Steven J. DuBord
PC World reported on August 3 that the U.S. Secret Service is investigating some ATM machines in Las Vegas that are subtracting money from a user’s account without dispensing any cash. Ironically, the problem was first reported by one of the presenters from a Defcon hacker conference being held in Vegas.
Wired reported on July 28 that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to legalize the practice of hacking Apple’s iPhone “to accept software that hasn’t been approved for distribution through the iPhone App Store.”
AT&T, on July 26, temporarily blocked its customers from accessing the img.4chan.org image-sharing website. Both AT&T and img.4chan.org founder Christopher “Moot” Poole say the blockage was not censorship but AT&T’s effort to protect its customers from a denial-of-service attack. Nonetheless, the incident brings net neutrality and Internet censorship back into the news.
Representatives from the European Union said on July 20 that they are investigating Google’s digital book publishing project for possible violations of European copyright laws.
Communist China on June 30 postponed its requirement that the controversial Green Dam Youth Escort censorship software be included with all computers sold in the country as of July 1. China’s state-controlled Xinhua news agency reported that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) delayed the pre-installation demand because “some computer producers said such massive installation demanded extra time.”
Technology firms in countries with little government repression are currently competing to be the best at helping repressive regimes like China and Iran censor Internet content and maintain control over their citizens.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially declared that carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases are dangerous to public health and welfare, paving the way for much stricter emissions standards.
The U.S. government on December 2 approved 13 batches of human embryonic stem cells, opening the door for researchers to receive millions of dollars in federal money to finance their research. This comes as a result of President Barack Obama lifting the restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research enacted by the previous administration under George W. Bush.
Scientists from Tokyo University have successfully grown bioengineered replacement teeth in the mouths of mice, according to their August 3 report at the website of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on December 28 that police officers need sufficient reason to believe a suspect is dangerous before shooting them with a Taser, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on December 29.