Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not exactly Identity Theft, call it Reputation Modification?

Man Gets 12-Year Jail Sentence For Planting Child Porn On Enemy's Computer

Posted by Soulskill on Friday September 24, @01:16PM

An anonymous reader writes with an update to a story we discussed in August about Neil Weiner, a man who sought to ruin the life of a school caretaker by planting child pornography on his computer. Weiner has now been convicted on two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

"The judge told Weiner that his plot to have Mr. Thompson sacked and prosecuted very nearly succeeded. Police had been careful not to make public their arrest of the caretaker and only informed those at the school who needed to know, he said. 'But you gratuitously and spitefully informed the local press so that he and his wife suffered the distress of the unwelcome publicity which followed.' Mr. Thompson's health and that of his wife suffered. The judge said: 'There are still those who believe, and probably always will, that he is a pedophile. I am wholly satisfied that Mr. Thompson is innocent.' ... Weiner had discovered the caretaker's password by looking over his shoulder one day and been caught doing so. When Mr. Thompson was asked why he did not change it, he said he wished he had, adding: 'Who in their worst nightmares would could have thought that anyone could stoop to do what he did?'"

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We can do anything we want. We don't need no “due process.” If they operated in Colorado, could I have your service disconnected by filing complaints?

US ISP Adopts Three-Strikes Policy

Posted by timothy on Friday September 24, @07:09PM

"Suddenlink, a United States ISP that serves nineteen states, has implemented a three-strikes policy. Subscribers who receive three DMCA takedown notices are disconnected without compensation for a period of six months. According to TorrentFreak, the takedown notices do not have to be substantiated in court, which effectively means that subscribers can be disconnected based on mere accusations. In justifying the policy, Suddenlink turns to an obscure provision of their Terms of Service, but also claims that they are required by the DMCA to disconnect repeat offenders."

If “A” medical procedure can be mandated, could “ANY” medical procedure be mandated?

Lawsuit filed over AnMed’s required flu shot policy

September 24, 2010 by Dissent

Mike Ellis reports:

Bertha Hunter has not had a flu shot in her life and she doesn’t intend to get one just because AnMed Health is requiring all its employees to get one.

Hunter, an AnMed Health employee, is suing the Anderson healthcare company on grounds that the hospital’s mandatory shots are a violation of her privacy.

The lawsuit challenges AnMed Health’s policy of requiring employees to get influenza shots, a policy that was announced in a Sept. 15 e-mail sent to employees.


Thank God for Pirates! (Since this was a copy for private viewing, and no one in baseball thought to do it, what kind of legal battles will it generate if someone wants to sell copies?)

Bing Crosby, Television Sports Preservationist

Posted by timothy on Friday September 24, @11:08PM

Hugh Pickens submits news first gleaned from a now-paywalled article at the New York Times (and, happily, widely reported) that

"The hunt for a copy of the seventh and deciding game of the 1960 World Series, considered one of the greatest games ever played and long believed to be lost forever, has come to an end in the home of Bing Crosby, a canny preservationist of his own legacy, who kept a half-century's worth of records, tapes and films in the wine cellar turned vault in his Hillsborough, California home. Crosby loved baseball, but as a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates he was too nervous to watch the Series against the Yankees, so he and his wife went to Paris, where they listened by radio. Crosby knew he would want to watch the game later — if his Pirates won — so he hired a company to record Game 7 by kinescope, an early relative of the DVR, filming off a television monitor. The five-reel set, found in December in Crosby's home, is the only known complete copy of the game, in which Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a game-ending home run to beat the Yankees, 10-9."

Speaking of Pirates... Shouldn't you expect some to retaliate?

UK Anti-Piracy Firm E-mails Reveal Cavalier Attitude Toward Legal Threats

Posted by timothy on Saturday September 25, @08:17AM

"A recent DDoS attack against a UK-based anti-pirating firm, ACS:Law, has resulted in a large backup archive of the server contents being made available for download, [and this archive] is now being hosted by the Pirate Bay. Within this archive are e-mails from Andrew Crossley basically admitting that he is running a scam job, sending out thousands of frivolous legal threats on the premise that a percentage pay up immediately to avoid legal hassles."

Convienient for you, jackpot for my hackers...

Apple Leaves Another ‘Autocomplete’ Privacy Bug In Safari Unfixed

September 24, 2010 by Dissent

Andy Greenberg writes:

If you use Apple’s Safari browser and care about your privacy, it may be time to turn off the “autocomplete” function that conveniently fills in your personal details on websites. That, or stop typing the letter “U.”

Web security guru Jeremiah Grossman described on his blog Thursday a technique that a website can use to trick a visitor’s Safari browser’s autocomplete function into giving up his or her name, address, email, phone number and other sensitive contact details.

Read more on Forbes.

[From the article:

Here’s how the privacy exploit would work: When a user is filling out a form in Safari, he or she can type the first letter of just one field–say, name or street address–and the full name will be offered up by Safari’s autocomplete, using the name that the user originally registered in the PC’s operating system. A lesser-known shortcut: Press “tab” after that first entry, and every field on the page will be automatically filled from the user’s registration form.

That means, Grossman says, that if a user can be tricked into typing just a single letter and tab, all of his or her details can be stolen by a hidden form on the site.

...on second thought...

Va. court reconsiders police GPS use

September 24, 2010 by Dissent

Tom Jackman reports:

Two weeks after the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that it was fine for police to use portable global positioning systems to track criminal suspects, the court has now decided to rehear the case, according to an order entered on Thursday.

The court ruled in the case of David L. Foltz Jr., a convicted sex offender whom Fairfax County police suspected might be assaulting women in the Falls Church area. Detectives placed a global positioning system device inside the bumper of his work van, then reviewed his movements and found he had been in the vicinity of a recent assault.

Update: I got so excited that I forgot to post the link to the full coverage:

Now will you believe me? I recommend Khan Academy to my Math students, but can't convince the other professors to join me. (Hey Google! How about a $2,000,000 award to a blog that serves no useful purposr what-so-ever?)

Google Announces Project 10^100 Winners

Posted by Soulskill on Friday September 24, @01:59PM

Kilrah_il writes with news that Google has selected winners for Project 10^100, a contest to find the best ideas to change the world. Among the winners is the Khan Academy, which we've discussed previously. Google is "providing $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages." The other winning projects are: FIRST, an organization fostering math and science education through team competition; Public.Resource.Org, a government transparency effort focused on online access to public documents; Shweeb, a silly-looking method of human-powered urban transit; and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, a center aimed at promoting graduate-level math and science education in Africa.

A useful tool?

Organize Your PDF Files and Collaboratively Research With Mendeley

… A while back, I wrote about three useful research tools. Unfortunately, while those solutions cited sources, they don’t deal very well with organizing or sharing files, especially during collaborative research. Jeffry covered some cool techniques to share research files, but that approach is a little difficult to track and manage citations for those files.

Luckily, after quite a bit of digging and trying out a few applications, I’ve discovered a free application and research social network called Mendeley which does it all. With Mendeley, you have a desktop application linked with an online account. Together, they archive and organize your PDF documents, web pages, videos – anything at all that you want to use in your research, complete with full citations. As if that weren’t enough, Mendeley lets you create research groups which you can share your research with. It’s like a researcher’s dream come true.

A site to help my students decypher technical documents? (Claims to adjust to your leel of knowledge...)

ReadEasy: Make your reading experience & comprehension better

… ReadEasy is a free to use website that aims to make your online reading experience a lot more convenient than it currently is. Before you get started with its service, it is advisable to create an account as you will need it later on. The next step is to upload a document file. Supported formats include PDF, EPUB, DOC, DOCX, ODT, RTF, HTML, HTM, LIT, PDB, FB2, and RB. If the text is online, simply copy it from your browser and save it in one of those file formats.

After you upload your document, the site analyzes it. A reader friendly interface is shown in which the meanings of infrequently used words are highlighted and described as side-notes. You can zoom in and out of the document, search for a particular word, print it for $0.99, or discard it.

The service attempts to remove all problems faced while reading articles online, and does a good job of it.

Similar tools: PDF-XChange Viewer, Nuance, Skim, FoxIt Reader,

Also read related articles:

4 Really Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader
6 Ways To Convert A PDF To A JPG Image
How To Convert A PDF File Into A Flash Movie.

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