UK government produces numbingly boring cartoon defending rights of copyright proprietors

Britain's Intellectual Property Office admits that its cartoon informing children about copyright infringement is "dry and niche," despite exciting scenes such an old man in a suit explaining intellectual property and a goatlike charicature of popular singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

The Intellectual Property Office is leading the government's efforts to crack down on internet piracy and protect the revenues of Britain's creative industries.

The government agency is spending £20,000 of its own money on the latest Nancy campaign, which is part-funded by the UK music industry.

Catherine Davies, head of the IPO's education outreach department, which already produces teaching materials for GCSE students, admitted IP was a "complex subject" for small children and something of a challenge to make accessible and entertaining.

Some fear, the BBC reports, that the campaign is so numbing and heavy-handed its message about piracy "could backfire." [via Tim Cushing] Read the rest

America's large hospital chains will start manufacturing generic drugs in order to beat shkrelic price-gouging

Hospital chain Intermountain Healthcare is leading a industry consortium representing 450 hospitals in total in an initiative to manufacture their own generic drugs, either directly or through subcontractors. Read the rest

Playboy is suing Boing Boing - but linking is not copyright infringement

A few weeks ago we were shocked to learn that Playboy had, without notifying us, sued us over this post (we learned about it when a journalist DM'ed us on Twitter to ask about it). Today, we filed a motion to dismiss, asking the judge to throw out this baseless, bizarre case. We really hope the courts see it our way, for all our sakes.

Playboy’s lawsuit is based on an imaginary (and dangerous) version of US copyright law that bears no connection to any US statute or precedent. Playboy -- once legendary champions for the First Amendment -- now advances a fringe copyright theory: that it is illegal to link to things other people have posted on the web, on pain of millions in damages -- the kinds of sums that would put us (and every other small publisher in America) out of business.

Rather than pursuing the individual who created the allegedly infringing archive, Playboy is pursuing a news site for pointing out the archive’s value as a historical document. In so doing, Playboy is seeking to change the legal system so that deep-pocketed opponents of journalism can shut down media organizations that displease them. It's a law that they could never get from Congress, but which they hope the courts will conjure into existence by wiping us off the net.

It's not just independent publishers who rely on the current state of copyright law, either. Major media outlets (like Playboy!) routinely link and embed media, without having to pay a lawyer to research the copyright status of something someone else posted, before discussing, explaining or criticizing it. Read the rest

#FISA: Senate passes bill to give NSA 6 more years of warrantless surveillance on Americans

The U.S. Senate today passed a bill that will renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program for six years with no substantive changes. It's bad news, say privacy and security advocates, but not a surprise. Read the rest

Just 30% of people interviewed in 134 countries approve of U.S. leadership under Trump

People in 134 countries rated their approval of U.S. leadership at an all-time low under President Donald Trump in a new Gallup poll released one year after he took office. The souring of global opinion toward America is most likely to benefit Russia, China, and European nations such as Germany. Read the rest

Trump personally made decision to curb Bannon's testimony to House Intel Committee

President Donald Trump himself made the decision and gave the executive order “to curtail the testimony of former chief White House political strategist Steve Bannon before the House Intelligence Committee,” FP reports, citing ”two people with firsthand knowledge of the matter.” Read the rest

Report: Trump told porn star to spank him with 'Forbes', maybe one with him & Ivanka on cover

Get your barf bag handy before you read this post. We're not joking. Read the rest

Snubbed by an airport: Chris Christie denied VIP entrance at Newark

Sick burn, EWR. The crooked as heck governor of New Jersey has barely been out of office for three whole days, and he gets escorted out by a cop when attempting to waddle his way into Newark International Airport's VIP entrance. Read the rest

Prince meets The Muppets (1997)

On September 13, 1997, Prince, who had changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, was the special guest on "Muppets Tonight." I like how he didn't take himself too seriously! But then, how could he with this crowd. P"Episode 201: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" (Muppet Wiki) Read the rest

New model of Panasonic's nose hair / ear hair trimmer for $13

I've owned the earlier model of Panasonic's nose hair and ear hair trimmer for over ten years, and it still works perfectly. I've never had the sharpen the blades. (Can they even be sharpened?) It's easy to clean - just turn it on and run it under water -- the "'Vortex Cleaning System' draws in water from all sides and spins through the trimmer for easy nasal hair trimmer cleaning in seconds." It uses a single AA battery, which lasts months, even for a astonishingly hirsute personage such as myself.

The new model features some kind of "advanced micro-vacuum system designed to quickly and neatly collect and deposit nose, ear and other trimmed hair particles into an easy-clean collection chamber." It's regularly $15, but is on sale for $12 on Amazon when you click the little green coupon button on the product page. Read the rest

Joe Arpaio's senate run will help a Democrat get elected

Paul Waldman, a senior writer with The American Prospect magazine and a blogger for The Washington Post, says democrats should be thanks that racist criminal nutcase Joe Arpaio is running for the Senate. And on the outside chance he wins, he won't be able to do much more damage than the average GOP senator anyway.

From The Week:

Republican primary voters gripped in a Tea Party fervor nominate the nuttiest candidate in the race, who then proceeds to lose what would have been a winnable election. There was Todd Akin, who in the red state of Missouri torpedoed his 2012 bid by telling an interviewer that rape and incest exceptions for abortion bans weren't all that important because "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down." There was Richard Mourdock of Indiana, who blew his own Senate candidacy two months later on the same subject, saying that if a woman is raped and gets pregnant "it is something that God intended to happen." There was Sharron Angle, who lost a 2010 race to Harry Reid in Nevada after saying all kinds of controversial things, including that "if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies." And then there's my favorite, Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, who not only inflated her resume but was forced to air an ad that began with the words, "I'm not a witch." For Democrats, these candidates' missteps were like deus ex machinas that appeared out of nowhere to rescue them from electoral defeat.

Read the rest

Silverybield Foss, a tiny game with a terrific ending

Silverybield Foss is a simple, very low-fi walking simulator by Twisted Tree (of Proteus fame) that knows where you're going. You'll arrive (using arrow keys) in just a few minutes.

The location is loosely based on Carlingill in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, UK. The name "Silverybield" comes from the (unrelated) location in this news story, which I felt was too nice a word not to use. Bield is an old dialect word for shelter. Foss is the Old Norse word for waterfall, usually found as "force" in place names. You can read more about Cumbrian toponyms here.

If you get snagged between two locations flipping between one another, trying moving right instead of up. Read the rest

Dylan Farrow speaks on TV for first time about her sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen

Dylan Farrow was seven years old when she told her mother, Mia Farrow, that her father, Woody Allen had sexually molested her. She described the assault in detail in a 2014 open letter published in The New York Times. Today she went on CBS This Morning to talk about the alleged assault. Read the rest

Incredible meteor over Michigan

“I went to turn and I noticed a ball of flame coming at an angle,” Danny McEwen Jr. told the Detroit News. "...It just blew up into a bunch of sparks. I didn’t even know what to think. It was kind of odd how orange the sky was behind me and this blaze of flame out of nowhere.”

A brilliant meteor tore through Earth's atmosphere around 8pm on Tuesday night over southeastern Michigan. The United States Geological Survey measured the rumble as equivalent to a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.

From the Washington Post:

(NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office lead Bill) Cooke said the fireball was caused by a small asteroid about one to two yards in diameter, moving at 28,000 mph. When it entered into the atmosphere, he said, it heated up and began to melt away, producing the bright light that people saw...

In the case of the Michigan meteoroid, NASA’s Cooke said, “there are probably meteorites on the ground in southeast Michigan right now. . . . I’m sure the meteorite hunters will be out in force.”

More at the Detroit News: "Hunt on for spec of space rock that shook Michigan" Read the rest

Colbert reads porn star Stormy Daniels sex affair with Trump

In 2011, before she signed her non-disclosure agreement with Trump, porn actress Stormy Daniels gave a detailed account of her 2006 sex affair with Trump to InTouch magazine. During last night's airing of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert read some of the choice bits.

When she arrived, he was wearing sweatpants, and they ended up eating in his hotel room." "He told me...I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter." "...he showed off a magazine cover featuring himself." "When I came out, he was sitting on the bed and he was like, 'Come here.' And I was like, 'Ugh, here we go.'" "...he let down his guard and became sheepish. It was almost like he was so taken with me that I could move him around like a puppet." "I actually don't even know why I did it." "...but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, 'Please, don't try to pay me.'" She described the sex as 'textbook generic.' Read the rest

EFF to NSA: you scammed your way to another six years of warrantless spying, and you'd better enjoy it while it lasts

Last week, cowards from both sides of the aisle caved into America's lawless spy agencies, and today bipartisan senators reprised that cowardice to ensure that the Senate would not get a chance to vote on amendments to the renewal of Section 702, the rule that has allowed the NSA to conduct mass, warrantless surveillance on Americans in secret, without meaningful oversight or limits. Read the rest

Yay for glass iPhone screensavers!

Yet again an OMOTON iPhone screen saver spared me a trip to the Apple Store.

I can credit these screensavers for having taking a hit that'd have cost me $100+ many times over the last year, and again this week! It had been almost 6 months since I'd busted a one of these, but all it takes is a second of inattention and...

I just ordered a new set. Easy to apply, the peace of mind OMOTON's screen savers provide me is more than worth the effort.

Make sure to get the right one for your model phone!

OMOTON 9H Hardness HD Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 8 Plus / iPhone 7 Plus, 2 Pack via Amazon Read the rest

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