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Programming

Women Get Pull Requests Accepted More (Except When You Know They're Women) (peerj.com) 6

An anonymous reader writes: In the largest study of gender bias [in programming] to date, researchers found that women tend to have their pull requests accepted at a higher rate than men, across a variety of programming languages. This, despite the finding that their pull requests are larger and less likely to serve an immediate project need. At the same time, when the gender of the women is identifiable (as opposed to hidden), their pull requests are accepted less often than men's.

Feed Techdirt: Artist Sues Wu-Tang Clan Member, Martin Shkreli, Vice Magazine For Copyright Infringement (google.com)

In the continually developing saga that is the Wu-Tang Clan's unexpected entanglement with the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the pharmaceutical industry, it is now apparently time for the bogus lawsuits to begin.

Artist Jason Koza, a Wu-Tang Clan fan, is suing Tarik Azzougarh, a rapper, producer and manager "associated" with the group, along with one of its members (RZA) and pharma supervillain Martin Shkreli, last seen pleading the smirk in front of a Congressional hearing.

Koza's story is as follows, in his own words, from his own filing [heavily edited for clarity and length]. (h/t The Hollywood Reader)

Mr. Koza has long admired the music of the Wu-Tang Clan, and in late 2013 and early 2014, he rendered original portraits of nine members who recorded the groups first album.

The nine portraits are titled: Ghostface Killa-Koza, GZA-Koza, Ol Dirty Bastard-Koza, Method Man-Koza, Masta Killa-Koza, Inspecta Deck-Koza, U- God-Koza, RZA-Koza, Raekwon-Koza (hereinafter the Wu-Tang Clan Portraits)...

In or around late 2013 or early 2014, Mr. Koza saw a solicitation on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website stating as follows: Every Thursday we will be posting up pics of Wu-Tang artwork from fans, artists and aliens. If you have artwork you would like to share, please email us at: WuArtTats@gmail.com.

Mr. Koza submitted digital images of his nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to the WuArtTats@gmail.com email address and the works were posted on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website.

The WuDisciples.blogspot.com did not display any language or disclaimer granting the website a license for submitted works.

Mr. Koza did not grant an express license to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com for the use of his Wu-Tang Clan Portraits, although he intended that they be used for the limited purpose of public display on that website.

Mr. Koza did not authorize the use of his Wu-Tang Clan Portraits outside of the implied license he granted for their display on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com.

Upon information and belief, prior to 2014, Defendants Diggs and Azzougarh began work on a new Wu-Tang Clan album.

[...]

Upon information and belief, in 2015, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh completed production of a new Wu-Tang Clan album, which had been recorded secretly over the course of several years, titled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Upon information and belief, the album was sold with a leather-bound book containing, inter alia, unauthorized copies of all nine of Mr. Kozas Wu-Tang Clan Portraits.

Upon information and belief, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh made, or caused to be made, the unauthorized copies of Mr. Kozas Wu-Tang Clan Portraits that were included in the leather-bound book.

Upon information and belief, in 2014 or 2015, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh engaged New York-based online auction house Paddle8 as their agent to sell and/or distribute the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, including the leather-bound book that contains the infringing copies of Mr. Kozas artwork.
This $2 million album, along with the book of artwork allegedly containing Koza's portraits, is now in former Turing Pharmaceutical head Martin Shkreli's possession.

Koza may have a case against the unauthorized use of his work in the book sold to Shkreli. Nothing on the Wu-Tang fan site indicates Koza would have handed over his rights to his artwork by having it posted there. If those responsible for putting the book together used his work, then he may have a fairly solid infringement case.

However, Koza did not register his artwork with the US Copyright Office until February 1st of this year, which is well past the point in time the infringement allegedly occurred. (The album was sold in 2015 and the book of artwork was compiled before the sale.) This may cut him out of the statutory damages he's seeking as these fees are only retroactive if the registration occurs within 90 days of publication. In his own recounting of the events, Koza indicates the first publication (at the Wu-Tang fansite) occurred sometime prior to April 8, 2014 -- the point at which he was contacted by Azzougarh about the "one copy album" he and RZA were putting together. Koza's copyright filings occurred nearly two years later.

Despite Martin Shkreli doing nothing more than paying an exorbitant amount for an album packaged with a book of artwork he likely assumed was properly licensed, Koza wants to nail him for infringement as well.

Upon information and belief, the album was unique in that only one copy was produced and Mr. Shkreli is contractually prohibited from distributing further copies commercially for 88 years following the sale.

On January 29, 2016, Mr. Koza saw an article published by Vice.com that included photographs of the leather-bound book that was included with the album.

The pictures in the article revealed that at least three of Mr. Kozas Wu- Tang Clan Portraits were reproduced in the book: Raekwon-Koza, Ol Dirty Bastard-Koza, and Inspecta Deck-Koza.


Mr. Koza never gave his permission, express or implied, for any third party to copy, distribute, or publicly display copies of his works, other than his submission to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website for the limited purpose of displaying the works thereon.
The thing about purchased items is that "third parties" are mostly free to do what they want with their purchased goods, including displaying artwork they purchased. That this was "displayed" in an article at Vice.com does nothing to implicate Shkreli or Vice. Shkreli has the Right of First Sale and Vice.com has fair use -- even if Vice selected which pictures would be published. Koza's legal arguments in relation to this supposed infringement are pretty much nonsensical.

Mr. Shkreli has infringed Mr. Kozas exclusive right of public display by permitting at least three of the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to be displayed to the public in a news article without Mr. Kozas permission or license.
Including "in a news article" in his claim pretty much guarantees Vice.com's fair use defense will work, if a judge even lets the case get as far as requiring a response from the website. As for Shkreli, he's done nothing wrong, which is probably the first time that's been said about him since his ascension into the public eye.

Koza even tries to claim his truncated email exchange with Azzougarh -- combined with the fansite's nonexistent statement on who retains what rights to submitted artwork -- somehow coheres into a contract the defendants have violated.

The facts alleged regarding Mr. Kozas submission of the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website and the subsequent communications between Mr. Koza and Mr. Azzougarh give rise to an implied-in-fact contract for a license from Mr. Koza for use the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits in the album in exchange for payment from Defendants.
Once a judge reviews this mess of a lawsuit, it's very likely most of the defendants will be dismissed. On the sort of bright side, if the lawsuit makes it far enough, the exclusive book owned by Shkreli may be entered into evidence, giving Wu-Tang fans a chance to see at least nine pages of the multimillion dollar book.

But as far as legal assertions go, Koza's are at least as shaky as anything delivered to date by Wu-Tang members unhappy with their album being in the possession of the Most Hated Man in America (Corporate Division). But at least when one of them does it, it's far more entertaining. Calling Shkreli "the man with the twelve-year-old body" beats "somebody owes me money... probably" any day of the week.



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Submission + - Study: Women Get Pull Requests Accepted More, except When You Know They're Women (peerj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In the largest study of gender bias to date, researchers found that women tend to have their pull requests accepted at a higher rate than men, across a variety of programming languages. This, despite the finding that their pull requests are larger and less likely to serve an immediate project need. At the same time, when the gender of the women is identifiable (as opposed to hidden), their pull requests are accepted less often than men's.

Submission + - Deep Speech: Recognizing Both English and Mandarin with a Single Algorithm (github.io)

etzmor writes: Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab just posted a Tech Note about how SVAIL enabled the Baidu Deep Speech system to recognize Mandarin within two months. The post discusses what they did to adapt the system to Mandarin and how the end-to-end learning approach made the whole project easier.

Comment Re:"you don't have to be very accurate" (Score 1) 164

A nuke hitting somewhere in your country at more-or-less random is still a nuke hitting your country.

Sure, you might luck out and have it land somewhere completely uninhabited. But then again, you might not. And you still have radiation and fallout issues.

Not to mention the whole 'now we either MUST nuke them back, potentially kicking off a war with China, or admit that deterrence is a huge bluff, and watch everybody rush the tech tree to nukes.'

Government

Putin's Internet Czar Wants To Ban Windows On Government PCs 141

SmartAboutThings writes: The Russian government is allegedly looking to ban Microsoft's Windows operating system, increase taxes on foreign technology companies, develop its homegrown OS and encourage local tech companies to grow. All these proposals comes from German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new 'internet czar, as Bloomberg describes him. In a 90-minute interview, Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Submission + - Web Scraping Finds Stores Guilty of Price Inflation on "Sale" Days (scrapinghub.com)

UnsettledTCK writes: In the US, there are a series of supposed major sale days leading up to Christmas and New Year. These are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday. These days are billed as the absolute time to buy what you want for rock bottom prices. Out of curiosity, we decided to track the prices of 30 products over five retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Sam's Club) across five different days starting from Black Friday and including Cyber Monday, Green Monday and also Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. We compared the prices taken to January 13, 2016 (used as a baseline). Turns out that not only was there an issue of inflated prices, but these higher prices actually took place on the same days as the alleged sales.

And yes, obviously it shouldn't come as a shocker that retailers charge more, but it was noteworthy to see which companies were the most guilty and which played by the rules.

People seem to fall into two consumer camps: careful shoppers who wait for discounts and sales or those who know what they want to buy and will spend the money regardless. We were curious to see if the savvy shoppers were rewarded or if it's better to just pay the money for the convenience of not waiting for a "sale". Turns out that the answer is mixed, but products in the Toys category were basically a damned if you do/damned if you don't scenario.

You'll probably still end up continuing your same shopping behavior, but at least now you know when you're being overcharged.

Submission + - Russia's Putin Wants to Ban Windows on Government PCs

SmartAboutThings writes: The Russian government is allegedly looking to ban Microsoft’s Windows operating system, increase taxes on foreign technology companies, develop its homegrown OS and encourage local tech companies to grow.

All these proposals comes from German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new 'internet czar, as Bloomberg describes him. In a 90-minute interview, Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Submission + - Company Takes Two Years to Remove Hard-Coded Root Passwords from IoT Thermostat (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It took 22 months for Trane to patch three security bugs in its ComfortLink II XL950 smart Wi-Fi thermostat product, the ComfortLink II XL950, a modern IoT device along the lines of Google Nest, which offers a simple way to manage your apartment’s or building's internal temperature. Researchers contacted Trane about their three issues in April 2014, the company fixed the RCE flaws in April 2015 and recently released a firmware update at the end of January to fix the last issue. During all this time, the company barely answered emails and continued to sell an exposed product.
Power

World's Largest Solar Power Plant To Supply Enough Energy For 1.1 Million People (computerworld.com) 162

Lucas123 writes: The world's largest solar power plant is now live and will eventually provide 1.1 million people in Morocco with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year. Phase 1 of the Noor concentrated solar power (CSP) plant went live last week, providing 140 megawatts (MW) of power to Morocco. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed by 2018 when the plant is expected to generate more than 500MW of power. The Noor plant, located in south-central Morocco, will cover 6,178 acres and produce so much energy, that Morocco may eventually start exporting the clean energy to the European market.

Submission + - Leaked iPad Air 3 design images, 0.05mm thicker and 0.1mm wider (tablethub.co.uk)

tablethub writes: An LED support for rear camera is clearly visible on the images and with this flash light, the new iPad Air 3 is going to be the first iPad Air tablet to get this support. It is difficult to say whether the device would fit into the case but design images confirm the potential features present in the case design. . iPad Pro doesn’t have a LED flash for rear camera and also it doesn’t have four stereo speakers. Going by the hints, it can be assumed that the new iPad Air 3 would come with rear flash and multiple speakers. The case design perfectly matches with what would be the design of new iPad Air 3.

Submission + - Dell Precision 15 Packs Xeon And Quadro In 4lb Laptop With Infinity Edge Display (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: To look at the Dell Precision 15 5510, you wouldn't know that it sits in the middle of Dell's workstation lineup. The laptop is thinner and sleeker than you might expect a workstation-class laptop to be and the premium carbon fiber palm rest gives the system a decidedly high-end vibe. Not to mention, like the XPS 15, Dell equipped this machine with its 4K IGZO Infinity Edge display that has almost no bezel on three of its sides. However, the Precision 15 5510 is actually Dell's mid-range mobile workstation that also supports Intel Xeon E3 processors and NVIDIA's Quadro M1000 series GPUs. It's essentially a mobile workstation version of Dell's XPS 15 line but along with an NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive, delivers professional grade performance and the pro app certifications that go with it. Compared to Lenovo's ThinkPad W550 line, the Precision 15 is a more sleek, stylish machine and in testing it packs more punch as well. Lenovo may already have their Skylake Xeon refresh in the works for the ThinkPad W series, however.

Submission + - World's Largest Solar Power Plant To Supply Enough Energy For 1.1 Million People (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The world's largest solar power plant is now live and will eventually provide 1.1 million people in Morocco with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year. Phase 1 of the Noor concentrated solar power (CSP) plant went live last week, providing 140 megawatts (MW) of power to Morocco. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed by 2018 when the plant is expected to generate more than 500MW of power. The Noor plant, located in south-central Morocco, will cover 6,178 acres and produce so much energy, that Morocco may eventually start exporting the clean energy to the European market.
AI

NHTSA Gives Green Light To Self-Driving Cars 145

New submitter tyme writes: Reuters reports that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Google that it would recognize the artificial intelligence in a self-driving car as the "driver" (rather than any of the occupants). The letter also says that NHTSA will write safety rules for self-driving cars in the next six months, paving the way for deployment of self-driving cars in large numbers.

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