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Friday Five: Nintendo’s copyright clampdown and space oddities

Chris Mayer
chris-hadfield

Also featuring a new dead drop system and our tribute to Chris Hadfield,

If you’ve managed to pull yourself away from all the
Google I/O coverage, here’s our latest look back at the week that
was, in tech and beyond. The premise is simple – it’s just five
things that we thought were worth bringing to your attention this
Friday.

Let’s get to it.

1. Ground Control to Major Chris

This will be Friday Five regular Commander Chris Hadfield’s last
appearance in this feature, as he’s now back on Earth after
returning from the International Space Station earlier this
week.

The Canadian astronaut has become an overnight
celebrity for his out of this world videos. Over 12 million people
have viewed his cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, (complete with
floating acoustic guitar) and if you haven’t seen it, it is truly
amazing.

Thanks for the memories, Commander
Hadfield.

breaker

2. Houston, we’ve got a problem

Let’s stay with the space news. Nasa telescope Kepler, tasked
with finding Earth-like planets in the galaxy,
has hit a snag.
Two of the four reaction wheels used to orient
the spacecraft are now broken, leaving it aimlessly floating
through space.

Launched in 2009, Kepler’s primary mission is already complete,
having identified two distant habitable planets and a further 132
“exoplanets” outside of this solar system.

But Nasa administrator John Grunsfeld says the problem can be
resolved. “I wouldn’t call Kepler down and out just yet.” Let’s
hope Eclipse’s next release train, dubbed Kepler, comes off without
a hitch!

3. Nintendo doesn’t want to play

The Youtube Let’s Play phenomenon, where gamers
entertain viewers with their playthroughs of equally good and
terrible games, is in danger of being outlawed on
Youtube.

Nintendo aren’t particularly happy about gamers riffing on their
titles and are now aggressively seeking ad revenue from Let’s Play
videos featuring Nintendo characters and copyrighted content.


Ars Technica
explain that Let’s Play videos are now getting
caught up in Youtube’s Content ID system, with some getting booted
off the site altogether. Nintendo’s copyright clout hasn’t gone
down well with prominent LPer Zach Scott, who wrote the following
on Facebook:

Filing claims against LPers is backwards. Video
games aren’t like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique
audiovisual experience,” said Scott. “When I see a film that
someone else is also watching, I don’t need to see it again. When I
see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game
for myself!

Until their claims are straightened out, I won’t be
playing their games. I won’t because it jeopardises my channel’s
copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers.

4. Tumblr of the Week – The Worst
Room

Having moved to a metropolis just under two
years ago, this writer is very much aware of how shoddy and
overpriced housing can be in London. But it seems that New York
City has us beat for ripoffs, as
this Tumblr
collects some of the worst accomodation available in the Big
Apple.

5. Strongbox

Renowned for its cutting satire, The New Yorker have this
week unveiled something a bit different -
Strongbox.
The dead drop system, which was

co-created by Aaron Swartz
, allows people to
send documents with the magazine’s editorial with a promised
greater degree of anonymity. The code behind the project has been
open sourced too, it’s well worth a look.

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