Hey! They bought those voters fair and square – give 'em back! (No doubt we will have an equally severe Republican data spill... Makes you wonder who will claim to be the “Party of Privacy”)
Hard drive containing Ark. Democratic Party data sold on eBay
Imagine Bill Ries-Knight's surprise when he purchased a supposedly new hard drive on eBay only to discover it contained information from the Arkansas Democratic Party.
As it that weren't bad enough, Ries-Knight, who lives in Stockton, Calif., said none of the information was encrypted and only a small amount of it was password protected.
In a telephone interview, Ries-Knight, a computer technician, said that while he didn't look at all the files on the drive, he did determine that the data included the private cell phone numbers of Democratic members of Arkansas' congressional delegation and of financial contributors to the party, including U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, as well as U.S. Reps. Marion Berry, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder.
Source - Computerworld
Coming soon to a legislature near you!
Calif. bill holding retailers responsible for breach costs advances
Retailers hoping to convince California lawmakers not to pass a proposed bill that would require them to pay banks and credit unions for the costs associated with a data breach lost another important round Thursday.
The state's Senate Appropriations Committee approved the landmark Consumer Data Protection Act or AB 779, by a 13-2 vote late Thursday. The measure, authored by Assemblyman Dave Jones, (D-Sacramento), won overwhelming approval (58-2) in the State Assembly in early June.
The bill is now expected to go before the full Senate in as little as a week. If approved, it would then go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his approval.
Source - Computerworld
Is Colorado in danger of becoming California?
Illegal immigration crackdown jeopardized
By Mark P. Couch Denver Post Staff Writer Article Launched: 08/31/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT
A conflict between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement is jeopardizing the effectiveness of a new Colorado State Patrol unit set up to crack down on illegal immigration.
In early August, the State Patrol's newly created Immigration Enforcement Unit pulled over a van loaded with 18 suspected illegal immigrants on Interstate 70 near the Utah border.
But the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency failed to respond to the State Patrol's request for help. [Perhaps they take August off? Bob]
In addition, the Garfield County jail - the nearest jail with available cells to hold the suspects - is no longer considered an allowable detention facility by ICE because the sheriff allows his officers to carry Tasers. [“We would much rather have these people shot than give them an excuse to sue...” Bob]
"Without knowing more, whether this is something that is going to be an issue across the state, and possibly across the country, our efforts in Colorado to crack down on illegal immigration are again being thwarted by the federal government," said Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Gov. Bill Ritter.
... Carl Rusnok, public affairs officer for ICE in Dallas, said the suspects were not detained because "we did not have the detention space."
... Rusnok said he could not answer questions about the Taser policy.
... A spokeswoman in ICE's Washington, D.C., office referred questions to Rusnok on Wednesday.
On Aug. 7, when the State Patrol pulled over the van, the Garfield County jail had "room in the inn," Vallario said, but ICE had already revoked its contract [You need a contract with ICE to jail lawbreakers? Bob] allowing the county to hold suspected illegal immigrants.
Interesting at many levels...
Spamhaus off the hook for $11 million judgment
By Eric Bangeman | Published: August 31, 2007 - 01:00PM CT
Last year, Spamhaus found itself on the wrong end of a $11.7 million default judgment awarded to online marketing firm e360insight after it decided not to fight the case due to its belief that US courts had no jurisdiction over the group because of its location in the UK. Yesterday, an appeals court overturned the award, sending the case back down to a lower court.
Based in the UK, the not-for-profit Spamhaus maintains a blacklist of known spammers and spam operations that is used by ISPs to help filter the spam from legitimate e-mail. Its antispam crusade has drawn the ire of some spammers, including e360insight owner David Linhardt, who sued Spamhaus in federal court.
... In its opinion (PDF), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals noted that while Spamhaus intentionally decided against mounting a defense in the case, the court erred by awarding damages and ordering Spamhaus to exonerate e360insight of spamming. "The district court failed to undertake an inquiry into the proof of damages and the necessity of injunctive relief and issued an injunction that is overbroad," wrote the court. [Wouldn't that apply in the reverse – where (for instance) TJX or Ohio University asserts that their data spills caused no damage to the cardholders? Bob]
As a result, the default judgment stands, but the lower court will now have to consider the remedy once again. It's important to note that since the appeals court declined to overturn the original finding, further court action will be only related to the damages e360insight should be awarded. Ironically, Spamhaus' original decision to not fight the original lawsuit because it believed that it is not subject to the jurisdiction of a US District Court because it is based in the UK may have proven to be effective—if it had decided to show up in court and make the argument.
Sounds like this should improve research dramatically
Original stories, from the source
Friday, August 31, 2007 10:48 AM Posted by Josh Cohen, Business Product Manager
Today we’re launching a new feature on Google News that will help you quickly and easily find original stories from news publishers -- including stories from some of the top news agencies in the world, such as the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press -- and go directly to the original source to read more.
... Enter “duplicate detection.” Duplicate detection means we’ll be able to display a better variety of sources with less duplication. Instead of 20 “different” articles (which actually used the exact same content), we'll show the definitive original copy and give credit to the original journalist.
... Because the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press don't have a consumer website where they publish their content, they have not been able to benefit from the traffic that Google News drives to other publishers. As a result, we’re hosting it on Google News. [Huge change! Expect multiple (stupid) lawsuits! Bob]
Attention Law School students! This could be the outline for a paper.
What to do when the RIAA comes callig
Great Engadget technology law article!
Another demonstration of techno-illiteracy ?
Watchdog presses ISPs to clamp down on illegal net use
Asher Moses August 30, 2007 - 4:10PM
The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft is pressing ahead with its proposal to have internet service providers send warning notices to customers who have been identified as illegal downloaders, and disconnect the services of repeat offenders.
... AFACT says the ISPs are not doing enough to combat the illegal downloading of movies and music, which it says increases ISPs' costs by chewing up bandwidth [Interesting argument. Bob] and robs income from those who sell the content legally.
A report produced last year by web monitoring company Envisional found the per capita rate of television show piracy in Australia was the highest in the world. It said Australians accounted for 15.6 per cent of all online TV piracy.
... She proposes that AFACT would identify the internet addresses of those suspected of illegal downloading and pass those details on to the ISPs, which would be able to identify the specific customers. [Would AFACT then assume all liability for their errors? Bob]
... Ms Pecotic said her proposal was reasonable because ISPs already state in their contracts that their customers cannot use their internet connections for illegal activity.
A history of bad decisions – not the courts, SCO's management
SCO Wants Summary Ruling, Wants To Appeal Unix Ownership Decision
Posted by Zonk on Friday August 31, @01:54PM from the before-the-door-shuts dept. Patents Caldera The Courts Linux
An anonymous reader writes "SCO is asking the court to enter a final judgment on the Unix ownership issues so that it can seek an immediate appeal. The logic for this, according to Groklaw Editor Pamela Jones, is that SCO would rather appeal right away so it can try all its claims at IBM, should it successfully appeal the judge's order. Otherwise, SCO has to wait until Novell goes through trial to a verdict and then appeal, and while it is in the appeal process, IBM would go forward in its now much smaller version, based on the August 10th ruling ... The trial starts, though, in less than a month and it will last less than a week, so none of this makes any sense if you look at a calendar. I think, therefore, it must be about FUD, so it sounds like SCO is on the move again.' The text of the request is available online. "
A baseline minimum for your IT Security?
August 30, 2007
NIST Guide to Secure Web Services
August 29, 2007: "NIST announces the publication of Special Publication (SP) 800-95, Guide to Secure Web Services (128 pages, PDF). SP 800-95 seeks to assist organizations in understanding the challenges in integrating information security practices into Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) design and development based on Web services. The publication also provides practical, real-world guidance on current and emerging standards applicable to Web services, as well as background information on the most common security threats to SOAs based on Web services. SP 800-95 presents information that is largely independent of particular hardware platforms, operating systems, and applications. Supplementary security devices (i.e., perimeter security appliances) are considered outside the scope of this publication. Interfaces between Web services components and supplementary controls are noted as such throughout this publication on a case-by-case basis."
Bob's Rule: “On the Internet, someone will rat you out.” Bob's First Corollary: If a politician thinks he can gain a slight advantage by breaking a rule, that rule is history.
August 30, 2007
Anonymous Lawmaker Helps to Build OpenCRS Database
"A member of Congress has agreed to provide [Center for Democracy and Technology} CDT with a running list of new Congressional Research Service reports in order to help bolster CDT's OpenCRS project, which provides the reports to the public at no cost. CRS generates in-depth, non-partisan research on a wide range of issues critical to Americans, but while the taxpayer-funded reports are unclassified, the government has never made them readily available to the public. Drawing on the catalog provided by the lawmaker -- who asked to remain anonymous -- CDT has created a list of "fugitive" reports that are not yet in the database. OpenCRS is an interactive project that encourages users to obtain and add new reports to the database."
Given the tools to discover this type of modification, I've been seeing many, many stories like this one.
Ark. Computers Delete Huckabee Criticism
By JON GAMBRELL Associated Press Writer Aug 31, 5:28 PM EDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Internet criticism of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's involvement in the pardon of a castrated rapist and his heavy use of a state airplane disappeared with a mouse click.
Such edits are common on Wikipedia, a collaborative Internet reference site where anyone can add, change or even delete entries. But the changes made to pages about the former governor, current Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and others were made using state government computers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of records from Wikipedia and the state.
Anyone can do R&D
Innovation through Global Collaboration: A New Source of Competitive Advantage
Published: August 31, 2007 Paper Release Date: July 2007, revised August 2007 Authors: Alan MacCormack, Theodore Forbath, Peter Brooks, and Patrick Kalaher
Collaboration is becoming a new and important source of competitive advantage. No longer is the creation and pursuit of new ideas the bastion of large, central R&D departments within vertically integrated organizations. Instead, innovations are increasingly brought to the market by networks of firms, selected according to their comparative advantages, and operating in a coordinated manner. This paper reports on a study of the strategies and practices used by firms that achieve greater success in terms of business value in their collaborative innovation efforts. Key concepts include:
* Consider the strategic role of collaboration, organize effectively for collaboration, and make long-term investments to develop collaborative capabilities. Successful firms found that attention to these 3 critical areas generated new options to create value that competitors could not replicate.
* Successful firms went beyond simple wage arbitrage, asking global partners to contribute knowledge and skills to projects, with a focus on improving their top line. They redesigned their organizations to increase the effectiveness of these efforts.
* Managing collaboration the same way a firm handles the outsourcing of production is a flawed approach. Production and innovation are fundamentally different activities and have different objectives.
Trying to be the RIAA? Is there anyone who can see beyond the “we can, therefore we must” paradigm? (see next article)
Science Fiction Writers Write DMCA Takedowns
Posted by Zonk on Friday August 31, @03:21PM from the quit-using-our-free-stuff-for-free dept. Sci-Fi Books The Courts
TheGreatGraySkwid writes “With an ironic lack of forward thinking, the Science Fiction Writers of America (or, more specifically, their Vice President Andrew Burt) have issued scattershot DMCA takedown notices against numerous items on the document-sharing site Scribd, many of which were not infringing on SFWA copyrights in any way. It appears that a simple keyword search for prominent science fiction names (like 'Asimov' and 'Silverburg') was used to determine which documents were to be singled out. Included in the documents was Cory Doctorow's 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom,' which was released under the Creative Commons license and is freely available at any number of places. Doctorow is up in arms over at BoingBoing, with several other Science Fiction notables speaking up in the comments."
Direct application to Open Source? At least I see it that way...
Exclusivity and Control
Published: August 31, 2007 Paper Release Date: August 2007 Authors: Andrei Hagiu and Robin S. Lee
Music, television shows, movies, Internet and mobile content, computer software, and other forms of media often require a consumer to join a platform in order to access or utilize the media. This affiliation may take the form of a subscription to a distribution channel or purchase of a hardware device. One of the primary means of differentiation and competition between platforms for consumer adoption is the acquisition of premium or quality content. However, whether or not certain content is exclusive to one platform or is present on multiple platforms varies significantly from industry to industry. One can even view Apple's exclusive U.S. provision of the iPhone to AT&T as even more variation in the degree of exclusivity across industries. Why is it that some forms of content are available only on one platform, while others are distributed through several or all platforms available—that is, they "multihome"? This paper analyzes industry propensity for exclusivity and presents a model of platform competition. The key driving force is the nature of the relationship between the content and the platforms: outright sale (all control rights, particularly over content pricing, are transferred from the content provider to the platform) or affiliation (the content provider maintains control rights over pricing). Key concepts include:
* The key is control rights over factors such as content pricing and cash flow. Strategic interactions around control rights between platforms and the content provider can push the industry structure in either direction.
* High-quality content will multihome, because foreclosing a portion of the market by being exclusive will be too costly. [So why does Microsoft ignore users of other browsers? Bob] Mid-quality content will be exclusive and can soften price competition at the platform level enough to offset the losses from excluding a portion of the market. Low-quality content will multihome, since it would not yield any comparative advantage if it were exclusive.
* A platform that has exclusive rights to content may prefer to relinquish control over pricing and associated revenues to the content provider in order to relax price competition with a rival platform.
Just a suspicion, but isn't it possible a Google Geek just stuck this in for his own amusement? (However it does fit my interpretation of Google's strategy: “Try to have a Google version of everything”)
Friday, August 31, 2007
Google Earth Flight Simulator
Some time last week, Google expanded Google Earth with Google Sky. As fascinating as Google Sky is, that's not the focus of this post. Along with the latest update comes a hidden feature of which I cannot seem to find any other information about. It's not in the release notes and a search on Google produces no results. Seems Google have done one of their unpublicised updates they're becoming well-known for.
What I'm talking about is a flight simulator embedded within GE.