- DuckDuckGo search engine errects Tor hidden service
Slashdot shares news that DuckDuckGo has made it easier to use their search engine without leaving the privacy preserving penumbra of the Tor network. Previously, the search engine set up a dedicated exit node which actually allowed searchers to keep their search traffic encrypted. Tor’s hidden services eliminate the need to start on the regular, unencrypted network at all before switching over to access services via encrypted traffic.
- Competition produces vandalism detection for Wikis, Slashdot
- An open response to the USPTO, Groklaw
- Samuelson’s latest call for copyright reform
Groklaw, among others, also linked to this short article at the SFGate to which Cory linked in his discussion of Boyle’s and Jenkin’s new copyright comic book. It is a very accessible explanation of why reform is needed, prompted by the disruptions digital copying has wrought and the ensuing norms. It concludes with a brief recap of suggested areas for change that Samuelson has explored more fully in her academic writing.
- Meego on Android hardware, Make
- Ubuntu 9.04 approaches end of life, The H
- Pew Research Center report on trends in technology journalism, ReadWriteWeb
- Censored maps hard-wired into Chinese iPhones, ReadWriteWeb
Apologies once again for a sparse link dump. Spent a good portion of today’s allotted blogging time hacking on tjhe second of three scripts critical to completing the migration of my podcast production entirely to Linux. More posts on the problems and solutions I’ve developed soon.
- T-Mobile claims right to censor text messages, Wired
- Providing wireless in the world’s most remote, dangerous places, Slashdot
- Patent office agrees with EFF’s arguments on C2 VoIP patent, EFF
- Wikipedia introduces article feedback tool, ReadWriteWeb
- Some countries want to ban “Information Weapons”, Slashdot
- Diaspora code fails to pass muster on security
On one hand, what The Register explains based on early analysis is hardly surprising. This code didn’t exist just a few months ago and it is clearly advertised as pre-alpha quality code. On the other hand, when will new projects really take to heart that security has to be a guiding principle from the first line of code write throughout the entire life of a project. On the gripping hand, a poor early impression of Diaspora’s quality isn’t going to help it compare favorably to Facebook which is gradually improving despite some notable gaffes.
- Dark patterns, recognizable techniques of scamming, exploits, BoingBoing
Via Hacker News, this not only tickles my sense of the hackish but is also a fitting tribute to the 25th anniversary of this particular flavor of assembly. Leo Laporte has a nice write up of 6502 and this special occasion.
- Massive loophole that allows tracking cookies in IE even when expressly disabled, New York Times
- Significance of European warez raids, Torrentfreak
- Ten things to look for in an anti-circumvention tool, Tor
- Google expands license options for its code hosting service
- Clarification on anti-piracy’s supposed DoS attacks against infringers
TorrentFreak has some excellent quotes from the firm in question and one of its targets. The picture painted is only a little different from how the initial story break. AiPlex reserves the attacks as a measure to use only after escalating the complaints and as far as I can parse the quote, in cooperation with law enforcers. The targeted site mentioned in the article confirms they were attacked repeatedly but that the efforts ultimately failed, the implication being AiPlex wasn’t very good at denial of service, consistent with it also not issue clear and correct takedown notices to begin with.
- Russia uses piracy as an excuse to suppress dissent
From the New York Times, via Boing Boing. This is probably the biggest reach yet for using intellectual property law for censorship. Microsoft, whose software was used as the excuse for raids nominally cracking down on pirated copies, hasn’t acted to intervene in any way, even where some targeted have shown their software to have legitimate licenses. The fact that this is taking place where it is, in Russia, undoubtedly complicates the question of how to push back on a free speech basis. To me, this practice makes the normalization of enforcement, such as currently be negotiated under ACTA and incrementally ratcheted in a series of past trade agreements, all that much more fraught.
- Swiss court rules IP address tracing software broke data protection law, The Register
- App store for jail broken iPhones acquires competing store, The Register
- Anti-censorship tool, Haystack, halts operation to address security criticisms, Washington Post
- Project to produce free classical recordings secures funding, Ars Technica
- Gamers make faster, more accurate decisions than non-gamers, Ars Technica
- JaegerMonkey now in Firefox nightly builds, ReadWriteWeb
- Google moves beyond map/reduce for new index system
The Register has some surprisingly good crunchy technical detail on how and why Caffeine works they way it does. If BigTable is similar to the other, large scale post-relational databases I’ve been exploring, then the transition makes sense to accomplish the goal of faster, more accessible updates to the index. I am eager to see the promised research paper when that is available.
- Original Navajo Code Talker and code developer dies at 91, BoingBoing
- Pirate Party leaks EU surveillance plan, Slashdot
- More research on alternate topologies for the internet, Ars Technica
- Darpa project aiming at child equivalent intelligence in AI
As Katie Drummond at Wired explains, their plan from there is to instruct such a software agent consistent with how we do our own children. It makes a certain amount of sense, in terms of a more tractable goal and leveraging learning capabilities that might be augmentable once running.
- Online censorship as a trade barrier, Google
- Google’s Schmidt stirs the online privacy pot again
Slashdot links to coverage of Schmidt’s speech at the Techonomy event currently going on. The remark in question was specifically about anonymity and resonates with Scott McNealy’s famous quit about getting over the end of privacy. The THINQ article is a bit frustrating, I suspect there is context missing as the rest of the speech discusses data, its volume and the sort of inductive leaps that will come with accelerating collection and analysis.
- EFF files a brief against expanding a CFAA claim from a misdemeanor to a felony
- Massive censorship of Digg uncovered
Via NewsTrust. This is another reason to avoid purely mechanized curation sites, one of the few recent points Jaron Lanier has made with which I whole heartedly agree.
- Visualization of twenty-five years of AmigaOS source code check-ins
- Court rejects warrant-less GPS tracking
- Samsung, Toshiba accused of price fixing LCD screens
- Australia censors most of web censorship plan
- Facebook may finally be allowing full deletion of user accounts
- Peter Sunde banned from operating The Pirate Bay
- Patent office ends Microsoft’s attempt to overturn i4i patent
- 2nd suit launched over student laptop webcam spying
- A peek inside the secret network neutrality meetings
- UK privacy watchdog clears Google WiFi slurp
- USPTO seeking interim new guidance on Bilski
- Google web search blocked for some in China
- FCC’s third way plan isn’t bringing the two sides of net neutrality any closer together
- Next round starting against initially named defendants in USCG’s massive demand campaign
- US caves on anti-circumvention demands for ACTA
- Winamp gains WebM and VP-8 support
- Understanding geographic indications the EU desires be protected under ACTA
- China says Google agreed to obey censorship rules in exchange for license renewal
- US States’ top law enforcers question Google over WiFi data snafu
- RIAA appeals reduction of Tenenbaum damages
- GOP senators move to block FCC on net neutrality
- Sony now facing single class-action suit for removing PS3 other OS option
- Could the EU walk away from ACTA?
- FCC dodges pointed questions about broadband plan
- SCO evidence of Linux copying finally provided, not very compelling
- Ruling that reduced Tenenbaum damages compares p2p to unlicensed public performance
- More detailed analysis of constitutional questions in reduction of Tenenbaum damages
- Annotating the C-32, radical extremists speech
- Minister behind C-32 backs down from invitation to debate the bill
- Even US intellectual property organizations are concerned over ACTA
- Next round of ACTA talks in DC and Japan
- Full draft from Lucerne round of ACTA negotiations leaked
- First post-Bilski ruling to cite that SCOTUS case
- French legislators have 2nd thoughts on three strikes
- Google fiber project gets a web site but no winners yet
- Lack of funding may bring Chinese censorware to an end
- NZ stands firm against software patents
- Guns and Roses uploader dodges serving up RIAA propaganda
- FCC ignores concerns over transparency, continues closed door discussions of net neutrality plan`
- Thousands more to be sued for infringement by likes of USCG
Nothing about Collage, developed at Georgia Tech is particularly novel, as this Networkworld article, via Slashdot, explains. At its core it uses steganography, hiding messages in other information, a technique that the researchers themselves admit isn’t secure in and of itself. This is a well known limitation of steganography, it relies on obscurity rather than provably strong measures like the non-trivial math used in modern cryptography. It does sound like the hiding extends even to trying to make the network traffic used to pass messages blend into ordinary traffic one would expect to see at social networking sites and user content sharing sites. The use of a web site testing tool, Selenium, is pretty clever actually to achieve this end.
What Collage does rely on to get past censorship is an expectation that those trying to block communications would be unwilling to enact a massive blockade on the kinds of sites through which Collage operates. Ethan Zuckerman, at the Berkman Center, refers to this as the cute cat theory. I was skeptical of Twitter’s usage during the Iranian elections until my friend, Quinn Norton, referred me to this idea.
If Collage is able to adapt in the face of partial blocking, it would probably be all that much more effective to boot. Would censors back off if they thought they’d block enough to stifle speech? The more tools there are like this, the more options those needing to get around censorship have. I could also see this as part of a layered technique, swarming through open channels, obscured ones like Collage, and encrypted ones like Tor.