48 hours later, Adblock Plus beats Facebook's adblocker-blocker

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On August 9, Facebook announced that it had defeated adblockers; on August 11, Adblock Plus announced that it had defeated Facebook. Read the rest

Your medical data: misappropriated by health-tech companies, off-limits to you

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Backchannel's package on medical data and the health-tech industry profiles three people who were able to shake loose their own data and make real improvements in their lives with it: Marie Moe, who discovered that the reason she was having terrifying cardiac episodes was out-of-date firmware on her pacemaker; Steven Keating, who created a website with exquisitely detailed data on his brain tumor, including a gene-sequence that had to be run a second time because the first scan wasn't approved for "commercial" use, which included publishing it on his own site; and Annie Kuehl, whose advocacy eventually revealed the fact that doctors had suspected all along that her sick baby had a rare genetic disorder, which she only learned about after years of agonizing victim-blaming and terrifying seizures. Read the rest

For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that's coming to LED bulbs.

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In 1924, representatives of the world's leading lightbulb manufacturers formed Phoebus, a cartel that fixed the average life of an incandescent bulb at 1,000 hours, ensuring that people would have to regularly buy bulbs and keep the manufacturers in business. Read the rest

Tenant farmers: how "smart" agricultural equipment siphons off farmers' crop and soil data

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The agricultural sector is increasingly a data-driven business, where the "internet of farming" holds out the promise of highly optimized plowing, fertilizing, sowing, pest-management and harvesting -- a development that is supercharging the worst practices of the ag-business monopolies that have been squeezing farmers for most of a century. Read the rest

ACLU files a lawsuit to repeal the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, used to prosecute Aaron Swartz

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The ACLU is suing to repeal parts of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a 1980s-vintage hacking law that makes it a felony to "exceed authorization" on a remote computer, and which companies and the US government have used to prosecute researchers who violated websites' terms of service. Read the rest

Security researcher discovers glaring problem with patient data system, FBI stages armed dawn raid

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Justin Shafer was roused from his bed this week by thunderous knocking at his North Richland Hills, Texas home, and when he opened the door, found himself staring down the barrel of a 'big green' assault weapon, wielded by one of the 12-15 armed FBI agents on his lawn. Read the rest

EFF files Chelsea Manning appeal on hacking conviction

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Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years in prison, in part due to a conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the overbroad, antiquated statute made notorious by its role in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz. Read the rest

Ex-Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys found guilty of 3 federal counts of hacking

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A jury in Sacramento, California, today found former Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA).

Read the rest

MIT and EFF's Freedom to Innovate Summit: defending students' and hackers' right to tinker

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The Oct 10/11 event is run jointly by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Civic Media at MIT and will be hosted at the MIT Media Lab. Read the rest

MIT and Boston U open legal clinic for innovative tech projects

The Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Law Clinic was partly inspired by the death of Aaron Swartz, who was hounded by federal prosecutors with MIT's complicity. Read the rest

Ashley Madison's founding CTO claimed he hacked competing dating site

Raja Bhatia was the original CTO of Avid Media, Ashley Madison's parent company; in an email to Avid CEO Noel Biderman in the latest Ashley Madison dump, he hacked the back-end of Nerve, a competing dating site. Read the rest

Blizzard bans 100,000 Warcraft players

They were all running mods that let them automate away the tedious grinding that is so integral to the way that MMOs incentivize players to devote thousands of hours to their products. Read the rest

Drug pump is "most insecure" devices ever seen by researcher

Security researcher Jeremy Richards has called the Hospira Lifecare PCA 3 drug-pump "the least secure IP enabled device" he's examined. Read the rest

Senators announce "Aaron Swartz Should Have Faced More Jail Time" bill

Senators Mark Kirk [R-IL] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] announced a bill that increases the maximum jail time for "obtaining information from a protected computer without authorization" -- which covers anything you do that violates the BS Terms of Service we all break all day long. Read the rest

To do in LA: screening and Q&A with director of Aaron Swartz doc, "The Internet's Own Boy"

The film has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. After the screening, I will host a question and answer session with filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.

Aaron Swartz day Nov 8, at the Internet Archive and worldwide

Lisa Rein writes, "This year's annual Aaron Swartz Day event is happening Saturday, November 8th at 6pm at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The reception starts at 6pm, and activities are going on straight through until 10:30 pm." Read the rest

Petition: make it safe to report security flaws in computers

Laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act put security researchers at risk of felony prosecution for telling you about bugs in the computers you put your trust in, turning the computers that know everything about us and watch everything we do into reservoirs of long-lived pathogens that governments, crooks, cops, voyeurs and creeps can attack us with. Read the rest

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