Quick News Links for Week Ending 7/13/2008

  • BT tracker for CC content
    Simply further proof that BitTorrent has substantial non-infringing uses. It is only limited by the imagination of bandwidth limited folks who want to share their digital materials widely.
  • Avi Rubin on near future of e-voting
    He’s optimistic that the problems of e-voting can be solved, claims to have even seen designs he’d be happy to see implemented. Still, he’s pragmatic and explains well some of the challenges.
  • History of the CCC
    Interesting history not just a hacker club, but also of the regime that influenced it and how its is more than a club but a lobby and grass roots activist organization.
  • MSM on how technology is changing classrooms
    Half the article focuses on cost savings. It is also skewed by only looking at programs at charter skills. The most concrete detail also reveals the computers are only being used on campus, so sidesteps some of the criticism of turning technology to students unsupervised.
  • Another challenged to RIAA’s John Doe suits
    NC judge in light of concerns over a questionable affidavit and the status of MediaSentry as a valid, licensed investigator in that state is taking the case bask to pre-trial which may lead to its dismissal.
  • Browser scripting in C
    The ability to compile and run C is based on Tamarin, around which much other exciting scripting work is being done. Say what you will about Flash as a whole, Tamarin is realizing some interesting capabilities and benefiting from Flash’s ubiquity.
  • Handling instant demand for new web services
    This is a pretty good survey of the state of utility computing and also could definitely be used as a practical guide to help build scalable web applications. Interesting but probably fairly accurate that they think utility, large scale relational databases are still a ways off.
  • Chipmaker suing to silence RFID research
    These are the same researchers who cracked the Dutch transit cards and now they are examining London’s Oyster card. The manufacturer, however, is acting pretty true to a large portion of the industry, preferring to hide the problem than incur the expense of fixing it.
  • Are PC makers disabling sound at the RIAA’s behest?
    This is unconfirmed and speculative, but somewhat plausible. No response from the vendor, yet, despite many reports of problems with this same hardware all over the web. It only affects trying to re-record audio playing back so could be a move to close an analog-like hole.
  • Analysis of EU telecoms package
    I don’t necessarily disagree with the articles analysis. Trying to remain calm in the face of threats to online liberty is always wise. However, ambiguity is how we’ve been saddled with the EUCD/DMCA mess, so a certain amount of paranoia is perhaps understandable if counter productive.
  • EU telecoms package passes with clarification on 3 strikes
    Despite concerns, the telecoms package passed. Thanks to the additional scrutiny, though, legislators clarified their intent as not including a 3 strikes policy and their openness to future amendments that would bolster that.
  • The legality of NebuAd
    The company is aggressively trying to address concerns but doesn’t answer the core question of whether such invasions into the end user’s traffic and data is itself legal despite security protections, clear advanced noticed and the ability to completely opt out.
  • Senate hearing on wiretapping by advertisers
    More details, some straight from NebuAd, almost self incriminating. Crystallizes the key concern the hearing will hopefully answer.
  • PirateBay working on total network encryption
    The article is skeptical, partly because of technical limitations but also because of existing alternatives.

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