Top 10 Technology Stories Of the Week – July 1st to July 7th, 2012

Sign Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’s petition…, US wireless carriers…, Apple’s patent absurdity…, The Oatmeal wins…, The Evidence Against Him…, black boxes…, Controversial bill…, swipe-to-unlock patent dispute…, Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk Update…, 28% of teenagers text fully-n*de pictures…1. US trying to prosecute UK citizen for copyright crime that took place on UK soil. Sign Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’s petition to stop his extradition to the US. (184,000/200,000)

Richard O’Dwyer is a 24 year old British student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He is facing extradition to the USA and up to ten years in prison, for creating a website – TVShack.net – which linked (similar to a search-engine) to places to watch TV and movies online. O’Dwyer is not a US citizen, he’s lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US. America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.

2. US wireless carriers are a huge threat to innovation. Here’s why

Five years ago, the iPhone revolutionized the mobile business and kicked off a seismic shift in the technology industry that continues today. But the massive success of Apple’s phone has overshadowed the grim reality of an American wireless marketplace that has become increasingly hostile to innovation — a market tightly controlled by carriers who capriciously pick winners and losers while raising prices and insisting that their use of valuable public spectrum remain free of any oversight. While the iPhone is a raging success, the wireless market is headed towards total failure.

3. Apple’s patent absurdity exposed at last. US appeal court judge Richard Posner has finally said the unsayable: that Apple’s and other tech firms’ patent battles are a ridiculous abuse of intellectual property law.

There are, I submit, good grounds to argue that Richard Allen Posner,judge of the United States court of appeals for the seventh circuit, is the most infuriating man on the surface of the planet, but they are not the ones you’d expect. He is not, for example, a horrible human being: on the contrary, people whose judgment I respect describe him in unequivocally admiring tones. Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School, for example, calls Posner “probably America’s greatest living jurist”. And my friendLarry Lessig of Harvard once wrote of him that “there isn’t a federal judge I respect more, both as a judge and person”.

Apple iPhone

 4. The Oatmeal wins! Carreon withdraws lawsuit!

Attorney Charles Carreon dropped his bizarre lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman today, ending his strange legal campaign against Inman’s humorous and creative public criticism of a frivolous cease and desist letter that Carreon wrote on behalf of his client Funny Junk.

5. FBI Continues To Insist There’s No Reason For Kim Dotcom To Be Able To See The Evidence Against Him

We already noted that the New Zealand judicial system apparently isn’t as willing as the US expected to rubberstamp approval of the extradition of Kim Dotcom. Part of that ruling was a requirement that the US turn over the evidence they’re using against Dotcom, so that he can counter it in fighting against the extradition. However, it appears that the US is still fighting this, having the New Zealand prosecutor (who is fighting on their behalf) argue that Dotcom should only be allowed to see a single document out of the 22 million emails the FBI collected and that this really isn’t a matter for the New Zealand courts to concern themselves with, as they should just let the Americans handle it.

 6. UK Govt: ISPs must use ‘black boxes’ issued by government that decrypts gmail SSLs and store communications history for 1 year.

As part of the Home Office’s communications data bill, internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile phone companies will be obliged to collect communications records and keep them for a year, writes Channel 4 News Technology Producer Geoff White. The government has insisted that the actual content of messages won’t be stored, but until now it has not been clear how communications companies will be able to separate content from “header data”, such as the sender and recipient of a message, and the date it was sent.

 7. Controversial bill is currently debated in Parliament which will grant British intelligence full access to web communications made by UK citizens: “Black boxes” would monitor every online information flow including social media and emails – an idea which is “clearly unacceptable”


 8. HTC defeats Apple in swipe-to-unlock patent dispute

HTC is claiming victory in a patent dispute with Apple after a ruling by the High Court in London. The judge ruled that HTC had not infringed four technologies that Apple had claimed as its own. He said Apple’s slide-to-unlock feature was an “obvious” development in the light of a similar function on an earlier Swedish handset.

9. Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk Update: Charles Carreon files restraining order to keep donated funds from being distributed to charities

Here it was, Saturday night, and I was all set for a relaxing evening: a few beers at the Yard House and then a movie with my lovely wife, perhaps a few (or a few dozen) turns of Civ V (with the expansion), and sleep. Or maybe I was going to spend the evening conferring with my shadowy Illuminati brethren, spinning our web to control your destiny. It really depends on whom you ask.

10. 28% of teenagers text fully-n*de pictures of themselves. “Under most existing laws, (…) several million teens could be prosecuted for child p*rnography.”

“Under most existing laws, if our findings were extrapolated nationally, several million teens could be prosecuted for child p*rnography,” explains a new study on teen s*xting, which finds that a whopping 28% of teenagers text fully-n*de pictures of themselves. We took a deep dive into the much reported Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine article, and found some weird insights into a 21st century trend that is quickly becoming the norm among teenagers.