NormalVisual writes: Disney is now asking its employees to chip in to promote the company's copyright agenda via the company's political action committee, DisneyPAC. CEO Bob Iger's letter to employees also lauds the company's success with the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty and the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the video service Aereo, and expresses the company's hope that DisneyPAC will be able to influence Congress in regards to lowering corporate tax rates. Not surprisingly, the company refuses to comment on the initiative.
NormalVisual writes: After decades of mystery, the lunar impact site for the Apollo 16 S-IVB third stage has finally been found. These boosters were directed to impact on the Moon beginning with Apollo 13 in order to allow scientists to learn more about the Moon's inner structure by measuring the effects of the collisions with lunar seismographs. Five boosters were directed into the Moon during the lunar missions, and the other four impact sites had already been found shortly after the missions themselves. The Apollo 16 booster had been difficult to find because of a loss of radio contact with the booster before the impact, and the actual impact location was 30 km away from the original estimate.
NormalVisual writes: The original 11-foot U.S.S. Enterprise studio model from the original series has gone back into the shop again. The Smithsonian owns the model and has had it on display in a gift shop at the National Air and Space Museum for the last 13 years, but will be placed on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall in 2016, to coincide with the museum's 40th anniversary. In the meantime, the model will be undergoing its fourth restoration to address a number of issues. The last restoration in 1991 was performed by Ed Miarecki, a professional modelmaker well known for his work in "Star Trek: The Next Generation", as well as films such as "Event Horizon". This previous restoration had Trek fans up in arms owing to the paint job, which many feel doesn't represent the way the model looked originally. Hopefully this next restoration will bring her back to her former glory.
NormalVisual writes: "It's a really tough time to be a patent owner", said Soverain Software, LLC president Katharine Wolanyk, after the Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated three of Soverain's shopping cart patents. Soverain had sued Newegg for allegedly infringing the patents in question, and had won in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Newegg later had the decision overturned on appeal, with the court ruling that the patents in question were obvious, and thus invalid.
NormalVisual writes: When the Jack Daniels distillery recently became aware of a book whose cover they felt substantially infringed their trademark, they didn't go into instant "Terminator mode" — instead, they wrote a very thoughtful, civil letter to the infringing party, and even offered to help defray the costs of coming into compliance. I believe plenty of other companies (and many in the tech world) could use this as an example of how *not* to alienate people and come off looking like a bunch of greedy jerks.
NormalVisual writes: License-plate reading cameras are popping up on utility poles all over St. Lawrence County in upstate New York, but no one is willing to say who they belong to . One camera was found by a utility crew, removed from the pole, and given to the local police. "Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier said he returned it to the owner, but wouldn’t say how he knew who the owner was, nor would he say who he gave it to....(Andrew) McMahon, the superintendent at Massena Electric Department, said one of his crews found a box on one of their poles and took it down because “it was in the electric space,” the top tier of wires on the pole above the telephone and cable TV wires, and whoever put it there had taken a chance with electrocution. He said they had never received a request or been informed about its placement."