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Disney loses in Redbox copyright row

Disney has lost a bid to stop movie rental company Redbox from reselling download codes for its films. Redbox bought Disney movies on DVD to offer for rental in its kiosks. The DVDs were often bundled with a code to download a copy of the film. Disney requested an injunction to stop the practice, saying that Redbox had no business arrangement with it. A California federal judge accused Disney of “copyright misuse”. Redbox rents and sells movies via tens of thousands of automated kiosks that dispense DVD and Blu-ray discs….

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Elon Musk quits AI ethics research group

Technology billionaire Elon Musk has quit the board of the research group he co-founded to look into the ethics of artificial intelligence. In a blog post, OpenAI said the decision had been taken to avoid any conflict of interest as Mr Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, became “more focused on AI”. He has been one of AI’s most vocal critics, stressing the potential harms. Mr Musk will continue to donate to and advise the group. In 2014, Mr Musk said AI was humanity’s biggest existential threat. And in 2017, he…

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Technology 

White nationalist Jared Taylor sues Twitter over ban

White nationalist Jared Taylor is suing Twitter after the social network banned his account as part of a crackdown on abusive content. Mr Taylor’s lawyer says the suspension of his account is a form of censorship, accusing Twitter of discrimination. Twitter declined to comment on the case but has previously said that its tools are “apolitical”. Mr Taylor is head of American Renaissance, a website that champions “racial difference”. He had his account suspended in December, with Twitter explaining that it prohibited accounts affiliated with the promotion of violence, something…

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Technology 

Game helps players spot 'fake news'

A game designed to help people understand how fake news and conspiracy theories spread online has been created at the University of Cambridge. Bad News lets players build a social media following by choosing inflammatory headlines and images to share with their imaginary fans. Players earn achievements for impersonating celebrities and spreading misinformation. The creators say they want the game to be a “vaccine” against fake news. “These techniques are out there, they are being used by real people,” Dr Sander van der Linden, director of the University of Cambridge…

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Twitter bot purge prompts backlash

The hashtag #TwitterLockout has trended after an apparent purge of suspected malicious bots on the social network. Dozens of users report having had their accounts suspended until they provided a telephone number which they then had to verify, to prove they were real. Some members have raised concerns about their amount of lost followers, and claimed discrimination against right-wing political beliefs. Others have in turn mocked allegations of bias. “Twitter’s tools are apolitical, and we enforce our rules without political bias,” the social network has said in response. “Every day…

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Bezos-backed 10,000 Year Clock now under construction

A clock designed to run for ten millennia without human intervention is now under construction. The 10,000 Year Clock is a project of the Long Now Foundation, a non-profit organisation that wants to make “long-term thinking more common”. It is being built on property owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, beneath a mountain in the middle of a desert in Texas, There is currently no completion date scheduled for the project. The clock’s creator, American inventor Danny Hillis, first publicly shared the concept in an essay for Wired in 1995….

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Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone images leaked by MWC app

Pictures of Samsung’s latest flagship phone have been disclosed by an app released by the firm itself. The images were discovered hidden via a hack of Unpacked 2018, a program that the company has asked invitees to Sunday’s launch of the handset in Barcelona to download. The disclosure backs up details divulged by earlier unverified leaks about the Galaxy S9. Experts say the revelations threaten to detract from the official unveiling. The images of a computer-generated model of the phone were apparently created to provide an augmented reality experience at…

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