EFF Seek Fees For Patent Case Over Online Photo Contests

We’ve all seen the competitions you can enter online, ranging from entering a competition on a forum to having to create and upload a piece of work. A common type of online contest is where you upload pictures, but be warned, some people may own patents to the entire concept of online contests.

Ruth Taylor is a Pennsylvania-based photographer who often runs photo contests on her website, BytePhoto. Along comes Garfum.com, a video website owned by New Jersey’s Michael Garofalo, who claimed that the competitions run on the site infringe on US Patent No. 8,209,618. The patent refers to the ability to create user accounts, upload content, organise the content and have users vote on the content, all rather vague terms given the digital age.

Initially requesting $50,000 in the lawsuit, Garofalo’s lawyers reduced this to $5,000 and then $2,500 later on. In an attempt to defend herself Taylor got in touch with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that deals with electronic rights, who took up the case pro-bono. Filing a motion to dismiss the case the EFF claimed that it should be thrown out of court under the Alice Corp precedent, a precedent that claims just because something is done via software the patent needs to cover something more than an abstract idea.

Garfum dropped the case before it went to court, however, the EFF didn’t end it there, filing a motion to seek attorneys’ fees for the case. EFF lawyer Daniel Nazer stated, “the idea that you could patent an abstract idea, find innocent enthusiasts online and demand settlement money—and then slink away once challenged and before the court issues a ruling—goes against any sense of fair play”.

The total cost to cover the fees would come close to $30,000, with even more added because of the latest motion. Something that could soon become a reality sooner than expected with US Chief District Judge Jerome Simandle stating in an opinion that due to their “unreasonable” behaviour during the case, Garfum should end up paying the fees.

Did AMD Troll Itself on Social Media?

In the past week or so we have heard multiple stories and sources regarding the newest line up of AMD graphic card solutions; namely the Radeon Rx 300 series and the highly anticipated R9 Fury X.

It came as a surprise for most people that this High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) touting micro card had what it takes to shake up the NVIDIA top cards; despite not actually having the rumoured power to completely dethrone the GTX 980Ti or Titan X graphics cards.

AMD’s Facebook page posts a lot of links relating to reviews about its graphics cards or processors, but as good publicity for itself; you would expect for them to only pick and post favourable reviews that shines a good light on the hardware.

As of 9am GMT yesterday (25th June), AMD had posted two reviews, one from Forbes and another from IGN. Two fairly well-known technology outlets, but AMD didn’t realise that the preview of the IGN review gave praise in the one hand, but also took the feet from under then almost immediately after.

IGN wrote “The Fury X is an outstanding GPU that runs cool and quiet, but it’s not the knockout punch to Nvidia that everyone had hoped for.” 

And just in case the post gets pulled, here’s a screenshot.

Do you think that AMD knew what it was doing by posting this article? Self-admittance that the card wasn’t as planned or maybe they just picked the best of a bad bunch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Dimension Drive Kickstarter Ruined by Funding Troll

Being an independent developer and creating your own game worthy of release is hard enough and getting it all out is even harder. Thanks to Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding pages the whole thing got a lot easier as you can sell your idea for funding – that is unless you get trolled at the last minute.

That is what happened to the indie developers 2Awesome Studios that are behind the game Dimension Drive, a comic book styled space adventure with a really interesting-sounding teleport mechanic, which has players battling in two worlds at once.

When the funding was about to close, 2Awesome Studios were short €7000 and that is when what appeared to be a hero stepped in and pledged the remaining funds by himself. Needless to say, the developers were excited and went onto Twitter to thank the person.

The joy didn’t last long as Kickstarter soon informed them that the pledge was fraudulent and had been removed again.

With too little time left for other backers to enter and pick up the pieces and make this game come true, the funding failed.

The developers were just as crushed as their dreams.

“Honestly speaking it has been an exhausting month for us. We have been working really hard to make our campaign a success, and right now we are speechless, demoralized, you name it.”

I hope they’ll find another way to get their game off the ground as it looks really interesting and fun. I also hope that Karma will catch up with the fraudster.

Online Trolls Can Now Receive up to 2 Years in Jail

The UK government is ramping up efforts to tackle online abuse. Internet trolls are nothing new, but with more people spending more time online than ever before, online abuse and trolling is being taken more seriously than ever before.

There have been several high-profile cases in recent months, such as abuse towards the daughter of Robin Williams on Twitter after her fathers death, Judy Finnegan and her family receiving threats and more. In fact, it seems any major tragic event spawns some form of hatred and it’s not long before the abuse starts to flood in one direction or another.

Freedom of speech may be one thing, but the right to say almost anything you want doesn’t make you unaccountable for your actions. An amendment will be made to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that quadruples that maximum prison sentence for online trolling and abuse from 6 months to two years.

Mocking someone for owning an iPhone, joking around with your friends on Facebook or trying to reason with people in the YouTube comment section are still safe enough. Just remember to use some common sense before you take a joke too far.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information.

RickMote Controller App Lets You Rickroll Your Chromecast Neighbors

The Raspberry Pi has proven to be a useful tool for security researchers once again. This time, the Chromecast has been exploited, having found an interesting bug that lets you take control of any TV using the device.

From a techy point of view, the Chromecast uses a ‘deauth’ command that disconnects it from the Wi-Fi network. However, the command has been proven to have a bug. Once the command is initialized, it is said to kick the device off the network and enters a config mode that lets it become a Wi-Fi hotspot. When the Chromecast is in this state, anyone connecting to it can then send any video they like to the TV hosting the Chromecast device.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7nqP8AvXUg[/youtube]

In short, the Chromecast can become a hijackable device that lest anyone connecting to it stream any video they like to it. The bug is said to have been discovered by Dan Petro, a whitehat at security consultancy Bishop Fox. He is said to have used a Raspberry Pi, a couple of Wi-Fi cards and a touchscreen, along with Aircrack to take advantage of the bug. The device is said to take about 30 seconds to connect and take over the network. Once inside, people can then Rickroll their Chromecast friends or neighbors.

Petro has apparently made a blog about his invention as well, helping people build their own and set them on a ‘rolling’ spree. More information about the RickMote and can be found here. Also, below is a video of Petro’s presentation regarding his findings.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZUYYgyUyh8[/youtube]

Thank you Raspberry Pi for providing us with this information

Original RickRoll Video Blocked by YouTube

It appears that the popular video-sharing website, YouTube, has blocked access to a seven years old RickRoll video, preventing users from hearing the still-popular “Never Gonna Give You Up” line. The video itself was uploaded by user ‘cotter548’ and was simply titled “RickRoll’D” and had nearly 71 million views, having YouTube blocking it in several countries, including the US.

YouTube did not comment immediately on the reason for blocking the video, which takes us to another similar but brief incident in 2012. Astley himself did not comment on the service’s action as well, but given that he did not write the song himself, he is thought not to have anything to do with the video’s removal. RCA is said to have released the track, which was co-written by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman.

The track itself is said to have spent 23 weeks on the Hot 100 list back in 1987 and 1988, having it be the top song played during that period. The meme entitled ‘Rickrolling’ started to surface ten years later when Internet users started pranking their friends by sending a link of something that looked interesting and relevant, having it open to Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” shimmy.

It then quickly went viral and recipients over the years are stated to have included the Church of Scientology, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the new York Mets, MIT and various radio listeners. It is said that even the White House ‘roll’d’ a bored town hall attendee in 2011, having Astley himself popping out of an obnoxious float to Rickroll the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade in 2008.

Thank you Billboard for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Billboard

BitCoin Tip Tricks Mac Users Into Bricking Their Machines

It was only last week that Xbox One users were bricking their consoles, a tip posted online promised to unlock backwards compatibility on the console, but the “secret feature” actually just caused the console to boot loop, effectively bricking the console! Long story short, STAY OUT OF THE DEV MENU.

Now just as that story dies down, an image promoting a secret BitCoin mining feature on Apple computers was posted, promising users the ability to unlock a feature that has been hidden on all Apple products since 2009. With BitCoin in high popularity at the moment, many people are keen to get mining and earn some extra cash, unfortunately the were (rather obviously) tricked.

Of course, not everyone is a tech news writer like myself and not everyone understands terminal commands, so I can understand that some people did fall for this, although I doubt too many would be quick to admit it.

Let’s just be clear about one thing, DON’T TRY THIS! Why? Because it formats your hard drive of course.

Thank you Cult of Mac for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Cult of Mac.

All Babies Need Their Independence Try The Crib Dribbler

If you have a baby, then you likely know what it is like to deal with those 1 A.M. feedings, the 3 A.M. feedings, and the 5 A.M. feedings. The Crib Dribbler gives us the ability to set it and forget it. Now if it were only real, just kidding. The Crib Dribbler, has been giving babies their independence since 1972. Coming in 2 sizes, the “Weekender, and the “Over-Nighter“.  Perfect for Kindex Infant Energy Drink, Water, Juice, Stew, Cocoa, Formula and Milk!

The “Weekender” allows parents to leave 100 ounces of liquid goodness for their baby while they go out for dinner and a movie, also giving them the chance to stay at that bed and breakfast that they have been wanting to stay at.

The “Over-Nighter” allows parents to kick their feet up for the evening and just relax, giving the baby 40 ounces of hearty goodness.

Kindex, has been “Giving babies independence since 1972. Which is great because every baby just wants to be left alone, allowing their minds to develop and hone their skills. Practicing their balance, vision, coordination and speech. They are better able to work on these skills when left in peace and quiet. Purchasing Kindex “Crib Dribbler” allows your baby to get the time to themselves that they need and enjoy! Giving you ample opportunity to take some time for yourself.

With Kindex you no longer need to worry about feeding times, you could load up the “Crib Dribbler” and take personal time for yourself. You don’t need to worry about harmful plastics as the “Crib Dribbler” is made from 100% recycled plastic syringes!

Don’t forget to try Kindex Infant Energy Drink, now in flavors of Lemon, Bubble Gum, and Lime! Giving your baby Bigger Smiles! Louder Cooing, Cuter Giggling! And Faster Crawling!

Kindex also offers Crib Space Heater, Stroller Blender and High Chair Cutting Boards. As well as their special 20″ LCD HD Television so Baby can watch their favorite movies!

Crib Dribbler is Made in the U.S.A.

 

Images from Amazon