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Current Affairs Posts - Page 3

ALS Association attempted to trademark the 'ice bucket challenge'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 31, 2014 5:31 am

I'm sure you've heard of the ALS ice bucket challenge by now, but I'm sure you didn't hear that the ALS Association had filed trademarks on the phrases "ALS ice bucket challenge" and "ice bucket challenge" on August 22, which was met with controversy.

 

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With over $94 million raised for the cause, greedy people could see the reasoning behind trying to trademark it, but after much criticism after filing the trademarks with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, the group removed its applications. Legal experts have said that trademarking both issues is not only in poor taste, but it is also hard to believe that two charity organizations would go after each other in court, especially over something that is raising money for the disease.

 

What do you think of ALS Association's attempt at trademarking the ice bucket challenge? Have you taken part in it?

Twitter adopts policy to remove pictures of the dead by request

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 20, 2014 2:07 pm

Popular microblogging social network Twitter has said it will now officially comply with requests from family members to remove pictures and videos of the recently dead.

 

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A spokesperson, Nu Wexler, said that Twitter will remove imagery of the dead in "certain circumstances" and will so so to "respect the wishes of loved ones." "When reviewing such media removal requests," Wexler said, "Twitter considers public interest factors such as the newsworthiness of the content and may not be able to honor every request."

 

However, family members will be expected to provide documentation that proves they're within rights to make the request. These requests will be valid from "when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death," Twitter morbidly outlined.

Soccer's Premier League takes action on stopping goal uploads to Vine

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 18, 2014 10:02 am

The Premier League has announced it will be targeting users of the Vine social network who are uploading unauthorized video clips of goals onto the internet.

 

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As the soccer season begins, the Premier League has warned that any footage from it belongs to the organisation - and that uploading even brief sections of it, such as goal videos, onto the internet is in breach of copyright. The Premier League's Dan Johnson said it was "ultimately against the law", adding that the League will be introducing automated bots to sniff out unauthorized usage online, as well as for gifs. He said that the League will actively be cooperating with Twitter.

 

Vine allows users to post and share very brief videos. Many fans sharing material will naturally be doing it for the love of the game. But TV networks, which are paying record sums in the billions for broadcasting rights, will want to discourage behavior they view as ways to watch for free.

Man who shone laser at helicopter because he was bored sent to prison

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 7, 2014 10:22 pm

A 26 year old Californian man has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for shining laser pointers at a passing police helicopter.

 

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Brett Lee Scott, 26, of Buttonwillow, claimed that he was "bored" and agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. As Ars Technica reports, court filings show Scott had been allegedly shining the laser pointers towards the helicopter over a six month period.

 

Although it may seem innocuous, powerful laser pointers can quite easily blind pilots - with the worst case scenario being the crashing of an aircraft. No injuries resulted in this case, but the prosecution is a clear sign the law's taking the potential of such threats seriously.

21 year old man dies while taking Facebook selfie with loaded gun

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Aug 4, 2014 10:02 pm

A man while trying to take a Facebook selfie with a loaded gun, according to Mexican news.

 

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Mexican website Proseco said Oscar Otero Aguilar, 21, was drinking before taking the picture and stumbled when the gun fired. Omar Abner Campos Vives, a friend of Aguilar's, has been arrested while another friend is reportedly on the run.

 

One report says Aguilar was found dead by the time police arrived, while another claims a neighbor found him while he was alive, Pocket Lint reports. An autopsy is expected, and so far officials say the death appears to have been an accident, and that the photograph was likely going to be posted on Facebook.

Four dead, 180 hurt in suspected gas explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 31, 2014 7:17 pm

At least 180 people are injured and four dead following explosions in Kaohsiung city, south-west Taiwan.

 

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Blasts occurred at both Kaisuan Road and Ersheng Road, and were felt in at least four areas of the city, according to Russia Today. Taiwan's United Daily News said 182 people were taken to hospital and at least four were killed, while the city's Fire Department said the injury toll is expected to rise.

 

 

More than 2.7 million people live in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest municipality by area, a port city and the second most populous in the country. Witnesses reported on social media that gas leaks began at 9PM Taiwan time, creating a billowing white fog. Fires sparked explosions on multiple streets according to China's Central News Agency, as can be seen in this video taken from the dashboard of a car, embedded above, showing fire and plumes of smoke emerging from the ground.

British woman called Skywalker refused a UK passport due to copyright

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 30, 2014 9:05 pm

A British woman who added "Skywalker" to her name has been refused a passport application and told her name now infringes upon a trademark.

 

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The woman, Laura Elizabeth Skywalker Matthews, from Southend, 29, said she'd never had a problem before - and that the name had been accepted for bank cards and her driving licence. But the passport office outright rejected it, and said she may have to use an old signature on a new form. Skywalker said she'd officially changed her name several years ago as a joke.

 

Britain's Home Office asserted that it refuses to accept name changes that are subject to copyright or trademark. "We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute," a spokesperson told the BBC.

Wales, UK tackles skills shortage with software dedicated university

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 22, 2014 7:03 pm

Businesses that are worried about a software skills shortage are setting up the first university in Wales, UK to be dedicated to the subject.

 

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However, there will be no dedicated campus for this University - instead it will offer a mixture of online and applied learning with complementary work experience, or internship, schemes. It is being set up either to be paid for privately, through a charity, or publicly. However it comes to be, the degree courses will be real and last for two years, and accredited by another university.

 

One of the people behind the plan, Simon Gibson, suggested there's an upcoming crisis regarding the lack of young people with qualified software skills. "It's not just software engineers writing things for mobile phones now," he said, speaking with the BBC. "Software engineers are needed in the insurance business, finance, bioscience, anything that involves economic development requires good software skills." The plans are said to be "well advanced" but further details are not clear quite yet.

Lego pieces still washing up on English coast after 90s shipwreck

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 21, 2014 7:00 pm

The tides on a British coast keep washing in the remnants of a 1997 shipwreck that was carrying a cargo load of Lego.

 

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Lego pieces keep emerging on the shores of Cornwall, England, and there have been hundreds spotted since the ship, the Tokio Express, was pulled under a freak wave, losing just under 5 million pieces of Lego in the process. Some of the Lego pieces include, ironically, plastic spear guns and scuba gear.

 

Tracey Williams, who runs the Lego Lost at Sea page, which is dedicated to the strange phenomena, was interviewed by the Bristol Post newspaper. "I've collected between 500 and 600 pieces over the years," she said. "Collectively we've found thousands and thousands between us - but there's still so many more to find." An oceanographer, Curtis Ebbesmeyer, told the paper that the mystery is in where most of the pieces have ended up, as they have only been reported definitively just off the coast of Cornwall. "The most profound lesson I've learned from the Lego story is that things that go to the bottom of the sea don't always stay there," Ebbesmeyer added.

Google to donate hundreds of thousands to 10 British charities

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 19, 2014 8:31 pm

Google is planning on giving 200,000 pounds sterling - nearly 350,000 US dollars - to ten shortlisted British charities it believes can advance the world for the better using technology.

 

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The grants are part of the company's Impact Challenge, which originated in the UK, and has since traveled the world before its return. Of the ten shortlisted projects, four will be given an additional 500,000 pounds, which is over 800,000 dollars. Three will be decided by a panel of experts including Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and Helen Goulden of Nesta's Innovation Lab, while the remaining project will be put to a public vote. Among the proposals are initiatives to assist the vision of the blind and partially sighted with technology from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, a project that aims to aid encourage mental health well-being through gaming called We Are What We Do, and Centrepoint augmenting its work in tackling youth homelessness with big data.

 

Entrepreneur and British TV celebrity from Dragons Den, Peter Jones, is on the panel. "After an inspiring process, we've unearthed ten exceptional projects from ten exceptional charities," he said, according to the Telegraph. "Google's Impact Challenge shows that innovation is crucial to success. You can't stand still."

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