U.K. Internet Porn Filters

Man who helped draw up U.K.’s porn filters is being investigated for child pornography

By on March 4, 2014 at 11:45 PM.

Man who helped draw up U.K.’s porn filters is being investigated for child pornography

To say that the U.K.’s Internet porn filter policy has been a predictably hilarious disaster would be understating things. The filters have blocked U.K. web users’ access to legitimate health websites and have even censored websites of anti-pornography politicians simply because those websites frequently mentioned the evils of porn. And now The Guardian reports that the U.K.’s porn filters have been hit with yet another ironic public relations setback: One of the men who helped draw up the porn filter plan is being investigated for allegedly possessing child pornography. More →

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Sprint Overcharges Government for Spying

Government angry at Sprint for wiretap overcharges, sues carrier

By on March 4, 2014 at 7:25 AM.

Government angry at Sprint for wiretap overcharges, sues carrier

The wiretapping business can be quite expensive for the U.S. Government, and a lucrative deal for carriers that have to comply to court-ordered surveillance operations and help government spy agencies gather information through wiretaps on selected targets. But it turns out the government is not happy with one particular carrier, which has allegedly overcharged for wiretaps, CNET reports. According to a complaint filed against Sprint in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday, the carrier got $21 million in wiretaps payments more than it should have from agencies including the FBI and the DEA. More →

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Mt Gox Statement

Mt. Gox finally tells its side of the story after $500 million in Bitcoin vanishes

By on March 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM.

Mt. Gox finally tells its side of the story after $500 million in Bitcoin vanishes

Those who follow virtual currency Bitcoin with even the slightest interest have no doubt read of the major breach and subsequent bankruptcy filing of Mt. Gox, formerly the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange. The Tokyo-based company had been eerily silent over the past few weeks as customers continued to panic as their investments in Bitcoin, some worth millions, had vanished;  Mt. Gox went offline some time ago, and rumors of a breach began to swirl immediately. Now, the company has confirmed that more than $500 million worth of Bitcoins were lost in a major heist that completely wiped out the exchange, and it gave a loose explanation of how it thinks the monumental robbery occurred. More →

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German court dismisses patent troll lawsuit

Court rejects patent troll’s $2.2 billion lawsuit against Apple

By on February 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM.

Court rejects patent troll’s $2.2 billion lawsuit against Apple

A German court dismissed a lawsuit against Apple on Friday that was brought on by a well-known patent troll. IPCom, a company that licenses patents, wanted $2.2 billion in damages for infringement of a feature that is now an industry standard. A similar case against HTC was also dismissed. More →

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Billboard Top 100 Torrenting Fines

Torrenting popular songs could result in automated fines

By on February 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM.

Torrenting popular songs could result in automated fines

You might want to watch your back if you were considering torrenting any of those catchy pop songs you keep hearing on the radio. According to TorrentFreak, piracy monitoring firm Rightscorp now protects over 1 million copyrights, including 13 tracks on the Billboard Hot 100. Rightscorp has already closed more than 50,000 cases since its recent campaign against piracy began. More →

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Cellphone Unlocking Bill Passes

Almost free at last: House passes bill legalizing cellphone unlocking

By on February 26, 2014 at 8:45 AM.

Almost free at last: House passes bill legalizing cellphone unlocking

It’s a rare but welcome sight: The United States House of Representatives has passed a commonsense bill by a wide margin. Reuters reports that the House on Tuesday passed a bill that would make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones once their contracts have expired so they can be used on other networks, although there is a pretty big catch. According to Reuters, the bill still bans “bulk unlocking,” which means that consumers still wouldn’t be allowed to “sell their old devices to third parties that could unlock phones in bulk.” The language added against bulk unlocking has led some consumer groups to withdraw their support for the bill. More →

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Congress Patent Reform Support

The government is finally gearing up to squash patent trolls

By on February 25, 2014 at 8:45 PM.

The government is finally gearing up to squash patent trolls

42 state Attorneys General on Monday sent a letter to ranking members of Congress showing support for patent reform against patent trolls. The Attorneys General letter uses the term “troll” no less than six times in the letter to describe companies or individuals that would attack companies with “dubious claims of patent infringement and using the threat of expensive litigation to extort money,” thus harming the economy and stifling innovation in the process. The letter proposes several amendments that would make it easier for Attorneys General to fight against patent trolling, in light of recent patent-based trolls attacks that have targeted thousands of businesses and non-profits.  More →

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Microsoft Price-fixing

Microsoft in hot water over alleged Windows price-fixing

By on February 21, 2014 at 7:55 AM.

Microsoft in hot water over alleged Windows price-fixing

Microsoft may soon be the focus of an investigation by South Korean regulators into allegations that the software giant is fixing prices in the region. According to a report from ZDNet Korea, senior officials that represent an alliance of Internet cafes in South Korea called the “Internet PC Culture Association” will ask South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission to investigate the Redmond, Washington-based company. More →

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BlackBerry Lawsuit Typo Keyboard

Battle between BlackBerry and Ryan Seacrest’s keyboard company begins

By on February 19, 2014 at 3:45 PM.

Battle between BlackBerry and Ryan Seacrest’s keyboard company begins

Reviewers love Ryan Seacrest’s Typo keyboard for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. BlackBerry, not so much. BlackBerry announced last month that it was finally taking on its biggest threat — Ryan Seacrest — and filing a lawsuit against the company behind the Typo keyboard, an iPhone accessory that adds a BlackBerry-like keyboard to Apple’s latest iPhones. Now, Reuters reports that Typo Products has filed a motion with the court claiming that BlackBerry is off base and the Typo iPhone keyboard accessory doesn’t violate any of the vendor’s patents. Typo’s filing asks the court to rule that no patents have been infringed, declare all of BlackBerry’s claims invalid, and dismiss the case immediately.

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Samsung Dyson Vacuum Cleaner Lawsuit

Samsung is very sensitive about being called a copycat

By on February 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM.

Samsung is very sensitive about being called a copycat

After getting thumped by Apple for alleged patent infringement, Samsung has become more determined than ever to shed its copycat image. That’s why Samsung has now filed a countersuit against British manufacturer Dyson for allegedly “hurting Samsung’s corporate image” when it accused Samsung of ripping off Dyson’s vacuum cleaner designs, The Korea Times reports. Samsung has decided to file the lawsuit even though Dyson voluntarily decided to drop its own litigation against Samsung weeks ago. Even so, Samsung’s executives are still hopping mad that their company has once again been portrayed as a follower especially at a time when they’re doing their best to make sure Samsung is first to market with technologies such as smartwatches. More →

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Apple Samsung Settlement

Battle rages on as Apple and Samsung CEOs fail to find patent peace

By on February 14, 2014 at 8:45 AM.

Battle rages on as Apple and Samsung CEOs fail to find patent peace

In early January, Apple and Samsung agreed to try to go to mediation ahead of their second U.S. lawsuit that’s set to start in March, and new reports from South Korea indicate that the two parties have met without reaching a deal. ZDNet Korea has learned that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s mobile division chief JK Shin met in the U.S., although the meeting has not been confirmed. More →

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Hyperlink Copyright Infringement

EU court decides not to ruin the Internet

By on February 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM.

EU court decides not to ruin the Internet

A European Union court ruled on Thursday that hyperlinks are not copyright infringement. In other words, the court decided not to ruin the Internet. In a case brought to our attention by TorrentFreak, the EU’s Court of Justice ruled in favor of Retriever Sverige AB, a service that collects links to free articles. Back in 2010, Swedish journalists were upset at Retriever for making their work public and felt they should be compensated. They lost the case, but appealed to the Stockholm District Court, which in turn asked the EU Court of Justice to decide. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and as a result, so did the Web. More →

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