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Submission + - Apple owes $626M in damages after losing huge patent case (ksl.com)

Mr.Intel writes: A jury has ordered Apple to pay $626 million in damages after finding that iMessage, FaceTime and other Apple software infringed on another company's patents. In a case that has been bouncing around the court system since 2012, VirnetX accused Apple of violating four of its patents, which mostly involve methods for real-time communications over the Internet. VirnetX has been labeled a "patent troll" because it is a patent holding company that makes no actual products. It has just 14 employees and rents office space for $5,000 a month. The company makes money by licensing patents to other firms — and by suing businesses that it believes has infringed on its intellectual property.

Submission + - IRS computer problems shut down tax return e-file system (foxnews.com)

Mr.Intel writes: The IRS stopped accepting electronically filed tax returns Wednesday because of problems with some of its computer systems. The outage could affect refunds, but the agency said it doesn't anticipate "major disruptions."

A "hardware failure" forced the shutdown of several tax processing systems, including the e-file system, the IRS said in a statement. The IRS.gov website remains available, but "where's my refund" and other services are not working.

Some systems will be out of service at least until Thursday, the agency said. "The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible," the IRS said.

Submission + - Bill would require IT workers to report child pornography (ksl.com)

Mr.Intel writes: A Utah lawmaker wants computer technicians to face jail time if they don't immediately report child pornography they discover on someone's computer. The proposal would require computer technicians to report child pornography to law enforcement or a federal cyber tip line if they encounter the material, but they would not be required to go searching for it. If they find it and don't report it, they could be given up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

It would mirror laws already on the books in at least 12 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Submission + - 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' delayed by seven months (engadget.com)

Mr.Intel writes: You'll have to wait a bit longer to see what the heck is up with Luke Skywalker. Disney announced this afternoon that it's delaying Star Wars: Episode VIII from May 26, 2017 by seven months to December 15, 2017. Disney didn't give any reason for the delay, but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that it'll allow the studio to give the film a Christmas release treatment, which worked pretty well for The Force Awakens. Additionally, it'll give director/writer Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) more time to work on the film. THR's Borys Kit notes that may include rewrites to focus more on the new class of Star Wars characters.

Comment Re:Two sides of the coin? (Score 1) 318

Edward Snowden on the other hand is a US Citizen who is wanted for breaking US laws (albeit, he did so while in the country). Outside of terrorist sympathizers who defected to Middle Eastern countries to participate in terrorist plotting, I can't think of very many US citizens who committed crimes outside the US and were extradited back to the US for trial.

Submission + - Federal Judge Rules Warner Doesn't Own Happy Birthday (washingtonpost.com)

turp182 writes: Direct quote from of the article's first paragraph:
"A California federal judge ruled Tuesday that “Happy Birthday to You” does not belong to the mega music corporation that has long claimed it. Instead, the world’s most popular song belongs to, well, the world."

Other details are that Warner was receiving at least $2 million per year in royalties, and that a class-action suit to recoup said fees over the years is probably in the makings.

This is a perfect example regarding copyright in perpetuity.

AI

Video Tim O'Reilly and the 'WTF?!' Economy (Video) 111

This is a conversation Tim Lord had with Tim O'Reilly at OSCON. Tim O'Reilly wrote an article titled "The WTF Economy,", which started with these words: "WTF?! In San Francisco, Uber has 3x the revenue of the entire prior taxi and limousine industry." He talks about Uber and AirbnB and how, with real-time measurement of customer demand, "The algorithm is the new shift boss." And then there is this question: "What is the future when more and more work can be done by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines?"

My (late) father was an engineer. Politically, you could have called him a TechnoUtopian. He believed -- along with most of his engineer, ham radio, and science fiction writer and reader friends -- that as machines took over the humdrum tasks, humans would work less and create more. O'Reilly seems to have similar beliefs, even though (unlike my father) he's seen the beginnings of an economy with self-driving cars and trucks, factory machines that don't need humans to run them, and many other changes the 1950s and 1960s futurists didn't expect to see until we had flying cars and could buy tickets on Pan Am flights to the moon. Listening to these conversations, I remember my father's dreams, but O'Reilly isn't as optimistic as a full-blown TechnoUtopian. He takes a "Something's happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear" view of how work (and pay for work) will change in the near future. Please note that Tim O'Reilly has been called "The Oracle of Silicon Valley," so he's totally worth watching -- or reading, if that's your preferred method of taking in new information.

NOTE: Today we have a "main video," plus a "bonus video" that is viewable only with Flash. But we have a transcript that covers both of them. Enjoy!

Submission + - Job insecurity is the new normal (deseretnews.com)

Mr.Intel writes: Last year, Hewlett-Packard eliminated 34,000 jobs, and JC Penney and Sprint announced cuts, while JP Morgan Chase has cut 20,000 from its workforce since 2011. In double-earner families, at least one parent reports feeling "insecure" about their job, and in almost half of those both think their job is insecure.

This dynamic creates a constant tension for workers, who are beset by uncertainty. It has bred what Pugh calls the "one-way honor system," in which workers are beholden to employers, but employers are not, says Pugh, author of "The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity," out earlier this year.

Submission + - Handgun-firing drone appears legal (cnn.com)

Mr.Intel writes: Video of a handgun fired from a hovering drone into a wooded area has been posted on YouTube — where it has gone viral — apparently by an 18-year-old Connecticut student whose father says his son created the drone for a college class. The gun drone appears to have been fired on private property and — so far, authorities said — it did not appear any laws were broken.

Submission + - Worker killed by a robot at Volkswagen factory

m.alessandrini writes: A worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany has died, after a robot grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate.

This it perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparkling debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Comment Re:Why should the government write these contracts (Score 1) 1083

Point being that the government should get out of defining marriage, to do so it needs to adjust all those laws that make assumptions about marriage.

This. The Government has no business telling the citizens what contracts they can or cannot make with each other. Legally, marriage has a host of baggage (inheritance, visitation, taxation, etc) that legitimizes the Supreme Court's actions. The 14th Amendment applies to the legal aspects of marriage, not to marriage itself, but because of those connections, it affects much more than who gets the house when one spouse dies. Married or not married doesn't define classes (the sexual revolution shot that to hell), but when there's money on the line, people get all kinds of upset if a piece of paper (marriage contract) keeps them from it.

Instead of "legalizing gay marriage" or "outlawing gay marriage", the people (who hold all the rights not specifically identified in the constitution) should remove the legality from marriage and return it to what it was intended for: to build strong family relationships and teach children how to be productive, balanced citizens. Essentially, marriage should stop being a contract requiring courts to begin and end and return to being the building block of society.

Submission + - Biologist creates self-healing concrete (cnn.com)

Mr.Intel writes: No matter how carefully it is mixed or reinforced, all concrete eventually cracks, and under some conditions, those cracks can lead to collapse. "The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage," explains professor Henk Jonkers, of Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. "If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements — in concrete we have all these steel rebars — if they corrode, the structure collapses."

But Jonkers has come up with an entirely new way of giving concrete a longer life. "We have invented bioconcrete — that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria," he says.

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