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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Theaetetus Re:What's unclear? (65 comments)

Along with your work, you provide a promise not to sue, giving up all your rights to the work in question. It's clearly illegal to do that with the intent of changing your mind later.

Well, since the armchair /. lawyers will soon descend upon your post spouting off about how you can't enforce anything without a contract, let's just go ahead and get this posted: Promissory Estoppel ;-)

However, as your link notes, the measure of recovery wouldn't be the same as if the contract existed, since there would've been no negotiation and awarding full use of the work would be unjust enrichment. Instead, a court would probably say that there are no royalties due for past infringement, but that you don't get an unlimited right going forward to keep using the work.

7 hours ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Theaetetus Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (680 comments)

First your entire understanding is completely incorrect.

She initially claimed that a RO was needed becuase he was spreading nudes of her, while it was she who posted them publicly when working as a model. A) He did not spread the links (or rather nothing concrete can be found to link him), and B) they were distributed BEFORE the RO was issued; give they were used as justification for one.

Unless you are now arguing that action which promoted the issuance of a RO can then be used as evidence of violating it after issuance?

The police report you linked says that they were distributed in a podcast on 09/20/14. It also says the restraining order was issued on 09/16/14. Now, I'm no mathematician, but I do believe that 9/16 is before 9/20, not after.

Or are you arguing that the police report you provided is fake?

Secondly, I guess you missed the start of the second paragraph, wherein she claims Milo and Gjoni are part of some group whose purpose is to spread doxx information.

Nope, read it. You claimed - and I quote - she "claimed that he and Milo, are part of some professional doxxing organization." I responded that the word "professional" doesn't appear there. Are you now backpedaling on that and admitting that she's only claiming that he's part of a group that doxxes people? Or do you want to double down and claim that use of the word "organization" automatically means it's professional?

Third, if you simply listen to the podcast, it was not Gjoni discussing that information. KoP was, and Gjoni was just present. So even if the information was spread, it was not Gjoni spreading it. A RO may prevent Gjoni from discussing the matter but that does not hold him liable for when others do.

Do you have a copy of the transcript? I can't find one online, so I can't verify. Also, depending on the wording of the restraining order, a judge is still going to crack down on Gjoni if he tries to pull a "I didn't reveal her personal information, the person sitting to my right (reading the note I passed him) revealed her personal information".

Also in followup to this, Gjoni's Lawyer was then doxxed and threatened; and the doxxer is now being sued.

First, got a link? Second, I'm not sure how this is relevant to what we're discussing. Is there any claim that Quinn was the doxxer?
Incidentally, if by Gjoni's lawyer, you mean Mike Cernovich, I really hope he's not claiming to be Gjoni's lawyer, because he's not a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and unlicensed practice of law can get him huge sanctions.

RalphRetort has the rest of the links but I am opting not to share them directly due to doxxing issues.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. You can't provide a citation because you're afraid of being doxxed?

yesterday
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Theaetetus Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (680 comments)

OR how as part of the gag order, she claimed that Gjoni spread internet links to nude pictures of her, while failing to mention these were images she had made public of her own volition, while working as a model/camgirl.

And claimed that he and Milo, are part of some professional doxxing organization, despite in reality they had never spoken prior to GG

http://theralphretort.com/wp-c...

*Police report obtained via FOIA

First, your link doesn't say what you claim it says. The word "professional" never appears anywhere in there, nor "paid", "compensation", or anything else that might imply it was a professional organization.

Second, the police report indicates that the restraining order forbid any posting of her personal information by Gjoni. But, as you admit, Gjoni spread internet links to nude pictures of her. Regardless of who put them up initially, it certainly seems like you're admitting he violated the restraining order.

Restraining orders are explicit orders to not do certain things. If you do them, you're in deep shiat, even if they seem to make no sense at the time. For example, when people with restraining orders who are told to stay away from each other due to a domestic fight later reconcile and get back together without first going to a court and having the order withdrawn go to jail. If the order tells Gjoni not to post any personal information about Quinn, and he posts a copy of a white pages entry naming her, he's still in violation of the order. There's no "sure, I posted personal information, but other people did too" or "sure I posted personal information, but it wasn't secret" defenses. You simply can't do it, or you're in violation.

2 days ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Theaetetus Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (680 comments)

I'm starting to think this gamer gate is just another grouping of right wing nuts.

No, that's been researched. GG is mostly left of center. This is authoritarian left (SJWs like Quinn, Alexander, Grayson, McIntosh, Chu, etc) vs libertarian left (GG).

Say what? GG's supporters include writers at Breitbart, Ed Morrisey at Hot Air, conservative Adam Baldwin, Christina Hoff Sommers, etc. This is Tea Party-style "libertarians" and conservatives against progressives.

2 days ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Theaetetus Re:Link please? (680 comments)

Brianna Wu? Brianna "I don't know when I can return to my home [and spend the night and fall asleep without fear], from whence I am giving this interview [during the daytime with lots of people around]" Wu?

FTFY. HTH. HAND.

2 days ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

Theaetetus Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (680 comments)

Anita has even openly stated that she hates video games.

[Citation needed]

2 days ago
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Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

Theaetetus Re:"Engineer" (78 comments)

An actual engineer would have at least figured out a way to make 1 optical drive read discs from both systems.

They're both SATA Blu-Ray drives. Seems like it should be possible, but would need a SATA data splitter (which doesn't exist), or a switch to flip all of the data pins between each motherboard. In SATA, that's only really 4 pins, since the other three are ground, so a 4-pole 2-way switch should do it... but you'd be killing the shielding, common mode noise rejection between pairs, etc. at the switch. So, while theoretically, it might work, in practice it may just spit out drive errors. At least one advantage is that the SATA spec includes up to a 1m cable length, and you'd only need about 10 centimeters, tops.

about a week ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

I'm pointing to the idea of popularity of an invention being nonobvious as an indicator that the idea was also nonobvious.

I don't see why the burden of proof is not on you for this claim.

First, because of the way the patent act is written - it says that if a patent application can't be shown to be obvious, then it will be issued. That makes sense logically, because proving that something is nonobvious after having disclosed it is going to be nigh-difficult if not impossible. What are you going to do, wipe everyone's memory and then quiz them?

Second, even disregarding that, I've already met the burden of proof - I provided evidence in the form of "you admitted this is valuable" and "this didn't exist". Together, that indicates it was probably not obvious, or someone would have done it. It's your turn to rebut it, with evidence, not just saying "it's clearly obvious".

And as of yet, you have pointed to no indicators as to whether something is obvious.

The indicator I am using is the metric that the invention in question could have been invented even if the patent had not been granted. We can never know this in the absolute sense that we can't change the past and see how it affects the future, but I think reasonable people can agree that a blue and gold polka dot smartphone could be invented even without a patent

Of course the invention in question could have been invented - it was invented, or else we wouldn't be talking about it. Your indicator is essentially "this was invented, therefore it could have been invented, and since it could have been invented, no one had to invent it because it was obvious". That circular logic applies to everything from the space shuttle to cancer vaccines.

(i.e. the R&D costs of figuring out how to do it are negligible compared to a phone of any other color)

The implementation costs are negligible... the R&D costs - figuring out that it is an improvement, doing user testing, etc., are quite high compared to the implementation costs... and, I believe, that ratio was your metric indicating it should be patentable.

Tell that to Zynga, or any of the indie designers they've ripped off.

If this were not true, then no one would ever design any games or software seeing as how unprofitable it would be.

Well, there's a lot of shovelware out there, and not much in the way of new designs, you'll notice. It's starting to become like Atari in the 80s.

On the contrary, it's pretty easy. [youtube.com]

Writing an application that mimics some very small subsection of a much larger UI is not very hard. If this was all there was to Apple's UI, then they *really* don't deserve a patent. This software is an "easy copy" of Apple's UI like how a picture of a Ferrari is an "easy copy" of a real Ferrari. Is it easy to copy a Ferrari? Maybe yes, maybe no, but a picture of a Ferrari is not proof that it is easy (unless you have a very low standard for what counts as a Ferrari).

However, once you can buy a Ferrari and take it apart, it's pretty easy to copy with a machine shop and some skilled workers. And since we're not talking about the engine, but the UI, it's even easier to make a body case of a Ferrari and build a fiberglass look-alike. I'd give a Hollywood special effects shop a week, tops.

Similarly, I'd give a team of Russian hackers a week or two to reverse engineer any UI you build, even if it took you months and months of trial and error and alternate designs to come up with the best one.

But they also come up with new aspects, which is why the UIs are evolving. Those new aspects that others copy, because they believe they're the best aspects, must not have been obvious, or they would already have been incorporated - since, as you say, they're acknowledged as the "best".

By this definition of obvious, *nothing* would ever be obvious because for anything, there was a point in time at which it didn't exist.

You're confusing "new" and "nonobvious" - they're actually two different statutes. If something has never been done before, then it's new, by definition. However, if all of the pieces of it had been done separately and they could be readily combined, then it's obvious, even though it's new. Peanut butter sandwiches are known; tuna fish sandwiches are known. Maybe no one ever put them together, because yech, so it's "new", but it's also an "obvious" combination of known elements.

But if the patent claim was peanut butter + tuna + [previously unknown substance], then that's not obvious, no matter how obvious peanut butter + tuna would be.

In the definition above, the UI designers come up with new aspects, which others than copy. Those new aspects haven't been done before. When the resulting UI is "known aspect" + "known aspect" + new aspect, then it's not obvious.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

I think you are confusing the idea of an invention being obvious and the idea of the popularity of an invention being obvious.

I am not saying that it is obvious whether any idea will be popular.

I'm pointing to the idea of popularity of an invention being nonobvious as an indicator that the idea was also nonobvious. And as of yet, you have pointed to no indicators as to whether something is obvious.

We are talking about copying the design of a piece of software, and incorporating it into your own software in order to sell. The cost of this is not negligible at all. In fact it is probably pretty close to the actual cost of designing it in the first place in many cases.

Tell that to Zynga, or any of the indie designers they've ripped off.

Go ask someone to recreate IOS or android or windows UI for use in your own product to sell. This cost will not be negligable. Nor can you just drag and drop some files to have that UI magically appear in your own application.

On the contrary, it's pretty easy.

All of these UIs have copied the best aspects (from their point of view) of the others, which is why there is a lot of co-evolution happening among UI design.

But they also come up with new aspects, which is why the UIs are evolving. Those new aspects that others copy, because they believe they're the best aspects, must not have been obvious, or they would already have been incorporated - since, as you say, they're acknowledged as the "best".

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

Was it? Here's the thing - you already admitted this was valuable. If making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you knew it, wouldn't you do it? Of course you would, you're a smart guy who likes money. Or, conversely, if making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you didn't know it, then that would explain why you didn't do it. So, when someone subsequently comes out with a gold and blue polkadot phone and their sales shoot up, you can't very well say "pff, that's obvious, I knew about that all along... I just didn't do it because I hate making money" and expect to be believed.

You seem to be reasserting the claim that something can not be obvious if no one has done it yet. It is this very claim that I am disputing.

While it may not be obvious that people will like a blue and gold polkadot phone, it should be plainly obvious that such a phone could be made and how it could be made, even if no one ever makes one.

Not exactly... I'm asserting the claim that if no one has done something yet and it's commercially valuable to do so, then it's likely not obvious. Evidence of that is the fact that if it was obvious, someone would have taken the free money. Because no one has, that implies no one thought of it.
You're disputing this by saying "no, it's plainly obvious." Well, that's a fine conclusion, but where's your evidence?

If X is the the price of R&D and Y is the price of copying it, we should allow patents on products with a high X:Y ratio.

Sure, let's go with that - the price of copying software is negligible, while the price of designing it is comparatively huge. In fact, the copying price is so small - a click and drag, in one scenario - that the ratio approaches or exceeds that of pharmaceuticals, where at least you have to make a physical product. So, software should be patentable, and expensive machines may not be patentable, depending on how closely the cost to build them approaches or exceeds the design cost.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

Is it? If so, why don't we have it already in products?

For the same reason we didn't have smartphones until processors, batteries, screens, etc were at a level to make smartphones possible.

Once we had sensors like the kinect, the necessity for good ui drives the innovation.

Kinect came out in Nov. 2010. It seems like you're admitting that it wasn't obvious until at least then, no?

Prove it - explain why it was so obvious that people already knew about it, but no one bothered making it.

Something doesn't need to exist for it to be obvious. I can make a smartphone that is some color that no one has ever used to make a smartphone. Should I be able to patent smartphones of a particular RGB value? Or was it obvious that it this was always possible to make a smartphone of any arbitrary color regardless of whether or when anyone actually did it?

Was it? Here's the thing - you already admitted this was valuable. If making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you knew it, wouldn't you do it? Of course you would, you're a smart guy who likes money.
Or, conversely, if making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you didn't know it, then that would explain why you didn't do it.
So, when someone subsequently comes out with a gold and blue polkadot phone and their sales shoot up, you can't very well say "pff, that's obvious, I knew about that all along... I just didn't do it because I hate making money" and expect to be believed.

Why would you spend millions or billions of dollars to create and test a drug only to have some other company copy it and undercut you.

Why would you spend hundreds of thousands or millions on UI design to create and test a UI only to have some other company copy it and undercut you? In fact, why would you spend any money on research, if someone can just steal yours freely (and you can steal theirs)?

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:Not very broad (105 comments)

Hopefully, I'm not falling for the bait.

I don't understand how you think this rates a patent.

Actually, I'm trying to guide you towards addressing the patent claims, rather than some vague gist of the idea... The claims are the only part of the patent that matters, not the title, not the abstract, etc. In order to call the claims obvious, you have to show that all of the elements in the claims existed in the prior art and could be reasonably combined by someone of skill in the art. Saying "mice exist and can do gestures" is a useful first step, but the claims recite a sensor that receives "a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device" and I'm sure you'll readily agree that a mouse doesn't do that.

Using well-known protocols and scripts already out there in the world I rigged my son's laptop to wake when he walks into the room.

Did you do that before 2011?

This constitutes a gesture in 3D space by the loosest criteria. If you read my post, I said that the patent on the sensing device and related firmware is fair, as that is what is determining the discrete actions in 3D space.

Probably not after the Microsoft Kinect, actually.

However, patenting a response to an input which has very broad and very frequently used precedent is dubious at best.

Except that you haven't proven it... You've said mice exist, sure, but I'm sure you'll also admit that a mouse doesn't actually read on this. You've said there are well-known protocols and scripts and that it's very frequently used... But just saying "prior art exists" doesn't mean anything unless you can actually name that prior art: which protocols? Which scripts?

As soon as the kinect came out dozens of people starting working on how to make the gesture capability do everything (even the impractical) via gesture. So the idea is neither obscure nor non-obvious.

But was it at the time? The Kinect was released in Nov. 2010. This patent is from early 2011. It may be obvious now, but you can only prove that by showing prior art that existed at the time.

The code implementation will be unique and thus protected via copyright,

Copyright isn't useful for protecting code. See, e.g. Dream Heights/Tiny Tower, Farmville/Farm Town, Candy Crush Saga/dozens of similar games, MS Office/Open Office, etc., etc. It's great when people want that specific thing, like the latest Avengers movie rather than a Bollywood superhero movie, or Harry Potter rather than "Larry Kotter, Boy Wizard", but it's useless when the software is fungible.

... and the gestures may be enforceable via trademark or copyright.

Not sure if serious. You can't get a trademark or copyright on a gesture.

This patent ranks right up there with "swipe-to-unlock" which again mimics a mouse movement in a different medium, making it stupidly obvious.

And yet, no one had anything like it before swipe-to-unlock came out, and lots of people immediately copied it. That indicates it wasn't stupidly obvious prior to Apple's disclosure of it.

IF they did something super spiffy like authenticating the user via Fitbit, audible pacing of footsteps, and a gesture then the patent still would not be on the concept, it would be on the aggregation of the data in such a manner that it constitutes and unique representation of the user. Definitely patentable, but probably more profitable to keep under lock and key copyrighted.

As noted above, if you write your own code to do that, you don't violate copyright. Copyright is useless for 90% of software. It only works in cases where there are proprietary formats of data, so you need to get the specific program rather than a competitor's, and lack of interoperability is a bad thing for consumers.

The only reason that Apple wants this patent is to "rent-seek" and inhibit competition on an obvious and ubiquitous feature while they can get away with it in court.

If you're rent seeking, you're not inhibiting competition - i.e. if you're receiving royalties for your patent, then someone must be practicing it.
No, Apple wants this patent to force competitors to come up with other ways of doing the same thing, because Apple believes theirs is more intuitive and will be preferred by consumers. I doubt they would ever grant a license to this patent.

For reference: http://www.sensiblevision.com/... http://openkinect.org/wiki/Pro... http://youtu.be/Krcguf4HO8Q MIT demo of gesture navigation in 3D space, sensors are different, concept... the same. http://youtu.be/UtozGpoDhwk Same sort of interaction via camera.

Yes, and? No one is claiming Apple invented cameras or gestures. Remember, you have to focus on the claims of the patent, not just "it's a patent on gestures, so if I find any mention of a gesture, I've invalidated it."

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

You'll notice that I was not arguing against patents in general. I was arguing that patents like *this* one do not drive innovation, specifically because "inventions" like this one are so obvious that they would have been invented without the incentive of a monopoly.

Is it? If so, why don't we have it already in products?

The question "is it more valuable to make this than not" drives innovation. Patents drive adding those innovations into the public domain, which eliminates the need for every competitor to waste time reinventing the same thing.

This particular "invention" would already be in the public domain by default had it not been patented because it is obvious.

Prove it - explain why it was so obvious that people already knew about it, but no one bothered making it.

This "invention" was already more valuable to make than not before the patent,

Then someone would have made it. Free money on the table, right? They already have the idea, it's valuable to make even without a patent, so you should be able to point to at least one product including it...

Unless, of course, it wasn't obvious.

I am for granting patents that actually drive innovation (i.e. the ones that turn inventions from being less profitable to make to more).

Patents only on things that aren't valuable to produce? Why would people buy them? Or are you suggesting that with a patent will also come a mandate forcing the public to buy products they don't want? Please, we don't do that in this c-... well, we don't do that for anything except insurance.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:Not very broad (105 comments)

Just so you know... ppl have been doing this for a while using webcams or motion sensors or mice...

The sensing device, which is not part of the patent provides the input, essentially the patent boils down to "Move the mouse in an axis 20cm and the computer will unlock."

Mice are certainly sensing devices, but they don't receive "a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device" as recited by the patent claim.

By "doing this for a while", you may mean "doing something vaguely similar, but lacking the steps explicitly recited in the patent claim", which is why those don't invalidate the claim.

The software to interface with said sensing device should be copyrighted if the owner wishes that protection but the action of unlocking a computer with a sensor input, should not be patentable... because it is fracking obvious.

Sure, it is, because you just read a Slashdot story telling you the idea. If I tell you a joke, then turn around and tell you the setup again, the punchline is "obvious" because you just heard it. The question is not whether something is obvious after it has been explained to you, but whether it's obvious before. Or specifically, whether the invention was obvious at the time of filing the patent application, and not after you've read all about it.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Theaetetus Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (105 comments)

The whole point of patents is to drive innovation. Being able to patent things like this is clearly not in the spirit of that goal.

Why not? Clearly, it's not so clear to Congress, so what's your reasoning as to why this is not in the spirit of driving innovation?

The question we should be asking is:

If a patent was not granted for this "invention" (i.e. a monopoly for selling this invention not granted), would it still have been invented (i.e. would a company still be willing to perform the R&D necessary to invent this invention without the reward of a monopoly).

It's pretty clear to me that the answer to this question is yes.

If this is the case, then granting a patent (i.e. a monopoly for selling this invention) actually stifles innovation.

Respectfully, that question is a bit naive. Patents aren't really about encouraging innovation, they're about encouraging public disclosure of innovations, as opposed to keeping them under trade secret or restrictive contracts. Without patents, would a company still invent this? Sure, it seems to be a commercially valuable advantage over a device lacking it. What would they do instead? Have purchasers sign non-reverse engineering contracts, non-disclosure agreements, restrictions on sales, etc. And those contracts could actually grant more rights than patents, since there's nothing to say they'd have to expire after 20 years or wouldn't include the first sale doctrine or patent exhaustion, nor could they be invalidated by prior art, etc., etc.

The question "is it more valuable to make this than not" drives innovation. Patents drive adding those innovations into the public domain, which eliminates the need for every competitor to waste time reinventing the same thing.

about two weeks ago
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Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

Theaetetus Re:A Stern Talk (103 comments)

So this company commits fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, illegal conversion, grand theft, and extortion (and probably a litany of other crimes I can't think of off the top of my head), and all they're going to get is a finger wagging???!!

Saying that someone could be liable under U.S. law is not fraud, even if they're in Canada. Yes, if they decide to move tomorrow to the U.S., they could be sued.

A bigger issue is that you appear to just have publicly accused the company of all sorts of crimes (many of which, you know nothing about - illegal conversion, really?). Are you going to complain that you only get a finger wagging for libel?

about two weeks ago
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Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

Theaetetus Re:How is it misleading? (103 comments)

I hereby sue you for breaking the English obscenity laws while you were sitting at home yesterday.

See the problem now?

Nope. You can bring a suit for anything you want. First, you'll have to serve me with notice. Second, you'll have to get a default judgement (which will be easy, because I'm not going to show up or pay anyone to show up). Third, you'll have to get an enforcement order, since I'm not going to voluntarily pay. Fourth, you'll have to wait for me to visit England to enforce that enforcement order. And Fifth, as soon as I do visit, I get the default judgement reversed and you lose at summary judgement. So, you're out the cost of all of those earlier motions and orders, plus, in England, as the losing party, you'd also have to pay my costs for step 5.

But this has nothing to do with international borders. Say I sue you in Mass. and you're in California. If you don't show up, I can get a default judgement, same as above. And when you do finally visit Mass. and I try to enforce it, you can get the default thrown out and we go to trial.

about two weeks ago
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Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

Theaetetus Re:How is it misleading? (103 comments)

Seriously? Do you think everybody in the world should be subject to the laws of all 196 countries in the world? The only way the US could get its claws on a foreign national residing in his own native country would be rendition or kidnapping. I doubt Canada would extradite a Canadian citizen to the US. The response would probably be something like "are you fucking kidding me?".

Actually, the dialogue would go like this:
Rightscorp: "We're suing this guy for copyright infringement."
U.S.: "Okay."
fnj: "You can't extradite him!"
U.S.: "No one asked to. It's a civil suit."
fnj: "No kidnapping either!"
Rightscorp: "Gracious, no. We just want money."
fnj: "Canada will resist any attempts to extradite or kidnap its citizens!!"
U.S.: "... we're going to stand over there now."

about two weeks ago
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Doxing -- Something To Expect More of In 2015

Theaetetus Re:That is not doxing (171 comments)

Doxing is releasing private information to the public. Names and addresses are not private information. Drama queens have tried to redefine this in vain attempts to control who gets to use the information they've already provided online.

Eg: John Doe posts a blog entry loaded with clickbait fallacy under his real name, looking for a reaction to boost his lack of self esteem and gain e-prestige, but wasn't ready for criticism. When his post doesn't quite get the attention he was looking for, some type his name into a search engine and find his address and telephone and post this already public information on some forum. If he gains a lot of notoriety, some will go further, armed with the already public info to pick away at what else may be public, but not published like his name and address. Rather than address his shoddy argument, he claims he was 'doxed' instead, ignoring the fact it was his fault for associating his real name with his post in the first place.

In both cases, it is done to harass and threaten the poster, with the explicit statement, "I know where you live" and the implicit statement "and therefore could attack you in person." It is done by people who want to silence others, because they cannot respond to their arguments substantively and have to resort to calling them "clickbait fallacy" posted by "drama queens".

about three weeks ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

Theaetetus Re:What if... human's just weren't cut out for it? (272 comments)

But, at the end, there is just no purpose for universe colonization once we have reached the point we are able to make the journey to a solar system distant from ours by three light-years. We would have reached the point we can sustain life into the void without the Sun's energy for long periods of time and we are able to travel in mass on such a ship (required by the necessity of genetic diversity to survive as a spiece). What else is then needed?

Resources. Sustaining life for long periods of time without the Sun's energy merely requires a good energy storage system - for example, batteries that power a flashlight at night. At some point, you need fresh batteries - or fuel for your reactors, heavy metals for manufacturing, etc.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court unanimous: replanting patented seeds is patent infringement

Theaetetus Theaetetus writes  |  about a year and a half 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).""

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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."
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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 7 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 7 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 11 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 11 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 12 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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