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Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Ixokai Re:Uhhuh (88 comments)

Ugh. I'm so tired of this ignorance.

The "rounded corners" were not a utility patent -- it was a design patent, and only one element of it. Those are completely different things. Obviousness has nothing to do with design patents. Design patents are not solely based on a single trait, but a number of traits that are not essential to the function of a thing which, taken together, represent a particular design.

Obviousness is one of the reasons you reject a utility patent, as utility patents are about functionality. Design patents are NOT -- they cover only those parts of the design that are not functional, and only when taken as a whole with all the particular elements (not just rounded corners, but certain ratios, with certain colors, placement of logo, number of buttons, packaging, and so on and so forth) and are meant to protect knock-offs that confuse consumers (as opposed to utility patents which are meant to give temporary monopolies in return for releasing technology to the public).

That said, patents get rejected for obviousness all the time. They just don't make slashdot. This one is so obvious anyone who has ever taken Econ 101 should have considered it obvious so it takes very little in the way of domain knowledge to figure out its obvious -- some other obvious things are maybe obvious to us techies but harder for patent examiners to figure out, especially in the murky world of business method patents (which are all crazy).

1 hour ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Deals? (191 comments)

No, I mean the customers who are party to the suit -- Apple's customers. Yes, there was other channels they could have gotten music, but the catalogs were not exhaustive and were just as locked down as anything Apple ever did.

ITMS wasn't the first to try to do legal online music, I'm not arguing that. They did get all the paranoid labels on board and made it easy, and at the time that was a big deal. I remember I *could* buy music online at the time, but it was mostly a pain in the butt from most sources -- it was no real competition to the illegal napster route. Then ITMS made things easy and had everything I wanted, so I started using it to buy my music online.

Had they not made the DRM deals, ITMS would never had much of a selection and that would have harmed me as a consumer.

about a week ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Yes this is Terrible. (191 comments)

That's awfully weird considering Apple dropped DRM from its music store before Amazon opened their music store.

Your memory and reality are having a somewhat awkward dissonance.

about a week ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Deals? (191 comments)

Your analogy is dumb.

The customers would never have had access to the music catalogs of the major music labels were it not for deals to implement DRM and patch holes when that DRM is exploited.

Real exploited a hole to create fakely-DRM'd content, and Apple had to close it or they'd be in breach of contract and suddenly the ITMS has no content.

(At least, in theory. In reality Apple got big enough by this point that they were able to muscle the labels into letting them un-DRM the entire catalog, which seems quite the opposite of illegally screwing customers.)

about a week ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Yes this is Terrible. (191 comments)

DRM is so terrible that.... Apple did away with it on the music store years ago.

Its the content industry that is keeping it on the movie and tv stores. I am against DRM too but remember who requires it in their contracts to distribute.

about a week ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Huh? (191 comments)

You can use non-apple devices with iTunes and the iTunes music store just fine. You have always been able to do so. I don't know why you'd want to because as far as mp3 managers go it kinda sucks, but you could plug a random mp3 player in and provided its not going out of its way to be weird, iTunes will detect it and list it on devices and it'll happily copy any non-DRM'd content to it.

All you could not do was use non-Apple devices with DRM'd music-- but no music is DRM'd anymore, so that's not relevant.

You also couldn't use DRM'd music from other services on Apple's devices, and you still can't, but that's not relevant either because there's no obligation for Apple to support anyone elses DRM.

The case is not about supposed non-existent DRM between iTunes and iThings, its about Real hacking Apple's DRM on files and trying to copy such hacked DRM'd content -- instead of plain straight up mp3s that iTunes always supported fine -- into an iThing. Apple closed the hole in their DRM and such hacked content was no longer valid.

But, that's not relevant anymore because Apple doesn't use that DRM on any music anymore. (They _do_ use it on non-music stores still, though)

about a week ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

Ixokai Re:Huh? (191 comments)

The claim is very weird, yes, but the premise isn't -- the case has absolutely no bearing on the industry. Not because MP3s and iPods have been replaced by streaming and iPhones or whatever other device people use instead of a dedicated iPod, but because the DRM has long since been dropped in the music space.

Worst case scenario, Apple pays the lawyers involved some number of millions of dollars and a pittance to consumers (as in all class action cases), and changes nothing because its all entirely moot at this point.

about a week ago
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Stephen Hawking's New Speech System Is Free and Open-source

Ixokai Re:SiwftKey? (56 comments)

Yes, damn all those disabled people who might benefit and have a more meaningful life as a result of this system, because you lost out on a few dollars that one time on one component of it.

about three weeks ago
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Gilbert, AZ Censors Biology Books the Old-Fashioned Way

Ixokai Re:Baby meet bathwater (289 comments)

The morning after pill is not an abortifacient, point of fact.

It prevents pregnancy, it does not abort nor induce a miscarriage. Fertilization and implantation (ie, a pregnancy) does not always or even usually happen immediately after sex, it can take hours or days to happen which is why it "may" work -- the morning after pill prevents pregnancy from happening, it doesn't abort a pregnancy already established.

about three weeks ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Ixokai Re:The right to offend ... (834 comments)

Did you miss the point?

I think you did.

Its not about what its OK to be offended about: its that THREATS of EXTREME VIOLENCE are not okay.

It is quite possible to define a set of rules that do not include committing violence, particularly here, sexual violence, against someone. If you can't get behind that, you're part of the problem.

This isn't about made up offense and political correctness and differing cultural norms. We're talking about threats of rape and extreme violence here. Its not okay to threaten to rape someone. Its not okay to threaten to murder someone. The topic is not a joke. You're the problem if you think otherwise.

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Ixokai Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

If your debit card is a Visa/Mastercard, you get the same protection as a CC unless you use it 'as' a debit and enter the PIN and someone steals your PIN, I suppose. Then again I don't ever use it as a debit card, always over visa/mc.

I've had my debit card 'stolen' online twice. Once I got a call from Visa and had it reversed by them once before I noticed, and the second time when I noticed and called my bank, they reversed it all with no problem at all.

No need for 'proof', except that the bank mailed me an affidavit I had to sign -- but they reversed the charges immediately including all bank fees caused by these transactions (granted, provisionally; if I didn't sign the affidavit and get it back to them I'd probably expect to see the charges re-appear).

I think you're overly paranoid about debit cards.

That said it's a cold day in hell where I let anyone have direct access to my bank account.

about 2 months ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Ixokai Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

For one thing, you're only counting the middle steps.

First, you have to get your wallet, get your card from wallet, swipe it, wait, then either sign or enter a PIN, put card away, put wallet away. You're ignoring the setup and teardown steps.

With Apple, its pull out phone, hold it near device, tap, put away phone.
I am not familiar with the Google Wallet version of NFC-compatible phones but I assume it is quite similar (since Apple Pay is mostly a NFC device except how its setup and the arrangement with the banks to secure the transactions)

More importantly though, the regular credit card use leaves that number everywhere you use it, just begging to be stolen which has happened repeatedly of late.

With Apple Pay, the credit card is not stored on the device, instead its a per-device number arranged with your bank when you set it up -- and when it transmits it also transmits a dynamic authentication code and that pair can only be used once. (I don't know what it uses to generate that code but I suspect its something like a software time based token).

They don't get your name, your credit card number is not vulnerable, they don't get any of your personal details. They just get paid.

about 2 months ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

Ixokai Re:don't really like that term (169 comments)

Eh? How is it not renewable? Every day it starts anew. You don't ever run out, it never stops producing. Sometimes its production is lower and sometimes its higher, but it never runs out.

Granted, coal is sorta technically "renewable" but only on a geological scale that renders the term pointless. We'll mine it all and run out of it all long before any more comes.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Sells More Than 10 Million New iPhones In First 3 Days

Ixokai Re:individual vs carrier sales. (206 comments)

All of them. Apple always reports actual end-user sales, not channel movement.

about 3 months ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

Ixokai Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

These things don't really apply to a specific company-- they're written like, "a company building a factory of X size employing Y people [doing Z sort of activity]" doesn't have to pay these range of taxes. The conditions are just specific enough that in practice it probably only applies to one company, but gosh darn if their competitor wants to come in and build the exact same thing they'd probably qualify for the breaks, too.

But why is this surprising? Government giving incentives (be they tax breaks or subsidies-- what's the difference, really? Forms of special protection/privilege is another form) to businesses they think will improve their economy is common everywhere, even throughout Europe. Its a question of just what form and how you do it.

Its only a bad thing if the state is acting in bad faith (ie, if the legislators are corrupt and taking bribes-- which they largely are the way elections/lobbying are working currently, admittedly). The state is doing a calculation. Take in a certain amount of reduced revenue usually for a temporary period to create X direct jobs, Y secondary jobs, and Z boost to the economy -- is the overall economic benefit to the state outweighed by the reduced temporary revenue YN?

It benefits everyone in the state for the state's economy to improve, after all.

Also, this has nothing to do with America/USofA. The states are sovereign within the fairly broad limits of the Constitution. Short of a state applying import duties to stuff coming in from other states (which is the right of the Federal Government to regulate via the Interstate Commerce clause) the federal government has very, very, very little it could say about how much or how a state taxes anyone.

about 3 months ago
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

Ixokai Re:Boneheaded move (409 comments)

I think "african hospitals are not quite the hermetically sealed, pressurized clean-rooms like the CDC facilities" is a pretty glaring factor you're leaving out. And that factor is precisely why its safe to wrap these guys in plastic by people in plastic suits to take back to the plastic catacombs in Atlanta.

about 5 months ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

Ixokai Re:Disengenous (306 comments)

The reasoning you're unpacking is in your head -- the fallacy you point out exists entirely in your restatement of the argument, not the argument itself. Amazon has many documented examples of selling for a loss, a willingness to ignore short to medium term losses if it means control of a market.

Amazon is not being merely efficient; Amazon is engaging in predatory pricing and other market-manipulations to try to control a market. That may mean their prices are lower right now, but if their other markets can cover that loss and can maintain that for long enough that they can run the loss until those businesses are destroyed, is the market well served? Is it efficiency? What contains that price after the competition is destroyed and drives efficiency then?

about 5 months ago
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Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness

Ixokai Re:Third Amendment Violations, dead ahead (55 comments)

The fiction that our second amendment rights are "under assault" is a kind of strange delusion bordering on mass hysteria that has no relationship to reality. Across the country gun rights are soundly trumping any attempt at sensible gun safety regulation.

about 5 months ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

Ixokai Re:Black hole? (277 comments)

Read it. Its just a booster. It makes intellectual property violations considered 'willful' if involving a fraudulent domain name, and takes on extra penalties if you commit a crime involving a fraudulent domain name.

It doesn't make anything illegal, nor does it give ICANN force of law.

about 5 months ago
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HP Delivers a Big-Name, 7-inch Android Tablet For $100: Comes With Compromises

Ixokai Re:No bluetooth? (182 comments)

Sorry, no; its used by a lot of people all the time.

By, "almost no one uses it" you mean "I don't personally and assume my anecdote speaks for the many".

It doesn't.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Crack the Cyber Command's Code

Ixokai Ixokai writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ixokai (443555) writes "Apparently, in addition to whatever else they actually do (a question that seems to be hand-waved more then a little bit), the new US Cyber Command also embeds little codes into their logo, and WIRED reports it actually decodes to something meaningful. Anyone else interested in cracking it?"
Link to Original Source

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