Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web

The Guardian

The story that broke early last month that Google would again cooperate with Chinese authorities to run a censored version of its search engine, something the tech giant has neither confirmed nor denied, had ironic timing. The same day, a group of 800 web builders and others – among them Tim Berners-Lee, who created the world wide web – were meeting in San Francisco to discuss a grand idea to circumvent internet gatekeepers like Google and Facebook. The event they had gathered for was the Decentralised Web Summit, held from 31 July to 2 August, and hosted by the Internet Archive. The proponents of the so-called decentralised web – or DWeb – want a new, better web where the entire planet's population can communicate without having to rely on big companies that amass our data for profit and make it easier for governments to conduct surveillance. And its proponents have got projects and apps that are beginning to function, funding that is flowing and social momentum behind them.


Hacker puts 51 million file sharing accounts for sale on dark web

ZDNet

Users accounts for iMesh, a now defunct file sharing service, are for sale on the dark web. The New York-based music and video sharing company was a peer-to-peer service, which rose to fame in the file sharing era of the early-2000s, riding the waves of the aftermath of the "dotcom" boom. After the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued the company in 2003 for encouraging copyright infringement, the company was given status as the first "approved" peer-to-peer service. More "mega breaches" to come, as rival hackers vie for sales Three major social networks have quietly fallen victim to data breaches. Despite some success, patience and trust is now fading.


Qualcomm must license chip patents to rival companies, court rules

ZDNet

Qualcomm has been ordered to make patents essential for modern modem chips available to rival companies. On Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Lucy Koh granted a partial summary judgment against Qualcomm which was requested by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This requires Qualcomm to open up some of its portfolio of essential patents to rival companies such as Intel. The intellectual property in question relates to some of the US chip maker's patents which protect core technologies essential for chips which permit mobile devices to connect to wireless systems. The judgment was made as part of an antitrust lawsuit levied against Qualcomm by the FTC.


Artificial intelligence won't save the internet from porn

Engadget

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." In 1964, the Supreme Court overturned an obscenity conviction against Nico Jacobellis, a Cleveland theater manager accused of distributing obscene material. The film in question was Louis Malle's "The Lovers," starring Jeanne Moreau as a French housewife who, bored with her media-mogul husband and her polo-playing sidepiece, packs up and leaves after a hot night with a younger man. And by "hot," I mean a lot of artful blocking, heavy breathing and one fleeting nipple -- basically, nothing you can't see on cable TV.


Facebook ordered to pay $500m in VR lawsuit

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A U.S. jury in Texas on Wednesday ordered Facebook, its virtual reality unit Oculus, and other defendants to pay a combined $500 million to ZeniMax Media Inc., a video game publisher. The jury awarded the sum after determining that Oculus executives violated a ZeniMax non-disclosure agreement in the early days of building the Oculus Rift VR headset. However, it decided that Oculus wasn't guilty of misappropriating trade secrets, another of ZeniMax's charges. The jury in federal court in Dallas found Oculus, which Facebook acquired for about $2 billion in 2014, used ZeniMax's computer code to launch the Rift virtual-reality headset. According to Polygon, the $500 million award is composed of $200 million for NDA violation, plus $50 million for copyright infringement, a $50 million award against both Oculus and co-founder Palmer Luckey for false designation, and $150 million against former CEO Brendan Iribe for false designation.