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Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws 228

pigrabbitbear writes "Lamar Smith just can't get a break. The Texas congressman and widely despised author of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) ruffled the Internet's feathers once again this week with the quiet unveiling of a new piece of legislation that's drawing criticism for being plucked out of SOPA's language and rushed through Congress. The Intellectual Property Attaché Act (IPAA) would streamline the process by which the U.S. protects its intellectual property by enforcing U.S. copyright law abroad through specially assigned diplomats or attachés. These officers would report to a new agency-level position, the Assistant Secretary for Intellectual Property and push agendas that, according to the bill's language, are 'consistent with the economic interests of the United States, both domestically and abroad.'"
Open Source

Man Tries To Live an Open Source Life For a Year 332

jfruh writes "Sam Muirhead, a New Zealand filmmaker living Berlin, will, on the 1st of August, begin an experiment in living an open source life for a year. But this is going way beyond just trading in his Mac for a Linux machine and Final Cut Pro for Novacut. He's also going to live in a house based on an open source design, and he notes that trying to develop and use some form of open source toilet paper will be an "interesting and possibly painful process.""

Appeals Court Upholds Sanction Against BitTorrent Download Attorney 90

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld sanctions awarded by a District Court against one of the lawyers bringing copyright infringement cases against individuals for BitTorrent movie downloads, in Mick Haig Productions v. Does 1-670. The Court's opinion (PDF) described the lawyer's 'strategy' as 'suing anonymous internet users for allegedly downloading pornography illegally using the powers of the court to find their identity, then shaming or intimidating them into settling for thousands of dollars — a tactic that he has employed all across the state and that has been replicated by others across the country.'"

MIT Develops Holographic, Glasses-Free 3D TV 98

MrSeb writes "Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are busy working on a type of 3D display capable of presenting a 3D image without eye gear. What you've been presented with at your local cinema (with 3D glasses) or on your Nintendo 3DS console (with your naked eye) pales in comparison to what these guys and gals are trying to develop: a truly immersive 3D experience, not unlike a hologram, that changes perspective as you move around. The project is called High Rank 3D (HR3D). To begin with, HR3D involved a sandwich of two LCD displays, and advanced algorithms for generating top and bottom images that change with varying perspectives. With literally hundreds of perspectives needed to accommodate a moving viewer, maintaining a realistic 3D illusion would require a display with a 1,000Hz refresh rate. To get around this issue, the MIT team introduced a third LCD screen to the mix. This third layer brings the refresh rate requirement down to a much more manageable 360Hz — almost within range of commercially produced LCD panels."
Data Storage

A Million-Year Hard Disk 394

sciencehabit writes "Pity the builders of nuclear waste repositories. They have to preserve records of what they've buried and where, not for a few years but for tens of thousands of years, perhaps even millions. Trouble is, no current storage medium lasts that long. Today, Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA presented one possible solution to the problem: a sapphire disk inside which information is engraved using platinum. The prototype shown costs €25,000 to make, but Charton says it will survive for a million years. The aim, Charton says, is to provide 'information for future archaeologists.' But, he concedes: 'We have no idea what language to write it in.'"
Businesses Sold To Betaworks For $500,000 193

New submitter MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "The once popular social news website, which received $45 million in funding, is being sold to to Betaworks for $500,000. From the article: 'Betaworks is acquiring the Digg brand, website, and technology, but not its employees. Digg will be folded into, Betaworks' social news aggregator. This is not the outcome people expected for Digg. In 2008, Google was reportedly set to buy it for $200 million.'" Update: 07/13 12:26 GMT by S : Looks like real number is about $16 million.

Android Forums Hacked: 1 Million User Credentials Stolen 93

An anonymous reader writes "Phandroid's has been hacked. The database that powers the site was compromised and more than one million user account details were stolen. If you use the forum, make sure to change your password ASAP. From the article: 'Phandroid has revealed that its Android Forums website was hacked this week using a known exploit. The data that was accessed includes usernames, e-mail addresses, hashed passwords, registration IP addresses, and other less-critical forum-related information. At the time of writing, the forum listed 1,034,235 members.'"

Why There Are Too Many Patents In America 189

whitroth writes "The judge who just dismissed the lawsuit between Apple and Motorola writes a column explaining what he considers to be reasonable uses of patents, and unreasonable ones. One of his thoughts would be to require a patent holder to produce the patented item within a certain time, to cut out patent trolls."

How Exploit Kits Have Changed Spammers' M.O. 37

An anonymous reader writes "Spammers used to depend on email recipients to tie the noose around their own necks by inputing their personal and financial information in credible spoofs of legitimate websites, but with the advent of exploit kits, that technique is slowly getting sidelined. Prompted by the rise in numbers of spam runs leading to pages hosting exploit kits, Trend Micro researchers have recently been investigating a number of high-volume spam runs using the Blackhole exploit kit. According to them, the phishing messages of today have far less urgency and the message is implicit: 'Your statement is available online'; or 'Incoming payment received'; or 'Password reset notification.'" One thing that's long worried me is that the bulk of spammers and malware writers may hire copywriters with a better grasp of English than most of the ones I see now. "I send you this file in order to have your advice" was funny, because it stuck out.

Live Pictures From Inside Your Stomach 40

Dupple writes "Our own stomachs may be something of a dark mystery to most of us, but new research is revealing the surprising ways in which our guts exert control over our mood and appetite. Not many of us get the chance to watch our own stomach's digestion in action. But along with an audience at London's Science Museum, I recently watched live pictures from my own stomach as the porridge I had eaten for breakfast was churned, broken up, exposed to acid and then pushed out into my small intestine as a creamy mush called chyme."

PC Sales Are Flat-Lining 485

DavidGilbert99 writes "Gartner has released figures showing that PC shipments globally declined 0.1 percent in the last three months, making it the seventh consecutive month of little-to-no growth in the PC market. This was despite the launch a number of new Ultrabooks, the much-vaunted slim-and-light platform promoted by Intel. The decline has been put down to the poor economic situation around the globe, increased spending on tablets and smartphones instead of PCs as well as the imminent launch of Windows 8, making people hold out on updating their PCs."

Canada's Supreme Court Strikes Down Copyright Fees On Music, Video 58

An anonymous reader writes "Quick submission for all us Canadians: looks like the Supreme Court finally decided to rule on various copyright issues. No more fees to 'preview' a song. Another of these rule changes could save our schools a lot of money: no more fees required to photocopy material for students."

Ask Slashdot: Managing Encrypted Android Devices In State and Local Gov't? 138

An anonymous reader writes "I am a systems administrator for a mid size state agency. We currently offer Blackberries to our staff, but we are migrating to Android devices in the near future. Since phones have sensative data (email, documents, etc.), what is a good choice for encrypting that data? Options abound, like OS-level encryption from Motorola and Samsung, 3rd party apps from GoTrusted and even a LUKS port for Android. Does anyone have experience managing encrypted Android devices? What are the important features I should be looking at? Many thanks in advance." (And, for that matter, are there good options for doing the same with iPhones? Other options to consider?)

Interviews: Ask Physicist Giovanni Organtini About the Possible Higgs Boson Disc 170

Giovanni Organtini of Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics (well, Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) has agreed to answer questions about the recent observations of a particle consistent with the Higgs Boson. Dr. Organtini is part of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He is careful to note that while the researchers "[believe] that this new particle, with a mass 125 times that of a proton, is the famous Higgs boson," they "need to study that new particle more deeply in the next months to be conclusive on that. Organtini likes free software (he's written Linux device drivers, too) and has his own physics-heavy YouTube channel, mostly in Italian. Please confine questions to one per post, but feel free to ask as many as you'd like.