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Submission + - The "You Wouldn't Steal A Car" DVD Anti-Piracy Ads Used Stolen Music (abc.net.au) 1

dryriver writes: According to ABC, back in 2006, Buma/Stemra (Dutch Music Royalties Collection Agency) approached a Dutch musician, Melchior Reitveldt, to write some music for an anti-piracy ad, with the strict proviso that this music would be played only and exclusively at a local film festival. Mr. Reitveldt wrote the music, it was played, he got paid and all was well. But then, in 2007, he bought a Harry Potter DVD and to his surprise, there was his music in the anti-piracy ad at the beginning. His composition had been taken and used without his permission. In fact, it had been illegally used on dozens of movie DVDs, both in Holland and overseas. So Mr. Reitveldt went to the Buma/Stemra music royalty collection agency to clear up this misunderstanding, and ran into a brick wall. Nothing happened for a long time, and then pathetically small refunds were offered, and then they weren't paid in full, and the delaying tactics went on and on.The breakthrough came in 2011, 5 years later, when he secretly recorded a Buma director cynically telling him that "things could be sped up" if he let them "buy the music" for 1 Million Euros. The director had to resign in disgrace. In June 2012, a court ordered Buma/Stemra to repay the money.

Submission + - Tesla Unveils Residential 'Solar Roof' With Updated Battery Storage System (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla will build and sell its own line of solar panels with integrated batteries, the company announced at a press event at Universal Studios in LA, today. The Powerwall 2 will allow residential homeowners to replace their entire roof with solar panels and an updated Powerwall 2 battery system, making it much simpler for homes to be entirely powered by solar power. The roof is made of a textured glass tile with integrated solar cells. The roofs look "as good or better" than conventional roofs, according to Musk. They look like normal roofing tiles from the ground, but are completely transparent to the sun. The tiles are hydrographically printed, which, Musk says, makes each one a "special snowflake tile," and no two roofs will be the same. "You can take any two roofs that look like that and they will be different — because they are different," said Musk. There are a number of different versions of solar panels: Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile. Tesla says its glass tiles are much more durable than conventional roof tile — something that’s important in areas with risk of hail. The products are a "joint collaboration" between SolarCity and Tesla, according to SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. The Powerwall 2 can store 14 kWh of energy, with a 5 kW continuous power draw, and 7 kW peak. The battery is warranted for unlimited power cycles for up to 10 years. It can be floor or wall mounted, inside or outside. It can be used for load shifting or back-up power.

Submission + - The Music Industry's New War Is About So Much More Than Copyright (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Last month, Taylor Swift, U2, and around 180 other artists signed a letter calling on US lawmakers to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, or DMCA, which it said allowed "major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits” while leaving artists underpaid. (Though YouTube isn't mentioned by name, it's obvious to which "major tech companies” the letter is referring.) Still, while complaining (or hearing complaints) about low revenues from digital music has become as much a rock & roll cliche as devil horns or dying young, a deeper read of the industry's latest campaign against Silicon Valley “greed” (and 8 helpful charts) reveals that this "war" on online streaming is more complex than it seems: in spite of its efforts at a subscription service, YouTube's ad-based royalties remain a major issue. And untangling it is more important than ever: as it seeps again into the halls of Congress, the debate could impact copyright, online ads, and the future of making and listening to music.

Submission + - Hacked Smart Watch Can Reveal the Wearer's ATM Pin (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: By gaining access to the sensors in someone's smart watch, hackers could track the person's hand movements at an ATM and figure out his/her pin. The hacker needn't be anywhere near the ATM; data can be lifted from the smart watch by either a discreet wireless sniffer or by malware on the watch that sends info to a server. This is hardly the first demonstration of the security flaws in smart watches. Last year, a research group showed that a watch's sensors can reveal keystrokes on a computer keyboard.

Submission + - Man Faces Prison Sentence For Circumventing UK Pirate Site Blockade (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A UK's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has charged a man for operating several proxy sites and services that allowed UK Internet users to bypass local pirate site blockades. In a first of its kind prosecution, the Bakersfield resident is charged with several fraud offenses and one count of converting and/or transferring criminal property.

cityoflondonpoliceDuring the summer of 2014, City of London Police arrested the then 20-year-old Callum Haywood of Bakersfield for his involvement with several proxy sites and services.

Haywood was interrogated at a police station and later released on bail. He agreed to voluntarily hand over several domain names, but the police meanwhile continued working on the case.

Submission + - SourceForge now serving free software with a side of malware

simplypeachy writes: Not that long ago /. reported on Cnet wrapping software downloads with malware. Cnet chose the wrong guy to mess with when it was found even nmap wasn't safe to such underhanded and dangerous practises. Now it seems SourceForge is following in their footsteps as discovered by this Eset anti-virus user. Unsuspecting users will be suffering the joys of InstallCore if they install a hosted project's program that has been wrapped in the malware-bundling platform.

Submission + - Microsoft U-turns on XP support and patches IE flaw (pcpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: Microsoft has issued a patch for XP only three weeks after saying it would no longer support the aging OS. Last month's Patch Tuesday updates were supposed to be the last Windows XP ever got, but a serious flaw hitting all versions of Internet Explorer forced Microsoft to issue another fix.

Adrienne Hall of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing said that the seriousness of the flaw had been "overblown" because it happened so close to the end of support for XP. However, to keep users safe, Microsoft has made an "exception", suggesting XP users shouldn't hope it happens again.

Submission + - Your Audi Talks To Stop Lights Before You See Them 1

cartechboy writes: We've all been there: You're approaching a stop light and suddenly it goes from green to yellow, then quickly to the dreaded red. But what if your car could predict the timing of that stop light ahead? Audi has just introduced a traffic-light recognition system that can allow drivers to anticipate changing traffic lights. The Audi Online Traffic system reads from a city's central traffic computer, and transmits that information to the driver through the car's Driver Information Display. The system will also be able to tell drivers how long the lights they're sitting at will stay red, letting it prime an engine start-stop system. Audi says this could help drivers save time, and fuel too. That's likely true, but will it also gives drivers a sense of whether they can actually beat the light if they speed up?

Submission + - Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: Steven R. Spriggs was ticketed and fined $165 for violating California's law on cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle, which states that you can only use a phone while driving if you have a hands-free device. But he appealed the judgement, arguing that the law only applied to actually talking on the phone, whereas he had been caught checking his GPS app. Now an appeals court has agreed with him. The law in question was enacted in 2006, before the smartphone boom.

Submission + - Lessig Wins Fair Use Case (npr.org)

just_another_sean writes: An Australian record label that threatened to sue one of the world's most famous copyright attorneys for infringement has reached a settlement with him.

The settlement includes an admission that Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, had the right to use a song by the band Phoenix.

Submission + - Why Improbable Things Really Aren't (scientificamerican.com)

sixoh1 writes: Scientific American has an excellent summary of a new book "The Improbabilty Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day" by David J. Hand. The summary offers a quick way to relate statistical math (something that's really hard to intuit) to our daily experiences with unlikely events. The simple equations here make it easier to understand that improbable things really are not so improbable, which Hand call the "Improbability Principle":

How can a huge number of opportunities occur without people realizing they are there? The law of combinations, a related strand of the Improbability Principle, points the way. It says: the number of combinations of interacting elements increases exponentially with the number of elements. The “birthday problem” is a well-known example.

Now if only we could harness this to make an infinite improbability drive!

Submission + - U.S. Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index... Below Romania (rsf.org) 1

schwit1 writes: As one might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania.

Submission + - Astronomers Make the Science Case for a Mission to Neptune and Uranus (medium.com)

KentuckyFC writes: The only planets never to have been the subjects of bespoke space missions from Earth are Neptune and Uranus. Now European astronomers are planning to put that straight with a mission called Odinus, which involves twin spacecraft making the journey in 2034. Their justification is that the mission will help explain how the Solar System formed, how it ended up in the configuration we see today and may also explain why 'hot' Neptune-class planets are common around other stars. They also have to overcome the common misconception that Neptune and Uranus are just smaller, less interesting versions of Jupiter and Saturn. Nothing could be further from the truth. For a start, Neptune and Uranus and made of entirely different stuff--mostly ices such as water, ammonia and methane compared with hydrogen and helium for Jupiter and Saturn. That raises the question of how they formed and how they got to the distant reaches of the Solar System. However it happened, Uranus ended up lying on its side, probably because of a cataclysmic collision. And Neptune's largest moon Triton orbits in the opposite direction to its parent's rotation, the only moon in the Solar System to do this. How come? Another question still unanswered is who's going to pay for all this. The team are pinning their hopes on the European Space Agency which has already expressed interest. But would an international collaboration be a better option?

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