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Sluggish Android Tablet Growth May Give Microsoft an Opening 269

theodp writes "In NASCAR, you can finish a race in the Top 3 by leading the whole way or by having spectacular crashes take out those ahead of you. The same may hold true for the tablet race, where Apple has led the whole way, but Microsoft could advance into 2nd or 3rd place as those once ahead of it crash and burn. 'Microsoft tablets based on Windows 8 won't be ready until next year,' notes SplatF's Dan Frommer. 'Unexpectedly, that might not be too late to matter.' Far-fetched as it may seem, Ars Technica's Peter Bright explains why the Windows 8 tablet invasion might work."

Comment Animals can't hold copyrights (Score 2) 335

Same issue as painting elephants. This has been discussed in copyright literature (PDF warning). Internally, the copyright office excluded works produced by animals, as well as works produced entirely by "mechanical processes or random selection without any contribution by a human author."

The U.S. Supreme Court's general rule that a copyrightable work's âoeauthor is the party who actually creates the work, that is, the person who translates an idea into a fixed, tangible expression entitled to copyright protection." ... Broad and traditional notions of copyright authorship assumed the answer to that question was limited to human creators. But no definition of "author" appears in the copyright statute. Neither does the Constitution's reference to authors mandate that they be human.

From a theoretical perspective, the question often comes down to creativity - can animals be creative? Animal research tends to suggest that animals CAN be creative, to the same extent as humans. The issues are similar with computer generated "expression" - can a computer be creative? Should randomness be considered creativity?

However you come out on those questions, courts have decided, based on a policy choice favoring humans, to exclude animal authorship. Which makes some sense, since an elephant doesn't have capacity to enforce its rights (you could have a guardian do it, but we don't allow animal guardians to sue vets for malpractice, so it is hard to see why this would be different).

With elephant paintings, the copyright is typically in the name of the zoo, or whoever enabled the elephant to make the painting (e.g. selected colors, brush type, canvas type for the animal). In the case of a monkey who took a picture, probably the zoo or the camera owner.


The End of Paper Books 669

Hugh Pickens writes "Books are on their way to extinction, writes Kevin Kelly, adding that we are in a special moment when paper books are plentiful and cheap that will not last beyond the end of this century. 'It seems hard to believe now, but within a few generations, seeing an actual paper book will be as rare for most people as seeing an actual lion.' But a prudent society keeps at least one specimen of all it makes, so Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, has decided that we should keep a copy of every book that Google and Amazon scan so that somewhere in the world there was at least one physical copy to represent the millions of digital copies. That way, if anyone ever wondered if the digital book's text had become corrupted or altered, they could refer back to the physical book that was archived somewhere safe. The books are being stored in cardboard boxes, stacked five high on a pallet wrapped in plastic, stored 40,000 strong in a shipping container, inside a metal warehouse on a dead-end industrial street near the railroad tracks in Richmond California. In this nondescript and 'nothing valuable here' building, Kahle hopes to house 10 million books — about the contents of a world-class university library. 'It still amazes me that after 20 years the only publicly available back up of the internet is the privately funded Internet Archive. The only broad archive of television and radio broadcasts is the same organization,' writes Kelly. 'They are now backing up the backups of books. Someday we'll realize the precocious wisdom of it all and Brewster Kahle will be seen as a hero.'"

Thomas Drake Innocent of All Ten Original Charges 243

decora writes "NPR, and dozens of other media sources, are reporting that NSA IT whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake is innocent of all 10 original charges against him; including the 5 Espionage Act charges for 'retention' of 'national defense information.' Drake stared down the government to the last minute, rejecting deal after deal, because he 'refused to plea bargain with the truth.' The judge had even recently ruled that there was no evidence that Drake passed classified information to a reporter. In the end, he has agreed that he committed a misdemeanor: 'unauthorized access to a computer.' It is unknown what this means for the other non-spy espionage cases that Obama's DOJ currently has pending (Kim, Sterling, Manning), or the Grand Jury that is currently meeting to discuss Espionage Act charges related to WikiLeaks."

Comment Re:You're approaching it all wrong. (Score 1) 619

The disclaimer is unenforceable, they can't make you delete the email or do anything at all. Law firms add it so as not to waive attorney-client privilege if they send you any privileged information by mistake. With the disclaimer, if you get something by accident, it can't come in as evidence to trial. Without the disclaimer, they lose the privilege as to that material because they shared it with a 3rd party. IANAL (yet).

How Apple's iOS Went From Insecure To Most Secure 312

GMGruman writes "There's no such thing as a perfectly secure operating system, but security experts agree — somewhat grudgingly in some cases — that iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, is the most secure commercial OS today, mobile or desktop. It didn't start that way of course, and Robert Lemos explains what Apple did to go from insecure to most secure."
Desktops (Apple)

Could Apple Kill Off Mac OS X? 577

Barence writes "When Steve Jobs announced last night that he was 'going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device,' it was the clearest indication yet that Apple is phasing out Mac OS X, argues PC Pro's Barry Collins. 'Over the past couple of months, there have been continual rumours that Apple is testing the iPad's A5 processor in its MacBook range, suggesting Apple believes iOS could stretch further than smartphones and tablets,' Collins argues. Plus, Apple would take a 30% cut on all Mac software if it mandated downloads via the App Store only. 'The only part of Apple's portfolio where iOS doesn't make sense is in the high-end. Yet, Apple's already discontinued its Xserve range of servers and... it's almost exclusively fixated on the consumer market,' he argues."

Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player 264

norriefc writes "Here in the UK super injunctions are all the rage. These are injunctions that bar the press from even mentioning that the injunctions exist. Recently a Twitter account exposed several of these super injunctions and named several people involved and what their alleged indiscretions were. Now one 'famous' soccer player is trying to sue Twitter and the yet to be named tweeters for invasion of privacy, apparently in ignorance of the Streisand effect. I'm doubtful of an American company paying much attention to UK anti-free-speech laws"

Coffee Wards Off Cancer 286 writes "A new study indicates that heavy coffee drinking staves off deadly prostate cancer in men. Some 47,911 US men were surveyed over the period 1986 to 2008 for the research. During this time some 5,035 of them developed prostate cancer with 642 dying of it. According to analysis by investigating scientists, men who drank the most coffee (a fairly normal six-plus cups per day) had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing any kind of prostate cancer. If they did get prostate cancer, the java-swillers were much less likely to die from it than others: their risk of deadly prostate cancer was no less than 60 per cent lower than normal. Even less thirsty coffee drinkers who only put away one to three cups daily saw their chance of deadly prostate cancer fall by a useful 30 per cent."
The Internet

Righthaven Hit With Class Action Counterclaim 91

Hugh Pickens writes "Steve Green reports that one of the website operators accused of copyright infringement by Righthaven has retaliated, hitting the Las Vegas company with a class-action counterclaim, charging that defendants in all 57 Righthaven cases in Colorado 'are victims of extortion litigation by Righthaven, which has made such extortion litigation a part of its, if not its entire, business model.' The counterclaim says Righthaven has victimized defendants by failing to send takedown notices prior to suing, by threatening to take their website domain names when that's not provided for under the federal Copyright Act, by falsely claiming it owns the copyrights at issue and by failing to investigate jurisdictional and fair use issues before suing, among other things. The claim seeks an adjudication that Righthaven's copyright infringement lawsuits amount to unfair and deceptive trade practices under Colorado law, an injunction permanently enjoining Righthaven from continuing the alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices, an unspecified financial award to the class-action plaintiffs for damages as well as their costs and attorney's fees."
Hardware Hacking

If You're Going To Kill It, Open Source It 245

ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine is proposing big companies like Cisco and Sony consider 'open sourcing' their failed or discontinued products. The list includes Sony's AIBO and QRIO robots, IBM's Deep Blue chess computer, Ricochet Wireless, Potenco's Pull-Cord Generator, Palm, Microsoft's SPOT Watch, CISCO Flip Camera and more. MAKE is also encouraging everyone to post about what products they'd like to see open sourced."

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel