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Comment Re:OMFH!!! (Score 1) 294

This Judge is saying it's not patentable but he did not say that a specific implementation could not be copyrightable. If someone reverse engineers your software and then re-releases it as his own I'm guessing you can still sue for damages.

Exactly. There are many protections available, and even if one specific protection isn't available to you in one situation does not mean that all other protections are also unavilalbe.

Also, in the full ruling note that the "software patents" they are referring to are basic addition of doing something on a computer. Note that if you still create an original process then a patent is still fully acceptable. If someone were to figure out some amazing new sorting algorithm or amazing new pathfinding algorithm or whatever, the patent on the process is still acceptable; what isn't acceptable is taking something and adding "On a computer..." or "On the Internet..." If you create a process then it exists on a computer and off a computer, anywhere you can do something.

Specifically they write in the ruling that the '610 patent is an "On The Internet" addition, the '142 patent is an "On a Networked Computer System", and the '050 patent is an abstract idea with the expected results (receive identifiers, test for a match, output values responsive to a request). The first two were shot down by the SCOTUS with the Alice ruling, the last one shot down forever ago.

If you make a new process worthy of patent protection --- meaning a process that is non-intuitive, or that gives unexpected results when applied -- those patents are still valid even if you happen to implement them on software, they just need to be applicable as a process generally.

Comment Re:Is this Opposite Day? It's not on my calendar (Score 1) 111

Nice to see that somewhere on this planet there's a judge that understands how to reasonably apply the law when it comes to patents and copyrights.

Agreed. Good job judge.

A copyright on the sound is just fine, which they all acknowledge. An audio recording deserves full protection under copyright law.

But as a trademark, to say "the sound of a telephone is our distinctive mark", that is too broad. Trademarks need to be distinctive.

As their name implies they are distinctive marks indicating the creator or distributor of goods, they are brand indicators. The generic bell ringing is not a distinctive brand by itself. They could trademark a series of tones for your brand (like the NBC chimes) or a jingle or theme (like the Batman theme or the McDonald's "I'm Lovin It"), but not a simple ringing bell sound.

Comment Re:How many priuses and leafs crash every day? (Score 2) 243

From the article:

...since firefighters were certain the victim had died immediately after the crash, it did not make sense for rescue workers to take unneeded risks in recovering his body.

They know exactly how to handle the vehicles in regular situations, and had the victim still had a chance of being alive I'm sure they would have rushed in. Most likely the body was severely mangled. When the victim is clearly dead there is no point in rushing in to rescue a corpse.

Comment Re:Frist to come must shut power down (Score 5, Insightful) 243

They know what to do with modern vehicles. I understand the rush to be a first poster rather than actually reading the article.

If you had actually read the article you would have seen:

... since firefighters were certain the victim had died immediately after the crash, it did not make sense for rescue workers to take unneeded risks in recovering his body.

Comment Re:Natures been doing this (Score 1) 367

We generally call it "evolution" round these parts.

True enough, but there is absolutely an ethical concern.

An interesting thing about evolution is that usually traits aren't fully removed, not for an extremely long time. You tend to get a range. Maybe a bell curve, maybe a curve skewed to one side or another, but it usually isn't a complete removal. Human adults have an average height, but adults range from under three feet (1 meter) to over seven feet (2.3 meters). Most people tend to be biologically extroverted, but about 1/3 of people are introverted. There is a 'pause to check' instinct in mammals, about 2/3 of humans don't have it but about 1/3 do. (Contrast with deer, about 2/3 have the 'pause to check' instinct but about 1/3 do not.)

Do we adjust genes to make people smarter? How much smarter? What about unexpected side effects of changing the genes? What about social side effects of modified people working next to unmodified people?

There are who-knows-how-many ways there are to tamper with genetics. Some ways have minimal ethical concerns, like removing a predisposition to certain cancers. But others are going to be highly controversial, like radically changing behaviors and physical characteristics.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 5, Insightful) 366

Say with with me: "RAID is not backup!"

Indeed. There is also a difference between backup and archive.

RAID = This is running live, and I need a duplicate that is instantly available so I can keep running in case one drive fails. The trick is that if there is an operation that destroys data (e.g. ransomware infection that encrypts your stuff) then you lose all disks. This is why RAID is not backup.

Backup = Just in case the machine dies, or I accidentally delete a bunch of stuff, or a virus hits, I can restore from the backup. This generally follows the 3-2-1 rule: At least three copies, at least two media, at least one off site. Businesses often use D2D2T systems for this.

Archive = I will probably never look at this again, but I absolutely need to keep a copy around for historic or business reasons. Think about services like Iron Mountain or Amazon Glacier. Tape archives that are quite cheap and almost certainly never reviewed again. This is along the lines of "show me the obituaries from a newspaper published 7 May 1957", or similar.

For the original story, it seems like he is looking for an archival solution rather than a backup solution.

Comment Re:How about making it available! and stop hiding (Score 1) 204

I'm in an alleged Google Fiber City and I can't get it!

Lived just outside of Provo's fiber boundaries. When Google announced their acquisition of the network I was thrilled that I might finally get on it. Nope, no fiber for me, still out of range. I requested more information ever few months and was told time and again I'd be notified when it comes to my area ... up until I moved late last year.

Moved to Austin, supposedly another Google Fiber city. The areas they've covered in the city are the most dense, and also most expensive, places. If you want to live somewhere affordable there is no Google Fiber. While internet access was one aspect of house-hunting, it was not a primary factor, so no Google Fiber for me yet.

in both cities it seems to be the last mile that is their problem. As expected.

Comment Re:You want Cox to win ... (Score 2) 97

You don't want ISPs, web site operators, etc to be liable for user actions. That opens up a nasty box of unintended consequences.

On the one hand, I agree. While they desperately want to remain in a different class so they can inject ads and extract money, ultimately I believe internet service will be treated as a common carrier. On the other, while it is near impossible a part of me loves the unrealistic thought of having Comcast and AT&T executives be named in lawsuits as vicarious contributors for every crime that crosses their network. If they are liable for what crosses it, every crime from child porn and murders planned online on one extreme, to minors getting access to porn, or even for people discussing petty crimes like "I'm running late, I'll need to drive a little fast and hope I don't get caught." If they want to have ownership of what crosses their networks then with that comes responsibility and liability.

Plus you don't want the Cox subscribers to have to give the record companies $25M. You didn't think the money would somehow come out of corporate funds, executive bonus' and such?

It's a situation I pray the lawyers are charging exorbitant rates for: May both Cox and RIAA end up bankrupt, and the lawyers buy themselves large private islands in the south pacific for an early retirement.

Comment One of many famous Fermi Paradox answers (Score 4, Insightful) 250

The Fermi Paradox was described over a half century ago.

The "somebody has to be first" option is one of many options for why we don't see a Universe swarming with life.

There are quite a few other options. Unfortunately with my faith in humanity, I'm guessing the intelligent species tend to destroy themselves options is more realistic.

Comment Re:Well, what did they find? (Score 1) 95

Was the bidding rigged or not?

That's the frustrating part. It was, but those who were caught now have an escape clause.

The agency could have gotten a warrant. They didn't. They had plenty of probable cause to get a warrant indicating that someone would be wearing a wire or that they would be bugging the area where suspects would likely be talking. They had ample opportunity to get the warrant, and a judge would have rubber-stamped the thing. But for whatever reason, anything including laziness and incompetence, the agents did not do it. The agency has streamlined it so they just need to make a phone call, basically 'dial-a-warrant', and they didn't bother to do what is legally required.

Policies and precedent are both clear: courts will dump otherwise solid cases when the government fails to meet the simple requirement of getting a rubber-stamped warrant.

Comment Re:Autodialers (Score 3, Insightful) 191

Funny how autodailers were illegal when...

But that is exactly what the judge is pointing out. The judge is quite correct here, it is a simple matter and the law is invalid on its face.

If they banned ALL unsolicited autodialers -- which many states do -- then it is constitutional. Prohibiting the activity for everyone is proper.

By banning ONLY political autodialers it becomes a limitation on a specific type of speech. Limiting only a group of people or a specific type of speech is generally improper.

Comment Re:License to work (Score 1) 639

Also came to the comments to mention Lexmark v Static Controls. The appeals court SPECIFICALLY called out motor engine parts, garage door openers, and video games as parallel interoperability purposes, and specifically wrote that those were not, and could not be, restricted under DMCA.

I mean, it doesn't much more clear that this from the courts: Automobile manufacturers, for example, could control the entire market of replacement parts for their vehicles by including lock-out chips. Congress did not intend to allow the DMCA to be used offensively in this manner, but rather only sought to reach those who circumvented protective measures “for the purpose” of pirating works protected by the copyright statute. Unless a plaintiff can show that a defendant circumvented protective measures for such a purpose, its claim should not be allowed to go forward.

If someone is actually sued by John Deere for DMCA violations, that would be right at the very top of a competent defense.

Comment Re:Why the Hell didn't Let's Encrypt register it?! (Score 1) 120

Based on the links in the story, the trademarks are still in the examination stage and have not yet been issued.

If that is the case, Let's Encrypt can still send in forms and notify the USPTO of the conflict. They don't have much time, but if they passed along that information on their site to the patent examiner that should be enough to trigger additional investigation.

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