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Kickstarter Consumer Protection, Netflix For The Blind, Win At Rock, Paper, Scissors [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-05-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Kickstarter backers get consumer protection, EFF tests Privacy Badger, the Pirate King of MMA gets sued, Netflix for the blind, Google Now parking, and how to win at Rock, Paper, Scissors.


Consumer Protection For Kickstarter

One Kickstarter project manager who failed to deliver is being pursued by the State of Washington. Depending on the outcome of this case, which is using consumer protection laws to seek compensation, the nature of crowdfunding Is Crowdfunding For Everyone? The Successes & Failures Here's a quick glimpse of the three most successful crowdfunding projects, as well as the three most devastating failures. Read More may be affected for better or worse.

The case involves Ed Nash and his company Altius Management. Nash raised over $25,000 from people backing his Kickstarter campaign for Asylum Playing Cards. The campaign ended in October 2012 with delivery estimated in December 2012, but backers never received what they were promised.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against Nash [Broken Link Removed] seeking restitution for those consumers who lost money. If the lawsuit is successful it could cost Nash a lot more than the $25,000 raised through the Kickstarter campaign.

Ferguson said in a statement, “Consumers need to be aware that crowdfunding is not without risk. This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington state will not tolerate crowdfunding theft. The Attorney General’s Office will hold those accountable who don’t play by the rules.

This is just one U.S. state and one failed Kickstarter campaign, but it could set a precedent which will change the way crowdfunding operates. Successful Kickstarter campaigns are already expected to deliver as promised, but this would solidify the legal framework in which crowdfunding operates.


EFF Launches Privacy Badger

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched Privacy Badger, a browser extension which detects and blocks certain types of ads and trackers. The extension, which is currently an alpha release and therefore liable to be buggy, is available for Chrome The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More and Firefox The Best Firefox Addons Firefox is famous for its extensions. But which addons are the most useful? Here are the ones we think are best, what they do, and where you can find them. Read More .

Pirate King Of MMA Sued For $32 Million

The self-styled “Pirate King Of MMA” is being sued for $32 million by UFC parent company Zuffa. The man, known in pirating circles Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] DMCA, SOPA, MegaUpload shut down, piracy becoming a religion in Sweden - not a week goes by without some shutdown, anti-piracy laws or shocking statistics about torrents - and I have to ask myself, is... Read More as Secludedly but now named as 27-year-old Steven A. Messina from Staten Island, New York, is alleged to have uploaded at least 124 UFC events to The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents.

Zuffa is attacking Messina and two unnamed co-defendants with everything it can muster, which is why the damages being sought is such a huge amount of money. This is a reminder that it’s currently illegal to upload copyrighted content to the Internet What Should Be Done About Online Piracy? [You Told Us] Laws against piracy of copyrighted materials existed well before the invention of the Internet, but this interconnected network of computers has turned piracy into an immediate and unfortunate problem for copyright owners of all shapes... Read More , and that if you get caught doing so the punishments can be severe.

Zagga Is Netflix For The Blind

A man from Toronto, Canada, is creating a “Netflix for the blind,” and has turned to crowdfunding in order to make his dream become a reality. Kevin Shaw, who has been blind since the age 19, is seeking $50,000 to launch Zagga Entertainment.


Zagga Entertainment [Broken URL Removed] is designed to be a Video on Demand Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu. iTunes. Netflix. Amazon Instant Video. The lifeblood of online cinema and television. The new wave of home media. The providers of endless entertainment in which pants are not necessarily required. They are the contenders... Read More (VoD) service offering described video as standard. The platform will be available for a subscription fee of around $8-per-month across a range of devices. That is assuming the Indiegogo campaign is successful and that Shaw delivers on his promises (see above).

Google Now Knows Where You Parked

Google Now OK, Google: 20 Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone Google Assistant can help you get a lot done on your phone. Here are a whole bunch of basic but useful OK Google commands to try. Read More has been updated with some interesting new features Google Now Knows Where You Parked, Gets Offline Cards, And More The Android Google Search app has been updated, and tucked inside it are some pretty awesome tweaks to Google Now that add quite a bit of usefulness to Google's personal assistant. Read More . The most intriguing feature means Google’s personal assistant is able to remember where you parked, which could prove invaluable to forgetful people who park in random side streets in big cities. A tiny minority of the population then, but clever nonetheless.

How To Win At Rock, Paper, Scissors

And finally, if you have always wanted to know how to win at Rock, Paper, Scissors, researchers from China think they have figured it all out. You may not win every single time like the cheating robot in the video above, but you should at least inprove your chances of winning.

This method for winning at Rock, Paper, Scissors is called the “win-stay, lose-shift” strategy. Ars Technica pares the strategy down to its basics, while arVix has the full research paper [PDF link]. As it’s confusing I’ll probably stick to choosing at random and losing more often than not as a result.


Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: THERKD via Flickr

Related topics: Google Search, Kickstarter, Netflix.

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  1. dd
    May 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

    The researchers from the University of Tokyo are from Japan, not China!!!!

    • Dave P
      May 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

      You're referring to the video, which has nothing to do with the research paper. The people who wrote the research paper are all Chinese, while the people who built the robot in the video are indeed Japanese. I can see how you got confused.

  2. Justin P
    May 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I used that rock-paper-scissors thing as a kid, and it only works until your opponent catches on. At that point you need to anticipate that your opponent is anticipating you, until they catch on to that. Then you need to anticipate that your opponent is anticipating your anticipation.

    It get confusing.

    • Dave P
      May 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

      I tried it on my GF and she won three games on the trot. It's clearly not foolproof, and I'm clearly a fool.