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Submission + - Judge: eBay Can't Be Sued Over Seller Accused of Patent Infringement (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It's game over for an Alabama man who claims his patent on "Carpenter Bee Traps" is being infringed by competing products on eBay. Robert Blazer filed his lawsuit in 2015, saying that his U.S. Patent No. 8,375,624 was being infringed by a variety of products being sold on eBay. Blazer believed the online sales platform should have to pay him damages for infringing his patent. A patent can be infringed when someone sells or "offers to sell" a patented invention. At first, Blazer went through eBay's official channels for reporting infringement, filing a "Notice of Claimed Infringement," or NOCI. At that point, his patent hadn't even been issued yet and was still a pending application, so eBay told him to get back in touch if his patent was granted. On February 19, 2013, Blazer got his patent and ultimately sent multiple NOCI forms to eBay. However, eBay wouldn't take down any items, in keeping with its policy of responding to court orders of infringement and not mere allegations of infringement. In 2015, Blazer sued, saying that eBay had directly infringed his patent and also "induced" others to infringe. That lawsuit can't move forward, following an opinion (PDF) published this week by U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre. The judge found that eBay lacked any knowledge of actual infringement and rejected Blazer's argument that eBay was "willfully blind" to infringement of Blazer's patent. The opinion was first reported yesterday by The Recorder (registration required).

Comment To be honest (Score 1) 104

AFAIK the only FCC license Time Warner holds anymore is for a somewhat also-ran TV station in Atlanta that used to be the great WTBS, but has since been outsourced to the owner of another station there and has no ties to the TBS cable channel anymore. It will probably be sold to the owner of said other station in all likelihood.

Submission + - White House blocks news organizations from press briefing (cnn.com)

ClickOnThis writes: CNN reports that it, along with several other major news organizations, were blocked from attending a press briefing at the White House today. From the article:

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room. The gaggle was held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today."

The pool usually includes a representative from one television network and one print outlet. In this case, four of the five major television networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News — were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.

And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in.


Submission + - WSU Submits $100 Receipt as Evidence of "Concrete Harm" From Trump Order

theodp writes: As Trump's Executive Order on immigration awaits a vote on en banc rehearing, the Washington State Office of the Attorney General has notified the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that it has filed two additional declarations "concerning concrete harm to Washington’s universities". In his affidavit, Asif Chaudhry, VP for International Programs at Washington State University begins, "One student in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, who is from Iran, was registered for an academic conference in Canada scheduled to take place February 5 — 8, 2017. His WSU department paid for the conference. The receipt, made out to his department chair, is attached as Exhibit A. The department also planned to cover his travel expenses. Due to the executive order, the student was unable to attend the conference." Per Exhibit A, the dollar amount of the loss to WSU was a whopping $100. Chaudhry adds that WSU will also be harmed if it has to forego an incremental $15K or so in tuition and fees from international students over that ponied up by WA residents. Boosting the ranks of international students, WSU explains, "is an essential step in the Drive to 25, the university’s commitment to achieving recognition as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030" (WSU President Kirk Schulz suggested the initiative will also make WSU grads more attractive to Microsoft).

Submission + - Police Use Pacemaker Data To Charge Homeowner With Arson And Insurance Fraud

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: If you're dependent upon an embedded medical device, the device that helps keep you alive may also be used to incriminate you in a crime. Ross Compton, a 59-year-old homeowner in Ohio called 911 in September 2016 to say that his house was on fire, however there were many irregularities to the blaze that investigators found suspicious, such as contradictory statements from Compton and the way that the fire had started. In the ensuing investigation, the police secured a warrant for the logs from his pacemaker, specifically, "Compton’s heart rate, pacer demand and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire." They subsequently filed charges of felony aggravated arson and insurance fraud. Middletown Police said this was the first time it had used data from a heart device to make an arrest, but the pacemaker data proved to be an “excellent investigative tool;” the data from the pacemaker didn’t correspond with Compton’s version of what happened. The retrieved data was used to help indict Compton. Lt. Jimmy Cunningham stated, “It was one of the key pieces of evidence that allowed us to charge him.”

Submission + - How Airbnb Stopped Playing Nice (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: For years, Airbnb was the friendly foil to Uber, aiming to work with cities rather than against them. But as it grew and regulatory challenges mounted, the startup had to grow fangs. In an excerpt from his latest book, Brad Stone details how Airbnb became every bit as controversial as Uber, writing that "Airbnb had said it wanted to talk candidly with cities, to play by the rules, to be a partner. But in the end, there emerged an unavoidable fact: Chesky was every bit the warrior Travis Kalanick was. He believed so much in the promise of his company that he was going to fight for every inch of territory."

Submission + - Chrome Kills Ability to Disable Plugins, Hides HTTPS Info in Dev Tools (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has made a few changes to recent Chrome versions that most users are bound to disagree with since it takes away some of their control over the browser. The biggest of these is the removal of the chrome://plugins page in the upcoming Chrome 57 version, which practically prevents users from disabling Chrome plugins such as Widevine DRM, Native Client, Flash and the built-in PDF viewer.

The last two can still be disabled via options in the Settings section, but effectively, Google will prevent users from disabling the Widevine DRM and Native Client (NaCl), which are ironically two of the biggest sources of crashes and bugs in Chrome.

Furthermore, Google has also moved the information about a websites HTTPS status to the Dev Tools panel. This means that instead of clicking on an icon and seeing the site's certificate info, you now have to open Dev Tools, search for the Security tab, and find the certificate info in the bottom right panel.

Submission + - Underage Gambling, the seedy underside of eSports (espn.com)

yzf750 writes: Two prominent players running a gambling website catering to minors. Showing how they win big bucks on a coin flip while not revealing that they run the site. What is Valve doing or not doing.

Comment Re:Well (Score 2) 81

I'm not a millennial so I'm behind the times when it comes to apps. I've never heard of this Chinese Communist selfie app but it doesn't take an app to do a selfie. You've got an Android or iPhone builtin app to do it for you. It even lets you easily share it to Facebook. Who the hell really needs an add-on selfie app?

because of filters and stickers and editing stuff

Submission + - Apple removes Finder for Airpods app from its store

Ecuador writes: There was a $3.99 app that helped you find your Airpod if it was within bluetooth range. Even though it had a limited range, it might have been useful for some people to avoid Apple's $69 replacement fee. But Apple has apparently pulled the app with no explanation. According to the developer's reddit post:
"Yeah, just got off the phone with them. They didn't find anything wrong with the app itself, but rather they they didn't like the 'concept' of people finding their Airpods and hence was deemed 'not appropriate for the App Store'."
What is interesting, if what the developer is saying is true (it is a Reddit post after all), is that Apple does allow similar apps (from the same developer) for finding other devices (Fitbit, Jawbone), so they don't like the concept specifically as it applies to the Airpods. The speculation is that they either have similar functionality planned, or they really like that $69 replacement fee.

Submission + - Buggy Domain Validation Forces GoDaddy to Revoke Certs (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: GoDaddy has revoked, and begun the process of re-issuing, new SSL certificates for more than 6,000 customers after a bug was discovered in the registrar’s domain validation process.

The bug was introduced July 29 and impacted fewer than two percent of the certificates GoDaddy issued from that date through yesterday, said vice president and general manager of security products Wayne Thayer.

“GoDaddy inadvertently introduced the bug during a routine code change intended to improve our certificate issuance process,” Thayer said in a statement. “The bug caused the domain validation process to fail in certain circumstances.”

GoDaddy said it was not aware of any compromises related to the bug.

Submission + - Microsoft Anti-Porn Workers Sue Over PTSD (thedailybeast.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When former Microsoft employees complained of the horrific pornography and murder films they had to watch for their jobs, the software giant told them to just take more smoke breaks, a new lawsuit alleges. Members of Microsoft’s Online Safety Team had “God-like” status, former employees Henry Soto and Greg Blauert allege in a lawsuit filed on Dec. 30. They “could literally view any customer’s communications at any time.” Specifically, they were asked to screen Microsoft users’ communications for child pornography and evidence of other crimes. But Big Brother didn’t offer a good health care plan, the Microsoft employees allege. After years of being made to watch the “most twisted” videos on the internet, employees said they suffered severe psychological distress, while the company allegedly refused to provide a specially trained therapist or to pay for therapy. The two former employees and their families are suing for damages from what they describe as permanent psychological injuries, for which they were denied worker’s compensation. “Microsoft applies industry-leading, cutting-edge technology to help detect and classify illegal images of child abuse and exploitation that are shared by users on Microsoft Services,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email. “Once verified by a specially trained employee, the company removes the image, reports it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and bans the users who shared the images from our services. We have put in place robust wellness programs to ensure the employees who handle this material have the resources and support they need.” But the former employees allege neglect at Microsoft’s hands.

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