“If you like to drive and would like to get to know your local streets and hoods, Skyhook is hiring worldwide and will pay you to literally drive each and every single street in your city or town. As a Skyhook driver, you will be using a scanning device to gather wireless information in specific territories assigned to you by Skyhook. These contract positions typically last 2-4 weeks. There are no stops required, just driving and letting the device scan. All drivers must have a valid license, insurance, and a car in good working order. So get your maps, your shades, some snacks, and your tunes ready for a driving experience you are not likely to forget.”—Skyhook: Who We Are > Careers
Angry game owners are demanding Google (NSDQ: GOOG) compensate them for wiping out their investments in online pets. The loss of a virtual kitty may seem like a trifle to some but, in the big picture, the new lawsuit could be a bellwether for how the law treats what is an exploding market in online goods and currencies.
For those more familiar with real-life Rovers, the new legal disputes turns on SuperPoke Pets, an online game in which players chose a pet (dog, frog, sheep, etc) and then care for it an online realm with other pet owners. Many owners purchased “gold” using real life money and used the gold to buy items in the game.
That gold is now worthless after Google, which had purchased the game from a company called Slide, decided to axe it last summer. (As of March 6, the website will be gone though players will be able to load their pet onto a display case of sorts).
“When another scholar worries that if one begins with data, one can “go anywhere,” Ramsay makes it clear that going anywhere is exactly what he wants to encourage. The critical acts he values are not directed at achieving closure by arriving at a meaning; they are, he says, “ludic” and they are “distinguished … by a refusal to declare meaning in any form.” The right question to propose “is not ‘What does the text mean?’ but, rather, ‘How do we ensure that it keeps on meaning’ — how … can we ensure that our engagement with the text is deep, multifaceted, and prolonged?” (“Toward an Algorithmic Criticism,” in Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 18, No. 2, 2003)”—The Digital Humanities and Interpretation - NYTimes.com, via Tom A.
The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police cannot attach a GPS tracker to someone’s car without first getting clearance from a court. The link goes to a Wall Street Journal story about the opinion. In summary, the majority of the court ruled that the GPS devices were not a trivial matter, and that they warranted judicial review before their use. Using the small, inexpensive devices to track people amounted to a violation of the person’s Fourth Amendment Rights against unlawful searches and seizures. In separate consenting opinions, Justices Sotomayor and Alito wrote that the GPS trackers went beyond an unlawful search. Justice Alito wrote that the devices were also a invasion of an individuals “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The passage that particularly caught my eye was Justice Sotomayor writing: “Awareness that the Government may be watching chills associational and expressive freedoms. And the Government’s unrestrained power to assemble data that reveal private aspects of identity is susceptible to abuse. The net result is that GPS monitoring—by making available at a relatively low cost such a substantial quantum of intimate information about any person whom the Government, in its unfettered discretion, chooses to track—may “alter the relationship between citizen and government in a way that is inimical to democratic society.”
Despite the fact that the most expensive systems offer encryption, password protection and the ability to lock down the movement of cameras, the researchers found that administrators were setting them up outside firewalls and failing to configure security features to keep out intruders. Some systems, for example, were set up to automatically accept inbound calls so that users didn’t need to press an “accept” button when a caller dialed into a videoconference, opening the way for anyone to call in and eavesdrop on a meeting.
Using a program that Moore wrote, the researchers found the conference rooms by scanning the Internet for videoconference systems that were set up outside firewalls and configured to automatically answer calls.
In less than two hours, they found systems installed in 5,000 conference rooms around the country, including an attorney-inmate meeting room at a prison, an operating room at a university medical center, and a venture capital company where prospects were pitching their companies while laying out their financial details on a screen in the room.
Today most data is born digitally. It’s not about the transition from analog to digital anymore. We don’t talk about how to rip anything without losing quality since we make perfect 1 to 1 digital copies of things. Music, movies, books, all come from the digital sphere. But we’re physical people and we need objects to touch sometimes as well!
We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare sparts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.
The benefit to society is huge. No more shipping huge amount of products around the world. No more shipping the broken products back. No more child labour. We’ll be able to print food for hungry people. We’ll be able to share not only a recipe, but the full meal. We’ll be able to actually copy that floppy, if we needed one.
In what authorities have called one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have seized the Web site Megaupload and charged seven people connected with it with running an international enterprise based on Internet piracy.
Megaupload, one of the most popular so-called locker services on the Internet, allowed users to transfer large files like movies and music anonymously. Media companies have long accused it of abetting copyright infringement on a vast scale. In a grand jury indictment, Megaupload is accused of causing $500 million in damages to copyright owners and of making $175 million by selling ads and premium subscriptions.
The arrests were greeted almost immediately with digital Molotov cocktails. The hacker collective that calls itself Anonymous attacked the Web sites of the United States Justice Department and several major entertainment companies and trade groups in retaliation for the seizure of Megaupload.
The case against Megaupload comes at a charged time, a day after broad online protests against a pair of antipiracy bills in Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in the House of Representatives, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA, in the Senate. The bills would give United States authorities expanded powers to crack down on foreign sites suspected of piracy. But technology companies and civil liberties groups say that the powers are too broadly defined and could effectively result in censorship.
Four of the seven people, including the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), were arrested Friday in New Zealand; the three others remain at large. Each of the seven people — who the indictment said were members of a criminal group it called Mega Conspiracy — is charged with five counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy. The charges could result in more than 20 years in prison.
As part of the crackdown, about 20 search warrants were executed in the United States and in eight other countries, including New Zealand. About $50 million in assets were also seized, as well as a number of servers and 18 domain names that formed Megaupload’s network of file-sharing sites.
The police arrived at Dotcom Mansion in Auckland on Friday morning in two helicopters. Mr. Dotcom, a 37-year-old with dual Finnish and German citizenship, retreated into a safe room, and the police had to cut their way in. He was eventually arrested with a firearm close by that the police said appeared to be a shortened shotgun.
“It was definitely not as simple as knocking at the front door,” said Grant Wormald, a detective inspector.