When the FCC asked about unlocking set-top boxes, the Copyright Office ran to the MPAA

It's been more than 20 years since Congress told the FCC that it should do something about the cable and satellite companies' monopolies over set-top boxes (American households spend more than $200/year to rent these cheap, power-hungry, insecure, badly designed, trailing edge, feature-starved boxes), but it wasn't until this year that the FCC announced its Unlock the Box order and asked for comments. Read the rest

TED talk about remixes and appropriating made by remixing and appropriating TED talks about remixing and appropriating

Paul Fuog pieced this together out of 15 TED talks: it's pretty great, except what's with the low-energy narration? It's not very TED-like. Read the rest

Warner Bros angry that someone other than the MPAA is running an illegal internal movie server

Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped "screeners" (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites. Read the rest

Every Android device potentially vulnerable to "most serious" Linux escalation attack, ever

The Dirty Cow vulnerability dates back to code included in the Linux kernel in 2007, and it can be trivially weaponized into an easy-to-run exploit that allows user-space programs to execute as root, meaning that attackers can take over the entire device by getting their targets to run apps without administrator privileges. Read the rest

Mercedes' weird "Trolley Problem" announcement continues dumb debate about self-driving cars

In 1967, Philippa Foot posed the "Trolley Problem," an ethical conundrum about whether a bystander should be sacrificed to rescue the passengers of a speeding, out-of-control trolley; as self-driving cars have inched toward reality, this has been repurposed as a misleadingly chin-stroking question about autonomous vehicles: when faced with the choice of killing their owners or someone else, who should die? Read the rest

Public universities and even the US Navy have sold hundreds of patents to America's most notorious troll

Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy. Read the rest

Artoo-Deco, an art deco droid from author/maker Kurt Zimmerman

Kids' author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created "Artoo Deco," an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises. Read the rest

Negativland's next album comes with a baggie of Don Joyce's cremains

Good Hello, Consumers of Media About Media:

Courtesy of our friends at Boing Boing, this is Negativland speaking to you. Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!

Game developers say no to DRM: "hurts our customers"

The developers behind the hotly anticipated Shadow Warrior 2 have gone on record explaining why they didn't add DRM to their new title: they themselves hate DRM, and understand that DRM disproportionately inconveniences legit customers, not pirates who play cracked versions without DRM. Read the rest

Donald Trump performs Mahna Mahna

The Elfman score highlights the triggering, abuser body-language and pro-wrestler grimaces but Mahna Mahna deploys Jacob Two Two's law: "Monsters can't abide the laughter of children." Genius editing, too. Read the rest

A new certification program for Open Source Hardware

Michael Weinberg writes, "After over a year of community development, the Open Source Hardware Association has released its new certification program. Hardware with the certification logo is guaranteed to meet the community definition of open source hardware. As a bonus, any hardware registered before the end of October is eligible to receive the coveted 000001 unique ID registration number." Read the rest

The Copyright Office wants your comments on whether it should be illegal to fix your own stuff

Under Section 1201 of the DMCA, a law passed in 1998, people who fix things can be sued (and even jailed!) for violating copyright law, if fixing stuff involves bypassing some kind of copyright lock; this has incentivized manufacturers so that fixing your stuff means breaking this law, allowing them to decide who gets to fix your stuff and how much you have to pay to have it fixed. Read the rest

The Trolls: hilarious comedy about...patent trolls?

The Trolls is a new indie feature about plucky entrepreneurs who have their lives destroyed by patent trolls, so they patent the act of being a patent troll, and turn the tables! Read the rest

HP blinked! Let's keep the pressure on! [PLEASE SHARE!]

Only three days after EFF's open letter to HP over the company's deployment of a stealth "security update" that caused its printers to reject third-party cartridges, the company issued an apology promising to let customers optionally install another update to unbreak their printers. Read the rest

Google: if you support Amazon's Echo, you're cut off from Google Home and Chromecast

A closed-door unveiling of the forthcoming Google Home smart speaker platform included the nakedly anticompetitive news that vendors whose products support Amazon's Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google's own, rival platform. Read the rest

EFF to court: don't let US government prosecute professor over his book about securing computers

In July, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dr Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute Assistant Professor of Computer Science; now the US government has asked a court to dismiss Dr Green's claims. A brief from EFF explains what's at stake here: the right of security experts to tell us which computers are vulnerable to attack, and how to make them better. Read the rest

HP blinks, says it will restore printer functionality, but there's a LOT more it needs to do

More than 10,000 people have signed onto EFF's open letter to HP CEO Dion Weisler, taking the company to task for its dirty trick of using a security update to revoke its customers' ability to print with third-party ink. Read the rest

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