Wednesday, July 11, 2012

They failed with the “All your begs in one ask-it” so now we can expect one runny, soft boiled idea at a time.
"While it didn't get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.'s 'IP attaches.' If you're unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are 'diplomats' (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood's personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for 'aggressive support for enforcement action' throughout the world. ... In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the U.S. government. It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA... but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal."

Something for Statistics class...
"The Economist is reporting on two research teams, one at Harvard and another at the University of Hong Kong, who have developed software to detect what posts to Chinese social media get censored. 'The team has built up a database comprising more than 11m posts that were made on 1,382 Chinese internet forums. Perhaps their most surprising result is that posts critical of the government are not rigorously censored. On the other hand, posts that have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.' Chinese censors may soon have to deal with an unprecedented transparency of their actions."

A bluff, or confidence?
Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Offers to Surrender to the FBI, at a Price
Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload associates are seeking to break the legal impasse between him and the FBI, by offering to fly to the United States without an extradition hearing in New Zealand.
In return, Dotcom demands a fair trial guarantee and return of money to support their families and to pay legal fees which are thought to be in the millions of dollars after several months of court battles.
Dotcom and seven top employees of MegaUpload are charged by U.S. authorities with operating a criminal conspiracy to violate copyright laws that netted over $500 million in ads and subscription fees. The feds seized MegaUpload’s domains and servers, as well as Dotcom’s bank accounts and fancy cars in January.
The ever-provocative Dotcom tweeted Wednesday: “Hey DOJ, we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.”

Not in the constitution, nor is it unconstitutional. Perhaps “aconstitutional?”
July 10, 2012
CRS - Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers
Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers. Kathleen S. Swendiman, Legislative Attorney, July 9, 2012
  • "The health care reform debate raises many complex issues including those of coverage, accessibility, cost, accountability, and quality of health care. Underlying these policy considerations are issues regarding the status of health care as a constitutional or legal right. This report analyzes constitutional and legal issues pertaining to a right to health care, as well as the power of Congress to enact and fund health care programs. The United States Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, which upheld most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act/ACA), is also discussed. The United States Constitution does not set forth an explicit right to health care, and the Supreme Court has never interpreted the Constitution as guaranteeing a right to health care services from the government for those who cannot afford it. The Supreme Court has, however, held that the government has an obligation to provide medical care in certain limited circumstances, such as for prisoners."

Attention Ethical Hackers. Perhaps you should park in the back?
Gone in 3 Minutes: Keyless BMWs a Boon to Hacker Thieves
You’ve recently spent $64,000 on your flash new BMW with keyless entry. But when you wake up one morning, you discover, in a different kind of flash, that it’s gone, stolen by hacker thieves who used the car’s keyless feature to pinch your luxury ride.
This is the reality for a growing number of BMW owners in the United Kingdom who have recently become victim to a spate of thefts, thanks to a couple of security vulnerabilities in the car’s systems.

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