Limewire finally agreed to pay $105 million in damages

 

Movie Studios Suddenly Drop Lawsuit Against Limewire:

Limewire finally agreed to pay $105 million in damages to the RIAA`

Limewire finally agreed to pay $105 million in damages to the RIAA

 

 

 

After a long legal battle, Limewire finally agreed to pay $105 million in damages to the RIAA to settle its infringement lawsuit. The RIAA had previously bandied about much higher numbers, including some rhetorical discussion of the upper limits of statutory damages, which would have put the total “damages” in the range of $75 billion, something the presiding judge pointed out would have exceeded the recording industry’s entire combined income since the invention of the phonograph in 1877.

$105 million isn’t as much as the labels wanted, but it was enough. Once that was secured, some indie labels filed suit in an attempt to score a little cash as well. In a move both unsurprising (lawsuits are better than innovating!) and surprising (Limewire’s owner not entirely made of money), major movie studios like Viacom, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. filed a copyright infringement suit against the shuttered P2P service.

The studios actually moved for summary judgement in this case, stating that the same principles applied in the RIAA’s win could be applied to their claims as well. That was back in October of 2012. Since that point, almost nothing has happened, as is evidenced by the lack of activity on the docket.

Now, with little fanfare and even less explanation, the studios are dismissing with prejudice their suit against Limewire.

And with a signature and a date today, the more than $200 million copyright lawsuit by Hollywood against the file sharing site is over. A NYC-based federal judge today granted final approval to Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Disney, Comedy Partners and Warner Bros’ request to dismiss their almost two year case against LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton. Filed on October 30, the motion for a voluntary dismissal with prejudice was approved by U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr on Thursday.

Considering the studios have been more than willing to spend money to make money, it seems unlikely they would have dropped this case simply because Limewire would have put up the same sort of resistance it did in its battle with the RIAA. No matter how much the industry is “hurt” by file sharing, its leaders always seem to have their legal departments fully bankrolled. (This is due to the fact that the labels and studios frequently convert their lawsuit “winnings” directly into more lawsuits. The artists that are getting so screwed by file sharing continue to be screwed by their so-called “representatives,” who rarely kick over any percentage of the settlements unless publicly shamed into doing so.)

Deadline’s theory is that the studios were offered a little something for their time by Limewire itself.

However, sources tell me that the studios received a hefty multimillion-dollar settlement.

That may be, or it could be that a long-defunct service that fell out of public favor years ago may not be the best opponent to waste a largely symbolic victory on. Remember, the studios and labels don’t just want to extract damages from websites and services — they also want to “educate” potential file sharers by exploiting the statutory damages provision to its fullest. Nothing educates better than fear, apparently and reminding people that they could on the hook for up to $150,000 per violation is much more “enlightening” than being bound by any mathematical realities.

‘Rare’ Atom May Advance Quantum Computers

‘Rare’ Atom Finding May Advance Quantum Computers:

'Rare' Atom Finding May Advance Quantum Computers

‘Rare’ Atom Finding May Advance Quantum Computers

 

 

Quantum computers could crack codes and run more complex simulations than current machines, but actually building one is hard to do. The bits that store this complex data don’t last long, because they are made of single atoms that get knocked around by stray electrons and photons in the environment.

Enter a team of physicists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. They found a way to get the bits to last long enough to do computations with, using the magnetic properties of a rare earth element called holmium and the symmetry of platinum. The experiment, detailed in tomorrow’s (Nov. 14) issue of the journal Nature, is an important step in creating quantum computers and making quantum memory useful.

What makes quantum computers powerful is the nature of the bit. Ordinary computers have bits that are 1 or 0, stored in the current in a circuit or the alignment of magnetic fields on a disk. Due to the weirdness of quantum physics, quantum bits, called qubits, can be both 0 and 1 at the same time. That means a quantum computer can do certain kinds of calculations much, much faster. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Quantum Particles Explained]

One way for qubits to store information in the so-called spin magnetic moments of atoms. Elementary particles such as electrons can have spins that are either up or down. The total spins of the electrons — each has a spin of one-half — will induce the magnetic moment, which is a way of measuring how much torque a magnetic field might exert on a loop of wire. In atoms, the moment has a direction, just like the spins, and it is either up or down.

Magnetic moments

In the study, led by Toshio Miyamachi, the researchers placed a single atom of holmium on a sheet of platinum with a scanning tunneling microscope. The holmium atom’s moments were in a certain state, either up or down. That up or down state represented a bit of information, a 1 or 0 that makes up the language of computers. [Facts About Rare Earth Elements (Infographic)]

To cut down on the chances that a stray photon or electron would interact with the holmium atom, the whole apparatus operates at near absolute zero temperatures.

Ordinarily they would have expected the holmium’s magnetic moment state to last a few milliseconds at most. Physicist Wulf Wulfhekel, whose lab did the work, told LiveScience that other research groups have managed that. But his lab group managed to keep the holmium in a given state for about 10 minutes. To a computer, that’s a long time.

“One of the main problems with quantum computers is that the quantum bit loses its information rather quickly… In our case, you would have 10 minutes time to perform the calculation,” Wulfhekel wrote in an email.

The key to the long-lasting spin magnetic moment state was the arrangement of atoms in the platinum. Atoms’ spin states get upset because in any metal, a few electrons are always on the move. So when a holmium (or any other) atom is on top of the platinum layer, the spin state of a passing electron will link to that of the holmium atom storing the bit and flip the magnetic moment, ruining the quantum state.

The platinum atoms, though, were in a pattern that had three-fold symmetry, which means that an object rotated one-third of the way around looks the same as when you start. If you were the size of a holmium atom and standing on the platinum, you’d see the same pattern turning 120 degrees, like a set of hexagonal or triangular tiles on a floor, Wulfhekel said.

The total spin of the holmium’s inner electrons adds up to 8 — and that number isn’t evenly divisible by three, which is the symmetry of the platinum. That means the holmium atoms are “invisible” to the electrons moving through the platinum.

“This is really a beautiful result,” said Michael Flatté, a professor of physics at the University of Iowa and an expert on spintronics. Flatté, who was not involved in the research, said the paper is likely to be influential because it shows another approach to stabilizing spin states using the structure of the material itself.

Better than diamond?

Even so, there’s still some way to go. Flatté noted that there are other materials that show this phenomenon — one of them is diamond, and it doesn’t need to be kept at cryogenic temperatures. But the problem is that for a computer to be useful one has to be able to manipulate the bits. Bigger atoms, like heavy metals, are easier to work with because it’s possible to move them around with electric or magnetic fields.

That’s one reason this work is important, Flatté said. Miyamachi and Wulfhekel found a way around the trade-off between atoms that are easy to interact with, but at the same time can hang on to their quantum states.

“This is an appealing system,” he said. “They still have a ways to go to challenge diamond.”

Wulfhekel said his experiment only involved a single atom, and to be useful as a real computer it would require more, something that will be the focus of future work.

The team will also look at other elements. Praseodymium is a possibility, though Wulfhekel said he hasn’t tried it yet. The bit-storing atoms have to have spins that have a non-integral relationship to the symmetry of the atoms around them, so that limits the number of elements available.

quantum-computer

Link for Colon Cancer Discovered

Key Link Responsible for Colon Cancer Initiation and Metastasis discovered:

Key Link Responsible for Colon Cancer Initiation and Metastasis discovered

Key Link Responsible for Colon Cancer Initiation and Metastasis discovered

CXCR2- a key genetic culprit that is implicated in the tumor formation, growth and progression in a mouse model of colon cancer has been identified by scientists.
 Key Link Responsible for Colon Cancer Initiation and Metastasis discovered

“We have been trying for the past several years to understand the precise molecular links between inflammation and cancer, said DuBois. “We have demonstrated that CXCR2 mediates a critical step in the setup of the blood circulatory machinery that feeds tumor tissue. This provides an important new clue for the development of therapeutic targets to neutralize the effect of CXCR2 on colon cancer.”

The DuBois’ Laboratory for Inflammation and Cancer, which includes lead author Hiroshi Katoh, and colleagues Dingzhi Wang, Takiko Daikoku, Haiyan Sun, and Sudhansu K. Dey, published the results in the November 11 issue of Cancer Cell.

The results provide critical new clues toward the prevention of colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Despite the availability of colonoscopy screening, the 5-year survival rate remains low, due to a large number patients presenting with advanced stages of the disease. Currently, there are no clinically available blood tests for the early detection of sporadic colon cancer.

Inflammation has long been associated with increasing one’s risk for colon cancer. For instance, more than 20 percent of patients with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) develop colorectal cancer within 30 years of diagnosis. This colitis-associated cancer has a slow progression, but a very poor response to treatment and a high mortality rate.

Researchers have known that the broad mechanisms of cancer involve an interplay with the immune system response that includes: recruiting immune cells that influence the tumor microenvironment, escaping from host immunosurveillance and suppression, shifting of the host immune response, and tumor-associated angiogenesis to establish the blood supply.

For the study, the research team first “knocked-out” or removed the CXCR2 gene in mice, and found that the signs typically associated with inflammation were prevented. Furthermore, they demonstrated that CXCR2 dramatically suppressed colonic inflammation and the colitis associated tumor formation, growth and progression in mice.

CXCR2 decorates the outer part of immune cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells, or MDSCs, that work to block the immune response of killer CD8+ T cells. In the knockout mice, without CXCR2 present, the MDSC cells could no longer migrate from the circulatory system to the colon, dodge the killer CD8+ T cell immune response, and feed the blood supply of the tumor environment. Furthermore, when they transplanted normal MDSC cells (with normal CXCR2) into the knockout mice, tumor formation was restored.

“These results provide the first genetic evidence that CXCR2 is required for recruitment of MDSCs into inflamed colonic mucosa and colitis-associated tumors,” said DuBois.

For DuBois, who has devoted his career to unraveling the inflammatory circuitry responsible for colon cancer, the results help connect the dots between the immune system, inflammation and tumor formation and metastasis.

DuBois’ team was the first to show that colorectal tumors contained high levels of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2), a key step in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). PGE2 triggers production of a CXCR2 molecule that fits into CXCR2 like a baseball into a glove’s pocket and activates it. CXCR2, like the pied piper, recruits MDSCs from the bloodstream to sites of inflammation, causing the colon cancer tumors to evade the immune killer CD8+ T immune response.

“Our findings reveal not only how MDSCs are recruited to local inflamed tissues and tumor microenvironment and how local MDSCs contribute to colorectal cancer progression, but now also provide a rationale for developing new therapeutic approaches to subvert chronic inflammation- and tumor-induced immunosuppression by using CXCR2 antagonists and neutralizing antibodies,” said DuBois.