DMCA Whack-a-Mole | Tech Talk Today 26

DMCA Whack-a-Mole | Tech Talk Today 26

Github is served with another DMCA takedown, this time for Popcorn Time. Is this the start of a bad trend, and does the open source community need to develop a Github replacement? We’ll debate.

Plus the latest Snowden leaks reveal the GCHQ’s troll like skills, Microsoft launches an assault on Chromebooks, the US says it can have your cloud data & more!

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Latest Snowden Revelations Suggest GCHQ Is Just Like 4Chan Trolls, But With More Firepower

As Greenwald details (and the embedded document below reveals), among GCHQ’s capabilities in its Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) are a bunch of things that sound quite a bit like traditional internet trolling efforts. These include juicing internet polls to vote for GCHQ’s favorite candidate as well as flooding email inboxes or websites and even connecting two people on the phone and listening to the conversation.

Here are the programs Greenwald highlights:

  • “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)
  • “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)
  • “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)
  • “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)
  • “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)
  • “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)
  • “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)
  • “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)
  • “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)
  • “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (” (ELATE)
  • “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)
  • “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

Of course, this is not the first time that JTRIG has been called out by Glenn Greenwald for its sneaky online practices. Last time, Greenwald highlighted its practice of putting a bunch of false info online about someone to destroy their reputation.

US government says online storage isn’t protected by the Fourth Amendment

A couple months ago, a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information even if they were stored overseas. The decision came about as part of an effort to dig up a Microsoft user’s account information stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft responded to the ruling and challenged it, stating that the government’s longstanding views of digital content on foreign servers are wrong, and that the protections applied to physical materials should be extended to digital content. In briefs filed last week, however, the US government countered. It states that according to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), content stored online simply do not have the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical data.

From the Justice Department’s point of view, this law is necessary in an age where “fraudsters” and “hackers” use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well. Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation. However, Microsoft believes there are wide-ranging implications for such a statement, and it’s not the only company that thinks so. Verizon also responded, stating that this would create “dramatic conflict with foreign data protection laws” and Apple and Cisco joined in by saying this could potentially damage international relations. In the meantime, a senior counsel for the Irish Supreme Court offered that a “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty” be pursued so that the US government can get at the email account in question.

Microsoft launches a price assault on Chromebooks | The Verge

At the company’s partner conference today, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner revealed that HP is planning to release a $199 laptop running Windows for the holidays. Turner didn’t provide specifications for HP’s “Stream” device, but he did detail $249 laptop options from Acer and Toshiba. Acer’s low-cost laptop will ship with a 15.6-inch screen and a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron processor, and Toshiba’s includes a 11.6-inch display

Turner also revealed that HP is planning to release 7- and 8-inch versions of its new “Stream” PCs for $99 this holiday season, both running versions of Windows. “We are going to participate at the low-end,” says Turner.

Microsoft to Announce Job Cuts as Soon as This Week – Bloomberg

The reductions — which may be unveiled as soon as this week — will probably be in areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The restructuring may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the 5,800 jobs cut in 2009, two of the people said. Some details are still being worked out, two of the people said.

Home Depot begins selling MakerBot 3D printers

Home Depot became the latest retailer to offer 3D printers today when it began selling MakerBots online and in 12 stores nationwide. The store is selling three printer models, plus MakerBot’s 3D scanner and filament. The 12 stores are located in California, Illinois and New York. “Imagine a world where you can 3D print replacement parts and use 3D printing as an integral part of design and building work,” MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis said in a release.

Announcing CrossOver 13.2.0

CrossOver 13.2.0 provides much greater ease of installation for Linux
users. With CrossOver 13.2.0, more Windows applications
will run out-of-the box on a fresh installation of CrossOver.

In the Linux version of CrossOver 13.2.0 we have changed our philosophy
about what to install automatically alongside CrossOver. In the past,
CrossOver sought to have the smallest possible footprint by depending
only on packages which were absolutely necessary for CrossOver to run.
Many times, this meant that our Linux users were forced to install
additional packages to get Windows applications running. With
CrossOver 13.2.0, we have made the CrossOver Linux packages depend on
many of the most common packages which Windows applications need.
Linux users can install CrossOver 13.2.0 and Windows applications more
easily than ever before.

For both Mac and Linux, CrossOver 13.2.0 includes stability
improvements for games running with Performance Enhanced Graphics.
Problems installing Adobe Acrobat have been resolved, as has a bug
registering CrossOver for users with non-Latin characters in their

Yet another DMCA takedown on Github: MPAA PULLS “POPCORN TIME” REPOSITORIES OFF GITHUB : linux

Aside from the fact that this is a controversial piece of software (let’s not get into it), it looks like that Github is no longer a safe place to work with.

First Qualcomm[1] , now MPAA[2] , I wonder how many projects were taken down which are not big enough thing for media to cover.

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