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Non-Copied Photo Is Ruled Copyright Infringement

Bobb9000 Re:Misleading to call it "non-copied" (657 comments)

Actually, something can be "barely copyrightable", in the sense that only the literal and precise expression of the work can be protected by copyright. In most cases, minor variations on a work do not excuse copyright - for example, I can't take Harry Potter, change all the character's names, and then release the books as my own. However, if the work is an expression of otherwise public domain material, and doesn't show large amounts of input on the part of the creator beyond the bare minimum required to create it, then only the precise expression can hold copyright. Sometimes, you can't even get copyright at all, as in photographs of paintings designed solely to reproduce the painting.

more than 2 years ago
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Former Military Personnel Claim Aliens Are Monitoring Our Nukes

Bobb9000 Re:Intercepted TV transmissions (498 comments)

Clearly the aliens caught a broadcast of Independence Day and thought it was a war game simulation showing our defense strategy.

Hmm...if that's the case, the aliens aren't very smart. They should have just taken out Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum from orbit and been done with it.

And cue the "and nothing of value was lost" in 3...2...1...

about 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

The issue I'm concerned with isn't so much hijacking (though that is still a concern), but people who just want to blow up the plane. No warning or threats.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

No, I haven't actually. I'd expect that they'd be slower than metal detectors, but since they do so much more and, in a sane system, could replace some existing detectors I still see them as a net benefit. 30 seconds seems excessive, though. As to people's inability to understand instructions, I would guess that would improve over time. People always get confused when the systems change. If they do cause such a slowdown, and that can't be improved, I'd see that as a good argument against using them. It's not relevant to my earlier point, however, that people are freaking out disproportionately to the privacy invasion involved.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

I can see that our current airport security system is largely theatre; anyone with an inquisitive mind can't help but think up all the interesting ways to circumvent the current system. Hence why I'd like to see more effective measures in place. Backscatter machines seem like an effective way of checking for a number of different threats in a minimal amount of time. Combined with luggage x-rays, that seems like a good compromise of speed and effectiveness. I know they probably won't implement it the way I'd like, but if I cried about it every time government failed to do that I'd die of dehydration. I'm mostly complaining about the notion that this is somehow taking away our liberties more effectively than various other options that people seem much less freaked out about.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

Sorry, I don't think you want to see my tits. Due to the aforementioned penis, they are far less shapely and far more hairy than (I hope) you might like.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

Because the act of getting into a motor vehicle and driving to work significantly more dangerous than boarding an airplane under the pre 9/11 security protocol.

True, and if there was a way I could significantly lessen the danger of driving by having a government employee see me naked with minimal hassle I'd probably do that too.

When someone pulls a stick of TNT out of his ass and tries to bring down a plane will you be meekly submitting to cavity searches?

No, because I don't think the discomfort and time involved in a cavity search is worth it compared to the risk of someone hiding a stick of TNT up their ass. If they invented a scanner that would detect items concealed in such a manner without all the trouble of a cavity search or the risk of high radiation exposure, then I'd be ok with it. Slippery slopes aren't actually all that slippery unless you have your eyes closed.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

Hint: Nothing in life is completely safe. The sooner you accept this the better you'll feel.

A fact of which I am well aware. The issue is not my failure to accept that fact, but that, as you note, acceptance does not mean we should stop trying to prevent terrorism. The fact that the last successful mid-air bombing was twenty years ago does not mean it couldn't happen again (as the recent attack indicates: he wasn't thwarted by security, but by poor bomb-making skills). If new technology allows us to avert more threats with less hassle and (to my mind) less intrusion, then I support it.

Good for you. Some of us value our privacy more than we value expediency.

I understand that not everyone shares my lack of concern about people seeking my penis, but when it comes to risking a successful attack on the lives of at least several hundred people vs. something which does no physical harm and does not significantly expand the power of the state, I really have trouble bringing myself to care about your concerns. A government employee seeing my penis, or my wife's breasts, or even my kids' respective same, does not allow the state to learn any more about my private behavior, beliefs, or predilections than it already knows (aside from piercings, I suppose, but the metal detector already does a fair job of that). There is thus no harm from such machines other than treading on an illogical and tradition-based taboo, unless the concerns of this article turn out to be well-founded, of course. I'm sorry that you consider that an important part of your privacy, but there can be no such thing as absolute privacy - it's always a matter of deciding where to make the tradeoffs. I don't really understand why you consider a fairly minimal invasion of the nudity taboo more important than averting a small but non-trivial threat to your life.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

And as I said, fair enough - I'm concerned about possible health dangers too. But one group of scientists is not a consensus, and nothing has zero risk. I think these concerns should be responded to, and if they turn out to be a problem, then that's an excellent reason not to deploy these scanners.

more than 4 years ago
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Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Bobb9000 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

While a locked cockpit door is a big plus, people could still threaten the entire plane with a bomb. Frankly, other than possible health dangers, I find the millimeter-wave scanners to be a very promising thing - if I could go through airport security just by walking through a scanner instead of all the rigmarole of three different detectors and randomized pat-downs, I'd be a much happier traveler. I really don't care if some homeland security person is looking at my penis. I'm not that insecure, and I'm not that wrapped up with stupid modesty taboos. Looking doesn't hurt me. Long lines do, and to my mind pat-downs are a heck of a lot more invasive than a greyscale picture on a screen.

more than 4 years ago
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Samsung To Ship Chip Package With Phase-Change Memory

Bobb9000 Re:Performance? (57 comments)

Phase change memory has some advantages, but for now and the foreseeable future it can't beat NAND in terms of cell size and price. NAND flash isn't going anywhere anytime soon. NOR, on the other hand, might get phased out in favor of this tech.

more than 4 years ago
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After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

Bobb9000 Re:Interesting... (332 comments)

Sorry for the excessive italicization; I broke my close tag and then didn't look at the preview.

more than 4 years ago
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After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

Bobb9000 Re:Interesting... (332 comments)

Everyone keeps saying that they violated the terms of the agreement, but from TFA, I'm not so sure that's the case. The agreement said that the blood would be used to “study the causes of behavioral/medical disorders”. Most of the research described seems to fall under that category. It was originally presented as work to help understand the high diabetes incidence in the tribe, because that was why the blood was collected in the first place, but when that work was done, they still had the DNA. Why not do research to the full extent covered under the agreement? It would have been more polite, perhaps, to for the various researchers working with the samples to keep the tribe updated on their work and findings, but nothing in the agreement required that.

Regarding your insistence that this was a violation of "do no harm" - I'm not buying it. I understand it's place in medical lore, but if you think it's really a useful guide, you're wrong. If "do no harm" was truly a useful rule for guiding doctors' actions, then they could never perform surgery, they could never prescribe drugs with harmful side effects, and the entire structure of medicine as we know it would cease to exist. They have to do some harm; the question is whether the harm is outweighed by the benefits. "Do no harm" sounds nice, and as a sort of generalized medical philosophy it's salutary, but it's so vague as to be useless for actually making decisions. That why, when doctors are actually looking at the ethics of their decisions, they don't ask "Did I do harm?". They look to the rules of medical ethics which have been developed through a lot of hard work by people actually dealing with real-world problems. Much as with science generally, relying on the writings of people who have been dead for thousands of years rather than your own judgement and the evidence is a terrible idea.

more than 4 years ago
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Another WW-I Chemical Site In Washington, DC

Bobb9000 Re:Explanation (249 comments)

Just had to respond to your sig - that's not a real Jefferson quote. If the style of it weren't enough (the use of the idiom "the beauty of" and the completely uncharacteristic "they"), a quick Google search confirms it's bogus.

more than 4 years ago
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Larry Sanger Tells FBI Wikipedia Distributes "Child Pornography"

Bobb9000 Re:Categories (572 comments)

First of all, thank you for calling me a authoritarian pig. It's always good to have a friend that knows you better than you know your self.

Sorry, but as a disinterested third party, I have to say that the position you just advocated kinda does make you an authoritarian pig:

That way there will be no discussion in court about the images being real or not.

In general, speaking positively of rules which ban the introduction of relevant, defendant-exonerating evidence in court, as opposed to mentioning it only as a last resort, means bad things about your commitment to having a free society.

If that also means obviously drawn child porn is illegal, that is fine with me. Everybody that needs images of children of nay kind to fap should have their heads examined.

Then again, looking for the intention behind the words is kind of silly if you just go and state your authoritarian prejudices explicitly.

Now, I don't necessarily disagree that, as a matter of necessity, some provision may need to be made for the criminalization of photorealistic 3D renderings. However, that isn't something to be happy about - it's a very bad thing. The only legitimate reason for banning child porn is protecting children from being exploited in its production. Take that away, and all you have is totalitarian moralism.

more than 4 years ago
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

Bobb9000 Re:...because those folks are full of it. (554 comments)

I'm sorry, you misunderstand me - the Oxford comma is one of the few points of English grammar that I absolutely believe are not merely aesthetically preferable, but practically superior. I seriously question the intellectual qualifications, nay, the very value as a human being of anyone who fails to use the Oxford comma.

more than 4 years ago
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

Bobb9000 Re:...because those folks are full of it. (554 comments)

The problem starts when you bully other, less educated people than yourself into bowing to your preferences as superior for spurious reasons--which is what actually happens in practice.

Are you criticizing my views here, or someone else's? I've plainly said that I don't think that my preferred form of English is a more efficient form of communication than, to use your example, AAVE, and I agree that it's ridiculous to claim otherwise without some pretty compelling evidence, of which there appears to be none. I dislike the implication, however, that I'm wrong to have negative feelings towards another form of English because its users are currently disadvantaged. Regardless of relative power relationships, I absolutely reserve the right to disapprove of cultural traditions or elements thereof I consider harmful. To continue with AAVE, I think that the cultural tradition with which I identify is superior in a number of ways to that usually associated with urban African-Americans. This does not mean I am myself necessarily better than any individual who does identify with that culture, or that African-Americans are somehow inherently inferior - all it means is that I think my culture is better. As such, I would prefer it if those currently identifying with urban African-American culture changed their behavioral and linguistic choices to something more compatible with my own. I don't think that constitutes bullying - I don't plan to use physical force or intimidation to make others conform to my preferences. However, there's a difference between tolerance and respect. I believe in the former, where it doesn't involve risk of physical or serious mental harm. I'll give the latter where I think it's deserved.

But you see, "cuz I say so" is a pretty bad reason to demand that other people talk and write in the way you say they should.

That may be so, but it's all we've got once mutual intelligibility is satisfied. And I wouldn't say I "demand" it - I might prefer it, and I might tell them so, but it's not as though I'm going to beat people up who fail to conform to my grammatical preferences. I just won't like them as much. Which isn't even to say I won't like them - it's just to say it will be an irritation.

more than 4 years ago
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

Bobb9000 Re:...because those folks are full of it. (554 comments)

Because you realize that, almost without exception, prescriptivists are full of shit, and trying to solve "problems" that don't exist with solutions that make no damn sense . . . Then you study some sociolinguistics, and you realize that it's just some folks trying to construct a style to distinguish themselves socially from other folks they look down on.

Um...so? I think I may be using "linguistic prescriptivism" in a slightly different, more general sense than you have in mind. People always try to distinguish themselves as social superiors, it's what we (including linguistically-educated people quick to jump in with cries of "there's no so thing as "correct" English usage! Language is fluid!") do. People also try to get others to share their views about art, music, and morality, and tend to like more those who do so. I fail to see what the problem with that is. The only difference is that the issue of morality has tended to get wrapped up with the power of the state, so views on that one have more consequences (not to say that issues of language and culture don't have significant sociological implications). In any case, if I find one form of the English language more aesthetically pleasing than another, why shouldn't I prefer that it become dominant?

Are you really ready to back up your prescriptive statements about English usage, using modern linguistics?

For the most part, no, because I am not a linguist by trade, and am only superficially familiar with the details of the science behind it. However, the gap between is and ought remains as wide as it ever was, and my reasons for preferring certain forms of English are mainly based on aesthetics and tribalism, not some imagined sense of the practical superiority of one form over another (with the vehement exception of the Oxford comma).

more than 4 years ago
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

Bobb9000 Re:Technically... (554 comments)

I admit that the GGP's post isn't the most defensible (or comprehensible) thing in the world, but my issue with the reply was that "simply false" and "mistake" are the wrong words to use. On what basis is the OED being denied as authoritative? If he doesn't consider it to be such, that's fine, but by his own standards, to say that the claim is "simply false" is like saying my taste for the music of Britney Spears is "simply false" and a "mistake", i.e., something we might say in common conversation as shorthand for a negative value judgement about me as a human being, but not a useful reply in the context of an intellectual debate.

more than 4 years ago
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

Bobb9000 Re:Technically... (554 comments)

Why exactly do you think that, if you've studied language, you must necessarily give up on linguistic prescriptivism? This is the same problem I have with the more glib moral relativists - I accept that there is no "objective" standard, but that doesn't mean that I can't make prescriptive statements, it just means they're backed up by me, as opposed to nature or God. While the GP's views on the primacy of certain dictionaries may or may not be reflecting a less-thought-out view of language, it's far from "simply false". And nobody who has actually studied philosophy could make this mistake. :-)

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Why is Google Blocking Tor?

Bobb9000 Bobb9000 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bobb9000 (796960) writes "As I and I'm sure other Tor users have noticed, Google has recently begun blacklisting any query coming from a Tor exit node. There's been some discussion of this, but not very much, and while the Tor FAQ claims this is only a temporary problem, and that Google has taken no positive steps to block Tor, for the past few months I haven't been able to find a single exit node that can use Google. Now, it's possible that recently there's just been a massive amount of automated request activity coming from every Tor exit node, but that seems unlikely. Even if it were true, somehow Yahoo has been able to cope, as it almost always works through Tor. So, why is Google making it harder to be anonymous online? Genuine security concerns, or a dislike for anything that takes away their ability to harvest personal data?"
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Why is Google Blocking Tor?

Bobb9000 Bobb9000 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bobb9000 (796960) writes "As I and I'm sure other Tor users have noticed, Google has recently begun blacklisting any query coming from a Tor exit node. There's been some discussion of this online, but not very much, and while the Tor FAQ claims this is only a temporary problem, and that Google has taken no positive steps to block Tor, for the past few months I haven't been able to find a single exit node that can use Google.

Now, it's possible that there's just been a massive amount of automated request activity coming from every Tor exit node recently, but that seems unlikely. Even if it were true, somehow Yahoo has been able to cope, as it almost always works through Tor. So, why is Google making it harder to be anonymous online? Genuine security concerns, or a dislike for anything that takes away their ability to harvest personal data?"
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The Death of Google's Patents

Bobb9000 Bobb9000 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bobb9000 (796960) writes "At the Patently-O patent law blog, law professor John Duffy has an article arguing that the patent on Google's PageRank technology would likely be invalid under recent court and patent office decisions. Duffy wrote an amicus brief against the patent office in one of these recent decisions, so his conclusions should be taken with that in mind, but it's a good overview of a recent trend in the USPTO against software patents."
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