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Current Topic: Technology

Facebook's Terms Of Use Draws Protest
Topic: Technology 2:32 pm EST, Feb 17, 2009

Facebook members own the information on the site and control who sees it, but when they terminate their accounts Facebook claims it retains the right to use the information.

That stipulation, contained in Facebook's updated user terms, has created confusion and drawn protest from users who believe that the social networking site could use information that they deem personal indefinitely and for any purposes it chooses.

Facebook's Terms Of Use Draws Protest

Microsoft Sued Over Vista-To-XP Downgrade Fees
Topic: Technology 7:32 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

A Los Angeles computer user has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), claiming that fees the software maker and its partners charge for downgrading PCs from Windows Vista to the older XP operating system violate antitrust rules.

Hmm the cost of Vista is much more? WTF?

Microsoft Sued Over Vista-To-XP Downgrade Fees

Microsoft Puts Up $250K Reward For Conficker Creators
Topic: Technology 7:30 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

In an effort to impede the spread of the Conficker malware, Microsoft is forming a coalition composed of security industry researchers and academia to tackle the problem.

And to spur the effort, the newly formed coalition is offering a $250,000 bounty for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of malware authors responsible for launching the Conficker worm over the Web. Microsoft researchers say that the reward serves as a counteracting force for what the security industry considers a criminal attack. Residents of any country are eligible for the reward, according to their national laws, due to the fact that the Conficker worm affects businesses and individuals on a global scale.

Him smells of why Microsoft needs to do more work on software design too... :|

Microsoft Puts Up $250K Reward For Conficker Creators

Apple, MPAA, RIAA attack DRM circumvention requests
Topic: Technology 7:27 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

Apple has issued a strident defense of iPhone DRM, calling it a business model issue that the Copyright Office has no business intruding upon. The EFF begs to differ. Welcome to another installment of "DMCA Triennial Anticircumvention Exception Wars," one in which rightsholders are terrified at slip-sliding down that slippery slope to total DRM circumvention.

Every three years, the Copyright Office hosts a rulemaking in which it considers specific exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) rules against circumventing DRM, and the comments are now in for the current round. This year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pushed hard for an exemption on jailbreaking the Apple iPhone, allowing people to install and run applications of their choice that don't come from the official App Store. Now, Apple has responded with a ringing defense of DRM and its business practices, siding with groups like the MPAA and RIAA against exemptions.

Love the "FUD" ref. in the article...

Apple, MPAA, RIAA attack DRM circumvention requests

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME...
Topic: Technology 7:18 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME

International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is used to identify valid devices connected to GSM and UMTS network. This number can be accessed from a mobile phone by dialing *#06# on the keypad. IMEI is commonly use by software developers as part of software protection scheme to prevent it from being pirated.

JavaME developers however suffers from a drawback because MIDP/CLDC specification does not include an API to obtain IMEI from mobile devices. However there are few phone manufacturers included this functionality through System.getPropery() calls.

Here's how to get IMEI number from mobile devices of different manufacturers

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME...

Build a cool location based application and win $2500 and more with the Peek/Xtify Integration Contest!
Topic: Technology 6:53 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

Imagine the opportunity to develop something, present it in front of all of your peers, have thousands of people hear about it, plus win money and cool prizes.

Grand Prize

* Present the winning app at the New York Tech Meetup in front of many of your peers
* You will get posted about on
* If its really good you will get to pitch it to our VCs
* $2500 cold hard cash
* A Peek for life
* Travel & accomodation to New York

For second place you'll win a Peek + 1 year of service.

Exact details can be found in the detailed terms & conditions and rules of the competition here
The Rules In A Nutshell

* The contest officially opens Feb 18th, 2009.
* Registration is open until March 15th.
* The contest closes on March 31st (the application must be submitted by then).
* We will make announcements the second week of April.
* Anybody can join who does not work for Xtify or Peek or is a judge of this competition.

Read here for complete rules and terms and conditions.
How To Get Started?

* In order to register you have to join the contest forums
* Create a thread in there and tell us what you are building
* You will probably need a Peek. You can buy one here
* Make sure you have the latest software, 1.08 on your Peek. See for details.
* Download the xtify APIs and documentation here
* Find somewhere to run your app (, 1and1, dreamhost, etc).

Tom & Nick check this out... and this might be something you use... Looks cool... and yes I do own a peek...

Build a cool location based application and win $2500 and more with the Peek/Xtify Integration Contest!

Get a free domain name and hosting from Microsoft
Topic: Technology 9:51 am EST, Feb 11, 2009

The words "free" and "Microsoft" don't often appear in the same sentence, so imagine my surprise at discovering this deal: a free custom domain name, free Web hosting, free e-mail accounts, and more.

As you might expect from the name, Microsoft Office Live Basics has a decidedly business focus--but that doesn't mean you can't use it for a personal site.

The freebie account includes not only the domain (any available .com, .net, .org, or .info address), but also site-building tools, reporting tools, project and document managers, 100 e-mail addresses, and collaboration-minded online workspaces. You get 500MB of storage, too.

So what's the catch? There really isn't one, though the free domain hosting expires after one year. After that, it'll run you a very reasonable $14.95 annually.

Needless to say, this is a pretty nice offer for anyone looking to start a small business or just carve out a private corner of the Web.

Get a free domain name and hosting from Microsoft

Google helps found M-Lab to identify ISPs who throttle torrents
Topic: Technology 9:50 am EST, Jan 29, 2009

Google has joined with the Open Technology Institute to help identify which ISPs are restricting peer-to-peer traffic, launching M-Lab to help users discover whether or not they're being affected.

One of the tools M-Lab will use is Glasnost, a java applet that initiates a torrent transfer between a user's pc and the remote testing server. It compares the results to the speed of a normal transfer to see whether or not the peer-to-peer traffic is being throttled.

If you're curious about your own ISP, run the Glasnost test and see what it reports. You'll have to be patient, though - the recent news about Google coming onboard has increased traffic on the site greatly and it's having a hard time keeping up.

It's good to know that once M-Lab is online they'll have 36 Google servers in 12 locations to help run the tests.

Google helps found M-Lab to identify ISPs who throttle torrents

The Power to Fight Eviction
Topic: Technology 11:10 am EST, Jan 18, 2009

Jason Scott's Protection From Online Eviction? and his follow up post make the argument that services like AOL, MySpace, flickr, or Skype should be treated like landlords.

The power landlords have over tenants is overwhelming, unless restricted by law. The argument: if they want to shut down a service, essentially evicting users, they should be required to give notice and keep things running for a year.

This would allow people to safely migrate their digital objects like photos and videos and blog posts, renew relationships with people in their contacts and agree on where to move, file change of address notices for their businesses, and otherwise minimize the logistical, economic, political, emotional, and familial havoc forcible ejection can create.

The Power to Fight Eviction

Mythbusters Gagged: Credit Card Companies Kill Episode Exposing RFID Security Flaws
Topic: Technology 11:19 am EST, Dec 17, 2008

Adam Savage answers a question about RFID Censorship at the Last H.O.P.E. Hacker Conference ( which took place on July, 18-20 2008 ...

Mythbusters Gagged: Credit Card Companies Kill Episode Exposing RFID Security Flaws

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