, also obliges proprietors to record the last year of Internet navigation on their computers.
"On the pretext of wanting to monitor pornographic or violent websites, the Belarus authorities are really seeking to censor opposition websites and independent media, "the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
"The decree will force cybercafé proprietors to turn themselves into police officers. Internet users will be pushed into self-censorship and none of them will dare to go on to websites which displease the authorities."
Ooo, it's not fair!
YouTube Anti-Piracy Software Policy Draws Fire
February 16, 2007 By Kenneth Li, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters)—The media industry is clashing with YouTube over its proposal to offer anti-piracy tools only to companies that have distribution deals [Everyone else can buy their own! Bob] with the top online video-sharing service, media insiders said.
YouTube, owned by Google, plans to introduce technology to help media companies identify pirated videos uploaded by users. But the tools are currently being offered as part of broader negotiations on licensing deals, they said. [So is cash. Will they want that next? Bob]
The move contrasts with YouTube's biggest rival, News Corp.'s, popular Internet social network, MySpace, which said on Feb. 12 it would offer its own version of copyright protection services for free.
... Viacom has become the poster child of dissent against YouTube, trying to prevent the site from turning into the Apple Inc. of online video.
... Some legal experts said YouTube has no obligation to invest heavily in leading-edge technology only to give it away. [Only some? Bob]
... (For more coverage of the story, visit Reuters MediaFile blog http://blogs.reuters.com/category/themes/mediafile/ )
Next Generation Data Auditing for Data Breach Detection and Risk Mitigation
February 16, 2007
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Since I have the artistic ability of a turnip, this looks interesting...
February 17, 2007
Get Color Schemes from Pictures
Filed under: Multimedia-Images
Fun color tools! Ever seen a picture from which you wanted to extract the colors? There’s a nifty tool for doing so at http://www.pic2color.com/ .
Is very simple. Go to the site and enter the URL of an image. (You can also click on the Flickr logo and get a random picture from Flickr.) To test the site I went to Dooce.com and got a picture of her dog, Chuck, with a Dora the Explorer balanced on his head. (At http://www.dooce.com/photos/dailyphoto/02_16_2007.jpg if you want.)
After a few moments (it’s a bit of a slow loader) I got a page with a smaller version of the picture and a color palette underneath. Click on a color for the color’s hex value. Clicking on the Finetune button gives you a popup with palette suggestions and tools for adjusting the color.