Tech News Today 465
Recorded: 26 March 2012
Published: 26 March 2012
Tech News Today 465:Moving at the speed of law
IS Comcast violating net neutrality? Microsoft rides with the US Marshals, Android smokes Windows Phone, and more.
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- FTC Urges Congress to Pass Digital-Privacy Law
- FTC Calls for “Privacy by Design”
- FTC stops short of calling for new 'Do Not Track' law
- FTC issued a 57-page report on privacy
- calls for “privacy by design,” simplified choices and greater transparency.
- FTC passed the report 3-1, with Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch dissenting for a few reasons, one of which was concern that the FTC is effectively mandating that Internet services will become “opt in” by design, even when that’s impractical or unnecessary.
- asks Congress to enact a new law that "would provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker"
- Do Not Track: This is probably the furthest along. Browser vendors are now offering do-not-track options for consumers to limit data collection, the Digital Advertising Alliance is committed to respecting them, and standards bodies are working to standardize.
- Mobile: The FTC wants to make mobile privacy protections “short, effective and accessible to consumers on small screens.”
- Data Brokers: This is a bigger one. The FTC wants a centralized Web site where data brokers identify themselves and disclose how they collect data. It also supports Congress’s efforts to give consumers access to data about them held by brokers.
- Comprehensive Tracking: The FTC is concerned about ISPs, operating systems, browsers and social networks comprehensively tracking users’ online activities, but it won’t address this until a public workshop in the second half of this year.
- Enforcing Self-Regulatory Codes: The FTC said it will help enforce industry-specific codes of conduct.
- Microsoft Raids Tackle Internet Crime
- Microsoft uses racketeering law to seize servers, take down botnets
- Microsoft Leads Zeus Botnet Server Shutdown
- Microsoft employees seize Zeus botnet servers with the help of US Marshals
- Backed by US Marshals and a warrant, MS employees entered hosting services in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Lombard, Illinois to seize servers and take possession of hundreds of Internet domain names.
- Servers are were allegedly being used to spread multiple Zeus botnets
- Financial Services - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA—obtained warrants for the seizures through a federal lawsuit based in part on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
- Operation b71: claimed that the phishing e-mails used to spread the botnet infringed on their trademarks and intellectual property.
- Richard Boscovich, a former federal prosecutor is a senior lawyer in Microsoft’s digital crimes unit.
- AT&T to Sell Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone on April 8 for $100
- Nokia's Flagship Windows Phone Ships April 8
- HTC Titan II at AT&T on April 8th for $199.99: LTE, 16 megapixels
- Nokia Lumia 900 coming to US on ATT April 8 for $100
- 4.3-inch AMOLED 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a single-core 1.4 GHz processor, 16 GB of storage a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 512 MB of RAM and an 1830 mAh battery.
- The phone will also be available for preorder, in cyan or black, from AT&T's Web site starting on March 30. A white version goes on sale on April 22.
- HTC Titan II also launchign on ATT April 8 for $200
- 16-megapixel camera, 4.7-inch Super LCD display
- Microsoft apologizes over 'Smoked by Windows Phone' controversy, offers winner laptop and phone
- Smoked by Android: Microsoft coughs up free laptop
- BenThePCGuy TWeet
- Sahas Katta's blog
- Microsoft knew Android wouldn't always get 'Smoked by Windows Phone'
- Microsoft running a 'smoked by Windows Phone' competition with verious prizes in various stores. a laptop worth $1,000, and the option to swap the "smoked" handset for one running Windows Phone.
- Sunday, Sahas Katta won a "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenge when his Galaxy Nexus displayed the weather of two different cities faster than the Windows Phone. he already had a widget displaying the data and had disabled the screen lock which would normally require a tap or swipe to clear the screen.
- Katta was deinied the prize and reportedly was told that because he had a preloaded widget and also because he had two cities int he same state, that he couldn't win. And he claims also ""just because""
- This morning Microsoft evangelist Ben Rudolph on Twitter: Hey @sahaskatta , @Microsoftstore & I want to make things right. So I've got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!
- Senators Ask Justice Dept. To Determine If Facebook Password Requests Are Illegal
- Senators want ruling on whether Facebook password requests are illegal
- Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut announced that they have called for an official probe whether asking for p/w breaches the Stored Communications Act (bans intentional access to digital information without permission) or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (prohibits intentional access to a computer without authorization to gain information)
- FB spoke out against this last week, saying it's against their TOS, they might go after co.'s that do this, co might be vulnerable to lawsuits about it
- The American Civil Liberties Union condemned password requests following Maryland Department of Corrections (DOC) "shoulder surfing" to screen candidates, they backed down and asked for "voluntary sharing"
- Forbes called it "the great Facebook employee password nonissue," saying most of the cases reported by news media took place in 2010 or earlier."
- Legislation being proposed in both Illinois and Maryland to ban employers from asking for this kind of unrestricted access to candidates' accounts. The AP said similar bills have also been introduced in both California and Massachusetts.
- Comcast's Xfinity On Demand for Xbox 360 won't count against subscribers' bandwidth caps
- Xbox 360's Comcast Xfinity TV app in beta testing, won't count against data caps when it launches
- Comcast's Xfinity On Demand for Xbox 360 won't count against subscribers' bandwidth caps
- Net neutrality concerns raised about Comcast's Xbox On Demand service
- Comcast's Xbox 360 video service flies in the face of the FCC's net neutrality efforts
- streaming Comcast's On Demand videos through the Xbox 360 will not count towards customers' 250GB monthly data limit.
- "being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet."
- Comcast clarifies that cable subscribers who use a different Internet service provider won't be able to stream content through their Xbox 360, and that the service requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription as well as at least one cable box elsewhere in the home
- Canadian ISP Shaw announced last year that its "Movie Club" service wouldn't count towards users' monthly data caps, because it is delivered though existing cable infrastructure.
- Remember how we told you last week that Nokia, Motorola, and RIM weren't very happy with Apple's competing proposal for a a nano-SIM card? You don't. Well we told you. Listen closer next time. Turns out Apple's doing some wooing of the European standards body ETSI, In a letter seen by Florian Müller, Apple committed to offering a royalty-free license to any of its patents deemed essential to it's nano-SIM standard. Time to work on a patent bribes graphic I guess.
- As Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China last week, the second-largest market after the U.S., Chinese website Sina Tech cited "knowledgable sources" claiming a future iOS update may replace Google search with Baidu search as early next month. Baidu currently holds 83% of China's search market, so a move like this is pretty much a nail in the coffin for any hopes Google has of making it as a company.
- Poor Huawei. Just because they have a few former Chinese military folks running their company, they can't catch a break. Australia as you may know is spending $38 billion to create a national broadband network. Huawei wanted a little piece of that action. Who wouldn't? But the Australian government has said there is no role for one of the world's largest telecom equipment makers, citing security concerns.
- 83 year old Evelyn Paswall broke her nose on a glass door at an Apple Store in Manhasset, NY.... and is suing Apple for $1 million. "Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd," says her attorney, "But ...they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people." Poor window washer. He was just doing his job.
- Sure, when you type David Hewlett into Google one of the autocomplete suggestions is apology. But he's not suing Google over reminding him of his tragic rap problem is he? Are you? Anyway things are different in Japan. A Japanese court has made a provisional order for Google to delete specific terms from its autocomplete search feature that associate a man with crimes he claims not to be involved with. This is not the first time Google has run into trouble with the law for its algorithm implying things about people in autocomplete.
- Single sign-on services like OpenID, Google, and Facebook Connect are quite convenient, but a team of researchers say they're plagued with vulnerabilities. The results of a 10 month-old study will be presented at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in May show that single sign on services are prone to flaws that allow adversaries unauthorized access to private user profiles on the third-party Websites that use them.
- Controversy still swirls over the licensing of ONLive's desktop viewer application that allows you to run limited Windows applications on an iPad. But one competitor, NIvio, is bringing similar functionality that works across multiple OS's, including Android and OS X, AND uses Microsoft's Service Provider License Agreement. Nivio isn't free though. Service starts at $5 or €5 for 10 hours' use per month, while unlimited runs you $15 or €15 a month.
- Since its launch last year, 75k businesses have opted into Square's Card Case application, and now it has a new name and new look. Renamed "Pay With Square", it brings the hands-free geofencing functionality of the iOS app to Android, and offers a new carousel of featured merchants that are close to your location for better discovery. You can also favorite a merchant, Tweet about a merchant, share a merchant to Facebook, SMS or email a link to merchant to a contact.
- If you'd like to send a link to that Linux ISO you spotted on The Pirate Bay to a friend over IM, don't use Windows Live Messenger. You'll just end up with a message that says "the link you tried to send was blocked because it was reported as unsafe." The Verge reports that links to sites like Demonoid worked without incident, so it's not a ban on torrent links in general. ThePirate Bay's ads likely tripped an automatic malware block.
- Tomorrow 3/27 Google I/O registration opens
- Also tomorrow Y Combinator Demo Day at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA
"Tom, Sarah, Iyaz and Jason ...
As someone whose job entails building visualisation components for the semantic web, I listened with interest to the apps versus HTML5 discussion of TNT #464. While Tom's comment about the historic swings between open and proprietary technologies rang true, sadly I'm not sure this necessarily applies to HTML5.
Sorry to be a pessimist, but I suspect we must wait for HTML6 to get a toolkit anywhere near current Android or iOS standards. Yes -- given sufficient effort it *is* possible to get 486 era games running within select browsers -- just don't expect an influx of Infinity Blade clones any time soon. ;)
Simon (Liverpool, UK)"
Sorry for the second email of the day -- just wanted to draw your attention (if it slipped your notice in the Reddit, as it did mine) towards a petition to get the father of modern computing, Alan Turing, as the replacement for Charles Darwin on future £10 notes in the UK. The next revision of the 'tenner' could be our last chance before coins and notes are retired (ironically due to technology Turing was the grandfather of).
And the petition itself...
Simon (Liverpool, UK)"
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- Edited by: Jason
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