Die Bundestagsabgeordnete Saskia Esken und der frühere NRW-Minister Norbert Walter-Borjans sollen künftig die SPD führen. Das stärkt die Netzpolitik in der SPD, könnte aber ein Ende der großen Koalition im Bund bedeuten. (Netzpolitik, Google)
New documentary from the Honest Trailers crew wisely trades snark for sincerity.
Galaxy Quest, the glorious 1999 science fiction action comedy starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver (among others), will turn 20 on December 25 of this year. And what better way to celebrate this important milestone than with a documentary feature? Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is an entertaining, heartfelt tribute that comes to us (believe it or not) from the same folks behind the wildly popular online Honest Trailers series.
(Spoilers for Galaxy Quest below.)
The premise of the movie is deceptively simple: what if aliens watched transmissions of a popular science fiction TV show from Earth and thought it was real? An alien race called the Thermians model their entire society on the principles of a fictional Galaxy Quest TV show, building real, functional versions of the spaceship and much of the technology from the series. When their very existence is threatened by a reptilian humanoid general from another species named Roth'h'ar Sarris, they travel to Earth to ask their heroes for help—arriving in the middle of a Galaxy Quest fan convention.
Amazon, Netflix, and several Hollywood studios have added another victory to their legal track record. A federal court in California has granted a default judgment which orders the owner and an employee of the IPTV service Set-TV to pay over $7 million in piracy damages.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the anti-piracy alliance featuring several Hollywood studios, Amazon, Netflix and other entertainment outfits, has declared war on pirate streaming services.
The alliance is the driving force behind several lawsuits including the one filed against Florida-based IPTV service SET TV early last year.
At the time, SET TV was a popular software-based IPTV service that was also sold pre-loaded with set-top boxes. While it was marketed as a legal service, ACE members framed it as little more than a pirate tool, allowing buyers to stream copyright-infringing content.
“Defendants market and sell subscriptions to ‘Setvnow,’ a software application that Defendants urge their customers to use as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted motion pictures and television shows,” the complaint read.
Soon after the lawsuit was filed the IPTV service went offline, leaving its 180,000 subscribers behind. But that didn’t mean the case against SET TV, its owner Jason Labossiere, and employee Nelson Johnson, was over. ACE pressed on, hoping to get a judgment in its favor.
Without any of the defendants putting up a defense, ACE booked its first victory a few months ago. The media companies submitted a motion for a default judgment against the company SET Broadcast, LLC, which the court granted.
ACE celebrated the victory in public, but the matter wasn’t completely closed. The anti-piracy alliance managed to secure a judgment against the company, but not the two employees. To address that, the copyright holders went back to the court requesting another default judgment.
This week the U.S. District Court for Central California granted their request. SET TV owner Jason Labossiere and employee Nelson Johnson, who both failed to put up a defense, were found guilty of willful copyright infringement.
The rightsholders demanded the maximum in statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 51 infringed works. The Court deemed this appropriate. The mentioned works were just a small sample so the actual damages “would likely be astronomically higher.”
As a result, Labossiere and Johnson must pay $7,650,000 in damages. The two are jointly and severally liable, meaning that both can be required to pay the full amount if the other is unable to.
In addition to the damages, the Court also issued a permanent injunction to prevent any future copyright infringement. Among other things, the men are prohibited from operating the Set TV Now service, as well as any website, system, software, or service that is substantially similar.
With judgments against all defendants, the most recent order effectively ends the SET TV lawsuit. However, it’s certainly not the end of ACE’s legal campaigns.
A copy of the default judgment granted by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald, is available here (pdf).
Die Gigabit Region Stuttgart mit der Deutschen Telekom kommt voran. 20.000 neue Glasfaseranschlüsse wurden 2019 gelegt. Ab 2020 will man in der Region jährlich 80.000 Anschlüsse schaffen. Doch 5G hätte es fast nicht gegeben. (Telekom, Glasfaser)
When it comes to performance, engineering matters more than physics.
Last month, Google claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy—the overblown name given to the step of proving quantum computers can deliver something that a classical computer can't. That claim is still a bit controversial, so it may yet turn out that we need a better demonstration.
Independently of the claim, it's notable that both Google and its critics at IBM have chosen the same type of hardware as the basis of their quantum computing efforts. So has a smaller competitor called Rigetti. All of which indicates that the quantum-computing landscape has sort of stabilized over the last decade. We are now in the position where we can pick some likely winners and some definite losers.
Why are you a loser?
But why did the winners win and the losers lose?
Die Zeiten, in denen dem US-amerikanischen Verbündeten und ihren Konzernen in Deutschland blind vertraut wurde, sind vorbei. Cisco eröffnet in Bonn ein Technology Verification Service Center für den 5G-Quellcode und anderes. (Cisco, Huawei)
Google’s new policy banning stem cell ads started at the end of October.
Transplanted stem cells can be as lifesaving as donated organs, but the Food and Drug Administration in September warned consumers that some stem cell clinics only pretend to be in the business of miraculous recoveries.
Now, Google is attempting to protect its users after years of showing ads for questionable stem cell treatments. The company stated that it will stop allowing "bad actors" to post Google ads that "take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments." Enforcement of the new policy started at the end of October, said Google spokesperson Alex Krasov. That change, while helpful, is unlikely to shutter clinics that cloak themselves in a façade of reputable science in order to peddle questionable stem cell treatments.
The risky business of unproven treatments
Different types of stem cell treatments are at varying stages of development. Transplants of bone-marrow stem cells are well-established treatments for a number of cancers. But the identification of other types of stem cells has allowed researchers to develop new therapies that are just beginning to enter clinical testing. Unfortunately, many stem cell clinics have latched on to the hype and are offering unapproved treatments for which there is no experimental evidence.
In dieser Woche kamen über 100 Satellite-Fans zum zweiten Community-Event. Es gab Neuigkeiten zur eigenen Datenversorgung und zur SMS. Bei SMS braucht Sipgate die Kooperation der großen Carrier. (Sipgate, Telekom)
Former ‘pirate’ IPTV reseller Boom Media is being sued in the US by broadcaster DISH Network. A defeat could cost tens of millions of dollars but that’s not all. Boom Media owner John Henderson says what DISH really wants is information on his suppliers and customers, so he want to take the case to trial. To finance that, however, he needs at least $250,000 in donations.
Until recently, Boom Media was one of the most active and recognizable ‘pirate’ IPTV reseller brands available to the public.
Operating in the United States under the name Boom Media LLC, the company acted as a reseller for IPTV subscription services including MFG TV, Beast TV, Nitro TV, Murica Streams, Epic IPTV, Vader Streams, and OK2.
As reported early November, this attracted the unwanted attention of DISH Network and partner NagraStar, who teamed up to sue Boom Media LLC and son and mother team John and Debra Henderson.
The broadcaster claimed that the Boom Media service, which was allegedly operated from John’s home, received payments from customers via accounts operated by mother Debra. This operation, DISH said, resulted in willful violations of the company’s rights under the Federal Communications Act.
While some of DISH’s similar lawsuits have dragged on for some time in court, there’s evidence to suggest that in addition to obtaining cash settlements from targets such as Boom, the broadcaster views such litigation as a stepping-stone to further litigation against their associates. And, of course, more settlements.
John Henderson certainly believes this is the case. In an expletive-ridden video posted to YouTube this week, he says that DISH and NagraStar want to break him down in their hunt for information on others involved in the IPTV supply and consumption chain.
He says he’s not comfortable with that at all so he wants to take the fight to DISH in order to prevent that from happening. But of course, that will take money – lots of money – and he wants that to be donated by former customers and other interested parties.
“I set up a GoFundMe to help me pay for legal fees. The point of that is i’m gonna take this shit to a trial by jury, that’s my intent. So basically, the lawyer just to start is $15,000,” he says.
“The basic point is in order for me to get any kind of settlement, I have to turn over information on fucking everything, everything I’ve ever known, and I’m just not comfortable doing that. Yeah, so you bought [subscriptions to IPTV services through Boom] but they have the right to subpoena Google and PayPal.”
The $15,000 to get started is, well, just that. The GoFundMe currently has a target of $250,000 but whether that sizeable amount will cover the costs of lengthy litigation is up for debate. Nevertheless, Henderson says that by biting back, he can stop DISH from getting his customers’ details and sending them demands for cash settlements for alleged piracy.
“What they’ve done with these cookie-cutter lawsuits is that they’ve turned them into a stream of revenue for themselves. This isn’t really about fucking lawsuits and protecting anything at this point, it’s about getting information to send you a fucking letter demanding $3,500, which is what they’ve been doing with everyone.
“Everyone has settled, no one has taken them to trial, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it unfolds,” he says.
Henderson acknowledges that the legal process is going to cost “a shit-load of money” but if people don’t want to support him, “that’s fine”. However, he warns that these types of cases can set a precedent and handing over the information is something he wants to avoid, to protect everyone in the supply and consumption chain.
“I think I have some valid points why they shouldn’t be able to get that information at all. That’s really all there is to it, I’m asking for support. I think resellers across the fucking globe should be jumping on this because whatever happens to me, does affect you because now they can say ‘we got this from Boom Media’, this is the way it worked out, now you must settle,” he adds.
Henderson believes that IPTV providers themselves should also take an interest in a successful outcome to the case because if resellers are no longer a legal target, they won’t have any reason to give up information on their suppliers.
“The only reason that people are getting snitched on is because resellers are pussies, I mean that’s just the way it is,” he claims.
“I have [the GoFundMe] up for $250,000. I know that when TVAddons was going through this, that’s pretty much how it went. They just bled them dry,” Henderson says.
While TVAddons did have a huge legal dispute with DISH that undoubtedly cost founder Adam Lackman a lot of money, Lackman insists that he never handed over his users’ data to DISH. That suggests there may be a way out of Henderson’s situation without compromising his suppliers and former customers but only time will tell if a jury trial can deliver the type of victory that avoids that.
If it even gets that far, that is.
While a quarter of a million dollars is a significant sum, Henderson fully expects to face tactics designed to break his ability to fight back. Already he claims that DISH is attempting to get a gag order to prevent him from telling the world “what garbage they are for suing an innocent woman, my mother, knowing goddamn well she had nothing to do with anything.”
Until he gets served with a gag order, however, he’s not shutting up at all, he insists. Meanwhile, he says that DISH is generating money from a “stupid tax”, a reference to all the IPTV and IKS (Internet Key Sharing) users to whom DISH sends letters and receives settlements in return.
“They [DISH] want everything from me. They want my soul, they want all the information, they want me to roll on everyone, which isn’t even really possible but I’m not gonna do it,” Henderson adds.
“I’m fully prepared to go to war over this shit but I’m gonna need financial help. Obviously, everyone knows I’m out of business, that’s the way it is. I’m not a millionaire, I’m not a billionaire, I’m barely a thousandaire.”
Henderson doesn’t provide any proof, but claims that Vader Streams – a pirate IPTV provider that was targeted by the MPA-backed Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment earlier this year, “snitched on everyone, they snitched and they rolled over and they gave up everything.” Prior to the settlement agreement, Vader said it would not compromise customers.
Henderson says he doesn’t want to go down the disclosure route but DISH is on record wanting Boom Media to do just that. In addition to a permanent injunction against the company, it wants Boom’s domain name plus “all hard copy and electronic records” regarding persons involved in the entire “Rebroadcasting Scheme”.
At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has raised $700 of its $250,000 target.
The original complaint against Boom Media can be found here (pdf)
There’s not much for Switch consoles, but tons of PS4, Xbox, and software sales.
Today is Black Friday, and that means a lot of video game deals. While the annual shopping event is still filled with offers that push mediocre products or prices that aren't particularly low, many of the gaming deals the Dealmaster has found across various retailers are genuinely worth your time.
On the PlayStation side of things, that includes $100 off the 4K-ready PlayStation 4 Pro, with the standalone console and a bundle that includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare currently down to $299. The standard "Slim" PS4, meanwhile, is down to $199; that's about $80-100 off where we normally see it online, but Sony is packaging God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition, and The Last of Us: Remastered with the console as part of its holiday season bundle. For context, those three games usually sit in the $10-20 range these days. (All of them are also pretty good, if you haven't tried them already.) This deal does appear to be running out of stock pretty quickly, though.
A bundle of the company's PlayStation VR headset that includes two games and two PlayStation Move motion controllers is also discounted to $250. That's roughly a $100 discount and about as low as we see it at major retailers. An additional bundle that included five games but no Move controllers was available for $200 earlier this week, but that unfortunately looks to be out of stock at major retailers on Black Friday itself.