Journos use drone to film huge political demo

Tens of thousands of Argentinians filled the streets of Buenos Aires last week in protest against inflation, crime and corruption. As rumours spread that the president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, had closed the air space to stop TV networks from filming, citizen journalists used the opportunity to fly a remote-controlled helicopter to get their own footage. It was the third protest this year.

From Al Jazeera » Drone camera captures Argentina’s #8N protests



Sydney Opera House collapses [video]

KL hacker goes snooping at spies’ convention

A KL hacker was called into action when paranoia ruled at a convention of real-life cyberspies at the KL Hilton earlier this month. The air was thick with intrigue (and snooping) — and a London-based human rights activist found he couldn’t send email because his encryption wouldn’t work.

Off to Central Market he went, to seek help from KL activists, who arranged for a hacker to check it out.

The activist wasn’t the only one feeling paranoid. The people at the convention were specialists in tapping, cracking and hacking: law enforcement agents, Internet security officials, and companies selling equipement to break into the airwaves.

“I’m concerned about my calls or Internet being monitored, because that’s what they sell,” says Meling Mudin, 35, a Kuala Lumpur-based security consultant. “When I make phone calls, I step out of the hotel, I don’t use my computer and I also don’t use the wireless services provided.”

Bloomberg reporter Vernon Silver was at the convention, prowling the lobbies and restaurants for his story.
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If there was a computing bill… no Stallman, no GNU, no Linux too?

Father of free software was an unregistered kid programmer

Richard Stallman, the founder and (often cussed) patron saint of the free software movement, was a child programmer: he wrote two programs during high school summer holidays and another after high school. Strong in mathematics, he took a degree in physics, but could have been a biologist.

In 1984 he created the GNU utilities around which in 1991 Linux Torvalds built his open source kernel Linux, leading to the explosion of free and open source operating systems and software today on which much of the Internet depends.

Stallman, or rms, is the foremost proponent of freedom in software, by which software can be given away and whose code is open for inspection or modification. He developed the “copyleft” GNU Public Licence for software, in opposition to “copyright”, variations of which govern most free and open software.

Had there been a Malaysian-style Computing Professionals Bill at the time, Stallman might well have been jailed — among the penalties in Malaysia’s proposed Bill — for providing computer services without being registered with the government (and many in establishment computing might say that would not be a bad idea. He’s also an awful and incorrigible punster; maybe they could get him for that instead.).
» Personal web site | Free Software Foundation

Free Software, Free Society

Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Fleet.
upon receiving the Linus Torvalds Award at Linuxworld, 1999.

Geeks tackle govt on IT bill [Video]

Govt back-tracks on IT bill, puts industry on the line

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It’s about moving up in ITU ranking says deputy minister

The federal government appears to have backed off from the controversial Computer Professionals Bill after a day of open hostility by computer geeks and IT industry professionals at the science ministry’s open day — but put the ball squarely at the feet of the industry to find other ways to raise country’s international standings.

The heart of the government’s concern seems to be the country’s ranking in the International Telecommunications Union’s ICT Development Index, on which Malaysia fell from 50th place to 56th between 2002 and 2008.

Science ministry under-secretary, Amirudin Abdul Wahab said the ICT policy division would have “no problems” if industry had a better alternative to reverse Malaysia’s slide in the rankings, and Datuk Halimah Badioze Zaman, involved in drafting the Bill, said: “This is the fastest vehicle for us to get there. If not, what would be another vehicle to bring us forward?”

The fight (against the Bill) is still a long one. We didn’t get many answers today, just parties pushing the blame around.
IT professional based in KL.

Datuk Halimah, of the national professors council, is a member of the working committee drafting the Bill. The committee comprises about a dozen academicians together with representatives of computer retailers and the computing confederation, which has attempted to set itself up as a professional body.

The deputy science minister, Datuk Fadillah Yusof, was quoted by Malaysian Insider as saying it was up to the IT sector to find ways to “uplift the IT profession” and that there was no decision on whether to table the Bill, now in its 17th revision.

“We can use any other mechanism. That is why we have this open day. It is up to the profession to decide how to protect themselves.” Malaysian Insider did not say what he meant by “protect themselves”.
» Malaysian Insider

» A tech law that’s like a giant Trojan worm
» New law puts noose around computer techies
» Facebook page against the Computing Professionals Bill


Computer techies bill: off with their heads

I see you have your papers, but do you have your papers for your papers? Ahh you do not. You shall be escorted away to be dealt with accordingly.
by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, @07:26PM (#38321332)
A comment at the geek forum

» All 156 comments at Slashdot
» Text of the draft Computer Professionals Bill

Computer techs Bill: more repression say geeks overseas

Computer geeks all over the world, discussing Malaysian’s draft Computer Professionals Bill believe the draft new law is repressive, will stifle innovation, a result of Islamisation and bumiputra favouritism, more creeping totalitarian control, censorship, and an attempt at creating a trade guild.

Although it was pointed out that the bill’s stated aim was to cover industries considered critical to national life, as part of the government’s cybersecurity regime, a commenter also responded by saying that the Malaysian government was noted for extending the meaning of “national security” as a blank cover-all.

Selection of Slashdot comments:

Bumiputra protectionism

It’s also a good way for them to enforce their Affirmative Action policy [] against the disliked Malaysian Chinese and the disliked Malaysian Indian minorities in favor of the “disadvantaged” Malay majority … For instance, this licensing distinction between University graduates and non-graduates will only ensure that the two minorities that are being “positively” discriminated from attending the Malaysian University system do not attempt to try to bi-pass the system and steal the tech jobs away from the Malay graduates.
stephanruby (542433) on Friday December 09, @10:31PM (#38322602)

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More than a Jobsworth

Steven Paul Jobs
(February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)
Boos for killing the 16-bit Apple III, for the overdone Lisa,
the underdone 128K Mac, and the one-button mouse

Thanks for everything else

Hackers breach security at Wordpress

from Mashable
Hackers have breached security at blogging host WordPress and broken in to several of its servers, putting any information on them at risk.

Automattic and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg says that Wednesday’s incident was a low-level root access breach. The company is reviewing its data logs to figure out what information may have been stolen and is working on patching any holes in its security.

It seems unlikely that personally identifiable user information was taken during the attack, but Automattic has yet to complete its investigation.

If you host a website on your own servers, you shouldn’t be affected, but Automattic suggests that you make sure your various online accounts utilize a variety of strong passwords.
» Reported at Mashable