By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-when-ubuntu-was-about-to-sign-up department
writes with news of a settlement in a case of Rent-to-Own firms grossly violating the privacy of their customers. From the article: "Seven rent-to-own companies and a software developer have settled federal charges that they spied on customers, ... The companies captured screenshots of confidential and personal information, logged keystrokes, and took webcam pictures of people in their homes. Their aim was to track the computers belonging to customers who were behind with their payments.
'An agreement to rent a computer doesn't give a company license to access consumers' private emails, bank account information, and medical records, or, even worse, webcam photos of people in the privacy of their own homes,' says FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz. 'The FTC orders today will put an end to their cyber spying.' Developer DesignerWare produced the software that was used to gather the information, PC Rental Agent. The package included a 'kill switch' designed to disable a computer of it was stolen, or if payments weren't made. However, an add-on program called Detective Mode could log key strokes, capture screen shots and take photographs using a computer's webcam, says the FTC in its complaint (PDF)."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rms-detained-on-hooliganism-charges department
fermion writes with news of Windows computers being forcefully liberated: "The campaign headquarters of Michael Grimm, a U.S. House of Representatives member from New York, were vandalized. What has not been reported everywhere is that Linux was installed on one of his computers, erasing data in the process. Is this a new attack on democracy by the open source radicals, or it is just a random occurrence?"
From the article: "'In fact, one officer said to me today they see this as a crime against the government, because I am a sitting United States congressman and they take it very seriously. You know, especially in light of what happened with Gabby Giffords, we're not in the world today where we can shrug things off,' Grimm said. ... [GNU/]Linux, an open-source operating system, was installed on Grimm's computers, erasing the hard drive contents, which included polling and voter identification data. But staff had backed up the hard drive contents hours beforehand. Grimm and his staffers said the vandalism — cement blocks were thrown through the office's windows — is a cover-up for the attacks on the computers."Read Replies (0)
Steve Jobs Joins House of Wax
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's kind-of-creepy department
:Hugh Pickens writes
writes "The LA Times reports that Steve Jobs is about to join Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Nicole Kidman, and Mozart at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, the tourist attraction famous for creating hauntingly lifelike sculptures of famous people. The model of Jobs, to be unveiled to mark the first anniversary of Jobs' death, is based on pictures taken of the tech innovator during a 2006 Fortune magazine shoot and shows the Apple Inc. cofounder in a relaxed position, arms crossed loosely over his chest, with a pair of silver-rimmed Lunor glasses perched on his face and wearing a black cotton turtle neck, Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers. The company says a team of artists spent three months working on the wax figure, inserting each strand of hair one by one into the wax head using a forked needle, and using fine silk threads to recreate the subtle veining in the whites of his eyes. The figure will remain at the Historical and National Heroes attraction of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong through November 26, before travelling on to Madame Tussauds Bangkok and then Madame Tussauds Shanghai."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's grotesque-fonts-lead-to-grotesque-crashes department
bdking writes "A typeface family commonly found on the devices installed in many modern cars is more likely to cause drivers to spend more time looking away from the road than an alternative typeface tested in two studies, according to new research from MIT's AgeLab."
It seems that the closed letter forms of Grotesque
type faces require slightly more time to read than open letter forms of Humanist
type faces, just enough that it could be problematic at highway speeds.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-privacy-down-under department
CuteSteveJobs writes "The Age reports on creeping Australian government surveillance, beginning with the first operation launched on a baseless rumor. Six decades later the still-unaware victim read five months of transcripts with deep distress. Two decades ago few Australians would have consented to carrying a government-accessible tracking device, but phone and tablet data accessible without a warrant includes historic and real-time location data. In 2010-2011 there were 250,000 warrantless accesses by Federal agencies including ASIO, AFP, the Tax Office, Defence, Immigration, Citizenship, Health, Ageing, and Medicare. This is 18 times the rate of similar requests in the U.S."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's since-when-was-adobe-this-cool department
writes "From the sourceforge page: 'Source Sans is a set of monospaced OpenType fonts that have been designed to work well coding environments. This family of fonts is a complementary design to the Source Sans family.' License: Open Font License 1.1 (OFL 1.1) (both FSF and DFSG free). Hope to see it Debian (& other) repositories soon."
The example text doesn't really look too
much better than Inconsolata
. But, hey, who can complain about more liberally licensed fonts?Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's hep-cats-all-using-mips department
An anonymous reader writes "Raspberry Pi was designed for education. As any popular product is bound to, Raspberry Pi has been criticized a lot for things like lack of a box, absence of supplied charger or even WiFi. Raspberry Pi has a much more fundamental flaw, which directly conflicts with its original goal: it is a black box tightly sealed with patents and protected by corporations. It isn't even remotely an open platform."
The author thinks that patents on ARM are a serious threat to the openness of the platform (among other things like the proprietary GPU blob needed to boot). But even the FSF doesn't go that far
. Wired had an editorial with the foundation justifying "selling out a little to sell a lot
" that has a lot of info on the choices they had to make to hit their cost target.Read Replies (0)