Ruling on YouTube Viral Videos Parses Fair Use Versus Theft

The line between “fair use” in copyright law and outright theft has often been unclear, but a recent U.S. District Court ruling drew the line on a case involving Equals Three Studios and viral-video aggregator Jukin Media. Jukin accused Equals Three of illegally taking dozens of clips for use in its own YouTube show. Equals Three sued Jukin, saying its actions were protected by fair use, and that Jukin’s takedown deprived it of ad revenue. The Court’s ruling sides with Equals Three on all but one of the videos under consideration. Continue reading Ruling on YouTube Viral Videos Parses Fair Use Versus Theft

CalECPA: California Governor Signs Landmark Privacy Law

California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a new law designed to protect digital privacy rights. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) mandates that a warrant is required in order for state law enforcement agencies or investigators to compel businesses to turn over metadata or digital communications such as emails, texts, and cloud-stored documents. Additionally, it requires a warrant for the tracking or searching of electronic devices. The White House, meanwhile, has backed down on its battle with tech companies over encrypted data of digital devices. Continue reading CalECPA: California Governor Signs Landmark Privacy Law

Amazon Enters the Gig Economy with “Flex” Delivery Service

E-commerce giant Amazon launched a new delivery system this week called Amazon Flex. The Uber-like model offers individuals with their own vehicles and an Android smartphone the opportunity to deliver packages for $18-25 per hour. Drivers have the option of two-, four- or eight-hour shifts. In addition to a car and an Android phone for managing deliveries with the Flex app, drivers must be over 21 and pass a background check. The new system, initially rumored back in June, works with Amazon’s Prime Now service, which offers members one- and two-hour delivery on items. Continue reading Amazon Enters the Gig Economy with “Flex” Delivery Service

Apple’s Electric-Car Project, Titan, Gets Greenlight for 2019

Apple greenlit its early stage work on an electric car, changing its status internally to a committed project dubbed Titan, say insiders, with a target release date for 2019. The company has decided that its expertise in batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration — honed by developing the iPhone — can serve as a sufficient foundation for developing a car. During the year Apple researched the feasibility of its own electric car, company executives met with two groups of government officials in California. Continue reading Apple’s Electric-Car Project, Titan, Gets Greenlight for 2019

Apple Takes the Latest Round in Patent Battle with Samsung

Apple has won the latest legal battle in a back-and-forth case that began in 2014 when a jury trial in San Jose awarded the company more than $119 million in damages for infringement by Samsung. At that trial, the presiding judge denied Apple’s request for an injunction against Samsung including features that Apple said infringed on its smartphone patents. In this most recent ruling, a U.S. Federal Appeals Court flipped that ruling, saying that Apple is entitled to an injunction barring Samsung from using those specific features. Continue reading Apple Takes the Latest Round in Patent Battle with Samsung

Governor Brown Vetoes Legislation Restricting Use of Drones

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed California Senate Bill 142, proposed legislation that would require drone users to obtain permission to fly their unmanned aerial systems less than 350 feet over private property. “Drone technology certainly raises novel issues that merit careful examination,” wrote Brown. “This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.” Tech groups opposed the bill and the CEA applauded the Governor’s decision. Continue reading Governor Brown Vetoes Legislation Restricting Use of Drones

Google Augments Search, Connects Users with Home Services

Google is no longer just a way to search for a good local plumber or electrician. Now, users in the San Francisco Bay area can make appointments via Google Home Services, a newly unveiled program that connects users with companies vetted by Google. So far, Google Home Services supplies plumbers, handymen, locksmiths and housecleaners. The move puts Google in direct competition with Amazon, which launched a similar service in March, as well as Angie’s List, Yelp and TaskRabbit. Continue reading Google Augments Search, Connects Users with Home Services

California Legislation Could Have Impact on Drone Deliveries

As numerous startups introduce drones for recreational and commercial use, and tech giants including Amazon and Google plan delivery projects based on UAVs, concerns have emerged regarding various safety, privacy and security issues. Now policy groups tied to tech firms are working to block new legislation in California that could impact the deployment and use of drones. Senate Bill 142, which passed the California Assembly on Monday, restricts operation of UAVs under 350 feet above properties without permission of the property owners. Continue reading California Legislation Could Have Impact on Drone Deliveries

Over 131 Startups Now Valued at $1 Billion, Says CB Insights

Two years ago, venture investor Aileen Lee coined the term “unicorn” for what was then a fairly rare commodity: a startup company that investors valued at $1 billion. In the current market, at least 131 startups are valued at a total of $485 billion, says research firm CB Insights, making the designation “unicorn” — a mythical beast — less accurate. Apparently, unicorns not only exist, but only half of the current crop hail from their birthplace in Silicon Valley. And they now focus on a wide variety of industries. Continue reading Over 131 Startups Now Valued at $1 Billion, Says CB Insights

Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Linux production environments can now leverage Nvidia’s recently introduced GRID technology to power VMware’s Horizon 6 for Linux and provide visual effects and animation artists anywhere, on any device, with virtual Linux workstations running their familiar high-end applications. Nvidia’s VP of Enterprise Marketing Greg Estes showed a virtual workstation running simulations in Maya on the SIGGRAPH floor in Los Angeles with the application, processors and Nvidia’s GRID and CUDA technologies installed in a data center hundreds of miles away in Northern California. Continue reading Linux to Go: Nvidia GRID Delivers Virtualization, Performance

Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

Comcast has turned to its theme park portfolio, which it acquired four years ago with its purchase of NBCUniversal, as a serious source of revenue. The company just committed to invest $1.6 billion to expand the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in California — featuring a snow-capped Hogwarts Castle — and build a $3.25 billion theme park in Beijing, in partnership with Chinese companies, slated to open in 2019. Comcast invested $100 million for a new “Transformers” ride at Universal Orlando in 2013. Continue reading Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Nintendo and Facebook are teaming up to host a hackathon at Facebook’s headquarters on July 28 and 29, centered around the upcoming “Super Mario Maker” game. The game allows players to build their own Mario courses, and Facebook employees will be creating their own levels for the game, with Nintendo as the judge. The winning creations will be released for download once the game launches in September. Nintendo hopes that allowing players to design their own games will appeal to a creative generation of young gamers. Continue reading Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Amazon’s First Drive-Up Grocery Store Expected in California

Amazon may open its first drive-up grocery store in Sunnyvale, California, where customers can pick up items they ordered online. Shoppers would place their orders and choose a window during which they could pick up their groceries. The model could provide a viable alternative to traditional grocery shopping for busy consumers, while also addressing some of the challenges faced by the AmazonFresh delivery service, which first launched in the Seattle area and has since expanded to parts of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City and Philadelphia. Continue reading Amazon’s First Drive-Up Grocery Store Expected in California

Security Among Topics Slated for ETC’s Project Cloud Meeting

A team of leading security experts from the Hollywood studios and the Cloud Security Alliance, working with the Entertainment Technology Center’s Project Cloud, helped shape the methodology for security guidelines related to cloud-distributed media content. Recommendations were handed off to CSA and the MPAA in September 2014 — and on March 17 of this year, the MPAA released “Content Security Best Practices” to the public. This is a fundamental milestone in moving studios toward the cloud. Security will be one of several topics discussed at the next Project Cloud meeting on July 27 at the Google offices in Venice. Continue reading Security Among Topics Slated for ETC’s Project Cloud Meeting

Apple Stock Declines on News of 38 Percent Growth in Profits

Apple reported a 38 percent increase in profits — which equals $10.7 billion — from a year ago. Revenue rocketed 33 percent to $49.6 billion, and the iPhone, the company’s biggest source of revenue and profit, jumped up 35 percent to 47.5 million units. Still, on hearing the news, Apple’s stock plummeted. Why? Investors and Wall Street analysts expected Apple to wildly exceed its projections. Instead, when stratospheric sales of iPhones and Apple Watches didn’t materialize, Apple fans and shareholders were disappointed. Continue reading Apple Stock Declines on News of 38 Percent Growth in Profits

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