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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Re:My proposed Constitutional Amendment (127 comments)

Let's see: under the 4th amendment we all have a right against invasions of any of our "persons, houses, papers, and effects"...

Are wireless transmissions "persons"? Obviously not.

Are wireless transmissions "houses"? Well, as those transmissions are floating about freely on the airwaves, that can't be.

Are wireless transmissions "papers"? You might be tempted to say that a radio transmission is an analogue of a paper in that both contain personal information. But the meaning of papers in 1789 was the container that housed information that you could choose to retain private. Wireless transmissions, unless encrypted, are not containers that keep your information secure. Strike three.

Are wireless transmissions effects? Well, effects in the legal sense are objects that can be moved, such as objects that aren't a part of your house that you own. The important part is that these effects are retained in your possession; information is no longer in your possession once it has been transmitted out of your control (over the public airwaves or wires). Strike four.

I know that you might want a right to privacy to be there, but it just isn't. What is there is a right against government intrusions of your space that you act to keep private. There is a huge difference.

about a week ago
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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Re:The NSA knowingly breaks the law and lies (127 comments)

And what if they are following the existing laws, but keeping secret encroachments upon the prospective laws some people think they deserve?

about two weeks ago
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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Re:My proposed Constitutional Amendment (127 comments)

Sorry, it's not so clear and simple. The 4th amendment protects against government invasion of your person and your residence: here were talking about snooping information that you're transmitting on the publicly-regulated airwaves or over publicly-managed wires and cables. If you open your window and shout a conversation about your sexual exploits to your neighbor, you shouldn't expect any privacy. You volunteered to put it out there in a form that is easy to snoop upon; the fact that you think you have ultimate privacy is not relevant at all.

The issue of whether law enforcement can listen in on your telephone conversations without a warrant has been decided with the Wiretap Act (legislation). There are lots of people that want that law to be extended to apply to cell phone conversations and Internet traffic, but the Supreme Court hasn't defined what the boundaries of your privacy actually are. I'd welcome more legislation that defines a right to privacy over certain wireless and Internet communications beyond what is guaranteed by the Constitution (which really ain't much).

Until their truly is law that defines such a right to privacy, it is your obligation to secure your communications from outside ears.

about two weeks ago
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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Re:Gotta love his timing (127 comments)

Yes, I agree. Even though senators are now voted in by popular vote, they are still supposed to represent the states from which they are elected. I realize that most people don't see the difference, and that's why were probably going to be stuck with that Amendment for a long time. At least a senator's term lasts for 6 rather than 2 years; perhaps that will give a senator some independence against popular opinion.

about two weeks ago
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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Re:Gotta love his timing (127 comments)

Oh, yeah. It's the legislative equivalent of a toddler throwing a tantrum when he doesn't get his lollipop.

Both parties would be served to remember that Congress is the peoples' House of REPRESENTATIVES and the Senate controlled by the STATES. The Democrats backed themselves into this hole. Let's see if the Republicans can do any better.

about two weeks ago
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Senate May Vote On NSA Reform As Soon As Next Week

American Patent Guy Those of you who post anonymously here (127 comments)

should know: the NSA still knows who you are........

(I like the sound of shivering from the paranoid in the morning.)

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Mitch McConnell pulls a Boehner (285 comments)

Oh, mdsolar, I didn't know the EPA was being managed by the Supreme Court. Yes, indeed, I must be confused...

(You know, there's this funny psychological disfunctional behavior associated with some kinds of disorders where the subject accuses others of the negative qualities they see in themselves. It's called projection. Perhaps you should see a psychologist right away...)

Oh, and if you intended to use 549 U.S. 497 (the decision referred to at the bottom of the webpage you cited) to support your conclusion: that had nothing to do with the enforcement of a treaty or any other kind of foreign agreement. To try to use that to support Obama's "accord" by fiat would be an overreach indeed.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Mitch McConnell pulls a Boehner (285 comments)

Do you know what an injunction is, mdsolar? (Hint: it's another court order.)

I like how you call everyone else confused, there, while exhibiting an extraordinary amount of ignorance. Why don't you study up on the subject, and then you can make some competent remarks on the subject.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Mitch McConnell pulls a Boehner (285 comments)

And exactly what Supreme Court order was that, pray tell? I didn't know the Supreme Court was authorized or would issue orders to make binding treaties, or regulations that are the business of the Executive Branch.

Your article admits this is an attempt to "name and shame" opposing parties by the Obama Administration without any legal basis or strategy. They've been jerking on that one for a while now with not much to show. Let them do it one more time at Paris before Obama is cast aside on the road in 2016...

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Shame on you (285 comments)

Well, the DoD is considering the effects of climate change a priority, but they're not trying to stop it. They're trying to adapt to it: http://www.defense.gov/Release...

I'm not worried about enforcement at all, because in two years Obama will be nothing more than an unpleasant footnote in the history of the world...

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Shame on you (285 comments)

Are you suggesting the U.S. is going to war to enforce this "accord"?

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Re:Shame on you (285 comments)

From your article:

President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

And if you read the rest of this, it agrees with me. Obama is not going to get an enforceable agreement; he's a lame duck trying to do with shame what he can't do fairly with negotiation and logic. The fact that the NYT described this as an "accord" reached with China shows they are happy to bend the facts to appease the feelings of their readers. I expect they'll ride this for two more years...

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

American Patent Guy Shame be upon the NY Times (285 comments)

FTA: "U.S. and China Reach Climate Accord After Months of Talks". The U.S. hasn't agreed to anything, because the Senate isn't going to ratify this. This will serve no purpose but to cast shame upon those who won't follow Der Fuhrer Obama. We know which side of the isle the New York Times favors...

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

American Patent Guy More redundant "technology" (693 comments)

Folks in Massachusetts: you already have this in your schools. They are called EARS and telephones that call 911! Unless this is being installed where there is a chance that everyone in the school is completely deaf, it is a complete waste of money!

While you're at it, you'd better install a $100,000 rain detector there too. We'd better protect our children from the risks of getting wet from walking outside without their raincoats. (After all, no one wants to rely upon a visual inspection of the sky through a window.)

Somebody is laughing their ass off as they count their money from these stupid school administrators...

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

American Patent Guy Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (260 comments)

There's nothing ornamental about code (at least in the coding circles I've seen.) If you want to craft a sculpture in your code, print it and hang it on your wall, be my guest...

A copyright originates with an API because it is a work of authorship: someone created it in a mode of expression. There's nothing more complicated about it than that. There's nothing in the law that says functional expressions are excluded as non-copyrightable subject matter. The reason these copyrights on publicly-released APIs are not enforceable is because (for about the third or forth time I said here) there's fair uses and implied licenses.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

American Patent Guy Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (260 comments)

I don't understand what you are trying to say. An API defines and/or references the objects in a library or other code object; it isn't really factual in the common sense.

You are correct that copyrights don't attach to recipes (the information that makes the dish possible to make), but they do attach to the expression of that information. Recipes are usually short and functional, so there's not much in the expression to protect. If you printed the recipe on a card with a picture or artwork, then that expression would be protected by copyright.

I think you've got a reasonably correct sense of the concepts. We may be arguing over definitions and language...

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

American Patent Guy Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (260 comments)

That's not correct. Design patents protect ornamental designs, not functional ones. They're typically filed to distinguish how a physical product looks, not how it works.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

American Patent Guy Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (260 comments)

Why do you think an API is copyrightable only one way?

I don't understand what you're asking; I don't understand what you mean by the term "copyrightable".

If it's fair use to write a program that calls functions in an API, why is it not fair use to write a program that is called through an API?

I think you misunderstood what I said. I said that one can't make a direct copy of the code that underlies the API, but one can certainly write his own original code that implements the same functionality, and even uses anything copyrighted in the API if that is a fair use (names of functions and objects, as your library wouldn't be compatible/interchangeable unless the same names were used.)

What bothers me about copyrightability is that APIs are functional. If I'm going to write a program, I have to use the API as written. I can't make up my own.

And that's an argument in favor that your use of the API is fair. If you didn't need to use the API as written, then it might not be.

about two weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

American Patent Guy Re:It's simple if you understand the law... (260 comments)

AFAIK, fair use in the textual world means things like quoting limited excerpts for discussion in other writings, use in satire, etc. Writing a new application with arbitrary and unlimited dependency on the API (which is the desired use of the API, after all,) is not clearly "fair use;" it's use for which the API "owner" could reasonably expect payment. The economic value to the API user is well-understood.

I don't agree with you there. What is a fair use is described here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/f...

I think Google wins this one: the nature of the copyrighted work here is a specification that has been released to the public, so as to make the underlying libraries or other code usable.

An API "owner" could claim that the API was published for technical evaluation only, but to use the implementation, or even to create one's own fresh implementation, requires permission under the copyright. It would be calamitous for the industry, but the argument seems to align with the law.

Except that it is well-established that the API was published so the corresponding libraries/code could be used by outside entities writing Java applications. (It was Java, right?) Once the API has been released for public use, it is a standard and fair use to copy the portions that are required for use of that standard. It's also permitted by the license of the copyright implied by the release of the API as a standard.

about two weeks ago

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