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Submission + - SCO vs. IBM legal battle over Linux may â" finally â" be finished (networkworld.com)

JG0LD writes: A breach-of-contract and copyright lawsuit filed nearly 13 years ago by a successor company to business Linux vendor Caldera International against IBM may be drawing to a close at last, after a U.S. District Court judge issued an order in favor of the latter company earlier this week.

Submission + - Why winners become cheaters (washingtonpost.com)

JoeyRox writes: A new study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reveals a paradoxical aspect of human behavior — people who win in competitive situations are more likely to cheat in the future. In one experiment, 86 students were split up into pairs and competed in a game where cheating was impossible. The students were then rearranged into new pairs to play a second game where cheating was possible. The result? Students who won the first game were much more likely to cheat at the second game. Additional experiments indicated that cheating was also more likely if students simply recalled a memory of winning in the past. The experiments further demonstrated that subsequent cheating was more likely in situations where the outcome of previous competitions was determined by merit rather than luck.

Submission + - Valve Brings Native SteamVR Support to Unity and Gives Away Free Headsets (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Despite having their own Source engine, Valve has come together with Unity to add native SteamVR support to the popular Unity3D game engine. This will offer plug-and-play support for SteamVR-compatible hardware for developers creating virtual reality experiences using Unity. Announced by Valve chief Gabe Newell today at the Unity-hosted Vision AR/VR Summit, Newell also announced that every developer at the conference would be getting their own HTC Vive Pre development kit, the latest iteration of the SteamVR system made in collaboration with Valve and HTC (http://www.htcvive.com/us/).

Submission + - Carly is out.

MouseTheLuckyDog writes: I don't like stories that are not nerd oriented, but given Carly Fiorina's disastrous time as HP's CEO, the second only to Stephen Elop's tenure at Nokia, I think it is appropriate to announce that as of now Carly Fiorina is out of the Presidential race.

Submission + - TPP blocks access to source code (michaelgeist.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: The TPP agreement states: "No Party shall require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition for the import, distribution, sale or use of such software, or of products containing such software, in its territory." There are many commercial products that ship with GPL code. Is this a way to circumvent the GPL?

Submission + - Engineers Devise a Way to Harvest Wind Energy from Trees (vice.com)

derekmead writes: Harvesting electrical power from vibrations or other mechanical stress is pretty easy.Turns out all it really takes is a bit of crystal or ceramic material and a couple of wires and, there you go, piezoelectricity. As stress is applied to the material, charge accumulates, which can then be shuttled away to do useful work. The classic example is an electric lighter, in which a spring-loaded hammer smacks a crystal, producing a spark.

Another example is the heart of a piezoelectric system described in a new paper in the Journal of Sound and Vibration courtesy of engineers at Ohio State's Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research. The basic idea behind the energy harvesting platform: exploit the natural internal resonances of trees within tiny artificial forests capable of generating enough voltage to power sensors and structural monitoring systems.

Submission + - AWS Terms of Service offer a break if zombie apocalypse occurs (windowsitpro.com)

v3rgEz writes: Running at over 50 sections and hundreds of subsections, Amazon AWS's terms of service are somewhat exhaustive, but there's one paragraph that might catch your eye. As of yesterday's update, Amazon has added a section that nullifies restrictions on the use of their Lumberyard game platform in the event of a zombie outbreak. Pre-apocalypse, the terms of service prohibit the use of the engine to manage life-or-death situations, but being able to spin up a zombie firefight simulator at a moment's notice might come in handy. You do have to wonder, though: Does Jeff Bezos know something we don't? Lawyers typically don't approve of Easter Eggs in legal documents.

Feed Techdirt: Artist Sues Wu-Tang Clan Member, Martin Shkreli, Vice Magazine For Copyright Infringement (google.com)

In the continually developing saga that is the Wu-Tang Clan's unexpected entanglement with the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the pharmaceutical industry, it is now apparently time for the bogus lawsuits to begin.

Artist Jason Koza, a Wu-Tang Clan fan, is suing Tarik Azzougarh, a rapper, producer and manager "associated" with the group, along with one of its members (RZA) and pharma supervillain Martin Shkreli, last seen pleading the smirk in front of a Congressional hearing.

Koza's story is as follows, in his own words, from his own filing [heavily edited for clarity and length]. (h/t The Hollywood Reader)

Mr. Koza has long admired the music of the Wu-Tang Clan, and in late 2013 and early 2014, he rendered original portraits of nine members who recorded the groups first album.

The nine portraits are titled: Ghostface Killa-Koza, GZA-Koza, Ol Dirty Bastard-Koza, Method Man-Koza, Masta Killa-Koza, Inspecta Deck-Koza, U- God-Koza, RZA-Koza, Raekwon-Koza (hereinafter the Wu-Tang Clan Portraits)...

In or around late 2013 or early 2014, Mr. Koza saw a solicitation on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website stating as follows: Every Thursday we will be posting up pics of Wu-Tang artwork from fans, artists and aliens. If you have artwork you would like to share, please email us at: WuArtTats@gmail.com.

Mr. Koza submitted digital images of his nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to the WuArtTats@gmail.com email address and the works were posted on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website.

The WuDisciples.blogspot.com did not display any language or disclaimer granting the website a license for submitted works.

Mr. Koza did not grant an express license to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com for the use of his Wu-Tang Clan Portraits, although he intended that they be used for the limited purpose of public display on that website.

Mr. Koza did not authorize the use of his Wu-Tang Clan Portraits outside of the implied license he granted for their display on the WuDisciples.blogspot.com.

Upon information and belief, prior to 2014, Defendants Diggs and Azzougarh began work on a new Wu-Tang Clan album.

[...]

Upon information and belief, in 2015, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh completed production of a new Wu-Tang Clan album, which had been recorded secretly over the course of several years, titled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Upon information and belief, the album was sold with a leather-bound book containing, inter alia, unauthorized copies of all nine of Mr. Kozas Wu-Tang Clan Portraits.

Upon information and belief, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh made, or caused to be made, the unauthorized copies of Mr. Kozas Wu-Tang Clan Portraits that were included in the leather-bound book.

Upon information and belief, in 2014 or 2015, Mr. Diggs and Mr. Azzougarh engaged New York-based online auction house Paddle8 as their agent to sell and/or distribute the Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, including the leather-bound book that contains the infringing copies of Mr. Kozas artwork.
This $2 million album, along with the book of artwork allegedly containing Koza's portraits, is now in former Turing Pharmaceutical head Martin Shkreli's possession.

Koza may have a case against the unauthorized use of his work in the book sold to Shkreli. Nothing on the Wu-Tang fan site indicates Koza would have handed over his rights to his artwork by having it posted there. If those responsible for putting the book together used his work, then he may have a fairly solid infringement case.

However, Koza did not register his artwork with the US Copyright Office until February 1st of this year, which is well past the point in time the infringement allegedly occurred. (The album was sold in 2015 and the book of artwork was compiled before the sale.) This may cut him out of the statutory damages he's seeking as these fees are only retroactive if the registration occurs within 90 days of publication. In his own recounting of the events, Koza indicates the first publication (at the Wu-Tang fansite) occurred sometime prior to April 8, 2014 -- the point at which he was contacted by Azzougarh about the "one copy album" he and RZA were putting together. Koza's copyright filings occurred nearly two years later.

Despite Martin Shkreli doing nothing more than paying an exorbitant amount for an album packaged with a book of artwork he likely assumed was properly licensed, Koza wants to nail him for infringement as well.

Upon information and belief, the album was unique in that only one copy was produced and Mr. Shkreli is contractually prohibited from distributing further copies commercially for 88 years following the sale.

On January 29, 2016, Mr. Koza saw an article published by Vice.com that included photographs of the leather-bound book that was included with the album.

The pictures in the article revealed that at least three of Mr. Kozas Wu- Tang Clan Portraits were reproduced in the book: Raekwon-Koza, Ol Dirty Bastard-Koza, and Inspecta Deck-Koza.


Mr. Koza never gave his permission, express or implied, for any third party to copy, distribute, or publicly display copies of his works, other than his submission to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website for the limited purpose of displaying the works thereon.
The thing about purchased items is that "third parties" are mostly free to do what they want with their purchased goods, including displaying artwork they purchased. That this was "displayed" in an article at Vice.com does nothing to implicate Shkreli or Vice. Shkreli has the Right of First Sale and Vice.com has fair use -- even if Vice selected which pictures would be published. Koza's legal arguments in relation to this supposed infringement are pretty much nonsensical.

Mr. Shkreli has infringed Mr. Kozas exclusive right of public display by permitting at least three of the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to be displayed to the public in a news article without Mr. Kozas permission or license.
Including "in a news article" in his claim pretty much guarantees Vice.com's fair use defense will work, if a judge even lets the case get as far as requiring a response from the website. As for Shkreli, he's done nothing wrong, which is probably the first time that's been said about him since his ascension into the public eye.

Koza even tries to claim his truncated email exchange with Azzougarh -- combined with the fansite's nonexistent statement on who retains what rights to submitted artwork -- somehow coheres into a contract the defendants have violated.

The facts alleged regarding Mr. Kozas submission of the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits to the WuDisciples.blogspot.com website and the subsequent communications between Mr. Koza and Mr. Azzougarh give rise to an implied-in-fact contract for a license from Mr. Koza for use the nine Wu-Tang Clan Portraits in the album in exchange for payment from Defendants.
Once a judge reviews this mess of a lawsuit, it's very likely most of the defendants will be dismissed. On the sort of bright side, if the lawsuit makes it far enough, the exclusive book owned by Shkreli may be entered into evidence, giving Wu-Tang fans a chance to see at least nine pages of the multimillion dollar book.

But as far as legal assertions go, Koza's are at least as shaky as anything delivered to date by Wu-Tang members unhappy with their album being in the possession of the Most Hated Man in America (Corporate Division). But at least when one of them does it, it's far more entertaining. Calling Shkreli "the man with the twelve-year-old body" beats "somebody owes me money... probably" any day of the week.



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Submission + - Study: Women Get Pull Requests Accepted More, except When You Know They're Women (peerj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In the largest study of gender bias to date, researchers found that women tend to have their pull requests accepted at a higher rate than men, across a variety of programming languages. This, despite the finding that their pull requests are larger and less likely to serve an immediate project need. At the same time, when the gender of the women is identifiable (as opposed to hidden), their pull requests are accepted less often than men's.

Submission + - Russia's Putin Wants to Ban Windows on Government PCs

SmartAboutThings writes: The Russian government is allegedly looking to ban Microsoft’s Windows operating system, increase taxes on foreign technology companies, develop its homegrown OS and encourage local tech companies to grow.

All these proposals comes from German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new 'internet czar, as Bloomberg describes him. In a 90-minute interview, Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Submission + - Company Takes Two Years to Remove Hard-Coded Root Passwords from IoT Thermostat (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It took 22 months for Trane to patch three security bugs in its ComfortLink II XL950 smart Wi-Fi thermostat product, the ComfortLink II XL950, a modern IoT device along the lines of Google Nest, which offers a simple way to manage your apartment’s or building's internal temperature. Researchers contacted Trane about their three issues in April 2014, the company fixed the RCE flaws in April 2015 and recently released a firmware update at the end of January to fix the last issue. During all this time, the company barely answered emails and continued to sell an exposed product.

Submission + - Dell Precision 15 Packs Xeon And Quadro In 4lb Laptop With Infinity Edge Display (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: To look at the Dell Precision 15 5510, you wouldn't know that it sits in the middle of Dell's workstation lineup. The laptop is thinner and sleeker than you might expect a workstation-class laptop to be and the premium carbon fiber palm rest gives the system a decidedly high-end vibe. Not to mention, like the XPS 15, Dell equipped this machine with its 4K IGZO Infinity Edge display that has almost no bezel on three of its sides. However, the Precision 15 5510 is actually Dell's mid-range mobile workstation that also supports Intel Xeon E3 processors and NVIDIA's Quadro M1000 series GPUs. It's essentially a mobile workstation version of Dell's XPS 15 line but along with an NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive, delivers professional grade performance and the pro app certifications that go with it. Compared to Lenovo's ThinkPad W550 line, the Precision 15 is a more sleek, stylish machine and in testing it packs more punch as well. Lenovo may already have their Skylake Xeon refresh in the works for the ThinkPad W series, however.

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