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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 24 declined, 7 accepted (31 total, 22.58% accepted)

+ - NZ PM a Reptile? Staff have "no data to disprove the theory"->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Who's to say NZ Prime Minister John Key isn't a reptilian overlord in disguise?

Key's own office certainly can't; its response to an official information request was that it had no data to disprove the theory.

The response came after a request for "any evidence to disprove the theory that Mr John Key is in fact a David Icke-style shape reptilian shifting alien ushering humanity towards enslavement"."

Link to Original Source

+ - NZ Govt is relaxing privacy laws for US citizens and ex-pats->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "New Zealands Government wants to override privacy laws to supply the US Government with private details about Americans living in New Zealand.

As part of a global tax-dodging crackdown, the US is forcing banks and other financial institutions to hand over the private financial details of US "persons" and companies based overseas.

From July this year, Kiwi banks and insurers will be required to provide US tax authorities with American customers' contact details, bank account numbers and transaction history.

  The move comes amid continuing criticism of New Zealand's participation in Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement talks, aimed at securing a wider-reaching free trade deal with the US and other countries.

Critics say the secretive talks could restrict New Zealand's ability to make its own laws on everything from the environment to employment."

Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - 150 copyright notices for Mega->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Kim Dotcom's Mega file sharing site has been stung with 150 copyright warnings, according to an international report.

Dotcom launched the new fire-sharing website on January 20 in a blaze of fireworks and publicity.

Less than two weeks later and Computerworld.com is reporting the company removed content after receiving 150 copyright infringement notices."

Link to Original Source

+ - Peepshow over for body scanners->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "The "peepshow" scanners that have caused an uproar at airports are finally getting the heave-ho.

It took more than two years of passenger complaints, but the US Transportation Security Administration says it is pulling the plug on the Rapiscan backscatter scanner. The move was made because the manufacturer did not meet a deadline to come up with new software that would create less revealing images. In all, 174 machines at 30 airports will be shut down and moved out.

Rapiscan could not create new software for its backscatter machines and threw in the towel this month. The TSA cancelled its contract with the company."

Link to Original Source

+ - Women are getting smarter->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Since IQ testing began a century ago, women have been as much as five points behind, leading psychologists to suggest embedded genetic differences.

But that gap has been narrowing in recent years and this year, women have moved ahead, according to James Flynn, a world-renowned authority on IQ tests.

'In the last 100 years the IQ scores of both men and women have risen but women's have risen faster,' said Mr Flynn.

'This is a consequence of modernity. The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ.'

But can they open Jars?"

Link to Original Source
Android

+ - Is it time to end our love affair with the QWERTY keyboard?-> 3

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Brisbane-based entrepreneur John Lambie currently has in beta an alternative to what he calls the "dysfunctional" QWERTY keyboard.

Given the way the world is abandoning their keyboards for smartphones he sees now as the perfect time to introduce a new layout.

He calls his new keyboard Dextr and believes it is the natural progression from using a number pad to enter text — This is especially so in developing countries where users have not grown up with QWERTYs on thier phones.

While he is not the first to ever propose an alternate or alphabetical keyboard — Are we locked into QWERTY for familiarities sake, or as we shift to smaller, more mobile and new devices, is Mr Lambie's project coming at the right time?"

Link to Original Source
United States

+ - DotCom offers the DoJ a Deal ->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Kim Dotcom claims the United States criminal case against him is collapsing but he is offering to go there without extradition provided federal authorities unfreeze his millions of dollars.

In a now hallmark style, he made the offer on Twitter.

"Hey DOJ, we will go to the US," he tweeted, "No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses."

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Dotcom says the department knows it does not have a case.

"If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition. That's why they don't want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Technicolor sets sites on Apple et al->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "When Apple's next iPhone hits store shelves, Technicolor's engineers will rush to get the handset — not to make calls or play games, but to rip it apart.

Technicolor, an unprofitable French company that invented the process for colour movies used in The Wizard of Oz and countless other classics, plans to cash in on its 40,000 video, audio and optics patents to turn its fortunes around.

Although Technicolor signed its first licensing deal in the 1950s, de Russe (executive vice-president of intellectual property at Technicolor) said, "it feels like the rest of the world has just woken up to why patents are interesting".

Patent licensing is the most profitable business of the company."

Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - Kim Dotcom Trial may not occur->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "The criminal charges against Kim Dotcom in the United States may never get to trial, the judge overseeing the case has told the FBI.

United States district court judge Liam O'Grady said he didn't know if "we are ever going to have a trial in this matter" after being told Dotcom's file-sharing company had never been formally served with criminal papers by the US.

The comment has been seized on by Dotcom's lawyers, who say it could lead to the extradition case in New Zealand being tossed out."

Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - Studios want reduced fees to go after "Pirates"->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Movie studios are about to push the New Zealand Government to lower the fees they have to pay internet providers to out copyright pirates under the so-called "Skynet" law that took effect last year.

The Economic Development Ministry has kicked off a promised review of the $25 fee that rights holders must pay internet providers to send infringement notices to customers accused of piracy under the "three strikes regime"

New Zealand seems to be building a history of bending to US the mostly US based recording and Movie industry. See Kim Dotcom and Warner Brothers filming of the Hobbit as recent examples.

Would the reduction of this fee lead to abuses where infringements are spammed to "suspects" as seen around the world, or with less of their cost being covered, are the ISPs less likely to co-operate?

After getting such controversial bills passed, is this further proof that these industries will never be satisfied?"

Link to Original Source
Lord of the Rings

+ - Hollywood Bullys British Pub->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "British actor Stephen Fry says he is ''ashamed'' of the film industry following news a popular English pub called The Hobbit is being threatened with legal action.

Fry, who is in Wellington, New Zealand filming Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, this morning tweeted: "Honestly, @savethehobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying".

The popular Southampton music venue has traded with the name for more than 20 years, the Mail Online reported."

Link to Original Source

+ - Man sues church for loss of income->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "A man who never played higher than the Portugese third division (soccer) is suing the Baptist church for $NZ19 million — claiming it ruined his chances of playing for Manchester United.

Nganga spent 19 years as a 'fervent evangelist' .

He is now suing the leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britian, who, he says "conspired to defraud me of my finances, time and my life".

Another take on the story is listed here"

Link to Original Source

+ - Hollywood Blacklist 2011->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "Once a year a document called The Black List is released.

It is a list of what several hundred executives, assistants and other industry professionals collectively consider to be the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood.

An informal list that has taken on slightly formal connotations, it is a fascinating insight into the vast world of speculative screenwriting and script development, where the best ideas in the world can end up gathering dust for a variety of reasons.

http://blcklst.com/"

Link to Original Source
Entertainment

+ - George Takei brokers Star Peace-> 4

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "George Takei has called for Star Wars and Star Trek fans to unite against the mutual threat to all science fiction: Twilight.

"Gone is any sense of heroism, camaraderie, or epic battle. In its place, we have vampires that sparkle, and moan, and go to high school".

"Now I am not above mixing in a little sex appeal to spice up the fantasy," he added, his words accompanied by the appearance of images of a topless young Mr Sulu and Robert Pattinson, the star of Twilight.

"But sci-fi fans be warned. There are no great stories, characters or profound life lessons to be had in Twilight. No, in Twilight, the only message that rings through loud and clear is 'Does my boyfriend like me?'""

Link to Original Source

+ - Doors, Creating walls int he mind->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "We've all walked into a room only to find that the reason for doing so has suddenly and entirely vanished from our mind.

Psychologists have discovered the so-called 'senior moments' that can leave us utterly bemused and retracing our steps may actually be caused by the way the brain processes information as the body leaves one room and enters another."

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