dgiancaterino's blog

Bitcoin: Uncle Billy Couldn’t Have Done a Better Job


You may or may not have heard about Bitcoin, the first virtual currency that you can use in the real world. Bitcoins are exchanged in a peer-to-peer network. There is no central bank overseeing any of this. All transactions are encrypted so that they are anonymous, but are posted for all users to see. The bitcoin trades against the U.S. Dollar. As I write this, it's worth around $14.90.

Good News: Jammie Thomas' File-Sharing Verdict Is Reduced By 97%


Bad news: it's still more money than she can afford -- $54,000. (But it's better than $2 million.)

Anyway, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said in his ruling:

"The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music. Moreover, although plaintiffs were not required to prove their actual damages, statutory damages must bear some relation to actual damages."

A-B-C, It's Easy As 1-2-3


When it comes to online security, we're just not very creative. Here are the 5 most popular passwords you, me and our fellow Web surfers employ, according to an analysis by security firm Imperva (love the name!) of 32 million login credentials stolen from social networking site RockYou.

  1. 123456
  2. 12345
  3. 123456789

50 is a Milestone


(And one that I'll experience personally come August.) Anyway, Jenkins is offering 50 CLE classes during the January-April compliance period -- beginning with Basic Westlaw a week from today -- as well as one non-CLE class, Business Development 101. That's the most classes we've ever offered during any compliance period in the 10+ years I've been at Jenkins.

New York Times to Start Charging Soon? [UPDATED]


New York Magazine reports that the NY Times "appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations." The decision wasn't an easy one:

Eight Days and Counting


Apple's invited all the tech elite -- apparently, I didn't make the cut -- to a special event on January 27 to "Come see our latest creation". Most likely they're referring to the iSlate (or whatever they decide to call it). Stay tuned.

Skype Now Has Double-Digit Share of International Phone Traffic


Skype accounted for 12% of international calling minutes in 2009. That's 54 *billion* minutes of yakety-yack, folks. I bet Skype's new owners are happy about that.

Link via TechCrunch.

Only Microsoft Could Create a Bug Like This


Lifehacker alerts us that there's a 30-second delay in the login process in Windows 7 if you have a solid-color background. It's a bug that Microsoft is aware of.

Sigh. Why does this not surprise me?

China Hack Was "Highly Sophisticated"


Wired reports that the intrusion of Google (and others) by Chinese hackers exploited a previously-undiscovered flaw in (what else?) Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8. Microsoft has issued an advisory; here's their take on the matter: