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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 16 declined, 34 accepted (50 total, 68.00% accepted)

+ - Google confirms indie musicians must join streaming service or be removed

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days."

+ - Google using Youtube threat as leverage for cheaper streaming rights

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "According to a press release issued by WIN, a group representing independent musicians, Google is threatening to de-list musicians' videos from YouTube if they do not agree to the terms for its unannounced streaming music service. The template contracts issued to musicians are described as "undervalued" relative to other streaming services, and are not open for negotiation. The press release was issued by WIN but rescinded when Google agreed to further discussions; The Associated Free Press and The Guardian have published stories based on that original release."

+ - Climate scientist distances himself from "suppression" story

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Prof Lennart Bengtsson of the University of Reading, who made waves last week by comparing the environment in climate research to McCarthy-era America, has distanced himself from the Times story that popularised his remarks. In a statement, Prof. Bengtsson explains: "I do not believe there is any systematic 'cover-up' of scientific evidence on climate change or that academics' work is being 'deliberately suppressed', as the Times front page suggests. I am worried by a wider trend that science is gradually being influenced by political views. Policy decisions need to be based on solid fact. I was concerned that the Environmental Research Letters reviewer's comments suggested his or her opinion was not objective or based on an unbiased assessment of the scientific evidence.""

+ - Climate journal publishes referees' report in response to "witch-hunt" claims

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "The resignation of Prof. Lennart Bengtsson from an anti-global-warming think tank has triggered widespread outrage in the British tabloids, with the University of Bristol Professor blaming his departure on a "witch-hunt" environment amongst climate scientists and the rejection of one of his papers. The UK's Times quotes a passage from the reviewer comments in support of this, in which it is claimed that the paper was rejected for being "unhelpful to their cause". In response, that journal's publisher has taken the rare step of publishing the referees' report in full. The report describes Bengtsson's paper as a "simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al [data sets], combined with the statement they they are inconsistent", "where no consistency was to be expected in the first place" and therefore is not publishable research. The referee adds a number of possible areas of discussion which would allow Bengtsson to make the same data into a publishable paper, but warns that publishing it in its current state "opens the door for oversimplified claims of errors and worse from the climate sceptics media "."

+ - Skepticism grows over claims that MH370 lies in the Bay of Bengal

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "The latest episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Mediawatch program addresses GeoResonance's claims to have found the lost Malasia Airlines MH370 in the Bay of Bengal. They attribute the company's sudden prominence to increasing desperation amongst the press. Meanwhile, the Metabunk web site has been digging into the people and technology behind GeoResonance and its international siblings, finding noted pseudoscientist Vitaly Gokh and a dubious variation on Kirlian photography."

+ - Did GeoResonance locate MH370 using "spirit photography"?

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "GeoResonance has leapt into the papers this week having claimed to have found missing flight MH370 in the Bay of Bengal. The Australian company claims to perform prospecting and munitions searches using secret Russian technology, with a web site boasting that they can "carry out a search for any substance". A recent press release clarifies that their technique "analyses super-weak electromagnetic fields captured by airborne multispectral images". However if you search for the patents listed on the company's site, Ukranian no. 35122 and 86496, you'll find the research described as a "method of radiation and chemical processing of analogue aerospace photographs" which closely resembles old-fashioned Kirlian photography. This process is well-known in the paranormal community, where it is used to take images of spirits and auras. Look up the writer on that second piece and you'll find him explicitly selling the technology as Kirlian-derived. You'll also find other companies in Eastern Europe selling technology ostensibly based on the same patents or other Kirlian techniques."

+ - Indie Game Jam show collapses due to interference from "Pepsi Consultant"

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Would you like to see a half-million-dollar TV show in which four teams of indie developers and Youtube personalities compete to create amazing videogames? Tough luck, because GAME_JAM from Maker Studios has spectacularly imploded. Although a lot could go wrong with this kind of show, the blame isn't being levelled at game developer egos or project mismanagement but the heroic efforts of one Matti Leshem, a branding consultant brought in for Pepsi. After imposing Mountain Dew branding rules that even banned coffee from the set, his efforts to build a gender divide amongst the teams culminated in the competitors downing their tools and the projection collapsing. Accounts from Adriel Wallick, Zoe Quinn, and Robin Arnott are also available."

+ - Italian researchers demonstrate "powerloader" suit

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Researchers in Italy have demonstrated a powered exoskeleton that can lift 50kg with each hand, as demonstrated in video with the BBC. The "body extender" from the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa has been developed for applications like disaster relief, and is just one of many strength-augmenting systems being developed for use in rescue, military, and medical applications. While neither the researchers nor the BBC make the comparison to the Powerloader in the movie "Aliens", I mean come on, look at it."

+ - MtGox files for bankruptcy protection, confirms rumours 4

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "The beleaguered MtGox bitcoin exchange has officially filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo, as reported in various news sources via AFP. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled; see The Verge for re-reporting) Bitcoin held an impromptu press conference that addressed recent rumours. They state that they have over $60m in liabilities against just $30m in assets, and confirm the loss of over $500m worth of Bitcoins, split between customers' balances (750,000 BTC) and company assets (100,000 BTC)."

+ - Google Apps licence unsurprisingly forbids forking, promotes Google services 1

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "If you want to ship a phone with Google's apps on it, you need to licence them. A copy of the OEM licencing agreement from 2011 was recently leaked, and Ars Technica provides a summary. Amongst the rules: a company licencing Google Apps can't act in a way that would fragment Android, but must also maintain the platform's open-ness; most of Google's services must be included; Google apps must be defaults, and placed within a couple of clicks of the default home screen. No surprises but it's interesting to see the details laid out."

+ - Zynga purchases mobile game/animation tech firm NaturalMotion

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Zynga, the controversial Facebook and mobile games firm, have announced that they are to acquire NaturalMotion for $527m in cash and equity. Zynga hope that their acquisition's successful brands and development software will reverse their own post-Facebook decline, announcing 15% job losses within Zynga in the same statement. UK-based NaturalMotion made its name in animation technology (used in Grand Theft Auto 4 and Bioshock Infinite), and published sports and horse-related iPhone games until it acquired CSR Racing developer Boss Alien in 2012. Despite the acquisition, the company will continue to publish games under its own name."

+ - Great Firewall of UK blocks game patch because of substring matches

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Remember the fun of spurious substring matches, AKA the Scunthorpe problem? The UK's advanced "intelligent" internet filters do. Supposedly the country's great new filtering regime has been blocking a patch for League of Legends because some of the filenames within it include the substring "sex". Add one to the list of embarrassing failures for the nation's new mosaic of opt-out censorship systems, which have proven themselves incapable of distinguishing between abusive sites and sites for abuse victims, or sites for pornography versus sites for sexual and gender minorities."

+ - Obama's NSA snooping changes will transfer oversight to FISA courts 1

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "President Obama will announce later today that although the NSA's data collection operations will continue, the actual information will be moved to a new "private entity". The NSA and other security agencies will then need permission from the FISC, also known as the "FISA Court", to access it. That body, which famously snooped upon Verizon's entire call database, will then evaluate whether access should be granted."

+ - NSA collects full text of 200m SMS messages per day 1

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Leaked documents from GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, indicate that the NSA has been accumulating a database of the full text of SMS messages, so that they can be mined for personally identifying information, travel plans, bank information, and the like. The archive targets the population in general rather than known suspects, a feature that GCHQ highlights as a major advantage."

+ - Secret Italian stem-cell treatment protocol leaked; concerns raised about safety

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Secret documents evaluating the stem-cell treatment offered by Italy's Stamina Foundation have been leaked to the journal Nature. The reports raise concerns about the failure to screen for pathogens, that the procedure disagrees with fundamental stem-cell science, and that parts of the clinical protocol were copied directly from Wikipedia. The leak also includes the extensive gagging clauses placed upon those evaluating the treatment's efficacy."

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