Links for 2014-02-18

  • GPLv2 being tested in US court

    The case is still ongoing, so one to watch.

    Plaintiff wrote an XML parser and made it available as open source software under the GPLv2. Defendant acquired from another vendor software that included the code, and allegedly distributed that software to parties outside the organization. According to plaintiff, defendant did not comply with the conditions of the GPL, so plaintiff sued for copyright infringement. Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion.

    (tags: gpl open-source licensing software law legal via:fplogue)

  • Latest Snowden leak: GCHQ spying on Wikileaks users

    “How could targeting an entire website’s user base be necessary or proportionate?” says Gus Hosein, executive director of the London-based human rights group Privacy International. “These are innocent people who are turned into suspects based on their reading habits. Surely becoming a target of a state’s intelligence and security apparatus should require more than a mere click on a link.” The agency’s covert targeting of WikiLeaks, Hosein adds, call into question the entire legal rationale underpinning the state’s system of surveillance. “We may be tempted to see GCHQ as a rogue agency, ungoverned in its use of unprecedented powers generated by new technologies,” he says. “But GCHQ’s actions are authorized by [government] ministers. The fact that ministers are ordering the monitoring of political interests of Internet users shows a systemic failure in the rule of law.”

    (tags: gchq wikileaks snowden privacy spying surveillance politics)

  • “Hackers” unsubscribed a former Mayor from concerned citizen’s emails

    “The dog ate my homework, er, I mean, hackers hacked my account.”

    Former Mayor of Kildare, Cllr. Michael Nolan, has denied a claim he asked a local campaigner to stop e-mailing him. Cllr. Michael Nolan from Newbridge said his site was hacked and wrong e-mails were sent out to a number of people, including Leixlip based campaigner, John Weigel. Mr. Weigel has been campaigning, along with others, about the danger of electromagnetic radiation to humans and the proximity of communications masts to homes and, in particular schools. He regularly updates local politicians on news items relating to the issue. Recently, he said that he had received an e-mail from Cllr. Nolan asking to be removed from Mr. Weigel’s e-mail list. The Leader asked Cllr. Nolan why he had done this. But the Fine Gael councillors said that “his e-mail account was hacked and on one particular day a number of mails a were sent from my account pertaining to be from me.”

    (tags: dog-ate-my-homework hackers funny kildare newbridge fine-gael michael-nolan email politics ireland excuses)

  • Making Remote Work Work

    very good, workable tips on how to remote-work effectively (both in the comments of this thread and the original article)

    (tags: tips productivity collaboration hn via:lhl remote-working telecommuting work)

  • Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent – NYTimes.com

    Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk electrified the science world 10 years ago with his claim that he had created the world’s first cloned human embryos and had extracted stem cells from them. But the work was later found to be fraudulent, and Dr. Hwang was fired from his university and convicted of crimes. Despite all that, Dr. Hwang has just been awarded an American patent covering the disputed work, leaving some scientists dumbfounded and providing fodder to critics who say the Patent Office is too lax. “Shocked, that’s all I can say,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University who appears to have actually accomplished what Dr. Hwang claims to have done. “I thought somebody was kidding, but I guess they were not.” Jeanne F. Loring, a stem cell scientist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, said her first reaction was “You can’t patent something that doesn’t exist.” But, she said, she later realized that “you can.”

    (tags: patents absurd hwang-woo-suk cloning stem-cells science biology uspto)

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