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Sony faces class action lawsuits for DRM

Posted by: in Uncategorized
17
Feb

Friday, November 11, 2005

California, Italy and New York are the first to bring litigation against Sony BMG‘s digital rights management (DRM) software found in at least 20 music discs released by Sony. The software automatically installs after the user agrees to a end user license agreement (EULA) before the music disc can be played, and includes a rootkit that can create vulnerabilities in the user’s Windows computer. One trojan horse exploiting the hole has already been discovered online.

The California lawsuit, filed on November 1, claims that the software violates the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, and the California Unfair Competition Law. The upcoming lawsuit in New York would seek restitution for consumers nationwide.

Mathew Gilliat-Smith, the CEO of First 4 Internet, the company that created the software, claims it is “benign content.” Meanwhile, in an NPR interview, a Sony BMG Music Entertainment Vice President said, “Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”

Sony and First 4 Internet have released “patches” and uninstall kits, after programmer Mark Russinovich discovered the hidden files from the rootkit. However, these uninstall kits are only installable online through an ActiveX application, a technology many security experts advise users to deactivate due to its high execution privileges on host computers.

In addition to questions of legality, the DRM software has come under fire from media rights activists and even artists who unwittingly found their albums more stringently protected than they approved of. Furthermore, Sony’s DRM software “phones home” each time one of their CDs is played. The license agreement does not reveal this behavior, nor does it acknowledge the existence of the rootkit itself.

Thomas Hesse of Sony BMG recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that 60 percent of Sony BMG CDs released in the United States currently have copy protection measures, and that they aim to hit 100 percent by early 2006.

byadmin

Keeping warm in the winter can be a challenge, especially when you’re faced with high heating bills. Most people use space heaters and other direct contact heating to keep them warm while running their furnaces on low in the background. Whether you’re using propane tanks in Manchester CT, or power from your local energy company, there are ways to save on heating costs. Here are a few of them to get you started.

Whole Home Insulation

If you haven’t already done so, make sure that your home is fully insulated for the winter. It’s not enough to just insulate the attic and not the rest of the home, especially if you have an older structure. Your walls need to be insulated to keep the cold air from coming into the cracks and crevices of the outer walls of your home. You can have a company do this for you, or you can do it yourself. It’s one of the best ways to keep the heat in and save on heating costs in the winter.

Window Coverings

Your window coverings should have a thermal backing. Thermal coverings can help keep the cold out. You can also cover your windows with plastic to ensure that no cold air seeps in from that area. This is a simple task that can be done within a few hours, depending on the size of your home. When you’re out buying propane tanks in Manchester CT, stop and pick up a roll of plastic. It’s inexpensive and could make a big difference in the amount of cold air that enters your home from the windows.

Layered Clothing

When you’re at home in the winter, layer up your clothing to keep from having to turn up the thermostat. Add a layer of long johns to your normal clothing, and this could make a big difference in how you feel. Heavy sweaters that are easy to remove are also ideal in winter. Wool socks and other warm materials can be beneficial when the winter months arrive and you’re not able to pay for the increase in power needed to keep warm. You will need to keep your pipes from freezing, so turning your furnace off entirely to use a space heater or any other source of alternative heating is not recommended.

Start your search for propane tanks in Manchester CT now, and start seeing a difference in your energy costs.

Indonesia’s president visits victims of tsunami

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16
Feb

Friday, July 21, 2006

Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, visited the area worst hit by the tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Java Monday afternoon. Mr Yudhoyono toured the small town of Pangandaran meeting people who were staying in a temporary camp. Many of them are too scared to return home after the huge wave killed nearly 550 people. The tsunami was produced by an underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale.

At the camp, Mr Yudhoyono told one woman to “be strong”. According to a relief worker, about 3,000 people have taken refuge at the site, but only about 500 of them have lost their homes. She said people are too scared to go home because they live on the coast, a sentiment shared by one woman who told AFP: “I did not lose my home, and my husband and child are safe, but we are still traumatised by the tsunami and are too afraid to return home in case another one comes.”

West Java Governor Danny Setiawan told journalists that officials are persuading people to return home, and he said a return to normality “could take five to six years”.

Aid workers are working to provide relief to the 15,500 people who have been left homeless as a result of the two-meter high wave. Yesterday, 15 tonnes of rice and 1,600 boxes of instant noodles were dropped, but some residents have said government assistance is necessary for them to regain their livelihoods. One woman told Reuters, “I don’t have anything, only 5,000 rupiah (£0.30, $0.55) in my wallet. The government should give us money to buy houses and a boat.”

It is estimated over 300 people are still missing, and the army and police are using helicopters, boats and mechanical diggers in the hope of recovering survivors. Lieutenant Colonel Tri Yuniarta has told his 350-strong rescue team in Pangandaran to finish collecting bodies trapped under debris by next Monday.

The Indonesian government has been criticised for failing to inform residents that a tsunami was looming. After the underwater earthquake was detected, US and Japanese agencies issued warning notices, but the government has admitted it was unable to transmit the bulletins to coastal areas. Speaking yesterday, Mr Yudhoyono vowed to hasten efforts to build an early warning system planned after the 2004 Asian tsunami. “We want to expedite efforts to get infrastructure for the tsunami warning system in place,” AP quoted him as saying. “I will work with parliament to get the budget”.

Survivors have described the tsunami, which struck a 200km stretch of Java‘s southern coast. A Belgian tourist said he was in a beach side bar when the wave hit. “I saw this big cloud of dark sea water coming up to me”.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific Rim of Fire where 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

United States Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska has been indicted by federal grand jury on seven criminal counts for making false statements in his Senate financial disclosure forms. The longest-serving Republican in the Senate, Stevens is the highest-profile politician ensnared in the corruption scandal surrounding VECO Corporation and its executives’ attempts to influence politics.

VECO, a subsidiary of CH2M Hill as of September 2007, is an oil pipeline and services company. It is alleged to have funded renovations to the Stevens home in Girdwood, Alaska in 2000. The renovations include a new garage and first floor, a two story wrap-around deck, as well as new wiring and plumbing. In 2007, VECO chief executive Bill Allen pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy.

The 28-page indictment alleges that Stevens “knowingly and willfully engaged in a scheme to conceal” gifts from VECO, which totaled “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value.”

A press release was issued by Stevens’ office in response to the allegations: “I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that.” And Stevens himself commented, “I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator.” Senator Daniel Inouye, a close friend of Stevens, commented: “As far as he’s concerned, he’s not guilty. And I believe him.”

Stevens was reportedly caught unawares on Tuesday when the indictment charge was filed. “Apparently, the media knew about it before he did,” Inouye stated, adding that he had just talked to Stevens. Ted Stevens was in a meeting with other Republicans when he found out about the charge.

Stevens is the longest-serving Republican senator in history and is up for reelection this November. Calls to his office in Washington for comment were redirected to a voicemail indicating that his “office is closed.”

The United States Department of Justice says it has already obtained seven convictions in the case: Peter Kott, a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives; Thomas T. Anderson, a former state representative; Victor H. Kohring, another representative; James A. Clark, chief of staff to the former governor of Alaska; William Bobrick, a lobbyist; Bill Allen, VECO chief executive; and Richard L. Smith, VECO vice president of government relations.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi peace activist who lives in the United States, was forced to change his T-Shirt, which bore an Arabic slogan, because it was found “offensive”.

The incident took place in JFK airport in New York. The activist Jarrar reported in his blog RaedInTheMiddle that he had checked-in his bags and was issued a boarding pass. After waiting near the gate to board his jetBlue airlines flight, and after having to gone through a secondary search, two officials approached him.

“People are feeling offended because of your t-shirt,” Raed reported that one of the men said to him. The writings on the T-Shirt said in both Arabic and English: “We will not be silent”.

Raed asked why this has offended anyone, and insisted his right to freedom of expression was violated.

According to Jarrar, one of the inspectors said, “You can’t wear a T-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank”. The airport official, unable to read Arabic, was unyielding to protests by Jarrar that the English language version of the Arabic was accurate, and suggested he wear the shirt inside out.

“Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and customers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area”, Jarrar was told after he complained.

One employee from JetBlue offered to buy Jarrar a T-shirt to replace the one he was wearing, since the activist had none other after his bags were checked. Refusing at first, he agreed to wear one with “New York” written on it.

The officer on the scene commented that it need not have gone from one extreme to the other: wearing a T-Shirt with an Arabic peace slogan on it, to wearing one with ‘New York’. There is no reason to hate New York if you are an Arab speaking peace activist, according to Jarrar.

“I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the U.S. was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon,” Raed said.

He was issued another boarding pass, with a different seat at the back of the plane.

JetBlue said it was investigating the incident but a spokeswoman said: “We’re not clear exactly what happened.” The spokeswoman also said the airline does not forbid Arabic T-shirts, but that it does take into account the concerns of its passengers.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the US Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.

“We Will Not Be Silent” is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East.

It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.

By Chris Malta & Robin Cowie

Many online sellers tout

drop shipping

for its ease; others dismiss it, arguing it leaves no room for profit. Like every other product sourcing method, drop shipping brings its own unique set of advantages and drawbacks to your E-Biz:

The Basics

Drop shipping is service some wholesale distributors provide that enables you to sell items on your website without physically stocking them. The wholesaler warehouses large quantities of product, which you list in your web store. Your retail customers place their orders with you, and you pass them on to the drop shipper. The drop shipper sends the product directly to your customers, but remains invisible to them. The end result is that your small business appears larger than it really is.

The Upside

According to Jason Sanchez, CEO of One Net Enterprises (

oneinc.com

), drop shipping presents your business with numerous benefits:

Lower overhead

. Says Sanchez, The costs that go into warehousing and shipping individual items can be tremendous. It doesnt become efficient to do so until you do it on a large enough scale.

No inventory investments

. You dont pay the wholesaler for an order until your customer pays you. And you can

YouTube Preview Image

test new products

without purchasing inventory that may not sell.

Recovered time

. The time you spent receiving and organizing inventory, printing labels, and packing and shipping orders is time you can now spend promoting your website and providing faster customer service.

No order minimums

. Your wholesale orders are based on your customers orders. You can order as many or few items as you need even down to individual products.

Broader product selection

. You can carry items in your product line-up that would be difficult to physically stock; youre also able to offer large items, such as furniture, without the hassle of trying to ship each piece.

The Downside

Of course, drop shipping has limitations two in particular:

Thinner profit margins

. Wholesale is a

volume

business the more you buy, the better your price-per-piece. Explains Sanchez, Although your

drop ship prices are true wholesale prices, they are wholesale prices on one item

. Youre not receiving additional discounts for buying bulk, so your per-item-costs are naturally higher. Youre also paying a

drop ship fee

, either per container or per unique shipping location, to cover the extra labor and material costs the drop shipper incurs.

Occasional delivery issues

. If your drop shipper is slow filling your orders, or does a poor job packaging them, it reflects badly on you and costs you repeat business. When using a new supplier, its always a good idea to test them out first and get an idea of what your customers will experience. Place an order with them yourself, and see how quickly and competently they handle it. If you order a few of your most popular items, youll also have them on hand

in case your drop shipper ever runs short

.

The Bottom Line

Particularly when youre getting started, drop shipping is an easy, cost-effective tool for your E-Biz. That doesnt mean you should limit yourself to using

only

drop shipping

the most successful retailers use multiple product sourcing techniques

. Drop shipping is a great

complement

to your other product sourcing methods, and should be a

part of your overall product sourcing strategy

.

About the Author: Product Sourcing Radio is Created and Hosted by Chris Malta and Rob Cowie of WorldwideBrands.com, Home of OneSource: The Internet’s Largest Source of Genuine, Factory-Direct Wholesalers for online sellers.

Click Here

for FREE E-Biz & Product Sourcing info!

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=121858&ca=Internet

Trapped journalists in Libya freed

Posted by: in Uncategorized
12
Feb

Thursday, August 25, 2011

As many as three dozen correspondent journalists who were trapped inside the Rixos hotel in Tripoli for three days have finally been released unharmed.

Reporters from organisations such as the BBC, Reuters, Sky News, and CNN were freed around 4pm on Wednesday. The group were being held at the complex by armed men loyal to Gaddafi since Sunday night when the rebels stormed Tripoli and violence erupted in the surrounding streets.

CNN correspondent Matthew Chance said the journalists’ captivity ended when the guards were told about the changing situation in Tripoli and realized the regime might be over. A guard told the journalists, “Look, we’re not going to stop you from leaving anymore,” Chance reported. Shortly after being freed Chance posted on twitter, “#Rixos crisis ends. All journalists are out! #rixos.”

All the reporters who were held in the Rixos hotel were not even aware that the rebels had taken over Tripoli. Armed men loyal to Gaddafi, including snipers surrounded the hotel complex making it impossible for any of the journalists to go downtown and report on the severe conflict which is making a traumatic shift in the six month civil war. The hotel was one of the only places in the city still controlled by Gaddafi’s men.

Reportedly, the power was out on Sunday and Monday night and all the journalists could do was light candles and wait. Gunfire and explosions were heard from the direction of Gaddafi’s compound by journalists at the hotel. Trucks with machine guns were outside the Rixos and snipers were seen posted behind trees in the area. The journalists moved to the inside of the hotel to avoid being struck by stray bullets flying through glass windows.

Information on the situation was posted on twitter by the journalists who were being held captive. “Very dark, very quiet at the #Rixos some gunshots cracking outside,” tweeted CNN correspondent Matthew Chance during one of the power surges. Later on he then tweeted, ““#Rixos getting hit by stray bullets.”

The dozens of journalists were finally transported in Red Crescent cars to another Tripoli hotel, where they hugged friends and colleagues.

Lib Dems launch manifesto

Posted by: in Uncategorized
11
Feb

Thursday, April 14, 2005

An exhausted Charles Kennedy returned to the election campaign to launch a twenty page Liberal Democrat manifesto targeted at disaffected Labour voters, promising a fairer tax system and withdrawal from Iraq.

Entitled The Real Alternative the manifesto pledges to reduce the lowest rate of income tax, but increase the rate on those earning over £100,000 to 50%. The party would also scrap the unpopular local council tax in favour of a new local income tax. The manifesto also promises to remove hidden “stealth taxes”.

Under this system the party claims the poorest 15 million (25%) of people in Britain would be better off, and the middle 50% would be paying no extra tax.

The manifesto promised to scrap the controversial university tuition fees, increase services for pensioners and add £100 a month to the state pension, and train 21,000 new primary school teachers and 10,000 new police. A Lib Dem government would make eye and dental checks free, and reduce the cost of prescription medicine.

The Liberal Democrats were the only one of the three largest parliamentary parties to have consistently voted against the Iraq war, and the manifesto has promised an exit strategy with a phased withdrawal of Britain’s 8,000 troops still in the country.

“We reject a foreign policy based on ‘my ally right or wrong’,” Kennedy said. “And we say that war should always be a last resort.”

Kennedy, who became a father on Tuesday, admitted he’d had little sleep before the manifesto launch, and stumbled while answering questions on the proposed tax system.