Items tagged with Legal

When we first caught wind of this story, we thought maybe there was some kind of bizarre oral fixation that prompted a New York resident to toss a perfectly good USB thumb drive into his mouth and swallow it like a Tylenol. As it turns out, Florin Necula was simply trying to destroy evidence seized during a federal raid.We've seen this tactic in several spy movies, and we're guessing so did Necula. But what Necula didn't take into account was how much more durable portable flash drives are compared to paper, which is a lot easier to digest. But more on that in a minute.First, let's discuss for a moment why the hungry New Yorker would eat a flash drive in the first place. According to The Smoking... Read more...
Thinking of using those newfound hacking skills to engage in nefarious behavior? Think again. Albert Gonzalez is a name that'll go down in hacking history, but it's not for anything positive. After being charged with stealing some 130 million credit and debit card numbers, Albert plead guilty to previous data-theft charges in New York and Massachusetts. His penalty? Aside from dealing with a stream of media coverage, he'll be forced to cough up $1.65 million in assets. Oh, and then there's a little thing called "jail time." He'll be dealing with 15 to 25 years of that, after Federal prosecutors in Boston charged Gonzalez and others with stealing credit and debit card numbers from companies including... Read more...
Seriously folks, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried. In fact, this is the stuff that pure comedic gold is made of. Duke Nukem Forever, which is arguably the most highly hyped game to never emerge in official fashion, was thought to extinguished forever when 3D Realms (its developer) went under earlier this month. Weeks later, the game has resurfaced in conversation yet again, further proving the point that this title simply will not ever die. According to a blurb over at Bloomberg, Take-Two Interactive Software, which makes the heralded Grand Theft Auto series of video games, has sued Apogee Software's 3D Realms over the "failed development of a sequel to Duke Nukem." You see, Take-Two... Read more...
We feel like we've been here before, and in fact, we have. Sort of, at least. The same hotly debated video game law in California has come to the forefront of attention once more, with a federal appeals court striking down the law that sought to bar minors from purchasing or renting games that were deemed too violent. The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the original 2005 law "violates minors' rights under the Constitution's First and 14th amendments." The three judge panel's unanimous ruling upholds an earlier ruling in the United States District Court. If it would have passed, the law would have prohibited the rental or sale of "violent" (who determines that, we wonder?)... Read more...
While we're hardly in favor of the Senate's approval of a four month delay on the has-to-happen-sometime digital TV transition, this is one political agenda we can definitely stand behind. Reportedly, United States lawmakers are mulling a plan that would provide tax credits for Internet and wireless companies as part of a "broad stimulus package to boost the ailing economy."Specifically, AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Sprint were named as examples, though any firm with the willingness and ability to "build out high-speed Internet in rural and underserved areas" could soon see a 10 percent tax credit. For the overachievers out there, a remarkable 20 percent break would be doled out to outfits... Read more...
MP3 is a lossy format - meaning you lose quality from the original. Because of that fact, wording in a recently passed Italian law may have just made trading MP3 files legal.The law states that music or images that are at "degraded or low resolution" can be distributed on the Internet "for scientific or educational use, and only when such use is not for profit," according to a rough translation.Experts that have reviewed the law told the Italian daily La Repubblica that even though MP3's are not specifically mentioned, the fact that the word degraded is used implies the existence of that format, which is by technical definition a "lossy" format that loses some fidelity through degradation. An... Read more...
Despite being able to buy unlocked iPhones in many cities at third party importers, it seems that there will be no official iPhone for China at this time.  This could be the product of putting a partially government owned telecom in the same room with a reportedly stubborn electronics dealer and expecting them to hammer out an agreement.The net result is no formal agreement, but those that want iPhones can still buy illegally unlocked ones without any trouble.  Apple is losing out on at least some form of revenue sharing to an audience of consumers that is larger than the entire U.S. Population.“China Mobile remained cool in its response about the split, with a spokeswoman merely stating,... Read more...
We're not referring to just any keyword ad. But 1-800-Contacts is suing Lensworld for buying search link advertising using the keyword: 1-800-Contacts. The downstream effect of a win for 1-800-Contacts would essentially make buying keyword ads that feature things like your competitor's name or trademarks illegal. Google, call your lawyers. In one of best-publicized cases dealing with trademarks in online ads, Google prevailed over insurance giant Geico after trial in 2004. A federal district court judge in that case ruled that Geico hadn't proven that consumers were confused when they were shown links to Geico rivals after typing "Geico" into the query box.Google in 2006 also won a major case... Read more...
We haven't been shy about our love for ASUS's new ultra-portable laptop, the Eee PC.  Thus we were a bit surprised to hear that new Eee PC purchaser Cliff Biffle is threatening legal action over the alleged inclusion of proprietary software and hardware that may be in violation of the GPL.“Biffle decided to disassemble the software -- which is permitted under the GPL -- and found that the asus_acpi kernel module was modified from the Linux 2.6.21.4 version. While the modification itself is permitted, in order to comply with the regulations of the GPL, ASUS has not published its modified sources, retained prior module attribution (name, version, and author) and has apparently stripped... Read more...
How many times have you been annoyed by a cell phone user, practically shouting into his or her phone on a bus or subway?  Or been annoyed by someone's phone ringing in the theatre?  More than you can count, right?  Unless, of course, you are of the offenders.  Ever wish you could rip the phone out of their hands, or just tell them to knock it off?  Some are doing more than that, illegally, however.One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,”... Read more...
Sony’s PlayStation 3 has experienced a huge problem with sales ever since its release in late 2006. Just when things were starting to look up with the price cut on the PS3 and the widespread backing of Blu-ray technology, the PS3 has managed to get itself in a bind again. U.S. company Parallel Processing has filed a lawsuit against Sony on the basis of a patent infringement. PS3s are fitted with IBM-built Cell processors, which Parallel Processing contends infringes on its October of 1991 hardware patent, “Synchronized Parallel Processing with Shared Memory.” “The patent explains how new processor architecture could break a program ‘into smaller concurrent processes running in different parallel... Read more...
For years people have used the internet to pirate all kinds of things, and until fairly recently the pirates rarely got in any serious trouble despite all the new anti-piracy laws passed in dozens of countries.  It seems like all of that is starting to change and it's hard to go a week without hearing about some new high profile case against online pirates like this: "We recently published an article that reported the U.S. FBI busted a Chicago resident who allegedly uploaded four episodes of "24" to the Internet.  Working under the online alias of ECOtotal, Romero uploaded the four episodes to LiveDigital.com, which made them available more than a week before the TV premiere.  Jorge Romero... Read more...
Major League Baseball is joining the growing ranks of companies who are less than enthusiastic about the "placeshifting" feature.  Here's a tidbit from Ars Technica: "Like other professional sports leagues, Major League Baseball is jealous of its content. The latest company to come under its scrutiny is Sling Media, makers of the Slingbox television place-shifting device. According to The Hollywood Reporter Esq. (subscription), MLB is upset that fans can watch out-of-market games via the Slingbox, calling the device illegal." So what's the big deal?  Well it seems that MLB and other media organizations want to have some control over what various markets watch, and of course what they pay... Read more...
Apparently, a new licensing agreement is being finalized that could make it legal for consumers who have already purchased a HD DVD or Blu-Ray disc to make a bakcup copy... "Under a licensing agreement in its final stages, consumers may get the right to make several legal copies of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies they’ve purchased, a concession by the movie industry that may quell criticism that DRM (digital rights management) technologies are too restrictive. The agreement, if supported by movie studios and film companies, could allow a consumer to make a backup copy in case their original disc is damaged and another copy for their home media server, said Michael Ayers, a representative of... Read more...
BitTorrent, the peer to peer file sharing giant, is launching a download service that offers licensed, legitimate versions of TV and movie downloads. Cue the mass hysteria. The San Francisco-based company is betting that at least one-third of the 135 million people who have downloaded the BitTorrent software will be willing to pay for high-quality legitimate content rather than take their chances with pirated fare. "The vast majority of our audience just loves digital content," Ashwin Navin, president and co-founder of BitTorrent, told The Associated Press. "Now we have to program for that audience and create a better experience for that content... Read more...
It looks like NVIDIA's lack of drivers for the GeForce 8 series may result in some legal troubles for the company. A class action lawsuit has been filed against NVIDIA by customers who claim that the company's use of the phrase "Vista Ready" in their advertising campaign was misleading since there are no WHQL Windows Vista certified drivers for available GeForce 8 products. A group of Nvidia customers are upset over the company's lack of final Vista drivers and are now threatening a class action lawsuit against the graphics card giant. The customers claim that the cards don't adequately work with Microsoft's newest operating system and feel that the company isn't being... Read more...
 "DVD Jon" is back at it. Already a hero with the Pringles and Jolt Cola hacker community-- at age fifteen, no less -- for unscrambling the DVD Content Scrambling System, Jon Lech Johansen returns at age twenty-two with a way to get around the playback restrictions on Apple Computer's iPod and iTunes music products: Today, songs purchased from Apple's online iTunes Music Store can't be played on portable devices made by other companies. Songs purchased from many other online music stores also won't work on iPods because they similarly use a form of copy-protection that Apple doesn't support. Johansen said he has developed... Read more...
Microsoft received a bit of good news earlier, as an appeals court ruling has barred people who bought their software directly from Microsoft, from filing suits for antitrust violations. This does not affect a previous case in which Microsoft has to pay more than $1 billion to settle other class-action suits. "In addition to claims of being overcharged, the plaintiffs in the case had claimed that they were harmed by the lack of competitive technologies that resulted from Microsoft's anticompetitive actions. However, both the appeals court and the earlier lower court ruling by Maryland District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz rejected their... Read more...
Good afternoon folks! New Year's eve is only two days away, and I'm still not sure about what I'm going to do. Whatever it is though, don't expect me to be posting any news the next morning(or even afternoon) ;) I've got a few things I need to pick up at Wal*Mart, so let's get rolling... ASUS EXTREME AX800 XT PE/2DHTV @ HEXUS.net "It's hard to recommend any graphics card that costs more than a reasonable PC. £430 is an awful lot of money to be spending on a present card when a refresh is just around the corner. In that case, as comprehensive as it is, ASUS' AX800 XP PE/2DHTV package is simply too expensive to be considered by all but the very well-off enthusiast." Gigabyte GeForce... Read more...
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