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Chateau Marmont, Hotel For Celebrity Humans, Sends Trademark C&D To Cateau Marmont, Hotel For Cats

While spending a great deal of time writing about dumb trademark disputes can be both monumentally frustrating and fill your mind with despair, I will be the first to admit that it also is a great avenue for entertainment and laughter. This story is about a situation firmly in the latter categories. The Chateau Marmont is a famous hotel in Los Angeles with a reputation for catering to celebrities both in its lodgings and at the restaurant. Roman

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DOJ Walks Back Its Demands For Info On Everyone Who Visited A Trump Protest Site As Some Of Those Visitors Protest Subpoena

Last week we wrote about a crazy warrant from the DOJ, effectively demanding information -- possibly identifying information -- on everyone who visited the site disruptj20.org, which had been used by people organizing protests of Trump‘s inauguration. When we wrote about it, the site‘s hosting company, DreamHost, had just announced that it was pushing back on the demand in court. On Monday of this week, some of the visitors to the si

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Limited Edition Anniversary Gear: The First Techdirt Logo!

The current Techdirt logo has remained the same for quite some time, but extra-long-time readers might remember that there have actually been two other logos before this one. The very first one was created by Techdirt friend Audris and used until early 1999, and all that remains of it today is one small old JPEG with a lot of compression artifacts: Today, in celebration of Techdirt‘s 20th anniversary, we‘ve done our best to re

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GCHQ Knew FBI Wanted To Arrest MalwareTech, Let Him Fly To The US To Be Arrested There

It looks like the UK found an easy way to avoid another lengthy extradition battle. Its intelligence agency, GCHQ, knew something security research Marcus Hutchins didn‘t -- and certainly didn‘t feel obliged to tell him. Not only that, but it let a criminal suspect fly out of the country with zero pre-flight vetting. (Caution: registration wall ahead.) Officials at the intelligence agency knew that Marcus Hutchins, from Devon, who

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Sonos Users Forced To Choose Between Privacy And Working Hardware

For years now, we‘ve highlighted how these days -- you don‘t technically own the things you buy. And thanks to a rotating crop of firmware and privacy policy updates delivered over the internet, what you thought you owned can very easily change -- or be taken away from you entirely. Time and tine again we‘ve discussed how companies love to impose new restrictions on hardware via software update, then act shocked when consumers

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Daily Deal: Cudoo Online Language And Professional Development Library

If you‘re looking to learn new skills or languages, the Cudoo Online Language And Professional Development Library can help. For only 29, you get full access for two years to a massive library of self-study courses and videos representing a range of languages, professions, and computer skills. Professional development course cover sales, business writing, body language, and more. They offer over 160 languages, uniquely mapped to internatio

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Techdirt Turns Twenty!

We more or less broke the news of this with yesterday‘s podcast, but Techdirt turns 20 years old today if you trace it back to its true origins. It was, initially, an email newsletter I wrote up to send to other students at Cornell‘s MBA program and (more realistically) a way to bolster my resume to help me get a job in the tech industry. And, damn, did it ever get me a job -- just not the one that I expected. After a few years as a

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Border Device Searches Continue To Increase, Threatening More Than Just The 4th Amendment

This administration has made it clear "securing" the borders is one of our nation‘s top priorities. In all honesty, the administration probably couldn‘t care less about the Canadian border. Almost all of its attention is focused on the southern border, but it also wants to make sure visitors/immigrants from certain countries are hassled extensively no matter where they first set foot in this country. The nation‘s borders have

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Failed Cybersquatter Asks Supreme Court To Declare ‘Google‘ A Generic Term

A litigant hoping to retain ownership of more than 750 domain names containing the word "google" has asked the Supreme Court to take a look at his recent Appeals Court loss. David Elliott first filed a lawsuit against Google back in 2012, claiming the term "google" was now a generic word meaning "to use a search engine." If the term had become generic -- like aspirin, kleenex, and others before it -- Google no longer could claim control of the

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Deputy Who Rear-Ended Driver At 104 MPH Had Horrendous Service Record, Received Almost Zero Discipline

Normally, I wouldn‘t grab an isolated story about police misconduct and present it here. The misconduct is indeed serious -- an officer involved in high-speed crash that left another man critically injured -- but one cop doing something dumb is barely even newsworthy these days. But the more you read about this law enforcement officer, the worse it gets. And it starts with Deputy Brandon Hegele nailing a smart car driven by a sixty-year-

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Australian Gov‘t Accessed Domestic Metadata Thousands Of Times, Shared Some Of It With China

The Australian government has released its latest report [PDF] on its domestic metadata collection efforts and it has a bit of surprising news in it. Josh Taylor and Paul Farrell of Buzzfeed report the Australian government isn‘t keeping all the domestic metadata it‘s hoovered up to itself. It‘s sharing it with several other countries, including one surprising name: There were a total of 23 disclosures of information from th

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Techdirt Podcast Episode 135: 20 Years Of Techdirt

Can you believe it? Tomorrow is our 20th anniversary! Techdirt has come a long way since Mike started it as a newsletter on August 23rd, 1997, and this week‘s episode of the podcast is a celebration and exploration of that history. Mike and Dennis are joined by Medium‘s Alex Feerst acting as moderator/interviewer to discuss the past 20 years of Techdirt. Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google P

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Verizon Begins Throttling Wireless Users, Effectively Bans 4K Streaming

Thanks to a little something called competition, Verizon Wireless was forced recently to bring back unlimited data plans, after spending the last few years trying to tell consumers they neither wanted nor needed such plans (narrator: they did). But all has not been well in Verizon-land since, with several network performance reports indicating that Verizon‘s network configuration was struggling a little under the load of these new unlimite

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Court Strips Immunity From Bite Mark Experts Who Put Wrong Man In Jail For 23 Years

We‘ve discussed the junk science masquerading as forensic science in criminal cases. Coming in slightly ahead of chatting with psychics is "bite mark analysis." According to these so-called experts, each bite mark is just as unique as a fingerprint. But if so, why have so many cases been overturned when actual science -- usually DNA evidence -- is examined? Bite mark analysts have no answers. Fortunately, there‘s been less and less r

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Daily Deal: Machine Learning with Python Course and E-Book Bundle

Machine learning is a rapidly growing area of study and is becoming a large part of our everyday lives. The 49 Machine Learning with Python Course and E-Book Bundle takes you on a deep dive into machine learning with 4 e-books and 5 online courses. You‘ll learn about TensorFlow, data mining, Python and much more. Note: The Techdirt Deals Store is powered and curated by StackCommerce. A portion of all sales from Techdirt Deals helps su

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Lawmakers Want The GAO To Investigate The FCC‘s Flimsy DDoS Claim

We‘ve noted a few times that the FCC‘s claim it suffered a DDoS attack -- at the precise moment John Oliver was directing annoyed net neutrality supporters to the agency‘s website -- is more than a little shaky. After initially insisting that major "analysis" had led the agency to conclude it was attacked the same evening Oliver was informing viewers about the FCC‘s plan to gut popular net neutrality protections, press FO

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Texas Agency Says It Needs 1 Million To Hand Over Records On Prison Sexual Assault

Here we go again. Want to keep citizens away from their requested public records? Do what you can to ensure they can‘t afford it. Nathanael King sent a request via Muckrock to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was seeking records on all investigations of alleged sexual abuse in Texas prisons. Either the problem with prison sexual abuse is completely out of hand or the Texas DCJ really really really wants to keep King from seei

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Judge Kills AT&T‘s Attempt To Thwart Google Fiber Competition In Louisville

There‘s plenty of methods incumbent ISPs use to keep broadband competition at bay, from buying protectionist state laws to a steady supply of revolving door regulators and lobbyists with a vested interest in protecting the status quo. This regulatory capture goes a long way toward explaining why Americans pay more money for slower broadband than most developed nations. Keeping this dysfunction intact despite a growing resentment from Ameri

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A Google Tax Isn‘t Going To Give Publishers The Payout They Think It Will

Somehow newspaper publishers -- especially those located in Europe -- believe the road to recovery is paved with income siphoned off Google. There have been plenty of proposed "snippet taxes" and other demands Google pay online publications for sending traffic their way. So far, nothing has panned out as the papers had hoped. In extreme cases, Google has offered to just stop sending any traffic their way by pulling out of the snippet-taxed marke

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Tech Journalists Keep Completely Missing The Point Of Cord Cutting

It has become the laziest "hot take" in technology media. About once a month or so, a writer somewhere decides to subscribe to as many streaming video services as possible, then proudly declare that this whole cord cutting thing (ditching traditional cable TV for streaming video) is a waste of time. Why? Because the writers usually wind up trying to precisely mirror their bloated, expensive traditional cable subscription by signing up for oodles

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Moving On From Obviously Fake News To Plausibly Fake News Sites

Fake news is old news now. The hope has to be that we have all become slightly more suspicious when we read astonishing stories online (well, we can hope). It also means that those peddling fake news have to work a little bit harder to make us fall for their tricks. Like this: Fake articles made to look like they have been published by legitimate news websites have emerged as a new avenue for propaganda on the internet, with experts concerned

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FBI Terrorism Sting Nets Paranoid Schizophrenic Previously Found Incompetent By A State Court

It looks like the FBI has secured another anti-terrorism "win." Once again, the agency controlled the terrorism sting from beginning to end, ensuring the suspect communicated with no one but confidential informants and undercover agents. And, once again, the FBI has utilized the sort of person who probably poses more harm to themselves than others. The FBI has arrested an Oklahoma man on charges that he tried to detonate what he thought was a

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Federal Judge Upholds Magistrate‘s Ruling, Says Google Must Hand Over Data From Overseas Servers

Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania magistrate judge decided Google needed to turn over data to US law enforcement despite it being housed (possibly temporarily) in overseas servers. The overseas housing was simply part of Google‘s data flow, which routes communications around the world for efficiency, rather than to keep them out of local governments‘ hands. This contradicted an earlier decision by the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court, whi

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Daily Deal: School of Game Design

Love gaming? Want to build your own games? The School of Game Design is the place to start. With courses for developers of all skill levels led by expert instructors, The School of Game Design helps you learn game development and design at your own pace, giving you access to an enormous library of step-by-step training videos. From the absolute basics to performing advanced techniques with Unity3D, and much more. It‘s on sale for only 69 f

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