GlobalPost: German recluse leaves Nazi-era art hoard to Swiss museum.
“Holzinger said that a Munich court would still have to rule on whether the will was valid. ‘If it is found that the Bern museum is the rightful heir, and the museum accepts this inheritance – a key condition – then the museum will have to contend from that moment with all legal issues including the question of restitution of looted art.’” Already messy, it’s going to get messier.
Telegraph.UK: Why Hillary Clinton needs Monica Lewinsky more than ever.
DP Review: Did Amazon just patent the seamless background setup?
“Amazon creates a huge number of product photographs every day and some commenters have suggested that this patent (originally filed in 2011) is essentially protective, and represents the company’s attempt to shield itself from attacks from patent trolls who might attempt to patent a similar setup and use it against the company in the future.” Defense, not offense?
CNN/Opinion: Restrain your duck - or wind up in court.
Hilarious, with some good legal wrangling inside. The mention of ‘service lizards’ made my eyes cross.
I was having a drink at a local restaurant in Santa Fe, one that allowed dogs. A neighboring table put their mop dog up on the table and allowed it to lick all the condiment jars and bottles, sample the leftovers, sip their drinks. The wait staff said not a word. Those folks left, bussers cleaned the table (how could they know?), new people sat down … condiments unwashed. Totally grossed me out. I’ve not patronized that restaurant since … and generally avoid ‘pet friendly’ eateries. If more animals in eating establishments are our future, I’ll stay at home. Note, it’s not the animals I blame.
Mashable: Will This Fly?: A Primer on Drone Laws
Sounds like existing law would prefer to put the genie back in the bottle for a year or so.
Jalopnik: Hobby Drones As Guided Bombs And The Rise Of Laser Defense Systems.
“Even the quad-rotor type hobbyist/commercial drones, like those controversially pimped to millions on 60 Minutes by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently, can carry around half a dozen pounds. Swap out that pair of earphones or cookbook you ordered online, or a DSLR camera when it comes to rudimentary commercial photography drones, with an improvised explosive device and you have a guided missile capable of some very horrific things.”
I’m really alarmed by this sort of talk. Now you put it out there, can a drone version of the Boston Marathon incident be far behind?
My friends who use these devices are going to be put in danger by crazed paranoid people; it’s only a matter of time until some nut decides he’s being attacked, and lets loose a couple of shotgun blasts (or CCW handgun) at the drone and/or operator.
Hate to say it, but I suppose the only answer is Federal/State ‘drone’ licensing. The sooner, the better … before someone gets hurt.
The Economist: Muslims in Marseille: Behind the façade.
“Countrywide, over 250 young French jihadists have left for Syria, among them teenaged girls. The government is trying to disrupt recruiting networks.” My italic emphasis. Not good. Marseille has always been a little rough, a melting-pot. Sounds especially volatile now. I don’t like this new reality, where mere words can inspire murder on public streets.
CNN: Spanish island of Mallorca considers street ‘bikini ban’.
“I’ve lived on Mallorca for the past 11 years and it makes my skin crawl when I have to stand behind some fat sweaty individual in the supermarket who thinks it’s OK to let it all hang out.” Pulled exclusively for that quote.
Guardian.UK: Lusitania divers warned of danger from war munitions in 1982, papers reveal.
“The facts are that there is a large amount of ammunition in the wreck, some of which is highly dangerous. The Treasury have decided that they must inform the salvage company of this fact in the interests of the safety of all concerned. Although there have been rumours in the press that the previous denial of the presence of munitions was untrue, this would be the first acknowledgement of the facts by HMG.”
Vox: Everything you need to know about Benghazi.
Handy. One could wish for more footnotes with links.
Telegraph.UK: Anti-rape video - Why Daniel Craig’s appeal to men could really matter.
WaPo: Inmate dies following botched Oklahoma execution, second execution delayed.
Hideous. A ‘vein blow’ often means the person administering the drugs popped the needle completely through the vein, into the body. So it could be ‘operator error.’ Since the AMA frowns on physicians doing this, we’re back to 19th century ‘doctor-barber’ medicine.
The media ‘usual subjects’ are voicing opinions about guillotines, electric chairs, gas booths and firing squads. Right. I thought the point was to eliminate torture, just end the life humanely?
If one must exercise death as a punishment, I understand modified ligature strangulation (compressing carotid and jugular veins, but not the windpipe) with about 8 pounds of constant pressure on each side of the neck causes swift unconsciousness and death, with supposedly minimal suffering. Drunks do it to themselves on an alarmingly frequent basis (falling asleep with their necks over chair arms, bars, etc.).
Mashable: Get Ready for Drone-vertising.
Ridiculous, in so many different ways. For instance, the quadcopter they’re using has 15 minutes of flight time.
CJR: Drone man.
I do wish the American media would be more precise about categorizing drones. In the context of this article, fine. I think of ‘drone’ specifically in a military/reconaissance context.
But domestically? Quadcopters with cameras, R/C aircraft with cameras have been around for decades. Anyone can drop less than $1k and be doing half-decent aerial videos in hours … though I’d recommend the smarter move is to rent [with damage waiver]. Piloting an R/C helicopter [main rotor/tail rotor] used to take weeks of practice; modern quadcopters are comparatively simple to master.
All of a sudden, every R/C device has become … quelle horreur! … a drone.
These are so cheap, and dropping in price so fast, every photographer in America will likely have one within the year. Many top photographers already almost treat them as disposables (new detritus to find in the wilderness, I’m sure). Heck, every family may have one by next Xmas. When kids are casually biking around with $500 GoPro setups … how far off can a <$1k ‘drone’ purchase be?
I predict laser gunbattle quadcopters will be next in the toy market.
I’m waiting for the first nonprofit to sail a ‘drone’ over a corporation-owned environmentally-contentious locale (fracking, uranium mining cleanup, etc.) and post the realities to Youtube. The legal brouhaha should be spectacular. It’ll be the whole Google Street Van privacy issue, dialed to ‘11’.
My point is, most of these devices are R/C quadcopters doing aerial videos - they have no military purpose. And just saying “R/C quadcopter”, don’t you feel less stressed about it? Drone is a trigger word, and frightens people. Most of these things are oversized plastic-fantastic toys. Hobbyist quality. No innocents are going to die*. Call a spade a spade. I won’t hold my breath, though. Paradronanoia attracts clicks.
Later: Tangentially related.
*They might put your eye out, though.
Ghost in the Machine: Running Right on NatSec Again.
[redacted comment] Of course you know she supports fracking, too. Will noone step up on the blue side of the aisle to compete for ‘16?
Medium/Dustin Sites: Freelancer.com is destroying my life.
A precautionary tale. Going wider than just this freelance site - check your online payment providers for where they’re incorporated, how their arbitration or other system works. You may find yourself out of luck for not reading the fine print.
Photo Attorney: Photography and the Law, Understanding Copyright on Lynda.com.
Recommended for all photographers who read this blog.
The Atlantic: Who Is at Fault When a Driverless Car Gets in an Accident?
“This won’t be a simple problem. How do you apportion blame between a human driver and a car’s automated systems? How do you apportion blame within those systems? Was it the software? Or the way the software was or wasn’t tested? Or maybe it was the hardware. Or perhaps it was due to the software and hardware interacting in unforeseen ways.” This’ll be entertaining. Read those articles about people blindly following Google Maps in their cars, and driving down outdoor staircases, into lakes … ?
MeFi: Two fatal Air India crashes on Mont Blanc - jewels and conspiracies.
Another great FPP.
LA Times: Cliven Bundy’s ‘better off as slaves’ remark about blacks draws fire.
As reprehensible as this opinion is, one does not have to venture far into rural America to hear worse. Washington has always adored the FJ Turner/Frontier Thesis individual, no matter what rotting baggage he brings along with him.
Good time to reread ‘The Monkey Wrench Gang’, to get an idea of what the Nevada culture is composed of.
TechDirt: Russia Orders Bloggers To ‘Register’; Outlaws Anonymous Blogging.
“The law introduces a new term: ‘Internet user called blogger.’ Bloggers will be obliged to declare their family name and initials and e-mail address. Those authors whose personal website or page in social networks has 3,000 visitors or more a day must have themselves registered on a special list and abide by restrictions applicable to the mass media.”
StarTrib: Report cites poor management, eroding safety for nuke dump radiation release.
Color me unsurprised.
Dallas Morning News: Wise County couple gets $3 million in fracking suit.
“I don’t think this is going to be damaging to the industry. But it is a warning to operators they need to exercise caution when running operations near homesteads.” Or the finger’s been pulled out of the dike.
Photo Attorney: Copyright Office Establishes New Fees to Begin on May 1.
ProPublica: Meet the Doctor Who Gave $1M of His Own Money to Keep His Gun Research Going.
“I did a gun show study. When I started crunching numbers on gun show sales, and looking at the surveys, I came to realize — as interesting as this is, gun shows themselves are not a big part of the problem. I felt obligated to add this into my report.” Unexpurgated scientific study will out.