FryUp: second cable is go

Dow, Dow, down she goes, laying a cable and taking a stand for online justice

— Second cable is go — El Jobso goes el cheapo — Take a stand

Dark Knight trailer recut

Tumble down Dow dear… no more tumbling already, please? http://dow.tumblr.com/

Second cable is go Almost — there’s $15m in the kitty, and REANNZ is the procurement agency for the new trans-Tasman Cable. Can’t be a second hand or a relocated one, and make it faster than 1 Tbit/s, thankyouverymuchly. Presumably, this means Kordia doesn’t have the contract in hand, as previously thought. Or maybe the tender is just a formality ... REANNZ seeks trans-Tasman cable

El Jobso goes el cheapo It’s not entirely sure what Apple’s done to piss off the US stock markets. Gaining market share by selling bags of products, making fat profits and having US$21 billion in the bank seems to frighten investors to the point that they’re dumping AAPL shares en masse. All right, there’s a massive monetary meltdown going on, plus fake rumours flying that Jobs had a heart attack. Makes shareholders kind of jittery, those things. Will the new cheap Mac laptop that’s said to launch next week reassure investors and stop Apple shares from tanking? That’s less than certain. Having cheaper Apple alternatives is great, but… it doesn’t look like the new laptop will cost less than comparable alternatives from other vendors. Jobs would probably defend this and say nothing compares to his products, a statement that many in the Apple camp would undoubtedly agree with. Apple slates laptop event next week

Take a stand It’s election year, and time to consider what your elected representatives have done for you. Are you for instance happy with Section 92 A of the Copyright Act, which will come into effect on February 28 next year? This is what it says: “An internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that internet service provider of a repeat infringer.” As has been discussed before, the above means a “copyright holder” can get you kicked off an ISP without having to provide any evidence of an actual infringement. Having to do so is apparently “impractical” and “ridiculous” in the words of RIANZ chief executive Campbell Smith. What happens when the “you” above is a public library, or a school? Or if the “copyright holder” makes a mistake or a malicious accusation? Judith Tizard, associate minister of commerce, is the prime mover behind the act with David Cunliffe, the ICT minister, also backing it. However, National voted for the act as well as Labour. The thing is, Tizard and the Select Committee working on the copyright act were given several notices that the law they wrote infringes our civil rights. They chose not to listen. Would it not be fair in that case to remove said politicians’ access to Parliament in the upcoming elections? Colin Jackson: Ministers: why we changed the copyright act Colin Jackson: Cutting off your Internet if you are accused of infringement Copyright bill provisions trample Kiwi rights further, experts say Lance Wiggs: XNET are spineless and uncaring Government wavers on web cut-offs Controversial copyright clause to be amended

XKCD Flash games

Cartoon: www.xkcd.com

Robert X Cringely Crimes, anonymity, and the Net

Sites like Craigslist and CNN's iReport are at the centre of two recent Net-enabled crimes. Is it time to reconsider the value of anonymity on the Net? An ingenious bank robber dressed as a road maintenance worker pulled a heist worthy of Hollywood last week, thanks in part to the internet.  The robber pepper-sprayed a guard outside the Bank of America in Monroe, Washington, grabbed a bag of cash from a Brinks truck, and jumped into a nearby creek, where his "get-away inner tube" awaited [video]. He then floated down to the Skykomish River where presumably he had a boat or a car or possibly a zeppelin stashed. But that wasn't the genius part. Security guards couldn't pursue the robber because there were a dozen other people at the bank dressed exactly like him — dust mask, safety goggles, work gloves, blue work shirt — thanks to an ad the robber had placed on Craigslist. They'd all been instructed to show up at the bank at 11 am dressed for a job that promised US$28.50 an hour. So is this what Senator Ted Stevens meant when said the internet is a really just a series of tubes? Maybe he just meant the Net is going down the tubes... like a bank robber down a river. It was hardly the first time Craigslist has been used to mask a robbery. Last March, an Oregon home was ransacked after a pair of burglars ran an ad inviting people to come to the home and take everything inside it, to cover up a crime they'd already committed. There's at least one blog devoted solely to crimes committed via Craigslist. It's a long list. Now the cops are hoping the bank robber left a trail of digital breadcrumbs behind. In this way this story is similar to last week's "citizen journalism" snafu, where someone planted a fake story about Steve Jobs on CNN's iReport site, possibly to drive down Apple's stock price. Now the SEC would like to have a word with an iReports user employing the handle "Johntw." Anybody out there know him? Whether they'll have any luck finding these crooks depends on how digitally savvy they were. If the bad guys used proxy services to mask their IP addresses — and those services don't maintain user logs — it's unlikely law enforcement will get very far. Does that mean online anonymity is a bad thing?  Not necessarily. These same proxy services can be used by political dissidents in regimes like China or Iran, where saying the wrong thing online can land you in prison — or worse. 

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