this corrupt society

In the future, your music could be listening to you

Man wants his $400K back from the FBI – Rule #1: NEVER let cops into your house unless they have a warrant, and if they have a warrant, allow access only under protest! regardless of how much they seem like they’re “on your side”, you can never trust cops to do the right thing when they have the opportunity.

NBC disinvites Kucinich from debate – no matter how they say it, they don’t want kucinich at their party, which is one of the primary reasons why he gets my vote even if he is forced to withdraw from the race.

Faith Based Science

From crippleware to spyware
January 12, 2008
By Nicholas Carr

Be careful what you wish for. The retreat of media companies from digital rights management (DRM) schemes, at least in the music business, may be followed by a growing use of digital watermarks that enable companies to track the use of files, reports David Kravets of Wired News. The watermarks, which “are digitally woven into the fabric of a download and do not restrict listeners from making backup copies or sharing music with friends,” send information back to companies about the copying, trading, and transmission of files and can be programmed to include “a unique serial number that a music company could match to the original purchaser.”

Kravets reports that Sony and Universal are already including watermarks in their DRM-free files, though the companies say they don’t record information about the purchaser. Warner and EMI are not using watermarks. Microsoft has won a patent on a “stealthy audio watermarking” scheme, named El Dorado, that is, says the patent, “designed to survive all typical kinds of processing, including compression, equalization, D/A and A/D conversion, recording on analog tape and so forth.” Such watermarks could be used by ISPs to automatically block the transmission of files through peer-to-peer networks, achieving one of the aims of DRM by other means.

But this kind of spyware, which could ultimately be encoded into many different kinds of files, could be put to uses beyond clamping down on the sharing of copyrighted music, from collecting evidence for use in litigation and negotiation to providing data for marketing purposes. One expert quoted by Kravets says that the watermarking systems provide “forensic precision” in monitoring the use of particular files.

In the future, your music could be listening to you.

Man wants his $400K back from the FBI
By Greg Sowinski

LIMA — Two robbers who broke into Luther Ricks Sr.’s house this summer may have not gotten his life savings he had in a safe, but after the FBI confiscated it he may not get it back.

Ricks has tried to get an attorney to fight for the $402,767 but he has no money. Lima Police Department officers originally took the money from his house but the FBI stepped in and took it from the Police Department. Ricks has not been charged with a crime and was cleared in a fatal shooting of one of the robbers but still the FBI has refused to return the money, he said.

“They are saying I have to prove I made it,” he said.

The 63-year-old Ricks said he and his wife, Meredith, saved the money during their lifetime in which both worked while living a modest life.

A representative of the FBI could not be reached for comment.

During the fatal shooting incident inside the house June 30, Ricks and his son were being attacked by two men and his son was stabbed. Ricks broke free, grabbed a gun and shot to death 32-year-old Jyhno Rock inside his home at 939 Greenlawn Ave.

Police originally took the money after finding marijuana inside Ricks’ home, which Ricks said he had to help manage pain.

“I smoke marijuana. I have arthritis. I have shingles, a hip replacement,” he said.

Ricks, who is retired from Ohio Steel Foundry, said he always had a safe at home and never had a bank account.

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Legal Director Jeff Gamso said Ricks has a tough road ahead, not impossible, but tough to get back his money.

“The law of forfeiture basically says you have to prove you’re innocent. It’s terrible, terrible law,” he said.

The law is tilted in favor of the FBI in that Ricks need not be charged with a crime and the FBI stands a good chance at keeping the money, Gamso said.

“The law will presume it is the result of ill-gotten gains,” he said.

Still Ricks can pursue it and possibly convince a judge he had the money through a lifetime of savings. Asking the FBI usually doesn’t work, he said.

“The FBI, before they would give it up, would want dated receipts,” he said.

If the FBI does keep the money, it would be put toward a law enforcement use, if the city of Lima does not fight for it because the city discovered it, Gamso said.

Lima Law Director Tony Geiger said he has not been asked to stake a legal claim for the money.

NBC disinvites Kucinich from debate
January 11, 2008
By Klaus Marre

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is criticizing NBC for disinviting him from an upcoming Nevada presidential debate, and says he is considering legal action.

NBC had invited the long-shot candidate on Jan. 9 but rescinded its decision Friday morning, when NBC Political Director Chuck Todd informed the Kucinich camp that the network was “redoing” its participation criteria, according to the campaign.

The lawmaker had qualified for the debate by coming in fourth in a national poll with 3 percent.

However, NBC changed its criteria to focus the debate on the three candidates with a realistic shot of winning the nomination — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).

Kucinich, who was also excluded from an ABC debate, is now considering legal action against NBC. In a statement, the campaign cited “the blatant disregard of the public interest in silencing public debate that dissents with the views of NBC, its parent company, GE, and all of the military contractors and their candidate-funding corporate interests.”

“When ‘big media’ exert their unbridled control over what Americans can see, hear, and read, then the Constitutional power and right of the citizens to vote is being vetoed by multi-billion-[dollar] corporations that want the votes to go their way,” the campaign said.

Las Vegas Judge Rules in Favor of Dennis Kucinich Lawsuit
Jan 14, 2008

A Las Vegas judge has ruled that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich must be included in the Tuesday night presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Read the Dennis Kucinich lawsuit against NBC

Kucinich filed a lawsuit against NBC. He said he was initially invited to be in the nationally televised debate but the offer was later rescinded. Base on the earlier invitation, Judge Charles Thompson ruled in Kucinich’s favor saying if he isn’t included, he will issue an injunction stopping the debate.

Read NBC’s response to the lawsuit

The judge met with lawyers from both sides Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. and indicated that he would sign a formal order at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The attorneys for NBC claim the state court has no jurisdiction in this matter, and they have decided to appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as well as John Edwards are the only three candidates invited to the debate.