Hashtag Trending Mar.4- Canadian police need a search warrant to access IP address; Musk sues OpenAI; World Server Throwing Competition too violent?

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In Canada, your IP address has the right to remain silent. Elon Musk is suing OpenAI for not being Open. Apple faces a class action not allowing competitive access to backup services and the World Server Throwing Competition in March 2024 is accused of being too violent towards servers.  

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All this and more on the “no servers were harmed in the making of this podcast ” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host, Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Canadian police must obtain a search warrant to access an individual’s IP address. This decision, passed with a 5-4 majority, underscores that an IP address, which serves as a critical link between an internet user and their online activity, carries a reasonable expectation of privacy under section 8 of the Charter, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

The ruling came from a 2017 case where Calgary police, investigating fraudulent online purchases, demanded a credit card processor to hand over IP addresses associated with certain transactions. This led to the arrest and conviction of an individual for 14 offenses after further obtaining subscriber information and search warrants. However, the Supreme Court has now clarified that obtaining IP addresses without judicial authorization constitutes an unlawful search.

This decision builds on a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that internet providers cannot turn over subscriber information to police without a search warrant. The court’s majority emphasized that the private nature of the information potentially revealed by an IP address warrants protection over governmental law enforcement interests. They highlighted how the internet has transformed privacy dynamics, concentrating vast amounts of personal data with third parties and enhancing the state’s informational capacity.

The ruling has sparked concerns among law enforcement, particularly in internet child exploitation units, about the potential for slowing down investigations. RCMP Sgt. Kerry Shima expressed worries that the decision could hinder the ability to act swiftly in cases, potentially putting children at risk and offering offenders greater opportunities to evade detection.

Our U.S. listeners may need a special note that in Canada, there is no distinction made in the press about which government regime appointed which judge so all we really know is that it was a 5-4 decision. 

Sources include: ITWorld Canada

Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, a company he co-founded, and its CEO Sam Altman. Musk accuses OpenAI of shifting its focus towards profit rather than humanity’s benefit.  

Musk’s contention centers around OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft, which he claims contradicts the organization’s original mission by making it a “closed-source de facto subsidiary” of Microsoft. 

Microsoft, under CEO Satya Nadella, has significantly invested in OpenAI and exclusively licenses the technology behind GPT-4, OpenAI’s advanced AI model. 

The lawsuit is posted on a number of sites, we’ll put a link in the notes. But while it’s provocative, it’s more than a little confusing. Musk notes in his lawsuit that Microsoft’s investment does not entitle it to any “ownership” in Automated General Intelligence. Interestingly, the suit also reveals that the board of OpenAI has the sole right to declare when AGI has been achieved. 

Musk presumably is complaining because he thinks that OpenAI has already achieved AGI in some form and is not sharing it with the world. 

But if OpenAI was an open source company, everyone would have access including Microsoft.

The lawsuit has sparked reactions among Silicon Valley’s elite, with venture capitalist and OpenAI investor Vinod Khosla and others exchanging criticisms on social media platforms. 

But this isn’t the only feud that Musk has going. He’s supposedly planning to create a Gmail competitor in response to Google’s AI biases and a challenge to humanoid robot startup Figure, backed by Jeff Bezos and others, as Musk develops his own robot at Tesla.

To anyone who has followed the extensive political lawsuits in the U.S. recently, Musk’s legal battle could expose a wealth of information about Musk, OpenAI, and a lot more companies and people, potentially affecting reputations and the operations of AI companies.

And as tantalizing as it might be to get some dirt on Musk, Google’s Larry Page, Sam Altman, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg and others, it really underscores the fact that a handful of billionaires and their whims and feuds control what might be the greatest scientific breakthrough since the invention of the digital computer or if you even partially believe the idea that AI could possibly, in the wrong hands, lead to the extinction of humanity, you have to ask yourself if these guys are the “right hands” to hold the future of humanity.

Sources include: Axios and The Verge has the text of the suit

Apple is facing a newly proposed class action lawsuit that accuses the company of unfairly monopolizing the cloud storage market for its devices by restricting device backups and other storage needs exclusively to its iCloud service. The lawsuit, reported first by Bloomberg Law, alleges that Apple has “marked up its iCloud prices to the point where the service is generating almost pure profit,” by rigging the competitive playing field.

The core of the complaint (pun not intended) is that Apple provides only 5GB of free iCloud storage, a limit that has remained unchanged since its introduction by Steve Jobs announced it in 2011. The plaintiffs argue that this amount of storage is insufficient for most users’ needs, compelling them to purchase additional iCloud storage plans.

The lawsuit focuses on the fact that iPhone users have no alternative but to use iCloud for full device backups. While users can choose other cloud-based storage providers, the lawsuit claims that Apple’s restrictions prevent rival platforms from offering a comprehensive cloud solution that can effectively compete with iCloud.

By making iCloud the only option for backing up Restricted Files and limiting the free storage to 5GB, Apple effectively forces device owners to use iCloud and pay for additional storage, the lawsuit alleges. It argues that there is no technological or security justification for this requirement, suggesting that Apple imposes it solely to limit competition and favour its iCloud service.

The lead plaintiff in the case is represented by Hagens Berman law firm, known for handling various class action lawsuits against Apple, including the notable $560 million Apple Books price-fixing lawsuit.

Individuals who have purchased iCloud storage and are interested in potentially joining the lawsuit are encouraged to do so via a form on the Hagens Berman website. 

Sources include: 9to5 Mac

The 2024 World Server Throwing Championship is set to take place at the annual CloudFest conference on March 19th. 

This unique competition, which began in Holland about a decade ago, has been described as an “intense underground sport” criticized for being “needlessly brutal to servers.” 

Emerging from its data-center basement origins, the WSTC as it is called is now stepping onto the world stage, inviting athletes to showcase their strength and skill in server throwing.

The event will be held outdoors in front of a live audience, welcoming up to 40 server-throwing athletes from all genders and ability levels. Participants will be given two attempts to throw a server as far as possible, with the top three performers winning prizes. While the sport’s nature is inherently brutal, safety measures such as wearing gloves are recommended due to some servers having very sharp edges.

The Dutch have established a strong presence in the sport, with the winner of a national championship event in 2022 managing to throw a server weighing over 10kg (22 pounds) a distance of 12.23 meters (over 40 feet).

CloudFest 2024 will be held in Rust, Germany. (I do not make this stuff up)

The event is described as essential for anyone working in the cloud industry, featuring keynotes, panel discussions, masterclasses, networking events, and more. Only paying attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the server-throwing competition, with tickets starting at 499 euros.

A shout out to Tom’s Hardware that did the groundbreaking journalism on this story.

Sources include: Tom’s Hardware

And that’s our show for today. 

Hashtag Trending goes to air five days a week with daily newscast and a weekend interview show that we creatively called – the weekend edition. 


Love your comments. 

Send us a note at jlove@itwc.ca or drop us a comment under the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts – look for Hashtag Trending. 

Thanks for listening and have a Magnificent Monday.


The post Hashtag Trending Mar.4- Canadian police need a search warrant to access IP address; Musk sues OpenAI; World Server Throwing Competition too violent? first appeared on IT World Canada.

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