Studios commonly offer movie reviewers advance screenings of their movies so they have time to write their reviews (Ars included) before the movies become available to the general public. The Los Angeles Times is the paper of record for the Los Angeles metro area, so you’d expect its writers to have easy access to these movie screenings. But in a Friday tweetstorm, LA Times writer Glenn Whipp said that Disney had banned the paper from screenings of movies like Thor: Ragnarok in retaliation for its critical coverage of Disney’s relationship with the city of Anaheim, home of Disneyland.
The Kodi team, operating under the XBMC Foundation, is taking a stand against ‘trademark trolls’ who abuse the Kodi name for personal profit. They accuse the Canadian trademark owner of actively blackmailing hardware vendors and removing content from Amazon. If needed, the foundation says that it may have to take legal action to keep its software freely accessible.
“A sensible question is why civilized governments do not seek to deprive terrorists of unfettered access to the Internet…Sadly, here in America, limiting access to the Internet would be illegal under the euphemistic term “network neutrality,” the two-year-old experiment in federal regulation of the Internet…To its supporters, network neutrality is a bulwark of civilization. But network neutrality is also a shield for terrorists who seek to destroy civilization.”
Last month, in covering some news about the case still going on, we added a long (longer than the post itself…) editor’s note about the truly weird situation in which SDCC had sent us a ridiculous subpoena demanding (among other things) any internal documents ever mentioning SDCC and implying that we had some sort of business relationship with the organizers of the SLC event (to be clear, we have zero relationship with anyone involved in either event — we just found a story written about the case and used that as the basis for our posts on the topic). We pushed back on SDCC and noted that it really appeared that their fishing expedition was an attempt to intimidate the press from reporting on this case. It was… really strange.And now, with SDCC happening right now, the Hollywood Reporter has the latest on the case, in which SDCC has filed for one of the strangest legal gag orders I’ve seen in a while. I mean, I’ve seen these kinds of gag order requests filed by pro se plaintiffs, but rarely by competent lawyers working at giant famous law firms.
THE CRIMINALIZATION OF political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine.
If you use an app called eVestigator, billed as checking Android phones for compromise, delete it.That’s the word from someone signing their name as MaXe from InterN0T, who looked at what the Android app does.The app claimed to test Android phones to see if they’ve been compromised, but MaXe found it ran a connect() scan across every available TCP port – all 65,535 of them – and tell the user there are “87,375 threats” on their phone.The “report” button didn’t do anything much apart from sending the user’s external IP address back to the developer, “along with other details about the Android environment + user-entered details”, the advisory says.
This month’s stupid patent, like many stupid patents before it, simply claims the idea of using a computer for basic calculations. U.S. Patent No. 6,817,863 (the ’863 patent) is titled “Computer program, method, and system for monitoring nutrition content of consumables and for facilitating menu planning.” It claims the process of using a computer to track nutrition information like calorie or vitamin intake. It is difficult to think of a more basic and trivial use for a computer.The ’863 patent is owned by a patent troll called Dynamic Nutrition Information, LLC. Dynamic Nutrition filed a lawsuit this month in the Eastern District of Texas accusing Australian company Fatsecret of infringing the ’863 patent. Dynamic Nutrition had filed four other lawsuits. Consistent with a pattern of nuisance litigation, each of those earlier suits settled very quickly.