Reporter Roxana Saberi finally freed From Iranian death scentence Reporters Without Borders
“This is excellent news,” the press freedom organisation said. “The appeal court’s decision to free her can be used as a legal precedent for other journalists currently detained in Iran. The fact nonetheless remains that, despite her innocence, she is still regarded as guilty by the Iranian authorities.” After hearing her appeal in a closed-door session yesterday, a Tehran court decided to reduce her eight-year jail term to a suspended two-year sentence. One of her lawyers, Saleh Nikbakhat, told Reporters Without Borders that Saberi was originally convicted under article 508 of the criminal code of “collaborating with a state at war with the Islamic Republic of Iran” but during yesterday’s hearing, the judges agreed to change the charge on the grounds that the United States and Iran “were not at war.” She now stands convicted of “collecting and transmitting classified information” under article 505 of the criminal code. As well as the two-year suspended jail term, the appeal court banned her from working as a journalist in Iran for five years. A wave of arrests on 1 May brought the total number of journalists and bloggers currently held in Iran to 14. [Two of them are women. Refer to: Two-week-old wave of arrests of journalists http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=31280]
Intel Fined Over â¬1 Billion For Violation Of European Antitrust Laws (Updated With Intel Statement) TechCrunch
The European Commission today announced that it has fined Intel a record â¬1.06 billion ($1.45 billion) for abusing its dominance in the market for computer chips to exclude its biggest (and frankly, the only serious) rival AMD by paying computer manufacturers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and NEC as well as retailers to postpone, cancel or downright avoid using or selling the latter’s products.
Intel CEO says EU decision “wrong” Inquirer
Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, has said his firm “takes strong exception” to the EU verdict declaring Intel guilty of breaching European antitrust laws. “We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices,” said Otellini, adding “there has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal.”
Victory For Location Privacy in New York GPS Tracking Case EFF
Today brings great news for location privacy, especially if you live in New York. The highest court for that state ruled today in People v. Weaver that police may not use a GPS device to track the movements of your vehicle without first getting a warrant. (Opinion here.) In Weaver, state police placed a GPS tracking device on the defendant’s car and tracked it for 65 days for no apparent reason. EFF and the ACLU for the National Capital Area have filed a similar brief in United States v. Jones, a pending federal case in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where FBI agents planted a GPS device on a car while it was on private property and then used it to track the position of the automobile every ten seconds for a full month, all without securing a warrant. We look forward to that court’s decision in light of the solid reasoning in Weaver.
Apple vs. Blasphemy (and Innovation) EFF
As we’ve said before, Apple is legally within its rights to sell or not sell whatever they choose in their store. But the monopoly they hold on applications for the iPhone means that unless users have the right to jailbreak their phones, they’ll be blocked from enjoying the fruits of 21st century thinking â and 12th century thinking as well! Peasants, peons, and iPhone users of the world, perhaps its time you were allowed to decide for yourselves what software will be running on the computer in your pocket.
B.C. Liberal party posts on Twitter violate Election rules CTV
B.C.’s Liberal Party violated the province’s Election Act with election day posts on the social networking site Twitter, but the party won’t be punished. [Comment: So I guess this opens the doors for every other party to do the same on election day? Take note.]
Foreign internet porn banned from Egypt Inquirer
A CAIRO COURT has told the Egyptian government to ban foreign pornographic websites. This nasty ‘foreign porn’ is apparently offensive to Egyptian religion, honour and manners, the judge decided. It is not clear if the government will do anything about it. Also see, http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/cairo-court-rules-to-block-porn-sites-20090513-b26i.html
FTC Chairman: Agency May Enforce Net Neutrality IDG News Service
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission may start enforcing net-neutrality rules and take action against bad network management practices when broadband providers don’t live up to the promises they make to consumers, the agency’s chairman said. Broadband providers need to inform consumers about the download speeds they’re delivering and the types of network management practices they’re deploying, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said on the C-SPAN network’s program, The Communicators, which aired Saturday. If a broadband provider blocks Web content that competes with its own content or a partner’s content, that could also raise “antitrust problems,” potentially prompting FTC action, said Leibowitz, appointed chairman in March after for more than four years on the commission.
China has invented ‘a secure computer OS’ Inquirer
China claims to have invented the world’s first completely unhackable operating system. The key to the system is that the Chinese use hardened servers and use an operating system which is not Linux, UNIX or Windows. They reportedly also use a microchip that is not made by Intel or AMD and is hardened against external access by a hacker or automated malicious software. America’s entire cyber security plan apparently depends upon its military opponents using Wintel kit, with perhaps a few of the cleverer ones using Linux.
Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed Washington Times
Obama threatens to limit U.S. intel with Brits. The Obama administration says it may curtail Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee. A court filing from the British Foreign Office released recently includes a letter from the U.S. government, identified as the “Obama administration’s communication.” Other information identifying the U.S. agency and author of the letter appears to have been redacted. The letter says:… Also see, http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/12/obama/index.html
Ontario to test e-prescribing system CTV
The system, called ePrescribing, lets doctors forgo handwritten prescriptions, instead sending instructions to pharmacists electronically through a private computer network. Doctors say patient safety will be enhanced because the prescriptions will be legible and clear. [Comment: No thanks. I'll opt out.]
Microsoft says hackers seek to attack PowerPoint users Reuters
Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday that hackers are seeking to attack users of its PowerPoint presentation software for Windows PCs and released patches to protect them against the threat. The world’s No. 1 software maker said that a version of PowerPoint for Apple Inc’s Mac computers is also vulnerable, though it has yet to find any evidence that hackers are actively seeking to exploit it. Microsoft defined the threat as “critical” — the most severe on the scale by which it ranks vulnerabilities to its software.
Harper government lining the pockets of corporations – Tax Scam revealed NDP
The Auditor General announced on Tuesday that corporations collecting interest of up to seven per cent on tax overpayments have cost the government more than $90 million over the past three years. [Comment: The names of these corporations must be released.] Also see, http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/05/12/auditor-general-sheila-fraser-tax-overpayments-interest-conflict-defence.html and http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090513.wauditor13art2232/BNStory/politics/home]
Final player in [Canadian] wireless game antes up Globe & Mail
… Yesterday, DAVE [Wireless] began to shed light on its plans. The Toronto-based company plans a no-contract service for regular cellphones and smart phones, which will include BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion Ltd., as well as handsets running on Google Inc.’s new software called Android. “I hate contracts. We won’t be doing any three-year contracts. They’re horrible things,” Mr. Dobbin said in an interview. “For us, job one will be to remove customer irritants.” Those include monthly system access fees, handset renewal plans that lack pricing clarity, and roaming and long-distance charges within Canada, he added. Some analysts say new entrants will change consumer expectations and reshape the marketplace. Iain Grant, of the telecom consultancy SeaBoard Group, expects unlimited voice and texting plans from DAVE Wireless, similar to models that Public Mobile and Globalive have floated. “I think that is going to give parents across the country a huge sigh of relief. When they see their teenage daughter glued to the phone yakking away for all hours, at least there’s a cap on what the bill will look like,” he said. But matching the new entrants on some of their pricing plans will prove extremely costly for the incumbents. Removing system access fees for customers on contracts, for example, would cost Rogers more than $40-million a month.
AT&T Bans SlingPlayer 3G on iPhone, Other 3G Phones Still Welcome Daily Tech
Sling Media’s Slingbox is an intriguing device that allows you to view your cable TV or recorded PVR content on-the-go via transmission from an internet-connected home PC. The technology was made even sweeter when 3G streaming SlingPlayer Mobile was unveiled for smartphones. However, just as good times seemed at hand for iPhone users, the service’s 3G streaming capabilities were unexpectedly absent in the $30 app that hit Apple’s App Store this week. It turns out AT&T cut off the 3G streaming citing that its HSPA network likely could not handle the strain. However, the strange part comes in its following statements, and the fact that it is still allowing 3G streaming on BlackBerry, S60, Windows Mobile, and Palm phones. AT&T’s reasoning is that the iPhone is a PC. It states, “We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.”
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