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Economist: US Congress Should Hack Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Plunky Re:shouldn't this apply to software too? (129 comments)

If the software is copyrighted, you can't make a derivative work without permission, and that's what modifying it is doing. It seems silly to say that a modified program you use only on your own computer is any more a "derivative work" than clipping photos out of newspapers is, but the EULA typically specifies conditions you must agree to in order to use the software, and you don't really get a say. All the rights are with the creator.

This is not correct. The copyright only restricts distribution. As in, you are not allowed to distribute a derivative work without permission. You certainly are allowed to create derivative works for your own usage. Also, clipping photos out of a newspaper is not creating a derivative work anyway, it depends what you do with them. I suppose if you clip a photo, trace some outlines and colour it in with crayon.. that would be a derivative work, depending on how closely it resembles the original. If significantly different it might be considered a new work.

about a month and a half ago

Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Plunky Re:What about other devices? (421 comments)

As far as I can tell Android appears to be FOSS. You might need a version without Googles logos for it to be legal to use without paying them though?

here you go: Cyanogenmod Downloads

about 4 months ago

Patents That Kill

Plunky Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (240 comments)

why does it have to continue on after the creator dies?
why not just a straight up fixed term, like 10 years?


In fact, I'd say that a fixed term is so overwhelmingly easier to participate in that it should unquestionably be the case. When you see the phrase "Copyright (c) 2001 John Thomas" then you can know that after N years, then the work is available for you to reproduce.. you don't have to track down all the possible John Thomases who claimed the copyright and find out if they are still alive or if they died in obscure circumstances some years ago, or if they were a corporation and the copyright term is a different beast. Although I agree that a short fixed term

like 10 years?

is actually reasonable, I would certainly support simplifying the laws to use a longer fixed one.. and I'm also sure that the copyright cartels are completely comfortable with the current state of affairs which are vague and in their favour and would fight tooth and nail to prevent such a change

about 5 months ago

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Plunky Re:Remote Kill Switch. (443 comments)

what about for the owner, who presumably knew that it had been stolen by this time..?b

about 6 months ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Plunky Re:This decision comes as... (376 comments)

Do you work for the MPAA? If not you should consider applying because that sounds a lot like their level of stupid... The video quality is awful the sound quality is awful. No-one in their right minds would attempt to record a film like this.

No, I don't work for them and neither do I have any desire to do so (and I doubt they would be interested in me, since I am not currently permitted to work in the USA) In fact, there was nothing stupid about my message.. The previous commenter said "The two big issues are" and listed two. I merely pointed out that the second one was not an issue at all

Regarding the issue you are focused on (the poor video and audio quality), well of course technology improves at a rapid rate. If a device such as this was not available with better recording capabilities within a few years, I would be very surprised.. The other poster mentioned that a head mounted cam is likely to be jittery.. thats true also, but software and hardware solutions exist to remove jitter already.

I'm not saying, that this theatre banning such a device is a great idea. I think that it is a futile idea! Miniscule devices capable of streaming high definition video to external storage are going to be ubiquitous in a few years. If you want to oppose banning them then you really need to start thinking about non-technical reasons for that. If you base your entire argument on the fact that they are rubbish, then when they get better as they inexorably will.. your argument collapses!

about 7 months ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Plunky Re:This decision comes as... (376 comments)

currently Glass has a 30 minute battery life while recording video. Realistically you would need to see a 6-8X improvement in battery life to record a video. Batteries are not improving at anywhere near that rate

So apparently it charges with a micro-usb cable. I can fully imagine somebody having a small 12v battery pack and a car charger in their bag, or pocket.. just wait until the lights dim, plug cable in and off you go..

about 7 months ago

Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

Plunky Re:Human's a very good at not dying (483 comments)

How many young women and girls were kidnapped, raped, tortured, and eventually killed by Ted Bundy after the state of Florida lit him up like a Christmas tree?

That's what I thought. It seems he was pretty thoroughly deterred.

Except, that is not what a deterrent is.

The question is, how many young women and girls did Ted Bundy not kidnap, rape, torture or kill because he was worried about being executed? I'd say none, but its difficult to say for sure..

Then, you can ask how many young women and girls were not kidnapped, raped, tortured or killed by other people because of the fear that they would be executed for this, as Ted Bundy was, rather than just being imprisoned for life, or a long time.. this one is harder, but I'd say that people who are prone to kidnapping, raping, torturing and killing young women and girls are not really the kind of people who care about the consequences of their actions, or they think they won't get caught anyway.

about 8 months ago

Google Aids Scientology-Linked Group CCHR With Pay-Per-Click Ads

Plunky Re:The Harsh Light of Day (186 comments)

The more these beliefs...

beliefs, you say? I don't believe that anybody actually believes all that claptrap about Xenu.. L Ron Hubbard made it all up to bilk money out of desparate people, and plenty of other folk are happy to continue the premise and keep the money flowing.. but does anybody actually believe it? I doubt it..

about 9 months ago

Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Plunky Re:Left-Wing Propoganda (258 comments)

Colorado is (narrowly) governed by the Democrats, not right wing

Hello America!

I think you will find that both the Democrats and the Republicans are firmly right wing.

The Rest of the World

about 9 months ago

How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

Plunky Re: Flight recorder (491 comments)

Looking at the specs on the flight recorder, the 'crush force' is 5000lbs. Can anybody translate this to a depth?

Sure. 1 bar pressure is 14psi, so this is 5000/14 = 357bar. One bar is equivalent to about 10m depth of water, so the stated crush depth would be 3.5km give or take..

about 10 months ago

California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

Plunky Re:Cool (94 comments)

There are always outliers where this is going to be the case, but llikely the vast majority of school buses in urban areas could be replaced by something like this with lower running costs.

Now, you didn't say where you lived or if you had done a proper analysis of how they were collecting students.. but considering the cost of driving a bus such a distance, might it not be cheaper to collect the more distant students in a smaller vehicle?

about a year ago

A Corporate War Against a Scientist, and How He Fought Back

Plunky Re:US (253 comments)

and yet, corporations can be owned by people, and other corporations.

actually, I think it is the latter, that engenders a whole lot of mischief and should be disallowed.

about a year ago

Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

Plunky Re:the moral of the story (448 comments)

What I don't understand is, that .. yes, the extortionist stole the twitter handle. but wait, if it is stolen property he can't actually use it or sell it without falling foul of the law, can he? Also, that handle is in a known position and it is under the control of a known entity who can be compelled by a court order to return its control to the genuine owner.

or do twitter not care?

about a year ago

AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

Plunky Re: Lesson from this story...don't be a glass hole (1034 comments)

In fact, we only need to look marginally further into the future to see a point where the functionality of something like Glass will be *undetectable* by bystanders *by design*. What then? Do you ban people? Good luck with trying to stop the march of technology because everyone in history who's tried has failed miserably.

1 year,5 days

200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

Plunky Re:That doesn't seem right. (628 comments)

Chimpanzees can out perform humans on tasks such as recognizing and remembering a larger number of items in a very short period of time. There was a story about that here a few months ago, but I don't know if that indicates intelligence.

1 year,6 days

Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

Plunky Re:Show time (722 comments)

Which us why self driving cars are better for all road users.... They won't drive at triple the speed limit.

I don't get why people think they wouldn't do that

In fact, in a world of self driving cars, I don't see why we would need a speed limit. The car can be trusted to drive within its own limits..

And if your dad had a self driving car, your brother could have helped your dad to the car and told the car to drive to the hospital.

and his brother could have told the car that it was an emergency (destination: emergency unit of hospital) and the car could have decided to drive at its maximum speed, broadcasting to other vehicles that it was doing so.

A journey such as this might attract some official attention, but assuming that the hospital corroborates the story of an emergency, then I don't see why there would be any charges..

about a year ago

Autonomous Cars Will Save Money and Lives

Plunky Re:So what'll we do with half a trillion dollars? (389 comments)

This is not a lifestyle I want to live. I can't imagine a future population truly being happy with this either.

I can imagine being very happy that I don't have to own a car, or drive it around.
I can imagine that I will be very happy to just summon a car and tell it where I want to go, to be taken there quickly and dropped off and being able to walk away, not have to worry about parking that car, or maintaining it.
I can imagine being very happy that when I want to use my bicycle instead, I won't be cut up because some ignorant driver doesn't think I ought to be on the road.
I can imagine being very happy that when I want to walk somewhere I can cross the roadway safely wherever and whenever I want because the cars will flow around me.
I can imagine being very happy that when I get over the age that it is really safe for me to drive, I will still be able to get around just as well as I always have been able to.
I can imagine that a future population would think it strange that people like you wanted them to suffer with traffic jams and having to sit focused and barely moving while driving, and being penalised for letting their attention wander at the wrong time.

about a year ago

"Ballooning" Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift

Plunky Re:Airborne mini drones, here we come.... (213 comments)

Am still shocked at this part... "Biologists have found them at altitudes of up to 4 km"

Well, life gets around it seems. Perhaps you would be interested to hear that I have seen small flying insects several hundred miles out at sea (that didn't seem desperate to land, on my small yacht).. also crabs out there, swimming on the surface, and the water was 2-3 miles deep. I don't know how they get there; presumably they don't swim up from the bottom.

about a year ago

Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch

Plunky Re:As usual. (622 comments)

People don't get it as children when it is a mild disease that has a death rate similar to riding a bus to school or high school football

The problem with that is, that the parents of the child who died now think the risk was too high.. In fact, oglaf is generally NSFW but this weeks comic is strangely pertinent..

about a year ago

Dishwasher-Size, 25kW Fuel Cell In Development

Plunky Re:Unless the amortized annual cost is low (379 comments)

25kW is a Fiat Punto engine - and here in London, an average house boiler thermal output. We have piped gas to every home in the UK

There are vast areas of the country that do not have piped gas. London is but a small corner!

about a year and a half ago


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