chriscappuccio writes: "The song “Happy Birthday to You” is widely credited for being the most performed song in the world. But one of its latest venues may be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where the only parties may be the litigants to a new legal battle.
The dispute stems from a lawsuit filed on Thursday by a filmmaker in New York who is seeking to have the court declare the popular ditty to be in the public domain, and to block a music company from claiming it owns the copyright to the song and charging licensing fees for its use.
The filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, was producing a documentary movie, tentatively titled “Happy Birthday,” about the song, the lawsuit said. In one proposed scene, the song was to be performed."
An anonymous reader writes: Two security researchers who have been uncovering tons of flaws lately in hosting software have encountered a developer from New Jersey who not only hasn't issued a patch for a root level exploit after two weeks, he is threatening to sue the researchers for all kinds of damages. The software in question is Zamfoo which is a popular package for reseller hosting providers.
cold fjord writes: New developments in the ongoing controversy engulfing the NSA as a result of the Snowden leaks. From The Hill: ""Emerging from a hearing with NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), the senior Democrat on the panel, said Edward Snowden simply wasn't in the position to access the content of the communications gathered under National Security Agency programs, as he's claimed. "He was lying," Rogers said. "He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he's even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do." "He's done tremendous damage to the country where he was born and raised and educated," Ruppersberger said."... "It was clear that he attempted to go places that he was not authorized to go, which should raise questions for everyone," Rogers added."
phantomfive writes: Congressman Charles Schumer has written a piece decrying the evils of patent trolls. "Because of the high cost of patent litigation—the average litigation defense costs a small or midsize company $1.75 million—it is often marginally cheaper for a defendant to pay up front to make the case go away. The average settlement for the same group of companies is $1.33 million....Patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in 2011 alone."
His solution? Make it easier for low quality patents to be re-examined and rejected by the patent office.
jones_supa writes: Apogee Software/3D Realms alleges that Gearbox has refused to pay more than $2 million owed to 3D Realms from royalties and advances Gearbox received from publishers for Duke Nukem Forever. In a lawsuit filed June 7 in Texas district court, 3D Realms insists that its agreement with Gearbox permits it to conduct an audit of Gearbox's royalty statements, which the studio has not allowed. 'Gearbox is simply stonewalling here in an improper attempt to conceal information from 3D Realms that it is absolutely entitled to receive,' the suit alleges. The company also alleges that Gearbox has refused to pay the agreed-upon portion of revenue Gearbox received after Duke Nukem Forever was released. 3D Realms has asked for a jury trial. This suit is apparently the end result of a friendly deal gone wrong.
An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it is retiring Chrome Frame for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, a plug-in that brings Chrome’s engine to old IE versions. The company wouldn’t share an exact date, but did say it will end support and cease releasing updates sometime in January 2014. Google’s reasoning appears to be based on the fact that Chrome Frame was released (initially in September 2009 and then as a stable build in September 2010) at a time when old versions of Internet Explorer, which don’t support the latest Web technologies, were still in very high use.
MojoKid writes: Dell recently introduced their Alienware X51 series of small form factor gaming PCs but until now, squeezing in components that were powerful enough for the enthusiast gamer was a significant thermal challenge. Intel's recent Haswell Core processor release, as well as NVIDIA's GeForce 670 series graphics cards have changed the game considerably though. The X51 R2 is shaped similar to to an Xbox 360 Slim, and though it's slightly larger, it would be right at home in a living room setting. Alienware is also bundling Steam Big Picture mode installations with systems as well. Performance-wise, with its latest CPU and GPU upgrades, the system is over twice as fast as the first generation X51, again thanks to Haswell and upgraded NVIDIA GeForce graphics. The console-sized PC is capable of running virtually any current gen DX11 title at full 1920X1080 HD resolution and high image quality settings.
Aardappel writes: TreeSheets ( http://treesheets.com/ ) has been available as freeware for Windows / Linux / OS X since 2008, but is now also Open Source (ZLIB license): https://github.com/aardappel/treesheets . TreeSheets is a cross between a spreadsheet (you can create grids) and an outliner (you can create grids inside grids) allowing you to create almost any structure to organize your data in.
An anonymous reader writes: Some journalists run into Steve Wozniak at the airport and asked him about iOS 7 and PRISM, where he made an interesting comparison about how the US is becoming what it once feared most.
In communist Russia "you couldn't own anything, and now in the digital world you hardly own anything anymore. You've got subscritpions and you already said ok, ok, agree and you agree that every right in the world belongs to them and you got no rights and anything you put in the cloud, you don't even know", says Woz. "Ownership was what made America different than Russia".
alphadogg writes: Medical device makers should take new steps to protect their products from malware and cyberattacks or face the possibility that U.S. Food and Drug Administration won't approve their devices for use, the FDA said. The FDA issued new cybersecurity recommendations for medical devices on Thursday, following reports that some devices have been compromised. Recent vulnerabilities involving Philips fetal monitors and in Oracle software used in body fluid analysis machines are among the incidents that prompted the FDA to issue the recommendations.
Nerval's Lobster writes: One year and seven months after beginning construction, Facebook has brought its first datacenter on foreign soil online. That soil is in Lulea, town of 75,000 people on northern Sweden’s east coast, just miles south of the boundary separating the Arctic Circle from the somewhat-less-frigid land below it. Lulea (also nicknamed The Node Pole for the number of datacenters in the area) is in the coldest area of Sweden and shares the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska, according to a local booster site. The constant, biting wind may have stunted the growth of Lulea’s tourism industry, but it has proven a big factor in luring big IT facilities into the area. Datacenters in Lulea are just as difficult to power and cool as any other concentrated mass of IT equipment, but their owners can slash the cost of cooling all those servers and storage units simply by opening a window: the temperature in Lulea hasn’t stayed at or above 86 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours since 1961, and the average temperature is a bracing 29.6 Fahrenheit. Air cooling might prove a partial substitute for powered environmental control, but Facebook’s datacenter still needed 120megawatts of steady power to keep the social servers humming. Sweden has among the lowest electricity costs in Europe, and the Lulea area reportedly has among the lowest power costs in Sweden. Low electricity prices are at least partly due to the area’s proximity to the powerful Lulea River and the line of hydroelectric dams that draw power from it.
McGruber writes: According to a report by Rochester, NY CBS affiliate WROC (http://rochesterhomepage.net/fulltext?nxd_id=394722) Kodak has ended in-house production of the cellulose acetate base that is the primary component of photographic film.
Popular Photography magazine adds (http://rochesterhomepage.net/fulltext?nxd_id=394722) that, for more than 100 years, Kodak has made the acetate in house in bulk, providing the structural basis for the company's film. Now, with Kodak in bankruptcy, the company is firing 60 workers and shutting down the acetate machinery. Citing the decline in interest in film photography as a primary cause, Kodak will no longer undertake the time intensive process of acetate production.
Thankfully, the company has large stockpiles of the material, and once that runs out they will source it from elsewhere.
An anonymous reader writes: Simply put, the US government has failed in its role as the "caretaker" of the internet. Although this was never an official designation, America controls much of the infrastructure, and many of the most popular services online are provided by a handful of American companies. The world is starting to sober up to the fact that much of what they've done online in the last decade is now cataloged in a top-secret facility somewhere in the United States. The goal has been to promote internet freedom around the world, but we may have also potentially created a blueprint for how authoritarian governments can store, track, and mine their citizens’ digital lives.
UnknowingFool writes: Best Buy and Microsoft will launch 600 Microsoft stores within Best Buy retail locations in a store within a store concept. The Microsoft stores will occupy 1500-2000 sq ft within each location. The terms of the deal are not announced but I assume it benefits both as Best Buy would likely charge rent to help with declining revenue. For Microsoft, they may get cheaper facilities than building their own stores. The last I heard MS had a very ambitious plan to launch hundreds of stores a year.
I have doubts about the success of this venture considering anecdotally almost every MS store I've seen in my travels was nearly empty. Since they all were located near Apple stores the stark difference in foot traffic was apparent. The only exception was the MS store near Redmond which had a decent crowd.
vinces99 writes: A new analysis shows that world population could reach nearly 11 billion by the end of this century, according to a United Nations report issued June 13. That’s about 800 million, or about 8 percent, more than the previous projection issued in 2011. The change is largely because birth rates in Africa have not declined as quickly as had been expected, according to Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington's Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. The U.N. estimates use statistical methods developed at the center. The current African population is about 1.1 billion and it is now expected to reach 4.2 billion, nearly a fourfold increase, by 2100, Raftery said.
thecarchik writes: In contrast to every other automaker, which use specialized large format Li-Ion cells, Tesla's battery pack is made up of thousands of inexpensive commodity cells similar to those found in laptops. Unlike automotive cells, these cells are produced in the billions, subject to the fierce competitive pressures that are a signature characteristic of the computer and consumer electronics industries.
Even including the overhead of the pack enclosure, connections between cells in modules (and modules in the pack), sensors, and circuitry, Tesla likely has lower pack costs than any other maker of plug-in electric cars. But even without the simplified design Tesla created, the standard Panasonic NCR18650A 3100mAh cells that Tesla uses probably don't come close to costing it $400 per kWh that the media has estimated.
It's not unreasonable to think that less advanced, but high-quality 3100mAh cells are now indeed selling for $2 per cell (or $180/kWh). If the cheaper Tesla-designed, cap saves even a dime per cell, that would cut the price to around $170 per kWh.
ColdWetDog writes: The ongoing story of Myriad Genetics versus the rest of the world has come to an end. In a 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has decided that human genes cannot be patented.
From a brief Bloomberg article:
Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said isolated DNA is a “product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.”
At the same time, Thomas said synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA, or cDNA, can be patented because they require a significant amount of human manipulation to create.
Seems perfectly sane. Raw genes, the ones you find in nature are, wait for it — natural. Other bits of manipulated DNA / RNA / protein which take skill and time to create are potentially patentable.
Oddly, Myriad Genetics stock actually rose on that information.
sciencehabit writes: The lightning-quick spark that triggers desire when you see an attractive face is kindled within a deep brain region called the ventral midbrain, associated with processing reward. Now, researchers have discovered a way to stoke that fire with 2 milliamps of electrical current. Using a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which passes current through the brain between two electrodes on the scalp, the team asked 19 volunteers to rate the attractiveness of two sets of computer-generated male and female Caucasian faces with neutral expressions before and after the activity in their ventral midbrains ramped up. Compared with the control group, the volunteers who received tDCS rated the second set of faces as significantly more attractive on a eight-point scale than the first . The researchers are not proposing that we use their discovery to bewitch prospective lovers, however. Rather, they say their newfound ability to manipulate a deep region of the brain without drugs or an invasive surgery suggests that similar techniques could be used to treat disorders associated with faulty ventral midbrain circuitry, such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
the eric conspiracy writes: In a landmark decision the Supreme Court ruled that that mere act of extracting genetic material from the human body does not result in patentable material. However they did rule that synthetic derivatives of DNA can be patented. Known as complementary DNA or cDNA these derivative are essentially stripped down forms of the original DNA.
The result for Myriad is that they still have protection for their test, however the decision also allows researchers to work with the DNA sequences that are predecessors to the cDNA used in the test.
crookedvulture writes: With its Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, Intel allowed standard Core i5 and i7 CPUs to be overclocked by up to 400MHz using Turbo multipliers. Reaching for higher speeds required pricier K-series chips, but everyone got access to a little "free" clock headroom. Haswell isn't quite so accommodating. Intel has disabled limited multiplier control for non-K CPUs, effectively limiting overclocking to the Core i7-4770K and i5-4670K. Those chips cost $20-30 more than their standard counterparts, and surprisingly, they're missing a few features. The K-series parts lack the support for transactional memory extensions and VT-d device virtualization included with standard Haswell CPUs. PC enthusiasts now have to choose between overclocking and support for certain features even when purchasing premium Intel processors. AMD also has overclocking-friendly K-series parts, but it offers more models at lower prices, and it doesn't remove features available on standard CPUs.
An anonymous reader writes: In a document produced by network equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent on the security of Australia's broadband network, the NBN, it considers the security-based responsibilities of Government including managing information sensitive to national security; managing personal information on nearly every resident in Australia and; Supporting Law Enforcement agencies.
The document then goes on to outline the convenience of the NBN in providing interception on behalf of network service providers (NSPs):
“NBN will also have an opportunity to provide universal standard lawful interception capabilities on behalf on NSPs (who would otherwise be obliged to each develop and deploy a solution). This will lower the barriers of entry for NSPs, and in turn, this should result in lower costs to the consumer. This might be some way off but with NBN it becomes a real possibility and even likelihood.”
In the light of Prism, do these networks provide a centralised and systematic means for surveillance both by government security agencies, but also potential enemies?
judgecorp writes: Security researchers say that iPhone and other Apple devices are vulnerable to an old attack, using a fake Wi-Fi access point. Attackers can use an SSID which matches one that is stored on the iPhone (say "BTWiF"), which the iPhone will connect to automatically. Other devices are protected thanks to the use of HTTPS, which enforces HTTPS, but iPhones are susceptible to this man in the middle attack, researchers say.
jfruh writes: Frustrated by short battery life on your phone? One possible culprit: Twitter and Facebook's standalone apps, which poll constantly in the background for updates and direct messages in ways that are difficult to prevent. One simple solution is to just access these sites through your mobile web browser; it turns out that Twitter and Facebook maintain remarkably up to date and fucntional mobile-facing sites that are easier on your battery.
puddingebola writes: From the article, "A previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye, has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham. This new layer, called the Dua’s Layer after Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it, could help surgeons to dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written. Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients,” said Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences."
itwbennett writes: You can make a decent living as a software developer, and if you were lucky enough to get hired at a pre-IPO tech phenom, you can even get rich at it. But set your sights above the average and below Scrooge McDuck and you won't find many developers in that salary range. In fact, the number of developers earning $200,000 and above is under 10%, writes blogger Phil Johnson who looked at salary data from Glassdoor, Salary.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. How does your salary rate? What's your advice for earning the big bucks?
c0lo writes: Kim Dotcom alleges, in an 20 mins interview with the Australian public television, that Megaupload was offered up by the New Zealand's PM "on a silver platter" as part of negotiations with Warner Brothers executives for shooting the Hobbit in New Zealand. He promises that he'll substantiate the claims in court.
He also says that the extradition case the US govt is weak and the reason behind the latest delay in extradition hearing (postponed from August this year to March next year) is an attempt to bleed Dotcom dry of his money
Also interesting, Dotcom says that the latest debacle of the massive scale online online surveillance by US spy agencies has triggered an "explosion" of interest in mega.co.nz, the "cloud storage" site with user generated encryption
Kim Dotcom uploaded yesterday on youtube a footage of the raid, as captured by security cameras in his mansion: helicopters, anti-terror police, silenced rifles fitted with scopes, dogs, already prepared tow trucks for his car collection
An anonymous reader writes: Mammals can regenerate a lost fingertip, including bones and skin. A new study has now explained how this process actually works. Researchers said that the finding could help regenerate limbs for amputees. In humans, re-grown fingertips may not look like the original one, but it has new bone and skin along with nail. Kids can actually have better regeneration of fingertips. But, nobody knew how this growth occurred.
An anonymous reader writes: After 25 years of doing IT (started as a PC technician and stayed on technical of IT work through out my career) I've been moved to a position of doing only on call work (but paid as if it is a normal 9-5 job). This leaves me with a lot of free time... As someone who's used to working 12+ hours a day + the odd night/weekend on call, I'm scared I'll lose my mind with all the new free time I'll have. Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time? TIA
McGruber writes: The Chronicle of Higher Education has the news that American Association of University Professors (AAUP) believes that faculty members' copyrights and academic freedom are being threatened by colleges claiming ownership of the massive open online courses their instructors have developed.
The AAUP plans this year to undertake a campaign to urge professors to get protections of their intellectual-property rights included in their contracts and faculty handbooks.
According to former AAUP President Cory Nelson, "If we lose the battle over intellectual property, it's over. Being a professor will no longer be a professional career or a professional identity," and faculty members will instead essentially find themselves working in "a service industry." [Just like their graduate students?]
hypnosec writes: OWASP Top 10, the Open Web Application Security Project’s top 10 most critical web application security risks, has been updated and a new list for 2013 published. Last updated back in 2010, the organization has published the new list wherein the importance of cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CRSF) has been diluted a little while risks related to broken session management and authentication has moved up a notch. Code injection, which was the topmost risk in 2010 has retained its position in the updated list. The 2013 Top Ten list has been compiled based on half a million vulnerabilities discovered in thousands of applications from hundreds of vendors.
William Robinson writes: Astronomers have discovered 26 new likely black holes in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy — the largest haul of black hole candidates ever found in a galaxy apart from our own. The central region of the Andromeda galaxy is chock-full of black holes, according to extensive observations with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. 26 new stellar-mass black hole candidates have been identified, adding to nine previously known and bringing the grand total to 35. Scientists believe it may be 'tip of the iceberg'
jarle.aase writes: It's doable today to use a mix of virtual machines, VPN, TOR, encryption, and staying away from certain places; like Google+/Facebook & Friends(TM), in order to retain a reasonably degree of privacy. There is actually a lot of information available on on-line privacy. In recent days, even major main-stream on-line magazines has published such information. (Aftenposten, one of the largest newspapers in Norway had an article yesterday about VPN, Tor and Freenet!)
But what about the cell-phone? The tinfoil-hat crowd will probably assume that Google and Apple already allows NSA (and anyone else who will pay up) to stream GPS locations, audio and video directly from Android and iOS devices. Even is that is not so (yet), we know that the telecom companies will allow government agencies to follow a persons movements in real-time using radio tower / device triangulation. Is it possible to protect ones privacy also on the phone?
Technically it's not hard to design a phone that can switch off the GSM transmitter, and use VoIP for calls. VoIP could then go from the device trough wi-fi and VPN. Some calls may be routed trough PSTN gateways — allowing the agencies to track the other party. But they will not track your location. And they will not track pure, encrypted VoIP calls that traverse trough VPN and use anonymous sip or xmpp accounts.
Android, may not be the best software for such a device, as it very eagerly phones home. The same is true for iOS and Windows 8. Actually, I would prefer a non cloud-based mobile OS from a vendor that is not in the PRISM gallery.
Still, it would be nice if the device had the capabilities of a modern smart-phone, with installable apps, email, web browser and a nice touchscreen display.
Does such a device exist yet? Something that runs a relatively safe OS, where GSM can be switched totally off? Something that will only make an outgoing network connection when I ask it to do so?
Freshly Exhumed writes: Dave Siever always fancied himself as something of a musician, but also realized he did not necessarily sing or play in perfect key. Then he strapped on the electrodes of a device made by his Edmonton company, and zapped his brain’s auditory cortex with a mild dose of electricity. The result, he claims, was a dramatic improvement in his ability to hear pitch, including the sour notes he produced himself. “Now I tune everything and I practise my singing over and over and over again, because I’m more sensitive to it.” Mr. Siever was not under the supervision of a doctor or psychologist, and nor is he one himself. He is part of an extraordinary trend that has amateur enthusiasts excited, and some scientists deeply nervous: do-it-yourself brain stimulation.The device he used delivers transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a technology that researchers worldwide have used to produce a flood of intriguing, if preliminary, studies in recent years. They suggest tDCS can both treat diseases like depression and make healthy people’s minds work better. The devices are also simple, cheap to make and relatively safe, helping drive a burgeoning DIY movement.
BioTitan writes: New York City may be the first state to crack down on 3D printed guns. Two pieces of legislation were introduced on June 13, one in the City Council that only allows licensed gunsmiths to print the guns, and another in the State Assembly that would make it illegal for anyone to print a gun. Cody Wilson, creator of the first 3D printed guns, and founder of Defense Distributed, told The Epoch Times, “Such legislation is a deprivation of equal protection and works in clear ignorance of Title I and II of U.S. gun laws."