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Comment: Re:Unbelievable (Score 1) 274

Even before CDs were invented it was legal to make your own copy for your own use of copyrighted material you owned

Actually, it was never quite clear. It's since been expressly made non-infringing (not technically the same thing as legal; they're very sneaky) in some situations, but not any that are relevant to most people. There's also a fair use argument, but that's not the best thing in the world to rely on; fair use depends on the specific circumstances at hand, and doesn't always produce consistent results.

Comment: Re:Unbelievable (Score 1) 273

This seems to be clearly format shifting for personal use which should be entirely legal.

Should be, but that's not actually what the case is about. This is about making & selling a limited purpose device with a digital music ripping function. Such devices are required to have certain limits, and the people who make, import, or distribute them, have to pay certain royalties. And it looks as though neither requirement has been complied with here.

People don't ordinarily run into this, since computers are general purpose devices which also happen to be able to rip, and are therefore exempt.

Comment: I think that this is actually illegal (Score 1) 273

I don't think that it should be, but let's take a look at the actual law, since 'should be' doesn't provide much practical help.

What we're looking at is the Audio Home Recording Act, or AHRA, which is Chapter 10 of the Copyright Act, and can be found at 17 USC 1001 et seq.

17 USC 1002:

No person shall import, manufacture, or distribute any digital audio recording device or digital audio interface device that does not conform to-- (1) the Serial Copy Management System; (2) a system that has the same functional characteristics as the Serial Copy Management System and requires that copyright and generation status information be accurately sent, received, and acted upon between devices using the system's method of serial copying regulation and devices using the Serial Copy Management System; or (3) any other system certified by the Secretary of Commerce as prohibiting unauthorized serial copying.

17 USC 1004:

(a) Prohibition on Importation and Manufacture.-- No person shall import into and distribute, or manufacture and distribute, any digital audio recording device or digital audio recording medium unless such person records the notice specified by this section and subsequently deposits the statements of account and applicable royalty payments for such device or medium specified in section 1004.

So the question is, is this feature in the car a "digital audio recording device," "digital audio interface device," or "digital audio recording medium"? As always, if a term is specially defined in the statute, that meaning controls, as opposed to the ordinary meaning. Definitions are provided at section 1001. They're a bit complicated, and we'll have to work through several layers here.

Let's start with a digital audio recording device.

Per 17 USC 1001, a "digital audio recording device" is:

A "digital audio recording device" is any machine or device of a type commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine or device, the digital recording function of which is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use, except for-- (A) professional model products, and (B) dictation machines, answering machines, and other audio recording equipment that is designed and marketed primarily for the creation of sound recordings resulting from the fixation of nonmusical sounds.

This refers to another definition:

A "digital audio copied recording" is a reproduction in a digital recording format of a digital musical recording, whether that reproduction is made directly from another digital musical recording or indirectly from a transmission.

And that refers to yet another definition:

(A) A "digital musical recording" is a material object-- (i) in which are fixed, in a digital recording format, only sounds, and material, statements, or instructions incidental to those fixed sounds, if any, and
(ii) from which the sounds and material can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

(B) A "digital musical recording" does not include a material object-- (i) in which the fixed sounds consist entirely of spoken word recordings, or (ii) in which one or more computer programs are fixed, except that a digital musical recording may contain statements or instructions constituting the fixed sounds and incidental material, and statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in order to bring about the perception, reproduction, or communication of the fixed sounds and incidental material.

(C) For purposes of this paragraph-- (i) a "spoken word recording" is a sound recording in which are fixed only a series of spoken words, except that the spoken words may be accompanied by incidental musical or other sounds, and (ii) the term "incidental" means related to and relatively minor by comparison.

Also,

A âoeprofessional model productâ is an audio recording device that is designed, manufactured, marketed, and intended for use by recording professionals in the ordinary course of a lawful business, in accordance with such requirements as the Secretary of Commerce shall establish by regulation.

So --

The machine in the cars is a digital audio recording device, as that term is defined in the statute, if:

1) It is commonly distributed to individuals, for use by individuals

I think that's true here

2) It doesn't matter whether or not it is included with, or part of some other machine or device

So the fact that it's part of a car doesn't protect it

3) The digital recording function (i.e. the CD ripping; more on this in a minute) is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use.

Since this refers to only a specific function, and not to the whole device, or to the overall car (which was already excluded as being the other machine or device that this device is part of), I think it probably applies. The feature is designed to make copies, and the CD ripping feature is marketed for the purpose of making copies.

4) There's an exception for professional model products. But those are defined as being designed, manufactured, marketed, AND intended for use by recording professionals. I don't think that this qualifies, and therefore the exception doesn't help us.

5) There's another exception for dictation machines, answering machines, and equipment that is designed and marketed for making recordings of non-musical sounds. Again, I don't think that this qualifies, and therefore the exception doesn't help us.

6) So, it now hinges on whether the digital recording function as discussed above, is designed and marketed for making digital audio copied recordings. That's a reproduction of a digital music recording, in a digital format. Well, whatever the music is being stored as (mp3, wav, flac, etc.) I think we can expect that it's a digital format. So are the CDs digital music recordings?

They're material objects -- like CDs -- in which are fixed, in a digital recording format, only sounds and incidental material, and from which the sounds can be perceived with the aid of a device.

So yes, CDs appear to qualify.

7) We've got a couple of last-ditch exceptions; if none of these apply, we're in trouble. Are the CDs only spoken word recordings? Well, some CDs are, but I doubt that the functionality or even the marketing only involved that. Do the CDs include computer programs beyond the 'incidental material' level discussed above? Likely not; we're basically looking at music CDs.

So that's it: Because the relevant function of the device makes digital copies of CDs, and is designed or marketed with that as the primary purpose, and is commonly sold to individuals, for use by individuals, notwithstanding the fact that it's part of a larger device and a car, the devices at issue are digital audio recording devices. And it's illegal to make, import, or distribute them unless you comply with certain copy protection schemes and pay royalties.

We can even leave the questions about a digital audio interface device (probably not), and digital audio recording medium (very probably not; it's almost certain to be a generic hard drive) as exercises for the reader.

But wait, you say -- didn't the RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia case say that this was allowed?

Well, no, actually; it didn't.

If you're unfamiliar with the Diamond Rio music player that was at issue in the case, just think of the older iPods that really only played music. The Rio had no ripping function; it could only copy mp3 files from an ordinary personal computer equipped with the correct software. The business of ripping CDs happened entirely on the personal computer side of things.

This meant that the Rio had no ability to directly (a requirement in the statute; look for it in the definition of a digital audio copied recording) make copies of a digital music recording, since the Rio copied files from the computer's hard disk, and a computer's hard disk doesn't qualify as a digital music recording. (It's not the physical medium that matters so much as that there's lots of stuff on the disk, such as computer software, beyond the merely incidental level)

This is what saved it -- the lack of a ripping feature. But the doohickey in the cars does have a ripping feature.

Further, the computers used to rip did not fall under the AHRA because they're general purpose computers, and their digital recording function was not their primary purpose. Even things like Apple's old 'Rip, Mix, Burn' ad campaign didn't make it the primary purpose.

Fair use is a fine argument, but it's functionally a defense against copyright infringement. The AHRA, despite being in the Copyright Act, is treated (like the DMCA) as something different. So fair use won't help here; the plaintiffs aren't alleging (AFAIK) infringement, but failure to comply with the AHRA.

The reason that fair use came up with the Rio was because the Rio didn't fall under the AHRA, and contributory copyright infringement was an alternate attempt to go after it, which also didn't work. The same argument as for the Rio would likely work just as well here -- if the plaintiffs were making a claim to which fair use applied. Too bad that they don't seem to be doing that.

Some people might also remember 17 USC 1008, the part of the AHRA that limits certain actions. Sadly, it's of no use. That section limits infringement actions, and this is not an infringement action. It's an action under the AHRA (sections 1009, 1002, and 1003 -- infringement is sections 501 and 106).

So as I said, I think that the plaintiffs here have a solid argument. There's a reason why mp3 players that did their own ripping were few and far between. The defendants here would've been wise to notice that, and to ask their lawyers to check to see if they could offer a ripping feature along with storage and playback, on a specific-purpose device.

I'd rather see the law changed to make this thoroughly legal without the stupid copy protection, restrictions, royalties, etc., but right now, it is what it is.

Android

Google, Linaro Develop Custom Android Edition For Project Ara 22

Posted by timothy
from the things-you-want-to-see-folded-in dept.
rtoz writes with this excerpt from an IDG story about the creation of an Android fork made just for Google's modular cell-phone project : A special edition of Android had to be created for the unique customizable design of Project Ara, said George Grey, CEO of Linaro. ... Android can already plug and play SD cards. But Grey said additional OS functionality is needed for storage, cameras and other modules that are typically inside smartphones, but can now be externally added to Project Ara. A lot of work is also being done on UniPro transport drivers, which connect modules and components in Project Ara. UniPro protocol drivers in Android will function much like the USB protocol, where modules will be recognized based on different driver "classes," such as those for networking, sensor, imaging, input and others. Some attachable parts may not be recognized by Android. For those parts, separate drivers need to be developed by module makers through emulators. "That will be need to be done in a secure system so the device can't do damage to the system," Grey said. Project Ara is a very disruptive concept, and it turns around conventional thinking on how to build phones, Grey said.

Comment: Re: Tag, you're it! (Score 1) 167

1. Israel can prevent civilian deaths.

During the course of the past twelve days, Israeli air strikeshave killedover 1000Palestinians—mostly civilians.

Israelsaysthe deaths are a result of Hamas using ordinary Palestinians as human shields, and the gruesome toll has been met with a shrug.

It’s an issue thathas come upduring past operations in Gaza.

Back in 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, the president of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann,condemnedIsrael for violating international law in Gaza by targeting civilians.

Brockmanncalledthe offensive “a war against a helpless defenceless and imprisoned people.”

“Theviolationsof international law inherent in the Gaza assault have been well documented,” he added, listing collective punishment, disproportionate military force [and]attacks on civilian targets, including homes, mosques, universities, schools.”

Israel doesn’t have to fire at the civilian targets, it’s a choice that they make. Hamas rockets are broadlyineffectiveanyway—given Israel’s comprehensive network of bomb shelters. Just three civilians in Israel have been killed so far.

Noting the Israeli military’s “long record of unlawful airstrikes with high civilian casualties”, Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitsoncommentedthat Israel “would never accept an argument that any Israeli home of an Israel Defense Force member would be a valid military target.”

IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner also couldn’t provide any evidence of houses being used to command in control rocket attacks, when directlyqueriedby reporters.

2. The three Israeli teenswere killed immediately after being kidnapped.

Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal recently revealed that the Israeli governmentknewthatthe three missing Israeli teens, whowere abductedin June from Hebron in the West Bank, were murdered almost as soon as they were kidnapped. However, this was not revealed to the public, and insteadthe search forthe missing teenagers unleashed to a brutal crackdown on the West Bank.

Blumenthal says that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used outrage around the kidnapping to whip up enough support to justify the aggressive military campaign that has ensued.

3. Gaza is basically an open-air prison.

The economic blockade of Gaza is a form of collective punishment which residents say is likelivingin a prison. Though the military checkpoints, strong IDF presence and high walls lend the Strip a prison aesthetic, the cruelest element of the “prison” is the lack of economic freedom imposed by Israel’s blockade.

Israelcontinuesto maintain complete control of itsborder crossingswith the Gaza Strip, and the air and sea space of the Gaza Strip – limiting the transfer of goods and people. Though they claim to have withdrawn their troops and that this leaves Gaza “not occupied,” they still maintain control over the tax system.

As a result of these restrictions, 68% of residents live on less than a dollarper day. In contrast, your average Israeli live oneighty fivetimes that.

Inside their prison, Palestinians can’t get access to adequate health care, to education or to employment because of the internal controls imposed by Israel. They need permits from the Israeli authorities to gain access to land and crops, to medical facilities, to schools and universities, and even to visit family andfriends.

4. The Iron Dome isn’t protecting Israel from rockets.

It’s a defense systemhailed as“a game changer”, and the Senatejust approved$351 million to support the military programme, designed to intercept rockets fired by Hamas into Israel.

No matter how much U.S. Senator Dick Durbingushes aboutthe defense system, it looks like the country’s missile defense system justisn’t very good.

Theodore Postol, a physicist andmissile-defense expertat the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,estimatesthe interception rate at just 5%. Working with Dr. Mordechai Shefer, formerly of the defence company Rafael, and another researcher, his team analyzed dozens of videos filmed during the “interceptions.”

Their verdict? most of the explosions which appear successful areactuallythe self-destruction of the Iron Dome’s own missiles.

Might want to pass along a note to U.S. taxpayers.

5. Israeli forces has killed over 1,500 Palestinian children since 2000.

It is a number that continues to climb, as Operation Protective Edge rages on.

Since 2000, approximately 1,500 Palestinian childrenhave been killedby Israeli security forces.That’s one child every three days for thirteen years. Within that same time period, Palestinians have killed132 Israeli children.

6.Hamas accepts two states based on the 1967 borders.

No, really. The infamous1982 Charterwas effectivelyupdated in 2006 following Hamas victory in legislative elections andacknowledgedthat Hamas would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 border.

In 2006 Ismail Haniyeh wrote a letter to President Bush saying, “We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years.”

Hamas is showing more than a little humility: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu himself saidhe would never accept a Palestinian state.

7. Hamas has been provoked by Israel

If we are to believe right-wing rhetoric and Fox News, Hamas is provoking Israel’s mighty military campaign in Gaza.

House Speaker John Boehner condemned Hamas recently for “aggressive, unprovoked acts ofviolenceagainst Israel.”

Congressman Eric Cantor concurs: “Hamas’ outrageous and unprovoked war against Israel mustend.”

Although Hamas tactics are abhorrent, their actions are predictable and have been provoked.

Israel does not allow Gaza to have a port or airport, nor is it allowed to export most of what it produces. Palestinians cannot work about a third of their own land, reserved by Israel as a security buffer.

A cruel economic blockade ensures thatten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under five have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. In 2010, Save The Children foundthat two thirds of Palestinian infants and one third of mothers were affected by anemia.

As British Prime Minister David Cameronsaidin 2010, “Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain aprison camp.He added “People in Gaza are living under constant attacks and pressure in an open-air prison.”

It’s not a moral endorsement of prison riots, but prison guards will tell you: riots happen.

8. Unity between Hamas andFatah is a good thing.

Back in June, a joint government between feuding Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah was sworn in.

While the U.S.cited concernsover the involvement of militant group Hamas, it said that it would be prepared to work with the new government.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuwould not recognizethe new government, because of the inclusion of Hamas. The leader called it a “step backwards.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham greeted the news with disgust:

“This is a provocative act by the Palestinian Authority which runs counter to serious peace negotiations with Israel. It clearly demonstrates the Palestinians have little fear or respect for the Obama Administration.”

Perhaps Bibi should have a chat with his friend Tony Blair. As Prime Minister, he architected the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

“The Troubles”— as the violent thirty-year conflict in Northern Irelandis known—claimed the lives of 650 civilians, mainly at the hands of the terrorists in the The Irish Republican Army. But they eventually entered into politics, and that is a goodthing. When terrorist groups choose to talk instead, it is a sign of moving forward.Netanyahu just hasn’t been prepared to admit it yet.

9. Israel isn’t a strategic asset.

Just underhalfof Americans regard Israel as an ally.

Republican Senator Trent Franks is one of her most eloquent supporters, pledging what he“our arsenal of freedom”to defend “our most precious ally on earth.” Knitting the friendship bracelet, he’s alsosaid“Israel is here to stay forever.”

In Spring 1948, standing in the Oval Office, U.S, Secretary of State George Marshall gave his counsel to President Truman, regarding whether to recognize the recently created state of Israel. His view was that backing the Jewish state would harm relations with the wider Muslim world, thereby jeopardizing American access to oil in the region. He also warned of a wider destablising effect.

Truman rejected the advice, but Marshall showed remarkable prescience. According to Pew Research Center in 2013, ninety percent of Jewish Israelis have afavorableopinion of the U.S., but only forty two percent of Israel’s Palestinian citizensfeel the same.

With Muslims elsewhere in the Middle East, America’s reputation is equallyputrid.

Eventually, a despicable band of terrorists, led by Osama Bin Laden, took offence to America’s support for Israel (amongst other grievances). These terrorists have committed themselves (often literally) to killing Americans.

After successful attacks on U.S. Embassies, warships and civilian targets, nearly three thousand Americans died on one day, when Al Qaeda took down the World Trade Center. So is Israel a strategic asset to the American people, or more aliability?

Comment: "Velvet Glove?" - Israel Murders Babies (Score 1) 167

Zionism == Fascist Genocide
"Children killed in their sleep by Israel"

Israeli military fire hit a United Nations-run school in Gaza today, killing at least 20 people and injuring an estimated 90 people. The school under attack, called the Abu Hussein girls’ elementary school, is located in the densely-populated Jabaliya refugee camp.

The United Nations Relief Works and Agency (UNRWA), the group that serves Palestinian refugees, issued a stern statement placing the blame for the attack on the Israeli army.

“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced,” said UNRWA Secretary General Pierre Krähenbühl. “We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge.”

Krähenbühl added that the Israeli attack violated international law, and that UNRWA had informed Israel of the location of the school 17 times. The Palestinians who were sheltering there had been told by the Israeli military to flee their Gaza neighborhoods, only to be hit by Israeli shells at the place they thought would be safe. An estimated 240,000 displaced Palestinians are being sheltered in UNRWA facilities.

Israeli army spokespeople claim that Palestinian fighters fired from near the school–a claim they have frequently made when confronted by their attacks on civilians.

It was the second time in two weeks that an attack on a UN school caused deaths. Israel denies it hit the UN school in Beit Hanoun it bombarded last week, though Gaza-based journalists like The Daily Beast’s Jesse Rosenfeld have cast doubt on those claims, writing that the evidence appears to indicate Israeli fire hitting the area. The attack killed 16 people. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said last week that three other UNRWA installations had been fired on by Israel, injuring five Palestinians in one incident.

UNRWA has also had to contend with Palestinian rockets being stored in schools that were abandoned. But there is no evidence that the schools hit by Israeli fire have rockets in them.

The attack on the UNRWA school in Jabaliya came after another night of heavy Israeli bombardment. The Gaza Ministry of Health said that over 70 Palestinians were killed since midnight. That brings the death toll to well over 1,200 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians.

Israel declared what it called a “humanitarian window” for four hours today–but also said it would continue to operate militarily in areas where soldiers were already firing. Hamas called it a declaration meant for the media and did not halt its fire. Israeli shells killed at least five Palestinians during the “humanitarian window, Ma’an News Agency reported. And another Israeli attack on a market in the Gaza neighborhood of Shuja’iyeh killed at least 15 people.

Comment: Israel Uses Palestinians as Human Shields (Score 1) 167

Survivors of massacre in Khuza’a say Israeli forces used Palestinians as human shields

Khuza’a is a village in the very eastern part of Khan Younis adjacent to the border fencein the southern Gaza strip. Its farmers have faced death almost on a daily basis in the past 7 years as Israeli gunfire has become the norm along the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel.

Following the Shuja’iyehmassacre, Israeli forces invaded Khuza’a withaerial strikes targeting any moving object. Survivors recall with horror thatseemingly heavy random tank fire led to the killing of dozens, injuring dozens others.

Over 150 of its residents were arrested by Israeli forces. Most of them were released, others are still in detention. Rescue calls were made live on the local radio stations, as many residents were besieged in their homes, unable to leave. Those who managed to leave came under fire as they were fleeing.

Ayman Abu Toaimah, 32, a resident of Khuza’arecalls,“As Israeli invading troops advanced to the village they besieged it and used residents as human shields. When the Israeli army arrested people and then released some of them, they were told they are free to go back to the village, but as they were fleeing they came under fire and some of them shot dead. These people were used as human shields.”

Abu Saleem, 56, a resident of Khuza’aechoedAbu Toaimah,“Israelis claim that Hamas is using us as human shields– how? This is a lie, we do not see fighters in the streets. It’s them, the Israelis who used us as human shields in Khuza’a and Shuja’iyeh. They turned our houses into military posts, terrified residents in the houses. They attacked innocent civilians with their bombs, and missiles, they attacked chicken farms, they burned our crops, they have no mercy.”

What happened in Khuza’a was a massacre. Civilians were killed in their homes and while they were fleeing. Even ambulances were not immune. Paramedics report that Israeli forces stopped ambulances that were trying to reach casualties and tried to arrest a number of wounded. Ambulances came under fire despite the coordination by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Scenes of dead bodies scattered in the streets reminiscent ofthe Sabra and Shatila massacre that took place in two Palestinian refugee camps in 1982 have begun to leak out of the village.

Abu Ali Qudail a resident of Khuza’a said: “When the ICRC told us that ambulances are waiting usat the entrance of the village from the western side, about 1,000 people rushed to leave their homes, some of which were used as a hideout for Israeli forces. As people were leaving they were surprised that the ambulances were not there, and as we were waiting tank shells rained down on our heads.”

Many people were killed, many others injured. Survivors say they could not help the wounded, many were still under the rubble, homes were destroyed and the smell of smoke and bombs was everywhere.

Abu Ali Qudail continued: “I was watching members of my family dying in front of me, some of them were torn to pieces. Rami, Ibrahim, Alia, Haj Abed died..we had to leave them behind, as soon as we reached one of the Khan Younis schools we entered it to seek shelter but it was very crowded with people who fled their homes. It’s hard to see people dying and you do not know what to do. One of my relatives’ homes were struck while they were inside.”

As the all-out Israeli assault on Gaza entered its 19th day, John Kerry announced from Cairo that he proposed a one week ceasefire, but Israel’s PM Netanyahu refused the offer and only agreed to a 12-hour lull.

Ma’an News reports on one family thatfled Khuza’a andwas then killed by an Israeli missile strike in Khan Younis as the ceasefire went into effect:

Minutes before a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire went into effect in Gaza on Saturday morning, an Israeli airstrike left at least 20 members of a Palestinian family dead in Khan Younis refugee camp.

The al-Najjar family had fled their homes in Khuzaa, just east of Khan Younis, earlier in the day after Israeli artillery shelling there killed dozens, and they were hoping to find shelter somewhere further from the border.

Their refuge in Khan Younis, however, turned out to be anything but, as missiles fired from Israeli warplanes just before 8 a.m. completely leveled the four-story building they were sleeping in.

The airstrike killed eleven children, four women, and five men from the family, according to Palestinian medical sources.

The killing of the al-Najjar family brought the death toll in Gaza since the beginning of hostilities 18 days ago to 940.

Following the attack on the UN school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza in which 17 people were killed and over 200 injured, 29of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted in favor of creating a commission of inquiry to look at possible war crimes committed by Israel. Only the United States voted against the resolution, while 17 states abstained, 10 of them European.

The vote was taken after Navi Pillay, the UN’s human rights commissioner, said “there seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

Comment: IDF Uses Palestinians as Human Shields (Score 1) 812

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#47571129) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Survivors of massacre in Khuza’a say Israeli forces used Palestinians as human shields

Khuza’a is a village in the very eastern part of Khan Younis adjacent to the border fencein the southern Gaza strip. Its farmers have faced death almost on a daily basis in the past 7 years as Israeli gunfire has become the norm along the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel.

Following the Shuja’iyehmassacre, Israeli forces invaded Khuza’a withaerial strikes targeting any moving object. Survivors recall with horror thatseemingly heavy random tank fire led to the killing of dozens, injuring dozens others.

Over 150 of its residents were arrested by Israeli forces. Most of them were released, others are still in detention. Rescue calls were made live on the local radio stations, as many residents were besieged in their homes, unable to leave. Those who managed to leave came under fire as they were fleeing.

Ayman Abu Toaimah, 32, a resident of Khuza’arecalls,“As Israeli invading troops advanced to the village they besieged it and used residents as human shields. When the Israeli army arrested people and then released some of them, they were told they are free to go back to the village, but as they were fleeing they came under fire and some of them shot dead. These people were used as human shields.”

Abu Saleem, 56, a resident of Khuza’aechoedAbu Toaimah,“Israelis claim that Hamas is using us as human shields– how? This is a lie, we do not see fighters in the streets. It’s them, the Israelis who used us as human shields in Khuza’a and Shuja’iyeh. They turned our houses into military posts, terrified residents in the houses. They attacked innocent civilians with their bombs, and missiles, they attacked chicken farms, they burned our crops, they have no mercy.”

What happened in Khuza’a was a massacre. Civilians were killed in their homes and while they were fleeing. Even ambulances were not immune. Paramedics report that Israeli forces stopped ambulances that were trying to reach casualties and tried to arrest a number of wounded. Ambulances came under fire despite the coordination by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Scenes of dead bodies scattered in the streets reminiscent ofthe Sabra and Shatila massacre that took place in two Palestinian refugee camps in 1982 have begun to leak out of the village.

Abu Ali Qudail a resident of Khuza’a said: “When the ICRC told us that ambulances are waiting usat the entrance of the village from the western side, about 1,000 people rushed to leave their homes, some of which were used as a hideout for Israeli forces. As people were leaving they were surprised that the ambulances were not there, and as we were waiting tank shells rained down on our heads.”

Many people were killed, many others injured. Survivors say they could not help the wounded, many were still under the rubble, homes were destroyed and the smell of smoke and bombs was everywhere.

Abu Ali Qudail continued: “I was watching members of my family dying in front of me, some of them were torn to pieces. Rami, Ibrahim, Alia, Haj Abed died..we had to leave them behind, as soon as we reached one of the Khan Younis schools we entered it to seek shelter but it was very crowded with people who fled their homes. It’s hard to see people dying and you do not know what to do. One of my relatives’ homes were struck while they were inside.”

As the all-out Israeli assault on Gaza entered its 19th day, John Kerry announced from Cairo that he proposed a one week ceasefire, but Israel’s PM Netanyahu refused the offer and only agreed to a 12-hour lull.

Ma’an News reports on one family thatfled Khuza’a andwas then killed by an Israeli missile strike in Khan Younis as the ceasefire went into effect:

Minutes before a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire went into effect in Gaza on Saturday morning, an Israeli airstrike left at least 20 members of a Palestinian family dead in Khan Younis refugee camp.

The al-Najjar family had fled their homes in Khuzaa, just east of Khan Younis, earlier in the day after Israeli artillery shelling there killed dozens, and they were hoping to find shelter somewhere further from the border.

Their refuge in Khan Younis, however, turned out to be anything but, as missiles fired from Israeli warplanes just before 8 a.m. completely leveled the four-story building they were sleeping in.

The airstrike killed eleven children, four women, and five men from the family, according to Palestinian medical sources.

The killing of the al-Najjar family brought the death toll in Gaza since the beginning of hostilities 18 days ago to 940.

Following the attack on the UN school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza in which 17 people were killed and over 200 injured, 29of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted in favor of creating a commission of inquiry to look at possible war crimes committed by Israel. Only the United States voted against the resolution, while 17 states abstained, 10 of them European.

The vote was taken after Navi Pillay, the UN’s human rights commissioner, said “there seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

Google News Sci Tech: Tiny drones are almost as efficient as hummingbirds, new study says - Science Re->

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Science Recorder

Tiny drones are almost as efficient as hummingbirds, new study says
Science Recorder
A tiny micro-drone used for military surveillance is almost as aerodynamically efficient as a hummingbird, researchers say. Science Recorder Pro. Free trial. No ads. Exclusive interviews. Access to all articles. Just $19.99/yr. Subscribe. Galleries. The 10 most...
Celebrate All Things Hummingbird at LBL this WeekendWKMS
Hummingbirds vs. helicopters: Stanford engineers compare flight dynamicsR & D Magazine
Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to testPhys.Org
BBC News
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+ - Bar Exam Fails Law Grads->

Submitted by BobandMax
BobandMax (95054) writes "ExamSoft, the management platform software that handles digital bar exam submissions for multiple states, experienced a severe technical meltdown on Tuesday, leaving many graduates temporarily unable to complete the exams needed to practice law. The snafu also left bar associations from nearly 20 states with no choice but to extend their submission deadlines."
Link to Original Source
Technology

Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect To Create Body Swap Illusion 48

Posted by timothy
from the why-are-you-hitting-yourself dept.
kkleiner writes Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Microsoft Kinect, a camera, and a handful of electrical stimulators, a London student's virtual reality system is showing users what it's like to swap bodies. Looking down, they see someone else's arms and legs; looking out, it's someone else's point of view; and when they move their limbs, the body they see does the same (those electrical stimulators mildly shock muscles to force a friend to mirror the user's movements). It's an imperfect system, but a fascinating example of the power of virtual reality. What else might we use VR systems for? Perhaps they'll prove useful in training or therapeutic situations? Or what about with robots, which would be easier to inhabit and control than another human? The virtual body swap may never fully catch on, but generally, virtual reality will likely prove useful for more than just gaming and entertainment.

+ - Ask Slashdot: When is It Better to Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

Submitted by yeshuawatso
yeshuawatso (1774190) writes "I work for one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world. We've currently spent millions of dollars investing in an ERP system from Oracle (via a third-party implementor and distributor) that handles most of our global operations, but it's been a great ordeal getting the thing to work for us across SBUs and even departments without having to constantly go back to the third-party, whom have their hands out asking for more money. What we've also discovered is that the ERP system is being used for inputting and retrieving data but not for managing the data. Managing the data is being handled by systems of spreadsheets and access databases wrought with macros to turn them into functional applications. I'm asking you wise and experienced readers on your take if it's a better idea to continue to hire our third-party to convert these applications into the ERP system or hire internal developers to convert these applications to more scalable and practical applications that interface with the ERP (via API of choice)? We have a ton of spare capacity in data centers that formerly housed mainframes and local servers that now mostly run local Exchange and domain servers. We've consolidated these data centers into our co-location in Atlanta but the old data centers are still running, just empty. We definitely have the space to run commodity servers for an OpenStack, Eucalyptus, or some other private/hybrid cloud solution, but would this be counter productive to the goal of standardizing processes. Our CIO wants to dump everything into the ERP (creating a single point of failure to me) but our accountants are having a tough time chewing the additional costs of re-doing every departmental application. What are your experiences with such implementations?"
Government

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret 65

Posted by timothy
from the public-officials-should-be-on-public-record dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg , prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.

Comment: Re:Isn't this exempted? (Score 1) 274

by Alsee (#47570553) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Nope, you misunderstand what the loophole was. It's utterly irrelevant whether or not it's easy to copy the music out.

You need to forget "plain English" and what "makes sense". We're dealing with the law and legalese. You need to think like a computer running into odd code. If a programmer writes "int Two=3;" then you'll get "Two+2=5". You need to obey the definition you're given, even if it clashes with what you think it should mean. You can't just assume Two+2 is supposed to be 4 when the code (or the law) says something different.

This law has a definitions section, and we are concerned with with three key pieces. I'll trim it to the critical bits.

A "digital musical recording" is a material object [...blah blah...]
A "digital musical recording" does not include a material object [...blah blah blah..] in which one or more computer programs are fixed

Therefore, according to the law, MP3 files on a computer hard drive are not "digital musical recordings".

A "digital audio copied recording" is a reproduction in a digital recording format of a digital musical recording [...blah blah...]

Therefore, according to the law, an MP3 player that copies an MP3 off of a computer is not creating a "digital audio copied recording".

A "digital audio recording device" is any machine or device [...blah blah...] making a digital audio copied recording

Therefore an MP3 player copying MP3's off a computer is not a "digital audio recording device".

The law only applies to "digital audio recording devices", therefore nothing in the law applies to MP3 players. Unfortunately this shitty law does seem to apply to a car audio system copying music off of CDs. Unless the judge gets "creative" in interpreting the law, it seems to me that car manufacturers are going to have to pay damages for every unit produced so far, are going to have to implement DRM on these car audio systems (preventing them from loading any song that's flagged as already being a copy), and are going to have to pay royalties to the RIAA for each future unit sold.

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