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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

drcln Re:Wait a minute (986 comments)

I read the statement, and I can't figure out why Groklaw is shutting down.

Discourse about FOSS should not have to be encrypted.

This is stupid.

Precisely. This whole thing seems a bit dramatic. Groklaw was not political. Its work was based as far as I can tell on discussion of public events, and wasn't collecting or leaking or discussing anything that wasn't already in the open. So, while I'm as outraged as the next guy about the constant ubiquitous surveillance state, I don't see how it prevents the work that Groklaw was doing. We can't just stop having public discourse about public issues.

There are still ways to keep private conversations private, so do that as necessary.

about 8 months ago
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Google Keep End-of-Life Date Forecasted

drcln Re:I don't understand all the anger over Google (164 comments)

There was no contractual obligation in play. What responsibility does Google have to spend time and money on infrastructure on products that are used by the minority of people?

It's not hate, its disgust at the stupidity of it all. Google created these ancillary products to draw people into the Googlesphere, and it worked. As someone from Google has said "The lifetime value of a Chrome user is enormous." Google's ancillary projects drew in people and Google prospered.

In the short term, Google can kill the products that are marginally effective in drawing in new eyeballs, but that sound you hear as they cancel projects that drew people in is the sound of people heading for the exits. That smoke is from the burning of bridges.

Google's near sighted cancelation of today's well liked projects is erecting barriers to acceptance of its future offereings. Google's real product is people, and Google is polluting its product stream with disapointed people who are tiring of learning to use a tool only to have it taken away. Not a good long term strategy.

I won't be using Google+, or Google Docs, or or Google Drive, or Keep, or Google's NIK software, or Chrome, and definitely not a Chromebook, since any of these can disapear or be rendered unusable on a whim.

1 year,28 days
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

drcln I-64 has had something like this for years (174 comments)

In the U.S. state of Virginia, Interstate 64 runs east–west through the middle of the state from West Virginia to the Hampton Roads region, a total of 298 miles (480 km). It is notable for crossing the mouth of the harbor of Hampton Roads on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the first bridge-tunnel to incorporate man-made islands. Also noteworthy is a section through Rockfish Gap, a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which was equipped with an innovative system of airport-style runway lighting embedded into the pavement to aid motorists during periods of poor visibility due to fog or other conditions.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_64_in_Virginia

A lighting system within the pavement to help designate lanes automatically activated by fog sensors was installed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve safety during such weather conditions.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockfish_Gap

about a year ago
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MPAA Boss Admits SOPA and PIPA Are Dead, Not Coming Back

drcln Re:I hate to be that guy, but... (186 comments)

I have a bad feeling that something worse is waiting for us down the line...

Exactly. That something worse will be the persistent steady erosion of rights and the criminalization of activities with extreme penalties. Bit by bit they will get what they want. Their mistake was grabbing at the powers they wanted too fast.

In the U.S. they've won on the constitutionality of statutory damages that bear no relation to actual harm. Essentially that is a private criminalization of a commercial tort.
They're winning on extradition more than they are loosing.
Megaupload is gone. Everyone else is scared.
In Japan, downloading a song is now a criminal act that can get you two years in jail.
And on, and on . . .

So, do they really need SOPA or PIPA?

about a year and a half ago
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US Court Sides With Gene Patents

drcln Re:The sky is falling...not. (255 comments)

It's on the gene itself.

That's what makes this so mind-blowingly stupid. And to have the judge say that this is not a naturally occurring molecule (wait, people *manufacture* cancer genes?) sets bag of shit on the steps of the courthouse alight.

Actually, the patent claims cover an isolated chemical reagent comprised of nucleic acids having a sequence that corresponds to a sequence found in the gene, not the gene itself. The claim only covers molecules that have been either isolated or made. Perhaps you have heard of PCR. The product of PCR generally does not occur in that form in nature. It is a manufactured nucleic acid. It is not a naturally occurring gene. The claim does not cover any gene as it naturally occurs in a person.

about a year and a half ago
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Thomas Jefferson: Scientist, Inventor, Gadgeteer

drcln Jefferson's Opinion of Patents Changed (220 comments)

Jefferson's position on the granting of patents [1]changed through the years. In his article "Godfather of American Invention," Silvio Bedini notes that in 1787 Jefferson's opposition to monopoly in any form led him to oppose patents.[2] But by 1789, Jefferson's firm opposition had weakened. Writing to James Madison, Jefferson said he approved the Bill of Rights as far as it went, but would like to see the addition of an article specifying that "Monopolies may be allowed to person for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding --- years, but for no longer term and for no other purpose."[3] Also in 1789, while Jefferson was still in Paris, the first patent act was introduced during the first session of Congress and enacted into law April 10, 1790. Under the new law, the Secretaries of War and State and the Attorney General constituted a three-man review board, with the Secretary of State (Jefferson), playing the leading role. Two months after the law was passed, Jefferson remarked it had "given a spring to invention beyond his conception."[4]

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/patents

Thomas Jefferson was the first patent examiner and granted quite a few patents.

about 2 years ago
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Best Buy Scans Drivers License For Returns — No More Allowed For 90 Days

drcln Re:They're on their way out anyways (503 comments)

Every interaction I've had with Best Buy has been more agravation than it was worth. I once ordered a camera from them online for store pickup. They rang it up and then handed me the box, which I opened at the counter. What they tried to give me was a scratched and abused display model. So, I had to go through a return before even leaving the store. Only after complaining to a manager did they find, surprise, they did have some new unopened boxes under the counter. Then they rang up a new sale. I guess I'm on their "returns expensive items" list.

Best Buy deserves to be out of business.

about 2 years ago
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What's Not To Like About New iPad?

drcln I Like Mine (617 comments)

Mine works great. No complaints here. I see a lot of complaints from people that clearly don't have one. Your opinions have been noted and will be given the consideration merited. That is all.

about 2 years ago
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Copyright Claim Sets Back Cognitive Impairment Testing

drcln Re:Sweet 16 vs MMSE (116 comments)

According to the article, an alternative test called Sweet 16 was produced and was subsequently killed by the MMSE copyright owners' legal action. It sounded like the Sweet 16 used completely new copy but similar logic. Can you copyright logic if all the words are completely different? I'd love to see a comparison of those two tests.

On a side note, I hope no one owns the copyright on the eye chart. I like getting my eyes checked every year or two.

If the logic is germane to the item in question, yes you can copyright logic. Think of it as music and the logic is the step changes from note to note. Changing all the notes to a different key isn't unique enough to say it is a different work.

Sorry, that analogy is wrong. A change of key, or simply swapping all the variable names, is simply not a deemed a meaningful difference for copyright purposes. That does not mean one can copyright facts or logic.

Copyright protects only unique novel expression. Copyright will not protect a generic question requiring the subject to remember three items. One cannot copyright the fact that a person who cannot remember three items is probably impaired. But, copyright might protect the manner in which the question is phrased, or the manner in which the significance of various responses is explained. Still, it should be possible for someone to produce a copyright free replacement test based on the underlying facts of nature.

However, the limits of copyright protection do not prevent an aggressive copyright troll from asserting broader protection than they are entitled to. It can be expensive for a person who produces a free replacement test to defend their rights.

more than 2 years ago
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NHS Moving To Cloud For Security

drcln Counterintuitive (69 comments)

Its counterintuitive, and that is why it will work.
No one would think to look for confidential information "in the clouds?"

more than 2 years ago
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More Users Are Shunning Facebook

drcln Since before it was cool (411 comments)

I've been shunning Facebook since before it was cool to shun Facebook. Am I cool now?

more than 2 years ago
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The Science of Lightsabers

drcln Re:Why did this get posted? (232 comments)

ceoyoyo said:

Come on. Half the comments on this story are probably going to be better than this dork's.

Not so far.

more than 2 years ago
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Connecticut AG Opts For Street View Settlement, Without Seeing the Data

drcln Re:Can someone please explain to me how it is that (93 comments)

When the government wants data from Google, Google can "steadfastly refuse". But when the government wants data from Average Joe, they just bust his door down with a SWAT team and confiscate everything.

Google has lawyers. (Haven't you been paying attention?)

more than 3 years ago
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Fighting Ad Blockers With Captcha Ads

drcln Site Broken, Moving On (450 comments)

Since I won't even see the ad in the first place, it will appear to me that the site is broken and I will just move on to a site that isn't broken. These people have already lost me. For the people that do see the ad, I expect that the reaction of many people will be to immediately start seeking a circumvention. So, this escalation is just going to result in higher market share for ad blocking equipped browsers.

When pop-up ads got to be so obnoxious that people were abandoning IE for pop-up blocking browsers, even Microsoft put in a pop-up blocker. This proposal is so obnoxious that if it becomes widespread, you might even see Captcha circumvention built into the next version of Windows.

more than 3 years ago
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British Teen Jailed Over Encryption Password

drcln Re:Different in the USA? (1155 comments)

No, actually the fifth amendment does not protect you from being compelled to turn over a diary or other personal files. You can be jailed for failure to turn over papers and files even of a personal nature. You can be jailed for concealing evidence and refusing to permit access. In this respect, a password is no different than the location of a concealed diary, which you can be compelled to disclose.

You can not be compelled to admit guilt, but you can be compelled to provide access to physical or documentary evidence that may prove guilt.

more than 3 years ago
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iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

drcln Re:It does "simply work" (479 comments)

What real-world use are you talking about? I'm not even activating my iPhone 4 until I get my bumper in the mail I just ordered.

Mine works fine and I am not returning it. I can only get the bars to drop by wetting my skin and squeezing firmly at the joint in the band. I won't be doing that when I make a call. You shoud activate yours and get some real world use out of it.

more than 3 years ago
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Consumer Reports Can't Recommend iPhone 4

drcln Re:Suprising (507 comments)

I wouldn't recommend it either.

Do you even have one? My iPhone4 works fine, at least as good as my Blackberry and at least as good as the old KRZR it replaced. I have to work pretty hard to replicate the drop in "bars." But then, I don't have sweaty palms.

Even when I try to hold it with my hand at covering the bottom corners, I see a drop in bars and still I get working service everywhere except in the same dead spots where my old phone dropped calls. I think the haters without iPhones are making more of this than its practical effect warrants.

more than 3 years ago
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IE Market Share Falls To Historic Low

drcln Re:P.S. NEVER start a sentence with "but" (472 comments)

Why not? You can't express certain thoughts without doing that.

Sure you can. However, it is shorter to use "but."

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Begins Selling HD Movies On Its PSN

drcln Re:Titles to "own" (153 comments)

To "own"? Let's not kid ourselves here... there's no real ownership involved . . ..

"To watch as many times as you like but only on your PS3 and only for as long as you keep your PS3 and don't erase the file or the hard drive fails or something else goes wrong" does not sound as snappy as "to own." But, I don't mind the idea of paying for content with limitations and that won't necessarily last forever, as long as the pricing is in line with the limitations. This pricing scheme provides no reason to buy from PSN.

more than 4 years ago

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