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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Theaetetus Re:The difference... (140 comments)

>The video starts with the patrons already attacking the Glasshole, so no, she started filming them after she was attacked.

Unless she easily clipped out the inital part of the filming that would have made her look bad.

Unlikely. The video is exactly 10 seconds long, which is the default recording length for Glass. Now, is it possible she recorded for minutes and cut it to exactly 10 seconds? And those were the particular 10 seconds where she told them she was filming, rather than saying it during any other time during the recording? Sure... But Occam's Razor would tend to disagree.

2 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Theaetetus Re:The difference... (140 comments)

It's a little more than that, though... remember the story with the Glasshole in the bar from last month who got attacked?

I seem to remember that the problem was some patron was aggressively annoyed that the glass-user might be filming them so the glass-users response was to start filming them. The problem was bery much idiots in that case.

The video starts with the patrons already attacking the Glasshole, so no, she started filming them after she was attacked. And frankly, filming people committing a crime is quite a reasonable response.

That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

No, they are qualatatively different. The cameras go on a loop, old data is discarded...

Unless you own the bar, you don't know that for sure.

... and no one looks at it unless something happens. Most of it is forgotten, not uploaded to a company which rather creepily claimed to want go right up to the border of being creepy (Schmidt's words, not mine), or be plasteres on the persons blog in perpetuity.

That's also true for most people's blogs - no one looks at them unless something happens like, say, some idiot attacks the person with the camera and blog.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

If you're taking a picture of the floor, or a selfie from a very strange angle, then sure. To take a photograph of anything interesting, you need to hold the phone up and that's obvious.

Here is literally the first result for a Google Image Search for "people texting". The three on the left are indistinguishable from people taking pictures. Flip through that search and I'd say about half of the photos have people holding their phone up in front of their faces. Point being that while some people text while holding their phone down at their waist, apparently just as many do it while holding the phone up to their eyes.

2 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Theaetetus Re:Cameras embedded in contact lenses (140 comments)

So, if something has been published 1000 times in works of fiction, can I still get a patent on it if I write it up in a thoughtful way and define specific details that are only hinted at in the work of fiction? Ex: Contact lenses with cameras aren't new, but maybe nobody ever described how the camera tracks eye movement to adjust the image or focus. Does including such detail make it patentable?

Fiction novels are relevant prior art that can be used to reject a patent application, but can only be used for the material they teach. H.G. Wells' story describes traveling to the moon by cannon: accordingly, it would invalidate a patent claim that recited "A method for traveling to the moon, comprising: being fired at the moon by a giant cannon." But it wouldn't invalidate a patent claim to, say, the space shuttle's main engines; or a method of calculating Lagrange points; or the timing sequence for your multi-engine startup system, etc.

Similarly, a fiction novel that says that contact lenses can include cameras would invalidate a patent claim that recited "A contact lens, comprising: a lens; and a camera attached to the lens, configured to take a picture when the user blinks twice" or something similar. It wouldn't invalidate a patent that claims how you make optically transparent CCDs, or determining proper focus based on relative distance to a second lens, or determining that a blink or sneeze is not actually a picture-taking command. The patent claim would have to include additional limitations that were not described in the fiction story.

2 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Theaetetus Re:The difference... (140 comments)

The thing is glass isn't covert, so clearly the covertness isn't the problem. The problem is that people get irritated when people are casually pointing cameras at them the whole time. They're not interesting enough to be targeted so that's not the problem, the problem is the casualness of the thing.

It's a little more than that, though... remember the story with the Glasshole in the bar from last month who got attacked? That bar - along with most bars - have security cameras. Cameras that are casually pointed at people the whole time.

Not the problem with cell phones since its an effort to take photos and obvious when it's happening.

Taking a photo (with the flash off) can look exactly like the person is texting.

It's the causalness where people wind up being photographed and catalogued by one of the world's largest companies where previously there wasa uninteresting enough to be anonymous that bothers people.

This is the real issue... Glass costs $1500, and many of the people wearing them are in places with huge economic inequality, like SF or NYC, where gentrification and high rents are pushing out people who have lived there for decades. It's not "there's a camera pointed at me", because there's that security camera pointed at you already. Instead, it's "that rich hipster 'entrepreneur' douchebag is pointing a camera at me, and he's supported by a multi-billion dollar company, and where does he get off coming into my neighbor and replacing my cheap pizza joint with his gastropub, and demanding free parking in charger spots for his Tesla? He wants to be Glassed? Well, I'll show him a glass to his face."

It's the same sentiment behind people attacking the Google busses, or the the SF cops that arrested and held a guy in solitary confinement with no charges after finding out that he was a startup founder.

2 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Theaetetus Bad summary (140 comments)

But how the hell did he get a patent so fast?

He didn't. This is a patent application that was just published. Subby can't even blame the article - the headline notes that it's pending, and the article continuously refers to it as a patent filing.

2 days ago
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Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

Theaetetus Watch Dogs Tablet App... (43 comments)

Rather than bribing journalists, it may also have to do with the Watch Dogs tablet/smartphone offline game play features:

This time, however, the demo concluded with a demonstration of a real-time iPad app that supports a kind of meta-game - much in the manner of Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass.

Here players were presented with a wireframe map of futuristic Chicago, drawn in a similar style to the one that used in the press conference demo. The map can be scrolled and zoomed, with pop-up boxes and icons providing real-time information about the game in progress.

"As we said, everything is connected - and we've extended that to mobile devices," said the Ubisoft demonstrator. "We have Chicago in the palm of your hand. Everything that you've seen in the game will be accessible, so different shops - pharmacies, gun shops - will also be available here. You can see everything."

2 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

Right, I can't imagine unlocking a phone would be difficult to find.

Exactly, now you've got it. Once you've got a combination of prior art references that teach or suggest each and every element in the claims, you've got a solid argument that the patent is obvious and therefore invalid.

3 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

Then prove it. To show that something is obvious at the time the video was made, having admitted that the video doesn't show continuous movement, all you need is another reference from the same era that does.

There's plenty, like this one which clearly shows continuous movement dragging a UI element. (see ~5 minute mark)

See? Very simple process... Now, you just combine that video and this one and argue that together they teach or suggest each and every element of the patent claim, and therefore, the claim is invalid as obvious.

Mind you, you still need to find a third reference for the unlocking, but that can't be that hard either, right?

3 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

Now, all along, I've been saying one thing: this is new in view of the video

If you take the video in isolation, yes. But who the hell is doing that? Nobody is arguing that this video alone - irrespective of anything else - is sufficient to disprove Apple's claim. Why would you even point out non-continuous movement?

Maybe you missed most of the other threads here, but yes, many people are saying that this video is enough to disprove Apple's claim. That's why I pointed out non-continuous movement. And as to why you would do that, it's the relevant test under 35 USC 102.

Meanwhile you've been saying "Apple's claim and this video aren't identical, i see 3 frames and can't see any correlation between that and animation of continuous movement", well no shit, nobody ever said they were and nobody is attempting to take this video in isolation to prove or disprove anything. Non-continous movement when dragging a UI element is a side-effect of the technology available at the time the video was made, it is obvious so it is irrelevant.

Then prove it. To show that something is obvious at the time the video was made, having admitted that the video doesn't show continuous movement, all you need is another reference from the same era that does. That is the test for obviousness under 35 USC 103: if a combination of references teaches or suggests each and every element in the patent claim, then it's per se obvious.

But here, I was assuming you would say "no, it is obvious". That's the no.

Yet they got the patent.

No one has found the other references yet. Why, I don't know. Probably because they're too busy arguing that this is so mind-numbingly obvious that they don't need to fulfill the requirements of due process.

3 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

We have a Boolean AND. One input is yes. The other input is no. What's the output?

Why are you making the assumption that the other input is no? I would think the addition of "unlock" on a slider control is pretty obvious, in fact given that almost every real-world representation of such a control does exactly that it is extremely obvious.

Because I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that wasn't clear. The "yes" is "does it pass the test"? Let me try again:

Once more: there are two separate and independent tests (there are really more, but you're already way too confused): (i) novelty, AND (ii) nonobviousness.

We clear? It's a Boolean AND. You have to pass both to get a patent.

Continuing: if you take existing art and add one thing to it, then it's novel.

Stopping there - if you add something to the claim that's not in the prior art, then it's novel, and therefore passes the test under 35 USC 102 and therefore has novelty: "Yes, it passes the first test." That's your first yes.

Continuing, we then ask what the value of the other input to the Boolean AND is: does the claim include something not taught or suggested by any prior art reference? If so, then it's not obvious and passes the test under 35 USC 103

But here, I was assuming you would say "no, it is obvious". That's the no.

Now, what happens when you have a Boolean AND and the inputs are "Yes" and "No"? What's the output?

>But the thing you have continually ignored is that even if you prove it to be novel and non-obvious it is still just an idea and you cannot patent an idea, you can only patent the implementation of an idea. That's the whole point of a patent, to protect a particular implementation, arguing over whether an idea is novel and non-obvious is pointless because it's just an idea.

That's an entirely different question and statute - 35 USC 101, specifically. And in reality, it's a 4-way Boolean AND - you have to pass 101, 102, 103, and 112. If any of those result in a "no", you fail to get the patent. Clear? That's how AND gates work. Now, all along, I've been saying one thing: this is new in view of the video - one input to the gate is "yes". Clear now? For some reason, you've been turning that into "you're saying this is revolutionary and Steve Jobs should get the Nobel prize and be made Emperor of all tech and that's crazy and the patent system is broken and you're stupid and I like turtles!" No. It's simply "new", full stop. Whether it passes any of the other required tests and therefore is a valid patent is an entirely different question - three different questions, in fact.

3 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

OMG. How many times do I have to repeat this? "New" and "non-obvious" are different and distinct requirements.

Yes sorry that should've been or, not and.

I am not arguing that it is "non-obvious". I'm arguing something very, very, very simple: the patent claims X. The prior art video does not show X.

This is what I'm trying to determine, so you can take existing art, add one thing to it then it's patentable? Doesn't that sound a little silly to you? Like I said from the start I'm not saying you're wrong by the legal definition, I'm saying the patent system is royally screwed up if all you need to do is tack something on the end of something existing and it's a patentable "invention".

Yes, that would be incredibly idiotic if it were true. IT'S NOT TRUE.

Once more: there are two separate and independent tests (there are really more, but you're already way too confused): (i) novelty, AND (ii) nonobviousness.

We clear? It's a Boolean AND. You have to pass both to get a patent.

Continuing: if you take existing art and add one thing to it, then it's novel. Now, does that automatically mean it's patentable?
You tell me: We have a Boolean AND. One input is yes. The other input is no. What's the output?

If you think it's yes, then we have to have a whole 'nother discussion before we talk about whether the patent system is screwed up.

3 days ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Theaetetus Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

Whether they're innovative is a separate question, and nothing about that is implied by admitting that, yes, the video shows three frames of movement, while the patent claims "continuous" movement.

For what definition of "continuous"? If you move the slider on the iPhone slowly you can see that it is not continuous, so that's out the window. And simply adding frames is obvious, that's how animation works.

The other element is "unlock", now if you're going to argue that part is new and non-obvious...

OMG. How many times do I have to repeat this? "New" and "non-obvious" are different and distinct requirements. I am not arguing that it is "non-obvious". I'm arguing something very, very, very simple: the patent claims X. The prior art video does not show X. Therefore, with regard to the prior art video, the patent is claiming something new. As I said in the post you're replying to:

Something can be new, but obvious - and similarly, something can be different, but not innovative. As I've said and as you admit, both of the features we're discussing are not shown in the prior art reference - they are different, period, full stop. Whether they're innovative is a separate question, and nothing about that is implied by admitting that, yes, the video shows three frames of movement, while the patent claims "continuous" movement.

I'm trying to be respectful, but it's really getting frustrating when it seems like you ignore everything I actually say, and instead pretend I'm claiming the patent is "non-obvious" or "innovative" or "revolutionary" or wtf else you want to claim I'm saying.

Again, from my initial post:

To show a patent claim is not new, you have to show that a single piece of prior art shows everything in the patent claim. This piece of prior art wouldn't do that, since it doesn't show a hand-held electronic device, doesn't really show "continuous" movement as opposed to switching between several icons, and it doesn't show unlocking a device. But that's just one of the requirements for validity - 35 USC 102...

Another requirement is non-obviousness - 35 USC 103. Under this requirement, you can show that a patent claim is obvious by showing that a combination of prior art references together teach each and every element in the claim and that they could be reasonably combined. So, if the Claim is A+B+C+D and one reference shows A+B and another shows C+D and they could be combined, that shows that the Claim is obvious.

So, for example, if you can find other references that show a hand-held device, continuous movement of an image, and unlocking a device, those combined with this may be enough to show that the Claim is obvious. That should be pretty easy to find.

In short, here's the legal test for novelty; this video doesn't invalidate the claim under that test.
Here's the legal test for obviousness; this video could be combined with another prior art reference to invalidate the claim under that test.

Clear now?

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

Except that's not what she means. From her op-ed:

For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants.

Which is in its very nature another way of stating that combining multiple vaccines is somehow less safe than giving multiple shots, which as far as I know has never been proven.

And yet, simultaneously, is quite different from the "anti-vaccination" position the article claims she has or held. As I said, she's wrong about the science, but that doesn't mean that she's lying about her position.

it does a disservice to people like her who don't understand the science behind vaccinations, and nonetheless want what's best for her kids.

Yes, because they're asking for what feels safer instead of what actually is safer, in this case leaving their children unimmunized for longer than they have to be even if they eventually "catch up" to the full schedule.

Here's the rest of that quote:

No, this whole thing is a hit piece, trying to lump her in with the real anti-vax loonies, and in doing so, it does a disservice to people like her who don't understand the science behind vaccinations, and nonetheless want what's best for her kids. This is not a religious fight with people who will never change their minds, but rather an argument with a bunch of well-meaning idiots who can still be educated... unless we treat it as a religious fight and refuse to try to enlighten them.

If we acknowledge that people want what's safer, even if they're making bad choices about what actually is safer, then we can work towards that common goal and educate them. If, on the other hand, we misrepresent their words in order to call them liars, then they're never going to listen to us, because we've just destroyed our own credibility: if someone sees us misquoting McCarthy or misrepresenting her position, then why should they believe us about what's safe for their kids?

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

And I think she's choosing now to downplay all that to avoid embarassment, or maybe to avoid feeling like she betrayed people - instead of owning up to mistakes and potentially doing a lot of good.

That's true, but if every person who was ever wrong acted conciliatory and apologetic instead of defensive, we'd live in a very different and utopian society.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

I agree that this does harm, but it's mainly because there are real anti-vaxxers who don't get any vaccines, primarily out of religious belief.

There's lots of people who don't get vaccines because they think it'll give their kids autism. Which they think because people, including Jenny McCarthy, told them it did. She held onto this belief, virulently, in the face of a lot of evidence - supporting Dr. What's his name long after it made any sense.

Yeah, but the problem is that if you say "you're listening to someone who is well-meaning, but wrong, and here's why," they'll listen. If you say "you're listening to a liar who wants to kill kids," they won't listen. You're misrepresenting her position in the latter, which reduces your credibility, even if you're 100% right about the science.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

Yeah... Uh, go back to 2008 and listen to her talk, in fairly certain terms, about how vaccines (and fungus and who the hell knows what else) cause autism and mental regression in children. This was when this wave of anti-vaccination scare was just getting going, and she played a big part in popularizing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I don't know if it's in that video, but I remember her saying, pretty much "Would you rather your child have measles, or autism?"

It's referenced in the BA piece. The full quote is:

People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f--king measles.

That's consistent with her stated belief that there are too many vaccinations, given too quickly, and doesn't show any change in her position.

Again, the fact that she's now moderated some of these views doesn't mean she didn't do real harm.

I agree that this does harm, but it's mainly because there are real anti-vaxxers who don't get any vaccines, primarily out of religious belief. The ones who are following McCarthy aren't in that camp, but are simply misinformed and gullible people who want to do the best they can for their kids. Their minds can be changed, but not with hyperbole and misrepresentations.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

Er, sorry - here is the Larry King transcript referenced in my last reply.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:Hit piece (584 comments)

Uhh.. The point of the article is that her op-ed is disingenuous and doesn't correspond to what she has said over the years. Quoting from that op-ed to argue that the article writer isn't giving her true position... well, that's not really grasping the chain of argument here.

The reality is that she's been virulently anti-vaccine over a long period, has played a real part in convincing others to forego vaccination, and is now trying to sell us on something like "she didn't really mean it that way", and pretending she's always held some more moderate position. I mean, go read stuff she wrote years ago.

I did. Did you? Here's a quote from her in January 2011:

Why aren't there any tests out there on the safety of how vaccines are administered in the real world, six at a time? Why have only 2 of the 36 shots our kids receive been looked at for their relationship to autism? Why hasn't anyone ever studied completely non-vaccinated children to understand their autism rate?
These missing safety studies are causing many parents to approach vaccines with moderation. Why do other first world countries give children so many fewer vaccines than we do? What if a parent used the vaccine schedule of Denmark, Norway, Japan or Finland -- countries that give one-third the shots we do (12 shots vs. 36 in the U.S.)? Vaccines save lives, but might be harming some children -- is moderation such a terrible idea?

That seems to coincide with what she's saying now - that she's in favor of slower and reduced vaccination schedules.

Similarly, here's the transcript of her Larry King appearance, where she says (emphasis added):

CARREY: We are not saying don't vaccinate. That's the thing we want to get really clear right now with ...
KING: Let's make it clear.
MCCARTHY: Yeah, we're not.
CARREY: This is the thing. There's a lot of misdirection going on. We hear the Campbell Browns and people like this that are saying, you can't not vaccinate. No one has ever suggested not vaccinating.
MCCARTHY: Go back to 1989 schedule when shots were only 10 and the MMR was on that list. I don't know what happened in 1990, there was no plague that was killing children that we had to triple the amount of vaccines.

Again, that's not anti-vaccination generally, that's opposed to the current schedule. Farther down in the transcript:

HANDLEY: Larry, it's on the old schedule. We welcome the people doing the measles and mumps shot.
KING: You want the measles and mumps shots ...
HANDLEY: Absolutely.
CARREY: Vaccinate for the measles, vaccinate ...
KING: So people are overreacting in canceling that vaccine.
CARREY: Absolutely, and vaccinate for polio. That is on the '89 schedule. But what happened after that?
MCCARTHY: But things like the rotavirus which is a diarrhea vaccine, we say really?
CARREY: If you have access to clean water and health care, it's very difficult to die of diarrhea.

Again, that was 2011. If she's in favor of measles, mumps, and polio vaccinations, it's tough to claim she's anti-vaccination, and you can't really claim she's changed her story by saying she's not anti-vaccination now.

Now, let me be clear - I disagree with her about the science, and don't believe that the vaccinations contain toxins that must be "cleaned out" between rounds, nor do I think there's any link between autism and vaccination. I also think that many of the new vaccinations are great and should be given to kids, such as the HPV vaccination. But this isn't a dichotomy - she's clearly not "anti-vaccination" in any general sense, and she doesn't appear to have changed her argument at all from "let's space out vaccinations and return to the fewer number that were given in the 80s". I can disagree with her without having to call her a liar.

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Re:SImple question to all the anti-medicine greens (584 comments)

I have a simple question to all the anti-tech, anti-medicine, natural-healing, doctors-are-evil, the pharma-companies-are-screwing-us-over, homeopathic, pro-farmers-market, anti-soy, i-hate-genetic-engineering, chemical-additives-are-evil green whackjobs.

Then why are you asking it on Slashdot? Isn't this really just shouting to an echo chamber, and not really attempting to get a response?

4 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Theaetetus Hit piece (584 comments)

McCarthy is being highly deceitful when she says the only wants "safe" vaccines. What she means by safe is: 100% effective with no side effects and no unexpected reactions in anyone. No medicine ever attains that level of "safe." Not even the aspirin you take for a headache. No, vaccines aren't 100% safe, but they are about 99.999% safe. They are certainly much safer than getting the diseases they prevent. If she wants to wait until something is 100% safe before using it, she would have to avoid all modern medicine. That includes the botox that McCarthy loves getting injected with. (Vaccine toxins are bad but botulinum toxin fights wrinkles so it's good!)

Except that's not what she means. From her op-ed:

For my child, I asked for a schedule that would allow one shot per visit instead of the multiple shots they were and still are giving infants.

If, as you say, she refused vaccines until they were 100% effective with no side effects and no unexpected reactions, then she wouldn't be vaccinating her child at all. Instead, she is vaccinating him, just at a slower rate. She even quotes another blogger, saying:

You either fall in line with 40-plus vaccines your doctor recommends on his or her schedule or you’re a wack-job ‘anti-vaxxer.’ Heaven forbid you think the gray zone is an intelligent place to reside and you express doubt or fear or maybe want to spread the vaccines out a bit on this tiny person you’ve brought into the world.

Now, that may not comport with the science, nor is it what the AMA or APA advise, but it's a far cry from being "anti-vax" or lumping her in with people who are opposed to all forms of medicine and use "prayer" instead. Consider this parallel - there are plenty of people who are anti-GMO food, even though there are no scientifically proven adverse effects from it. But we don't brand them "anti-food".

No, this whole thing is a hit piece, trying to lump her in with the real anti-vax loonies, and in doing so, it does a disservice to people like her who don't understand the science behind vaccinations, and nonetheless want what's best for her kids. This is not a religious fight with people who will never change their minds, but rather an argument with a bunch of well-meaning idiots who can still be educated... unless we treat it as a religious fight and refuse to try to enlighten them.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court unanimous: replanting patented seeds is patent infringement

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  about a year ago

Theaetetus (590071) writes "Farmer Vernon Bowman used Monsanto's patented Roundup Ready (herbicide-resistant) soybean seeds for his first planting of the season, but had a bright idea for his second planting: he bought commodity seeds from a grain elevator knowing that most of his neighbor farmers also used Roundup Ready seeds. Bowman planted those seeds and used Roundup herbicide to kill off all of the non-resistant seeds, leaving him with only Roundup Ready seeds, which he then replanted. When Monsanto found out, they sued for patent infringement.

Bowman argued that the doctrine of patent exhaustion applies: similar to the copyright "first sale" doctrine, once a patented article is first sold, the patent owner loses further rights with respect to that item. According to Bowman, since the beans were sold to the grain elevator, he can purchase and replant them freely, right?

Not so, says a unanimous Supreme Court: "Under the patent exhaustion doctrine, Bowman could resell the patented soybeans he purchased from the grain elevator; so too he could consume the beans himself or feed them to his animals. Monsanto, although the patent holder, would have no business interfering in those uses of Roundup Ready beans. But the exhaustion doctrine does not enable Bowman to make additional patented soybeans without Monsanto’s permission (either express or implied).""

Link to Original Source
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Illustrated Guide to Apple-HTC Patents

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Theaetetus writes "Gizmodo has a illustrated guide to the patents Apple is asserting in the pending Apple v. HTC infringement suit. Readers should bear in mind that what is shown, however, is the title, abstract, and representative figure from each patent; the claims, which define the invention, are not shown, so immediate claims of obviousness based on the titles should be taken with a grain of salt."
Link to Original Source
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5th Amendment and PGP: are passwords testimony?

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Theaetetus writes "In a ruling in favor of privacy advocates, a federal Magistrate has quashed a subpoena that would have forced a defendant in a child pornography case to reveal his PGP password. "If [the defendant] does know the password, he would be faced with the forbidden trilemma: incriminate himself, lie under oath, or find himself in contempt of court," the judge said. Under prior case law, courts have distinguished between requiring a defendant to produce a key to a safe, which is constitutional, and requiring a defendant to reveal a safe combination, which is "testimonial" evidence covered by the 5th Amendment. More here and here."
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DNA co-discoverer claims blacks less intelligent

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Theaetetus writes "In a move that will surely raise angry debate, James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, has claimed that "black people are less intelligent than white people and the idea that 'equal powers of reason' were shared across racial groups was a delusion." Criticism has been widespread, with some anti-racism groups calling for Watson's remarks to be looked at in the context of racial hatred laws. Watson has previously found controversy with pronouncements that sex drive is linked to skin color, that "stupidity" could one day be cured through selective breeding, and that exposure to sunlight could make women slutty."
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Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Theaetetus writes "In an interview with USA Today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed there is "no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." He then added that it had less space than a Nomad and was lame."

Journals

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Submitted: Sci-Fi channel pulls Arnold movies

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 10 years ago From a story in the BBC, the Sci-Fi channel has cancelled an All-Arnold Schwarzenegger day that was planned prior to the announcement of his candidacy. Spokeswoman Kat Stein said "we're pulling our Arnold marathon in deference to the electoral process," citing rules that say that all candidates must be given equal airtime.

Instead of the All-Arnold day, viewers will see a day of California disaster films.

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Apple iPod AIFF playback issue (which Apple won't admit to)

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 10 years ago Just in case this story isn't accepted by the editors...

I've recently been involved in a round of returns/repairs with Apple for a 20 GB iPod centering around an issue that is common to all models, including the new ones... but an issue that Apple has conveniently avoided mentioning, and instead taken misleading approaches when dealing with it.

This is a problem that not many people will encounter, but can be very annoying to those who do. When playing an uncompressed audio track (WAV or AIFF) from an iPod, it will stop every 2 minutes and 17 seconds for a few seconds, then continue playback... For another 2:17.
WAV and AIFF playback is supposedly supported: Audio formats supported: - Mac: AAC (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR), WAV, AIFF, Audible (Mac only) - Windows: MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR), WAV [from Apple's iPod spec sheet] so what's the deal here?

The explanation: 2:17 of stereo 44.1kHz, 16-bit audio (what's encoded on a regular CD) is nearly exactly 24 MB... It seems that this is the size of the RAM cache in the iPod (it's actually 32 MB, but the other 8 are used for the system and temporary data, such as volume and EQ settings).
Apparently, what happens in the iPod is that it reads 24 MB at a time off the hard drive into the RAM cache, and then shuts down the hard drive (to prevent skips and save battery). Understandable and reasonable. However, here's the clincher - it only spins up the hard drive and refills the RAM cache AFTER it's emptied.
Rather than doing a refill at say 23 MB or so, giving you a seamless playback, they wait until the buffer is completely used, and then they dump it and do a full refill.

Most people won't notice this issue, since at 160 kbps MP3, you've got 25 minutes before the RAM buffer needs refilling, and a two second skip every 25 minutes is not noticed by most people (particularly since most people will skip to a new song at some point in there, thus resetting the buffer).

However, we've got a couple of misleading things here: Apple never actually lists what the RAM cache is. Instead, they list 'up to 25 minutes of skip protection', without mentioning what the rate used for that is - it could be much more, if you're using mono 32kbps.
Second misleading point is calling it 'skip protection' at all. The other place that term is encountered is in portable CD players - which read-while-writing to the RAM buffer, and have ever since the beginning (back when the RAM buffer was only 5 seconds or so).
Third misleading point is the statement that the iPod supports AIFF and WAV playback... when they should specify that that's only if your files are under 2 minutes in length.

The iPod is still a good piece of hardware, but this cuts down its usefulness as a high-quality playback device, and should be noted by anyone interested in purchasing one for professional playback. Incidentally, none of this is mentioned yet anywhere on Apple's knowledge base.

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UPDATE: Reportedly, this is fixed in Gen 3 iPods. I'm going to buy one and see.

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Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  more than 11 years ago I guess I should introduce myself, really quick, just in case anyone ever reads this.

I'm a 24 year-old audio engineer currently working in the broadcast industry, with 11 years of professional experience within the audio industry (including studio recording and sound reinforcement). I'm the assistant chief engineer of a decent-sized radio group that serves as the NPR outlet for two major market cities. My work is mainly repair/maintenance of electronics, audio gear, and transmitters.
It's the most low-stress job I've ever had.

Aside from the fact that they're a rich non-profit and they pay well, they also appreciate me and my skills as a talented problem solver who can rush in and put out fires before they grow too large. Every day, I get to point to something (or several somethings) and say "I fixed that. It is better for my having been here." While the money is nice, that sense of accomplishment and respect (both self- and from other people) is highly valuable.

If you have any questions regarding audio, electrical engineering, RF, radio/television/film, production, or music, feel free to ask. If you have any opinions regarding politics, religion, or philosophy, feel free to debate.

Thanks,
-T

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