Best of Gizmodo: The EU's Bad New Copyright Law, Microsoft's ICE Contract, and Comic-Con 2018

Graphic: Gizmodo/Wikipedia, Photo: Getty Images

The bad news: The European Union is moving forward with its potentially disastrous new Copyright Directive, a law that could have potentially sweeping repercussions for how open the internet remains—and yes, that means the continentals might be coming for your memes. The good news: There’s still time to kill it.

But if you happen to live stateside or otherwise have little to no influence on European affairs of state, there may be little you can do in the face of these ominous doings except bide your time and wait and see. Perhaps you could, like John McAfee, hole yourself up in a booby-trapped compound with some heavily armed guards. Maybe you could pass the hours crawling into an ATM and striking back at the man by voraciously devouring all the money inside, much like this hero rat.


Or you could just read this week’s best Gizmodo stories, which will prep you on just what the Copyright Directive contains and a bunch of other great stuff like Microsoft’s work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and what’s coming down the pipeline at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

The End of All That’s Good and Pure About the Internet

We regret to inform you that the internet is on red alert once again. On Wednesday, the EU’s Legislative Committee voted to adopt sweeping measures that will upend the web in every way that we know it. Memes, news, Wikipedia, art, privacy, and the creative side of fandom are all at risk of being destroyed or kneecapped.

By the time Americans woke up on Wednesday, the Legislative Committee had voted on the final form of the EU Copyright Directive—the first major update to European copyright law since 2001. Much of what’s in the legislation has been met with approval, but Article 11 and Article 13 are considered disastrous by some of the foremost tech experts in the world.


Microsoft Employees Pressure Leadership to Cancel ICE Contract

Illustration: Bryan Menegus ( Gizmodo)

Microsoft employees are putting pressure on their management to cancel a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of a backlash against the agency’s policy of separating children from their families at the U.S. border.

In an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent today, employees demanded that the company cancel its $19.4 million contract with ICE and instate a policy against working with clients who violate international human rights law. The text of the employee letter was first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by Gizmodo.


How Tidal Got So Fucked

Photo: Getty

“If I gave two fucks - two fucks about streaming numbers, would have put Lemonade up on Spotify,” Beyoncé proclaims on “NICE” from her joint album with Jay-Z which they dropped exclusively on Tidal over the weekend. Unfortunately for those emotionally or monetarily invested in the streaming service, your sudden need to download Tidal quickly dissipated when by Monday morning, Everything Is Love could be found on Apple Music and Spotify’s paid tier.

What Movies Are Coming to San Diego Comic-Con 2018?

Aquaman, Halloween, The Predator, and Venom are all likely to be at Comic-Con.
Photo: WB, Universal, Fox, Sony

San Diego Comic-Con is one month away, which means the full schedule of events is only a few weeks away from being released. Fans will soon know exactly what movies, TV shows, and more will make an appearance at the massive convention. We didn’t want to wait that long. So we did some digging and have come up with a list of movies we’re likely to learn about in Hall H this July, broken down by studio.

Why the Government Sucks at Making Websites

Illustration: Angelica Alzona ( Gizmodo)

In April, the day before taxes were due, the IRSonline filing system failed, just as procrastinators were settling into the annual TurboTax panic. How did this happen, especially before the most important tax day of the year? And why does this keep happening to government websites?

A few days later, the glitch was figured out. It was a technical error related to the master file—the core system that holds all taxpayer information. Former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen proposed that behind this technical error was a very human failure related to ongoing congressional budget cuts, resulting in overburdened staff and a system under pressure. Eventually, it had to break. Still, most of us probably feel that the IRS website should work before tax day, and that precautions should be taken to ensure that failures of this kind don’t happen.


A Handy Guide to All the Star Wars Projects That Are Potentially in the Works Right Now

Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars, gimme those Star Wars, any old day...
Image: Star Wars Resistance (Disney), Star Wars: Episode IX ( Lucasfilm), Star Wars: A New Hope ( Lucasfilm)

As you might be surprised to hear, there’s a bit of Star Wars drama going on right now (this franchise? Drama? Well I never!), with rumors swirling that a whole bunch of Star Wars spinoffs are allegedly on hold as Lucasfilm refocuses its future plans for the galaxy far, far away. So what do we actually know is on the way?

Watch: The Centuries-Old History of Cliffhanger Endings

Graphic: Gizmodo

Are you dying to find out why most TV shows, comic books, novels, and even some movies end on cliffhangers? Tune in next week! Or now—that works too. io9's Beth Elderkin dives into the thousand-year history behind cliffhanger endings, from the early days of Persian folklore to Charles Dickens, The Perils of Pauline, and even Dallas.

I Can’t Believe Apple Made This

From Stacks to mess.
Gif: Andrew Liszewski ( Apple)

Aside from the new dark mode UI in Mojave, one of the most useful additions to the next version of macOS is Stacks, a feature that automatically sorts and arranges all the files on your desktop into tidy little groups.

It’s a quick and easy way to declutter all the photos, PDFs, random downloads, and whatever else is making your computer screen look like a garbage dump. But in some ways, Stacks makes cleaning up your junk a little too easy, which is why we were so excited to learn that in Mojave, there’s a hidden option that brings back the chaos.


AI and Carbon Nanotubes Are Now Being Used to Improve the World’s... Keyboards?

Photo: American Chemical Society

When it comes to groundbreaking research, there are two fields that seem to occupy the newscycle: carbon nanotubes and artificial intelligence. The potential combination of those two fields of study seems like it could radically change the word as we know it, or, as South Korean scientists have discovered, at least change how we type.

The Diabetes Cure That Most Insurance Companies Won’t Pay for

Illustration: Chelsea Beck ( Gizmodo)

For 15 years, Erez Benari’s struggle with his type 2 diabetes had been a losing one. A software engineer at Microsoft in Seattle, Washington, Benari had stuck to a restrictive diet that kept him off most carbs, along with regular insulin shots. But still, his high blood sugar levels never dropped, while his health continued to decline. In 2013, the then 39-year-old Benari suffered a heart attack.

A Democrat Funded by AT&T Could Sabotage California’s Net Neutrality Law

Assembly member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) at podium with State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), right, in Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.
Photo: AP

Efforts in California to pass a comprehensive net neutrality law hit a snag on Tuesday after a key committee, which is chaired by a Democrat whose coffers are flush with telecom industry cash, suddenly threw a wrench in the works.

USB-C Is a Mess—How to Navigate It

Image: Gizmodo

USB Type-C, or simply USB-C, sounds fine in theory—a single port to handle charging, data transfer, video output, and more, and one that’s reversible too. Three years down the line from its introduction, you’ll find it on most smartphones and many laptops, but its apparent simplicity isn’t the whole story. Here’s what you need to know about USB-C in 2018.

TCL Made Its Terrifically Cheap 4K TV Even Better

Photo: Adam Clark Estes ( Gizmodo)

It seemed unbelievable last year, when a handful of TV companies started selling 4K TVs with HDR and Dolby Vision for around $600. TCL’s Roku-powered P-Series was the best of them, and this year, the company is selling an even better version called the 6-Series. The best part? Same price, more features..

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Tom McKay

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post