legal

  • German court mandates passwords on all Wi-Fi – or face a fine

    German court mandates passwords on all Wi-Fi – or face a fine

    This is another of these growing pains the modern world is having to go through. A court in Germany has decided that the owner/proprietor of a Wi-Fi connection is partially responsible if said connection is used for illegal purposes, with or without the owner’s knowledge. Therefore, leaving a Wi-Fi connection open to all comprises a sort of negligence, criminal negligence in fact… Read More

  • Seattle civil rights issue turns on hacking and police gadgetry

    Seattle civil rights issue turns on hacking and police gadgetry

    When you watch CSI or 24, you see all kinds of technology being employed to catch the bad guy. On a regular police beat, however, much of that technology is used for administration, records, and protection of the cops against allegations of abuse of authority, brutality, and so on. Either way, it’s comforting to know that every interaction I’ll have with a cop if I were to be… Read More

  • Microsoft sued over Zune HD's buy from radio function

    Microsoft sued over Zune HD's buy from radio function

    Patents, patents, everywhere! It seems you can’t swing a cat these days without infringing on someone’s patent. The latest victim/perp is Microsoft; an Illinois doctor is suing them because of a patent he was granted in 2002 which allegedly covers the Zune’s ability to tag a song directly from the radio and then download that song once an internet connection is established. Read More

  • Apple vs. HTC: A grudge match?

    Apple vs. HTC: A grudge match?

    With a list of allegedly infringed patents as long as my arm, Apple could be considered as filing this lawsuit with nothing but the idea of getting what’s rightfully theirs. I imagine that’s true as far as it goes, but there’s a little more to it and I think this conflict may expose even further the cracks that are appearing in our patent and trademark system. Read More

  • Bill in UK may disallow public wi-fi

    Bill in UK may disallow public wi-fi

    Good luck sorting this one out, short-sighted lawmakers. An upcoming piece of major legislation in the UK, called the Digital Economy Bill, would essentially force all public wi-fi points offline by requiring impossibly high levels of copyright protection by libraries and small businesses. The bill, which bears some similarity to the controversial DMCA here in the US, is ostensibly aimed… Read More

  • Nintendo successfully sues Aussie etailer for selling DS flash cartridges

    Nintendo successfully sues Aussie etailer for selling DS flash cartridges

    It’s getting to be a mighty dangerous place out there for DS pirates. Several months ago, Nintendo decided to sue a few of the big DS hacking companies out there, and although that ended up causing a major boost to those companies’ sales, it looks like the big N is starting to crack down on resellers too. GadgetGear (no affiliation with yours truly) was selling the R4 flash… Read More

  • Google's sudden music blog purge and its implications

    Google's sudden music blog purge and its implications

    Yesterday, in response to allegations of DMCA violations, several popular music blogs were wiped off the face of the net. They were hosted by Google via Blogger, and it was only after they were completely erased that the owners received emails to the effect of “We got one too many complaints – you’re deleted. Love, Google.” It’s trending around the net as… Read More

  • Smartbook trademark owners not as specifically intelligent as their product

    Smartbook trademark owners not as specifically intelligent as their product

    For some odd reason Slashgear has been using the term smartbook in their posts, a portmanteau that is, arguably, about as descriptive as “sandwichbacon” or “cleverob/gyn” in that it conflates two terms in with the suggestion that other members of its own classification are not equally sandwich-oriented, clever, or smart. While we will forgive them this slip, they just got… Read More

  • Postal worker helps himself to $86,000 worth of Gamefly games

    Postal worker helps himself to $86,000 worth of Gamefly games

    Whoops. Philadelphia-area Gamefly members who have been wondering why in the hell they never got their rented copies of Cooking Mama finally have some answers. The culprit, 34 year old Reginald Johnson of Germantown, PA, stole some 2,200 Gamefly games while working as a mail-processing clerk between April and September of 2008. Read More

  • GPS device alerts you to red light cameras, doesn’t do turn-by-turn directions

    GPS device alerts you to red light cameras, doesn’t do turn-by-turn directions

    Raise your hand if you’ve been caught on camera running a red light (I am raising my hand). Depending upon how often you get caught by red light cameras and how much you have to pay per ticket, this $200 “Red Light Camera Detector” may end up saving you some money and insurance headaches in the long run. Read More

  • Don't want to pay $10,000 to have an iTunes LP version of your album? Make your own

    Don't want to pay $10,000 to have an iTunes LP version of your album? Make your own

    The whole world was bullish on iTunes LPs when they were announced; I called it a black eye for the majors, whose CMX format has yet to be popularized. But the hype was curbed when it was discovered that there was a $10,000 fee associated with the service, putting it completely out of reach for less affluent artists and small labels who can’t afford that price for promotion. Luckily… Read More

  • Looks like it’s Splitsville for NVIDIA and Intel

    Looks like it’s Splitsville for NVIDIA and Intel

    That NVIDIA and Intel haven’t been getting along lately isn’t big news but it looks like NVIDIA has finally gotten up from the dinner table and left the restaurant in a huff. The epicenter of the problem appears to be NVIDIA’s Ion chipset, which provides some much needed oomph to netbook and nettop platforms. Intel wants to keep a distinct separation between its low-power… Read More

  • Changing projector's aspect ratio may violate copyright, according to manual

    Changing projector's aspect ratio may violate copyright, according to manual

    You know how sometimes you turn on the TV, and it’s still on 16:9 mode, but you’re just watching the news? And the people are all kinda squashed, but you don’t feel like picking the remote up and hitting the picture mode button? Yes? So, sir, you are confessing that you willfully modified the original copyrighted image, without the consent of the creator. It’s a good… Read More

  • Psystar shuffles its counsel – in other news, that lawsuit is still happening

    Psystar shuffles its counsel – in other news, that lawsuit is still happening

    Nobody expected that this Apple-Psystar affair would be rapid or easy, but at this point it’s positively interminable. Psystar has just switched out a lawyer, who probably just about keeled over from constantly parrying Apple’s well-founded injunctions against his client’s business. Here’s hoping Mr. Welker takes a well-deserved vacation. Read More

  • Amazon clarifies what can go down the memory hole

    Amazon clarifies what can go down the memory hole

    Bezos may have apologized, but the stink of Amazon’s unprecedented act of cyberburglary is still strong enough that people aren’t likely to forget any time soon. It’s a good thing, then, that Amazon has struck while the iron is still slightly hot by announcing the terms under which they will consider themselves justified in making your book an unbook. Read More

  • Free laptops sent to government offices spurs FBI case

    Free laptops sent to government offices spurs FBI case

    Apparently it’s not okay to send West Virginia’s governor five free laptops. What a world! Governor Joe Manchin’s office got a nice four-pack of Compaq laptops earlier this month, followed a week later by a fifth machine from HP. The only problem was that nobody in his office ordered them or paid for them. Read More

  • IT grad can't find job, sues her college

    IT grad can't find job, sues her college

    Who hasn’t thought about suing their college for some reason or another? Trina Thompson is doing it. She’s a 27-year-old IT graduate from the Bronx who’s suing her alma mater, The Monroe College, for the $70,000 worth of tuition she spent there. Why? Because she doesn’t have a job and she doesn’t think the college has tried hard enough to help her find one. Read More

  • Legal slap-fight over 'Netbook' moniker is behind us

    Legal slap-fight over 'Netbook' moniker is behind us

    Late last year we reported that a company named Psion was gearing up for some legal action in order to defend products it had called the “Netbook” and “Netbook Pro” back in the early part of the decade. Psion initially sent out cease and decist letters to various websites in the UK, demanding that references to “netbook” or “netbooks” be removed… Read More

  • RealNetworks' hardware DVD ripper facing legal trouble

    RealNetworks' hardware DVD ripper facing legal trouble

    RealNetworks is currently entangled in a legal case over a prototype hardware DVD ripper called “Facet.” Described as “TiVo for DVDs,” the $300 box aims to replace set-top DVD players by allowing owners to rip their movie collections directly to a 500GB hard drive for quick and easy access and playback. Read More

  • On the subject of ridiculous wireless data pricing

    On the subject of ridiculous wireless data pricing

    That $99 Aspire One deal we covered late last year – Aspire One + two-year AT&T DataConnect plan – has both RadioShack and AT&T in hot water after a lady signed up for the deal and tallied up more than $5000 in overage charges within her first month. Read More