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Submission + - Provision Killing Net Neutrality Threatens Must-Pass Spending Bill (

hondo77 writes: The Huffington Post reports: "Republicans have tucked an anti-net neutrality rider into a government spending bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing its open Internet rules.
The provision is just one of many riders in the financial services appropriations bill currently being hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. But as dozens of these unrelated policy measures are dropped, this one is sticking around — a fact that is especially troubling to net neutrality advocates, who worry it may make its way into a final must-pass spending bill, known as an omnibus."

Submission + - Copyright Troll's Property Seized to Pay Bankruptcy Debts (

ktetch-pirate writes: Copyright troll firm Prenda may be gone, but one of it's principles — Paul Hansmeier — is starting to feel Karma's burn. In a bankruptcy hearing on the 3rd, Judge Sanberg ordered it converted to Chapter 7, requiring assets be seized and liquidated to pay the 2.5M+ in debts including judgements from courts around the country, as well as proceeds from the sale of Hansmeier's 1.2M condo in Minnesota. She justified it saying he had a practice of deceiving the courts with his extortionate schemes.

Comment Actual Article about it Actually being a hoax (Score 1) 135

This was posted to slashdot after the "go live" time of the app/website, but only links to articles posted prior to the launch that speculated it was a hoax.

One of the authors (Alfred Ng) of one of those articles wrote a follow up piece *after* the launch, with the actual details of what the hoax actually was (A marketing stunt) and what registered users saw when they used the app at launch...

When the website went live at 5 p.m. on Monday, the app asked users to sign in using their Tinder, LinkedIn or create a new account. It matched all users up with a fighter named Dudecati. The user wouldn't be able to do anything but type back at the automated response. At the end of it, the bot tells users:

"ok in all seriousness though you're wasting your time here," and then redirects you to the group's website.

Submission + - mozilla CEO threatens anonymous mozilla employee for anti-SJW comment (

An anonymous reader writes: The Verge reports an impending witchhunt for criticizing a departed diversity-focused employee. The CEO explains he will fire the employee (if found) for "hate speech": "I'm talking about when you start saying 'someone's kind doesn't belong here, and we'll all be happy when they're gone.'", referring to the anonymous commenter, whose kind doesn't belong there, and the CEO will be happy when he/she is gone.

Submission + - CNN & CBC Sued For Pirating 31 Second YouTube Video

Dave Knott writes: CNN and Canada's CBC are being sued after the pair allegedly ripped a 31 second video from YouTube and used it in their broadcasts without a license. On November 18 2014, New York resident Alfonzo Cutaia decided to record event surrounding winter torm "Knife" on his mobile phone. Recognizing the potential for interest in his video, Cutaia uploaded his 32 second clip to YouTube, and opted to generate revenue via YouTube’s account monetization program. His video soon generated over 2.3 million hits and he was receiving requests from news outlets – CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, Reuters and AP – to use his footage. But according to a lawsuit filed this week by Cutaia in a New York court, around November 18 Canada’s CBC aired the video online without permission, with a CBC logo as an overlay. After complaining to the CBC about continued unauthorized use, last month Cutaia was told by the CBC that the company had obtained the video from CNN on a 10-day license. However, Cutaia claims that the video was used by the CBC and its partners for many months, having been supplied to them by CNN who also did not have a license. In his complaint, Cutaia accuses the news outlets of “intentional and willful” copyright infringement and seeks appropriate damages. Interestingly, the lawsuit also claims that both the CBC and CNN violated the DMCA when the companies ‘liberated’ it from the YouTube system and offered it for viewing elsewhere.

Submission + - Lenovo modifying Windows OS files from BIOS .. (

An anonymous reader writes: Before booting windows 7 or 8, the bios checks if C:\Windows\system32\autochk.exe is the Lenovo one or the original Microsoft one. If it is not the lenovo one, it moves it to C:\Windows\system32\0409\zz_sec\autobin.exe, and then writes it's own autochk.exe

Submission + - United flight costs less due to IT glitch, customer charged more after the fact (

ugen writes: This is a discussion on Flyertalk. Evidently, a United passenger accepted an attractive offer of upgrade when booking a flight on After flight was complete, United decided that the fare offered was an IT glitch, and charged the customer's credit card additional $1200 without prior notice.

Submission + - This App Lets You Piggyback Facebook's Free Internet to Access Any Site (

sarahnaomi writes: In countries like Zambia, Tanzania, or Kenya, where very few have access to the Internet, Facebook is bringing its own version of the net:, an app that gives mobile users free access to certain sites such as Google, Wikipedia and, of course, Facebook.

While the initiative has clearly positive goals, it’s also been criticized as an “imperialistic” push for Facebook colonies, where novice users will grow up thinking their restricted version of the web is the real internet.

To fight against that possibility, a 20-year-old developer from Paraguay is working on an app that tunnels the “regular” internet through Facebook Messenger, one of the services free to use on’s app. This allows users to establish a link to the outside, unrestricted internet, circumventing restrictions.

Submission + - Terrorists used false DMCA claims to get personal data of anti-islamic youtuber

An anonymous reader writes: German newspaper FAZ reports (google translated version) that, after facing false DMCA claims by "FirstCrist, Copyright" and threatened by youtube with takedown, a youtuber running the german version of islam-critic Al Hayat TV had to disclose their identity in order to get the channel back online, in accordance with youtube policy. Later, the channel staff got a mail containing a death threat by "FirstCrist, Copyright", containing: "thank you for your personal data. [...] take care your house gets police protection!". As the staff had already suspected that "FirstCrist, Copyright" were in fact islamists, they had tried to convince youtube youtube to find another way, but in vain.

Submission + - 'Police detector' monitors emergency radio transmissions ( 1

schwit1 writes: Now it’s law enforcement that has nowhere to hide, and that may or may not be a good thing. A Dutch company has introduced a detection system that can alert you if a police officer or other emergency services official is using a two-way radio nearby.

Blu Eye monitors frequencies used by the encrypted TETRA encrypted communications networks used by government agencies in Europe. It doesn’t allow the user to listen in to transmissions, but can detect a radio in operation up to one kilometer away.

Even if a message isn’t being sent, these radios send pulses out to the network every four seconds and Blu Eye can also pick these up, according to The Sunday Times. A dashboard-mounted monitor uses lights and sounds to alert the driver to the proximity of the source, similar to a radar detector interface.

Submission + - Solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead (

Elledan writes: Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more, even bigger plants until the impact of these plants on wildlife has been further investigated. The BrightSource solar plant in the Mojave Desert which was investigated reportedly kills between 1,000 and 28,000 birds a year with the concentrated solar energy from its 300,000 mirrors, charring and incinerating feathers of passing birds. This isn't the first report of negative environmental impact by this type of solar plant either.

Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body Screenshot-sm 160

An anonymous reader writes A Florida man currently on trial for murder reportedly attempted to use Siri to garner ideas about where to bury the body of his dead roommate. According to police allegations, a University of Florida student named Pedro Bravo murdered his roommate via strangulation in late September of 2012 over a dispute involving Bravo's ex- girlfriend. According to a detective working the case, Bravo subsequently fired up Siri on his iPhone and asked it "I need to hide my roommate."

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones 139

EthanV2 sends word that BlackBerry, having finally caught up to a world dominated by smartphones, is now trying to push the envelope by developing a smartphone with a square screen. The BlackBerry Passport has a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 1440x1440. The phone has a physical keyboard as well. In a blog post about the new phone, they show a picture with it side-by-side with an iPhone and a Galaxy S5 — the Passport is slightly taller than the iPhone, and significantly wider, as you'd expect. The Passport is a play for BlackBerry's "traditional" work-oriented user base, where the earlier BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 were efforts to break into the post-iPhone consumer smartphone space. Though the Passport may well be preferable for spreadsheets and word processing, that square screen will be much less useful for widescreen movies, and its wide, blocky design will entirely prohibit one-handed use. The Passport is expected to appear later this year, and it will launch with BlackBerry 10.3 (at least, according to early hands-on previews).

Submission + - Is Java to Blame for Lack of K-12 Programming Classes?

theodp writes: In December, President Obama, celebrities, politicians and tech companies came together to launch a national coding education push.'s rallying cry that "9 out of 10 schools don't even offer computer programming classes" surprised many, some of whom recalled being taught coding in elementary school in the early '80s. So, why the decreased interest in programming by kids? Interestingly, long before he joined's Leadership Team, IU Dean Bobby Schnabel co-authored a chapter on Education (pdf) for a 2006 ACM report which fingered Java as a villain: "One final possible explanation has to do with the quality of teaching and the nature of the material that is taught. High school curricula have changed in the last decade to focus on languages (primarily Java) and paradigms (object-oriented programming). The introductory college computing course also typically focuses on teaching the more modern object-oriented style of programming such as Java, in part because students who mastered these tools could readily find employment (at least in the 1990s). However, these tools are somewhat difficult for faculty to teach and students to learn especially compared to tools and skills taught in introductory courses in other science and engineering disciplines. The preparation of high school teachers who are teaching computer science has been an issue for many years, but the complication introduced by these new programming languages has made the quality of instruction even more problematic. Many high schools have eliminated computer science courses perhaps because it is so hard to teach." Along these lines, it should be noted that while Microsoft, Apple, and Google are now crying to Congress that little Johnny can't code, all three dumped their programming-for-the-masses offerings — Steve Jobs deep-sixed Hypercard, Microsoft killed BASIC, and Larry Page abandoned App Inventor. Curiously, the huge PR success enjoyed by the Hour of Code stemmed from a Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-narrated tutorial that employed Blockly, a programming-for-the-masses project that Neil Fraser brought back from the dead after Google killed it. So, if the tech giants want to get kids programming again, might shipping a usable-by-kids programming language on their devices again be a better strategy than giving $750-$1000 to teachers of's 20-hour course, or offering $100 to 'every U.S. public high school girl' who completes Codecademy's 15-hour JavaScript curriculum?

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