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Submission + - Bring back MST3K Kickstarter Hits $2 Million Goal (lawrenceperson.com)

Nova Express writes: In a follow-up to the previous Slashdot story about the Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 kickstarter, they have already hit their $2 million goal with 25 days left, which means they'll produce at least three new episodes. Now we'll see if they can make their $5.5 million stretch goal and produce a full 12 episodes.

Submission + - Rubio Says H1-B Visas Need Reforms, But His H1-B Bill Doesn't Reform Them (nationalreview.com)

Nova Express writes: At the most recent Republican Presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the H1-B visa program is badly in need of reform. One tiny problem: Sen. Rubio’s own H1-B bill doesn't implement any of the reforms demanded by Presidential Candidate Rubio. "It does not require recruitment of American workers. It does not require employers to 'pay more than you would pay someone else'...Rubio’s bill would provide Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his comrades a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers.” Indeed, Rubio's bill "would triple the number of H1-B foreign workers admitted."

Submission + - The Film Event of the Year: SHARKNADO

Nova Express writes: Tonight, the long wait is finally over, as one of the most anticipated movie events of the year, if not the century, makes it's debut. I'm speaking, of course, about Sharknado . It premiers tonight at 9 PM ET on the SyFy Channel, though its direct to TV debut will deprive it of all its rightful Oscar nominations. In other Sharknado related news, Moe Lane wonders if people have prepared themselves spiritually for the glory that is Sharknado ("After 100 years of filmmaking, we’ve reached the summit...recognize the divine when you’re in its presence"), and here's a look at the geniuses at The Asylum who produced this masterpiece of modern cinema. Trailer below the fold.
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - SF Writer Sees The Hobbit Dressed as Galadriel for Charity (lawrenceperson.com)

Nova Express writes: "Science fiction writer John Kessel declared that "nobody could pay me enough money to go see The Hobbit. Well, maybe someone could, but nobody is going to.” The Internet being what it is, different levels of challenges were quickly instituted to raise funds for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's of America's Emergency Medical Fund. $2,500 later, Kessel saw the movie. Dressed as Galadriel. And yes, there are pics."

Submission + - Margaret Atwood Launches SF Magazine (locusmag.com)

Nova Express writes: "Today Margaret Atwood, with financial backing from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, announced she was launching a new science fiction magazine, Loquacious Cephalopod. . “I’ve always been gratified by the unconditional love I’ve received from the science fiction community for works such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin," she said, "and Loquacious Cephalopod is a way to return that love." The first issue has already lined up some very big SF writers, including Greg Egan and Jerry Pournelle."

Submission + - SOPA Sponsor Lamar Smith Gets Primary Challenger (battleswarmblog.com)

Nova Express writes: "Though general public outrage caused the House shelve consideration of SOPA (and the Senate to shelve PIPA), SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) continues to support the bill, saying that "The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store" and saying SOPA just needs to be reworked. Further, Smith is still sponsoring another bill, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which would impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for ISPs. In light of that, several Republican groups opposed to SOPA have been calling for a primary challenge to Smith for the Texas 21st Congressional District. Now a primary challenger has come forth in the person of former Sheriff Richard Mack, most famous in the gun rights community for his role in a lawsuit that got key provisions of the Brady Bill overturned. But Mack will have an uphill race, since Smith has more than $1.3 million in campaign funds on hand."

Submission + - Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General (wired.com)

Nova Express writes: ""President Barack Obama nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to serve as the nation’s solicitor general." Verrilli's most notable cases have been killing Grokster and fighting YouTube on behalf of Viacom. I would say "Meet the new boss, same as he old boss," but since Bush never nominated an RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General, I'd have to say that in this instance he's actually worse."

Submission + - Project Gutenberg Pirating In-Copyright SF (lawrenceperson.com)

Nova Express writes: "Recently a lot of science fiction stories from the 1950s and 60s (including work from still-living authors like Frederik Pohl and Jack Vance) have been showing up on Project Gutenberg as being in the public domain. However, according the science fiction writer Greg Bear and his wife Astrid Anderson Bear (daughter of Poul Anderson, some of whose works were among those put up) Project Gutenberg has made a mistake: 'After conducting legal research on the LEXIS database of legal cases, decisions, and precedents, we have demonstrated conclusively that PG was making incorrect determinations regarding public domain status in many, many works that originally appeared in magazine form...In general, Project Gutenberg is doing a tremendous service by making available texts that have truly long since fallen out of copyright, but they are clearly overstepping their original mandate. They are not merely exploiting orphan works, but practicing a wholesale kidnapping of works that are under copyright protection.'"

Submission + - Congress to Consider Domain-Blocking COICA Bill (volokh.com)

Nova Express writes: "If you thought Congress was finished doing the bidding of copyright holders, guess again. "Congress is set to once again consider the Sen Leahy's Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeit Act, a truly awful bill (with the appropriately awful acronym 'COICA'...The bill would allow the Attorney General to institute an in rem action against the domain name of any Internet site 'dedicated to infringing activities,' defined to include any site that 'engages in' copyright or trademark-infringing activities where those activities, 'taken together,' are 'central to the activity' of the site. The court would then be authorized to issue injunctions, not against the offending website, but against 'the domain name' itself, ordering the domain name registrar where the target site's domain name was registered, and the domain name registry responsible for maintaining the authoritative database of names for the target site's top-level domain, to 'lock out' the domain name (and therefore prevent access to the site through use of the domain name). The court could also enjoin any of the thousands of Internet Service Providers, or any 'operator of a nonauthoritative domain name server' (a category that includes virtually all ISPs or operators of networks linked to the Internet), ordering them to 'take technically feasible and reasonable steps designed to prevent [the] domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address'""

Submission + - WisCon disinvites Elizabeth Moon as GoH over Islam (battleswarmblog.com)

Nova Express writes: "WisCon, a Wisconsin science fiction convention, has disinvited next year's Guest of Honor Elizabeth Moon over comments about 9/11 and the Ground Zero Mosque she made on her blog. Moon is a popular Nebula-award-winning author, as well as an ex-Marine. WisCon states that their convention "encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class." Evidently certain types of debate are not allowed."

Submission + - Apple Overtakes Microsoft in Market Cap (wsj.com)

Lawrence Person writes: "In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in business history, Apple has overtaken rival Microsoft as both the largest tech company in the world, and as the second largest company in the world in market capitalization, trailing only ExxonMobile. "As of Wednesday's close, Apple's market capitalization was $222.12 billion, slipping past Microsoft's $219.18 billion value." Also, observations that Microsoft is a far more profitable company than Apple are badly out of date: "Apple has almost caught up with Microsoft in terms of revenue. In fiscal 2000, Microsoft's revenue of $22.9 billion was roughly three times Apple's. This fiscal year, Microsoft is expected to generate revenue of $61.65 billion and Apple $59 billion." This reversal of Apple's fortunes under Steve Jobs must irk not only Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, but also pro-Microsoft tech pundits, many of whom have repeatedly predicted Apple's outright demise."

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe