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Yesterday, thirty five years ago, one of the most important supreme court cases in my lifetime was decided, Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. – Wikipedia. More commonly called the Betamax decision, this case allowed the sale and use of the video cassette recorder. The case started with the release of Sony’s Betamax video tape recorder in the early 1970s. Universal Studios and the Walt Disney Company reasoned that since the VCRs could be used for copyright infringement, then Sony should be liable for such infringement.

Luckily for us, the supreme court ruled that time shifting content in your home is not copyright infringement, and that VCRs had enough non-infringing use that VCR sales should continue. This ruling also helped make ripping CDs to MP3s legal. If the case would have gone the other way, then pop culture would look really different today. The home market for videos would be basically non-existent, you would only be able to see movies in the theater, on pay cable, or broadcast TV.

Although these are VHS and not Betamax, here’s a visualization of vhs covers. A lot of these are surprisingly recognizable.

I’m not a fan of online quizzes, but the subject matter of this one is brilliant.

Facebook has made it in the news a lot recently, and now conspiracy theories are starting to rise. What if Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ is really a way for Facebook to train its facial recognition features. And apparently, most Facebook users don’t realize Facebook is tracking their interests. I’m not in the #deletefacebook crowd, I just try to not feed the beast. I only check FB every couple of weeks for messages, and when I check FB, I do it from an incognito window. My phone is devoid of Facebook and Messenger.

Oh my, daughter calls the cops after her father takes away her smartphone.. Boy is she in for a rude awakening once she gets out to the real world.

If you have others using your iPhone, such as child, there is a hack to let you password protect your apps. The hack uses the screentime protection features of iOS 12 to require a password to launch apps. Pretty ingenius.

In my day, we microwaved pizzas like poor college students should, but now, Ohio State students can get their pizzas from an ATM!

Computer security is hard, and if you’re going to fake documents, do some research on your fonts.

Finally, if you are trying to create some photos for Snapchat with your guns, you may want to unload them first. And if you’re arguing with your SO, don’t hand her a loaded gun and have her point it at you.

This Geek in Review for December 7th, 2018

Welcome to the first This Geek in Review, a weekly column where I share some of the internet’s geek side. Last week we lost the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, Stephen Hillenburg, to Lou Gehrig’s disease. One of his early animations from animation school is available on Youtube. The Guardian has posted some great pictures from the production of the original… Read more →