L.A. poised to go after Las Vegas hospital in patient-dumping cases - The Sacramento Bee -
My word of the day: “patient-dumping”.
Years before a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital bused a homeless, schizophrenic man to Sacramento without arranging contacts or a plan for care, a different hospital ditched Gabino Olvera on Skid Row in Los Angeles …
Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills • The Register -
High-street socks’n’frocks chain Marks and Spencer is accused of quietly taking money from shoppers’ contactless bank cards at the tills.
Oh yes, NFC is such a great idea for payment. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
But the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) standard to which NFC terminals are supposed to conform requires the contactless circuit to be disconnected as soon as a chip’n’PIN card is slotted in. This is necessary as most chip cards also have NFC embedded, these days, and cards in the slot are perfectly positioned for the contactless reader; so the decision was made that the insertion of the card should indicate a preference for PIN.
Yeah, that is a bummer, but doesn’t explain much the reported incidents.
It is possible that the terminals used by M&S were hugely overpowered if they were reading cards at 40cm, or that they fail to implement the EMV standard properly. Equally, it’s also possible that the tills are apparently running software which allows multiple billing for the same transaction. The two complaints to M&S, plus a similar complaint made to Pret a Manger, could well be the tip of an extensive iceberg.
But, I was told by the bank that exactly that is IMPOSSIBLE. Because banks have so much money they can buy the laws of physics.
Btw, it took me one afternoon of coding to read the entire content of the NFC Visa Card using nothing else but a Nexus 7. Well done!
The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ -
To some of you, who know my believes and opinions about copyright, this might be a surprise. But I am very much against the so called “Instagram Act”.
While I do publicly argue for an easing of copyright laws, this is NOT what I had in mind. It is in fact the total opposite. I would like to see the publishers incapacitate and the rights of the content creators (aka artists) strengthened. The bill proposed by the conservative government however will however achieve the exact opposite.
The reasons why I think publishers are past their use date are many. Some obvious, others subtle and too complicated to explain just now. But just to clarify what in my mind should be very simple: If a work is used in a commercial context, the creator should get a say in it. Be able to prevent or promote such usage, and defiantly deserves to get reimbursed accordingly.
How to define ‘commercial’? Simple, everything that generates revenue. So The Pirate Bay for example, who does generate revenue by the means of advertising, should have to pay some fee … or licence … like a radio or TV license, just an idea. Not for a fantasy amount of trillions of dollars, but something that actually justifies the revenue.
But what ever you do, do not criminalise consumers. They are paying the fee any way. On every CD Rom, Hard Drive and mp3 player there is a little fee that is supposed to go to the artists. It is like recording a song from the radio to an audio casette tape.
Now, how comes the publishers make record profits with shrinking sales. And the artists getting less and less of the cut … well, that is the true failure in the system that needs to be rectified. And I fail to see how taking away creators rights is going to help here … it is only going to make matters worse.
Case No. 2:12-cv-8333-ODW(JCx) INGENUITY 13 LLC vs JOHN DOE (pdf) -
Order by the awesome judge Otis D. Wright II, a beacon of hope.
Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system. They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow, starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry.
This was in the stars for quite a while now, but is now official.
Also offers have been received by Microsoft and Facebook. So I am quite glad that Yahoo got it.
Secondly, Yahoo is paying in cash, not shares. For acquisitions of this size, that is a rather unusual thing.
Science-Fiction Movie Roundup - IEEE Spectrum -
Break out the popcorn for these upcoming flicks
A Saudi Arabia Telecom's Surveillance Pitch -
Saudi Arabia asked Moxie Marlinspike for help. A MUST READ!
Thongs of praise: Slip on Japan's skimpy mobe knickers • The Register