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Bullet Train Derails In China 184

chrb writes "Xinhua is reporting that a Chinese bullet train has derailed, resulting in two of the train's coaches falling off a bridge. This comes only a few months after officials at the Railways Ministry expressed concerns that builders had ignored safety standards in the quest to build faster trains in record time — a claim that was subsequently retracted."

Music Copyright In EU Extended To 70 Years 395

rastos1 writes "The European Parliament extended the copyright in the EU for the performers of musical works from 50 to 70 years. The legislation will be reviewed in 3 years. The European Commission will consider extending the scope to audiovisual works too." So performers will collect for 20 more years from the date of performance; composers' rights already extend to 70 years beyond their deaths. Update: 4/26 at 12:15 GMT by SS: Reader rimberg points out that while the copyright extension was passed in the European Parliament, it is now being held up in the Council of Ministers awaiting further debate on the issue.

Obama Picks RIAA's Favorite Lawyer For Top DoJ Post 766

The Recording Industry of America's favorite courtroom lawyer, Tom Perrelli, who has sued individual file swappers in multiple federal courts, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice for the third in line at the Justice Department. CNet's Declan McCullagh explores the background of the man who won the RIAA's lucrative business for his DC law firm: "An article on his law firm's Web site says that Perrelli represented SoundExchange before the Copyright Royalty Board — and obtained a 250 percent increase in the royalty rate for music played over the Internet by companies like AOL and Yahoo," not to mention Pandora and Radio Paradise. NewYorkCountryLawyer adds, "Certainly this does not bode well for CowboyNeal's being appointed Copyright Czar."

Nevada Businesses Must Start Encrypting E-Mail By Oct. 1st 178

dtothes writes "Baseline is reporting the state of Nevada has a statute about to go in effect on October 1, 2008 that will force businesses to encrypt all personally identifiable information transmitted over the Internet. They speak with a Nevada legal expert who says the problem is that the statute is written so broadly that the law could potentially open up a ton of unintentional liability and allow for the interpretation of things like password-protected documents to be considered sufficiently encrypted. Quoting: 'Beyond the infrastructure impact, the statute itself looks like Swiss cheese. Bryce K. Earl, a Las Vegas-based attorney, ... has been following the issue closely and believes there are some problems with the statute as it is on the books right now, namely the broad definition of encryption, the lack of coordination with industry standards and the unclear nature of penalties both criminal and civil.'"

TSA Bans Flight If You Refuse To Show ID 734

mytrip notes a CNet blog entry on the recent TSA rule change banning flight to anyone who refuses to produce ID. It's OK if you claim to have lost or forgotten your ID — you undergo a pat-down and hand search of your carry-on bag and you're on your way. The new rule goes into effect June 21. "The change of rules seems to be a pretty obvious case of security theater. Real terrorists do not refuse to show ID. They claim to have lost their ID, or they use a fake. TSA's new rules only protect us from a non-existent breed of terrorists who are unable to lie."

Windows Live Hotmail CAPTCHA Cracked, Exploited 362

eldavojohn passes along what may be the last nail in the coffin for CAPTCHA technology. Coming on the heels of credible accounts of the downfall of first Yahoo's and then Gmail's CAPTCHA, Ars Technica is reporting on Websense Security Labs' deconstruction of the cracking and tuning / exploitation of the Live Hotmail CAPTCHA. Ars calculates that a single zombie computer can sign up over 1400 Live Hotmail accounts in a day, and alternate account creation with spamming. Time to dust off Kitten Auth?

Vista SP1 Update Locks Out Some Users 410

Echostorm writes with word that Windows Vista SP1, which began rolling out via Automatic Update, has left some users' machines unbootable. The update loops forever on "Configuring updates: Stage 3 of 3 — 0% complete. Do not turn off your computer." "Shutting down"... restart and loop. Echostorm notes having found traces of what sounds like the same bug in early beta releases of SP1. It's unclear how many users are affected. So far there is no word on a fix from Microsoft.

How Can We Convert the US to the Metric System? 1487

thesolo asks: "Despite past efforts of the 1970s and 1980s, the United States remains one of only three countries (others are Liberia and Myanmar) that does not use the metric system. Staying with imperial measurements has only served to handicap American industry and economy. Attempts to get Americans using the Celsius scale, or putting up speed limits in kilometers per hour have been squashed dead. Not only that, but some Americans actually see metrication efforts as an assault on 'our way' of measuring. I personally deal with European scientists on a daily basis, and find our lack of common measurement to be extremely frustrating. Are we so entrenched with imperial units that we cannot get our fellow citizens to simply learn something new? What are those of us who wish to finally see America catch up to the rest of the world supposed to do? Are there any organizations that we may back, or any pro-metric legislators who we can support?"

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas