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Music

"Innocent Infringement" Defense May Reach Supreme Court 213

Posted by timothy
from the or-it-might-get-kicked-from-the-stoop dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Several years ago a federal court in Texas ordered the RIAA, in an 'innocent infringement' case against a teenager, to either accept $200 per infringed work, or to go to trial over the innocent infringement issue, in Maverick Recording Co v. Harper. Recently, an appeals court reversed, saying that the defendant could not avail herself of the innocent infringement defense since there were CDs, bearing copyright notices, available in stores, even though the copies she had made were from MP3 files which bore no such notice. Now, a petition for certiorari has been filed on the defendant's behalf, arguing that the 5th Circuit's ruling would make it impossible for anyone to interpose an innocent infringement case, even where they had never seen a copyright notice. The lawyers filing the petition on defendant's behalf are the same firm that represented Jammie Thomas in her second trial, and the motion which resulted in her verdict being reduced from $1.92 million to $54,000."
Privacy

Emergency Dispatcher Fired For Facebook Drug Joke 631

Posted by kdawson
from the thin-pretense dept.
kaptink writes "Dana Kuchler, a 21-year veteran of the West Allis Dispatch Department, was fired from her job for making jokes on her Facebook page about taking drugs. She appealed to an arbitrator, claiming the Facebook post was a joke, pointing out she had written 'ha' in it, and noting that urine and hair samples tested negative for drugs. The arbitrator said she should be entitled to go back to work after a 30-day suspension, but the City of West Allis complained that was not appropriate. Is posting bad jokes on Facebook a justifiable reason to give someone the boot?"
Censorship

Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc. 130

Posted by timothy
from the and-everybody-loves-the-king dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their operators charged because they failed to delete 'harmful posts' quickly enough to suit the Thai authorities."
Hardware Hacking

Revisiting DIY HERF Guns 425

Posted by kdawson
from the scrambled-not-fried dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HERF guns have previously been regarded as nothing more than an interesting project with uses ranging from at-home experiments to malicious pranks. But the deployment of 'morally gray' forms of high-tech crowd control, such as the recent use of a sound cannon against domestic protesters, along with the likely future unleashing of the pain gun on more than just 'foreign terrorists,' creates a new purpose for these relatively easily assembled devices. Could HERF guns become a new method to counter the silencing of protesters via these sophisticated attacks, or is there any other way to prevent such efficient, convenient crowd dispersal?"
Slashdot.org

Slashdot Launches User Achievements 1582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-believe-it-took-so-long dept.
In a concerted effort to compete with more popular MMOs like World of Warcraft, we've decided to add an Achievement system to Slashdot. We've retroactively granted around 900,000 achievements to our logged in users. You can view them from your user page, or you can see my list if you're curious what a REAL achiever looks like. Many achievements have been sprinkled throughout the system and are awaiting discovery by dedicated Slashdot users, but a starter list of achievements is in the FAQ. I'll toss you one freebie: you can register your wow main for points if you're that kind of person. Now go forth and achieve!

Comment: Re:Well, I hate to say it... (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by Dryesias (#27368043) Attached to: EA Won't Use DRM For <em>The Sims 3</em>
I don't feel you can really consider serial keys to be DRM. It doesn't limit your number of installs, no matter how many computers you install it on, you can resell your software, it'll never cease to function, it is yours. I really only consider DRM to be anything that makes so that something I purchase isn't really mine, as if I rented it, when I was led to believe I was purchasing it.

Comment: Re:It's great that they lightened the DRM load. (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by Dryesias (#27367917) Attached to: EA Won't Use DRM For <em>The Sims 3</em>
I think serial keys are necessary. They stop casual copying from being prevalent. Many people are not willing or knowledgeable enough to go through the time/effort to download a torrent, mess with keygenerators and/or no-cd cracks, and then possibly still be blocked from online pay. Without serial keys, anyone could just buy say, an RTS like AoE3 and install it on all your friends computers real quick so you can play together online. There has to be a balance, and I feel serial keys are a nice compromise, since it really doesn't require additional effort on my part, and I can even resell my software, because it is truly mine.
Software

Microsoft Office 2007 In Linux With WINE 224

Posted by timothy
from the drink-the-wine-but-not-the-kool-aid dept.
Kenneth Reitz writes "Wouldn't it be lovely to have a nice, clean installation of Microsoft's Office 2007 Suite to run on your Ubuntu Linux Distribution? For some people, this is the only thing that truly holds them back from an all-Linux environment ... But not anymore! We have compiled a nice, concise set of instructions to help guide you along."
Television

Comcast Apologizes For Super Bowl Porn Glitch 526

Posted by kdawson
from the pay-per-view-malfunction dept.
DrinkDr.Pepper writes "Just after the last touchdown by the Cardinals, with 3 minutes to go in the game, approximately 30 seconds of pornographic material was shown, seen by an unknown number of Comcast customers in Tucson, Arizona who were watching the game in standard definition. Comcast has apologized (they used the word 'mortified') and is issuing a $10 credit to any customer who claims to have been impacted. Various news accounts suggest that the incident was a malicious act, but no one knows how it was done or by whom."
Power

Networked Fridges 'Negotiate' Electricity Use 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the share-the-juice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers have developed a way to network household and commercial fridges together in a distributed peer-to-peer fashion that lets them 'negotiate' with each other on the best time to consume electricity. A retrofittable controller is attached to each fridge and then a temperature profile is built around the unit. The controller enables communication between other fridges on the network and also the power source. It enables fridges to work together to decide when to cool down, and thus consume power, based on how much surplus power will be available, and to anticipate power shortages and change their running schedules accordingly to use as little power as possible during these times."

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