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Chinese Company Creates 3D-Printed Houses
April 17, 2014
Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, a Shanghai-based company, has created 10 3D-printed houses. Each house reportedly cost less than $5,000 and took less than 24 hours to construct. The printer used to create the homes was about 100 feet long, 33 feet wide and more than 20 feet tall. The "ink" was made from high-grade cement and glass fiber.
Courtroom Drama: Hollywood Sues Megaupload
April 08, 2014
Six Hollywood studios have banded together in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Megaupload, the wildly popular though now shuttered site that, in its heyday, was ground zero for file-sharing. The suit doesn't specify an amount of damages, but does say that the studios should be entitled to $150,000 per copyright infringement, as well as profits earned by Megaupload.
Record Labels Slam Russian Social Net With Piracy Suit
April 04, 2014
Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music on Thursday filed legal proceedings against vKontakte, or VK, charging that the Russian social network operates a music service that deliberately facilitates widespread copyright infringement. VK operates an unlicensed music service involving a large collection of copyright-infringing tracks, the companies charge.
China Seeks Answers About NSA/Huawei Report
March 25, 2014
China's government is asking the U.S. to explain itself -- and to knock it off with all the cyberespionage -- following reports that the National Security Agency has had its way with Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The NSA reportedly penetrated Huawei servers to monitor communications among company executives, and to gain access to the dealings of Huawei customers.
Chinese State Media Prompts Amazon to Close Store
March 21, 2014
China's state media seems to have the ear of U.S. tech companies. Amazon's China unit closed down a third-party store after state media criticized Amazon for selling fake cosmetics. Amazon's China unit took the accusations seriously, it said, promising to "strengthen the process of scrutiny." The fake-product accusations were floated on China Central Television.
Getty Shifts to Plan B for Monetizing 35MM Images
March 06, 2014
Getty Images, the stock photo giant that many professional photographers loathe but amateurs love, on Thursday announced it will allow consumers to embed its images free for non-commercial purposes on blogs, social networks and other websites. The move indicates the company, whose battery of highly paid lawyers has chased copyright violators for years, is bowing to the brave new Internet world.
Spanish Woman's Twitter Musings Lead to Terror-Related Conviction
February 24, 2014
Twenty-one-year-old Spaniard Alba González Camacho was convicted of inciting terrorism thanks to some ill-conceived tweets about a far-left terrorist organization. She became the first person in Spain to be convicted of such charges for Twitter posts. González Camacho implored the terror group "Grapo" to murder politicians. Grapo was responsible for 80-some killings, mostly in the 1970s and 80s.
BlackBerry CEO Miffed With T-Mobile
February 19, 2014
John Chen, BlackBerry's new chief executive, lashed out at T-Mobile after it sent an email to BlackBerry users imploring them to ditch their current devices and switch to an iPhone. BlackBerry was not notified about T-Mobile's email blast beforehand, causing Chen to become "outraged" over what he dubbed a "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion."
High-Tech Suits a Suspect in Weak US Speedskating Performance
February 14, 2014
The U.S. speedskating team's high-tech suits -- which theoretically are supposed to help shave seconds and accrue medals -- have been identified as a suspect in the team's stunning faceplant at the Sochi Games. Before the Games, the suits, designed by U.S.-based sportswear giant Under Armour, were deemed to be on the cutting edge of racing technology.
Dutch Court Lets ISPs Flee Pirate Bay Battle
January 30, 2014
The Pirate Bay is once again wide open, thanks a ruling by an appeals court in the Netherlands that decreed Internet providers no longer have to block IP addresses associated with the site. The Hague Appeals Court reasoned that the required blocking was impossible to implement or enforce because users were able to use workarounds to access the site.
ICE Goes Medieval on Glass-Wearing Moviegoer
January 22, 2014
A man who wore Google Glass to a movie last weekend was hauled out of the theater and questioned for several hours by federal authorities over piracy concerns. The officials reportedly took no action against the man after they determined the wearable tech device functioned as his prescription glasses, and that he did not have the Google Glass recording feature activated.
French Cabbies Attack Uber Vehicles
January 14, 2014
French taxi drivers reportedly attacked vehicles linked to Uber, a smartphone app that helps people find shared rides and drivers-for-hire -- or, from cabbies' perspective, erodes a time-honored business model. Protestors blocked traffic and went after the service's vehicles, reported one Uber-using witness, Kat Borlongan. The vehicle she was in suffered significant damage, including a flat tire.
China Blocks The Guardian's Website
January 08, 2014
The Guardian has become the latest Western media outlet to get blocked in China. For more than a year, China's Web-censoring authorities, unaffectionately known as the "Great Firewall of China," have blocked sites for The New York Times and Bloomberg, each of which published unsavory articles about wealth amassed by family members of Communist Party leaders.
Netflix, YouTube Hog Half the Internet
November 11, 2013
Netflix and YouTube together now account for more than half of all North American fixed network data traffic during peak hours, according to a Sandvine Internet traffic trends report published Monday. Netflix now accounts for 31.6 percent of downstream traffic in North America, while YouTube accounts for another 18.6 percent. Peer-to-peer file-sharing now accounts for less than 10 percent of total daily traffic.
Google's Leaked EU Proposal Goes Over Like Lead Balloon
November 07, 2013
Google's rivals are none too impressed with the company's most recent round of proposals designed to appease antitrust concerns and end what is now a 3-year-old case with the European Commission. Google's previous stab at concessions was roundly rejected in April because the changes did next to nothing to rectify Google's abuse of its dominant market position, according to rival companies.
When Film Distribution Fails, Piracy Wins
November 02, 2013
Last month, researchers at George Mason University's Mercatus Center launched a website, PiracyData.org, to determine whether or not there are legal alternatives for viewing the world's most pirated movies. The researchers will quantify the validity -- or invalidity -- of copyright holders' claims that pirates are thieving material that is indeed available elsewhere.
Canadian ATM Turns Bitcoins Into Cash
October 30, 2013
In Vancouver, B.C., three entrepreneurs opened what appears to be the world's first ATM that is able to exchange Bitcoins for official currencies. The machine looks like a normal ATM and resides in a popular coffee shop. It exchanges Canadian dollars for Bitcoins, the virtual and controversial online currency. The transactions can go either way -- cash to Bitcoin, or Bitcoin to cash.
Swedish Judge Not Very Perturbed by Teen's Porn-sploitation Stunt
October 23, 2013
A Swedish court reduced the fine for a teenage boy who uploaded a pornographic video of his unwitting then-girlfriend. The original fine was going to be about US$20,000 but was reduced to less than $4,000 after the ruling. Notably, the court justified its decision by asserting that young people are "so open" about their sexual behavior that such a large fine was unjustified.
Huawei: No One Bothers Us for Data
October 18, 2013
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, long suspected of being in cahoots with Beijing authorities, said Friday that no government has ever asked it to divulge information about citizens. Translation: Anyone concerned about government meddling should be more concerned with Washington's connections to U.S. companies than Beijing's connection to Huawei. It called for global standards on security.
Russian 'Pirates' Offer Hobbled NASA a Helping Tech Hand
October 08, 2013
Russia's Pirate Party wrote a letter to NASA offering to host the agency's website, which is currently out of commission because of the government shutdown. The Pirate Party -- a minority political movement in many European countries predicated on privacy and transparency -- informed NASA that it could use the party's dedicated servers until the U.S. government got off the ground.

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