A 'Fair Use' Victory

Dwaiter Weekly


April 8, 2021


Why the High Court's Android Ruling Matters

The Supreme Court on Monday said Google did not violate copyright law when it developed its Android mobile operating system using Java code from Oracle, the Washington Post reports. The much-anticipated ruling saves Google $8 billion or more in potential damages. And, based on the “fair use” doctrine that allows the unlicensed use of copyright-protected work in some circumstances, it has major implications for the software industry.


Leak of Data Affects 533M Facebook Users

Personal data of Facebook users was leaked over the weekend in a low-level hacking forum, in a breach first reported by Business Insider. The leak impacted 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the U.S. Facebook has not notified affected users, but they can check on site Have I Been Pwned?, a free site run by data breach expert Troy Hunt.


New York Unveils a Digital Vaccine Passport

New York recently released the first state-backed digital vaccine passport for Covid-19, called the Excelsior Pass. Despite resistance from some quarters, a growing number of companies, health care providers, and state governments are launching their own efforts. Recode looks at how digital vaccine passports might work.


China Now Has its Own Digital Currency

In a first for major economy, China has created a digital currency that is controlled by its central bank, which will issue the new electronic money, the Wall Street Journal reports. It is expected to give China’s government vast new tools to monitor both its economy—such as spending in real time—and its people. The cyber yuan also won’t be linked to the dollar-dominated global financial system.


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Universities Caught in a Large Data Fiasco

A number of prominent U.S. colleges have become the newest, unlucky recipients of a cybersecurity headache affecting dozens of organizations worldwide, Gizmodo reports. The attack on security software provider Accellion, one of two recent mega-breaches, highlights third-party cyber risk, Security Boulevard reports.


Creator Platforms Draw VC Money 

Venture capitalists are plowing money into startups that help content creators to directly monetize their work, Axios reports. Among the platforms getting fresh funding are Patreon, Clubhouse, Substack and Cameo. Marc Andreessen, whose venture capital firm has backed both Clubhouse and Substack, has argued that the internet is in a "third wave" of content monetization.


Behind the Global Chip Shortage

From delayed car deliveries to a supply shortfall in home appliances to costlier smartphones, businesses and consumers across the globe are facing the brunt of an unprecedented shortage in semiconductor microchips, Reuters reports. The shortage stems from a confluence of factors as carmakers, which shut plants during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, compete against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies.


A Webcam Option: Your Android or iOS Device

Demand for webcams has surged, and as supplies dwindle, and prices have unsurprisingly skyrocketed. But there is an alternative, reports The Verge: your current or spare Android or iOS phone or tablet.


A Digital Design Pioneer Looks Back

Loretta Staples, a U.I. designer in the 1980s and 1990s, had a front-row seat to the rise of personal computing. Long before “design thinking” became the talk of Silicon Valley, before her domain was sleekly rebranded as U.I., she was dreaming up interactive experiences meant to delight and satisfy the end user, the New York Times reports.


Drosophila Driver

More than 70 percent of respondents to a recent survey on autonomous driving say they would fear being in a fully self-driving car. But what about one driven by a fruit fly? Research published in the journal Nature Communications demonstrates that drosophila use decision-making, learning and memory to perform simple functions like escaping heat. Researchers are using this understanding to rethink how to program safe and flexible self-driving vehicles, Science Daily reports.

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