Thursday, April 09, 2009

Yet another example of management not recognizing what must have been right in front of their eyes. Someone must look for obvious fraud patterns like “funds transferred in and immediately withdrawn.”

Internet hacker hits bank account

by By CHERIE TAYLOR, 09.04.2009

… The police's summary of facts states that from June 2008, a small group of people in Hamilton found a way to access the National Bank internet website and transfer money from one account to another, creating credits in their own or a nominated bank account.

The money was then withdrawn the next day before the money was dishonoured for insufficient funds. This then put both accounts into overdraft.

The scheme became widely known to criminals in the following months before the scam was picked up, the summary states.

In November, the scale of transactions and reversals became large enough to become noticed in the banking world.

This is becoming clearer, but now suggests some new and frightening risks for anyone outsourcing to locations in the US. This could be crippling for businesses with tight resources.

Company Caught in Texas Data Center Raid Loses Suit Against FBI

By Kim Zetter April 08, 2009 11:58:39 AM

A company whose servers were seized in a recent FBI raid on Texas data centers applied for a temporary restraining order to force the bureau to return its servers, but was denied by a U.S. district court last week.

… The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied the request (.pdf), however, after holding an ex parte discussion with FBI Special Agent Allyn Lynd, who led the raid. Lynd told the court that the owner of the co-location facility was being investigated for fraud and that even though Liquid Motors was not part of the investigation, its equipment might have been used to facilitate fraud by others.

… The FBI told the court it would work over the weekend to create mirror images of the data from Liquid Motors' servers and provide it to the company by Monday of this week. In order to do so, the FBI asked the company to provide the agency with blank hard drives for copying the data.

Mark Bureck, executive vice president for Liquid Motors, said his company did get its data back after supplying the FBI with hard drives, but that the company had to buy all new servers to restore its business.

[From the Court's denial:

However the speed of this copying was subject to the availability of hard drives onto which the data can be copied. The extent that plaintiff could provide blank hard drives onto which the copies could be made would facilitate the speed with which the data copies could be returned to plaintiff. [Sounds like the FBI will make no effort to provide copies unless the victims pay for the drives? Would standard backup to CDs or DVDs be possible? NOTE that the FBI must make forensically sound copies of these drives (for the defense, if nothing else) and I always assumed (silly me) that they would release the hard drives at that time. The judge did order some returned after copying – why not all? Bob]

Change in Washington. Obama is Bushier than Bush? Government can never do anything wrong?

In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ's New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's (Commentary)

Thursday, April 09 2009 @ 05:38 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews

Friday evening, in a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA, EFF's litigation against the National Security Agency for the warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans, the Obama Administration's made two deeply troubling arguments.

Source - EFF

Related - Watch EFF attorney Kevin Bankston on Keith Olbermann's show last night.

[From the article:

Sad as that is, it's the Department Of Justice's second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.

I'm not a lawyer (don't even play one on TV) but isn't this argument essentially: “We don't think we'll like what they will say about us?”

Appeals Court Weighs RIAA Trial Broadcast

By David Kravets April 08, 2009 5:35:21 PM

… In court documents, the RIAA objected to a lower court's decision allowing the pretrial broadcast of Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum's challenge to allegations he purloined copyrighted music on a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Among other reasons, the RIAA claimed that a broadcast of the hearing from a Massachusetts federal court "will be readily subject to editing and manipulation by any reasonably tech-savvy individual."

… Ironically, the court audio-recorded the hearing, which can be heard here (MP3 audio file).

Ray Beckerman of Recording Industry vs The People has compiled the court records related to the case.

Related? At least a clear legal opinion...

Court: your MySpace page isn't private

Thursday, April 09 2009 @ 06:17 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A college student's rant against her small town provoked such intense backlash that her family had to move—but a California court has ruled that you can't cry "invasion of privacy" when people circulate what you've posted to your MySpace page.

Source - Ars Technica

[From the article:

On the privacy claim, Fifth District Court of Appeal Justice Bert Levy concluded that it was Moreno who had decided to make her rant public:

“We don't know what it is, but we don't like it!”

A.P. Exec Doesn’t Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos

by Erick Schonfeld on April 8, 2009

Here is another great moment in A.P. history. In its quest to become the RIAA of the newspaper industry, the A.P.’s executives and lawyers are beginning to match their counterparts in the music industry for cluelessness. A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter from an A.P. vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the A.P.’s official Youtube channel on its Website.

You cannot make this stuff up. Forget for a moment that WTNQ is itself an A.P. affiliate and that the A.P. shouldn’t be harassing its own members. Apparently, nobody told the A.P. executive that the august news organization even has a YouTube channel which the A.P. itself controls, and that someone at the A.P. decided that it is probably a good idea to turn on the video embedding function on so that its videos can spread virally across the Web, along with the ads in the videos.

Related. We're being good citizens because everyone knows Pirate Bay. We can still allow out users access to lesser known sites without a high risk of being sued. It's not ethics, it's economics. (Is 'failure to block' the same as 'endorsement?')

Facebook Blocks All Pirate Bay Links

Written by Ernesto on April 08, 2009

It was less than two weeks ago when The Pirate Bay implemented a new feature making it easier for site users to post links to torrents on their Facebook profile, so their friends can download those torrents with just a single click.

The entertainment industries were not happy with the new feature, but since The Pirate Bay is not exclusively used to spread copyrighted material, there wasn’t much they could do about it. Facebook users responded positively and many began posting torrent links in their profile. This integration of the world’s largest tracker and the world’s largest social networking site generated hundreds of news articles and excitement. But it wasn’t to last.

This morning Facebook decided to put an end to the sharing and blocked not only the feature, but all links to Pirate Bay’s torrents.

… Facebook’s censorship policies are not very consistent though. Mininova and isoHunt, two other large BitTorrent sites remain unaffected, even though isoHunt offers the exact same ‘Share on Facebook’ feature as The Pirate Bay previously did.

Geeks do like to share (show off their knowledge?) and detailed questions often produce a large number of useful suggestions. Review the comments to see if any are useful to you. (Catalogs of research?)

Building a Searchable Literature Archive With Keywords?

Posted by timothy on Wednesday April 08, @04:20PM from the must-be-in-here-somewhere dept. Data Storage Databases

Sooner Boomer writes

"I'm trying to help drag a professor I work with into the 20th century. Although he is involved in cutting-edge research (nanotechnology), his method of literature search is to begin with digging through the hundreds of 3-ring binders that contain articles (usually from PDFs) that he has printed out. Even though the binders are labeled, the articles can only go under one 'heading' and there's no way to do a keyword search on subject, methods, materials, etc. Yeah, google is pretty good for finding stuff, as are other on-line literature services, but they only work for articles that are already on-line. His literature also includes articles copied from books, professional correspondence, and other sources. Is there a FOSS database or archive method (preferably with a web interface) where he could archive the PDFs and scanned documents and be able to search by keywords? It would also be nice to categorize them under multiple subject headings if possible. I know this has been covered ad nauseum with things like photos and the like, but I'm not looking at storage as such: instead I'm trying to find what's stored."

For the Swiss Army folder. Three tools I'll definitely probably need someday, maybe.

Screencastle puts software-free screen recording in your browser

by Josh Lowensohn April 8, 2009 3:15 PM PDT

We don't do too many screencasts here on Webware. But when we do, my personal favorite is Telestream's Screenflow. It's a nice app, but it's Mac-only which means I can't use it when I'm on my office PC. In keeping with the mission statement of this blog, worth a look is software-free alternative Screencastle. This Java-based tool will record a select region of your screen and any audio from your computer's microphone. It then hosts it for you, complete with download links so you or your users can download a local copy for offline viewing.

… Screencastle is a consumer-friendly demo of Skoffer, an open service for adding software-free screen recording to Web apps or support sites to make it easier for people to create how-to's or document problems. There's even a WordPress plug-in which puts a small recording button in the compose window so you can record something on the screen to drop into your post.

See also: Screencast-O-Matic

Related. - Screen Recordings Made Easy

Do you need to make a presentation? Do you need to explain to others the way your current project will work? Now you have a tool you can use in order to give other people an accurate representation of what you can see in your head. works in a very simple way and gives you the possibility to record, edit and share the different movies, websites, and programs, in addition to the processes you usually see in your computer’s screen everyday.

Something for those Visual Communications students.

Now on YouTube: First Movie Ever Made

By Chris Snyder April 07, 2009 12:11:13 PM

In the latest effort to bridge the disconnect between the government and new media, the Library of Congress officially launched its YouTube channel Tuesday.

The debut includes 70 historical videos from its vast collection, such as the first-ever movie (a man sneezing), 100-year-old films from the Thomas Edison studio and industrial films from Westinghouse factories.

The launch follows a collaboration last year with Flickr's "The Commons," when the Library of Congress released thousands of non-copyright images to the photo sharing service with 50 new photos uploaded each week.

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