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Microsoft Files Legal Action Against Samsung Over Android Patent Dispute

james_gnz Re: Laugh all the way to the bank (83 comments)

"In very rare circumstances do you ask a court to rule on a contract before anything has happened." -- queazocotal

That's my understanding too--a court generally gets involved when someone alleges someone else has broken the law, not when someone is considering doing something and wants to check it won't break the law. I expect Dixie_Flatline got the opposite view from the linked Microsoft or WinBeta articles, both of which imply otherwise (although neither directly state it). I'd hazard a guess that the WinBeta article is largely parroting the Microsoft one, and my feeling is that neither are particularly reliable sources.

about a month ago
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Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

james_gnz Re:Who is being taxed, exactly? (322 comments)

How about instead of playing five knuckle shuffle while attempting to funnel more money into the government coffers we instead look at ways to sequester the carbon emissions and perhaps replace them with naturally economically viable solutions?

Governments could put more money into research, but it would still have to come from somewhere (not that I'm saying this is necessarily a bad idea, but I think it's a false dichotomy).

The entire idea behind cap and trade is to restrict usage and it hits the poor the worse.

Yes, but everything hits the poor worse. If food prices rise as a result of increasing crop failures, this would hit the poor worse too.

about 3 months ago
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Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

james_gnz Re:The Great Depression was made longer and deeper (322 comments)

It's a trade-off (so to speak). Whether or not it's a good idea depends on what the comparison is between the costs that would be caused by tariffs and the costs that would be avoided by tariffs.

about 3 months ago
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The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

james_gnz Re:re; You Should? (600 comments)

I agree. I have enough trouble remembering my own age. Besides, what if the scientists got it wrong, and the universe is really 13.7 or 13.9 billion years old?

about 4 months ago
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W3C Group Proposed To Safeguard User Agent State Privacy

james_gnz Re:An even better idea. (76 comments)

The costs of patent litigation exceed their investment value in all industries except chemistry and pharmaceuticals.
Bessen, James & Meurer, Michael J. (2008) Patent Failure. Princeton University Press.
So it would make sense to abolish patents in all other areas.

The economically optimal copyright length, assuming a single flat term, is slightly less than 15 years
Pollock, Rufus (2009) Forever Minus a Day? Calculating Optimal Copyright Term.
I think it might be better to have a shorter copyright term followed by a further copyleft term though.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reducing Software Patent Life-Spans?

james_gnz Right to think + presume innocience = no patents (274 comments)

Copyright disallows people from copying ideas that others thought of. Patents disallow people from using ideas even if they thought of them themselves, if someone else thought of them earlier. Some people think that copyright is a moral right. I don't think so. But even if we were to assume that copyright were a moral right, I can't see how anyone could honestly think that patents are. It seems to me that if we accept that people have a right to think of ideas themselves, and also accept that we should not punish people on the mere presumption of guilt (i.e. we shouldn't assume that someone has copied an idea if it's possible they thought of it themselves), then there can be no basis for considering patents as a moral right.

If there is any basis for patents at all, then, it must be, like tax, justified as a democratically agreed upon imposition on liberty as a means for promoting the greater good (even if we assume copyright to be a moral right).

By using clean room design (starting with an empty code base, and ensuring everything added was written in-house), it is possible for a company to ensure that software they produce is not covered by other people's copyrights. This is not the case with patents. The only way to determine that software is not covered by other people's patents is to check every part of it against every patent in existence.

In the case of pharmaceuticals, patents do significantly promote innovation, and a patent search is realistically achievable, so pharmaceutical patents do promote the greater good. In the case of software, patents do not significantly promote innovation, and patent searches are generally impractical, so software patents do not promote the greater good.

more than 3 years ago
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Robots 'Evolve' Altruism

james_gnz Evidence of divine intervention (360 comments)

What we're seeing here is evidence of the LORD intervening to gently nudge the universe towards the development of goodness.</retard>

more than 3 years ago
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Robots 'Evolve' Altruism

james_gnz Re:The theory is nothing new, but it's cool to see (360 comments)

You've said people sacrificing themselves to help others in order to propagate shared genes can not be called 'altruistic' because it is selfish, but is this really so? If I sacrifice myself, it doesn't actually help me any (quite the opposite), even if it does help propagate my genes. Richard Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene talks about genes being 'selfish' although people aren't necessarily (AFAIK). And BTW, while you've objected to the use of the term 'altruistic', you've proceeded to use the term 'selfless' in a more objectionable way.

more than 3 years ago
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What Does IQ Really Measure?

james_gnz Re:Terman and Hollingworth studies (488 comments)

Conclusion? The smarter you are, the more likely you are to be maladjusted.

I think that's the smarter you are if you are above average, or the less smart you are if you are below average.

Or to put it another way, the conclusion is this: The further away you are from average, the less likely you are to fit in.

more than 3 years ago
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Greed, Zealotry, and the Commodore 64

james_gnz Re:Primary Programming. (645 comments)

What about Sweden? We've freed ourselves from religion, and we are doing just fine.

Oh, you might think you're doing okay, but boy, are you in for a rude awakening. Real soon. Any day now, you mark my words. And when it does happen, I'm going to laugh at your misfortune heartily. In the meanwhile I'll just bide my time saying "Any day now." And if any misfortune comes my way, that's only bad luck, clearly.

more than 3 years ago
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Greed, Zealotry, and the Commodore 64

james_gnz A fraction of infinity is still infinite (645 comments)

If the Christian god exists, and is all powerful, then helping out those who most need and deserve it (like children about to be raped and murdered for instance) would consume an infinitesimal fraction of his effort. If he is all loving, then he surely wouldn't begrudge us that.

more than 3 years ago
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Greed, Zealotry, and the Commodore 64

james_gnz We all have unjustifiable beliefs, but some more (645 comments)

You're quite right we all assume the reliability of our memories, as well as that of our senses. (In fact, we may be wrong about these things. People with Alzheimer's disease may have unreliable memories, and people dreaming have unreliable senses.) And yes, we also assume that there was a past, and will be a future.

We start with these beliefs built-in, and a good thing because we couldn't do anything (including build further beliefs) without them. Some of us are also indoctrinated with religious beliefs as children. As adults, we can (hopefully) analyse our beliefs and question them. Nihilists notice none of our beliefs have any ultimate foundation, and therefore doubt them all. But this leads us nowhere. What if nothing exists, or at least nothing can be known? Then there is nothing to think about. We must make a few basic assumptions so we can admit anything as being worth thinking about.

But why make more assumptions than we need to? In particular, why make some specific religious assumptions rather than others? And although we can't hope for any ultimate foundation for our beliefs, we can aim for self-consistency, and Christianity doesn't seem very self-consistent to me.

more than 3 years ago
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Cook's Magazine Claims Web Is Public Domain

james_gnz Re:The web is public domain? (565 comments)

The use of the term "pirate" when referring to infringing on copyright goes back hundreds of years. If you think the meaning is still dubious, you're an idiot.

I said that, if anything, a later meaning is dubious, and specifically in response to the suggestion that an earlier meaning is dubious.

The term "public domain" also goes back hundreds of years, and is very specific. Anything that can legally be copied is said to be in the public domain. Public domain is the natural domain of all works (and in fact all objects), copyright is an exception that pulls works out of the public domain and into the private domain for a set period of time.

This definition is in fact no different than any other definition of "public domain". It is literally free for the public to use because nobody owns it any more. Same with any other object in the public domain.

To publish a work is to make it public, hence 'publish'. Copyright laws have historically applied from the time of publication (i.e. from the time that a work is made public), not to works that have not been made public (which are covered by the likes of privacy laws), hence, historically, all works under copyright law would necessarily be in the public domain, regardless of the lack of a public legal right to make copies.

more than 3 years ago
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Cook's Magazine Claims Web Is Public Domain

james_gnz Re:The web is public domain? (565 comments)

You were using a meaning of the term external to the domain of this discussion either to purposely confuse the issue to benefit an agenda, or just to be jackass.

In the context of copyright law 'public domain' has a very specific meaning which has nothing to do with being 'publically available.' Using other (dubious) meanings of 'public domain' in this conversation is being willfully obtuse.

The earlier meaning of 'public domain' is no more dubious than the earlier meaning of 'pirate'. If anything, it is the later meaning which is dubious, and used to confuse the issue to benefit an agenda.

more than 3 years ago
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Cook's Magazine Claims Web Is Public Domain

james_gnz Re:The web is public domain? (565 comments)

It's a huge lie. Everything on the web is in fact public domain.

Well... Intellectual works aren't the sort of things that can be public domain or not, but rather they might or might not be in the public domain. However that said, yes, all intellectual works on the web are in fact in the public domain, although what is at issue here is whether or not they are in the public domain in law. Not every road that exists in law exists in fact, and vice versa, and this applies to works being in the public domain too.

more than 3 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

james_gnz Re:In the closet? Interesting choice of words (1123 comments)

There are people in this country that will kill you because you think abortion is okay,

If you're interested in the abortion debate, I'd encourage you to take a look at the abortion debate map at Debategraph (it's kind of like Wikipedia for debates).

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

james_gnz Re:Particularly relevant (1123 comments)

If you've got a full meal ahead of you, have a read of The Mind of God by Paul Davies [asu.edu] or Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship by John Polkinghorne [polkinghorne.net] (Physics).

Let's not and say we did. I helped with HTML for a web page that was in to this kind of stuff. They also had an article saying it's narrow minded to not accept that things can be true and false at the same time, and one suggesting that chaos theory disproves entropy, because it shows that order can arise from chaos. It was briefly amusing, but quickly became depressing.

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

james_gnz Re:Particularly relevant (1123 comments)

'To remove the perceived stigma, we would need to have more scientists talking openly about issues of religion, where such issues are particularly relevant to their discipline.'"

Which is where, exactly?

Most of the results were uninteresting, but if we look at the 17th run, you'll see here an effect that I suspect was caused by divine intervention.

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

james_gnz Re:There is nothing wrong with being spiritual (1123 comments)

My take on this story: Give me six lines by the hand of any honest man and I'll show that he's religious.

I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here, but do you essentially mean that everyone is religious, any anyone who says they're not religious is just lying? If that's essentially what you mean, then do you really believe this, or are you just lying?

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

james_gnz Re:Makes sense (1123 comments)

The top scientists don't have a problem with religion. The most unscientific don't have a problem with religion. It's only those in the middle, those who think they know science but probably don't, which have a problem, statistically speaking.

Really? Where are the statistics for this? Or do you just think you know about this, but probably don't?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Wikipedia threatened with legal action over monkey 'selfie'

james_gnz james_gnz writes  |  about three weeks ago

james_gnz (663440) writes "The Huffington Post and The Telegraph among others report that Wikimedia has been threatened with legal action over publishing a 'selfie' taken by a monkey.

Apparently, while photographer David Slater was attempting to photograph monkeys in Indonesia in 2011, one of his intended subjects appropriated his camera and proceded to photograph itself. Some of these photographs turned out rather well, and made headlines, and income, for Slater. Now the photos are making headlines and income for Slater again, as he threatens to sue Wikimedia for not recognising his copyright over them on the grounds that he didn't take them."

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