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March 2023
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Cryptographer Tells European ISPs How EU's Client-Side Scanning Proposal Will Make Everyone Less Safe

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It’s not as though we really need any more evidence that client-side scanning is a bad idea. Apple decided to be a pioneer and immediately discovered the world wasn’t exactly waiting for it to become a market leader in privacy invasion. We don’t need more information. We know breaking encryption results in broken encryption — […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 31-Mar-2023
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MLB Tries To Trademark 3 City Names, Runs Away After Law Profs School Them

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It’s opening day and already Major League Baseball has struck out. It’s a story as old as time: major sports league tries to trademark a bunch of city names only to be schooled on the internet and media by law professors and dropping the applications. Well, okay, so that’s not that common of a story, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 31-Mar-2023
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Ecosystems for the rest of us

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Digitally enabled ecosystems are a key part of increasing a company's customer value proposition, but it's important to choose where and how to play. London Business School's Michael G. Jacobides explains how to find a role that makes sense for your business.

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posted at: 12:00am on 30-Mar-2023
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Elon's Definition Of 'Free Speech Absolutist' Allows Censorship In India, That Twitter Used To Fight

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As you'll recall, Elon Musk claims to be a free speech absolutist but his definition of free speech is not free speech supportive at all. It's the opposite. Saying that free speech means that which matches the law means that when you have an oppressive, censorial government, they can suppress speech all you want, and […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 30-Mar-2023
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Fifth Circuit Finally Finds A Cop Unworthy Of Immunity, Strips Protection From Officer Who Shot Man Five Times During Routine Traffic Stop

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To be fair, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals doesn’t always hand out immunity while waving away egregious, often horrific rights violations perpetrated by law enforcement officers. But it certainly seems to frequently find creative ways to let cops exit lawsuits, no matter how awful their behavior. Even the Supreme Court, which has done the […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 30-Mar-2023
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US And EU Nations Request The Most User Data From Tech Companies, Obtain It More Than Two-Thirds Of The Time

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Most tech companies handling data requests from governments now publish transparency reports. As everything moves towards always-online status (including, you know, your fridge), social media platforms and other online services have become the favored targets of government data requests. It just makes sense to look there first rather than out there in the real world, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 29-Mar-2023
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Microsoft Yanked Forthcoming Game's PlayStation Port To Make It Exclusive

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Timing, as they say, is everything. We’ve been talking about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard a lot lately and for good reason. It’s a huge deal, both in terms of the size of the purchase relative to the video game industry, but also because of what it could mean for the overall competitive marketplace […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 29-Mar-2023
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Elon Musk Effectively Admits That He Set Fire To More Than Half Of Twitter's Value

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For months, Elon Musk has been promising the rapidly dwindling workforce at Twitter that he'd give them stock grants. He'd promised that those grants would come on March 24th, and I can tell you that when normal business hours ended on the 24th with no details, some of those remaining employees were pissed off. However, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 28-Mar-2023
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Gamers Celebrate Their 'Loss' In Court Over Blocking Microsoft's Activision/Blizzard Acquisition

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We’ve spilled a great deal of ink thus far on the subject of Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard. The discussion around this whole thing began with the acquisition itself, before quickly moving into the topic of how Microsoft was going to get past the narrow glares of several regulatory bodies that all made noises […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 28-Mar-2023
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Game Jam Winner Spotlight: The Pigeon Wager

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So far in our series of posts showcasing the winners in all six categories of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It's 1927, we’ve featured Best Remix winner Lucia, Best Visuals winner Urbanity, and Best Adaptation winner To And Again. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the winner of the Best […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 26-Mar-2023
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Which Sucker Companies Are Going To Pay Elon Musk $1,000/Month To Get An Ugly Gold Badge?

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Elon Musk's next big revenue bet is that companies really, really, really want to show up as verified. All evidence suggests that very few Twitter users are interested in paying Elon $8/month to constantly break the site or engage in ego-driven experiments that make the general experience worse. A few weeks ago, we found out […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 25-Mar-2023
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Man Loses Maine Vanity Plates Describing His Love For Bean Mush

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It’s absolutely stupid just how often we’ve had to write about issues surrounding license plates. For convoluted reasons that involve how plates, which are mandated on all cars by states, are government property, that means that a state disallowing a vanity plate therefore does not violate the First Amendment. There are caveats to that that […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 25-Mar-2023
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Middle School Sued After Getting Stupid About 'Justice For Lil Pickle' T-Shirts Worn By Students

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A middle school in California has screwed up. And now it’s getting taken to court. Hillel Aron gives us the background over at Courthouse News Service: It was, perhaps, inevitable that the strange incident at a Ventura County middle school last year when dozens of students were banned from wearing T-shirts reading “Justice for Lil […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Mar-2023
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Leaked Doc From Microsoft To UK's CMA Says '10 Years Enough For Sony To Make Its Own CoD'

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Well, well. The fight between Sony and Microsoft over the latter’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to get more and more interesting. As three regulatory bodies have been poking at the deal — the European Commission for the EU, the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in the UK, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Mar-2023
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Online Facial Recognition Service Caught Cruising Through Graveyards To Fill Its Database

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Not literally, of course. Let’s get that out of the way. The company was not sending people out to dig up bodies to take photos to add to its facial recognition database. I mean, how would that even work. Not only that, but very few desiccated corpses utilize subscription-based facial recognition services. It’s not a […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 23-Mar-2023
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Marvel So Angry About Leaked 'Ant-Man' Dialogue That It Seeks To Unmask Google, Reddit Users

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It won’t surprise any regular read here when I say that Marvel is notoriously aggressive on matters of intellectual property. Equally unsurprising will be my reminding our dear readers that this includes the company attempting to use IP laws in the past to un-ring the leak-bell when content has been leaked early. Hell, Marvel gets […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 23-Mar-2023
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3DS, Wii U eShop Shutdown Leaves Archivists In The Wind, Hobbyists Pick Up The Pieces

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A little over a year ago, we discussed Nintendo’s shutdown of the eShop for its 3DS and Wii U consoles. That shutdown ended up being delayed due to a metric ton of outcry from the gaming public, but that was only a stay of execution. In a matter of days, those shops will be discontinued, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 22-Mar-2023
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Antisemitism On Twitter Has More Than Doubled Since Elon Musk Took Over

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In the days after Elon Musk took over Twitter in October 2022, the social media platform saw a surge in hateful conduct, which its then safety chief put down to a focused, short-term trolling campaign. New research suggests that when it comes to antisemitism, it was anything but. Rather, antisemitic tweets have more than doubled over the months since Musk took […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 22-Mar-2023
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Pokmon Anime Community Up In Arms As ShoPro Issues Copyright Strikes On YouTubers

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Searching out stories we have done on intellectual property conflicts surrounding the Pokmon franchise will give you no shortage of results. Part of that is that there is simply a ton of content out there: books, cards, video games, animated TV shows, movies, and mobile games. It is also the case that there are a […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 21-Mar-2023
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Vermont's Supreme Court: Obtaining Real Time Cell Site Location Data Requires A Warrant

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In 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States overrode the Third Party Doctrine to declare cell site location info (CSLI) off-limits without a warrant. Recognizing the fact that ubiquitous cell phone use was generating reams of data daily that would allow law enforcement to engage in long-term tracking of people’s movements, the Supreme Court […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 21-Mar-2023
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Game Jam Winner Spotlight: To And Again

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So far in our series of posts on showcasing the winners in all six categories of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It's 1927, we’ve featured Best Remix winner Lucia and Best Visuals winner Urbanity. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the winner of the Best Adaptation category: To And Again […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 19-Mar-2023
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Insecuring Your Home And Data: Ring Vendor Apparently Hit With Ransomware Attack

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Ring offers security products. Shame they’re not all that secure. Sure, things have improved in recent years, but there was nowhere to go but up. In December 2019, multiple reports surfaced of Ring cameras — most of them inside people’s houses — being hijacked by malicious idiots who used the commandeered cameras to yell nasty […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 18-Mar-2023
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Italy Decides That Leonardo da Vinci's 500 Year Old Works Are Not In The Public Domain

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Walled Culture is a big fan of the public domain. The amazing artistic uses that people are able to make of material only once it enters the public domain are an indication that copyright can act as an obstacle to wider creativity, rather than something that automatically promotes it. But there's a problem: because the public […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 18-Mar-2023
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'Destiny 2' DLC Suddenly Results In Copyright Strikes For Streamers

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We haven’t always spoken in glowing terms about Bungie, the game studio behind the Destiny franchise. That being said, in more recent days, Bungie has also taken some very positive steps when it comes to protecting its fans from copyright takedown abuse, while also highlighting for the record that the DMCA takedown process employed by […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 17-Mar-2023
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Oregon's DMV Database Is Broken And That Means Innocent People Are Spending Months Behind Bars

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The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles is pretty much just renting a car from Hertz. Participating in either system greatly increases your chances of spending time jailed for crimes you didn’t commit. Hertz’s inability to perform basic inventory control functions means renters in good standing are being treated to guns out traffic stops and felony […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 17-Mar-2023
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Microsoft Inks 2 More CoD Multiplatform Deals With Game Streaming Services

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Microsoft continues to make moves to get its purchase of Activision Blizzard past the various regulatory bodies that have voiced their concerns. While there are plenty of signs that the EU regulators are getting ready to approve the deal, there is still the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 16-Mar-2023
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Copyright Means You May Need Permission To Post Photos Of Your Own Home Online

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One of the life's certainties is that copyright maximalism will continue to encourage absurd rulings by complaisant courts. Here's a rather spectacular case from Germany. It involves a photo wallpaper. For those of you who - like me - aren't quite sure what that means, it is the name given to wallpapers that are essentially […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 16-Mar-2023
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Ukrainian Game Devs To Russian Hackers: 'Russian Hackers, Go Fuck Yourselves'

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Back in the early days of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, one of the most captivating stories was that of Snake Island, a small island in Ukrainian territorial waters. Under constant radioed threats from a Russian cruiser, Ukrainian border guard Roman Hrybov uttered his now iconic response to the warship: “Russian warship, go fuck […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 15-Mar-2023
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FBI, Defense Department Worked Together To Develop Facial Recognition Tech For Drones, Surveillance Cameras

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Another FOIA lawsuit has paid off for the ACLU. But there are no real winners here, since the documents pried from the government’s grasp detail a bunch of stuff we all wish the government wouldn’t be doing with its time and our money. Here’s Drew Harwell with the details for the Washington Post: The FBI […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 15-Mar-2023
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City Builder Game Taken Down By DMCA Abuse Back Online After Several Weeks

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It was a couple of weeks back when we highlighted the story of how one game, Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic, was suffering as the victim of very clear DMCA abuse. If you don’t recall the post, you can get all the details in the link. The short version of it is: a fan of […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 14-Mar-2023
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Los Angeles Police Union Decides Maybe It's Better If Cops Aren't Asked To Be First Responders

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For the most part, police unions are a net negative for both the police and the policed. They tend to excuse the worst behavior of their members while showing genuine disdain for anyone who dares to question an officer’s actions. Police unions have actively contributed to the mess US policing is and not a single […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 14-Mar-2023
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Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Urbanity

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Last week, we had the first of our series of posts showcasing the winners in all six categories of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1927, and the spotlight was on Best Remix winner Lucia. This week, we’re taking a look at the winner of the Best Visuals category: Urbanity by […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 12-Mar-2023
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Oversight Report Confirms What Multiple Sheriffs Have Denied: The LA Sheriff's Department Has A Gang Problem

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Los Angeles may have a gang problem. But so does its sheriff’s department. What’s already toxic about law enforcement culture has been embraced, cultivated, and amplified by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and its leaders, a steady string of shitty sheriffs willing to give deputies the longest of leashes. Still, sheriffs pretend there isn’t a […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 11-Mar-2023
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Low Orbit Satellite Systems Like Starlink Continue To Harm Scientific Research

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Scientists say that low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations like Starlink continue to pose a dire threat to astronomy and scientific research, and that too little is being done to address the issue. Last fall, scientists declared satellite constellations an existential threat for astronomy.” In short, the reflection and light pollution (Musk claimed would never happen in […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 11-Mar-2023
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DHS Oversight Report Says ICE, Secret Service Illegally Deployed Stingray Devices

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For years, Stingray devices (the most famous brand name for cell site simulators) flew under the radar. Law enforcement had them and used them, but often hid their use under court orders and subpoenas designed to obtain phone records, rather than the precise location of phone owners. Once information about Stingray devices went mainstream, the […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 10-Mar-2023
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The Microsoft, Sony Fight Over The Activision Purchase Is Getting Ugly

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This took a bit longer than I expected, but the dirty tactics are starting to come out between Microsoft and Sony over the former’s desire to purchase Activision Blizzard. While we’ve been talking about the $69 billion mega-deal for some time, the conversation more recently has focused on three regulatory bodies that have expressed varying […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 10-Mar-2023
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Gigi Sohn's Full Statement On Withdrawing Her FCC Nomination

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Yesterday, Karl wrote about the absolutely ridiculous situation in which the person perhaps most qualified to be an FCC commissioner, Gigi Sohn, had to withdraw her nomination, which had languished over nearly two years, mostly due to a bunch of absolute ridiculous bullshit lies from telecom and media giants who hated the idea of her […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 09-Mar-2023
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Leaks Suggest EU Set To Approve Microsoft, Activision Acquisition

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For months and months now, we have been talking about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The $68 million mega-deal had drawn narrow glares from several regulatory bodies, including in America, the UK, and the EU. While the FTC in the States and CMA in the UK have thus far not come off some very […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 09-Mar-2023
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Amazon Annoys Ring Owners Further By Making Very Basic Features Subscription Based

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The relentless push to make every last feature in every tech device you own part of a subscription service shows no sign of slowing down. Fitness companies like Fitbit have increasingly shoveled basic health monitoring features into their subscription plan. Companies like BMW have increasingly tried to make basic concepts like heated seats a subscription-only […]

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posted at: 11:59am on 08-Mar-2023
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Elon's (Good?) New DMCA Policy Appears To Be The Result Of Lots Of Confusion & Misunderstanding

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On Monday, I saw Elon Musk tweet the following, and initially thought that he might have actually made a good policy decision for once, and planned to write up something about Elon doing something right (contrary to the opinion of some, I'm happy to give him credit when it's due): Punching back against DMCA abusers […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 08-Mar-2023
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Telecom Monopolies Win Again: Gigi Sohn Forced To Withdraw From FCC Nomination

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Telecom and media giants (News Corporation, AT&T, and Comcast, mostly) have spent big bucks to scuttle the FCC nomination of popular reformer Gigi Sohn. That’s involved seeding all kinds of bullshit claims in the press (with the GOP’s help) about how Sohn hates rural America, police, puppies, and freedom. Some of the most recent attacks […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 08-Mar-2023
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Risk: See it, share it, sort it

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Operating in the current risk landscape is a lot like playing whack-a-mole. But by viewing the most pressing threats through a new lens and collaborating across silos, companies can change the game. Insights in our latest strategy+business digital issue.

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2023
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Predictive Policing Makes Everyone A Suspect, Even EU Officials

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We’ve long known so-called “predictive policing” is garbage. It’s the same old biased policing, except shinier and more expensive. Every system in place relies on data generated by policework — data instantly tainted by the things cops do, like hassling minorities, engaging in very selective enforcement, and treating people as inherently suspicious just because of […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2023
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When Given The Choice, Most Authors Reject Excessively Long Copyright Terms

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Recently, Walled Culture mentioned the problem of orphan works. These are creations, typically books, that are still covered by copyright, but unavailable because the original publisher or distributor has gone out of business, or simply isn't interested in keeping them in circulation. The problem is that without any obvious point of contact, it's not possible to […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 07-Mar-2023
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Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Lucia

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On Tuesday, we announced the winners in all six categories of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1927. Now, as in past years, we’ll be spending the next few weeks taking a closer look at each of the winning games (in no particular order). First up, it’s the winner of the […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 05-Mar-2023
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Kenyan Court First To Tell Meta It Can't Walk Away From A Lawsuit Just By Claiming It's Not From Around Here

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A lawsuit filed over exploitation of content moderators will be allowed to continue, according to a recent ruling by a Kenyan court. Former employees of Meta sued the company in the Kenya Employment and Labour Relations Court last year, alleging being subjected to a “toxic work environment” while performing the often unpleasant task for removing […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 04-Mar-2023
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No, Ukraine, The World Should Not Boycott A Video Game That Looks Kindly On Russian Communism

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As we’re right at the 1 year anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its sovereign neighbor, Ukraine, regular readers here will have followed along with all kinds of posts we’ve done on the subject, be it on tech-related items or some of the ways the video game industry has organized to help the country get […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 04-Mar-2023
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Calendar App Maker Confirmed Behind 'The Day Before' Trademark Dispute

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This will be a quick one, but we now have a name and confirmation of a detail from a previous post. A couple of weeks back, we discussed how an unreleased game from developer Fntastic, The Day Before, was both having its release date pushed back and dealing with takedowns of a bunch of footage […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 03-Mar-2023
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FTC Fires Warning Shot At 'AI' Companies Like DoNotPay: Do Not Oversell Your AI

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Over the last few months we’ve had a few articles highlighting the pretty serious questions raised regarding how much of DoNotPay’s (“the world’s first robot lawyer”) marketing is pure bullshit and nonsense. It’s not surprising that there might be a bit of puffery from a startup, but DoNotPay’s claims are so outlandish, and its CEO, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 03-Mar-2023
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Overwhelmed By All The Generative AI Headlines?This Guide Is For You

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Between Sydney tried to break up my marriage and blew my mind because of her personality, we have had a lot of journalists anthropomorphizing AI chatbots lately.  TIME's cover story decided to go even further and argued: If future AIs gain the ability to rapidly improve themselves without human guidance or intervention, they could potentially wipe […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 02-Mar-2023
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Microsoft Inks 10 Year Deal To Bring Xbox Games To Nintendo Consoles

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What amazing timing! Merely a few weeks back we were discussing the major regulatory hurdles the United States, the EU, and the UK were putting in front of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68 billion. Agencies from all three governing bodies, while differing on some specifics, generally had the same concerns: lessening the […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 02-Mar-2023
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Legislation Aiming To Give Law Enforcement Access To More ALPR Data Dies In Virginia

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Legislating from the bench is always problematic. People who like what courts have decided will claim this was the right thing to do. People who don’t like the decision will claim this is an overstep. Whatever the case in Virginia, this is good news. Legislation from the bench happened. But it didn’t turn into actual […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 01-Mar-2023
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Rovio Delists Last Paid 'Angry Birds' Game Because The Free Version Is More Profitable

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You have to love a story that comes full circle after all these many years. For a long, long time, we at Techdirt have been advocating for business models that make use of free content. The idea, which can certainly be counterintuitive, is that if you make parts of your product free to the customer, […]

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posted at: 12:00am on 01-Mar-2023
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