Walt Disney Co.’s two big TV networks, ABC and ESPN, have struck a deal with cable operator Cox Communications Inc. to offer hit shows and football games on demand, but with the unusual condition that Cox disables the fast-forward feature that allows viewers to skip ads, according to a media report Tuesday.
Sometimes I wonder – is it their goal to alienate every single viewer?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories, and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There’s big money in those pretzel twists and contortions – $3 billion a year in America alone. It’s a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages.
The Indian government is not laughing. It has set up a task force that is cataloging traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted by foreign hucksters. The data will be translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, stored digitally, and available in five international languages, so that patent offices in other countries can see that yoga didn’t originate in a San Francisco commune.
There are a few things lawmakers have decided really ought to be handled with the “care and oversight” that only the government can provide: e.g., tax collection, radioactive materials, biohazards, guns, and CDs. CDs? No, I’m not talking about financial Certificates of Deposit, though that might make more sense. I’m talking about Compact Discs.
New “pawn shop” laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won’t spend any time in jail, but you’ll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don’t want to pay a $10,000 bond for the “right” to treat their customers like criminals.
The legislation is supposed to stop the sale of counterfeit and/or stolen music CDs, despite the fact that there has been no proof that this is a particularly pressing problem for record shops in general. Yet John Mitchell, outside counsel for the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, told Billboard that this is part of “some sort of a new trend among states to support second-hand-goods legislation.” And he expects it to grow.
A committee of World Bank directors has formally notified Paul D. Wolfowitz that they found him to be guilty of a conflict of interest in arranging for a pay raise and promotion for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion, in 2005. The findings stepped up the pressure on Mr. Wolfowitz to resign.
The contents of the panel’s findings were not made public. People who are familiar with the panel’s report said that it reviewed extensive documents and testimony before concluding that Mr. Wolfowitz breached his obligations in arranging for Ms. Riza’s reassignment from the bank to the State Department.
The report, as transmitted to Mr. Wolfowitz, did not recommend a punishment for Mr. Wolfowitz. Bank officials, speaking anonymously because the proceedings are supposed to be confidential, said that the special committee was still working today on what to recommend.
Now, thanks to our newly developed VirtualLandGrab technology, you can own a 128-bit integer of your very own.
Here’s how we do it. First, we generate a fresh pseudorandom integer, just for you. Then we use your integer to encrypt a copyrighted haiku, thereby transforming your integer into a circumvention device capable of decrypting the haiku without your permission. We then give you all of our rights to decrypt the haiku using your integer. The DMCA does the rest.
Get your integer at Ed Felten’s weblog!
Via Washingtonpost.com :
On Nov. 10, 2005, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales sent a letter to a federal judge in Montana, assuring him that the U.S. attorney there, William W. Mercer, was not violating federal law by spending most of his time in Washington as a senior Justice Department official.
That same day, Mercer had a GOP Senate staffer insert into a bill a provision that would change the rules so that federal prosecutors could live outside their districts to serve in other jobs, according to documents and interviews.
Congress passed the provision several months later as part of the USA Patriot Act reauthorization bill, retroactively benefiting Mercer and a handful of other senior Justice officials who pull double duty as U.S. attorneys and headquarters officials. Justice officials say the measure was a necessary clarification to ensure that prosecutors could fill temporary postings in Washington, Iraq and elsewhere, and that it also applies to assistant U.S. attorneys.
But the episode, which received little notice at the time, provides another example in which Gonzales’s statements appear to conflict with simultaneous actions by his aides in connection with U.S. attorney policies. Lawmakers investigating the department’s handling of the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys have repeatedly accused Gonzales of being less than truthful about the roles played by himself and the White House.
The practice has come under scrutiny in Congress because of claims by the Justice Department that it fired New Mexico prosecutor David C. Iglesias in part because he was absent from the job too much. Iglesias, who is a Naval Reserve officer, has filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel alleging that the firing was, among other things, a violation of federal laws prohibiting discrimination against military personnel.
“It’s a curious contrast that leaders in the Department of Justice would slip a change into law to allow one U.S. Attorney to spend only a few days a month in his district and keep his job, while at the same time claiming to fire another for spending a few days a month away from his district to serve his country,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement. Read more…
the Daily Mail has the full story of these guys, identical twins born at the same time. It turns out to be a case of twin to twin transfusion, where one twin sends blood to the other through a common placenta.
In this case the problem was detected at 15 weeks, so early that the second very-medical link doesn’t even put it in the category of ‘severe’. It’s a complication that endangers both twins; the donor twin is usually anemic, and the recipient has excess red blood cells and jaundice. But the story says both have shown a will to live, even at their tiny age and size.
A middle-aged wife looked out of her window and saw her husband with a kite. He threw it in the air, it floated, then wobbled, and crashed into the ground. Again and again, he threw it; it wobbled and crashed into the ground.
Thnking that men are very incompentent sometimes, she called out to her husband, “What you need is a piece of tail!”
Husband replied, “Make up your mind. Yesterday you told me to go fly a kite!”