Archive for: ‘September 2011’

Citizen Recording Of Police Proves Officer Lied About Arrest

September 21, 2011 Posted by zachary

This article was originally published on TechDirt. alerts us to an LA Times article covering a recent trial in which a private citizen’s cellphone video proved officers lied about an arrest, resulting in the acquittal of a young man accused of carrying a concealed firearm.

According to police reports after the arrest:

Deputy Levi Belville testified that he saw Gipson in the side yard run and toss a loaded revolver onto the roof of a detached garage. The deputy said he ordered Gipson to stop and that the suspect walked back to Belville, who then detained him.

However, the cellphone video depicted a very different chain of events:

The footage did not show Gipson running, tossing a gun or walking back to the deputies to be detained. Instead, the grainy video showed deputies arriving and walking past Gipson, who was standing against a wall of the house near the rear of the yard. One of the deputies, Raul Ibarra, returned to Gipson and escorted him to the back of the yard.

This new footage led to a change in the way the officers describe the events. This inconsistency in the officer’s testimony led jurors to acquit Gipson of the charges.

Jurors said they did not find Belville’s trial testimony credible and believed he changed his account of the arrest after being confronted with the video. They also questioned why a deputy with more than 10 years’ experience would walk past a man who had just thrown a gun without immediately detaining him or warning colleagues.

Even as police and governments around the country are fighting the practice of the public recording the actions of the police, stories like this show the power that such recordings have in administering a fair justice system. Without this video, the trial would have been based entirely on the officer’s testimony of events rather than on hard evidence.

I will close with a few words from Gipson himself in response to these events, “I never thought an officer would lie.”

New Fall Season: What I Want to Watch This Week

September 19, 2011 Posted by zachary

Since I don’t subscribe to cable or satellite, I watch what is available network television and occasionally what is available online.

These are the shows that I am looking forward to this week:

Monday 9/19

9PM Castle – Castle returns after an awesome season ender last time. The TitanTV description states: Plagued by guilt over his role in the situation, Castle struggles to determine who is behind the brutal shooting of Detective Beckett; Ryan and Esposito attempt to adjust to Victoria “Iron” Gates, the precinct’s new uncompromising Captain.

Tuesday 9/20

7PM NCIS – I look forward to getting back into the show. Last year had some scheduling conflicts and I missed most of the season, but I still love the show. From TitanTV: After spending months tracking down his target from the secret assignment given to him by the Secretary of the Navy, Tony is left with a dead NCIS agent, and it’s up to him and Gibbs to find all of the pieces to the puzzle.

Wednesday 9/21

I am always out on Wednesdays and never really follow anything here.

Thursday 9/22

9PM Mentalist – Last season ended with Patrick Jane killing Red John. Now he has to prove it. From TitanTV: In prison for killing his nemesis, Patrick Jane must prove beyond a doubt that the man shot and killed was really Red John; Lisbon urges Van Pelt to seek counseling in the aftermath of the death of her fiance, Detective O’Laughlin.

Friday 9/23

8PM Fringe – Incredible science fiction show. Last year ended with a time/universe melding season ender. Hard to follow up on that. They will try though. From Titan TV: A shapeshifter case that is personal to Lincoln Lee must be investigated, and he joins the Fringe team as the truce between the two sides remains intact just one week after Peter Bishop saved the day and was then wiped from existence.

Saturday 9/24

Does anything good ever air on Saturday?

Sunday 9/25

7PM Simpsons – Always a fan even after they started stinking. Kind of like 100 year old eggs. From TitanTV: Homer befriends a reserved security guard, Wayne, recently hired by a nuclear power plant who is plagued by violent flashbacks from his CIA past; Marge fantasizes about being on “Top Chef”; the future of Nedna will be revealed after months of voting.

I wasn’t aware that Ned and Edna were dating. That should be interesting.

Hopefully, I will have time to watch all this great stuff. It may be time to invest in a tv tuner card for my PC so that I can start recording stuff I am too busy to watch when it airs.

Note: TitanTV is a free online television guide. I find it very useful. Give it a try.

iPhone Developer Creates App Criticizing The iPhone; App Is Quickly Pulled

September 16, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on TechDirt.

Molleindustria is an app developer who makes a line of controversial and political games. Some of its more well known games include McDonalds Videogame, Operation: Pedopriest, and Oiligarchy. It just recently announced and released its latest game, Phone Story. This particular game takes the player through the cruel world of smart phone production using a series of mini games depicting the mining of coltan from the Congo using child labor, the suicides in the Foxconn factories and, of course, e-waste disposal in third world countries.

On top of all those themes, the game was to be released on the very platform it criticized: the iPhone.

It didn’t last long on the platform.

Just hours after being approved, Apple yanked it from the app store for four separate violations.

15.2 Apps that depict violence or abuse of children will be rejected

16.1 Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected

21.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free

21.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS


Indie Game Developer Posts Game on Pirate Bay, Sees Positive Results

September 14, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

While many large game development and publishing houses complain about and attempt to fight piracy and torrents of their games, smaller, more flexible studios are attempting to use such avenues to their advantage. Such is the case with No Time To Explain developers tinyBuild.

TorrentFreak points out that tinyBuild saw an opportunity with the Pirate Bay to spread word of their game. The developers posted their game to the popular torrent site after adding pirate hats to all the game characters. A lot of people laughed and ended up buying the game. As tinyBuild told TorrentFreak:

We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about pirates and pirate hats. I mean, some people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it.We saw very positive WTF REALLY feedback from users, and saw reactions that people bought it simply because they liked the joke. So we don’t see it hurting sales in any way.

While such a move might not work for everyone, it does show that if a developer is willing to connect with fans, they can garner a lot of good will and possibly some extra sales. Even if that connection happens on one of those dirty pirate websites.

Nintendo Wii Accused Of Willfully Infringing Patent That Was Applied For After Wii Was Introduced

September 14, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

Techcrunch is reporting on yet another patent dispute over the technology found in Nintendo’s Wii video game system. This time the company suing is ThinkOptics, the makers of the Wavit Remote.

The dispute is over the following patents:

  • 7,796,116: Electronic equipment for handheld vision based absolute pointing system
  • 7,852,317: Handheld Device for Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System
  • 7,864,159; Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System.

Notice a trend yet?

Did Jim Henson Infringe on a Recently Approved Patent?

September 9, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

Recently on Techdirt, we highlighted a number of ways the US patent system could be fixed. One of the proposals on the list was allowing for input from those who are skilled in the art behind a patent application. Under this system, a person or company working within the industry surrounding a patent application could review it and submit their reasoning behind whether the proposal is obvious and not patentable or original and patentable. This public input would help patent examiners decide on the final patent-ability of an application.

As an example of why such a public input segment would be beneficial, we have a recent patent, found by, for “A costume suit modeled after a large size animal“(PDF) This patent, which was submitted by Japanese company ON-ART, which specializes in airbrush painting of large balloons, was approved on August 16, 2011. This patent has a total of twelve claims all having to do with the mechanics of the suit, which allows for the operator to create the realistic movements of the animal he portrays. (more…)

Debate Time: Ubisoft Says DRM Is Needed, Valve Says No It Isn’t.

September 8, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

It’s not every day you get two diametrically opposed views on DRM from two high profile companies in the video game industry, yet that is what happened recently.

While both were speaking to different gaming news sites, their conversations have an almost debate-like feel. So I think we will let the two execs duke it out on the debate floor. In one corner we have Martin Edmonson of Ubisoft Reflections speaking to Eurogamer. In the other corner, we have Gabe Newell of Valve speaking to Kotaku (thanks to Matt for being the first of many to send this in).

Printing Error Shows Flaw In “Lock-It-Up” Video Game Business Model

September 8, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

It should come as no surprise to Techdirt readers that many people within the games industry hate used game sales. One of the methods these companies are implementing to fight these sales is to force buyers of used games to pay extra to gain access to the multiplayer portion. This works by inserting a one time use code in the new copies of games. Once the multiplayer code has been used, only the owner of the console used to activate it can access the multiplayer parts of the game. If that player decides to later sell or give away the game, the new owner would have to buy a new multiplayer code from the publisher, generally $10. So far EA, THQ, Ubisoft and Activision have dabbled in this system for various games. (more…)