http://blog.seaofinfo.com/scientifically-accurate-sonic-the-hedgehog-eats-poop/
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What’s This?
By Max Knoblauch2014-07-29 05:00:55 UTC
Hedgehogs aren’t the badass, speedy creatures your childhood video games made them out to be.
As this video by Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def points out, they spend less time collecting rings and running in loops than they do chewing up poop and rubbing it on themselves.
Gotta go fast.
Topics: Gaming, sonic the hedgehog, Videos, viral video, Watercooler
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/scientifically-accurate-sonic-the-hedgehog-eats-poop/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif

What’s This?

2014-07-29 05:00:55 UTC

Hedgehogs aren’t the badass, speedy creatures your childhood video games made them out to be.

As this video by Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def points out, they spend less time collecting rings and running in loops than they do chewing up poop and rubbing it on themselves.

Gotta go fast.

Topics: Gaming, sonic the hedgehog, Videos, viral video, Watercooler

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/sarah-palin-launches-online-subscription-channel/
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FILE – In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a “direct connection” for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/sarah-palin-launches-online-subscription-channel/
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FILE - In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a "direct connection" for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

FILE – In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a “direct connection” for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/sarah-palin-launches-online-subscription-channel-2/
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FILE – In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a “direct connection” for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/sarah-palin-launches-online-subscription-channel-2/
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FILE - In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a "direct connection" for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

FILE – In this April 27, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa. Sarah Palin is starting her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, July 27, 2014, bills itself as a “direct connection” for the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/4-dc-comics-brought-to-tv-get-comic-con-event/
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Benjamin McKenzie, from left, David Mazouz, Robin Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Donal Logue, and Jada Pinkett Smith pose at the “Gotham” press line on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/4-dc-comics-brought-to-tv-get-comic-con-event/
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Benjamin McKenzie, from left, David Mazouz, Robin Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Donal Logue, and Jada Pinkett Smith pose at the "Gotham" press line on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)

Benjamin McKenzie, from left, David Mazouz, Robin Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Donal Logue, and Jada Pinkett Smith pose at the “Gotham” press line on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/ukraine-launches-offensive-to-retake-donetsk/
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Philly car jacking kills 3 children, prompts $110,000 reward
1:10
Three siblings die on a Philadelphia street corner while selling fruit to help raise church money after a carjacked SUV plows into them, prompting a $110,000 reward. Mana Rabiee reports.
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/ukraine-launches-offensive-to-retake-donetsk/
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Philly car jacking kills 3 children, prompts $110,000 reward

1:10

Three siblings die on a Philadelphia street corner while selling fruit to help raise church money after a carjacked SUV plows into them, prompting a $110,000 reward. Mana Rabiee reports.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/blacklist-fans-get-black-fedoras-at-comic-con/
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FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, James Spader arrives at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fans gathered for the panel for NBC’s drama “The Blacklist” on Saturday, July 26 received black fedoras, in honor of the character played by Spader. On “The Blacklist,” Spader is Raymond “Red” Reddington, a fedora-wearing, former fugitive who turns himself in to be an informant. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/blacklist-fans-get-black-fedoras-at-comic-con/
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FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, James Spader arrives at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fans gathered for the panel for NBC's drama "The Blacklist" on Saturday, July 26 received black fedoras, in honor of the character played by Spader. On "The Blacklist," Spader is Raymond "Red" Reddington, a fedora-wearing, former fugitive who turns himself in to be an informant. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, James Spader arrives at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fans gathered for the panel for NBC’s drama “The Blacklist” on Saturday, July 26 received black fedoras, in honor of the character played by Spader. On “The Blacklist,” Spader is Raymond “Red” Reddington, a fedora-wearing, former fugitive who turns himself in to be an informant. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/this-week-in-techdirt-history-128/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif
Time for another look back through Techdirt history.
Five Years Ago…
This week in 2009, we launched the original Techdirt CwF+RtB offering. It was a set of tiered rewards inspired by the creative experiments we saw so many musicians and other artists trying, and in time it would grow into the Insider Shop of today.
Remember when the Associated Press hatched an ill-fated scheme to DRM the news? Yup, it was only five years ago, even though — as we pointed out the same week — newspapers haven’t truly charged for news in 180 years, and their true fear (that Google was raking in cash off the backs of their content) wasn’t exactly true.
Conversely, the world was starting to realize that YouTube wasn’t the profit-sink many people believed it to be. Of course, not all media companies had figured out how to use it, with Disney using copyright to pull a trailer for its own movie from YouTube in a moment of critically forgetting the point of advertising. And while Disney was shooting its own foot, a growing number of artists were complaining that their labels were shooting their feet for them by taking down all their music videos. Examples like these made it doubly absurd when the director of the Australasian Performing Right Association tried to claim that <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.techdirt.com%2Farticles%2F20090720%2F0233385600.shtml%22%3E”without the content industries, the internet would be empty”.
Ten Years Ago…
This week in 2004 was a time of dangerous tech legislation being pushed at every opportunity (not that we ever get much respite from such attempts). On one hand, congress was racing its way through anti-spyrware legislation with little thought given to the true consequences. On the other hand, it was also grappling with the INDUCE Act to outlaw P2P systems, which Sen. Orrin Hatch essentially admitted was wrong, but supported anyway.
AT&T Wireless launched 3G service (under slightly odd circumstances), while pressure from attorneys general convinced all the wireless players to start revealing their coverage maps. Verizon, for its part, was also heavily focused on fiber — and making some claims that raised skeptical eyebrows.
But, perhaps the most plain and drastic change: this week in 2004 we reported on the massive growth of the internet in China, where the number of users had just hit 87-million people. Today that number is 632-million.
Fifteen Years Ago…
Anyone remember the online grocery delivery service Webvan? This week in 1999 it was valued at $4-billion (within only two years, it would be bankrupt and go down as one of the largest dot-com flops in history). And what about online retailer CDNow? This week they sued Lycos over an advertising spat.
This was also the week that Apple launched the very first iBook (the candy-colored clamshell one). On the far opposite end of the scale, Compaq shocked people by selling computers at the low price of $299.
Microsoft decided to enter the instant messaging game in 1999. The hook for their offering was that it could inter-communicate with AOL Messenger users — a feature that AOL wasted no time in blocking.
226 Years Ago…
This week, it’s a milestone in music history: on July 25, 1788, Mozart completed his Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Of course, since it’s now long out of copyright, it’s lost all value and has been almost completely forgotten, left to dwindle in the public domain where proper money-making works go to die. After all, you’ve never ever heard this song, have you?
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/this-week-in-techdirt-history-128/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif

Time for another look back through Techdirt history.

Five Years Ago…

This week in 2009, we launched the original Techdirt CwF+RtB offering. It was a set of tiered rewards inspired by the creative experiments we saw so many musicians and other artists trying, and in time it would grow into the Insider Shop of today.

Remember when the Associated Press hatched an ill-fated scheme to DRM the news? Yup, it was only five years ago, even though — as we pointed out the same week — newspapers haven’t truly charged for news in 180 years, and their true fear (that Google was raking in cash off the backs of their content) wasn’t exactly true.

Conversely, the world was starting to realize that YouTube wasn’t the profit-sink many people believed it to be. Of course, not all media companies had figured out how to use it, with Disney using copyright to pull a trailer for its own movie from YouTube in a moment of critically forgetting the point of advertising. And while Disney was shooting its own foot, a growing number of artists were complaining that their labels were shooting their feet for them by taking down all their music videos. Examples like these made it doubly absurd when the director of the Australasian Performing Right Association tried to claim that <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.techdirt.com%2Farticles%2F20090720%2F0233385600.shtml%22%3E”without the content industries, the internet would be empty”.

Ten Years Ago…

This week in 2004 was a time of dangerous tech legislation being pushed at every opportunity (not that we ever get much respite from such attempts). On one hand, congress was racing its way through anti-spyrware legislation with little thought given to the true consequences. On the other hand, it was also grappling with the INDUCE Act to outlaw P2P systems, which Sen. Orrin Hatch essentially admitted was wrong, but supported anyway.

AT&T Wireless launched 3G service (under slightly odd circumstances), while pressure from attorneys general convinced all the wireless players to start revealing their coverage maps. Verizon, for its part, was also heavily focused on fiber — and making some claims that raised skeptical eyebrows.

But, perhaps the most plain and drastic change: this week in 2004 we reported on the massive growth of the internet in China, where the number of users had just hit 87-million people. Today that number is 632-million.

Fifteen Years Ago…

Anyone remember the online grocery delivery service Webvan? This week in 1999 it was valued at $4-billion (within only two years, it would be bankrupt and go down as one of the largest dot-com flops in history). And what about online retailer CDNow? This week they sued Lycos over an advertising spat.

This was also the week that Apple launched the very first iBook (the candy-colored clamshell one). On the far opposite end of the scale, Compaq shocked people by selling computers at the low price of $299.

Microsoft decided to enter the instant messaging game in 1999. The hook for their offering was that it could inter-communicate with AOL Messenger users — a feature that AOL wasted no time in blocking.

226 Years Ago…

This week, it’s a milestone in music history: on July 25, 1788, Mozart completed his Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Of course, since it’s now long out of copyright, it’s lost all value and has been almost completely forgotten, left to dwindle in the public domain where proper money-making works go to die. After all, you’ve never ever heard this song, have you?

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/yasiel-puig-hits-three-of-dodgers-five-triples-joins-elite-company/
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/pH6KeuS6T8SpO5dCWCPokg&#8212;/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/121/2013/10/Townsend75Mug.jpg
Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup with a bang-bang-bang on Friday night, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodgers player since Jimmy Sheckard in 1901 to hit three triples in a single game.
Puig also added a double in what has to be considered the offensive performance of the season for a single player. He finished 4 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs as the Dodgers cruised to an 8-1 victory over the San Francisco GIants. 
Here’s how Puig’s historic night played out.
In the first inning, Puig was credited with a triple in somewhat controversial fashion. His long drive to left-center field off Tim Lincecum that appeared to hit the wall, which allowed him to race around to third for a sliding triple. However, first umpire Adam Hamari signaled home run, which created some confusion. Manager Don Mattingly quickly ran out looking for confirmation and a review soon followed.
Replays clearly showed a fan in the first row touching the ball before it bounced back on the field, it was just difficult to tell whether or not it cleared the fence. The umpires said it didn’t, which based on the evidence should have led to ground-rule double being the call. However, Puig was allowed to remain at third, which could indicate the umpires felt it was inconclusive.
So that’s one triple down, two more conventional and less confusing triples to go.  In the fifth, Puig visited right center field at AT&amp;T Park, just a few feet left of the aptly named Triples Alley. That plated Dee Gordon, who tripled right before him.
The trio of triples was completed in the sixth inning when Puig visited right-center field again and tucked it into Triples Alley. Another run came around to score, and Puig probably could have done cartwheels the final 90 feet as he became the 49th player in MLB history with at least three triples in one game.
The single game record is four, which has been done twice. For perspective, there have been 16 four home run games.   
That’s a long, long time ago, though Puig did have one more chance to rewrite that portion of baseball history. He ended up flying out to deep center field in the eighth inning.
Here’s another interesting note to take away from Puig’s performance on Friday.
As a team, the Dodgers hit three triples in the fifth inning. Dee Gordon and Puig went back-to-back, and then Matt Kemp added the third. That, too, was not a record. 
The magic number when it comes to triples is four, and based on the numbers we won’t see another player make a run at the single-game record very often. Then again, that may change with Yasiel Puig around. He has the necessary physical tools, and he loves to run until someone tags him. That may be the only formula that makes it possible. 
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- – - – - – -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! 
Sports &amp; Recreation
Baseball
Yasiel Puig
Los Angeles Dodgers
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/yasiel-puig-hits-three-of-dodgers-five-triples-joins-elite-company/
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/pH6KeuS6T8SpO5dCWCPokg—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/121/2013/10/Townsend75Mug.jpg

Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup with a bang-bang-bang on Friday night, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodgers player since Jimmy Sheckard in 1901 to hit three triples in a single game.

Puig also added a double in what has to be considered the offensive performance of the season for a single player. He finished 4 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs as the Dodgers cruised to an 8-1 victory over the San Francisco GIants. 

Here’s how Puig’s historic night played out.

In the first inning, Puig was credited with a triple in somewhat controversial fashion. His long drive to left-center field off Tim Lincecum that appeared to hit the wall, which allowed him to race around to third for a sliding triple. However, first umpire Adam Hamari signaled home run, which created some confusion. Manager Don Mattingly quickly ran out looking for confirmation and a review soon followed.

Replays clearly showed a fan in the first row touching the ball before it bounced back on the field, it was just difficult to tell whether or not it cleared the fence. The umpires said it didn’t, which based on the evidence should have led to ground-rule double being the call. However, Puig was allowed to remain at third, which could indicate the umpires felt it was inconclusive.

So that’s one triple down, two more conventional and less confusing triples to go. In the fifth, Puig visited right center field at AT&T Park, just a few feet left of the aptly named Triples Alley. That plated Dee Gordon, who tripled right before him.

The trio of triples was completed in the sixth inning when Puig visited right-center field again and tucked it into Triples Alley. Another run came around to score, and Puig probably could have done cartwheels the final 90 feet as he became the 49th player in MLB history with at least three triples in one game.

The single game record is four, which has been done twice. For perspective, there have been 16 four home run games.   

That’s a long, long time ago, though Puig did have one more chance to rewrite that portion of baseball history. He ended up flying out to deep center field in the eighth inning.

Here’s another interesting note to take away from Puig’s performance on Friday.

As a team, the Dodgers hit three triples in the fifth inning. Dee Gordon and Puig went back-to-back, and then Matt Kemp added the third. That, too, was not a record. 

The magic number when it comes to triples is four, and based on the numbers we won’t see another player make a run at the single-game record very often. Then again, that may change with Yasiel Puig around. He has the necessary physical tools, and he loves to run until someone tags him. That may be the only formula that makes it possible. 

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

- – - – - – -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/australian-government-proposes-new-copyright-law-basically-hollywoods-wishlist/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gifWe’ve been covering the discussion around copyright reform down in Australia for a while, and it’s continuing to get worse and worse. As you may recall, after a long and detailed process, involving careful input from a variety of stakeholders on all sides of the equation, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) came out with a set of proposals that were actually pretty good, including things like introducing fair use to Australia.
Of course, rather than pay attention to this detailed and thoughtful process, the current Attorney General, George Brandis, decided to only listen to Hollywood. This created quite a telling discussion when Senator Scott Ludlam asked Brandis if he had consulted any consumer rights groups or other copyright experts concerning his copyright plans, and Brandis refused to answer, instead getting angry and insisting that Hollywood’s interest is the public interest. Brandis also claimed — totally incorrectly — that Australia has no laws against online piracy and is “the worst offender of any country in the world when it comes to online piracy.” That’s simply bogus, and appears to just be a Hollywood talking point.
Given all that, it was fully expected that Brandis would basically obey Hollywood’s orders — especially given that the main discussions he’d been having came with the “Australian Screen Association,” which is a rebranded version of AFACT, which a Wikileaks State Department cable revealed was 100% controlled by Hollywood interests in the US.
And, indeed, Brandis has delivered his gift proposal to (or, should we say from?) Hollywood. It involves three main proposals, but the big one is overturning the important iiNet decision that highlighted that ISPs are protected from liability for users infringing, because they’re not the proactive party. In other words, under that ruling, ISPs can’t be forced to be copyright cops. Brandis’ plan would wipe that out, requiring ISPs to spy on user activity and try to block any “bad stuff” from happening, or they would face liability:


The Government believes that even where an ISP does not have a direct power to prevent a person from doing a particular infringing act, there may still be reasonable steps that can be taken by the ISP to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement.
Extending authorisation liability is essential to ensuring the existence of an effective legal framework that encourages industry cooperation and functions as originally intended, and is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

“Extending authorization liability” sounds so polite. But what it really means is “making ISPs into copyright cops” and encouraging them to spy on and block all sorts of activity, legal or not, to avoid liability from massive copyright infringement lawsuits (like the one against iiNet). Also note the famous “consistent with international obligations” line. We’ve been saying for nearly a decade now, whenever anyone brings up “international obligations,” you know they’re being intellectually dishonest.
The second part of the proposal is basically Australia’s version of SOPA. It would allow for website blocking of “infringing overseas sites.” And it would be like the original SOPA, with a “private right of action,” allowing entire websites to be blocked on the say so of the copyright holder. A court would have to approve it, but it would likely be an incredibly one-sided hearing, as it’s unlikely foreign websites will travel to Australia.


A similar provision in Australian law could enable rights holders to take action to block access to a website offering infringing material without the need to establish that a particular ISP has authorised an infringement.

The final piece of the plan appears to be an attempt to buy off internet companies that are likely to oppose this plan, in that it extends safe harbor protections to more of them. Basically, this is a cynical ploy to try to split the obvious opposition of this plan. Without this, it would clearly be both internet companies and internet access providers (ISPs) opposing. But here the idea is that if they barely extend a few safe harbor protections to more internet companies, maybe those guys won’t oppose this effort as strongly.
Either way, this is pretty much what was expected. It’s an evidence-free proposal based on the fear mongering claims of Hollywood, and an attempt to turn ISPs into Hollywood’s personal copyright cops, spying on your usage and doing anything to block infringement, even if that also wipes out plenty of legitimate speech as well.
Thankfully, Senator Ludlam (who exposed Brandis’ unwillingness to even answer whether he met with consumer rights groups) has already spoken out about this proposal:


Such a move would unleash a wave of lawsuits as giant film and TV studios re-open legal action to try and get Australian ISPs to act as ‘copyright police’ in penalising their customers for online copyright infringement.
The paper also discusses a range of other options for tackling the issue, including forcing ISPs to block websites, sending users warning notices, and even limiting the broadband connections of those who are only suspected of pirating content online.
What the discussion paper doesn’t contain is any attempt to address the real reason why Australians pirate films and TV shows online – the ongoing refusal of giant corporations to make their content available in an affordable and timely fashion.
Just getting access to watch HBO’s popular Game of Thrones show can cost Australians up to $50 a month – and the show is only available week by week from one source: pay TV giant Foxtel, which is co-owned by Telstra and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The Greens believe the Abbott Government is trying to protect an outdated dinosaur of a business model where a small group of mega-corporations control all access to the content Australians want to access. This isn’t a surprise, given the hundreds of thousands of dollars film and TV studios have recently donated to the Coalition.


Copyright (PDF)Copyright (Text)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/australian-government-proposes-new-copyright-law-basically-hollywoods-wishlist/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif
We’ve been covering the discussion around copyright reform down in Australia for a while, and it’s continuing to get worse and worse. As you may recall, after a long and detailed process, involving careful input from a variety of stakeholders on all sides of the equation, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) came out with a set of proposals that were actually pretty good, including things like introducing fair use to Australia.

Of course, rather than pay attention to this detailed and thoughtful process, the current Attorney General, George Brandis, decided to only listen to Hollywood. This created quite a telling discussion when Senator Scott Ludlam asked Brandis if he had consulted any consumer rights groups or other copyright experts concerning his copyright plans, and Brandis refused to answer, instead getting angry and insisting that Hollywood’s interest is the public interest. Brandis also claimed — totally incorrectly — that Australia has no laws against online piracy and is “the worst offender of any country in the world when it comes to online piracy.” That’s simply bogus, and appears to just be a Hollywood talking point.

Given all that, it was fully expected that Brandis would basically obey Hollywood’s orders — especially given that the main discussions he’d been having came with the “Australian Screen Association,” which is a rebranded version of AFACT, which a Wikileaks State Department cable revealed was 100% controlled by Hollywood interests in the US.

And, indeed, Brandis has delivered his gift proposal to (or, should we say from?) Hollywood. It involves three main proposals, but the big one is overturning the important iiNet decision that highlighted that ISPs are protected from liability for users infringing, because they’re not the proactive party. In other words, under that ruling, ISPs can’t be forced to be copyright cops. Brandis’ plan would wipe that out, requiring ISPs to spy on user activity and try to block any “bad stuff” from happening, or they would face liability:

The Government believes that even where an ISP does not have a direct power to prevent a person from doing a particular infringing act, there may still be reasonable steps that can be taken by the ISP to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement.

Extending authorisation liability is essential to ensuring the existence of an effective legal framework that encourages industry cooperation and functions as originally intended, and is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

“Extending authorization liability” sounds so polite. But what it really means is “making ISPs into copyright cops” and encouraging them to spy on and block all sorts of activity, legal or not, to avoid liability from massive copyright infringement lawsuits (like the one against iiNet). Also note the famous “consistent with international obligations” line. We’ve been saying for nearly a decade now, whenever anyone brings up “international obligations,” you know they’re being intellectually dishonest.

The second part of the proposal is basically Australia’s version of SOPA. It would allow for website blocking of “infringing overseas sites.” And it would be like the original SOPA, with a “private right of action,” allowing entire websites to be blocked on the say so of the copyright holder. A court would have to approve it, but it would likely be an incredibly one-sided hearing, as it’s unlikely foreign websites will travel to Australia.

A similar provision in Australian law could enable rights holders to take action to block access to a website offering infringing material without the need to establish that a particular ISP has authorised an infringement.

The final piece of the plan appears to be an attempt to buy off internet companies that are likely to oppose this plan, in that it extends safe harbor protections to more of them. Basically, this is a cynical ploy to try to split the obvious opposition of this plan. Without this, it would clearly be both internet companies and internet access providers (ISPs) opposing. But here the idea is that if they barely extend a few safe harbor protections to more internet companies, maybe those guys won’t oppose this effort as strongly.

Either way, this is pretty much what was expected. It’s an evidence-free proposal based on the fear mongering claims of Hollywood, and an attempt to turn ISPs into Hollywood’s personal copyright cops, spying on your usage and doing anything to block infringement, even if that also wipes out plenty of legitimate speech as well.

Thankfully, Senator Ludlam (who exposed Brandis’ unwillingness to even answer whether he met with consumer rights groups) has already spoken out about this proposal:

Such a move would unleash a wave of lawsuits as giant film and TV studios re-open legal action to try and get Australian ISPs to act as ‘copyright police’ in penalising their customers for online copyright infringement.

The paper also discusses a range of other options for tackling the issue, including forcing ISPs to block websites, sending users warning notices, and even limiting the broadband connections of those who are only suspected of pirating content online.

What the discussion paper doesn’t contain is any attempt to address the real reason why Australians pirate films and TV shows online – the ongoing refusal of giant corporations to make their content available in an affordable and timely fashion.

Just getting access to watch HBO’s popular Game of Thrones show can cost Australians up to $50 a month – and the show is only available week by week from one source: pay TV giant Foxtel, which is co-owned by Telstra and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The Greens believe the Abbott Government is trying to protect an outdated dinosaur of a business model where a small group of mega-corporations control all access to the content Australians want to access. This isn’t a surprise, given the hundreds of thousands of dollars film and TV studios have recently donated to the Coalition.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/meet-the-22-year-old-who-is-closing-the-summer-achievement-gap/
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/07/1172648_10201854901636887_1782289685_o/lead.jpg?n99unjKarim Abouelnaga, the founder of Practice Makes Perfect, explains how he became obsessed with the knowledge kids lose during long vacations. 

Practice Makes Perfect

For the past four summers, Karim Abouelnaga has been focused on one thing: stopping the loss of academic skills and knowledge that occurs during the summer months. Known in academic circles as “the summer achievement gap,” it affects elementary and middle school students in general, but low-income and minority students are especially at risk. By the fall, as Abouelnaga has learned, students can be as many as five months behind their peers if they haven’t been engaged during the summer: They not only fall behind during the vacation itself; they also spend the first couple of months of the new school year attempting to close the gap. Some of them never do.  

Abouelnaga, 22, initially came across the problem while working on a class project at Cornell three years ago. His discovery of the issues eventually led him to co-found the renowned education program, Practice Makes Perfect (PMP). 
The core tenet of the program (which runs from Monday-Friday 9am-4pm) is that students teach each other. Abouelnaga noticed early on that younger children are more receptive to teachers from their own neighborhoods or backgrounds. At PMP, it’s common to see a 10th grader teaching a fifth grader at his program. Abouelnaga has seen resounding success as a result; in 2013, the program earned special recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. Abouelnaga with Clinton in 2013 (Practice Makes Perfect)
This summer marks a crucial turning point for PMP. As the program continues to grow, Abouelnaga has changed the business model from fully philanthropic to a more sustainable fee-for-service approach. He’s hoping this will allow PMP to expand and reach areas where its services are most needed. He’s also in the final stages of preparation for the July 27 triathlon, a fundraiser that began on a whim and has now ballooned into a massive annual event. Abouelnaga recently spoke to The Atlantic about PMP’s growth, his upcoming race, and the state of education in America. 
This is the fourth summer for PMP. How has the program changed over the years?

It is too surreal. I still feel like it was just yesterday when I picked up the report on the achievement gap in college. When we originally started working on PMP, we were thinking of national expansion—almost too early. We quickly learned how difficult it is to do our work and are still working to set reasonable expectations of growth.
This summer we made changes to our business model. Now we have a more sustainable fee-for-service model that works more closely with individual schools to share data and drive longer-term change. We also had the most selective college internship process, accepting about 5 percent of the college students who applied to teach in our classrooms. For the first time, we partnered with a charter network, Friendship Charter Schools in DC, to bring our first pilot program out there, and we piloted a program with an independent charter school in New York City. 
This summer, we are also working a lot more closely with the New York City Department of Education to support the work we are carrying out in East New York, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens—two of the most struggling neighborhoods in New York City.
What do you see as the program’s greatest accomplishment?
This year, our first group of mentors applied to college, and there were 22 of them. Collectively, they got into 120+ universities across the United States, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, and NYU. Their college acceptances to some of the most competitive and resource-rich institutions is tangible validation of the impact we are having.
What has been the greatest challenge?
I am 22 years old. As obvious as it may sound, I still have a lot of learning to do. There is a long road of personal and professional development that I still have to travel down.
What have you learned about the summer achievement gap since you first read that report back at Cornell? 
When I started PMP, I thought the summer learning loss was limited to the 3.5-month loss over the summer. I have since learned that teachers spend another 1.5 months teaching old material and reviewing content at the beginning of every year. Thus, the aggregate losses are closer to 5 months, or half a school year.
I want to ask you a series of rapid-fire questions. Tell me something about education that you like.
Elite universities are doing a great job at making their educations accessible to the lowest financial quartile of students.
… hate.
We are not doing enough to maximize our children’s time over the summer. There are innovative programs and organizations that are springing about, but funding is scarce.
… want to change.
Legislation around summer funding. I’d like every school to one day have an allocation for summer education. This is currently not the case.
Any general observations about the state of American education today?
Educational equity is one of the biggest civil rights movements of our time. Arne Duncan recently made a proposal for a full [calendar-]year school year. I am in absolute support of the idea of structured learning opportunities over the summer for low-income students.
Where will PMP be in 10 years? 
My goal is have PMP become a national summer school replacement model. The summer slide is a huge problem, but I also feel like the summer is a huge opportunity that is currently being wasted. In so many cases, our kids are left to get in trouble and are not under adult supervision. The benefit that PMP is creating for every stakeholder, from the student to the teacher, is something I am the most eager to see scale.
The vision is that one day students in low income neighborhoods will end school, take two weeks off, attend a PMP summer program for six weeks, take another two weeks off, and then return to school for the following year. This would happen as early as kindergarten so we can change the current cultural norm around attending summer school.
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/meet-the-22-year-old-who-is-closing-the-summer-achievement-gap/
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/07/1172648_10201854901636887_1782289685_o/lead.jpg?n99unj

Karim Abouelnaga, the founder of Practice Makes Perfect, explains how he became obsessed with the knowledge kids lose during long vacations. 

Practice Makes Perfect

For the past four summers, Karim Abouelnaga has been focused on one thing: stopping the loss of academic skills and knowledge that occurs during the summer months. Known in academic circles as “the summer achievement gap,” it affects elementary and middle school students in general, but low-income and minority students are especially at risk. By the fall, as Abouelnaga has learned, students can be as many as five months behind their peers if they haven’t been engaged during the summer: They not only fall behind during the vacation itself; they also spend the first couple of months of the new school year attempting to close the gap. Some of them never do.  

Abouelnaga, 22, initially came across the problem while working on a class project at Cornell three years ago. His discovery of the issues eventually led him to co-found the renowned education program, Practice Makes Perfect (PMP). 

The core tenet of the program (which runs from Monday-Friday 9am-4pm) is that students teach each other. Abouelnaga noticed early on that younger children are more receptive to teachers from their own neighborhoods or backgrounds. At PMP, it’s common to see a 10th grader teaching a fifth grader at his program. Abouelnaga has seen resounding success as a result; in 2013, the program earned special recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. [IMAGE DESCRIPTION]Abouelnaga with Clinton in 2013 (Practice Makes Perfect)

This summer marks a crucial turning point for PMP. As the program continues to grow, Abouelnaga has changed the business model from fully philanthropic to a more sustainable fee-for-service approach. He’s hoping this will allow PMP to expand and reach areas where its services are most needed. He’s also in the final stages of preparation for the July 27 triathlon, a fundraiser that began on a whim and has now ballooned into a massive annual event. Abouelnaga recently spoke to The Atlantic about PMP’s growth, his upcoming race, and the state of education in America. 

This is the fourth summer for PMP. How has the program changed over the years?

It is too surreal. I still feel like it was just yesterday when I picked up the report on the achievement gap in college. When we originally started working on PMP, we were thinking of national expansion—almost too early. We quickly learned how difficult it is to do our work and are still working to set reasonable expectations of growth.

This summer we made changes to our business model. Now we have a more sustainable fee-for-service model that works more closely with individual schools to share data and drive longer-term change. We also had the most selective college internship process, accepting about 5 percent of the college students who applied to teach in our classrooms. For the first time, we partnered with a charter network, Friendship Charter Schools in DC, to bring our first pilot program out there, and we piloted a program with an independent charter school in New York City. 

This summer, we are also working a lot more closely with the New York City Department of Education to support the work we are carrying out in East New York, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens—two of the most struggling neighborhoods in New York City.

What do you see as the program’s greatest accomplishment?

This year, our first group of mentors applied to college, and there were 22 of them. Collectively, they got into 120+ universities across the United States, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, and NYU. Their college acceptances to some of the most competitive and resource-rich institutions is tangible validation of the impact we are having.

What has been the greatest challenge?

I am 22 years old. As obvious as it may sound, I still have a lot of learning to do. There is a long road of personal and professional development that I still have to travel down.

What have you learned about the summer achievement gap since you first read that report back at Cornell? 

When I started PMP, I thought the summer learning loss was limited to the 3.5-month loss over the summer. I have since learned that teachers spend another 1.5 months teaching old material and reviewing content at the beginning of every year. Thus, the aggregate losses are closer to 5 months, or half a school year.

I want to ask you a series of rapid-fire questions. Tell me something about education that you like.

Elite universities are doing a great job at making their educations accessible to the lowest financial quartile of students.

… hate.

We are not doing enough to maximize our children’s time over the summer. There are innovative programs and organizations that are springing about, but funding is scarce.

… want to change.

Legislation around summer funding. I’d like every school to one day have an allocation for summer education. This is currently not the case.

Any general observations about the state of American education today?

Educational equity is one of the biggest civil rights movements of our time. Arne Duncan recently made a proposal for a full [calendar-]year school year. I am in absolute support of the idea of structured learning opportunities over the summer for low-income students.

Where will PMP be in 10 years? 

My goal is have PMP become a national summer school replacement model. The summer slide is a huge problem, but I also feel like the summer is a huge opportunity that is currently being wasted. In so many cases, our kids are left to get in trouble and are not under adult supervision. The benefit that PMP is creating for every stakeholder, from the student to the teacher, is something I am the most eager to see scale.

The vision is that one day students in low income neighborhoods will end school, take two weeks off, attend a PMP summer program for six weeks, take another two weeks off, and then return to school for the following year. This would happen as early as kindergarten so we can change the current cultural norm around attending summer school.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/square-enix-nixes-3-years-of-fan-translation-work-on-psp-despite-not-releasing-english-version-for-psp/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif
When it comes to the title holder for shooting down anything interesting made by fans that in any way involves their IP, Square Enix probably takes the trophy. The company that insists that DRM is forever also insists that fan-made games, films, and even weapon replicas shall not exist. Part of the reason Square Enix is found doing this is that it has created and/or owned some truly beloved franchises in the video game medium, including the Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy franchises. The fans of these properties are exceptionally devoted and passionate to and about them, which naturally leads to the wish to expand the universes even further through their own creation. That Square Enix wields a level 99 copyright hammer at all of these efforts is an unfortunate slap in the face to some of its biggest fans and best customers. It’s a crappy situation all around.
But it’s when the company does this kind of bullying with the timing of a CIA extraordinary rendition agent that we have to wonder if Square Enix is run by masochists. The latest example of this concerns Final Fantasy Type-O, an RPG released for the PSP, a handheld console barely holding on to any relevance in the industry. See, the game came out three years ago, in 2011, but only in Japan and with no English-language version having ever been released. A group of Final Fantasy fans, spearheaded by someone going by the handle SkyBladeCloud, began working on an English translation. That was over two years ago. The proposed patch and its development amassed a decent following.

If Square Enix wasn’t going to release the game in English, well, hey, at least we could all still play it. Over the next two years, Square stayed silent about the fate of Type-0 in the west. Though Square’s executives would occasionally drop vague hints about the game in interviews, there was no concrete news, and the few times I did ask Square about the game, they sent over non-answers like “we have nothing to announce at this time.” Meanwhile, the fan translation team kept plugging away, and at the time, project lead SkyBladeCloud said he wasn’t concerned about legal repercussions.
“I’m not worried since I live in Spain and different laws apply,” Sky told me in an e-mail earlier this year.

Fast forward to mid-2014 when this entire thing turns into the kind of shit-show that leaves everyone looking dirty. In March of this year, the translators announced the patch would be ready in August. Despite the fact that the project had received a decent amount of attention, it was only then that Square Enix’s lawyers reached out to SkyBladeCloud and informed him that their efforts would be fought by the company. They also made some mention of finding some common ground that would keep everyone happy and on the level, though Square Enix has in the past been known to be a turncoat when it comes to those kinds of efforts. Still, non-disclosure agreements were signed and talks went on. People contributing to the translation project discussed internally not releasing their patch if Square Enix actually announced an English release of Type-O, the theorized reason for their lawyers finally reaching out. All of that discussion ceased, however, when SkyBladeCloud suddenly announced the patch would release in early June instead, despite it being incomplete and not ready for prime-time. It was downloaded roughly 100,000 times. Two days later, Square Enix dropped the other shoe.

On Tuesday, June 10, Square dropped a bombshell of their own: Type-0 would be coming west, not for handheld systems but as a high-definition remake for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. (A consequent Vita announcement flub left a bad taste in some fans’ mouths, and led many of them back toward the fan translation patch.)

Despite denials from SkyBladeCloud, pretty much everyone who knows this story is speculating that he knew the Square Enix announcement was coming and released the patch early out of spite, given a speculated ugly turn of tenor in talks with Square Enix and its lawyers. The timing certainly fits like a jigsaw puzzle piece. As does the sudden legal flurry set forth by Square Enix’s lawyers which, despite SkyBladeCloud’s earlier theory, caused him to take down the patch and all related online content referring to it. In its place he put up an announcement:

Unfortunately I’m forced to remove my posts and pages related to the popular Final Fantasy Type-0 fan translation project. That’s right, certain game company thinks that threats and false accusations are the way to treat its biggest fans. For the time being I can’t answer questions related to this matter, but I’ll write a more comprehensive post about all this once I get the chance. I hope you understand, and as always I appreciate your support (that I might need more that ever in the near future). Thank you very much:
~Sky

While SkyBladeCloud’s antics might be shady, and they certainly fractured his translation team in a serious way, he isn’t wrong: this is all unnecessary. The simple fact is that Square Enix now clearly has no intention of releasing an English version of a 3-plus year old game on the console for which the team was translating. Sure, they’re releasing it on some of the newer consoles, but many PSP owners may not have those consoles. The end result is going to be a whole lot of Final Fantasy fans being unable to play the game at all, simply because Square Enix decided to use its copyright hammer.
That certainly won’t win Square Enix any fans, even if some of the folks doing the translation handled themselves poorly.
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/square-enix-nixes-3-years-of-fan-translation-work-on-psp-despite-not-releasing-english-version-for-psp/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif

When it comes to the title holder for shooting down anything interesting made by fans that in any way involves their IP, Square Enix probably takes the trophy. The company that insists that DRM is forever also insists that fan-made games, films, and even weapon replicas shall not exist. Part of the reason Square Enix is found doing this is that it has created and/or owned some truly beloved franchises in the video game medium, including the Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy franchises. The fans of these properties are exceptionally devoted and passionate to and about them, which naturally leads to the wish to expand the universes even further through their own creation. That Square Enix wields a level 99 copyright hammer at all of these efforts is an unfortunate slap in the face to some of its biggest fans and best customers. It’s a crappy situation all around.

But it’s when the company does this kind of bullying with the timing of a CIA extraordinary rendition agent that we have to wonder if Square Enix is run by masochists. The latest example of this concerns Final Fantasy Type-O, an RPG released for the PSP, a handheld console barely holding on to any relevance in the industry. See, the game came out three years ago, in 2011, but only in Japan and with no English-language version having ever been released. A group of Final Fantasy fans, spearheaded by someone going by the handle SkyBladeCloud, began working on an English translation. That was over two years ago. The proposed patch and its development amassed a decent following.

If Square Enix wasn’t going to release the game in English, well, hey, at least we could all still play it. Over the next two years, Square stayed silent about the fate of Type-0 in the west. Though Square’s executives would occasionally drop vague hints about the game in interviews, there was no concrete news, and the few times I did ask Square about the game, they sent over non-answers like “we have nothing to announce at this time.” Meanwhile, the fan translation team kept plugging away, and at the time, project lead SkyBladeCloud said he wasn’t concerned about legal repercussions.

“I’m not worried since I live in Spain and different laws apply,” Sky told me in an e-mail earlier this year.

Fast forward to mid-2014 when this entire thing turns into the kind of shit-show that leaves everyone looking dirty. In March of this year, the translators announced the patch would be ready in August. Despite the fact that the project had received a decent amount of attention, it was only then that Square Enix’s lawyers reached out to SkyBladeCloud and informed him that their efforts would be fought by the company. They also made some mention of finding some common ground that would keep everyone happy and on the level, though Square Enix has in the past been known to be a turncoat when it comes to those kinds of efforts. Still, non-disclosure agreements were signed and talks went on. People contributing to the translation project discussed internally not releasing their patch if Square Enix actually announced an English release of Type-O, the theorized reason for their lawyers finally reaching out. All of that discussion ceased, however, when SkyBladeCloud suddenly announced the patch would release in early June instead, despite it being incomplete and not ready for prime-time. It was downloaded roughly 100,000 times. Two days later, Square Enix dropped the other shoe.

On Tuesday, June 10, Square dropped a bombshell of their own: Type-0 would be coming west, not for handheld systems but as a high-definition remake for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. (A consequent Vita announcement flub left a bad taste in some fans’ mouths, and led many of them back toward the fan translation patch.)

Despite denials from SkyBladeCloud, pretty much everyone who knows this story is speculating that he knew the Square Enix announcement was coming and released the patch early out of spite, given a speculated ugly turn of tenor in talks with Square Enix and its lawyers. The timing certainly fits like a jigsaw puzzle piece. As does the sudden legal flurry set forth by Square Enix’s lawyers which, despite SkyBladeCloud’s earlier theory, caused him to take down the patch and all related online content referring to it. In its place he put up an announcement:

Unfortunately I’m forced to remove my posts and pages related to the popular Final Fantasy Type-0 fan translation project. That’s right, certain game company thinks that threats and false accusations are the way to treat its biggest fans. For the time being I can’t answer questions related to this matter, but I’ll write a more comprehensive post about all this once I get the chance. I hope you understand, and as always I appreciate your support (that I might need more that ever in the near future). Thank you very much:

~Sky

While SkyBladeCloud’s antics might be shady, and they certainly fractured his translation team in a serious way, he isn’t wrong: this is all unnecessary. The simple fact is that Square Enix now clearly has no intention of releasing an English version of a 3-plus year old game on the console for which the team was translating. Sure, they’re releasing it on some of the newer consoles, but many PSP owners may not have those consoles. The end result is going to be a whole lot of Final Fantasy fans being unable to play the game at all, simply because Square Enix decided to use its copyright hammer.

That certainly won’t win Square Enix any fans, even if some of the folks doing the translation handled themselves poorly.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/under-the-dome-cast-teases-possibility-of-escape/
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/JT4lfEiq.TzIGtBHEb2khQ&#8212;/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTQyMTtweG9mZj01MDtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz03NDk-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/7e7e894ddea0c21c5a0f6a706700f8dd.jpg

This photo released by CBS shows, from left, Mike Vogel as Dale “Barbie” Barbara, Natalie Martinez as Deputy Linda Esquivel, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, and Dean Norris as James “Big Jim” Rennie, in a scene from the episode “Heads Will Roll” in the second season premiere of “Under the Dome,” Monday, June 30, 2014, (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (AP Photo/CBS, Brownie Harris) **NO SALES. NO ARCHIVE. NORTH AMERICA USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT. **
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/under-the-dome-cast-teases-possibility-of-escape/
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This photo released by CBS shows, from left, Mike Vogel as Dale "Barbie" Barbara, Natalie Martinez as Deputy Linda Esquivel, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, and Dean Norris as James "Big Jim" Rennie, in a scene from the episode "Heads Will Roll" in the second season premiere of "Under the Dome," Monday, June 30, 2014, (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (AP Photo/CBS, Brownie Harris) **NO SALES. NO ARCHIVE. NORTH AMERICA USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT. **

This photo released by CBS shows, from left, Mike Vogel as Dale “Barbie” Barbara, Natalie Martinez as Deputy Linda Esquivel, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, and Dean Norris as James “Big Jim” Rennie, in a scene from the episode “Heads Will Roll” in the second season premiere of “Under the Dome,” Monday, June 30, 2014, (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (AP Photo/CBS, Brownie Harris) **NO SALES. NO ARCHIVE. NORTH AMERICA USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT. **

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/wreckage-of-air-algerie-plane-carrying-116-people-found-in-mali/
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By Hamid Ould Ahmed and Tiemoko Diallo
ALGIERS/BAMAKO Fri Jul 25, 2014&#160;5:40am IST



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By Hamid Ould Ahmed and Tiemoko Diallo ALGIERS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Authorities said on Thursday they located the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight after it crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route…
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1 of 2. A relative of Lebanese national Manji Hasan holds up his mobile phone displaying a picture of Manji and his children, who the family said were all on board Air Algerie flight AH 5017, in the southern Lebanese village of Hariss July 24, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Ali Hashisho


 
ALGIERS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Authorities said on Thursday they located the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight after it crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

Regional aviation officials said they had lost contact with flight AH5017 at around 0155 GMT on Thursday, less than an hour after takeoff, following a request by the pilot to change course due to bad weather.

Two French Mirage fighter jets and United Nations helicopters on Thursday had for hours hunted for the wreck of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 plane in remote northern Mali, a region prey to scattered Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist fighters.

Malian state television said the wreckage of the flight was discovered between the town of Gossi and the Burkina Faso border. It said President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita would visit the site of the crash on Friday.

General Gilbert Diendere, a member of the crisis unit in Burkina Faso, said his team of investigators had already inspected the wreckage near the village of Boulikessi, 50&#160;km (31 miles) from the frontier.

“This team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered on the ground,” Diendere told local television, adding the remains of dead bodies had also been discovered.

“Sadly, the team saw no one on site. It saw no survivors.”

Communications Minister Alain Edouard Traore said the accident was the worst in Burkina Faso’s aviation history. President Blaise Compaore declared two days of national mourning, starting on Friday.

Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list included 51 French, 27 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two from Luxembourg, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukranian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Abidjan estimated the number of Lebanese citizens on the flight was at least 20, some of whom may have dual nationality.

“We don’t know anything yet. We have just heard from the news that the plane went missing,” said Amina Daher, whose sister-in-law Randa was travelling on the plane with her three children, and returning to Beirut to celebrate the Muslim religious festival of Eid El-Fitr with her family.

HERDERS “SAW THE PLANE FALL”

Another plane crash is likely to add to nerves over flying a week after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine, and a TransAsia Airways plane crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday. International airlines also temporarily cancelled flights into Tel Aviv this week, citing security concerns amid the instability in Gaza.

Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie was carrying 110 passengers and six crew. It said it took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT and was due to land at 0510 GMT, but never reached its destination.

A spokeswoman for SEPLA, Spain’s pilots union, said the six crew were from Spain.

A local official in Gossi said the crash had been witnessed by a group of herders near the village of Hamni-Ganda, and word was passed to authorities in Burkina Faso.

“The herders were in the bush and saw the plane fall,” Louis Berthaud, a community counsellor in Gossi, told Reuters by telephone. “It must have been a storm and it was struck by lightning. They said it was on fire as it fell, before it crashed.”

Asked if he suspected a terrorist attack, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said authorities believed the cause of the crash may have been bad weather, but no hypothesis had been excluded.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier cancelled a planned visit to overseas territories and said France – which has some 1,700 troops stationed in Mali – would use all military means on the ground to locate the aircraft.

“We cannot identify the causes of what happened,” Hollande told reporters.

Much of northern Mali lies in the hands of Tuareg separatist rebels, who rose up against the government in early 2012, triggering an Islamist revolt that briefly seized control of northern Mali. A French-led international operation in early 2013 broke the Islamists control over northern Mali.

RELATIVELY CLEAN RECORD

The MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine jets that entered service in 1980. A total of 265 of the MD-83 model were delivered before McDonnell Douglas, by then part of Boeing (BA.N), halted production in 1999.

“Boeing is aware of the report. We are awaiting additional information,” a spokesman for the U.S. planemaker said.

According to the Ascend Fleets database held by British-based Flightglobal, there are 187 MD-83s still in operation, of which 80 percent are being flown in the United States.

The aircraft’s two engines are made by Pratt &amp; Whitney, a unit of United Technologies (UTX.N).

Swiftair has a relatively clean safety record, with five accidents since 1977, two of which caused a total of eight deaths, according to the Washington-based Flight Safety Foundation.

Air Algerie’s last major accident was in 2003 when one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from the southern city of Tamanrasset, killing 102 people. In February, 77 people died when an Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in eastern Algeria.

(Additional reporting by Patrick Markey, Daniel Flynn, David Lewis, Mathieu Bonkoungou, Emma Farge, Joe Bavier, Julien Toyer, Tracy Rucinski, Laila Bassam, Marine Pennetier, John Irish and Tim Hepher; Writing by Patrick Markey and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Alison Williams and Sonya Hepinstall)


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ALGIERS/BAMAKO Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:40am IST

A relative of Lebanese national Manji Hasan holds up his mobile phone displaying a picture of Manji and his children, who the family said were all on board Air Algerie flight AH 5017, in the southern Lebanese village of Hariss July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

1 of 2. A relative of Lebanese national Manji Hasan holds up his mobile phone displaying a picture of Manji and his children, who the family said were all on board Air Algerie flight AH 5017, in the southern Lebanese village of Hariss July 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ali Hashisho

ALGIERS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Authorities said on Thursday they located the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight after it crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

Regional aviation officials said they had lost contact with flight AH5017 at around 0155 GMT on Thursday, less than an hour after takeoff, following a request by the pilot to change course due to bad weather.

Two French Mirage fighter jets and United Nations helicopters on Thursday had for hours hunted for the wreck of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 plane in remote northern Mali, a region prey to scattered Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist fighters.

Malian state television said the wreckage of the flight was discovered between the town of Gossi and the Burkina Faso border. It said President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita would visit the site of the crash on Friday.

General Gilbert Diendere, a member of the crisis unit in Burkina Faso, said his team of investigators had already inspected the wreckage near the village of Boulikessi, 50 km (31 miles) from the frontier.

“This team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered on the ground,” Diendere told local television, adding the remains of dead bodies had also been discovered.

“Sadly, the team saw no one on site. It saw no survivors.”

Communications Minister Alain Edouard Traore said the accident was the worst in Burkina Faso’s aviation history. President Blaise Compaore declared two days of national mourning, starting on Friday.

Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list included 51 French, 27 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two from Luxembourg, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukranian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Abidjan estimated the number of Lebanese citizens on the flight was at least 20, some of whom may have dual nationality.

“We don’t know anything yet. We have just heard from the news that the plane went missing,” said Amina Daher, whose sister-in-law Randa was travelling on the plane with her three children, and returning to Beirut to celebrate the Muslim religious festival of Eid El-Fitr with her family.

HERDERS “SAW THE PLANE FALL”

Another plane crash is likely to add to nerves over flying a week after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine, and a TransAsia Airways plane crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday. International airlines also temporarily cancelled flights into Tel Aviv this week, citing security concerns amid the instability in Gaza.

Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie was carrying 110 passengers and six crew. It said it took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT and was due to land at 0510 GMT, but never reached its destination.

A spokeswoman for SEPLA, Spain’s pilots union, said the six crew were from Spain.

A local official in Gossi said the crash had been witnessed by a group of herders near the village of Hamni-Ganda, and word was passed to authorities in Burkina Faso.

“The herders were in the bush and saw the plane fall,” Louis Berthaud, a community counsellor in Gossi, told Reuters by telephone. “It must have been a storm and it was struck by lightning. They said it was on fire as it fell, before it crashed.”

Asked if he suspected a terrorist attack, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said authorities believed the cause of the crash may have been bad weather, but no hypothesis had been excluded.

French President Francois Hollande had earlier cancelled a planned visit to overseas territories and said France – which has some 1,700 troops stationed in Mali – would use all military means on the ground to locate the aircraft.

“We cannot identify the causes of what happened,” Hollande told reporters.

Much of northern Mali lies in the hands of Tuareg separatist rebels, who rose up against the government in early 2012, triggering an Islamist revolt that briefly seized control of northern Mali. A French-led international operation in early 2013 broke the Islamists control over northern Mali.

RELATIVELY CLEAN RECORD

The MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine jets that entered service in 1980. A total of 265 of the MD-83 model were delivered before McDonnell Douglas, by then part of Boeing (BA.N), halted production in 1999.

“Boeing is aware of the report. We are awaiting additional information,” a spokesman for the U.S. planemaker said.

According to the Ascend Fleets database held by British-based Flightglobal, there are 187 MD-83s still in operation, of which 80 percent are being flown in the United States.

The aircraft’s two engines are made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies (UTX.N).

Swiftair has a relatively clean safety record, with five accidents since 1977, two of which caused a total of eight deaths, according to the Washington-based Flight Safety Foundation.

Air Algerie’s last major accident was in 2003 when one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from the southern city of Tamanrasset, killing 102 people. In February, 77 people died when an Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in eastern Algeria.

(Additional reporting by Patrick Markey, Daniel Flynn, David Lewis, Mathieu Bonkoungou, Emma Farge, Joe Bavier, Julien Toyer, Tracy Rucinski, Laila Bassam, Marine Pennetier, John Irish and Tim Hepher; Writing by Patrick Markey and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Alison Williams and Sonya Hepinstall)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/gaza-by-way-of-nasa/
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/07/BtPyQ3CCYAEk1S2-1/lead.jpg?n98os7An astronaut takes a photograph that captures both wonder and war.

Alexander Gerst/NASA

Astronauts, when they first see the Earth from space, tend to share a complicated, but common, reaction: a sense of wonder. Mixed with a sense of peace. Mixed with a sense of appreciation of all that we share by virtue of sharing a planet. This encounter with the space-based sublime has, courtesy of the International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan, a name: “orbital perspective.” It’s that closeness humans seem to feel with Earth when they find themselves, against so many odds, outside of it. It’s that Bette Midler song, brought to life.
But “orbital perspective” also involves, as Garan described it in 2011, “a sobering contradiction.” On the one hand, the astronaut said of his own experience of the phenomenon, “I saw this incredibly beautiful, fragile oasis—the Earth. On the other, I was faced with the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for many of its inhabitants.”
That contradiction is captured perfectly in a photo shared yesterday by one of Garan’s successors, Alexander Gerst, who is a current resident of the ISS. The orbiting space station—itself a symbol of international cooperation and, in that, global unity—passed over Israel and Palestine as it orbited Earth’s surface yesterday. It was nighttime on that side of the planet, as one human habitat passed over another; everything was dark save for the man-made lights studding the land. 
And save for one other thing, too: explosions. The flashes of bright light—brighter than the other ones—that are distantly visible evidence of human bloodshed. “From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza &amp; #Israel,” Gerst tweeted. He then shared the image above.
He noted, as he did so, that it was his “saddest photo yet.”
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/gaza-by-way-of-nasa/
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/07/BtPyQ3CCYAEk1S2-1/lead.jpg?n98os7

An astronaut takes a photograph that captures both wonder and war.

Alexander Gerst/NASA

Astronauts, when they first see the Earth from space, tend to share a complicated, but common, reaction: a sense of wonder. Mixed with a sense of peace. Mixed with a sense of appreciation of all that we share by virtue of sharing a planet. This encounter with the space-based sublime has, courtesy of the International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan, a name: “orbital perspective.” It’s that closeness humans seem to feel with Earth when they find themselves, against so many odds, outside of it. It’s that Bette Midler song, brought to life.

But “orbital perspective” also involves, as Garan described it in 2011, “a sobering contradiction.” On the one hand, the astronaut said of his own experience of the phenomenon, “I saw this incredibly beautiful, fragile oasis—the Earth. On the other, I was faced with the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for many of its inhabitants.”

That contradiction is captured perfectly in a photo shared yesterday by one of Garan’s successors, Alexander Gerst, who is a current resident of the ISS. The orbiting space station—itself a symbol of international cooperation and, in that, global unity—passed over Israel and Palestine as it orbited Earth’s surface yesterday. It was nighttime on that side of the planet, as one human habitat passed over another; everything was dark save for the man-made lights studding the land. 

And save for one other thing, too: explosions. The flashes of bright light—brighter than the other ones—that are distantly visible evidence of human bloodshed. “From we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over & ,” Gerst tweeted. He then shared the image above.

He noted, as he did so, that it was his “saddest photo yet.”

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/mark-zuckerberg-is-now-richer-than-the-google-guys/
http://rack.0.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzA3LzI0L2EyL01hcmtadWNrZXJiLmFhYTMzLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn/8c3aec0c/c7f/Mark-Zuckerberg.jpg.jpg
What’s This?
acebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laughs after speaking at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Image: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

By Todd Wasserman2014-07-24&#160;22:48:56 UTC

How’s your summer going? Probably not as good as Mark Zuckerberg’s.
The Facebook CEO and cofounder’s wealth has spiked in recent months as the company’s stock price continues to reach new highs. On Thursday, he reached another milestone: With a fortune worth $33.3 billion, he’s now worth more than Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, according to Blooomberg’s Billionaires Index.

See also: Mark Zuckerberg vs. an Average 30-Year-Old Man

At No. 16 on the list, Zuckerberg is also wealthier than No. 20, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.
Where can Zuck go from there? According to Business Insider, if Facebook stock shoots up to $200, then he will become the richest man in the world, unseating Bill Gates or Carlos Slim.
At this writing, the stock was trading at around $75.
Topics: Business, Facebook, mark zuckerberg
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/mark-zuckerberg-is-now-richer-than-the-google-guys/
http://rack.0.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzA3LzI0L2EyL01hcmtadWNrZXJiLmFhYTMzLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn/8c3aec0c/c7f/Mark-Zuckerberg.jpg.jpg

What’s This?

Mark-zuckerberg.jpgacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laughs after speaking at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Image: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

How’s your summer going? Probably not as good as Mark Zuckerberg’s.

The Facebook CEO and cofounder’s wealth has spiked in recent months as the company’s stock price continues to reach new highs. On Thursday, he reached another milestone: With a fortune worth $33.3 billion, he’s now worth more than Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, according to Blooomberg’s Billionaires Index.

At No. 16 on the list, Zuckerberg is also wealthier than No. 20, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

Where can Zuck go from there? According to Business Insider, if Facebook stock shoots up to $200, then he will become the richest man in the world, unseating Bill Gates or Carlos Slim.

At this writing, the stock was trading at around $75.

Topics: Business, Facebook, mark zuckerberg