innocent_white_lamb writes: A judge has ruled that the 120-year-old Happy Birthday song is public domain and Warner Music has never held a valid copyright on it.
Warner has apparently been collecting about $2 million a year in royalties which may now need to be refunded to those who paid them.
From the article, "Mark C. Rifkin, one of Nelson's attorneys, said the plaintiffs will pursue Warner for royalties paid since "at least" 1988, and could also ask the company to repay royalties that have been collected all the way back to 1935. It's not clear how much money that could entail."
innocent_white_lamb writes: Want to be sure your paper will receive a positive peer review? Review it yourself! Just set up a fake email account under another scientist's name and suggest that your paper be sent to him for review.
Since peer review is usually done anonymously, the actual scientist whose name you have appropriated will never know a thing.
innocent_white_lamb writes: The 2015 Corvette has a Valet Mode that records audio and video when someone other than the owner is driving the car. Activating the Valet Mode allows you to record front-facing video as well as capture audio from within the car so you can help keep your Corvette safe when itâ(TM)s in the hands of others.
Well it turns out that recording audio from within the car may be considered a felony in some states that require notice and consent to individuals that they are being recorded and now GM is sending notices out to dealerships and customers alerting them to this fact as well as promising a future update to the PDR system.
The Black Knight Transformer is a supply truck that's capable of carrying a 4000 pound payload and can be flown like a helicopter or driven over rough terrain. You can remove the drive train and replace it with an amphibious boat hull if you happen to need a flying boat instead of a flying truck.
Either way, it's a cool gadget that's currently under development for the US military.
innocent_white_lamb writes: Security software company Symantec dropped 10 phones in each of six Canadian cities and waited to see if they would be returned. Among the questions that Symantec wanted to answer with the study was how persistent people would be in poking around a found phone.
The odds of having a lost cellphone returned are just a little better than 50/50, while the chances of it being probed by its finder are close to 100 per cent, according to the results of the experiment. Each phone was preloaded with icons for phoney apps designed to tempt the finders into tapping on them. Tracking software recorded what they couldn't resist peeking at.
innocent_white_lamb writes: Ford has announced that their in-vehicle technology called Sync will be based on Blackberry's QNX operating system and will no longer use Microsoft Windows. My own 2013 Ford Escape has the Windows-based Sync system. I wonder if they will issue an update to change it to QNX.
innocent_white_lamb writes: Geophysical Service Inc. maps the ocean floor and then licenses that data to oil drilling companies. However, they are required to submit their data to various regulatory agencies in order to get a permit to do the mapping. Its customers can then get the data from those agencies for free. Therefore, Geophysical Services Inc. has sold its ships and hasn't booked any revenue at all since 2009.
Instead of doing any mapping, they now spend 95% of their time suing government departments, regulatory agencies and their former customers. "I do this 10 hours a day," said chief operating officer Paul Einarsson. "This is all I do."
The regulators argue that the data is not protected by copyright, that the data is not an "original work", and that their release of the data is in the public interest.
GSI uses Access to Information requests to find out if their data has been released to other parties, and then file lawsuits against those other parties.
innocent_white_lamb writes: Current laws make the driver of a car responsible for any mayhem caused by that vehicle. But what happens when there is no driver? This article argues that the dream of a self-driving car is futile since the law requires that the driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Therefore, even if a car is self-driving, you as the driver must stay alert and pay attention. No texting, no reading, no snoozing. So what's the point of a self-driving car if you can't relax or do something else while "driving"?
innocent_white_lamb writes: The Canadian military is currently testing a $620,000 hybrid-electric stealth snowmobile. Testing includes speed, towing capacity, endurance, mobility, usability, and of course, noise emissions.
The testing and most other information about the stealth snowmobile is secret and very little information has been released other than the fact that it does exist. One document reads ""The noise level of an internal combustion engine cannot be reduced to an acceptable level for missions where covertness may be required, especially given the increased propagation of sound in cold, dry, Arctic air". Therefore, National Defence's research agency is "pursuing the development of a 'silent' snowmobile for winter operations in Canada, specifically in the Arctic."
Michael Byers, an Arctic policy expert, questions the need for a stealth snowmobile. "I don't see a whole lot of evidence that criminals and terrorists are scooting around Canada's North on snowmobiles and that we have to sneak up on them," he said.
innocent_white_lamb writes: "For [the] junk removal business, it’s financial fraud that poses the greatest danger. Money is frequently moving between customers, truck drivers and corporate staff, and cash can go missing if people aren’t paying attention." 1-800-Got-Junk uses advanced software to analyze where the money is going. "For instance, Junk Net can quickly calculate the average job size, average job transaction cost and average dumping costs over a 30-day period. If the job size and transaction costs fall but the dumping costs remain the same, then there’s a chance that money is going missing."
innocent_white_lamb writes: An acquaintance of mine who owns an small business is trying to outsource a programming project by putting it up for bid/proposal on some of the "offshore freelance coder" websites. She personally knows nothing about programming, which is why she is putting it out for bid in the first place. The proposals that she is getting apparently vary by a factor of about four in terms of time required and cost, and the lowest costs don't necessarily correspond to the least time required for the project. Since there is such a huge variation in the proposals and since she knows nothing about programming other than "this is what I want it to do", how can she evaluate the proposals and avoid getting screwed, especially since the proposals she is getting come from "far away places" where she likely wouldn't have much recourse in the event of a problem. What happens if it doesn't work the way that she thinks it will after she's paid for it?
innocent_white_lamb writes: Police in Singapore have received many reports of a blackmail ring that uses attractive women to seduce men via webcam/chat. "They would commence a webcam conversation with the victims and initiate cybersex by undressing themselves first before persuading the male victims to appear nude or perform sexual acts in front of the webcams", according to the Singapore Police Force. The victim then received an email and/or phone call demanding $50,000.