Monthly Archives: January 2019

Mickey Mouse will be public domain soon—here’s what that means

As the ball dropped over Times Square last night, all copyrighted works published in 1923 fell into the public domain (with a few exceptions). Everyone now has the right to republish them or adapt them for use in new works.

It’s the first time this has happened in 21 years.

In 1998, works published in 1922 or earlier were in the public domain, with 1923 works scheduled to expire at the beginning of 1999. But then Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. It added 20 years to the terms of older works, keeping 1923 works locked up until 2019.

Many people—including me—expected another fight over copyright extension in 2018. But it never happened. Congress left the existing law in place, and so those 1923 copyrights expired on schedule this morning.

And assuming Congress doesn’t interfere, more works will fall into the public domain each January from now on.

Next January, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue will fall into the public domain. It will be followed by The Great Gatsby in January 2021 and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in January 2022.

via Mickey Mouse will be public domain soon—here’s what that means | Ars Technica

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Google’s New Fuchsia OS to Support Android Apps

FuchsiaOSAlthough there is no official announcement that Google is actively working on its Fuchsia OS besides repositories available on Github, on Google Git, and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), everyone knows by now that the new OS will most probably be able to run on anything from mobile phones to computers and IoT devices.

We also know that Fuchsia OS will not be running on a modified version of the Linux kernel, the new operating system will use a custom microkernel dubbed Zircon which is derived from Little Kernel, an OS initially developed for embedded devices.

Fuchsia OS features a futuristic user interface

Furthermore, even though at first Fuchsia OS did not come with a user interface of its own, it eventually evolved enough to allow the guys from to build it as an .

via Google’s New Fuchsia OS to Support Android Apps

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Mastercard and Microsoft Conspire to Control All Our Data

Heads up! In their next move toward assuming global control of digital financial systems, debt merchant Mastercard and monopolistic software vendor Microsoft have announced they are teaming up to help us all manage all our bank account logins and other online passwords by adding an extra service to their product lines: identity verification.

In a press release dated December 3, 2018, the two corporate giants revealed their “strategic collaboration to improve how people manage and use their digital identity.”

This sounds innocent enough on the surface, but already we know these two money-hungry companies are taking a long view of their opinion as to how the rest of us handle our online accounts.

Today, if you want to check your bank account balance from your computer or mobile device, you navigate to the login screen and enter your user id and password to gain entry to the protected site.

The site is password-protected because it stores enough of your personal information – name, address, phone numbers, email address, date of birth, social security number, and perhaps even family members – to create a fake you. That’s why creating a password that is complex (a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols) and hard to guess is so important.

Identify theft is rampant these days, according to LifeLock. In 2017, 16.7 million people felt the sting of identity theft. A total of $16.8 BILLION (with a ‘B’) was stolen.

continue Mastercard and Microsoft Conspire to Control All Our Data – The Daily Conspiracy

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Organizers cancel Women’s March Jan. 19 due to ‘overwhelmingly white’ participants

EUREKA, Calif. (KRCR) — The organizers of the annual Women’s March have decided not to hold a rally in Eureka on Jan. 19, as previously planned, because they say participants do not represent the diversity of the area.

“This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march,” organizers said in a press release.

They said organizers will continue to meet and discuss how to broaden representation to create an event that represents Humboldt County.

“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” the press release went on to say. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.”

via Organizers cancel Women’s March Jan. 19 due to ‘overwhelmingly white’ participants | WPMI

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Sex robots with real brains could be granted human rights

sex-robot-human-rights-748890Robotics developers, academics, ethicists and lawmakers are deeply divided over the legal status of artificially intelligent androids able to speak, learn and move with a degree of autonomy.

At present, the creation of fully autonomous robots designed to replicate human appearance and thinking is not possible given the technology available.

Yet, the idea of giving AI cybrogs “personhood” has gained traction in recent years as technological advances have caused legal uncertainty.

The proposal to classify robots as “electronic persons” was first proposed in a draft report published by the EU parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs in May 2016.

A debate about what rights robots should be given, if any at all, has ensued since the publication of the report, which dealt with issues surrounding the liability of self-learning machines.

BRAVE NUDE WORLD: Sex robots are becoming more advanced as technology improves (Pic: GETTY)
If the EU’s recommendations were to become law, self-learning robots would be granted status as “legal persons”, meaning they could be held liable for damages in court.

Legal experts opposed to the controversial proposals have claimed their implementation as a regulatory framework would effectively “grant human rights to robots”.

Last year, a sophisticated humanoid android called Sophia became the first robot in the world to be given citizenship by Saudi Arabia.

via Sex robots with real brains could be granted human rights | Daily Star

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Google wins U.S. approval for radar-based hand motion sensor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google unit won approval from U.S. regulators to deploy a radar-based motion sensing device known as Project Soli.

Google signage is seen at the Google headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in an order late on Monday that it would grant Google a waiver to operate the Soli sensors at higher power levels than currently allowed. The FCC said the sensors can also be operated aboard aircraft.

The FCC said the decision “will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology.”

A Google spokeswoman did not immediately comment on Tuesday, citing the New Year’s Day holiday.

The FCC said the Soli sensor captures motion in a three-dimensional space using a radar beam to enable touchless control of functions or features that can benefit users with mobility or speech impairments.

Google says the sensor can allow users to press an invisible button between the thumb and index fingers or a virtual dial that turns by rubbing a thumb against the index finger.

via Google wins U.S. approval for radar-based hand motion sensor | Reuters

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