Edupage, January 25, 2006

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  • Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 12:29:17 -0500

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***************************************************** Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. *****************************************************

  Keeping Online Articles Available
  New Site Aims to Identify Makers of Malicious Programs
  Google to Censor Search Results in China
  Latest CAN-SPAM Violator Faces 25 Years
  Microsoft to License Source Code

KEEPING ONLINE ARTICLES AVAILABLE A group of libraries and publishers are cooperating on a pilot project to ensure access to online journals. Libraries at five universities, as well as the New York Public Library, will work with nine publishers on an archive that will consist of copies of journal articles from participating publishers stored on 10 servers at the universities. Those archived copies will be unavailable to the public, but the system will monitor the Web sites of the journals that published those articles. When the system detects that the publisher's online version of an article is unavailable for an extended period of time, the system's governing board will decide whether to make the archived copy available. The goal is to ensure long-term access to journal articles, even when publishers go out of business or computer systems suffer severe outages or losses of data. The effort is important because libraries and publishers are frequently at odds over how and when to provide online access to copyrighted material. Those involved hope the effort will help the groups work together toward a common goal. Chronicle of Higher Education, 25 January 2006 (sub. req'd)

Find Free Databases

NEW SITE AIMS TO IDENTIFY MAKERS OF MALICIOUS PROGRAMS Researchers at Harvard Law School and Oxford University are launching a Web site that will identify organizations that distribute spyware, adware, and other unwanted computer programs, as well as the tactics they employ to intall their applications. was financed initially by companies including Google, Lenovo, and Sun Microsystems. The site will also include an area where consumers can submit testimonials about their experiences with different software they have downloaded. John G. Palfrey Jr., executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, said, "We want to turn the spotlight on the bad actors, but also give ordinary users a place to go and get an early warning before they download something that might harm their computer." According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 59 million U.S. adults said their computers were infected with spyware last year. Data from Consumer Reports indicate that despite consumer spending of $2.6 billion over the past two years on antivirus and antispyware tools, users still spent $3.5 billion in damages over the same period due to unwanted software. New York Times, 25 January 2006 (registration req'd)

How Vulnerable Are You?
See how "open" your machine is right now.

Google will launch search and news sites in China this week that will
block access to information the Chinese government considers
objectionable. Chinese officials have a long track record of censoring
speech and ideas, and, according to Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy
counsel for Google, the new sites "will comply with local Chinese laws
and regulations." Search results from which content has been excluded
will notify users that not all results are being displayed. Google said
that the decision to offer its services even if they are censored
reflects the belief that limited access to Internet resources is better
than no access, which would be the alternative if Google did not comply
with local legislation. "We must balance our commitments," said
McLaughlin, "to satisfy the interest of users, expand access to
information, and respond to local conditions." Reporters Without
Borders, an organization that advocates for freedom of the press, was
highly critical of the decision, saying, "The new Google version means
that even if a human rights publication is not blocked by local
firewalls, it has no chance of being read in China."
CNET, 24 January 2006

Google  simultaneously fighting the COPA subpoena while
China made censorship a condition of Google doing business in the
country. Find out how other US business cooperate in censorship.

A California man has pleaded guilty to using computer "bots" to
surreptitiously take control of 400,000 computers, which were used to
distribute adware, spyware, and other unwanted computer code. Jeanson
James Ancheta, 20, admitted to earning more than $60,000 from using the
illicit system of computers and renting the system to others who used
them to launch their own malicious attacks. Ancheta's actions were in
violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act, and they also caused damage to
computers at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center and the Defense
Information Systems Agency. As part of his plea agreement, Ancheta will
forfeit $60,000 in cash, a BMW, and computer equipment. He will also
pay $15,000 toward damages to federal computers and face a sentence of
up to 25 years in prison for his actions.
Internet News, 24 January 2006

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Security - Learn how to protect your machine from on of these "bots" getting a hold of it without you knowing. Yo! I thought you were in charge of security? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In an effort to avoid a stiff fine issued by the European Commission,
Microsoft has agreed to license some of its source code. European
antitrust regulators have found Microsoft guilty of abusing its
monopoly power and have insisted on changes to the company's practices
to address the violations, including offering a version of its
operating system without the Microsoft Media Player and providing
access to its source code to rivals so they can develop software that
will properly interoperate with Windows computers. Microsoft met the
first condition, but commissioners last month said that if the company
continued to deny access to competitors, it would face a fine of nearly
$2.5 million per day, retroactive to December 15 of last year.
Microsoft is appealing the rulings against it but has said that while
those appeals are pending, it will license the source code for its
Windows Server System. The European Commission will review Microsoft's
proposal before deciding whether to fine the company.
ZDNet, 25 January 2006

Linux is Free so you do not need to buy anything from Microsoft.
Learn about Linux.

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