Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute is working on a new ebook DRM dubbed SiDiM that would prevent piracy by changing the actual text of a story, swapping out words to make individualized copies that could be tracked by the original owner of the ebook. […]
The idea behind SiDiM is similar to the way rights holders have been trying to protect music and video for some time. Instead of trying to lock down copies through technical measures that prevent copying, so-called fingerprinting measures simply add markers to a work that make it possible to identify the original purchaser. In theory, this prevents people from sharing their works for the fear of being caught.
However, in music files, these types of changes are a lot less notable than a machine rewriting a book, which is why it’s unlikely that authors and literature friends would embrace SiDiM. The system is currently in testing, and Fraunhofer secured some state funding to run these tests and even got a subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association to join.
In a landmark ruling, Sweden’s data protection authority (the Swedish Data Inspection Board) this week issued a decision that prohibits the nation’s public sector bodies from using the cloud service Google Apps.
The ruling – which bans Google cloud products such as calendar services, email and data processing functions – is based on inadequacies in the Google contract. A risk assessment by the Board determined that the contract gives Google too much covert discretion over how data can be used, and that public sector customers are unable to ensure that data protection rights are protected.
Facebook’s first data center ran into problems of a distinctly ironic nature when a literal cloud formed in the IT room and started to rain on servers.
Though Facebook has previously hinted at this via references to a “humidity event” within its first data center in Prineville, Oregon, the social network’s infrastructure king Jay Parikh told The Reg on Thursday that, for a few minutes in Summer, 2011, Facebook’s data center contained two clouds: one powered the social network, the other poured water on it.
“I got a call, ‘Jay, there’s a cloud in the data center’,” Parikh says. “‘What do you mean, outside?’. ‘No, inside’.”
There was panic.
“It was raining in the datacenter,” he explains.
BR: Kuwait is a crazy mix: a super-affluent country, yet basically a welfare state, though with a super neo-liberal consumer economy.
FQ: We consume vast amounts of everything. Instagram businesses are a big thing in Kuwait.
BR: What’s an Instagram business?
FQ: If you have an Instagram account, you can slap a price tag on anything, take a picture of it, and sell it. For instance, you could take this can of San Pellegrino, paint it pink, put a heart on it, call it yours, and declare it for sale. Even my grandmother has an Instagram business! She sells dried fruit. A friend’s cousin is selling weird potted plants that use Astroturf. People are creating, you know, hacked products.
Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.
My friends and I who are building websites — we’re kids! We’re kids playing around with tools given to us by adults. In decreasing order of adultness, and leaving out an awful lot, I’m talking about things such as: the Von Neumann stored program computing architecture; the transistor; high-throughput fibre-optic cables; the Unix operating system; the sci-fi-ish cloud computing platform; the web browser; the iPhone; the open source movement; Ruby on Rails; the Stack Overflow Q&A site for programmers; on and on, all the way down to the code that my slightly-more-adult co-workers write for my benefit.