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Eternal Copyright: a Modest Proposal 184

New submitter SpockLogic writes "The Telegraphs has a tongue in cheek essay in praise of eternal copyright by the founder of an online games company. Quoting: 'Imagine you're a new parent at 30 years old and you've just published a bestselling new novel. Under the current system, if you lived to 70 years old and your descendants all had children at the age of 30, the copyright in your book – and thus the proceeds – would provide for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. But what, I ask, about your great-great-great-grandchildren? What do they get? How can our laws be so heartless as to deny them the benefit of your hard work in the name of some do-gooding concept as the "public good," simply because they were born a mere century and a half after the book was written? After all, when you wrote your book, it sprung from your mind fully-formed, without requiring any inspiration from other creative works – you owe nothing at all to the public. And what would the public do with your book, even if they had it? Most likely, they'd just make it worse.'"

Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business 60

redletterdave writes "Samsung Electronics announced Monday that it will spin off its LCD business division to launch a new entity, provisionally called Samsung Display Co., set to go live on April 1, 2012. The new business will launch with about $668 million in capital, but Samsung plans to invest about $5.8 billion in 2012 to develop better displays. The move, which now awaits shareholder approval, has been rumored for months since Samsung's LCD business announced operating losses of $666 million in 2011, citing sluggish TV sales. The company's spin-off display business may eventually merge with Samsung Mobile Display, which makes the company's organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels that are currently in high demand."

James Randi's Latest Debunking Operation 498

An anonymous reader writes "The pair of documentarians behind An Honest Man — The Story of the Amazing James Randi will not only talk to the likes of like Adam Savage, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Penn and Teller about the life of the famous magician/skeptic, but they'll also follow Randi's latest operation as he assembles 'an Ocean's Eleven-type team for a carefully orchestrated exposure of a fraudulent religious organization.'"

Man Digs Out Basement Using Radio Controlled Toy Tractors 169

Phurge pointed out a story about a man with a fleet of remote control toys and a lot of patience. "Excavating a basement using professional machinery is nothing new but doing it with radio controlled (RC) scaled models is something unheard of. Welcome to the little big world of Joe, from Saskatchewan, Canada. For the past 7 years, Joe has been digging out his basement at an average annual rate of 8 to 9 cubic feet using nothing more than RC tractors and trucks. And we're talking about the whole nine yards here — he starts by transporting the excavator on an RC truck to the basement, unloads it, digs and uses other trucks to transfer the dirt up to the ground through a spiral ramp! He even has a miniature rock crusher! 'I feel quite fortunate to have stumbled onto this basement excavation idea, it's been a great past time to date dreaming up new ideas to tackle different projects along the way,' Joe wrote on the Scale4x4rc forums where he also posted pictures and videos of his feat."

A Memory of Light To Be Released January 8, 2013 228

First time accepted submitter Hotawa Hawk-eye writes "Tor Books has announced that the release date for the final volume in the Wheel of Time series of books, A Memory Of Light, will be January 8, 2013. [Barring a Mayan apocalypse, of course.] The fantasy series, started by Robert Jordan and continued by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death, will span 15 books and over 10,000 pages."

Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death 507

First time accepted submitter M.Nunez writes "Just 30 minutes after Whitney Houston died, Sony Music raised the price of Houston's greatest hits album, 'Ultimate Collection,' on iTunes and Amazon. Many technologists, including chairman of the NY Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej, suggests that Sony should be boycotted for the move. In a tweet, Rasiej wrote, 'Geez Sony raised price on Whitney Houston's music 30 min after death was announced. #FAIL...We should boycott Sony.'"

Steve Jobs Awarded Posthumous Grammy 176

An anonymous reader writes "Recognizing Steve Jobs's immense contribution to music, he was the recipient of the Grammy Trustees Award at the Grammy's this past Sunday. The award is handed out annually to 'individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.'" Eddy Cue, head of iTunes, accepted the Grammy in place of Jobs.

UK Law Enforcement Starts Seizing Music Blogs 310

Grumbleduke writes "From Dajaz1 (a site that is no stranger to unjustified copyright takedowns) we learn that the popular R&B website (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."

Television Next In Line For Industry-Wide Shakeup? 381

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."
Hardware Hacking

Stanford's Francis Fukuyama Builds Personal Surveillance Drone 92

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.

Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime 353

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.'"

From the Nuremberg Toy Fair, a New Linux System For RC Cars 81

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."

Replacing the World's Largest IMAX Screen 89

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."

Sale Or License? Sister Sledge Sues Over ITunes 257

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.'"

Pink Floyd Engineer Alan Parsons Rips Audiophiles, YouTube and Jonas Brothers 468

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."