Apple accused of infringing copyrights by Japanese publishers

Posted by Harshad

Apple accused of infringing copyrights by Japanese publishers

Apple accused of infringing copyrights by Japanese publishers

Posted: 14 Dec 2010 04:49 PM PST

Apple accused of infringing copyrights by Japanese publishersFour Japanese publishers have accused Apple of infringing on copyrights, saying the company is offering illegally scanned books and graphic novels via its iOS App Store.

The four accusing publishers are the Japan Book Publishers Association, Japan Magazine Association, the Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan, and the Digital Comic Association.

Each says that Apple has deleted some of the pirated titles, but others are still freely available.

One such publication is Haruki Murakami's "1Q84."

Apple has noted that it "respects intellectual-property rights and that it will respond to complaints promptly and appropriately."

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E-mails are protected by Fourth Amendment, says court

Posted: 14 Dec 2010 04:26 PM PST

E-mails are protected by Fourth Amendment, says courtA US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled this week that email is protected by the Fourth Amendment and that the government will need a search warrant to "intercept" and read emails.

Email communication is similar to traditional communication methods like phone calls, and users still have a reasonable expectation of privacy online, said the court.

The decision reads:
"Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication, it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve... [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call--unless they get a warrant, that is."

Stephen Warshak, the appellant, has effectively had a previous verdict now overturned, as all evidence is now invalid.

The Department of Justice had forced Warshak's email provider to intercept and monitor his emails and the EFF and other privacy advocates claimed it amounted to an illegal wiretap.

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IBM supercomputer will compete on Jeopardy

Posted: 14 Dec 2010 03:28 PM PST

IBM supercomputer will compete on JeopardyIBM's supercomputer "Watson" will take on human contestants on "Jeopardy" this coming February, taking on all-time champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

In 2005, Ken Jennings won 74 straight games en route to $2.5 million in earnings. Rutter did not win as many games, but took home $3.2 million, the highest ever.

Watson will take on Rutter and Jennings over a three-day period and the winner will receive $1 million. Second place gets $300,000 and third gets $200,000. IBM will donate all their winnings to charity and Jennings and Rutter will donate half.

Jeopardy is seen as a high-level test of Watson's ability "to think in a human-like way, not only being able to retrieve information when requested—as is done with a normal Google search request—but also to go through its vast database of information, make the necessary connections and pick up on the subtle nuances, puns and riddles necessary to answer questions," says eWeek.

IBM says they have run Watson through at least 50 "mock games" of Jeopardy against former participants on the show, and the machine has managed to win some, but lose others.

Watson was solely created to "answer questions posed in natural language, and to do so quickly and correctly."

Adds David Ferrucci, part of the IBM Research behind Watson: "After four years, our scientific team believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the Jeopardy clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response. Beyond our excitement for the match itself, our team is very motivated by the possibilities that Watson's breakthrough computing capabilities hold for building a smarter planet and helping people in their business tasks and personal lives."

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