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Feed Google News Sci Tech: Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors - SlashGear (google.com)


SlashGear

Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors
SlashGear
The fight for security and privacy, now embodied in the encryption of devices and services, has long taken a political flavor when the US government publicly advocated installing backdoors on such systems for the sake of criminal investigation. Now the ...
Proposed Bill Could Ban States From Demanding Encryption BackdoorsUbergizmo
Is an encrypted cell phone a secure device – or a threat to public safety?Christian Science Monitor
Encryption-Protection Bill IntroducedBroadcasting & Cable
Multichannel News-WIRED-CNET
all 62 news articles

Submission + - the IoT could/might/would spy on you (theguardian.com)

turkeydance writes: ...., James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States.

“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said.

Feed Techdirt: Honda Tried To Get Jalopnik To Dox Commenter, Delete Posts, Meets The Streisand Effect Instead (google.com)

Criticism is part of life, of course, and I tend to believe that people show their true selves most transparently when they show how they deal with criticism. Unfortunately, we've covered entirely too many stories involving people and companies responding to online criticism poorly here at Techdirt. Typically, these unfortunate responses amount to trying to censor the criticism, but it can more dangerously involve the attempted silencing of journalism as well as threats of legal action against those making the critical comments.

Too many times, websites and web services cave to this sort of censorship. But not everyone. Gawker Media, about whom I could fill these pages with criticism, appears to be pushing back on once such attempt levied against its site Jalopnik. Apparently, car-maker Honda took a negative view of some comments made at the site, purportedly by a Honda employee. For some reason, Honda decided that this distinction meant that it could not only silence the comments, but that it should receive help from the site in outing the commenter. The whole thing starts off, as seems so often the case, with some rather mild criticism in the form of a comment.

In December, a commenter calling him or herself HondAnonymous, posted a string of comments on these posts claiming to be a technician at Hondas research and development facility. People on the Internet make claims like that all the time, but HondAnonymous seemed able to back them up with actual information about the development of the NSX and other cars. The most interesting bits were complaints about the NSXs Continental tires (they are garbage) and how newer Honda engines have an issue with the studs on the cat either backing out of the head or snapping altogether.

Interesting, if not earth-shattering. A lot of it sounds like normal car development. The first one is a complaint weve seen in various early NSX tests, and the last is probably a recall waiting to happen. But earlier this month, Hondas lawyers contacted us to say that information posted by HondAnonymous is confidential information owned by Honda RD Americas, Inc., and posts by that user of such confidential information breaches a contractual obligation of confidentiality owed to Honda RD Americas, Inc.
As Jalopnik notes, it wasn't them that posted the information. Instead, it was a commenter within the open commenting system Gawker Media uses. Regardless, apparently Honda's attorneys requested not only that all comments by the user be taken down immediately, but they also requested that the site turn over all identifying information about the user to them so that they could hunt down the leak. Think about this for just a moment and you'll see the problem: Honda wants Jalopnik's help in figuring out who this commenter is, while also demanding that the content be taken down because it violates a contractual confidentiality agreement. However, Jalopnik isn't obligated in any way to help Honda, regardless of what private contracts may or may not have been violated.

In typical Gawker fashion, Jalopnik gleefully is posting about all this, Streisanding the issue back into the news when it might otherwise have died off quickly.

Its pretty egregious for a corporation to try to bully a news organization into deep-sixing comments from its own readers. Its far more egregious to threaten to subpoena us if we dont dox one of those readers. The good news is we couldn't dox HondAnonymous even if we somehow wanted to. He or she used an anonymous burner account, and we dont track passwords, logins, or IP addresses for any of our users. HondAnonymous posts will stay up.

To Honda, or any other automaker: If you would like us to delete the comments of our readers or expose their identities (which, again, we cant do anyway) again, please let me know! I am more than happy to drag your intimidation tactics into the public eye for all your customers and prospective buyers to see. Govern yourselves accordingly.
So, in trying to silence and out a critic, Honda instead finds themselves the subject of reports about the attempted silencing of the critic, whose criticism is once more in the public light. Bang up job, lawyers!



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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.

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