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Submission + - Stop Motion Effects Master Ray Harryhausen, Dead At 92 (wsj.com)

Dave Knott writes: Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animation pioneer behind the special effects in such movies as “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (1958), “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963), and “Clash of the Titans” (1981) has died in London. This note was posted on the Facebook page of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation: “The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.”

Submission + - BitTorrent Bundle puts a music store inside torrents (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: BitTorrent has come up with a new way to sell music, and it’s sure to ruffle executive feathers at stodgy record labels. It’s called BitTorrent Bundle, and it puts the music store right inside the torrent. Yes, a legitimate music store embedded in a torrent. At last, someone has come up with a way to turn all us entitled, lawless downloaders into paying customers!

BitTorrent thinks of BitTorrent Bundle as a sort of 21st century band flyer. It’s a digital grassroots way to reach out to fans, but it also enables them to show their support and easily purchase additional content. Post a torrent with a handful of live tracks from your latest tour, Bundle it with a store that lets your groupies buy the full album. Simple.

Submission + - Weird Geological Features Spied on Mars (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera carried by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has spotted a strange geological feature that, for now, defies an obvious explanation. Found at the southern edge of Acidalia Planitia, small pits with raised edges appear to hug a long ridge. So far, mission scientists have ruled out impact craters and wind as formation processes, but have pegged the most likely cause to be glacial in nature.

Submission + - CenturyLink's nationwide outage affects millions (gigaom.com)

halfEvilTech writes: CenturyLink, the nation’s third largest telco network is experiencing an outage of its broadband service nationwide, leaving its support systems overwhelmed and even causing its website to hit a few snags this morning. The company, which at last count has 5.8 million broadband subscribers, has no estimates yet on how long it will take to restore service.

Submission + - Defense Distributed's Entirely 3D-Printed Gun Works Alarmingly Well (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: The Liberator is not perfect. Subsequent tests led to a misfire, and when the Texans tried to fire a rifle bullet, the whole thing exploded. However, Wilson later returned to the firing range with an improved model, one that he felt comfortable enough holding in his hand and firing. And that's exactly what he did. Behold: (VIDEO)

The most alarming thing about this mostly functional little plastic firearm is the fact that Wilson has now uploaded the CAD files for the gun parts so that everyone can 3D-print his own weapon. And yes, there is definitely an arm-the-people element to the project. There always has been, but Wilson seems to have taken an even more radical point of view as his 3D-printed project becomes more successful.

Submission + - Using YouTube for File Storage (vt.edu)

ememisya writes: Ever thought it might be a good idea to store encrypted data in a QRCode video? Using this technique one could easily store 10GB of data to be available anywhere in the world and completely free.

Submission + - Porn-Trolling lawyers facing disbarment, fines, and criminal prosecution.

JayRott writes: Prenda Law (the porn copyright trolls previously mentioned here) have finally been handed Judge Otis D. Wright II's order. The order is every bit as entertaining as one would expect. It even has a liberal sprinkling of Star Trek references.
Brett Gibbs, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier are facing an $82,000 fine (noted by Judge Wright to be just below the cost of a proper appeal, a reference to Prenda's settlement offers which fell just below the cost of a proper defense.) Judge Wright will also "refer this matter to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. The will also refer this matter to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and will notify all judges before whom these attorneys have pending cases."
Prenda law appears to be floating belly-up in the fishbowl.

Ars Technica coverage: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/prenda-hammered-judge-sends-porn-trolling-lawyers-to-criminal-investigators/

Pope Hat coverage: http://www.popehat.com/2013/05/06/does-prenda-believe-in-no-win-scenarios-because-judge-wright-just-gave-them-one/#more-18627

Link to full order: http://www.popehat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/PendaSanctionsOrder.pdf

Submission + - Prenda hammered: Judge sends porn-trolling lawyers to criminal investigators (arstechnica.com)

SternisheFan writes: ArsTechnica Aurich Lawson reports:

Lawyers who lied and obfuscated for years face disbarment and a $82,000 fine.

US District Judge Otis Wright has no love for the lawyers who set up the copyright-trolling operation that came to be known as Prenda Law. But Wright at least acknowledges their smarts in his long-awaited order, released today. Wright's order is a scathing 11-page document, suggesting Prenda masterminds John Steele and Paul Hansmeier should be handed over for criminal investigation. In the first page though, there's almost some admiration expressed for the sheer dark intelligence of their scheme. The copyright-trolling scheme that has reached its apex with Prenda is so complete, so mathematical.

"Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system," Wright begins. He goes on:

"They've discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow, starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry."

And yes, if reading "resistance is futile" rattles something in your brain—Wright's order is thoroughly peppered with Star Trek references.

The plaintiffs have a right to assert their intellectual property rights, "so long as they do it right," Wright acknowledges. That's not what happened here, though. Prenda lawyers used "the same boilerplate complaints against dozens of defendants," without telling the judge. Instead, defense lawyers like Morgan Pietz flagged the dozens of related cases. "It was when the Court realized Plaintiffs engaged their cloak of shell companies and fraud that the court went to battlestations," stated Wright.

Submission + - W3C's Plan for DRM in HTML5 is a Betrayal to All Web Users (freeculture.org)

jrepin writes: A handful of myths have become common defenses of the W3C’s plan for “Encrypted Media Extensions” (EME), a Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) scheme for HTML5, the next version of the markup language upon which the Web is built. These arguments obscure the threat this poses to a free and open web and why we must send a strong and clear message to the W3C and its member organizations, that DRM in HTML5 is a betrayal to all Web users and undermines the W3C’s self-stated mission to make the benefits of the Web “available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.” The W3C exists to bring the vision of an undivided ‘One Web’ to its full potential, and DRM is antithetical to that goal.
Power

Submission + - Scientists Invent Stretchable, Wirelessly Chargeable Battery (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "Scientists have created a lithium-ion battery that can stretch up to 300% of its original size and still function. After years in development, Yonggang Huang of Northwestern University and John A. Rogers of University of Illinois demonstrated how their battery invention can consistently power a commercial LED, even when twisted, folded and contorted around a human elbow. The stretching process is reversible so manufacturers won't need to worry about bending the battery out of shape, and the battery itself — with its 8-9 hour life — can be charged wirelessly, meaning it can be used anywhere, including inside the human body."
Programming

Submission + - 8 Historic Space Bugs (Software Bugs, That Is) (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "There’s never a good time to run into software bugs, but some times are worse than others — like during a mission to space. Spacecraft of all shapes and sizes rely heavily on software to complete their objectives. But those missions can be quickly ended by the simplest of human errors when writing code. The omission of an overbar here or overflow error checking code there can mean the difference between success or failure, not to mention the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, years of work and, on manned missions, human life. Despite the care with which these systems are built, bugs have been occurring in spacecraft software since we started to fling rockets into space."

Submission + - Japan Probe Finds Miswiring of Boeing 787 Battery (time.com)

NeverVotedBush writes: TOKYO — A probe into the overheating of a lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 that made an emergency landing found it was improperly wired, Japan’s Transport Ministry said Wednesday.

The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery for the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the auxiliary unit from causing damage.

Flickering of the plane’s tail and wing lights after it landed and the fact the main battery was switched off led the investigators to conclude there was an abnormal current traveling from the auxiliary power unit due to miswiring.

Businesses

Submission + - Tesla Battles The New York Times (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "Days after the New York Times released a brutal review of Tesla's electric Model S sedan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fired back, claiming the Times article was completely bogus and misleading. In the article in question, Times writer John Broder took the Tesla Model S on a test drive from Washington to Boston, stopping at various service plazas in Delaware and Connecticut well within the projected 265-mile range of the car, as rated by the EPA. However, Broder’s Tesla Model S, despite a heftier 85 kilowatt-hour battery for an extra 100 miles of range in “ideal conditions,” died shortly before reaching its final destination. Broder blames the cold weather and heating issues for his abridged trip; Musk, however, claims the driver did not follow Tesla's instructions, which is why his trip was cut so short. 'We’ve taken great pains to ensure that the car works very well in the cold, which is why we’re so incensed by this ridiculous article,' Musk said."

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