Grumbleduke writes "From Dajaz1 (a site that is no stranger to unjustified copyright takedowns) we learn that the popular R&B website rnbxclusive.com (warning: threatening message on site) has allegedly been seized by the Serious Organized Crime Agency, a UK law enforcement agency, and its operators arrested on fraud charges. Not only does the replacement message contain a number of factually dubious claims, it also shows the visitor's IP address, browser and operating system, and threatens to track and monitor them. At a time when copyright lobby groups are strongly pushing for even greater powers through laws such as SOPA and ACTA, one is left wondering why they think they need them, when police can shut down websites such as this at will."
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New submitter pjlehtim writes "In a recent interview. Samsung's AV product manager, Chris Moseley, said, 'TVs are ultimately about picture quality. ... and there is no way that anyone, new or old, can come along this year or next year and beat us on picture quality.' Sounds familiar? There must be a change in the perceived role of television in the entertainment ecosystem before the general public starts to care about the smart TVs manufacturers are trying to push. That change is likely to come from outside the traditional home entertainment industry. It's not about technology; it is about user experience, again."
HerbieTMac writes "Political science professor Francis Fukuyama builds and flies his own personal surveillance drones. His current model requires ground visibility but he is working on the HAM license that would allow fully remote operation. His YouTube videos (video 1 , video 2) are particularly impressive." I had no idea that Francis Fukuyama had such technical interests.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. 'If it encourages some people to wander away because it's not their favorite type of music, I guess that's OK,' says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven't reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using 'lovely lovely Ludwig Van' as a deterrent. 'Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth,' says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. 'Does it chase crime away?' adds Olson. 'It's hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Last weekend, during the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2012, I spotted a really cool new system for 'professional' RC models based on Embedded Linux. The WiRC allows you to control an RC car (or any other RC vehicle) with an iOS/Android device using WiFi. The core of this system is a 240 MHz ARM9 processor, with 16 MB SDRAM and 4 MB FLASH (with 2 USB ports and 802.11b/g WiFi, a microphone input and a Speaker output). It features 8+4 channels of output. A free software SDK is now in development to code your own transmitter applications."
lukehopewell1 writes "IMAX Sydney has replaced its screen — the largest in the world — at a cost of $250,000. Weighing over 800 kilograms, painting the screen took over 12 days and 350 kilograms of paint. Lifting the massive screen and installing it took a year of planning and 31 riggers. A neat photo gallery is included so you can get an idea of just how big a job this was."
Hugh Pickens writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports that members of the iconic disco-era musical group Sister Sledge have filed a major class action lawsuit against Warner Music Group claiming that the music giant's method for calculating digital music purchases as 'sales' rather than 'licenses' has cheated them out of millions of dollars from digital music sales. Songwriters typically make much less money when an album is 'sold' than they do when their music is 'licensed' (the rationale derives from the costs that used to be associated with the physical production of records) but record labels have taken the position that music sold via such digital stores as iTunes should be counted as 'sales' rather than licenses. The difference in revenue can be significant as Sister Sledge claim their record deal promises 25 percent of revenue from licenses but only 5-1/2% to 6-1/2% of net from sales. Eminem's publisher brought a nearly identical claim against Universal Music Group and won an important decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010 when the 9th Circuit ruled that iTunes' contract unambiguously provided that the music was licensed. The lawsuit argued that record companies' arrangements with digital retailers resembled a license more than it did a sale of a CD or record because, among other reasons, the labels furnished the seller with a single master recording that it then duplicated for customers. 'Unlike physical sales, where the record company manufactures each disc and has incremental costs, when they license to iTunes, all they do is turn over one master,' says attorney Richard S. Busch. 'It's only fair that the artist should receive 50 percent of the receipts.'"
First time accepted submitter CIStud writes "Famed 'Dark Side of the Moon' engineer Alan Parsons, who also worked on the Beatles 'Abbey Road,' says audiophiles spend too much money on equipment and ignore room acoustics. He also is surprised the music industry has not addressed the artists' rights violations taking place on YouTube, wonders why surround-sound mixes for albums never took off, and calls the Jonas Brothers 'garbage' all in one interview."
Harperdog writes "Laura Kahn has a lovely essay about the history of science fiction, and how science fiction can help explain concepts that are otherwise difficult for many...or perhaps, don't hold their interest. Interesting that Frankenstein is arguably the first time that science fiction appears. From Frankenstein to Jurassic Park, authors have been writing about 'mad scientists' messing around with life. Science fiction can be a powerful tool to influence society's views — one scientists should embrace."
First time accepted submitter psiogen writes "Flynn Michael, an instructor at New York Jedi, an organization that teaches 'practical knowledge of how to use a lightsaber, left his custom-crafted blade for only a few imperial minutes, but when he returned, it was gone. From the article:'“Who steals somebody’s lightsaber? It’s like stealing someone’s toy out of the sandbox,” said Michael, the founder of New York Jedi, a stage combat performance group. “I finally got my uber custom saber, and then some jerk walks out with it."'"
bs0d3 writes "After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3s has been found legal in America. One of the key decisions the judge had to make was whether MP3's were material objects or not. 'Material objects' are not subject to the distribution right stipulated in "17 USC 106(3)" which protects the sale of intellectual property copies. If MP3's are material objects than the resale of them is guaranteed legal under the first sale' exception in 17 USC 109. Capitol Records tried to argue that they were material objects under one law and not under the other. Today the judge has sided with the first-sale doctrine, which means he is seeing these as material objects."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The motion by Capitol Records for a preliminary injunction against used digital music marketplace ReDigi has been denied. After hearing almost two hours of oral argument by attorneys for both sides, Judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled from the bench (PDF), holding that plaintiff had failed to show 'irreparable harm.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "Joshua Phillips writes that something was lost when videos went from magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic discs, and now to digital streams as browsing aisles is no more and the once-great video shops slowly board up their windows across the country. Future generations may know little of the days when buying a movie meant you owned it even if the Internet went down and when getting a movie meant you had to scour aisles of boxes in search of one whose cover art called back a story that echoed your interests. Josh Johnson, one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary 'Rewind This!' hopes to tell the story of how and why home video came about, and how it changed our culture giving B movies and films that didn't make the silver screen their own chance to shine. 'Essentially, the rental market expanded, because of voracious consumer demand, into non-blockbuster, off-Hollywood video content which would never have had a theatrical life otherwise,' says Palmer. While researching the documentary Palmer found something interesting: there is a resurgence taking place of people going back to VHS because a massive number of films are 'trapped on VHS' with 30 and 40 percent of films released on VHS never to be seen again on any other format. 'Most of the true VHS fanatics are children of the 1980s,' says Palmer. 'Whether they are motivated by a sense of nostalgia or prefer the format for the grainy aesthetic qualities of magnetic tape or some other reason entirely unknown, each tapehead is unique like a snowflake.'"
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Google has sought leave to submit an amicus curiae brief against Capitol Records' preliminary injunction motion in Capitol Records v. ReDigi. In their letter seeking pre-motion conference or permission to file (PDF) Google argued that '[t]he continued vitality of the cloud computing industry — which constituted an estimated 41 billion dollar global market in 2010 — depends in large part on a few key legal principles that the preliminary injunction motion implicates.' Among them, Google argued, is the fact that mp3 files either are not 'material objects' and therefore not subject to the distribution right articulated in 17 USC 106(3) for 'copies and phonorecords,' or they are material objects and therefore subject to the 'first sale' exception to the distribution right articulated in 17 USC 109, but they can't be — as Capitol Records contends — material objects under one and not the other."
eldavojohn writes "Currently DC Comics' site has a banner announcing a new series called "Before Watchmen." Unfortunately the blog pages for this new series appear to be experiencing high traffic and are unreachable. But a number of sites are breaking down these new endeavors that will be giving backstories to the seven characters and who will be creating each of those series. There's also speculation ranging from how much this must upset Alan Moore (egg frying on his forehead seems to be the popular guess) to the theory that this is simply for more movie material. There's an abundance of information from interviews released today."