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Submission + - A New Documentary on Remix Culture & Fair Use (

somanyrobots writes: "Walking on Eggshells" is a 24-minute documentary about appropriation, creative influence, re-use and intellectual property in the remix age. It is a conversation among various musicians, visual artists, writers and lawyers, all sharing their views on why and how we use and create culture, and how intellectual property law, originally designed to provide people with incentives to create, sometimes hinders creative production far more than it enhances it.

This film is a final project for three students taking a seminar "Intellectual Property in the Digital Age" at Yale University.


Submission + - Cold War Warrantless Wiretapping (

somanyrobots writes: President Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document. The Dec. 19, 1974 White House memorandum, marked Top Secret/Exclusively Eyes Only and signed by Ford, gave then-Attorney General William B. Saxbe and his successors in office authorization "to approve, without prior judicial warrants, specific electronic surveillance within the United States which may be requested by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats 542

krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"

Comment Re:Starsiege: Tribes and Possibly Achron (Score 1) 325

Pretty sure the size was 64. And my favorite trivia about tribes was that skiing was entirely unintended by the devs; it's made possible by a bug in the physics engine. But people had so much fun with it, and it became such a core part of gameplay, that when the (disastrous) sequels were written (Tribes 2 and Tribes: Vengeance) it was preserved intentionally.

Comment Re:Freedom of speech .. (Score 2, Interesting) 187

It's ContentID. They do have humans who go through and review (they absolutely refuse to say how many), but ContentID does 90% of it these days. I spoke with one of the developers working on the system last fall, and they essentially consider it to be the Holy Grail of not having to waste time on DMCA notices. What's most likely is that in your case, the owner of the content hasn't asked YouTube to do anything about it, so they're merely flagging it, informing you, and not taking anything down. Compare to the big labels, which have YouTube take down flagged videos or, in some cases, give the labels a cut of the advertising revenue alongside them.


Submission + - Famed Space Artist Robert McCall Passes Away (

FleaPlus writes: The artist Robert McCall, who Isaac Asimov described as our 'nearest thing to an artist in residence from outer space,' has passed away at age 90. He began painting conceptual art and acting as a visual historian for NASA early in its history, envisioning the past and future of spaceflight long before the current age of 3D renderings and CGI animations. McCall eventually painted more than 400 pieces of space art (including movie posters for 2001 and the original Star Trek film), many of which can be seen in an online gallery (coral cache).

Submission + - Apple Threatens Man Over Selling Broken Stairstep (

somanyrobots writes: A former employee at Apple's Fifth Avenue Store in New York City came into possession of a cracked glass step, after a contractor performed the replacement. At the time, the contractor was preparing to dispose of the replaced step, and he simply asked if he could take one home. The contractors didn't have a problem with it, and even helped him load it into his car. Fast forward a few years later: the man recently put it up on eBay, and is now being threatened with litigation over the "stolen" step. Apple's contractor, Seele, has (ostensibly at Apple's behest) repeatedly threatened to sue over his possession of the glass stairstep. It's back up on eBay with a three-day auction. Any takers?

Submission + - "Fat" PS3s can't play games (

_xeno_ writes: People owning the older "fat" PS3 models are being greeted with "error 8001050F" when trying to access the PlayStation Network. Unfortunately, thanks to trophies being a part of PSN, what should prevent online gaming prevents any game with trophies from being played at all — even those with no online portion. Attempts to play a trophy-based game, and certain downloaded games, cause the game to quit with an error. The problem appears to be clock related — the issues started on March 1st GMT, with the time on the console being reset to 0. Resetting the clock manually doesn't fix the issue — games still cannot be played. The best explanation of the problem can be found on the NeoGAF forums. Although the image posted there is incorrect: the older PS3s aren't limited to nothing, they'll still browse the web and play music and show pictures. They just won't play games.

Submission + - Cute Baby Video Wins Battle Against Music Label (

Nrbelex writes: "Reuters is reporting that a California district court judge has rejected Universal Music Group's 2007 claim that a YouTube video of her toddler dancing to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" violated their intellectual property rights. With Lenz using fair use as her argument, the judge granted a partial summary judgment in her favor, paving the way for Lenz to collect attorneys fees."

Submission + - Artic Ice Satellite Data mis-interpeted (

lonecrow writes: Canadian Scientist David Barber travels to the arctic to confirm satellite readings of multi-year sea ice. He finds that what looks like multi-year sea ice from the satellites is actually more like re-frozen slush. Their finding indicate that Arctic sea ice is disappearing faster than scientists expected and faster then it appears from the satellite data . "It's happening much faster than our most pessimistic projections".

There is also short radio interview on a CBC national science show.


Submission + - Grimmelman on Google Books Summit Fairness Hearing (

somanyrobots writes: James Grimmelman's report from the Google Books Summit fairness hearing:

I was at the courthouse from 8:30 onwards, with the team of New York Law School students who’ve been working on the Public Index. We didn’t want to take any chances that we might not make it in. (Last time, we were among the very last people seated.) No worries there; we got great seats in the overflow room, and in the afternoon, in the courtroom itself. I’m very glad I had the student team along with me. Their observations and insights about the arguments and the lawyers were invaluable in helping me write up this post. Other than my conversation with them, I’ve avoided reading the press coverage; I wanted to provide a direct account of how I saw the day’s events, without being influenced by others’ takes.

Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 1) 439

Whoever was quoted on the 12GB storage savings per student was making up information. I would like an explanation of how 2GB email quota per student -- not measured usage -- becomes 12GB of storage; even including tape backups. If this statistic is true, the storage architecture for Yale email has been designed by an incompetent idiot. Explains why Yale has to outsource email.

I can provide you that explanation without compromising my contract; disclaimer, I'm a senior working for Yale ITS. Yale provides 2GB email inboxes, but keeps 7 days worth of daily (I believe midnight) backups. That way when someone goes over their 2GB quota and corrupts their inbox, and loses their mail, they've got 7 days to let us know and we can still restore 95% of their email. Better if our webmail service could simply bounce the excess email rather than corrupting the inbox, but c'est la vie. The 12GB of storage, I'm assuming, is the average; 7 times the average inbox size per student. Uncertain if the number is made up, or was discussed in the one meeting I wasn't present for, but it's a reasonable number either way. I suspect it came from the other meeting, because the people who originally spoke to the news aren't creative or intelligent enough to make it up.

Comment Re:I could have told you that. (Score 1) 938

Just a word of warning, ability-based tracking isn't a good idea without damn good aptitude tests (which don't exist). My girlfriend teaches in a piss-poor, underperforming elementary school, where the students are aggressively tracked (her 3rd-6th graders are all segregated into low- and high-performing classes). The high-aptitude kids benefit, there's no question; but all of the school's measurements for high-performing children heap poorly-behaved kids in with poorly-achieving ones. The result is that all of the unmotivated, bad-behavior students reinforce each other, so all the low-performing classes are behavioral train wrecks, and in a given day, the teacher's liable to waste anywhere between one- and three-quarters of the day on simple classroom management, every day. My girlfriend is one of the few teachers that moves around and sees all the kids, and half the time she gets so frustrated with the low-aptitude classes that she doesn't have the patience to do well with the good ones.

Ability-based education, like most education, only works when the students want to learn. And separating out a child's desire to learn from his ability to learn is damn near impossible, and something that aptitude tests just can't do.

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