CBS smashes fans' virtual, noncommercial recreation of the USS Enterprise

For two years, a group of die-hard Star Trek fans labored to create Stage 9, a totally noncommercial virtual replica of the USS Enterprise built with Unreal Engine; they assumed that when CBS Vice President for Product Development John Van Citters was serious in 2016, when he publicly acknowledged the debt that Star Trek owes to its fans and assured people creating fan media that "They’re not going to hear from us. They’re not going to get a phone call, they’re not going to get an email. They’re not going to get anything that’s going to ruin their day one way or another and make them feel bad, like they’ve done something wrong." Read the rest

Korean 'Uncle Service' lets you hire thugs to intimidate your kids' bullies

For 500,000 KRW (443 USD), an Uncle Service will send a rough-looking, hulking man to your bullied kid's school to warn the bullies to stop picking on them -- or else. This is called the "Uncle Package." Read the rest

Mandalay Bay to mass-shooting survivors: we'll donate $500 to charity if you stipulate that we're suing you

Back in July, MGM Resorts -- owner of the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas -- sued more than 1,000 survivors of the mass-shooting that took place in October, 2017, trying to secure a judgment that would prevent any of the survivors from suing the company. Read the rest

Antivirus maker Sentinelone uses copyright claims to censor video of security research that revealed defects in its products

At this week's B-Sides Manchester security conference, James Williams gave a talk called "Next-gen AV vs my shitty code," in which he systematically revealed the dramatic shortcomings of anti-virus products that people pay good money for and trust to keep them safe -- making a strong case that these companies were selling defective goods. Read the rest

Sesame Street launches its first crowdfunded campaign, to prevent autistic kids from being bullied

This looks like a worthy cause -- Sesame Street is seeking $75k to fund its Autism Initiative to prevent bullying.

We’ve mapped out a multi-step plan to address bullying as it affects the autism community – starting with an enhanced digital storybook. Drawing on an extensive body of research, we’ll create a kid-appropriate story about understanding differences using everyday activities and play. Like our other Julia storybooks, it will offer parents and caregivers a safe and accessible starting point for deeper conversations with their children.

Contributions to the campaign will fund:

Rigorous work with expert advisers across some of the 250 autism organizations that helped us build the See Amazing initiative, ensuring that we’re telling the right story in the right way Writing, editing, and illustrating an uplifting story that models inclusive play, starring the beloved Sesame Street Muppets Supplementary materials for kids and adults, including articles for parents and caregivers that will address bullying in a direct and empowering way Recording sessions with the Sesame Street cast to provide audio for the digital storybook Translation work and additional recording sessions to version the storybook, articles, and other materials in Spanish (and potentially other languages) adjusting for cultural and linguistic nuances

Our initial goal of $75,000 will allow us to do the above. But there's more we can do, too. If we reach our first stretch goal — $150,000 — we’ll be able to create a printed storybook version of the story that we’ll distribute free of charge to 40,000 kids via our growing network of partner organizations.

Read the rest

Property developer caught using critic's photo in promotional materials, demands an end to criticism as a condition of paying for the use

"The Gentle Author" is the maintainer of Spitalfields Life, a blog that has featured a brilliant and moving series of essays about the history of East London; Author is also sharply critical of the plans by giant property developer Crest Nicholson to redevelop the site of a Victorian chest hospital and dig up an ancient tree called the Bethnal Green Mulberry. Read the rest

Ars Technica's Dan Goodin is being sued by Keeper Security over an article about a defect in its password manager

On December 15, Ars Technica ran a story by veteran security reporter Dan Goodin in which Goodin reported on a disclosure by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy, who had discovered that Keeper Security's password manager, bundled with Windows 10, was vulnerable to a password stealing bug that was very similar to a bug that had been published more than a year before. Read the rest

Mom puts recorder in her daughter's backpack to record bullying, charged with felony

Sarah Sims of Norfolk, West Virginia said school officials did nothing to stop her 9-year-old daughter from being bullied at school. So she put a digital audio recorder in her daughter's backpack to catch the bullying. The school found the recorder and police charged Sims with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She faces five years in prison on the felony charge.

From WishTV:

The recorder was found. The 9-year-old was moved to a new classroom and about a month later Sims was charged by police.

“I was mortified,” Sims said. “The next thing I know, I’m a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I’m trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?”

WAVY contacted Norfolk Schools and we were told because it is a pending investigation no one could comment on what happened. We were told that in elementary schools, no electronic devices are allowed.

“They aren’t making this about that classroom,” said Sims’ attorney Kristin Paulding. “[These] are charges that carry jail time.”

Read the rest

Olympics to companies: mentioning "Olympics" in social media is a trademark violation

The US Olympics Committee has sent a letter to companies that sponsor athletes but don't sponsor the games, warning them that mentioning the Olympics in social media is a trademark violation. Read the rest

Listen: whistleblower story that Marineland threatens to sue journalists for disclosing

Phil Demers worked as an animal trainer at Niagara Falls, Ontario's Marineland for 12 years before resigning because he believed that the animals in his care were being mistreated and he did not believe that his employers would listen to him or his colleagues' warnings about this. Read the rest

Ben Carson: I faked the names of kids I tried to stab or bash when I was a violent bully

U.S. Presidential candidate Ben Carson sure is one wacky guy. Read the rest

Trump's bullying tactics are like those of an eighth-grade girl, say experts

“He’s like an eighth-grade girl,” Rosalind Wiseman told Olivia Nuzzi of the Daily Beast. “As an educator who works with children, it’s an amazing thing to watch,” she said, “because you really wish the adults would be the adults and be able to check the person who’s abusing power and being so callous to other people.” Wiseman is the author of a book about middle-school girl bullying called Queen Bees and Wannabes, which served as the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls.

Nuzzi compiled a list of mean things Trump has said about other people:

John McCain (“not a war hero”), Jeb Bush (“low energy”), Lindsey Graham (“a beggar”), Anderson Cooper (“waste of time”), Megyn Kelly (“blood coming out of her wherever”), Juan Williams (“like a child”), Forbes magazine (“failed magazine”), The Des Moines Register (“very dishonest”), Arianna Huffington (“liberal clown”), The Weekly Standard (“small and slightly failing magazine”), Rick Perry (“should be forced to take an IQ test”), the Republican National Committee (“very foolish”), Heidi Klum (“no longer a 10”), Univision (“they are doing really badly”), The Wall Street Journal (“ever dwindling”), Carly Fiorina (“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”), Bobby Jindal (“I only respond to people that register more than 1 percent in the polls”), Rand Paul (“didn’t get the right gene”).

Trump might behave like a mean girl, says Wiseman, but his wealth and privilege mean that hasn't ever had "a moment of reckoning" like most bullies do, which "gets them to reform their behavior." Because Trump has never had to deal with any consequences for his bad behavior, he will continue to bully people. Read the rest

Legal threat against security researcher claims he violated lock's copyright

Mike Davis from Ioactive found serious flaws in the high-security the Cyberlock locks used by hospitals, airports and critical infrastructure, but when he announced his findings, he got a legal threat that cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read the rest

Pfizer threatens pharmacists, doctors if they take its name in vain

Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use. Read the rest

Roca Labs sues unhappy customer who agreed to testify against it

This is the "non-surgical gastric bypass" company whose terms of service forbid complaining, and require you to let them use any kind of success you experience to publicly endorse the company, who are suing pissedconsumer.com for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product. Read the rest

How Microsoft hacked trademark law to let it secretly seize whole businesses

The company expanded the "ex parte temporary restraining order" so it could stage one-sided, sealed proceedings to take away rival businesses' domains, sometimes knocking thousands of legit servers offline. Read the rest

Video: Death threats for skeptic who leafleted at Sally Morgan "psychic" show

When Mark Tilbrook politely and peacefully distributed leaflets at venues where "psychic" Sally Morgan was performing, her son and husband threatened to beat him up (and even to have him murdered), uttered homophobic and racist slurs, and, eventually, served him with a legal threat. Read the rest

More posts