CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. authorities have arrested and indicted the CEO of a mobile software company for selling spyware that enables "stalkers and domestic abusers." The U.S. Department of Justice accuses the man of promoting and selling software that can "monitor calls, texts, videos and other communications on mobile phones without detection." The agency pointed out this is the first criminal case based on mobile spyware, and promised to aggressively pursue makers of similar software in the future. Here's the legal filing (PDF). The FBI, with approval from a District Court, has disabled the website hosting the software. "The indictment alleges that StealthGenie's capabilities included the following: it recorded all incoming/outgoing voice calls; it intercepted calls on the phone to be monitored while they take place; it allowed the purchaser to call the phone and activate it at any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius; and it allowed the purchaser to monitor the user's incoming and outgoing e-mail messages and SMS messages, incoming voicemail messages, address book, calendar, photographs, and videos. All of these functions were enabled without the knowledge of the user of the phone."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

via Slashdot http://ift.tt/YIxzd5


X-Class Solar Flare Coming Friday

First time accepted submitter kit_triforce writes Satellites have just detected a powerful X1.6-class solar flare. The source was active sunspot AR2158, which is directly facing Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash. Ionizing radiation from the flare could cause HF radio blackouts and other communications disturbances, especially on the day-lit side of Earth. In the next few hours, when coronagraph data from SOHO and STEREO become available, we will see if a coronal mass ejection (CME) emerges from the blast site. If so, the cloud would likely be aimed directly at Earth and could reach our planet in 2 to 3 days.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

via Slashdot http://ift.tt/1wgTYwy


Health officials see spike in local enterovirus cases

A spike in respiratory illness resulting from enterovirus hit at least one local hospital in recent weeks, and public health officials are preparing to notify area schools and day care centers.

CHAMPAIGN — A spike in respiratory illness resulting from enterovirus hit at least one local hospital in recent weeks, and public health officials are preparing to notify area schools and day care centers.

read more

via News-Gazette.com http://ift.tt/1Bpg3Ji


Real Ducks doing the DuckTales Theme Is Literally the Best Thing Ever

Don't even try to tell me I used literally wrong; there are ducks swimming in gold coin here, and if you can't understand how you can actually die happy after seeing this video, I cannot explain how life works to you. They are solving crimes! In hats! ::Convulses aggressively::


via Jezebel http://ift.tt/WBvqyR


Automattic Rejects Series Of Bogus Janet Jackson Takedown Attempts By Using Janet Jackson Song Titles

Via Parker Higgins we learn that Automattic (better known as the Wordpress people) have added singer Janet Jackson to their "Hall of Shame" for sending totally bogus takedowns. Apparently, her people made the wacky claim that this post on "what would your WWE smackdown name be?" represented trademark infringement. It doesn't. The only place it even mentions Jackson is in showing a picture of Sacha Baron Cohen with the following explanation:
Costume and entrance: Picture Sacha Baron Cohen in, what else? his movie The Dictator. Elaborate General’s outfit, hat, etc. He walks in flanked by half a dozen sexy female soldiers inspired by the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation video.

Uh, yeah. That's not trademark infringement. It's not copyright infringement. It's not anything but someone writing.

The other takedown is equally problematic. It claims the following image is copyright infringement:

As you can clearly see that's using a photo of Jackson's famous "wardrobe malfunction" from the Superbowl many years ago, and applying the Things Tim Howard Could Save meme to it. Marginally funny. But not copyright infringement. Not only does Jackson not hold the copyright on that image, it's obvious fair use for whoever does hold the copyright.

Still, Automattic's lawyers had some fun with their response, noting that they "tried to use as many Janet Jackson song titles as possible" in the response (while also noting they hope that doesn't lead to another takedown demand):

It seems like you believe the use of the trademark “Janet Jackson” is reserved all for you, but we were hoping you’d be open to some feedback because your attempt to control every use of the mark is pretty nasty. If you read up on nominative use, you’ll discover that it doesn’t really matter that “Janet Jackson” is used on this site. If you believe there are any other alleged infringements, would you mind submitting a notice again via our trademark form?


So excited to work with you going forward

Nicely done.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

via Techdirt. http://ift.tt/1CxFsSG

Infamous “podcast patent” heads to trial

Personal Audio LLC has sued Apple, SiriusXM, and podcasters. CBS is up next.

via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/WkRT2U


Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped

Dennis Toeppen is at it again. The owner of Suburban Express, Midwestern bussing company that works the university circuit, is best known for filing ridiculous lawsuits against its own customers and online critics, and for running away whenever any serious media attention is paid to its actions, only to re-file those same suits later. Toeppen himself is also known to be someone who harasses those same online critics personally and also occasionally does his best stalker impression for them.

Now, according to Champaign-native Kionae, Toeppen is back at it again, choosing to re-re-file those same lawsuits a third time.

Toeppen was arrested in Champaign County last month after a former customer complained that Toeppen had posted rude comments regarding him and another customer on Reddit. He appeared in Lake County Court Aug. 8 for his arraignment, pleading not guilty. Shortly after his arrest, Suburban Express re-filed five of its 126 tort or contract damage lawsuits on July 17 in Cook County. These lawsuits were originally filed in Ford County and dismissed by Judge Steve Pacey in July 2013.

Jeremy Leval, the Redditor who got this whole saga started after being sued and harrassed by Toeppen simply for sticking up for a foreign exchange student who a bus driver was mocking, is of course among those Toeppen is re-re-filing against. One begins to get the impression that Toeppen and Suburban Express are masochistic, getting some kind of perverse joy out of getting blasted in the media and online. I'm at a loss as to what other forces could be at work here. Though, judging by some of the other customers' stories from those being attacked legally by Suburban Express, the simple answer may be that Toeppen is simply a jerk.
A case has also been re-filed against Manfred Kubler, junior in LAS, and his mother, Laurie Casas, for delaying a bus on Jan. 13, 2013. Kubler said he needed to retrieve a backpack, which contained an EpiPen, from his mother’s car after he had boarded his bus. After retrieving the bag, Toeppen asked Kubler to board another bus at the stop after he had sat down. He complied, but after learning that the second bus arrived in Champaign an hour later than the first bus, Kubler was concerned he would not be able to retrieve his luggage, which he said contained his nebulizer and other important medicines, on arrival. He said the first bus began to roll earlier than its planned departure time, but the driver stopped as Kubler walked toward it, inviting him to re-board. Following an altercation between Toeppen, Casas and Kubler after re-boarding, Kubler said Toeppen retrieved his luggage from the first bus’ undercarriage, hitting his mother with the door, and called the police on the two of them.

Delightful. What's insane about all of this is that the re-re-filings come the day after Toeppen was arrested for harassment, indicating that it will take more than the justice system to slow down his brand of insanity. I imagine being sanctioned out of existence by some anti-SLAPP legislation that has actual teeth might do the job far better, reminding us again what a shame it is that the US doesn't have such a thing. In the meantime, it might seem reasonable for whichever judge picks up these cases to lay a little lumber to Mr. Toeppen and his clear abuse of the legal system. That and pushing stories about his underhanded behavior up the search engine rankings, as well.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

via Techdirt. http://ift.tt/1tay9d6

Illinois hospital asks children not to visit due to unknown virus

(Reuters) - A hospital in Illinois has barred children under 12 from visiting the facility until further notice due to an outbreak of an unknown respiratory virus that has affected more than 70 young children in the area, hospital officials said on Friday.

via Reuters: Health News http://ift.tt/1pyNO2b