EA Copyright Claim Removes Donald Trump Mass Effect Video

Donald Trump is a rather controversial figure who was originally dismissed during the first stage of his Republican nomination campaign. Rather swiftly, Trump began to attract a vociferous following and shocked political commentators with his dramatic rise in popularity. Throughout the course of Trump’s success, he’s made various remarks which would end other politicians career. Despite this, whenever he says anything controversial, it seems his popularity rises by a significant amount. Of course, Trump is often the subject of many parodies, memes and other fan content on YouTube.

Recently, Donald Trump tweeted a fan-made video entitled, ‘The Trump Effect’. This includes music and Martin Sheen’s voice-over from Mass Effect 2. According to Game Informer, various Bioware employees were appalled by the notion of their work being an integral component of Trump’s current political strategy. The publisher, EA, reacted by launching a YouTube copyright claim and flagging the video for breach of their intellectual property.  EA released a statement regarding these events which reads:

“The video was an unauthorized use of our IP,”

“We do not support our assets being used in political campaigns.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXWU2EbBoQk

As always, this hasn’t really altered anything and the video is still available through other YouTube channels. Surely, this move has bolstered Donald Trump’s publicity and giving him additional headlines. Personally, I haven’t got a problem with spoof videos, or users making their own unique content. However, copyright holders will take down any content which they feel uses their intellectual property. It’s a fascinating situation because I’m wondering if any other video using their assets would have been taken down in a similar manner.

It’s probably down to views, and the amount of people accessing videos with copyrighted material. Whatever your opinion about Trump, I honestly think it’s important to have freedom of expression to mock, criticize and help media personalities. Starting to block content just because you dislike its message is a dangerous path to walk down.

Tech Giants Plot to Stop Trump

The CEOs of Apple, Tesla Motors, and Alphabet joined a group of tech industry leaders and politicians at a secretive event where the key agenda was to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican Presidential candidate.

Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Larry Page rubbed shoulders with the likes of Napster founder and Facebook investor Sean Parker, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), political guru Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican Senators Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Ben Sasse (Neb.) at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum, which was held on a private island of the coast of the US state of Georgia, according to the Huffington Post.

“A specter was haunting the World Forum–the specter of Donald Trump,” wrote Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, in an emailed report from the conference. “There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated.”

“The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him,” Kristol added. “In general, there’s a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn’t be president.”

According to a presentation at the event by Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush, Trump’s weakness is the perception of him by the general public that he does not appear “presidential”, is not a strong role model for children, and should not be trusted with his “finger on the nuclear button”.

Image courtesy of Vanity Fair.

MIT Attempts to Out-Trump Trump With DeepDrumpf Twitterbot

Donald Trump’s antics on social media are infamous at this point, seeming crazy and unpredictable at times. Now, we can all look forward to an improvement to Trump thanks to the field of deep learning. DeepDrumpf is a Twitterbot created by a researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and makes use of deep learning algorithms in order to generate tweets that are Trumpier than the real deal.

DeepDrumpf’s artificial intelligence platform was trained on hours of Trump transcripts from his numerous speeches and performances at public events and debates. While far from perfect, often generating tweets too nonsensical or stupid to even be from Trump himself, however, some manage to be hilariously brilliant.

MIT explains that the secret behind DeepDrumpf is that “the bot creates Tweets one letter at a time. For example, if the bot randomly begins its Tweet with the letter “M,” it is somewhat likely to be followed by an “A,” and then a “K,” and so on until the bot types out Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” It then starts over for the next sentence and repeats the process until it reaches the 140-character limit.” The bot’s creator, postdoc Bradley Hayes, was inspired to create DeepDrumpf by an existing model that can emulate Shakespeare, combined with a recent report on the presidential candidates’ linguistic patterns that found Trump speaks at a third-grade level.

DeepDrumpf has even managed to connect with Trump’s real Twitter account. When it does so, its artificial intelligence algorithm is given language from the real Trump’s tweet, which allows a higher chance of giving a response that appears to be contextually relevant to the original.

Hayes even envisions a future where he develops accounts for all of the presidential candidates and feeding them tweets from one another, so they can have their own real-time deep-learning debates. With that in mind, who would you like to see a deep-learning bot be created for?

Donald Trump Retweets Quote From Benito Mussolini

American presidential candidate Donald Trump has found himself on the receiving end of an online frenzy after he retweeted a quote attributed to the founder of fascism, Benito Mussolini. The original tweet was from an account named @ilduce2016, which is a Twitter bot belonging to the American blog site Gawker.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/703900742961270784

The ilduce2016 account was set up by Gawker’s Ashley Feinberg who created a bot in late 2015 that would periodically tweet quote from Mussolini’s speeches and political writings, but instead attributing them to Donald Trump and tweeting them solely at Trump himself. The account’s name is a reference to Mussolini’s title during his time in power, “Il Duce” translates from Italian as “the leader”, describing his dictatorial position and went on to inspire other fascist dictators to assume similar titles. More amusingly, the image used on the Twitter account is one of Mussolini with Donald Trump’s wig edited onto it.

Gawker admitted ownership of the bot on Sunday, as part of a plan to answer the question “Is Donald Trump a fascist?” Trump has been known to retweet comments and quotes from his fans and supporters, with the presidential candidate using the platform as his go-to for social media, flaunting his own greatness and putting down his detractors. With the name, image and quotes, the bot was anything but a subtle trap, but, after only a few months, Trump had been caught out. It is unknown whether Trump knew the original source of the quote, but social media was quick to catch onto it.

This is far from the first time that Trump has made careless gaffes on Twitter. One such incident, which resulted in the creation of a Trump Retweets bot which shares the profile of everyone he retweets, followed him retweeting a user named “@WhiteGenocideTM”.

If Elected President Donald Trump Vows to Cause Amazon Problems

Donald Trump seems to thrive on controversy and has rapidly become the favourite candidate for the Republican nomination. Initially, political commentators dismissed Trump and believed it was only a matter of time before he exited the presidential race. However, whenever Trump makes shocking remarks no other politician would dream of, his popularity skyrockets. Please note as a technology website, we endeavour to leave any political inklings aside and report in a fair manner. During a recent speech, Trump discussed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his acquisition of The Washington Post.

Trump proclaimed:

“I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,”

“He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

This is a fairly worrying statement and suggests Trump wants to impose penalties on Amazon for his bitter dispute with founder Jeff Bezos. Perhaps this is just posturing and Trump’s attempt to publicly embarrass Jeff Bezos. Some of you might remember, Jeff Bezos posted a tweet offering Trump a reserved seat on the Blue Origin rocket. This is quite a rare occurrence and Bezos only has 15 total tweets to his account. Clearly, Trump believes Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post sorely for political gain to enhance Amazon’s influential position as a retail giant. Of course, this will only matter if Trump wins the Republican nomination and then ends up victorious during the presidential campaign. It’s not beyond the realms of fantasy though and Trump has already made warnings against Apple’s use of non-American workers.

Amazon isn’t the most reputable of companies because of tax avoidance behaviour and evidence of poor working conditions. Employees work under extreme stress and every packaged item is monitored. This can be devastating for morale, and applies so much pressure. It’s even been argued that Amazon’s working conditions can exacerbate underlying mental health problems.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Donald Trump Claims he Will Make Apple Start Building Computers in The US

Donald Trump is a divisive figure who seems to thrive on controversy. Whenever he voices any sort of xenophobic or racist remarks, his popularity increases. While there’s an ongoing discussion in the UK about banning Trump, you cannot overlook his ability to resonate with certain voters in the USA. The majority of Trump’s rhetoric revolves around making America great through nationalistic, patriotic speeches and decrying the current state of the USA. During a talk at Liberty University today, Trump made outlandish claims about Apple’s workforce and promised to bring employment back to US citizens:

“We have such amazing people in this country: smart, sharp, energetic, they’re amazing,”

“I was saying make America great again, and I actually think we can say now, and I really believe this, we’re gonna get things coming… we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”

Clearly, this is pure fantasy as bringing a huge amount of manufacturing jobs back to the US isn’t financially feasible. Apple is well aware they can acquire labour in the Asian market at a reduced rate, and maximize profits. While it’s possible for some jobs at the company to be created in the USA, Apple isn’t obliged to offer jobs to a specific nation. In all honesty, this is another political tool being used by Trump to try and emphasize his pro-American ideology. Whatever the case, Trump has become a laughing stock in many countries and his views are mocked all over social media platforms. This is exemplified by various internet memes and brief Vine clips.

Apple has rightfully received criticism for its tax avoidance and could face a hefty charge by the European Commission. On the other hand, the idea that someone running for president can suddenly bring the US workforce back to a company driven by profit is absurd.

Image courtesy of The Atlantic.

Pirate Bay Founder Says “The Internet is S***. It’s Broken”

The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has made the sad declaration that “The internet is s**t today. It’s broken. It was probably always broken, but it’s worse than ever.” Speaking to Vice Motherboard, he laments the state of the free and open internet, veering into a dissection of the insidious influence of capitalist society, the real problem, according to Sunde.

“People are too easy to content with things,” Sunde told Joost Mollen. “Take the net neutrality law in Europe. It’s terrible, but people are happy and go like “it could be worse.” That is absolutely not the right attitude. Facebook brings the internet to Africa and poor countries, but they’re only giving limited access to their own services and make money off of poor people. And getting government grants to do that, because they do PR well.”

When asked about the idea of an open internet, Sunde sighs, “Well, we don’t have an open internet.”

“We haven’t had an open internet for a long time,” he continues.  “So, we can’t really talk about the open internet because it does not exist anymore. The problem is, nobody stops anything. We are losing privileges and rights all of the time. We are not gaining anything anywhere. The trend is just going in one direction: a more closed and more controlled internet. That has a big impact on our society. Because they are the same thing today. If you have a more oppressed internet, you have a more oppressed society. So that’s something we should focus on.”

Sunde asserts that internet activists, by focusing on internet activity only, are aiming their crosshairs at the wrong target, and that they should look outward at society as a whole: “The reason that the real world is the big target for me, is because the internet is emulating the real world. We are trying to recreate this capitalistic society we have on top of the internet. So the internet has been mostly fuel on the capitalistic fire, by kind of pretending to be something which will connect the whole world, but actually having a capitalistic agenda.”

“Look at all the biggest companies in the world, they are all based on the internet. Look at what they are selling: nothing. Facebook has no product. Airbnb, the biggest hotel chain in the world, has no hotels. Uber, the biggest taxi company in the world, has no taxis whatsoever.”

While Sunde is still full of invective, and can point to the problems with a free and open internet that need addressing, he seems resigned to the decline of both online and real-life society, declaring, “We’ve already lost.”

The self-confessed Socialist even wants Donald Trump to become the next US President in order to hasten that decline, so that society can see the folly of capitalism exposed. “I’m hoping Donald Trump wins this year’s election,” he declares. “For the reason that it will fuck up that country so much faster then if a less bad President wins. Our whole world is just so focused on money, money, money. That’s the biggest problem. That’s why everything fucks up. That’s the target we have to fix.”

Electric Wind Farm Proposal In Scotland Challenged By Donald Trump

Whether you believe in climate change or not, the issue of electricity generation is one that we will face for a long time. With growing electricity demand we need new ways to generate electricity, particularly in the UK where we are reliant on gas, coal, oil and an ageing stock of nuclear power plants. That is to say, irrelevant of what your opinion is on climate change we still need more electricity and more cost effective long-term ways of generating it.

The proposal to build an offshore windfarm in Scotland’s Aberdeen bay was hoping to be exactly that. The 11 turbines promised to generate enough electricity to power 49,000 homes – while small, it is still a positive start to adding extra capacity to the UK grid that doesn’t rely on expensive imports. However, Donald Trump is now trying, and will probably succeed, in blocking this proposal.

Donald Trump owns a golf course and is in the process of planning luxury hotel buillds in Aberdeen and he believes these wind farms will kill the value of his businesses. He has also made other objections such as he believes the wind farms will actually raise the cost of electricity,  he says they will need to be rebuilt every 4 to 5 years and he claims they cause cancer to nearby people. While you might disagree with Donald Trump’s objections, money does speak, already Swedish energy investors Vattenfall are looking to sell their shares in the project, if you believe media speculation.

What is Donald Trump up against? Well, he is up against the Scottish National Party and minister Alex Salmond, both of whom are strongly committed to the success of the renewable wind energy sector. Donald Trump recently launch an anti-wind farm advertising proposal which fell through as the advertising standards agency said it was misleading.

This type of situation certainly isn’t new as wind farms have always suffered from strong NIMBY (not in my back yard) sentiments. Will business interests prevail or will the windfarm get the go ahead? It is a tough one and it is also hard to call which one is more “in the public’s interest” but as a technology lover I would like to see offshore windfarms grow, succeed and lower energy costs particularly in the UK where electricity costs have been spiralling out of control.

What are your thoughts on this story? We know it isn’t what we usually cover but electricity is the lifeblood of the technology sector.

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