Friday Update

All the news that's fit to rant aboutCall for Help is dark today for our monthly planning meetings. OK we're really just busy downloading the new Matrix: Revolutions trailer.Patrick is on vacation, racing trucks; Kevin Rose will fill-in for him on tonight's The Screen Savers. Jack LaLanne is 89. Abbey Road, the last album the Beatles recorded as a group, was released on this day in 1969.

  • The author of a report critical of Microsoft's dominance has been fired by his company. Security firm @Stake said that CTO, Daniel R. Geer Jr.'s participation in preparation of the report was not sanctioned by the firm, and that "the values and opinions of the report are not in line with [@Stake's] views." Oh yeah, and Microsoft just happens to be a client. CIO Magazine had already refused to assist the CCIA in distributing the report, saying it was "too sensitive." Bet you want to read it now, don't you? (It's in this PDF alas.)

  • The Register says Sobig is being used to target anti-spam sites with DDoS attacks. SPEWS, Monkeys.com and Compu.Net blacklisting sites have been closed. Spamhaus is under constant attack. In addition, Messagelabs says 70% of spam is coming through open proxies - half of which are created by trojans Sobig, Fizzer, and BugBear.
  • As we reported yesterday, Congress acted with unusual alacrity and unanimity to save the Do Not Call registry, but now a second judge has ruled that the list blocking telemarketing calls violates the First Amendment. Can Congress repeal that overnight?
  • The New York Times has an interview with Sarah Ward, the retired school teacher who the RIAA wrongly accused of sharing hip-hop. It's very disturbing. These lawsuits smack of a police state. Instead of Orwell's Thought Police, we have the Copyright Police, and they're clearly out of control.
  • Meanwhile major library organizations file brief in support of Morpheus and Grokster. Wow.
  • Send spam, go to jail. Senate Judiciary Committee approves a bill that includes jail time for spammers but it's unlikely that Congress will have time to pass it before adjourning. Congress could never pass a bill in just a week, could it? Hmmmm.
  • House effectively kills TIA by eliminating it from the budget. I guess Admiral Poindexter will have to find work other than spying on Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden told c|net that the "program that would have been the biggest and most intrusive surveillance program in the history of the United States will be no more. The lights are going out at the office." The Senate still has to approve.
  • On the heels of Yahoo's new shopping search service, Amazon says it's going to start a Pricewatch style site, too.
  • The dog genome has been mapped. Craig Ventner donated the genes of his poodle, Shadow, for the effort.