Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $425,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly failed to report to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that certain lithium-ion battery packs contained a defect or otherwise created an unreasonable risk or serious injury or death, the CPSC announced this week. The battery packs in question are prone to overheating and pose a fire and burn hazard.
Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn has ordered a woman to decrypt her laptop so that prosecutors can pluck information from her notebook and use that information against her as part of a criminal case involving alleged bank fraud. The woman sought protection under the Fifth Amendment but was denied her request in what's shaping up to be a highly interesting case on a number of levels.
We've all been told, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," but repeated attempts at the same result don't guarantee success. Apple, for example, tried to convince Dutch authorities to issue a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 device on the alleged basis that it copies the look and feel of it's iPad, a notion that was rejected, appealed, and rejected again.
With public outcry over the huge mountains of money in government, Google’s recent increase in lobbying expenditures could be troublesome. The search giant now spends more than Microsoft lobbying the federal government, $9.68 million in 2011 according to the company’s recent public filings. That is nearly double the 2010 number. This came in a year when government agencies and the congress took a closer look at the Internet than ever before.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the Fourth Amendment does indeed preclude law enforcement from attaching GPS tracking devices to vehicles without a warrant. While this is the theme of the rare unanimous decision, the actual language is more nuanced. The government’s position was that a GPS tracker was not a “search”, but the court disagreed.
Just as tens of thousands of sites were getting ready to plunge themselves into darkness to (successfully) protest the proposed SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy legislations, music streaming service Grooveshark went dark in Germany on Wednesday. It too was protesting against something. But that’s where the similarities end. The company, a bête noire of music labels, has decided to shut down its German operations due to the “unreasonably high” licensing costs being demanded by music performance rights outfit GEMA , which claims to represent “64,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world.”
Remember when your mom said whining never helped anything? Turns out she was wrong! Ever since the day the 'Net went dark, politicians -- ranging from Congressmen to presidential candidates to European Internet czars -- have been tripping over themselves as they backed away from the political hot potato. This morning, even more heartening events occurred: the lead sponsors behind the bills announced that both PIPA and SOPA have been shelved indefinitely.
No one likes having their failures rubbed in their faces, and it looks like the U.S. government and the Hollywood lobbyist groups aren't any different. With the SOPA/PIPA blackouts barely over with, the government -- in collaboration with New Zealand -- shut down MegaUpload.com and arrested four of its employees on charges of copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Bad timing, eh? Anonymous sure thought so -- after the crackdown, the hacktivist went on a major DDoS binge that shutdown a whole host of major government and industry websites. Apparently, Anon doesn't like things rubbed in their face, either.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a computer programmer for allegedly stealing proprietary software code from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). Bo Zhang, the man accused of stealing the source code, worked at the bank as a contract employee assigned to work on further developing a specific portion of the Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program (GWA), software which is owned by the Department of Treasury to track government spending.
Seven men connected by friendship or business association were arrested this week for allegedly participating in insider trading, the Federal Bureau (FBI) of Investigation announced in a candid press release. These latest arrests are the most recent developments in "Operation Perfect Hedge," the FBI's systematic targeting of insider trading in the hedge fund industry that began more than four years ago.