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Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

SirWhoopass Some did own the idea of a car (360 comments)

I would no more steal a car than I would tolerate a company telling me that they had the exclusive rights to the idea of cars themselves.

This did happen. A lot.

A consortium held the patent on the idea of a car, and would grant or deny the right to build one at the dawn of the 20th century. This patent was eventually fought by Henry Ford after the consortium refused to grant him a license.

Maganox held a patent on the idea of a home video game system. Atari, Mattel, Activision, and Nintendo all paid royalties to build a home video game

Thomas Edison held a patent on movies. Hollywood arose, in part, due to filmmakers running as far away from Edison as possible to avoid his patent enforcement.

I'm not defending infinite copyright, just pointing out that his example isn't as absurd as it seems. History is full of examples. And yes, I do understand the difference between a patent and copyright. The original author lumped the two types of IP together in his analogy.

about 7 months ago

Scientific American In Blog Removal Controversy

SirWhoopass Columbus Day is still a holiday? (254 comments)

I agree with the AC on this one. Columbus Day is not much of a holiday. It's certainly not a "three-day weekend" for most people. The public university I work for and the public elementary school my son attends are both open. I can't think of any private company that is closed today.

I suppose federal government offices might be closed today, if they hadn't already been shut down.

about a year ago

Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015

SirWhoopass Re:"Starting from -infinity, got nothing to lose" (816 comments)

My problem with the birth of Anakin is that Lucas wimped out on it and created the midiclorians to cover it.

A great hero being conceived by the gods is a common theme in mythology. Either through diety-on-human sex (Zeus style) or divine conception, depending on how directly the culture viewed their interaction with the gods.

In keeping with the Campbell-greatest-hits-of-myth tradition he'd used before, Lucas wanted that for Anakin. But the whole immaculate conception idea would have been a hard sell to a society where a significant segment doesn't see how their particular flavor of divine myth parallels all the others in history. So he had to cover his ass with a psuedo-science angle for the Force.

It should have been, "Anakin was conceived by the Force" and left at that. Then we wouldn't have had midiclorians at all.

about 2 years ago

FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation

SirWhoopass Re:Easy to infringe, hard to fix (286 comments)

You are correct, a DMCA notice requires that the person filing is the owner of the copyright (or acting on their behalf, such as an attorney).

That is the point the GP is making, isn't it? Funnyjunk does not require contact information to upload images, although they certainly could require it. Why not? Their business model is based on loose copyright enforcement.

Craigslist makes it easy to post, and also easy to flag for removal. Facebook is at the other end. They generally know who you are when you post, and they know who is filing complaints.

more than 2 years ago

Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career

SirWhoopass MBAs don't care (241 comments)

I imagine that the MBAs realize it simply outsources the problems. From their perspective this is better. If the IT guys screw up then all they can do is fire them. If the Cloud has a problem, then they have a breach of contract with [Amazon/Microsoft/etc].

Whether or not they could recover any significant damages doesn't matter. Or the probability of failure. They have someone outside the organization to hold accountable. Someone who can be sued.

more than 2 years ago

Photographers, You're Being Replaced By Software

SirWhoopass Re:Not outsourcing (282 comments)

Dr. Alan Grant: It looks like we're out of a job.

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Don't you mean extinct?

Jurassic Park (1993)

more than 2 years ago

FBI Compromises Another Remailer

SirWhoopass Re:Remailers (164 comments)

So, are there any remailers in countries that don't have reciprocal juristictional arrangements with the USA?

Iran. North Korea. Syria. China... maybe? They might cooperate with the FBI depending on the target. Same with Russia. Are you looking for a country that doesn't have reciprocal arrangements, but that will also respect your privacy? I doubt it.

more than 2 years ago

North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

SirWhoopass Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (515 comments)

'Counseling' implies more time being spent in the process. Also, money.

I disagree. I believe that counseling implies giving advice regarding the diet plan. Someone who counsels would be altering the plan in some fashion... eat more of X, less of Y, you can still eat ice cream every other day, etc.

Encouraging would mean to be supportive about following the prescribed plan, but not altering the plan.

more than 2 years ago

North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

SirWhoopass Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (515 comments)

"I advise you not to eat at McDonalds because a homemade salad is more nutritious than a cheeseburger". Thats all it takes to be a criminal in NC.

That is not correct. Providing nutritional information is perfectly legal in NC. Telling people about your diet is fine. Creating a diet plan for someone would be illegal. Which is what this guy was doing. Diagnosing symptoms and providing specific nutritional remedies for people with diabetes (charging $100 - $150 for this service).

The state board provides a PDF of what type of advice is legal, and what crosses the line. The short version would be that it is fine to provide nutritional information. It is illegal to provide nutrition care services.

more than 2 years ago

North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

SirWhoopass Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (515 comments)

You are correct in that the First Amendment does apply to the states.

I am not certain, however, that is applies to this situation. The summary is misleading. He was not merely blogging about what he did and encouraging others.

He also diagnosing conditions and recommending treatment plans. And he was charging money for that service.

more than 2 years ago

North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

SirWhoopass Re:he was giving out business cards.... (515 comments)

"Is he collecting cash?"


Obviously we don't know all the details...

Except that we do. Especially if we read the state board's findings linked from his site and the article (6.3MB PDF).

The state board provides a print-out of his site with annotations. People write in with symptoms, he assess their situation and provides specific advice. The board makes it clear that his is counseling, which requires a license. The note that he could describe what he did (meals, fitness, etc), but soliciting questions and advising is what crosses the line.

In addition, he offered consulting services ranging from $98 to $197 per month. These services included phone consultation and email Q&As.

The state board didn't just drop the hammer out of no where. They reviewed his site and advised him that he could not offer nutrition consulting services without a license. Which is clearly what he was doing. He has chosen to ignore them and cry "free speech!".

more than 2 years ago

Best Buy Scans Drivers License For Returns — No More Allowed For 90 Days

SirWhoopass Re:When people abuse prices go up (503 comments)

Yes, the United States does have consumer protection laws. Starting with the Uniform Commercial Code, plus the various states all have their own laws.

An item will have an implied fitness for purpose. The issue would be whether accepting the video signal from a 20-year-old video game system would be considered an "ordinary use" for a new television. I am not certain that is true. The original poster also explicitly avoided asking anyone at the store which television could do what he wanted.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Shuttle Discovery Set To Buzz Washington, DC

SirWhoopass Re:Headline (65 comments)

I'm sorry (think of me what you will), but I think it's pretty ridiculous. Does anyone else feel like it's parading around a dead carcass? Put it in a museum and let people come and view it. Doing a series of low level fly-bys of D.C. just sounds juvenile and dangerous.

Did you even read the summary? That's what NASA is doing. They aren't going out of their way for a fly-by, they're delivering it to the Smithsonian.

more than 2 years ago

Sweden Moving Towards Cashless Economy

SirWhoopass Re:Woe Be The Day Cash Becomes Illegal (447 comments)

The currency that has had the most steady value in terms of a laborers wage over the last 4 thousand years is beer.

Beer is difficult to transport (bulky compared to its value) and spoils rather quickly. Distilling it to whiskey is a better option. The Scotch-Irish figured that out a few centuries ago.

more than 2 years ago

Stolen iPad's Reported Location Not Enough To Warrant Search, Say Dutch Police

SirWhoopass Re:Plan B. (619 comments)

The majority of Americans don't have pistols in their nightstands. The majority of Americans don't own a firearm of any type.

more than 2 years ago

The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

SirWhoopass Re:America is a BIG Country (1205 comments)

You miss the point.

From the standpoint of someone from the US East or West Coast; or almost anywhere in Europe, the entire state of Wyoming is "rural". Even the urban areas are rural. The most populous city has 60,000 residents. The same can be said (to a slightly lesser degree) of Montana, the Dakotas, and Idaho. And then a whole slew of additional western states outside of one or two large cities per state.

You are proposing that these entire states, and their citizens, don't matter. That we can ignore them entirely when it comes to policy because they are outliers. Twenty percent of the population and half the landmass- irrelevant?

The dense urban areas of the US do have public transit. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming has six bus routes (closed on Sundays and holidays).

Many Europeans fail to grasp that items on a national policy level in the US are akin to a EU-wide mandate. Should Estonia and France have an identical transit policy? The state gasoline tax is nearly 50-cents per gallon in New York and California, as compared to 14-cents in Wyoming. The federal tax is (an additional) 18 cents. Europeans like to ignore the state-by-state issues entirely and paint the US with a broad brush.

more than 2 years ago

The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

SirWhoopass Re:America is a BIG Country (1205 comments)

If someone is passing a number of doctors during that 75-mile trip then you make a very good point. There are rural areas of the US, however, in which there may be no medical services in that distance. Fewer than 600,000 people live in the US state of Wyoming, an area roughly the same size as the UK.

US Population Density Map

Is is true of the entire US? No. It isn't true for the majority of the population (since the majority live in the dense areas- that's why they are densely populated).

more than 2 years ago

Sale Or License? Sister Sledge Sues Over ITunes

SirWhoopass Re:I Like "Strike a Deal with the Devil" Better (257 comments)

To be fair, the Devil delivered on his end of the deal to Faust and Johnson. The RIAA takes a young musicians' soul without ever guaranteeing a period of fame and fortune.

more than 2 years ago

Leaked Zynga Memo Justifies Copycat Strategy

SirWhoopass Re:And that is what really stiffles innovation (384 comments)

If the law was only concerned with consequences then there would be no difference between manslaughter and first-degree murder. The outcome is the same: someone died. Action (or inaction, in the case of negligence) plus intent are a part of the law.

more than 2 years ago

VGA and DVI Ports To Be Phased Out Over Next 5 Years

SirWhoopass Re:Interesting (704 comments)

I guess 25 is almost 35.

Especially when you're 16.

more than 2 years ago


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