Google: Chrome will no longer trust Symantec certificates, 30% of the web will need to switch Certificate Authorities

In 2012, Google rolled out Certificate Transparency, a clever system to spot corrupt "Certificate Authorities," the entities who hand out the cryptographic certificates that secure the web. If Certificate Authorities fail to do their jobs, they put the entire electronic realm in danger -- bad certificates could allow anything from eavesdropping on financial transactions to spoofing industrial control systems into accepting malicious software updates. Read the rest

Trump's unhinged tweeting got him elected, and it's costing him in court, bigly

Trump went full berzerker last night after a judge in Hawaii shut down his new Muslim ban before it could go into effect, but he's only got himself to blame. Read the rest

Punched Nazi loses tax-exempt status

The National Policy Institute is Richard Spencer's white nationalist group, registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which can receive tax-free contributions from donors. Read the rest

If Google wins its trade secrets suit against Uber, it could tank Uber

Google is suing Uber, alleging that the company recruited a former Google exec who had secretly offered to give them access to trade-secrets from Google's self-driving car project. Read the rest

A brand without a base: Kmart, Sears, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Neiman-Marcus join Nordstroms in kicking Ivanka Trump's products to the curb

It seems there isn't a demographic that justifies stocking Ivanka Trump's "Trump Home" items -- they've now been removed from high-end retailer Nordstrom's, mid-range retailer Sears, and low-end retailer Kmart. They've also been removed from TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus. Read the rest

Bad driver honks at parked cars blocking his way, gets ticket

Caught on dashcam: a gentleman driving in the parking lane was annoyed with the parked cars blocking his right-of-way and honked his horn before swerving left and cutting off another driver (with a dashcam). When the gentleman was pulled over by the police, he said some bad words at the dashcam owner as he drove past him. Read the rest

Supercut of premature celebrators

Is there anything more fun that watching gloating showboaters get their comeuppance just a few seconds after they erroneously celebrate a victory? Read the rest

Copyright trolls Rightscorp are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy

Rightscorp, the copyright trolls whose business-model was convincing ISPs to freeze their customers' Internet access in response to unsubstantiated copyright accusations, and then ransom those connections back for $20 each, will be out of money by the end of this quarter. Read the rest

Chelsea Clinton's husband shuts down vulture fund after losing 90% of his investors' money

Chelsea Clinton's husband Marc Mezvinsky is a Goldman Sachs alumnus; in 2014, he founded Hellenic Opportunity, a hedge fund that raised $25M to bet on distressed assets from Greece's collapsed economy, wagering that the country's investors would force it to make deeper cuts to finance payments on the debts. Read the rest

Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies lose big at the Hugos UPDATED

Cixin Liu's "Three Body Problem" is the first-ever translation to win Best Novel; meanwhile, the uprecedented effort to put together an organized slate of science fiction that appealed to sexist (Sad Puppies) and misogynist/white supremacist (Rabid Puppies) and homophobic (both) orthodoxy to sweep the Hugos was a flop. Read the rest

Hacking Team leak: bogus copyright takedowns and mass DEA surveillance in Colombia

Fallout from yesterday's enormous dump of internal documents from Italy's notorious Hacking Team, a cyber-arms dealer for the world's worst autocratic regimes, is just getting started. Read the rest

Monster Cable founder sad about getting $0 from Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats By Dr. Dre

Noel Lee says he invented the headphones that are marketed by Beats by Dr. Dre. In May 2014, Apple paid $3 billion to buy Beats by Dr. Dre.

Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine got most of the proceeds of the sale and Lee got $0

. Now Lee is suing for at least $150 million. Lee is the founder of Monster Cable, a company with an obnoxious reputation for threatening to sue any company that uses the word "Monster." I can't help feeling a bit of schadenfreude towards Lee, who has made many people miserable by hitting them with time- and money-wasting legal threats. Read the rest

SF Chronicle's paywall comes down after only four months

After less than four months, the San Francisco Chronicle has torn down its paywall, saying little about what led to the decision. I presume that the signup numbers were very very low, and that the drop in ad-views was sufficiently alarming that it made management reconsider. Read the rest

Eolas, the grandaddy of patent trolls, has its ass handed to it by a court, finally

After a reign of terror lasting nearly two decades, the patent troll Eolas has been brought low. Its bullshit patent on "interactive features" of the Web -- which was filed six years after Tim Berners-Lee actually invented the stuff it laid claim to -- was used to suck millions out of companies from Microsoft to Yahoo and Amazon. A judge has ruled what everyone knew -- the patents were without merit and the lawsuits were just money-spinners for "inventors" whose only product was litigation. Good riddance, Eolas, and see you in Hell.

Under Doyle's conception of his own invention, practically any modern website owed him royalties. Playing a video online or rotating an image on a shopping website were "interactive" features that infringed his patents.

And unlike many "patent trolls" who simply settle for settlements just under the cost of litigation, Doyle's company had the chops, the lawyers, and the early filing date needed to extract tens of millions of dollars from the accused companies.

Eolas had kept filing lawsuits even after its trial loss, with cases against Disney, ESPN, ABC, Facebook, and Wal-Mart on hold awaiting the outcome of this appeal; those are all but doomed. Those lawsuits had asserted the two invalidated patents as well as two new ones, but the two newer patents both incorporate Eolas' first patent.

The Web’s longest nightmare ends: Eolas patents are dead on appeal [Joe Mullin/Ars Technica] Read the rest

Six million instantly obsolete Surface tablets poised to flood the retail channel

Yesterday, Microsoft announced a $900 million writedown triggered by the failure of their Surface tablets. According to David Gilbert at the International Business Times, this means there are about six million unsold tablets in inventory, shortly to flood the market at deep discounts. What should we do with these? Jailbreak 'em, install a free/open operating system, and use them as control systems for projects too complex for Raspberry Pi or Arduino? (via /.) Read the rest

Bubblenomics: how the Beanie Babies speculators got it wrong

Buzzfeed's Hunter Schwarz revisits 1998's "Scholastic Beanie Baby Handbook," which predicted values of Beanie Babies in 2008, and compares them to the current-day eBay clearing price for these same speculative items. For example, the Stripes the Dark Tiger doll, which retailed for $5 and traded for $250 in 1998 was predicted to rise to $1,000. Today it can be had on eBay for $9.95. And the $4,000-$5,000 estimated 2008 value for the Violet Teddy was also way off, though Violet is today a $700 item ($700 was also what it traded for in 1998).

How Much Beanie Babies Were Predicted To Be Worth Vs. How Much They’re Really Worth (via Digg) Read the rest

RIAA losing money, firing employees, giving execs raises

The RIAA has submitted its latest Form 990 tax filing to the IRS, which details the organization's precipitous shelving off in budget and employees (though the execs gave themselves fat raises):

The drop in income can be solely attributed to lower membership dues from the major music labels. Over the past two years label contributions have dropped to $23.6 million, and over a three-year period the labels cut back a total of $30 million, which is more than the RIAA’s total income today.

The cutbacks are not immediately apparent from the salaries paid to the top executives. RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman, for example, earned $1.46 million compared to $1.37 million the year before. Senior Executive Vice President Mitch Glazier also saw a modest rise in income from $618,946 to $642,591.

...The reduction in legal costs is even more significant, going from to $6.4 million to $1.2 million in two years. In part, this reduction was accomplished by no longer targeting individual file-sharers in copyright infringement lawsuits, which is a losing exercise for the group.

Looking through other income we see that the RIAA received $196,378 in “anti-piracy restitution,” coming from the damages awarded in lawsuits against Limewire and such.

RIAA Makes Drastic Employee Cuts as Revenue Plummets [Ernesto/TorrentFreak] Read the rest

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