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PC World reports Microsoft Deputy General Counsel John Frank posted an explanation of the steps Microsoft took before investigating the Hotmail account of a French blogger in order to build a case against Alex Kibkalo who was arrested Wednesday and accused of stealing trade secrets and leaking Windows code. Frank stated Microsoft has the legal right to look into its own services, but only did so in a very limited way and only after determining the search would have qualified for a court order. Microsoft claims it could not get a court order to search itself since the court would see no need to issue it.
Berke80 has been keeping us informed on the ground as the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a DNS block on Twitter in order to stop the spread of recordings meant to implicate the Prime Minister on corruption charges. Twitter seems like it may have removed verification from the Prime Ministers account. The Verge reports Turkish citizens are accessing Twitter by posting through SMS, or using alternate DNS like Google’s Public DNS. A picture of the Google DNS Inumber, 220.127.116.11 spraypainted on a wall is making the rounds.
VentureBeat reports Vicarious, an AI company just closed a round of funding that included investments from Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, as well as actor Ashton Kutcher. The company is attempting to replicate the human neocortex in order to develop an AI that thinks like humans do. Right now the company is working on getting its AI to recognize objects shapes and textures.
Reed Hastings posted to the Netflix blog arguing that net neutrality rules should be expanded to govern peering, the practice of large networks exchanging traffic, to essentially make the Internet work. Hastings did not say how he would like interconnection agreements regulated. Netflix recently agreed to a paid peering arrangement with Comcast. The call for regulation is seen as grandstanding by some in the industry, as Netflix could have chosen to continue to deliver data through CDNs and transit providers. But they don’t want to do that, because Netflix saves money when ISPs use its Open Connect program, as Cablevision does. On the other hand, ISPs like Verizon and Comcast, with competing products, don’t want to invite Netflix servers into their last mile. Thus the arguing. The upshot of all this, is large companies are posturing about net neutrality in order to help their business save money, and you, the consumer are probably not the priority on either side of this debate.
Speaking of net neutrality and whether it should be extended to interconnection and peering. Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm reports Harold Feld, SVP at Public Knowledge suggests actual transit providers like Level 3 and Cogent and ISPs who want to merge, like say TWC and Comcast, should provide data to the FCC that could actually be analyzed to understand what the problem actually is, rather than just reacting to vague assertions with vague regulation.
Politico reports Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and other big tech executives will meet Friday with US President Barack Obama to discuss issues of privacy, technology and intelligence. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was reportedly invited but could not make it. Zuckerberg recently posted he felt it would take a very long time for true reform and called on the US government to be much more transparent. President Obama is expected to announce the future of the phone metadata program soon.
Ars Technica reports that Version 0.9.0 of the Bitcoin Core software (previously known as Bitcoin-QT) includes 5 changes meant to make transaction malleability much more difficult to exploit. Transaction malleability uses confusion between transaction ids and actual verification of transactions to cover up theft. Mt. Gox blamed trannsaction malleability for its losses.
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Speaking of Mt. Gox, HobbitfromPA pointed us to the CNET article that Mt. Gox annoucned Thursday it found 199,999.99 of its missing bitcoins on March 7th in an unused wallet it had lying around. So the number of missing bitcoins has dropped from 850,000 to 650,000.
habichuelacondulce posted a Motherboard article saying US NSA General Counsel Rajesh De, testifying in front of the Civil Liberties Oversight Board, affirmed that collection of data under Section 702 was done with the full knowledge and assistance of the companies from which information was obtained. In an interview with The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, De reiterated “all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies.” referring to PRISM and upstream collection.
the_corley passed along the Wall Street Journal article reporting a source says the White House is testing phones from Samsung and LG for internal use. Previously only BlackBerry phones were allowed due to security concerns. White House Communications Agency, a military unit in charge of President Barack Obama’s communications acknowlegde it is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day: Ninite.com
Hola DTNS crew! Tom, I’ve followed you since BoL and am ecstatic about the success of DTNS. For a pick, I would like to recommend
Ninite is a service that allows you to grab an auto-installer for many commonly used Windows applications such as Chrome, .NET, MSE, Dropbox, the list goes on and on. Not only will it download the most recent version of the programs selected from the companies, but automates the process to decline any crap-ware offers (sorry Ask Toolbar).
As an IT Professional that has to deal with an environment where images can’t be used for reworks due to a plethora of hardware, Ninite has been a huge time saver.
Joel from The U.P.
Monday’s Guest: Justin Robert Young!