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Last week a flurry of articles popped up showing that Microsoft had sent improper DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take down notices claiming infringing material on sites that criticized their new Metro (or not Metro) UI. The move appeared to be done in order to directly harm these sites search rating. Some of the sites affected were Betanews.com, ngohq.com, gHacks.com, Hardware Canuck.com Technize.com and more. It was a very unusual move, but one that we predicted after Google changed their search algorithm to reduce site’s search rankings after “valid” DMCA takedown notices were received.

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Google Apps ,The combination of Google cloud applications intended for group working under a user's domain,  has so far been available to users as both a free (Google Apps Standard Edition) and commercial variety (Google Apps for Business). Google has now decided to put an end to this so they canceled the free option. Individuals can still open up free Google App accounts, but you simply cannot setup one and attach it to a registerd domain name any more, at least not without paying.

win8logoredesignedSo Microsoft is on a push to get out as much information as they can about Windows 8. This new operating system represents a massive change for Microsoft and not just in the way the new OS will function, but also in the manner they are interacting with the public. This is evident in almost everything they are doing, from the building Windows 8 Blog to the public statements, demos and interviews that are happening frequently.

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"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours." This is the boilerplate statement that Apple makes in every patent case they are involved in. It is a message that the company claims time and time again. Even Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, says this about Apple. However, the statement is probably one of the biggest myths that the company perpetrates on the consumer and one that is finally coming to light as more and more consumers and even the media are starting to report on the number of times Apple has patented technology AFTER someone else invented it.

01Someone needs to send some of the Apple lawyers back to preschool where they find shapes that are the same and get to pick out colors as well. We are frankly getting sick of Judges bowing to Apple’s request for outright bans on products because they claim that they “look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging”. It simply does not hold up under even the most cursory examination. The latest after a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for possibly infringing on a SINGLE PATNET is they have been awarded one for on the Galaxy Nexus.

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Well looks like we were close to the mark with our comments this morning about a Facephone. If you remember we had talked about the rumors that continually popup about this legendary device and some of the “indicators” that have had analysts and journalists even claiming to know when one would launch. So far we have heard everything from it will be Nokia/Microsoft effort to an HTC/Android product. The problem was that most guesses about this were based on the simple fact that Facebook hired people from Apple and Palm. What they did not do was really look at what those people did and what they are doing at Facebook.

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We have a new winner of the “what were they thinking award” the CA/Browser Forum have won this one by changing the way that certificates are issued. Normally such changes are not intrusive and are intended to ensure better security for users. However, in this case the changes published in July of this year (and set to take effect in November 2015) will probably break a significant number of corporate networks simply because the changes are in direct opposition to the best practices that Microsoft and many others have been recommending for years. This is the practice of separating internal and external domain names for security and identification. The CA/Browser Forum announced back in July that they are going to put an end to this practice by November 2015.

cloud-computing-badEarlier today we talked about how AMD’s Rory Read is looking to cloud based services to help overcome the lack of processing power available to AMD’s APUs (and other CPUs moving forward) in that article we talked (very briefly) about some of the concerns that are keeping people out of cloud based services. Although one that is commonly talked about is privacy the other (and perhaps even more important) is security.

Changing the conversation about Privacy, Surveillance, and Pushing SSL
Published in Editorials

DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - Yesterday at DEF CON we had the chance to listen to Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union talk about the state of the surveillance state and how we can help fight against it. Of course you might think that his talk would be about the use of spy proof technologies, but oddly enough very little of that was talked about except to make it clear that talk of spy-proof technology makes people in Washington nervous.

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In something of an unprecedented move NBC Universal and Warner Bothers Music have asked that Google delist the entire Mega website over copyright concerns. Now requesting that a link that points to copyrighted material be removed from Google, Bing, or any other search engine is nothing new and not, in itself, a big deal. However this is not a simple request to remove a single copy of a movie or song, it is asking for the WHOLE site to be delisted. This type of wholesale delisting ignores the fact that while there might indeed be copyrighted files on Mega’s servers there are others that are completely legal including movies and music from independent artists that use Mega as a sharing platform. It highlights the claims by some that the argument against Mega and Megaupload before that is not about actual copyright, but about the service and the threat is could pose to the copyright industry.