By timothy from Slashdot's trial-balloon department
writes Motherboard.vice offers an interesting scoop from the hacked Sony Pictures email trove. A plan championed by Polish marketing employee Magda Mastalerz was to upload false versions of highly-pirated Sony programming, effectively polluting torrent sites with false positives. For example, a "Hannibal"-themed anti-piracy ad to popular torrent sites disguised as the first episode. Sony Pictures legal department quashed the idea, saying that if pirate sites were illegal, it would also be illegal for Sony Pictures to upload onto them. There were plans in WW2 to drop phony counterfeit currency to disrupt markets, and I wonder why flooding underground markets with phony products isn't widespread. Why don't credit card companies manufacture fake lists of stolen credit card numbers, or phony social security numbers, for illegal trading sites? For that matter, would fake ivory, fake illegal porn, and other "false positives" discourage buyers? Or create alibis?Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's aeshetics-and-obligations department
The Associated Press, as carried by ABC News, reports that "An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena will hear arguments Monday by Google, which owns YouTube, disputing the court's decision to remove Innocence of Muslims
from the popular video sharing service." At the heart of the earlier take-down order, which was the result of a 2-1 split from a 3-judge panel, is the assertion of copyright by actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who appeared in the film, but in a role considerably different from the one she thought she was playing.Google is supported in its appeal by an unusual alliance that includes filmmakers, Internet rivals such as Yahoo and prominent news media companies such as The New York Times that don't want the court to infringe on First Amendment rights. Garcia has support from the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Musicians. If the court upholds the smaller panel's ruling, YouTube and other Internet companies could face takedown notices from others in minor video roles.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's serious-thoughts department
An anonymous reader send this link to a developing situation in Sydney, Australia, being reported on via live feed at the Guardian
, and covered by various other news outlets as well. According to CNN's coverage, "CNN affiliate Seven Network said that at least 13 people are being held at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe
. It published a photograph of people inside the cafe holding a black flag with Arabic writing on it. The flag reads: "There is no God but God and Mohammed is the prophet of God."
From The New York Times' coverage
: The police have shut down parts of the city’s transport system, and closed off the mall area. They would not confirm how many people were being held hostage inside the cafe, nor whether those inside are armed.
Local media reports said that the airspace over Sydney had been closed and the famed Sydney Opera House evacuated. Television images showed heavily armed officers with their weapons trained on the cafe.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's what's-english-for-bully? department
English-language site The Spain Report reports that Google's response to mandated payments for linking to and excerpting from Spanish news media sources — namely, shutting down Google News in Spain — doesn't sit well with Spanish Newspaper Publishers' Association
, whichissued a statement [Thursday] night saying that Google News was "not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position," recognising that Google's decision "will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses. Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies."
Irene Lanzaco, a spokeswoman for AEDE, told The Spain Report by telephone that "we're not asking Google to take a step backwards, we've always been open to negotiations with Google" but, she said: "Google has not taken a neutral stance. Of course they are free to close their business, but one thing is the closure of Google News and quite another the positioning in the general index."
Asked if the newspaper publishers' association had received any complaints from its members since Wednesday's announcement by Google, Mrs. Lanzaco refused to specify, but said: "Spanish publishers talk to AEDE constantly."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's fair-and-reasonable-response-to-bullies department
writes Parisian taxi drivers have vowed to block roads leading into the French capital on Monday to protest a court's refusal to ban urban ridesharing service UberPOP. Like their counterparts in large cities across the globe, Parisian taxi drivers are fed up with what they see as unfair competition from Uber's popular smartphone taxi service. UberPOP, which uses non-professional drivers using their own cars to take on passengers at budget rates, has 160,000 users in France, according to the company. A commercial court in Paris ruled on Friday that a new law making it harder for Uber drivers to solicit business could not be enforced until the government had published full details of the restrictions. "It's the straw that breaks the camel's back," said Ibrahima Sylla, president of France Taxis, whose organisation has joined several others in calling for the early morning protest on Monday. They have urged taxi drivers to gather at the northern Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport and the southern Orly airport at 05:00 am before slowly converging on the city in a bid to block arterial highways. "This is a fight against Uber. We're fed up. Allowing UberPOP means leaving 57,000 French taxis high and dry, and thus 57,000 families. And that is out of the question," said Sylla.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's if-the-president-does-it-is-isn't-illegal department
Forbes contributor Jason Evangelho has nothing good to say about a recent Windows 7 patch that's causing a range of trouble for some users
. He writes:If you have Windows 7 set to automatically update every Tuesday, it may be to permanently disable that feature. Microsoft has just confirmed that a recent update — specifically KB 3004394 — is causing a range of serious problems and recommends removing it.
The first issue that caught my attention, via AMD’s Robert Hallock, is that KB 3004394 blocks the installation or update of graphics drivers such as AMD’s new Catalyst Omega. Nvidia users are also reporting difficulty installing GeForce drivers, though I can’t confirm this personally as my machines are all Windows 8.1. Hallock recommended manually uninstalling the update, advice now echoed officially by Microsoft.
More troubles are detailed in the article; on the upside, Microsoft has released a fix
.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-getting-oh-so-close department
New submitter Admiral Jimbob McGif
writes Even as a massive firestorm burns uncontrollably threatening to scorch
the very foundations of the internet with AT&T indefinitely halting
future GigaPower FTTH
due to uncertainty
over the future of net neutrality and the Obama
administration proposing to regulate
the internet under Title 2, highly suggestive jobs were recently
to Google Careers.
These Google Fiber related positions include: "City
Impact Manager" and "Plant
Manager" in all potential Google Fiber
cities. Perplexing inconsistences abound, such as Portland,
Jose and Atlanta
positions being listed as local. Whereas San
< article continued at Slashdot
>Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's go-to-the-head-of-the-other-class department
By timothy from Slashdot's capability-vs-provider department
New submitter mrflash818
writes Facebook has dumped search results from Microsoft's Bing after the social networking giant earlier this week launched its own tool for finding comments and other information. According to Reuters, Facebook confirmed the move Friday.
TechCrunch, drawing on the same Reuters story
as VentureBeat, says "The report says that Facebook’s new search tool will give users the ability to filter through old comments and other information from friends. Facebook has been building out its search products for a long time, using Bing as an extra layer to provide results
beyond the Interest Graph in an effort to avoid letting rival Google into the system."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's holy-grail-and-life-of-brian-sections-would-suffice department
According to the Guardian, a "developing deal" for a theme park located in Kent could transform various BBC shows into Disney-style in-person experiences
. Says the article: BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has struck a deal with a Kuwait-backed property developer to allow a range of its programmes and characters to be “brought to life” at a new £2bn theme park and holiday resort to be built by the Thames estuary in north Kent, in partnership with Paramount Pictures.
London Resort Company Holdings has signed a development agreement with BBC Worldwide to feature the corporation’s intellectual property at the London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which promises to “combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture."
Shows named include Top Gear
, and Dr. Who
; I think I'd rather visit a theme park that was entirely based on Monty Python's Flying Circus
, but a Top Gear
racetrack or simulator would be fun.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's here-are-your-diagrams department
Home automation is a recurring topic around here; we've had stories about X-10-based home-brewed systems
, a protocol designed for automation
, and more than a few Ask Slashdots
. Now, an anonymous reader writes OpenMotics is an open source home automation hardware and software system that offers features like switching lights and outputs, multi-zone heating and cooling, power measurements, and automated actions. The system encompasses both open source software and hardware. For interoperability with other systems, the OpenMotics Gateway provides an API through which various actions can be executed. The project was open sourced 2 years ago and was started about 10 years. The choice to open source the project was very conscious: we want to offer a system where users are in full control over their home automation system.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's goes-one-narrative department
writes Energy expert H-Holger Rogner walks through the realities of the shale-gas boom, the 'game-changer' that has brought about a drop in energy prices and greatly reduced carbon emissions. But despite the positive impact on carbon emissions, Rogner points out that the cheap gas brought about by fracking shale may already be affecting investments into renewable energy, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency by offering more attractive investment opportunities: 'At today's prices of $4 to $5 per million British thermal units, gas-fired electricity holds a definite competitive advantage over new nuclear construction and unsubsidized renewables.' But natural gas is still a fossil fuel that emits carbon dioxide. 'A much higher share of natural gas in the energy mix would eventually raise emissions again, especially if gas not only displaces coal but also non-fossil energy sources. Moreover, methane, the chief component of natural gas, is itself a heat-trapping greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. If total methane leakage—from drilling through end use—is greater than about 4 percent, that could negate any climate benefits of switching from coal and oil to gas.' Terrific information.Read Replies (0)