Stories for Aug. 8, 2014
In Brief

Sportscaster ESPN is getting ready to shut down its public API. ESPN’s API team announced this week that it won’t be issuing any new API keys going forward, and that all previously issued API keys are going to be revoked in early December. The move will help the company to “better align engineering resources with the growing demand to develop core ESPN products,” the team said in a blog post. ESPN isn’t the only media company that recently decided to pull the plug on a public API: Netflix announced two months ago that it will shutter its public API in November.

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In Brief

Vienna’s commercial court has decided it’s not the right place to adjudicate a massive and unprecedented class action suit over Facebook’s alleged breaking of European privacy law. As Network World reported on Friday, the court said the suit should be heard in a nearby court that deals with civil cases. Max Schrems, the man orchestrating the suit, told me this was because the case straddled the line between contract and data protection issues, and the court had merely decided the latter was more relevant than the former. “It’s a wholly administrative thing,” he said. 25,000 people have joined the suit, and another 20,000 have signed up to follow if Schrems decides it’s practical to expand the list.

Stories for Aug. 7, 2014
In Brief

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have created a new programming language called Wyvern that lets developers write web applications using the right language for the job, such as SQL for database queries or JavaScript for interactive content. Wyvern uses context from the types of data being manipulated to understand which language is being used in any given part of the code. Wyvern could help eliminate scripting and SQL injection attacks, the researchers note in a press release. However, they add, “Wyvern is not yet fully engineered … but is an open source project that is ready for experimental use by early adopters.”

In Brief

SpaceX launch

Rocket startup SpaceX is looking to build a small solar panel farm near its vertical launch site at Boca Chica Beach in Texas, working with solar company SolarCity, according to a local newspaper. Elon Musk is the chairman of SolarCity and also the CEO of SpaceX. SpaceX subsidiary Dogleg Park filed an application with Cameron County to put the solar panels on up to 6.5 acres of land in the area of the launch control center and near a security guard booth.

In Brief

A U.K. man has been arrested for running a proxy server that granted access to “piracy” websites that had been blocked by the courts. The unnamed 20-year-old was arrested earlier this week in Nottingham, according to a Thursday statement by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). According to Wired, the arrested man was running Immunicity, a proxy service set up in 2013 to bypass court-ordered site blockages. As far as I’m aware, this is the first arrest in the U.K. over the circumvention of copyright-protecting measures by proxy, so it should be an interesting case to watch.

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