ideonexus writes: Automakers have argued that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it unlawful for researchers to review the code controlling their vehicles without the manufacturer's permission, making it extremely difficult to expose software cheats like the one Volkswagen used to fake emissions tests. Arguing that this obfuscation of code goes so far as to endanger lives at times, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is countering that, "When you entrust your health, safety, or privacy to a device, the law shouldn’t punish you for trying to understand how that device works and whether it is trustworthy."
ideonexus writes: In February, Carnegie Mellon and Uber announced a partnership to develop driverless-car technology. After raising $5 billion from investors, Uber used the money to poach 40 of the university's researchers and scientists, offering them bonuses of hundreds of thousands of dollars and doubling their salaries. This has left the world's top robotics research institution in a crisis.
ideonexus writes: Aaron Clarey, author of the blog Return of Kings and prominent figure in the Men's Rights Movement, is calling for a boycott of George Miller's new edition to the Mad Max franchise "Mad Max: Fury Road," calling the film a "Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things..." and citing the fact that "Vagina Monologues" author Eve Ensler was brought in to coach the actresses on playing sex slaves who escape a warlord's possession. Critics have been applauding the film, which currently scores 98% on RottenTomatoes.
ideonexus writes: A recently published translation of a document circulated through various levels of the Chinese government outlines a plan to establish a "Social Credit System" that will assign a rating to each citizen based on their criminal record, credit record, and--most interestingly--morality based at least in part on online behavioral data harvested from sites like "Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent." Observed behaviors, such as whether a citizen spends their money on diapers or video games, will be used to determine which citizens best exemplify the "socialist core values."
ideonexus writes: "While the decision has been a footnote in most news stories, the Washington Post is raising the question of what it means that Google can shutdown access to the anti-Islam film in countries where that film has sparked riots, something the American government cannot do thanks to our First Amendment. A popular meme in the Information Age is that the Internet spreads democracy by enabling citizens to organize and speak out, but we forget that much of that speech is now hosted by third-parties who are under no obligation to protect it."
ideonexus writes: "Three members of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot will be sentenced Friday. The trio have spent five months in pretrial detention and face three to seven years in prison for 30 seconds of singing a "Punk Rock Prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour protesting Vladimir Putin's reelection. They chose to use their closing statements not to defend their actions, but to further register their protests against the state, its President, and the Russian Orthodox Church, which has called for divine retribution against the women. The trial has gained international attention and sparked a Free Pussy Riot movement."