New internet error code 451…, ‘sponsored stories’…, Dutch political party D66…, Megaupload’s legal team…, Data Mining Exec Pays For Burgers…, “Shake Down” of BitTorrent Pirates…, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover …, science fiction…, World’s Largest Telescope…, Unfixable Computers…
1. New internet error code 451 could be created to indicate censorship, as a tribute to Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury’s fiction looks set to enter the structure of the internet, after a software developer has proposed a new HTTP status code inspired by Fahrenheit 451. Tim Bray, a fan of Bradbury’s writing, is recommending to the Internet Engineering Task Force, which governs such choices, that when access to a website is denied for legal reasons the user is given the status code 451.
2. Facebook forced to allow users to opt out of adverts. Facebook has been forced to allow users to opt out of their names being used in ‘sponsored stories’ as part of a legal settlement with five angry members of the network.
The legal case against Facebook began last year, after five users were annoyed about their faces being used as part of Facebook’s ‘sponsored stories’ – which allow companies to use the photos and names of people who have ‘liked’ their brand in their adverts on the social network. As part of the $10m (£6m) settlement the social network agreed to in order for the case to be dropped, Facebook will allow users the chance to opt out of their profiles being used in these adverts for at least the next two years.
3. Dutch political party D66 thinks DDoS-attacks should be seen as an online protest and therefore legalized
D66 would DDoS attacks committed as an online demonstration no longer want to be labeled as illegal. It reports news agency Novum. D66 wants to own say clear rules for online demonstrations. The legalization of DDoS attacks could be part of these rules. However, the political party as a requirement that the attack is announced in advance, so that companies already take measures to limit its impact. According to Verhoeven, the rules around digital demonstrations are defined by law. By setting up rules to such online demonstrations would be permitted to proceed to decent, believes D66.
4. Megaupload’s legal team has accused the US Department of Justice of making up its own rules, while disrespecting foreign sovereignty. The US is intentionally maintaining “flawed criminal action” in a case that should be dismissed
Last month Megaupload asked the court to dismiss the case because U.S. law doesn’t permit criminal proceedings against foreign companies. The issue has become crucial in the ongoing Megaupload proceedings, as it may lead to a premature dismissal of the case. According to “Rule 4″ of criminal procedure the authorities have to serve a company at an address in the United States. However, since Megaupload is a Hong Kong company, this was and is impossible.
5. Data Mining Exec Pays For Burgers In Cash To Keep His Insurance Company From Knowing His Bad Diet Habits
The Economist recently had an interesting article on how insurance companies are increasingly using data mining to “analyze risk.” That is, they look through the data which was originally collected for the purpose of better marketing, and use it as a tool to see if you lead an unhealthy life. However, the really interesting point is highlighted by Kashmir Hill, where an exec at a datamining company admits that he’s changed his habits because of this. Not his eating habits, mind you. But how he purchases food:
A big win for Comcast and its subscribers in a federal court in Illinois. Comcast successfully defended its subscribers from being harassed by so-called copyright trolls. Two weeks ago we first reported that Comcast was no longer complying to court ordered subpoenas where the ISP is asked to give up personal information of alleged BitTorrent pirates.
On August 5, NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will touch down on the surface of the Red Planet. Or that’s what we all hope, because it will be the craziest landing in the history of space exploration. The landing sequence alone requires six vehicle configurations, 76 pyrotechnic devices, the largest supersonic parachute ever built, and more than 500,000 lines of code. It’s such an intense undertaking that the scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, call it The Seven Minutes of Terror.
8. It sounds like science fiction, but is back on the table after nearly a century of talk: a railway to reconnect the Far East with the Far West, theoretically enabling a Londoner to travel by rail all the way to the US of A…
It sounds like science fiction, but is back on the table after nearly a century of talk: a railway to reconnect the Far East with the Far West, theoretically enabling a Londoner to travel by rail all the way to the US of A (though industrial uses are currently the priority over passengers).
9. The World’s Largest Telescope? – A network of silver boxes and sensors that are making up the largest telescope in the world to pick up where the SETI program left off. | Wired.com
I have a little silver box in my house, connected to my modem, with a sensor that hangs outside a window. It is just one part of a network of silver boxes and sensors that are making up the largest telescope in the world to pick up where the SETI program left off. ERGO is the Energetic Ray Global Observatory. This is the brain child of Tom Bales, who was inspired by a TED talk. He says:
I’ve been writing about Apple and the value of repair for the better part of the last decade. Repair is our mission at iFixit — and it always has been. Even so, I didn’t expect the scale of the public response when I argued last week that consumers should choose the hackable, fixable non-Retina MacBook Pro over its sleeker-and-shinier-but-locked-down sibling.Ads by Google