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Feed Engadget: Amazon Japan has free on-call wine advisors (engadget.com)

In some cities, Amazon will deliver you alcohol, including wine, within an hour. But which one to choose? Japanese enthusiasts will now get help thanks to the new Sommelier service. Between noon and 5 p.m. ET, you can leave your number and one of the...

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Ancient Fish Rhinconichthys Used Big Mouth To Swallow Planktons In Cretaceous Period Oceans - Tech Times (google.com)


Tech Times

Ancient Fish Rhinconichthys Used Big Mouth To Swallow Planktons In Cretaceous Period Oceans
Tech Times
Scientists have lately discovered two plankton-munching Rhinconichthys species, each with their own ancient skull. This now brings the genus to a total of three distinct species from three separate regions in the world. (Photo : Robert Nicholls ...
Discovery of Two New Plankton-Eating Fossil Fish Species with Extraordinary 'Big-Mouth'Maine News Online
Fossils of two big-mouthed Cretaceous fish spottedModern Readers
Fossils of Huge Mouthed Plankton Eating Cretaceous Fish DiscoveredCapitalberg
NDTV-The Independent
all 30 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: An icky new hero: Roach-like robots may help in disasters - Myrtle Beach Sun News (google.com)


Myrtle Beach Sun News

An icky new hero: Roach-like robots may help in disasters
Myrtle Beach Sun News
The compressible robot, CRAM, stands with a real cockroach. When buildings collapse in future disasters, the hero helping rescue trapped people may be a cheap robotic roach. Repulsive as they seem, cockroaches have the unusual ability to squish their...
How one of nature's grossest creatures could help save someone's lifeWashington Post

all 254 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: FBI and DHS hacked, claims @DotGovs group -- leaks 31000 staff records - Computerworld (google.com)


Computerworld

FBI and DHS hacked, claims @DotGovs group -- leaks 31000 staff records
Computerworld
Staff at the U.S. DHS and FBI are seeing their contact details leaked by anti-Israel hacktivists. The group, calling itself DotGovs, claims to have broken into the DoJ to steal the info, using a combination of spear-phishing and social engineering ...
Hackers publish contact info of 20000 FBI employeesfox2now.com
Hacker Publishes Personal Details of 20000 FBI and 9000 DHS StaffGizmodo
HACKER MAKES GOOD ON PROMISE, POSTS CONTACT DETAILS ON LINE OF 20000 FBI AND 9000 DHS ... Sky Valley Chronicle
ExecutiveGov
all 193 news articles

Feed Techdirt: Top German Judges Tear To Shreds EU's Proposed TAFTA/TTIP Investment Court System (google.com)

As Techdirt has repeatedly pointed out, one of the most problematic aspects of the TAFTA/TTIP deal being negotiated between the US and the EU is the inclusion of a corporate sovereignty chapter -- officially known as "investor-state dispute settlement" (ISDS). Techdirt isn't the only one worried about it: no less a person than the EU's Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said last year that she "shares" the concerns here. Her response was to draw up the new "ICS" -- "Investor Court System -- as an alternative. US interest in ICS is conspicuous by its absence, but Malmström keeps plugging away at the idea, evidently hoping to defuse European opposition to TTIP by getting rid of old-style corporate sovereignty.

That plan has just received a huge setback in the form of an "Opinion on the establishment of an investment tribunal in TTIP". It comes from the German Magistrates Association, which Wikipedia describes as "the largest professional organization of judges and public prosecutors in Germany." So these are not a bunch of know-nothing hippie activists, but serious establishment figures with a deep knowledge of the law. Here's their basic position on Malmström's ICS, translated from the original German by TNI:

The German Magistrates Association [DRB] rejects the proposal of the European Commission to establish an investment court within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The DRB sees neither a legal basis nor a need for such a court.

The clearly implied assumption in the proposal for an International Investment Court that the courts of the EU Member States fail to grant foreign investors effective judicial protection, lacks factual basis. Should the negotiating partners have identified weaknesses in this area in individual EU Member States, these should be taken up with the national legislature and clearly defined. It would then be up to the legislators and those responsible for the judiciary to provide remedy within the proven system of national and European legal protection. Only in this way can the full legal rights to which any law-seeking party in Germany and the European Union is entitled, be guaranteed. The creation of special courts for certain groups of litigants is the wrong way forward.
The judges then spell out in more detail what they see as the problems with the idea, and they are pretty damning. First, they point out that the ICS would have power over the entire European Union and its member states, and that its decisions would be binding:

The establishment of an ICS would oblige the European Union and the Member States, upon the conclusion of an agreement, to submit to the jurisdiction of an ICS and the application of certain international procedures chosen by the plaintiff.
Presumably, the same would be true of the US and its state governments, which may be why the USTR is not hugely keen on the idea. Not content with undermining the EU's political system, ICS would do the same to the EU's judiciary too:

an ICS would "deprive courts of Member States of their powers in relation to the interpretation and application of European Union law and the Court of its powers to reply, by preliminary ruling, to questions referred by those courts and, consequently, would alter the essential character of the powers which the Treaties confer on the institutions of the European Union and on the Member States and which are indispensable to the preservation of the very nature of European Union law"
The German judges go on to repeat a point many others have made: that there is simply no need for any kind of ISDS or ICS system. Here's why:

The Member States are all constitutional states, which provide and guarantee access to justice in all areas where the state has jurisdiction to all law-seeking parties. It is for the Member States to ensure access to justice for all and to ensure feasible access for foreign investors, by providing the courts with the relevant resources. Hence, the establishment of an ICS is the wrong way to guarantee legal certainty.
Finally, the judges note that one of the claimed advantages of the ICS system over the current corporate sovereignty approach, judicial independence, is illusory:

Neither the proposed procedure for the appointment of judges of the ICS nor their position meet the international requirements for the independence of courts. As such, the ICS emerges not as an international court, but rather as a permanent court of arbitration.
In other words, Malmström is simply re-branding ISDS, and trying to put lipstick on a pig.

This attack from a very unexpected quarter is a really devastating blow for the ICS idea. It will be hard for Malmström to claim with a straight face that, unlike the current corporate sovereignty system, ICS is a real court, with all the protections that ISDS lacks, because a large number of EU experts in this area have just stated unequivocally that it isn't. The judges' opinion makes it even more likely that the US will reject the ICS idea out of hand, not least because it can now simply point to the German Magistrates Association's analysis as proof that ICS doesn't do what Malmström says it does.

That leaves the really interesting question: where does the EU's Trade Commissioner go from here? She can hardly return to the old-style ISDS for TAFTA/TTIP, since she has been busy rubbishing it in order to promote her new ICS idea. Moreover, this latest rejection comes at just the wrong time, since it is widely expected that corporate sovereignty will be one of the main items on the agenda for the next round of TAFTA/TTIP negotiations. Awkward.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+



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Feed Google News Sci Tech: Facebook's India stumble could embolden other regulators - Reuters (google.com)


The Indian Express

Facebook's India stumble could embolden other regulators
Reuters
... * India ruled Monday against differential data pricing. * Facebook could challenge ruling in courts - analysts. * Regulators in other Free Basics markets may follow India. * Indonesia, Philippines say no plans to reassess Facebook p'ships. By ...
What Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Said About India's Ban on Free BasicsWall Street Journal (blog)
TRAI implements net neutrality regulationsTeleGeography
Free Basics And Facebook's Waterloo In IndiaTechCrunch
New York Times-Forbes-The Hindu
all 938 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: NASA's 360 degree video will put you on Mars - CNBC (google.com)


CNBC

NASA's 360 degree video will put you on Mars
CNBC
NASA has released a 360 degree video allowing you to take a virtual tour of Mars. The YouTube video allows users to take their smartphone and move it around to see different parts of the Red Planet. Desktop users can use their mouse to take the virtual ...
Explore the Martian surface with NASA's Street View-style 360-degree imageryDigital Trends
First 360-degree view of Mars 2020 missionWDEF News 12
Mars: Take a 360 degree video tour of its surfacewhnt.com
NH Voice-PerfScience
all 52 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: 10 improvements in Apple's latest iOS, OS X betas - Computerworld (google.com)


Computerworld

10 improvements in Apple's latest iOS, OS X betas
Computerworld
Apple is preparing its next round of incremental improvements to iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV and Apple Watch, in addition to those announced ealier this year, here's what to expect: Apple TV gains better voice control. We've all gotten used to using ...
Apple Seeds Third Beta of tvOS 9.2 to DevelopersMac Rumors
Apple TV is finally getting voice dictationThe Verge
Voice Control on Apple TV Is About to Get Way BetterGizmodo
Engadget-Apple Insider-9 to 5 Mac (press release)
all 55 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Apple Seeds Third Beta of tvOS 9.2 to Developers - Mac Rumors (google.com)


Mac Rumors

Apple Seeds Third Beta of tvOS 9.2 to Developers
Mac Rumors
Apple today provided developers with the third beta of an upcoming 9.2 update to tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV and powers its built-in App Store. Today's tvOS 9.2 beta 3 comes two weeks after Apple released the...
Apple TV is finally getting voice dictationThe Verge
Voice Control on Apple TV Is About to Get Way BetterGizmodo
Apple TV is getting badly-needed voice-dictationEngadget
Apple Insider-9 to 5 Mac (press release)
all 54 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: TRAI implements net neutrality regulations - TeleGeography (google.com)


Firstpost

TRAI implements net neutrality regulations
TeleGeography
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published new regulations on net neutrality, prohibiting operators from providing discriminatory tariffs based on content. The ruling prohibits the provision of 'zero-rating' data services, where ...
What Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Said About India's Ban on Free BasicsWall Street Journal (blog)
Free Basics And Facebook's Waterloo In IndiaTechCrunch
Facebook Loses a Battle in India Over Its Free Basics ProgramNew York Times
Forbes-BuzzFeed News-The Hindu
all 917 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Facebook Ordered To Stop Tracking Non-Users In France - TechCrunch (google.com)


TechCrunch

Facebook Ordered To Stop Tracking Non-Users In France
TechCrunch
Yet more privacy problems for Facebook in Europe. Now the French data protection authority, the CNIL, has issued the company with a formal notice to get its house in order and comply with European data protection law or face possible referral to the ...
Facebook faces restrictions in France on data transfer to US, tracking of usersPCWorld
France Demands Facebook Stop Tracking Non-Users and Sending Data to USGizmodo
French data privacy regulator cracks down on FacebookReuters
VentureBeat
all 66 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Motherboard: Hacker Claims Access to FBI, DHS Employee Contact Info, DOJ Email - ExecutiveGov (google.com)


ZDNet

Motherboard: Hacker Claims Access to FBI, DHS Employee Contact Info, DOJ Email
ExecutiveGov
cybersecurity A hacker claims to have gained access to the email addresses and phone numbers of thousands of FBI and Department of Homeland Security employees using a compromised Justice Department email account, Motherboard reported Sunday.
HACKER MAKES GOOD ON PROMISE, POSTS CONTACT DETAILS ON LINE OF 20000 FBI AND 9000 DHS ... Sky Valley Chronicle
Hacker Publishes Personal Details of 20000 FBI and 9000 DHS StaffGizmodo
Hackers publish contact info of 20000 FBI employeesKRON4.com
Progress Index
all 179 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Discovery of Two New Plankton-Eating Fossil Fish Species with Extraordinary 'Big-Mouth' - Maine News Online (google.com)


Maine News Online

Discovery of Two New Plankton-Eating Fossil Fish Species with Extraordinary 'Big-Mouth'
Maine News Online
You will be surprised to know that an international team of scientists have discovered two new plankton-eating fossil fish species of the genus called Rhinconichthys (Rink-O-nik-thees). The interesting thing to note is that these species belong to the ...
Fossils of Huge Mouthed Plankton Eating Cretaceous Fish DiscoveredCapitalberg
Team Finds Two Fossils of Incredibly Big-Mouthed Bony FishCouncil Chronicle
Fossils of rare plankton-eating fish species discoveredNH Voice
The Hoops News-Business Standard
all 23 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Instagram Officially Turns On Multi-Account Switching For Mobile, And This Is Why It's Important - Tech Times (google.com)


Tech Times

Instagram Officially Turns On Multi-Account Switching For Mobile, And This Is Why It's Important
Tech Times
The mobile version of Instagram finally has support for multi-account switching, which is a much-requested feature. Here's how to use it and how it can benefit certain groups of users. (Photo : Justin Sullivan | Getty Images). Multi-account switching ...
Instagram to make multiple account support official this weekNH Voice
Instagram Launches Multi-account Support for Android And iOSMorning News USA
Instagram brings multi-account switching in iOS and Android appsFirstpost
NDTV-Pulse Headlines-ITWeb
all 188 news articles

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