Friday, July 28, 2017

FTC IOT Winner :: Sec. 1201 RFC :: LOC Ringer Fellowships

FTC Announces Winner of its Internet of Things Home Device Security Contest

The Federal Trade Commission announced that a mobile app developed by a New Hampshire software developer was awarded the top prize in the agency's competition seeking tools to help consumers protect the security of their Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The FTC launched the contest in January to challenge innovators to develop a tool that would help address security vulnerabilities of IoT devices.

With the assistance of an expert panel of five judges, the FTC awarded Steve Castle the $25,000 top prize for his proposal for a mobile app, "IoT Watchdog." As a software developer, Castle said he was motivated to enter the contest to distill his network security knowledge and experience into a tool that can help users easily determine if their devices are out of date or if their networks are insecure. The mobile app he proposed seeks to help users manage the IoT devices in their home. It would enable users with limited technical expertise to scan their home Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks to identify and inventory connected devices. It would flag devices with out-of-date software and other common vulnerabilities and provide instructions on how to update each device's software and fix other vulnerabilities.

Copyright Office Announces Open Application Period for Ringer Fellowships

The United States Copyright Office is now accepting applications for the Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program. The fellowship, which runs eighteen- to twenty-four months, was created for attorneys in the initial stages of their careers who demonstrate exceptional ability and interest in copyright law. Ringer Fellows work closely with senior attorneys and others in the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Policy and International Affairs, the Office and the Register, and the Registration Program on a range of copyright-related law and policy matters. Ringer Fellows serve as full-time federal employees for the term of their fellowships and are eligible for salary and benefits as permitted under federal law.

Additional details about the Ringer Fellowship, including the application process, can be found on the Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program website. Applications will be accepted through September 15, 2017. The fellowship is expected to start in September 2018.

RFC LOC DMCA Sec 1201 Circumvention Exceptions Comments Due Sept 13

U.S. Copyright Office Announces Start of Seventh Triennial Rulemaking Proceeding Under Section 1201
Issue No. 673 - June 30, 2017

The Copyright Office has published a notice of inquiry and request for petitions initiating the seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1201. Section 1201 provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may adopt temporary exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The ultimate goal of the proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be in the next three years, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumventing access controls. When such classes are identified, the Librarian promulgates regulations exempting the classes from the prohibition for the succeeding three-year period.

For this proceeding, the Office is establishing a new, streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking. If renewed, those current exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2018–October 2021).

The notice of inquiry requests for interested parties to submit written petitions for renewal of current exemptions by July 31, 2017, written comments in response to any petitions for renewal by September 13, 2017, and written petitions proposing new exemptions by September 13, 2017.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

1962 :: July 12 :: Telstar Satellite Launched

July 12, 1962: The Day Information Went Global, NASA

"Telstar was launched by NASA on July 10, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and was the first privately sponsored space-faring mission. Two days later, it relayed the world's first transatlantic television signal, from Andover Earth Station, Maine, to the Pleumeur-Bodou Telecom Center, Brittany, France.

"Developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories for AT&T, Telstar was the world's first active communications satellite and the world's first commercial payload in space. It demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting information via satellite, gained experience in satellite tracking and studied the effect of Van Allen radiation belts on satellite design. The satellite was spin-stabilized to maintain its desired orientation in space. Power to its onboard equipment was provided by a solar array, in conjunction with a battery back-up system.

"Although operational for only a few months and relaying television signals of a brief duration, Telstar immediately captured the imagination of the world. The first images, those of President John F. Kennedy and of singer Yves Montand from France, along with clips of sporting events, images of the American flag waving in the breeze and a still image of Mount Rushmore, were precursors of the global communications that today are mostly taken for granted.

"Telstar operated in a low-Earth orbit and was tracked by the ground stations in Maine and France. Each ground station had a large microwave antenna mounted on bearings, to permit tracking the satellite during the approximately half-hour period of each orbit when it was overhead. The signals from Telstar were received and amplified by a low-noise "maser" (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), the predecessor of the modern laser. After demonstrating the feasibility of the concept, subsequent communications satellites adopted a much higher orbit, at 22,300 miles above the Earth, at which the satellite's speed matched the Earth's rotation and thus appeared fixed in the sky. During the course of its operational lifespan, Telstar 1 facilitated over 400 telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television transmissions. It operated until November 1962, when its on-board electronics failed due to the effects of radiation."