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State Department concocting “fake” intellectual property “Twitter feud”

“Our public diplomacy office is still settling on a hashtag,” State Department says.

With latest update, No Man’s Sky is an amazing photography tool

Capture the beauty of a near-infinite universe with these new tools.

Spectral Edge unveils Phusion: new image fusion product suite to enhance...

Enables manufacturers to differentiate through instant, embedded photo enhancement technology delivering more detailed and natural imagesMobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK. 28 February 2017.

To help smartphone manufacturers meet ...

Wind penetration on central US grid hits 52% Sunday night, breaking...

Southwest Power Pool operates transmission lines from Montana to Louisiana.

Best Android phones: What should you buy?

Updated 05/30/17: The LG G6 claims the crown as the best phone for photographers. Read below for details..Choosing a new Android phone isnrsquo;t easy.

The Android universe is teeming with options, from super-expensive flagship phones, to affordable models that make a few calculated compromises, to models expressly designed for, say, great photography. Chances are that whichever phone you buy, yoursquo;ll keep it for at least two years.
So choosing the best Android phone for you isnrsquo;t a decision you should take lightly. But we can make things easier.

Everyone has different priorities and needs, so wersquo;ve made some picks for the best Android phone in several categories. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Sweden’s highest court bans drones with cameras

reader comments 67 Share this story Cameras attached to drones fall foul of Sweden's strict surveillance laws, the country's highest court has ruled by slapping an outright ban on drone filming—unless the kit is used by a law enforcement agency or an expensive permit has been issued.The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden ruled that all drone cameras count as surveillance devices, and that they can now only be used to prevent crime or accidents.
In a linked ruling, it decided that car- or bike-mounted cameras are legally fine. The difference? A camera mounted on a helmet or handlebars, or behind a windshield, goes where its owner goes, but as drones are remotely operated, this means they are capable of spying on things that are otherwise out of sight of their pilot, and are therefore illegal. In its ruling, the court said "that the [drone] camera can be used for personal monitoring, although it is not the purpose.

The camera is therefore to be regarded as a surveillance camera." The move has upset Swedish drone users and the country's growing drone market, which industry group UAS says employs thousands of people and is worth billions of krona. It said: "UAS Sweden held a board meeting and has established a plan to try to force policymakers at all levels to realise how this bad ruling strikes against an entire industry that employs thousands of people and features companies with billions in turnover." The ruling will prevent drones being used in nature photography, racing, weddings, and journalism. Private operators who want to use cameras attached to drones will have to apply for a special filming permit from local government to prove that they're monitoring their own property. There is no law against Swedes taking pictures in public places. This post originated on Ars Technica UK

New Hampshire law barring ballot selfies is unconstitutional, court rules

Lower Columbia Collegereader comments 18 Share this story Just in time for the Nov. 8 presidential elections, a federal appeals court on Wednesday declared a New Hampshire law banning so-called ballot booth selfies "facially unconstitutional." The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) there was no compelling government need to restrict First Amendment rights and ban voters from disseminating pictures of their ballots or of themselves posed with their ballots.
State lawmakers, when approving the law that carries a $1,000 fine, had maintained in 2014 that the statute was needed to combat voter fraud—like having people coerced into voting a certain way and then having to prove it via social media or by some other means, for example.

The appeals court explained: Digital photography, the internet, and social media are not unknown quantities — they have been ubiquitous for several election cycles, without being shown to have the effect of furthering vote buying or voter intimidation.

As the plaintiffs note, “small cameras” and digital photography “have been in use for at least 15 years,” and New Hampshire cannot identify a single complaint of vote buying or intimidation related to a voter’s publishing a photograph of a marked ballot during that period. No federal law addresses the issue.

That means across the US, the law in the 50 states on voting booth selfies remains mixed.

There's a few court challenges across the country.

The court that ruled Wednesday covers the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine.

The Huffington Post has a lengthy guide on which state's it's OK to post a picture of yourself showing your votes this November. In essence, the ballot-booth selfie issue is a collision of the nation's history of ballot box secrecy and a public willing to post selfies of themselves doing just about anything, from having sex to eating dinner. In a friend-of-the-court brief in the New Hampshire case, Snapchat essentially argued that a ballot booth selfie was a God-given, American First Amendment right-of-passage.

Ballot selfies, the company maintained, "are important ways that younger voters participate in the political process and make their voices heard." In a footnote, Snapchat defined the selfie as being, "a photo where the photographer is also a subject.

But the term has also been used to describe all smartphone pictures shared online, including those here." New Hampshire argued that its law outlawing selfies "preserves the integrity of New Hampshire elections." "The statute secures voter's right to vote their conscience while in the voting booth," New Hampshire told the court. The three-member panel circuit court's unanimous decision upholds a lower court judge who had ruled similarly.

New FAA commercial drone rules require “pilot certificate”

A drone in flight during a race in the UK earlier this year.Dave Stock On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration unveiled its long-anticipated rules for commercial use of small consumer drones.

The rules call for a new "remote pilot certificate," a blanket ban on night flights, and a requirement that all flights remain below 400 feet or within 400 feet of a structure. Under the new operational rules, which take effect in August 2016, drone pilots must be at least 16 years old or be supervised by an adult with a remote pilot certificate.

The pilot must also maintain "visual line of sight" with the drone at all times, among other requirements. (Personal, or hobbyist, use rules remain unchanged.) "This is a huge day for the industry!" Lisa Ellman, a drone lawyer with Hogan Lovells, told Ars. "Long term, this is going to be seen as a watershed moment—the flood gates will now be opened and drone use will be broadly authorized for commercial industry, so we can take advantage of all of their safety and efficiency benefits." Notably, the new rules also require that any drone-related incident that results in at least $500 worth of damage or causes serious injury be reported to the FAA within 10 days.

That likely would cover the handful of incidents that Ars has reported on where people have shot at drones. Most of the new restrictions can be waived, however, but pilots will need to apply directly to the FAA for an exemption and/or a waiver. The FAA has been gradually ratcheting up regulations in recent years, requiring that all drones be registered online as of February of this year. "With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA’s mission to protect public safety," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement on Tuesday. "But this is just our first step. We’re already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations." The FAA notably does not address questions of potential privacy violations or aerial trespass—an issue that remains unresolved under federal law. In a press release, the agency wrote: "the FAA is acting to address privacy considerations in this area.

The FAA strongly encourages all UAS pilots to check local and state laws before gathering information through remote sensing technology or photography." "On balance, [the new regulations] are good for the industry, they are good for drone pilots," James Mackler, a Kentucky-based, drone-focused attorney with Frost Brown Todd, told Ars. "We’ll have to see what the online test requires and how strict that is."