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Feed Viacom Promises To Be More Mindful Of Fair Use On YouTube (

When Viacom took down 100,000 videos from YouTube claiming they were infringing, one problem was that there were a number of false positives where they forced videos offline that weren't infringing at all. In one case, the EFF and others sued over the removal of a parody of the Colbert report, and Viacom bizarrely claimed that it hadn't sent a takedown about it despite a ton of evidence that it had. Eventually Viacom admitted that it had, in fact, accidentally sent the takedown. In response, the company has convinced the EFF to drop the lawsuit after promising to manually review all videos before sending takedown notices, training those who review the videos to understand fair use and publicly stating that it has no problem with videos that are "creative, newsworthy or transformative" and are "a limited excerpt for non commercial purposes." In other words, it's basically everything the EFF wanted, and now we'll see if Viacom lives up to the promise.
United States

Submission + - Shooting at Virginia Tech leaves at least 32 dead

marcelo writes: A gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday, cutting down his victims in two attacks two hours apart before the university could grasp what was happening and warn students.
The Courts

Submission + - EliteTorrents Uploader Faces 5 Years in Jail

Mike writes: TorrentFreak reports: A man from Columbus, Georgia has pleaded guilty to two felonies connected to the distribution of copyright works via the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker, which was shut down by the FBI in 2005. As a major uploader he faces 5 years in jail plus a $250,000 fine.

Submission + - Forced RFID Implantation Illegal in North Dakota

JeremyDuffy writes: "From the "don't forget we're people, not products" department, North Dakota is the second state to ban forced RFID implantation. However, even if this is a step in the right direction, does it do enough? It doesn't ban voluntary implantation and last I checked a lot of things that aren't really "voluntary" are treated such under law. Here's a quote from the article of someone who agrees with me:

But Michael Shamos, a professor who specializes in security issues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, believes the law is too vague to do much good. For instance, it only addresses situations where a chip is injected, even though RFID tags can also be swallowed. And it doesn't clearly define what a forced implant really is; someone could make chipping a requirement for a financial reward.

"Suppose I offer to pay you $10,000 if you have an RFID [chip] implanted?" he asked. "Is that 'requiring' if it's totally voluntary on your part?"
It's a poor example, but the right idea. Instead, what if you are offered a high paying job and move your family to a new state, get settled and begin the orientation process for your new job. You find out that they require RFID implants for "security" (which has been proven to weaken security" ). How much free will do you have in this instance? Can you really afford not to take the job now? You'd have to have an almost religious mentality to refuse it at this point.

Another example, perhaps not so drastic. Companies push and push and finally get most everyone to use RFID implants as identification and method of payment. Because you're smart enough to know what a bad thing this is, you refuse, but find yourself inconvenienced everywhere. You can only shop at certain stores that still have non-RFID checkout. You pay an extra "cash handling" fee for not using the new methods. You have to drive 20 miles away to the only gas station around that's equiped to take non-RFID transactions.

Is it still a choice?

Note that both and are carrying this story and that Spychips lists Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida as more states with anti-implantation bills in the works. The first state to pass such a bill was Wisconsin (note the same flaw as the ND bill).

Before someone leaves a comment saying "well, you complain, but don't offer solutions!", here's the wording I would add to each of these bills:

"Futher, any company who offers RFID based services must also accept non-implanted RFID for those same services (ie, a RFID enabled card or token). Any company who offers incentive plans or otherwise implements hurdles, difficulties, or hardships for customers who chose not to use implanted RFID will be in violation of this law and subject to fines, per day per offense.

Any company who provides chip implantation services must make their customers aware of this law and have them sign a disclaimer before implantation. Should such a company be found to have misrepresented the law, minimized the law, or made it appear as if implantation were artificially superior in order to influence the customer to proceed with the implantation, that company shall be liable for the full cost of removing the chips at their expense and may additionally be fined or decertified."

There. That's a good start.

(Originally posted at n-illegal-in-north-dakota/)"

Submission + - Adobe boss: 'Microsoft a $50b monopolist'

An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Chizen comes out of the corner swinging, but then he has to considering the size of his opponent. The head of Adobe Systems has questioned Microsoft's commitment to keeping its new Silverlight platform compatible with other operating systems besides Windows. fm?newsid=17783

Feed Infrascanner: the handheld NIR hematoma detector (

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Handhelds

As technology continues to make doctors' lives a bit easier (not to mention saving a few in the process), we've got yet another device that can detect a potentially fatal problem long before mere humans can figure it out. The Indian-based Infrascanner is a "handheld, non-invasive, near-infrared (NIR) based mobile imaging device used to detect brain hematoma at the site of injury" within the most important stage of pre-analysis. The device could also aid in the decision to proceed with "other tests such as head Computed Tomography (CT) scans" when not "facilitating surgical intervention decisions." While the methods behind the scanning are quite sophisticated, the unit uses diffused optical tomography to convert the light differential data seen in the local concentrations of hemoglobin into "interpretative scientific results." Potentially best of all, however, is just how close this thing is to actually hitting hospital wards, as it's simply missing the oh-so-coveted FDA stamp of approval before it can see commercial use.

[Via MedGadget]

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Feed Senators Worried About Abuses Of Student Loan Personal Info (

Students who borrow money to pay for school are no strangers to junk mail and telemarketing calls from loan companies. Now, some senators are concerned that the companies are getting their marketing and contact information from a government database of borrowers to which they shouldn't have access. Borrowers' records in the database are only supposed to be accessed by companies that have their permission, or that have a financial relationship with them, but the amount of solicitations and marketing materials many students receive from a wide array of companies makes it fairly obvious that this isn't the case. This story comes amid a wider scandal in the student-loan industry, with officials from several schools accused of receiving kickbacks from loan companies, and allegations of lax oversight from a government department stacked with ex-employees from the companies they're supposed to be watching over. But the security hole is also representative of the government's lack of interest in protecting personal data. If federal and state governments can't be bothered to secure the information, it's probably unreasonable to expect them to do anything to make sure the private sector takes security seriously either.

Submission + - 22 Dead In Virginia Tech Shooting

nexuspal writes: 22 confirmed dead at Virginia Tech. Shooter killed some at residence hall then two hours later killed others in classrooms. Worst school shooting in US history. CNN Link

Submission + - Shooting Massacre at Virginia Tech

ConcernedStudent writes: "A violent gunman has apparently unleashed a deadly massacre on the famed science and tech campus, Virginia Polytechnic University (better known as Virginia Tech). The first reports of gunshots were received by police around 7:15 A.M. but shooting continued across the campus for hours longer. Over 25 people are now confirmed dead with many more injured. The shooter appears to have either killed himself or to have been killed by responding police officers. The New York Times has posted front page coverage, and the local Roanoke Times has been providing blog-style coverage, updated regularly. NYT Link — g.html?hp Roanoke Times Link — "
United States

Submission + - Shotting at Virginia Tech

Zgonjko writes: BBC reports, among other news channels, about a shotting this morning at Virginia Tech University, in Blacksburg. It appears that a lone gunman oppened fire first at a dormitory, then at an Engineering building a couple of hours later. He is presumed to be one of the dead, which authorities say number at least 20, with at least another 20 injured. A horrible tragedy like this one is sure to stir up the debate on gun rights, one year before the US election.
United States

Submission + - Virginia Tech Shootings

mudetroit writes: "I am sure that this is already being reported by a number of sources, but there are 22 confirmed dead on the campus of Virginia Tech University. The details of the whole incident are still unfolding. Virginia Tech is asking parents or family wishing to reunite with students on campus to go to the Inn at Virginia Tech."

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