Lawyers for humorist Bill Bryson are claiming that Bryson is entitled to copyright protection for quotes he gave to an interviewer twenty years ago.
Via Ars, news that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is pursuing a patent troll who's been targeting podcasters.
Well that didn't take long.
On Sunday, the Kansas City Star published a story about a horrific rape in Maryville, Missouri.
The Washington Post reports that the NSA harvests the email addresses and contact lists of millions of people globally, many of them Americans. They don't have permission from the email providers to do this, the agency just snatches the data as its transmitted across the world.
Behold! A glorious miscellany of week-end links.
Yesterday, Facebook announced that users who've asked for their timelines to be unsearchable will now searchable.
The online magazine Kernel is after Amazon for publishing pornographic eBooks that fetishize rape and incest.
Via Politico, news of a new website that lets angry citizens and furloughed DC employees drunk dial their congressperson.
Yesterday, we talked about Patch's new Divorce Maps, which show you where the divorced people in your town are congregating so that you can avoid those areas or, perhaps, start up specialty businesses that cater to divorcees.
Slate brought my attention to this shocking San Francisco Chronicle story about inattentive commuters:
A man standing on a crowded Muni train pulls out a .45-caliber pistol.
He raises the gun, pointing it across the aisle, before tucking it back against his side. He draws it out several more times, once using the hand holding the gun to wipe his nose. Dozens of passengers stand and sit just feet away - but none reacts.
Their eyes, focused on smartphones and tablets, don't lift until the gunman fires a bullet into the back of a San Francisco State student getting off the train.
The past week has seen the first of what will likely be many arrests of Silk Road drug dealers. The FBI announced the arrest of Steven Sadler, who they say was a top Silk Road dealer. And British police arrested four Silk Road users today, with more to come.
So what happens now? A lot.
Ah, last week. We were so young. So naive. Seven days ago I wrote about how conservatives who were jumping up and down with excitement about bugs in the Healthcare.gov rollout were getting ahead of themselves. I argued that any massive tech rollout is bound to have errors. It was just too early to say whether Healthcare.gov's problems were nature (bad design) or nurture (good design that was temporarily failing because of sheer demand).
Update 3:46PM: Airbnb has now said that they're refusing to comply with the Attorney General's demand. Whoa. This should be interesting. More over at New Tech City.
The New York Attorney General has ordered AirBnb to turn over records for anyone in New York who's ever rented out their apartment on the site.
OpenDoor is an app that lets you anonymously surf the internet on your iPhone or iPad. A third of OpenDoor's sales have historically come from China, where internet freedom's restricted and most people access the net on mobile. That is until this past summer, when Apple pulled Open Door from the app store after the Chinese government complained.
Another week is gone. Here are some fun links to distract you from time's ceaseless rush.
Yesterday, we talked about Lavabit, the privacy-first email system used by Edward Snowden. Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levison, shut the service down rather than complying with an government request to provide access to his users' emails. Our friends at New Tech City interviewed Ladar last week, while he was still legally prohibited from talking about his fight with the government.
The Red Cross wants video games to punish players who commit war crimes. And their case for why is actually pretty reasonable.
Daniel Drucker's father died earlier this year. Daniel was excavating stuff on his Dad's computer when he found a file called JOKES.TXT. It was filled with thirty one punchlines to jokes, but not the jokes themselves. So he turned to the internet for help.