Sunday, May 27, 2012

Concerns over the proposed Communication Bill in UK

Some of the bills presented on 9 May 2012 in the Queen's Speech, in which the Queen reads the government's legislative agenda for the next parliamentary period in front of both Houses of Parliament, raise freedom of expression concerns.

HM the Queen confirmed the intention of the government to introduce the Communications Capabilities Development Programme, a government bill aimed at extending the surveillance of the electronic and telephone communications in UK.

"My government intends to bring forward measures to maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data under strict safeguards to protect the public, subject to scrutiny of draft clauses"

However, the text of the bill does not give clear indications regarding these safeguards.

In a letter addressed to the House of Commons, Reporters Without Borders expressed their opinion that the bill was "disproportionate, dangerous and counter-productive", believing that it "could undermine individual freedoms and potentially lead to widespread abuse." The bill gives intelligence services the right to access - in real time and without prior authorisation - details of telephone calls, text messages, emails, private messages on social networks and websites visited, which means a breach of the individuals' right to privacy. Furthermore, the bill would involve serious legal, technical and financial issues and would contravene international conventions ratified by the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Videotaping the Police

The most powerful weapon against police misconduct - taping cops with cell-phone cameras - is getting support from the courts, Adam Cohen reports.

When protesters gather in Chicago this week to express their views about the NATO summit, people will be able to videotape the police and post videos of any police misconduct. Recording the police used to be illegal in Illinois. But this month, a federal appeals court ruled that a state wiretap law prohibiting it conflicts with the First Amendment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

IP-Address Can't Even Identify a State, BitTorrent Judge Rules

The mass-BitTorrent lawsuits that are sweeping the USA are in a heap of trouble according to TorrentFreak. A Californian judge has ruled that geolocation tools are far from accurate and that it's therefore uncertain that his court has jurisdiction over cases involving alleged BitTorrent pirates. As a result, 15 mass-BitTorrent lawsuits were dismissed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is Apple planning to sell £150 iPad Mini AT A LOSS?

According to The Daily Mail, Apple is planning to launch an assault against the burgeoning Android tablet market by releasing an 'iPad Mini' - at a loss-making price of around £150.

Sources told Apple fansite iMore that the new tablet will launch in October this year, with Apple potentially selling the sub-$250 tablet at a loss in order to leave no room for competition.

The rumor on the street is that the iPhone 5 will be out in September. I wonder if all this talk about a cheap mini-tablet is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy to put people off buying any till October.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Say No to Smart Meters And The Smart Grid

Power companies around the world have been pushing their clients to accept the installation of so called smart meters. These devices would supposedly allow the power companies to more efficiently measure demand, reduce labor costs and allow customers to switch between electricity providers.

What they neglect to tell you is that there are a lot of problems with the smart meters:

  • Smart meters consume electricity even when you're not. Guess who pays the bill?
  • Smart meters use radio signals to communicate with the the power company. This cause interference with WIFI connections, AM/FM radios, TV remotes etc.
  • The additional radio waves and radiation introduced in peoples' homes cannot be considered healthy
  • Smart meters are not environmentally friendly. They are fully electronic. They sue more power than analogue meters. They contain more harmful components (heavy metals) that cost more to recycle when the smart meter has to be replaced. Smart meters have to replaced more often than analogue meters. Not to mention all the energy and resources that have to be wasted on replacing fully functional analogue meters by the unreliable and hazardous smart meters.

Smart meters are a scam, sold to the public under the cover of "going green".