Russland: Nawalny-Bewegung verliert an Kraft

Polizei schritt gegen nicht genehmigte Demonstrationen massiv ein. Weniger Teilnehmer bei landesweiten Protesten am Sonntag als beim letzten Aktionstag am 23. Januar

Polizei schritt gegen nicht genehmigte Demonstrationen massiv ein. Weniger Teilnehmer bei landesweiten Protesten am Sonntag als beim letzten Aktionstag am 23. Januar

Hedge fund Melvin sustains 53% loss after Reddit onslaught

$4.5 billion drop in assets after bets against the likes of GameStop go sour.

Hedge fund Melvin sustains 53% loss after Reddit onslaught

Enlarge (credit: Innocenti | Getty Images)

Melvin Capital, the hedge fund that was wrongfooted by retail traders who drove up shares in GameStop and other companies it had bet against, lost 53 percent in January, according to people familiar with the firm’s results.

The New York-based hedge fund sustained a $4.5 billion fall in its assets from the end of last year to $8 billion, even after a $2.75 billion cash injection from Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel.

Melvin became the target of retail traders who coordinated to drive up the share price of GameStop on online message boards such as Reddit, after the firm disclosed its bet against the company in regulatory filings.

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US Court Orders Avid Torrenter to Pay Over $108K in Piracy Damages

A federal court in New York has ordered a local resident to pay $108,750 in damages for sharing over a hundred pirated videos. The judgment follows a complaint from adult entertainment company Strike 3 Holdings which went uncontested in court. Meanwhile, over in Illinois, a previously accused BitTorrent pirate celebrated a victory.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

dollarsBy now most BitTorrent users should be well aware that their IP-addresses and downloads can be easily monitored.

This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against video pirates, both in the US and abroad.

In the US the vast majority of these cases are filed by Strike 3 Holdings. The company produces adult entertainment videos that are made available via the Blacked, Tushy, and Vixen websites. When these videos leak and are shared on pirate sites, Strike 3 takes action.

Copyright Trolls

This scheme, which is often referred to as copyright-trolling, can be both simple and lucrative. The company files complaints against John Does who are initially only known by an IP-address. It then requests a subpoena to obtain the subscriber details to demand a settlement from the account holder.

In many cases, the accused pirate will settle out of court. Those who refuse to do so will be named in the lawsuit, where they are allowed to file a defense. At that point, the stakes have become significantly higher.

Retaining a lawyer can be more costly than a settlement, which isn’t a luxury everyone can afford. The alternative is to simply ignore the lawsuit by not responding at all. That initially doesn’t cost anything but, at the end of the road, it may only make matters worse.

Strike 3 Sues Prolific ‘Pirate’

This is what happened to ‘Paul H’ who was sued by Strike 3 Holdings in 2018. The company accused him of sharing 145 of their videos via BitTorrent without permission. In addition, the company also monitored other piracy activity that was linked to ‘interests’ from his public social media profile.

For example, the complaint mentions that Paul works in the engineering industry, has an interest in science, and likes the TV-show Myth Busters. This matches with the download history, which includes Myth Busters downloads as well as engineering, astronomy, and chemistry e-books.

additional evidence

Despite these direct accusations, the accused pirate didn’t file a response to the complaint. He didn’t respond at all, which prompted Strike 3 to file for a default judgment. While the company only requested the minimum statutory damages of $750 per title, that adds up to a massive amount.

$108,750 Default Judgment

Earlier this month the court handed a relatively easy win to Strike 3, concluding that the adult entertainment company has a legitimate claim and that the damages are reasonable. As a result, Paul H. now owes Strike 3 $108,750 in damages.

If anything, the above shows that completely ignoring these cases can be disastrous. Although defendants may rightfully feel that all options are bad when it comes to these matters, it can’t get much worse than this.

While we don’t know if the defendant was indeed guilty or not, people who are sued despite being innocent should definitely consider fighting back. There have been numerous examples of Strike 3 and similar companies dropping claims when they are contested.

In fact, in some cases, defendants come out as the clear winners. That’s also what happened in a Malibu Media lawsuit recently.

Defendants Can Win

Like Strike 3, Malibu Media is known as a prolific filer of ‘copyright-trolling’ lawsuits. While the company appears to have stopped filing federal lawsuits months ago, there are still unresolved cases in various court dockets. This includes one where it accused William Mullins of downloading 11 pirated videos.

Mullins fought back and contested the evidence up to the point where Malibu Media agreed to dismiss its claims. However, that wasn’t the end of it. Mullins continued to fight the case, demanding compensation for the legal fees he paid over the years.

The defendant argued that Malibu Media didn’t properly back up its claim and repeatedly refused to hand over evidence of the alleged infringement. After weighing all factors, the Illinois federal court agreed with the defendant, ordering Malibu to pay his attorney’s fees.

A Limited Victory

The above shows that fighting back can help, but even with a success like this, the end result is far from perfect.

Even though the accused downloader came out as the winner, the court only awarded the costs that were made before November 14, 2019, the date when Malibu dropped its claims. This means that in the end nobody is really happy with the outcome.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Multi-layered Outside the Wire is part action thriller, part intimate drama

Director Mikael Håfström on making a military action movie that is ultimately anti-war.

Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris must foil a a warlord's plan to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons in <em>Outside the Wire.</em>

Enlarge / Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris must foil a a warlord's plan to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons in Outside the Wire. (credit: Netflix )

To say that Netflix is leaning into its recent forays into feature film-making is an understatement. The streaming giant announced earlier this month that it will be releasing a new feature film on its platform every week in 2021. Among the streamer's January releases was Outside the Wire, in which Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon in the MCU, Synchronic) stars as an android military officer who teams up with a disgraced drone pilot to ward off a nuclear attack.

(Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

Director Mikael Håfström is a Swedish director best known for the Oscar-nominated 2003 film Evil, and 1408, a solidly spooky, haunted hotel/psychological horror film starring John Cusack and based on a short story by Stephen King. So Outside the Wire is something of a departure for him: partly a military action thriller, and partly a psychological study of its two central characters. It's the latter aspect that most strongly bears the hallmark of Håfström's artistic sensibility. Per the official synopsis:

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An electric race car has lapped Daytona for the first time

We may well see an electric touring car series in the US in the next few years.

The annual 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida got under way on Saturday afternoon. And this year's race has been a pretty good one so far—although there are still nearly seven hours left to run as I write this. This year is the 59th running of a race that has become, unofficially at least, the start of the year's racing season for many. But on Friday, the 3.5-mile (5.6km) road course tried something new, when an electric racing car took to the track for for some demonstration laps: the first time a racing EV has done so. With any luck, it may be a herald of things to come as the sport's organizers explore the potential for a US series in the next few years.

This wasn't a single-seater with open wheels like the cars that race in Formula E. Instead, it was designed for a new category called ETCR, for electric touring cars: think heavily modified road-going cars, but with electric powertrains. In this case, that road-going car was a Hyundai Veloster N. Hyundai has been contesting the (not electric) TCR category with the Veloster N, but those all feature 2.0L internal combustion engines driving the front wheels.

The ETCR rulebook is much less restrictive, and as a result, the Veloster N ETCR is a much more exotic thing with not one but four electric motors, paired up so that each rear wheel is powered by a pair of motors. Peak power is an impressive 670hp (500kW)—as much as the new hybrid prototypes that will race at Le Mans from this year—drawing energy from a 68kWh battery pack sourced from Williams Advanced Engineering (which is also supplying Formula E with batteries for that series' third-generation car).

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A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Looking at the stars

How do photons travel across light years? (Their quantum waviness enables modern telescopes.)

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Looking at the stars

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

One of the quietest revolutions of our current century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our everyday technology. It used to be that quantum effects were confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. But modern technology increasingly relies on quantum mechanics for its basic operation, and the importance of quantum effects will only grow in the decades to come. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean task of explaining quantum mechanics to the rest of us laymen in this seven-part series (no math, we promise). Below is the fourth story in the series, but you can always find the starting story plus a landing page for the entire series thus far on site.

Beautiful telescopic images of our Universe are often associated with the stately, classical physics of Newton. While quantum mechanics dominates the microscopic world of atoms and quarks, the motions of planets and galaxies follow the majestic clockwork of classical physics.

But there is no natural limit to the size of quantum effects. If we look closely at the images produced by telescopes, we see the fingerprints of quantum mechanics. That’s because particles of light must travel across the vast reaches of space in a wave-like way to make the beautiful images we enjoy.

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