Shared posts

29 Jul 04:54

Repair and Restore of Radio Shack's Armatron Robotic Arm from 1984.

by The 8-Bit Guy
28 Jul 15:15

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - History Books


Luckily, all of human history can be explained by this one thing. What are the odds!?

New comic!
Today's News:
28 Jul 13:00


by Jen

Well here's your problem, right here:

Thanks to Sara M. for the tranined wreck.


Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

28 Jul 09:23

Photographer Files $1bn Copyright Claim Against Getty Images

by Andy

gettySeattle-based Getty Images is an American agency controlling an archive of dozens of millions of stock images. After paying the company an appropriate fee, customers are given the right to use Getty’s images in their own publications.

Like many copyright holders, Getty is extremely aggressive in protecting its rights. The company scans the web in search of instances where people have used its images without obtaining an appropriate license and pursues the alleged infringer for money.

What follows is a typical copyright-troll operation. Those supposedly using content without permission receive a scary letter from Getty agents warning that all kinds of terrible things might happen if Getty decides to take the case to court. All this can be avoided, however, if the supposed image pirate pays a cash settlement.

One such letter was received in December 2015 by the This is America! Foundation, a non-profit set up by Carol Highsmith, a long-established US-based photographer.

Penned by a company calling itself License Compliance Services (LCS) on behalf of Getty-affiliated Alamy, the letter got straight to the point.

“We have seen that an image or image(s) represented by Alamy has been used for online use by your company. According to Alamy’s records your company doesn’t have a valid license for use of the image(s),” the letter began.

The allegedly infringing image


“Although this infringement might have been unintentional, use of an image without a valid license is considered copyright infringement in violation of the Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code. This copyright law entitles Alamy to seek compensation for any license infringement.”

The company demanded $120 to settle the dispute, which admittedly isn’t a huge amount. However, the case contained a series of devastating flaws, not least that the photograph in question was taken by Carol Highsmith herself. But it gets worse.

During a near half-hour telephone conversation with LCS, Highsmith began by explaining that she is the author of the image. However, she also revealed that she had donated this and thousands of other images to the Library of Congress and makes them available to the public to reproduce and display for free.

In the dying days of December 2015, Highsmith received confirmation from LCS that the case against her had been dropped. However, Getty and Alamy clearly hadn’t got the message. Amazingly, the companies were also making available more than 18,000 of Highsmith’s other photographs on their websites.

In a lawsuit filed July 25 in a New York District Court, Highsmith’s lawyers make their position clear.

“Nowhere on its website does Getty identify Ms. Highsmith as the sole author of the Highsmith Photos. Likewise, nowhere on its website does Getty identify Ms. Highsmith as the copyright owner of the work,” they write.

“Instead, Getty misrepresents the terms and conditions of using the Highsmith Photos by falsely claiming a user must buy a copyright license from Getty in order to have the right to use the Highsmith Photos.”

In some cases Getty was demanding $575 for use of just one of Highsmith’s images, despite the photographer making the content freely available to the public. Worse still, the company has also been sending out settlement demands to people who used the images legally on their websites.

“The Defendants have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people,” the lawsuit reads.

“The Defendants are not only unlawfully charging licensing fees to people and organizations who were already authorized to reproduce and display the donated photographs for free, but are falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner and threatening individuals and companies with copyright infringement lawsuits that the Defendants could not actually lawfully pursue.”

As a result, the tables are now turned, with Getty on the receiving end of a settlement demand. For using her images without permission, Highsmith says that Getty is liable for statutory damages of up to $468,875,000.

However, since Getty lost another copyright case (Morel v. Getty) within the last three years, Highsmith believes that the court has the power to treble the statutory damages. In this case up to a cool $1 billion.

Considering Getty’s holier-than-thou position when it comes to infringement, thousands will be cheering Highsmith on to victory. In the meantime, check out her work, it’s something really special.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

28 Jul 03:43

hey here's some facts about the DNC leak


1. The DNC reported a hack of its emails by a Russian server a month ago.

2. A cybersecurity company agreed with the identification of the hacker as Russian and noted that one of the hacking groups involved was operated by the Russian military intelligence service.

In mid-June the company announced that the intruders appeared to include a group it had previously identified by the name “Cozy Bear” or “APT 29” and been inside the committee’s servers for a year. A second group, “Fancy Bear,” also called “APT 28,” came into the system in April. It appears to be operated by the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service, according to federal investigators and private cybersecurity firms. 

3. From the same article: Pro-Putin Russian hackers have been a thorn in the side of American cybersecurity for years now.

The first group is particularly well known to the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence unit, the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies. It was identified by federal investigators as the likely culprit behind years of intrusions into the State Department and White House unclassified computer system. 

4. Wikileaks, along with publishing the emails, published unredacted credit card numbers, passport numbers, social security numbers, and home addresses of hundreds of Democratic donors. They called this “not an error.” This is known as doxxing, and it is illegal in US jurisdictions.

Doxing is always illegal, whether it is done against a federal employee, a state employee, or a regular person.  There are federal and state laws that specifically address doxing government employees.  With regular citizens, doxing falls under various state criminal laws, such as stalking, cyberstalking, harassment, threats, and other such laws, depending on the state.  Since these doxing threats and activities are made on the internet, the law of any state may be invoked, though most often an investigator  will look to the state in which the person making the threat is located, if this is known, or the state in which the victim is situated.  A state prosecutor can only prosecute violations of the laws of his or her own state, and of acts that extend into their state.  When acts are on the internet, they extend into all the states.
Misinformation was spread that doxing is legal.  I am not sure how or why anyone fell for that misinformation.  Surely, people must understand instinctively, even if they were misled about the law, that if they are threatening someone or putting them at risk, or tormenting or harassing the other on the internet, that this must be illegal.  Common sense would tell you that bullying or jeopardizing another would be illegal in some way.  So yes, doxing is illegal, no matter who the target.

5. Wikileaks has offered support to the racist, sexist agitator and Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos after his ban from Twitter for inciting hate mobs. This support was not merely a tweet or two extending a hand: it was an offer to build an entire new social network fine-tuned to Yiannopoulos’ needs.

6. Milo is a vocal Trump supporter and headlined an event at the RNC.

7. Wikileaks is run by Julian Assange, an accused rapist, who has for years taken a paycheck from Russia Today, the English-language propaganda arm of the Kremlin.

8. Trump, blacklisted as he is from borrowing form most US banks, has enticed mostly investors from Russia to prop up his floundering enterprises.

After his bankruptcy and business failures roughly a decade ago Trump has had an increasingly difficult time finding sources of capital for new investments. As I noted above, Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks with the exception of Deutschebank, which is of course a foreign bank with a major US presence. He has steadied and rebuilt his financial empire with a heavy reliance on capital from Russia. At a minimum the Trump organization is receiving lots of investment capital from people close to Vladimir Putin.

9. Trump is pro-Putin to the point where he would not defend other NATO member nations against Russian attacks.

10. Trump’s right hand man, Paul Manafort, was for almost a decade an advisor to Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted president of Ukraine who now lives in exile in Russia and is a major Putin ally. Trump’s other top staffers tend towards supporting the Russian government/elite in various ways.

11. There is nothing in the DNC emails that indicates breaking of any laws.

12. Bernie Sanders only declared himself a Democrat this election cycle. The DNC was not obligated to support him, and yet they did - there are emails where staffers complain about bending over backwards for the Sanders campaign. There’s also a memo from the Sanders campaign demanding a private jet  to be paid for by the DNC after Bernie had reached the point where it was mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination. (They also called Lin-Manuel Miranda a baby for not doing a fundraiser on his off day, which is frankly hilarious.)

12c. Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination by 3,775,437 votes. He lost badly among registerd Democrats, black Democrats, and Latino Democrats. If the DNC is incompetent enough not to secure their servers against hackers, they are sure as shit not capable of stealing nearly four million votes.

13. Hillary Clinton does not have mind-control powers and is not responsible for every single word typed in a private DNC email server.  

14. The release of the emails was timed for when Trump would have a large amount of goodwill - the “convention bump,” as noted in several large-scale polls by reputable organizations - and before the Democrats/Hillary would have a chance to respond to the bump at their own convention.

15. Trump has engaged in much worse political ratfucking of his same-party opponents than the DNC did in its emails, in public, and it is widely known that the RNC has been attempting to sabotage him for months.

16. It ain’t like Putin hasn’t done shit like this before. He killed a journalist with plutonium. I could go on about what he does inside his country, but I’m not super familiar with it, and frankly "sitting head of state ordered the assassination of a journalist in exile by means of nuclear material" is fucked up enough. 

Conclusions that can be reasonably drawn from these facts:

1. Wikileaks, whatever its intentions in the past, is not a neutral whistleblower and cannot be, given the money their founder draws from the Russian government.

2. The DNC did not engage in any political ratfuckery beyond what is normal for any and especially this cycle, nor did they break any laws.

3. Wikileaks is not a progressive actor, given its support for both Milo Yiannopoulos and Vladimir Putin.

4. The hackers sat on the material for more than a month, and the reveal of the documents was timed to hurt Hillary Clinton and buck up Trump.

Other conclusions that can be drawn:

1. Trump and Putin colluded somehow on this hack job.

2. Putin wants Trump in the White House because Trump has, among other things, publicly stated that he will not defend NATO states bordering Russia if Russia invades, and is willing to sponsor illegal activity to make this happen.

Conclusions the FBI has drawn:

The FBI is publicly saying that they suspect the Russian government did this. Several unnamed US officials suspect this was “a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.”

(Also, on that note - the DNC is not gonna accuse a foreign state of trying to influence the election via cyberterrorism without some cold hard proof. That’s not an accusation you throw around lightly, especially when you represent one of the two largest parties in America.)


Debbie Wasserman Schultz complaining about an independent tanking her anointed candidate should not make you mourn the death of American democracy. What should be making you furious - and terrified, honestly - is that a foreign state, led by an autocrat with a history of human rights abuses, has used a “pro-transparency” organization to achieve its goal in installing a malleable strongman and has committed cyberterrorism in the process.

Please don’t vote third party this election. Please.

28 Jul 00:34

i had a talk with a BernieorBuster, and this is the question that gave him pause after using the counter-argument of fearmongering: Some people think that we ought to let Trump win, and rebuild from the ashes of what he does. The problem is, can we ethically allow that? By rebuilding from the ashes like that, we tacitly accept and condone the harm that we could have prevented. Can you morally accept that?

Let me guess: your conversation was with a straight, white, financially-stable dude? Under 30? Probably never really had to worry about things like healthcare, equality, being shot by cops for existing, things like that?

This is about more than this election. We, as a country and a society, must repudiate, reject, and destroy not just Donald Trump, but the movement he leads and represents. 

He must be defeated in a historical landslide, and the only way to do that is to turn out millions upon millions of voters who will vote for Hillary Clinton.

27 Jul 18:49

danismm: Oklahoma State Capitol Bank - 1962

27 Jul 17:24

Norway may build floating underwater traffic tunnels

by Minnesotastan
Norway has hatched ambitious plans to install the world’s first floating underwater tunnels to help travelers easily cross the nation’s many fjords. At present, the only way to travel across the bodies of water involves taking a series of ferries – an inconvenient and time-consuming process. The “submerged floating bridges” would consist of large tubes suspended under 100 feet of water, and each one will be wide enough for two lanes of traffic...

Norway has so far committed $25 billion in funds to the project, which is expected to reach completion by 2035.
How can they spend $25,000,000,000 on this?  Because they're not spending $25,000,000,000 projecting their military strength around the world.  They understand the importance of maintaining and improving infrastructure, and their nation's political structure is not controlled by the military-industrial complex.

Addendum: a relevant video.

27 Jul 06:30

Fixed that for ya, Bill.

Fixed that for ya, Bill.

26 Jul 23:54

politicalprof: if only …


if only …

26 Jul 03:25

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Half and half

by PZ Myers
26 Jul 06:53


25 Jul 01:46

The future of law enforcement

by Leigh

Here’s a new twist on an old set: Central Precinct Headquarters from 1993. The old black and white color scheme has been updated to a futuristic black and green, and all the flowers are gone. But the rooftop technology bits and the safety railings are still around. Most of the original vehicles are here too (helicopter not pictured). Big_Sal_224 also has a full backstory and script available, featuring a lot more gender diversity than the original set. I wonder what other old sets are ripe for re-imagining?

Prisoner Record S4C03

24 Jul 17:04

Microscale office looks like the perfect place to work

by Rod

Modern architecture might appear to be the perfect subject for recreating in LEGO. However, many of the angled planes currently in vogue amongst building designers actually make for difficult modelling in bricks. Polar Stein pulls it off in style with this microscale version of an award-winning office complex in New Jersey.

Centra Metropark micro

The model is beautifully simple, with excellent lines, much like the building it’s based on. I’m a particular fan of the angled supporting columns at the open corner. Also, at this scale, the use of multiple trans-clear bricks manages to suggest an internal structure. The builder suggests they’re going to have a go at this in minifig-scale. Interesting challenge, and they’ve already set themselves a high bar with this lovely microscale version.

22 Jul 14:52

You must all read Laurie Penny’s account of her visit to Milo’s Gays for Trump shindig

by David Futrelle

Milo Yiannopoulos: World-class terrible person

If you haven’t already read Laurie Penny’s brilliant and unnerving account of her surreal evening as Milo Yiannopoulos’ guest at the Gays for Trump shindig he held in Cleveland earlier this week, stop whatever you’re doing and read it now. Then come back and discuss.

If you need more persuasion: It’s a sharp and scary analysis of  “how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics,” as Penny puts it, and it’s full of weird details about the event and Penny’s strange non-relationship with Milo, whom she describes as “a charming devil and one of the worst people I know” and someone she simply can’t convince she’s not actually friends with.

Perhaps the oddest part of Penny’s piece, though, is her description of her encounter with a fellow we all know too well: Roosh Valizadeh, whom she describes all too accurately as a “headline-hunting nano-celebrity in the world of ritualised internet misogyny.”

“He asks me what I’m doing here,” Penny writes. “I ask him the same question.”

It’s a good question, given that Roosh is a raging homophobe who bans gays from commenting on his sites.

The interaction that follows is the most surreal episode in a deeply surreal evening. Roosh is tall and well-built and actually rather good-looking for, you know, a monster. I have opportunity to observe this because he puts himself right up in my personal space, blocking my view of the room with his T-shirt, and proceeds, messily and at length, to tell me what my problem is.

Number one: my haircut, and he’s telling me this as a man, makes my face look round. This is absolutely true. Number two: I seek to destroy the nuclear family, and disturb traditional relationships between men and women. This is also true, although I remind him that the nuclear family as it is currently conceived is actually a fairly recent social format. He insists that it’s thousands of years old, and asks me if I truly believe that it’s right for gay men to be able to adopt children. I tell him that I do. He appears as flummoxed by this as I do by his presence at what is supposed to be a party to celebrate Gay republicans. He’s here for the same reason I am: Milo invited him.

So, yeah.

For what it’s worth, I think Penny overstates Milo’s “weaponised insincerity.” He’s certainly a cynical enough opportunist, who jumped aboard GamerGate and then on the alt-right car of the Trump Train not because he gave a shit about any of the alleged issues involved but in order to promote himself. But he’s hardly the boy with the “fewest f*cks to give.” He actually gives a lot of f*cks, at least about himself. Like most narcissists, he’s acutely sensitive to slights and lashes out at anyone who pierces his vanity — much like his adopted “daddy” Trump.

But if you want to know how we got to this weird place we’re in now, Penny’s piece offers some invaluable insights.

21 Jul 07:01

I’m So Bored

by alex

I’m So Bored

22 Jul 09:35

The future is groovy with the Volkswagen Spacebeetle and Spacebus

by Caylin

Priovit70 has seen into the future and it is groovy and filled with awesome hovering vehicles like this adorable spacebeetle. It keeps the classic lines and still manages to keep up with the latest models from those other spacecar makers. Or, if you prefer more room, you’re welcome to cruise about in your VW Spacebus.

Even better, other companies have caught up to and integrated some sweet sweet AI to take care of autopilot. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your voyage to Miller’s planet with those towering waves for some sweet surfing.

Volkswagen Spacebeetle

Make space surfboards, not intergalactic war!

22 Jul 03:44

micdotcom: Watch: George Takei sends a message in Spanish about...


Watch: George Takei sends a message in Spanish about how we can defeat Trump

George is doing such important work right now. I’m so grateful he’s speaking out.

21 Jul 17:57

Photo from last night's convention

by Minnesotastan

Laura Ingraham salutes a photo of Donald Trump.

Video of her presentation and the gesture. Social media reaction at Esquire.

Via the Pics subreddit.
21 Jul 16:53

Millenials are not afraid of socialism

by Minnesotastan
A recent Reason-Rupe survey found that a majority of Americans under 30 have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism. Gallup finds that almost 70 percent of young Americans are ready to vote for a “socialist” president...

Indeed, the criticism most heard against the millennial generation’s evolving attachment to socialism is that they don’t understand what the term really means, indulging instead in warm fuzzy talk about cooperation and happiness. But this is precisely the larger meaning of socialism, which the millennial generation—as evidenced in the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements—totally comprehends...

While banks were bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, the government was not interested in offering serious help to homeowners carrying underwater mortgages (the actual commitment of the U.S. government was $16 trillion to corporations and banks worldwide, as revealed in a 2011 audit prompted by Sanders and others). Facing crushing amounts of debt, millennials have been forced to cohabit with their parents and to downshift ambitions. They have had to relearn the habits of communal living, making do with less, and they are bartering necessary skills because of the permanent casualization of jobs. They are questioning the value of a capitalist education that prepares them for an ideology that is vanishing and an economy that doesn’t exist...

...the Keynesian insight that a certain level of equality must be maintained to preserve capitalism has been abandoned in favor of a neoliberal regime that has privatized, deregulated, and “liberalized” to the point where extreme inequality, a new form of serfdom, has come into being...

But millennials are done with blind faith in the market as the solution to all human problems. They question whether “economic growth” should even be the ultimate pursuit. Ironically, again, it is the extreme form capitalism has taken under neoliberalism that has put millennials under such pressure that they have started asking these questions seriously: Why not work fewer hours? Why not disengage from consumer capitalism? Why trust in capitalist goods to buy happiness? 
More at the Salon link.
21 Jun 00:00

Sun Bug

by xkcd

Sun Bug

How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun?

Luke Doty

Not that many! I mean, it's definitely one of those gigantic numbers with lots of zeroes, but in the grand scheme of things, there aren't as many zeroes as you might expect.

Our first question: Where does firefly light even come from?

Fireflies may look like they're full of glow-in-the-dark goo, but the light they give off actually comes from a thin layer on their surface.[1]You can see some diagrams of the organs here and here. Lots of insects have glowing surface patches, and some of those patches have been studied carefully to calculate their brightness. A 1928 paper on beetles called "headlight bugs"[2]Such a great name. found that their glowing patches, which were a little over a square millimeter in area, emitted about 0.0006 lumens of light. Fireflies have luminous organs (bright patches) that are about the same size as those of headlight bugs,[3]See this paper on some common American fireflies. and their organs tend to have a similar peak brightness per area, so this figure is a good guess for the brightness of a firefly's lantern.

Firefly lights aren't "always-on." They blink on and off, with patterns that vary from species to species and situation to situation. These flashes carry information, some of which you can decode using this delightful chart.[4]You can also use LEDs to mess with firefly patterns, which feels strangely invasive.

To get the brightest light, let's assume we're using a species with a mostly-on duty cycle—like a headlight bug. How does its 0.0006-lumen light output compare to the Sun?

The Sun's brightness is \( 3.8\times10^{28} \) lumens, so by simple division, it would take \( 3\times10^{31} \) of those fireflies to emit the same amount of light. That's a surprisingly small number; adult fireflies weigh about 20 milligrams, which means \( 3\times10^{31} \) fireflies would only weigh about a third as much as Jupiter and 1/3000th as much as the Sun.

In other words, per pound, fireflies are brighter than the Sun. Even though bioluminescence is millions of times less efficient than the Sun's fusion-powered glow, the Sun can't afford to be as bright because it has to last billions of times longer.[5]If you like Fermi problems—and silly equations—there's an interesting route you can take to this answer without doing any research on fireflies or the Sun at all. Instead, you can just plug this equation into Wolfram|Alpha: (5 billion years / (4 hours/day * 3 months)) / (1% * (speed of light)^2 / (3200 calories/pound)).

Let's walk through it: The first half—the numerator—is a guess for the ratio between how long the Sun has to keep glowing compared to how long a firefly does. I took a wild guess that fireflies have to light up for a few hours each night for one summer, while the Sun has to last another five billion years. The second half—the denominator—is a guess as to the ratio between the stored energy in a pound of firefly vs a pound of star. Nuclear fusion converts about 1% of the input matter to energy, so from E=mc2, the stored energy is c2 kg/kg, whereas animal matter (say, butter) is about 3,200 food calories per pound. The result should tell us the ratio between a firefly's brightness per pound and the Sun's. And the answer we get says that the fireflies are a few thousand times brighter—which is roughly what we got from working through it the other way!

It's true that we got lucky with some of our guesses, but since we made errors in both directions, they tended to cancel out. This kind of thing works more often than it seems like it should!

But wait! A mass of fireflies that big would run into problems. Besides the obvious problems with gathering that many animals in one place, the fireflies would block each others' light. The inner fireflies would be hidden behind the outer ones, and the total brightness would be limited.[6]But the light from the core fireflies wouldn't just vanish. After bouncing around a few times, it would be absorbed by neighboring fireflies, which would get warmer. This is sort of like how radiation makes its way out of the Sun's core—but in the case of the fireflies, they'd die from the heat before the process got very far.

Since the only light that matters is the light at the surface, we could imagine arranging the fireflies in a hollow sphere, with their lanterns pointing outward. Or, to make thing simpler, we could imagine a single giant firefly. How big would it need to be?

Since we know our firefly will need to give off about \( 3\times10^{31} \) times as much light as a normal firefly, it will need a glowing patch \( 3\times10^{31} \) times larger. Since surface area is proportional to length squared, our firefly will have a body length \( \sqrt{3\times10^{31}}=5\times10^{15} \) times longer than a normal firefly, which would make it about the size of the Solar System.

Since mass is proportional to length cubed, our firefly would weigh \( \left( 3\times10^{31}\right)^{\tfrac{3}{2}}=1.6\times10^{47} \) times as much as a normal firefly, which works out to about half as much as the entire Milky Way galaxy.

Such a firefly would immediately collapse under its own weight and become a black hole. In fact, given the distribution of galaxies in our universe, there's an upper limit to how large black holes can grow, and this firefly would be bigger than that limit. That means our firefly would become the largest black hole in the universe. It would give off a lot of light as it devoured our galaxy, and then, eventually, it would give off none at all.

Black holes last a long time, but they eventually evaporate through Hawking radiation. When the black hole era of our universe comes to an end, black holes will evaporate one by one, with the smallest evaporating faster. Since our firefly's black hole would be the largest one in the universe, it would be the last to evaporate—a final outpost of irregularity in a universe fading toward heat death.

We should probably add that to the identification chart, just in case.

20 Jul 18:39

micdotcom: Watch: Stephen Colbert went to visit Jon Stewart —...

20 Jul 09:50

U.S. Government Sued for Software Piracy, Maker Claims $600m

by Ernesto

usnavyIn recent years the U.S. Government has taken an aggressive stance towards copyright infringement, both at home and abroad.

However, that doesn’t mean that the Government always sticks to the rules, quite the contrary. In a recent lawsuit it stands accused of willful copyright infringement on a massive scale.

The case centers around “BS Contact Geo,” a 3D virtual reality application developed by the German company Bitmanagement. The Navy was enthusiastic about the geographical modeling capabilities of the software and in 2011 and 2012 it agreed to license its use for 38 computers.

“Those individual PC-based licenses authorized the Navy to install BS Contact Geo on a total of just 38 computers for the purposes of testing, trial runs, and integration into Navy systems,” the software vendor states in the federal claims court complaint (pdf).

After testing the application for a while, both parties started negotiating the licensing of additional computers. However, before any deals were made, the software maker learned that the Navy had already installed it on over 100,000 computers.

According to emails Bitmanagement executives received in 2013, the software had been rolled onto at least 558,466 computers on the Navy’s network, without their permission.

“Even as it negotiated with Bitmanagement over the proposed large-scale licensing of its product, the Navy was simultaneously copying and installing that software, without Bitmanagement’s advance knowledge or authorization, on a massive scale,” the complaint reads.

In addition, the Navy allegedly disabled the software that is supposed to track on how many computers the software is being used. This violation of the terms of service prevents the software vendor from stopping the unauthorized copying.

“To make matters worse, starting in 2014, the ‘Flexwrap’ software intended to track the Navy’s use and duplication of BS Contact Geo on Navy computers was disabled,” the complaint explains.

This change made it impossible for Bitmanagement to know the scope of the deployment and use of BS Contact Geo on unlicensed machines or to limit that use,” the company adds.

The software vendor says that the willful copyright infringement has caused injury to its business and rights. As a result, they’re now demanding compensation for the damage that was caused, to a total of nearly $600 million.

Installing BS Contact Geo onto a single PC cost roughly $1067 at the time, so Bitmanagement claims that it is entitled to at least $596,308,103 in unpaid licensing fees.

For comparison, that is more than the damages Kim Dotcom and Megaupload have caused copyright holders, according to the United States. And that case was billed by the FBI as one of the “largest criminal copyright cases” in history.

Interestingly this is not the first time that the U.S. military has been “caught” pirating software. A few years ago it was accused of operating unlicensed logistics software, a case the Obama administration eventually settled for $50 million.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

20 Jul 03:27

Giant LEGO ISS and Space Shuttle Endeavor

by Caylin

It’s been a while since a Space Shuttle orbiter docked with the International Space Station; Atlantis launched July 8, 2011, over five years ago. Since then, all astronauts have caught a ride on the Soyuz out of Kazakhstan. In a few years, they’ll be flying out of Cape Canaveral, once again, thanks to the Commercial Crew program. Until then, let us all gaze upon the beauty of Lia Chan‘s absolutely stunning brick-built ISS and Space Shuttle orbiter Endeavor.

ISS-shuttle 02ISS- Shuttle 05ISS-Shuttle 03

For a look at the shuttle pre-launch, be sure to check out our post featuring the shuttle, launch pad, and NASA’s Next Giant Leap!

17 Jul 21:22

How Old School Floppy Drives Worked

by The 8-Bit Guy

Support this channel on Patreon

Thanks go out to my guest stars:
Lazy Game Reviews

Modern Vintage Gamer

Classic Gaming Quarterly

The Obsolete Geek
18 Jul 16:18

Watch Franchesca Ramsey address and debunk four tactics people...

Watch Franchesca Ramsey address and debunk four tactics people often use in efforts to derail conversations about Black Lives Matter.

18 Jul 21:44

pseydaesthesis: my friend just texted me “it’s not acceptable that trump feels good about himself...


my friend just texted me “it’s not acceptable that trump feels good about himself and you don’t” and i think it’s the most motivational thing i’ve ever read

18 Jul 04:01


by Robot Hugs

New comic!

It’s ok to have different approaches to the media we love. But being shitty about it doesn’t honour your favourite entertainment. Let it breathe!


18 Jul 00:00


I don't care what the research says. Everybody knows you should drink 3,000 glasses of water a day and change your oil every 8 miles.
16 Jul 19:39

Jongno Tower in Seoul, South Korea

by Andrew

Jongno Tower is a unique office building in Seoul designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and completed in 1999. bigcrown85 has faithfully recreated the structure in LEGO, with extensive use of transparent blue bricks. Similarly, the outer structural elements of the building use numerous LEGO struts, demonstrating that repetition is often a key element of achieving a real-world look in a LEGO creation.

Jongno Tower

Even the trees at ground level use some interesting techniques.

Jongno Tower