European Commission wants to break the web, give publishers the right to charge for inbound links

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The European Commission's "copyright modernisation" plan is an unmitigated disaster, but there's one particularly insane section of it that I want to call your attention to: the "link tax," which entitles publishers to payment when people link to them on the internet. Read the rest

Chase freezes man's bank account because his dog's name, 'Dash,' looked like 'Daesh'

Seriously, guys? [Shutterstock.com]

Bruce Francis transferred some money to his dog walker to pay for services to his pit bull, and wrote the dog's name, "Dash," in the notes field.

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BC town votes to install imaginary GPS trackers in criminals

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The town council of Williams Lake, British Columbia has unanimously passed a motion to implant GPS trackers in "high risk offenders." Implantable GPS trackers don't exist. Read the rest

After 3d grade complaint, Florida school district bans award-winning "This One Summer" from high-school library

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Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship sez, "A Florida parent thought 'This One Summer' was too graphic for an elementary school library. The district agreed, and then went further; they're restricting access to the graphic novel in the high school libraries as well. Read the rest

California assemblyman joins NY legislator in proposing ban on crypto for phones

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California assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-9th) has copy-pasted New York assemblyman Matthew Titone's (D-61st) insane, reality-denying bill that bans companies from selling smartphones with working crypto on them, introducing nearly identical measures in the California legislature. Read the rest

New EU rules would ban under-16s from social media

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A last-minute change to pending EU data-protection rules will ban under-16s from using social media without explicit parental consent -- the rules are up for a vote on Tuesday. Read the rest

North Carolina town rejects solar because it'll suck up sunlight and kill the plants

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A town meeting in Woodland, North Carolina heard public comments on a proposed solar farm in which citizens, including a retired science teacher called Jane Mann spoke out against the proposal. Read the rest

Britons will need copyright licenses to post photos of their own furniture

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The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 is set to kick in, and with it will come an extended term of copyright for designer objects, such as furniture, which will endure for 70 years after the creator's death -- meaning that you'll need a license to post photographs of your own belongings. Read the rest

UK National Crime Agency: if your kids like computers, they're probably criminals

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Warning signs that your kid is involved in cybercrime: "Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?" Read the rest

TSA says it will sue woman who tried to bring apple butter on plane

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In 2003, the TSA fined Mary Hostein of Michigan for trying to take a a jar of apple butter through airport security.

When an agent told Hostein that the spread was a liquid, and therefore subject to the TSA's 3-ounce limit, she went to another line to see if the TSA agent stationed there was just as stupid as the first. He was, and Hostein was issued a $2,000 fine. She doesn't think she should pay it. The TSA says they are going to sue her.

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Louisiana townsfolk terror-freak over Hebrew "welcome home" sign

Several residents of Rapides Parish called the sherriff's office to report a "terror message" on a sign that actually said "Welcome home, Yamit," in Hebrew. Read the rest

Smart Grid consortium rolled its own crypto, which is always, always a bad idea

When you make up your own crypto, it's only secure against people stupider than you, and there are lots of people smarter than the designers of the Open Smart Grid Protocol, who rolled their own (terrible) crypto rather than availing themselves of the numerous, excellent, free public cryptographic protocols. Read the rest

Town will cut off power to families of kids who commit vandalism

If your child commits vandalism, the Farmer City, IL council want to cut off electrical power to your house. Read the rest

School bus driver bans little girl from reading

The school bus driver in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec told 8 year old Sarah Auger she wasn't allowed to read on the way to and from school because she might poke herself in the eye with a corner of the book. Read the rest

Family fake-kidnapped 6-year-old to teach him to mistrust strangers

The Troy, MO family of a six-year-old boy staged a kidnapping in which they terrorized him and made him believe that he would be sold into sex slavery, because they wanted to convince him not to be so "nice" to strangers. Read the rest

Necromantic lawyers say George Patton can't appear in video games

California's insane publicity rights regime mean that the general -- who's been dead for 69 years -- can't be a video-game character because people might mistakenly think he endorses the game. Read the rest

Predictable: bare-rotored flying misletoe-copter at T.G.I. Friday's slices up bystander's face

A newspaper photographer reporting on a TGI Friday's flying "Mobile Mistletoe" drone had her face sliced open by the 23" drone's six bare rotors, and Friday's blamed her for the injury, saying she flinched when the restaurant's drone pilot landed a smaller copter on her outstretched hand. Read the rest

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