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Submission + - Judge hints at jail time for porn troll Prenda Law (arstechnica.com)

rudy_wayne writes: A federal judge in Los Angeles has suggested serious penalties for Brett Gibbs, an attorney at porn copyright trolling firm Prenda Law. Facing allegations of fraud and identity theft, Gibbs will be required to explain himself at a March 11 hearing. And if Judge Otis Wright isn't satisfied with his answers, he may face fines and even jail time.

The identity theft allegations emerged late last year, when a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper told a Minnesota court he suspected Prenda Law named him as the CEO of two litigious offshore holding companies without his permission. Worried about exposing himself to potential liability for the firms' misconduct, Cooper asked the court to investigate the situation. Cooper's letter was spotted by Morgan Pietz, an attorney who represents "John Doe" defendants in California. He notified Judge Wright of the allegations.

Patents

Submission + - Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents ? (slashdot.org)

morto writes: "Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents?

I am always amazed by the ever-growing stupidity of software patents. Why is that so? Is it dumbness, corruption or something else?

Please illuminate me because it is looking pretty crazy from outside (and take into account that I am Brazilian, meaning I should be at this point well desensitized by government agencies stupidity and corruption)."

Education

Submission + - "Don't Copyright the Classroom!" (dontcopyrightme.com)

rogue-girl writes: The website supporting the petition explains: "A School Board in Maryland is considering a policy of copyrighting all student and teacher work. So a senior paper, a first grader's poem, and a teacher's art would all belong to the school system. This could set a precedent — can you imagine if every school did this?"
Google

Submission + - The hypocrisy behind Microsoft's Scroogled campaign (androidanalyse.com)

Gumbercules!! writes: "Microsoft has spent an significant amount of effort in recent years "playing the man and not the ball", so to speak. From FUD about Linux to Gmail-Man and now Scroogled, Microsoft seems more intent on finding fault in more popular services than in competing on their own merits. However with the latest attack on Google's Gmail, www.scroogled.com, Microsoft should perhaps be looking in their own backyard first. With it recently coming to light that Microsoft are doing the exact same thing they accuse Gmail of (reading your private information to serve ads), with voice calls in Skype."
Bug

Submission + - Samsung Laptop Bug is not Linux Specific (dreamwidth.org)

jones_supa writes: There is some new information about the Samsung laptop bricking UEFI bug in Matthew Garrett's blog. It can be triggered under Windows too, but the chain of events that causes the problem under Linux is as follows. The samsung-laptop driver needs to write certain magic values in order to trigger some system management code that actually performs the requested change. This is unusual in this day and age, but not unique. It turns out that it wasn't the writes that caused the problem, it was what happened next. Performing the writes triggered a hardware error of some description. There's code in the Linux kernel to make logging them easier on UEFI systems. Whenever a severe error is encountered, the kernel copies recent messages to the UEFI variable storage space. Unfortunately, it turns out that some Samsung laptops will fail to boot if too much of the variable storage space is used.

Submission + - Hasbro Buckles Down on Copyright Infringement, Pony Fans in Outrage (equestriadaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Back in 2011 there was a Slashdot story submitted about Hasbro's lenient copyright enforcement policies with regards to the then-new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reboot. Hasbro did not protest when older fans created parodies and derivative works (and they even turned a blind eye when full episodes of the show were uploaded to YouTube) as they saw this activity as helpful to growing the brand. This was largely successful: the "brony" fanbase has swelled to the millions (their news site Equestria Daily is actually capable of Slashdotting other websites), and My Little Pony--a franchise previously known for being of interest only to little girls--has made its mark in pop culture. Now, Hasbro's tune has changed. Parodies and other works have been taken down, leaving fans upset and very worried. It looks like the cease-and-desist recently sent out to the fan-made game "Fighting is Magic" has become the straw that broke the camel's back, sending the fanbase into a total furor. (The linked article has so far attracted 1000 comments in just over two hours.) Also, it's worth noting that Hasbro originally was fine with this game being created, and this reversal means the cease-and-desist came after months of development.

Yes, it's true that this is (or was originally) just a show for little girls. However, My Little Pony became huge among grown men (!) in part because Hasbro was lenient on copyright enforcement--they basically allowed their content to be pirated, seeing it as free advertising. Now that they've reversed their policy, what will this mean for the fans? And what will it mean for the franchise?

Earth

Submission + - In 2011, Fracking Was #2 in Causing Greenhouse Gas in US (businessweek.com)

eldavojohn writes: According to Bloomberg, drilling and fracking results in greenhouse gases second only to coal power plants in the United States. From the article, 'Emissions from drilling, including fracking, and leaks from transmission pipes totaled 225 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalents during 2011, second only to power plants, which emitted about 10 times that amount.' According to Mother Jones, we now have more giant methane fireballs than any other country in the world and we can now see once dim North Dakota at night from space.
Open Source

Submission + - Ubuntu for Smartphones Will Be Released in a Few Weeks (technologyreview.com)

moon_unit2 writes: Canonical says it will release a version of its OS for smartphones, along with a tool for installing it on Galaxy Nexus handsets in the next few weeks. Pat McGowan, director of engineering at Canonical, demonstrated the software at MIT last week, and said that carriers and hardware makers have shown a “very strong, good reaction” because they are so concerned about the amount of power Google has in mobile computing.
The Internet

Submission + - The Return of CISPA (thehill.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "House panel to reintroduce controversial cyber bill, setting up White House fight

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said Friday that they plan to re-introduce the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) next week during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The bill is aimed at improving information-sharing about cyber threats between government and industry so cyberattacks can be thwarted in real time.

"

Submission + - Texas school board searching for another theory besides evolution (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: [Ars Technica] recently reviewed the documentary The Revisionaries, which chronicles the actions of the Texas state school board as it attempted to rewrite the science and history standards that had been prepared by experts in education and the relevant subjects. For biology, the board's revisions meant that textbook publishers were instructed to help teachers and students "analyze all sides of scientific information" about evolution. Given that ideas only reach the status of theory if they have overwhelming evidence supporting them, it isn't at all clear what "all sides" would involve.
Government

Submission + - CISPA Coming Back: Cybersecurity Bill May Change Everything (hypervocal.com)

overmoderated writes: Yesterday, U.S. congressmen Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) announced before the House that they are planning to revive the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) and work closely with the White House to ensure its passage sometime later this year.

The unpopular legislative attempt at ramping up cybersecurity regulations was tabled indefinitely last year in August after it was shot down in a Senate vote, but some had raised the possibility that it could've been delayed by the lawmakers to avoid having to make a decision right before the elections.

Censorship

Submission + - ACTA and SOPA make a return via TAFTA (techdirt.com)

poetmatt writes: Techdirt notes that a new trade agreement is being released which will reintroduce the same IP maximalist issues from ACTA, SOPA and TPP previously, this time named TAFTA.

FTA: "More details are starting to come out as the main EU negotiator for ACTA, Karel de Gucht, came to DC to see about getting things kicked off, on an agreement that's being called TAFTA — the Trans Atlantic "Free Trade" Agreement. Of course, instead of recognizing the lessons from previous failed efforts to push for broken maximalist policies, it appears that the plan is to try, try again.

Submission + - House Intelligence Committee Plans To Re-introduce CISPA (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Dutch Ruppersberger, stated that he plans to re-introduce CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) along with Mike Rogers, the current Intelligence Chairman this year.

So will this bill get through the White House this time and threat yet again our Internet freedom, or this time will really be a good thing, making the share of cyber threats been done with more ease, while keeping the privacy of the normal user? In my opinion, a bill like this always has "collateral damage" and will only make the privacy invasion just less obvious, so I think this time it will pass, if people won't be aware of this in good time.

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