Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment How about military espionage? (Score 1) 108

The whole point of intellectual property (whether it be patents, trademarks or copyrights) is to make the subject matter available to the public where it can be seen. Agreeing not to conduct the theft of IP is like agreeing not to pee on the plains of Mars. Meaningless.

What I don't see here is anything about military espionage. Someone has been lifting the personal identities of government employees, which could be used to extort them into revealing secrets. Where's the hotline for that?

This is just another meaningless dog and pony show from our vanity-trumps-everything-in-chief.

Comment Re:Did anyone read the article? (Score 1) 215

And that is why Lexmark will fail. The first sale doctrine protects subsequent purchasers of a patented product from having to secure a license. Here, the refiller will be protected. Now if Lexmark wants to enforce this, they can go after the persons who originally bought the cartridges, if they can find them and if the legal costs and bad mojo are worth it to them. (I'm guessing not.)

This is not the first time a patent holder has threatened to enforce a patent beyond what the law permits. A weak patent that others are afraid to violate is better than a strong patent, enforced or not. Lexmark will make as much of this as they can, because it will scare off the refillers and increase their profits.

Comment Embarrassment galore! (Score 1) 49

Folks: the Copyright Office has no enforcement powers. All it is is a repository for registrations of claims of copyrights. Modernizing the copyright office is like modernizing the drivers license division of a state: it doesn't affect who is allowed to drive (assuming that it performs competently either way.) It is not the DL division that enforces the driving laws, it is the police and the courts. Same thing for the Copyright Office; a registration improves a plaintiff's claim, but that claim still has to be made in federal court.

The author of that article (Mr. Simmons) summarizes together a lot of past and suggested reforms. Why he does that I don't know, for restructuring and/or refinancing the Copyright Office won't change the law nor change anyone's rights.

Finally, those of you who promote shortening the copyright period of works in existence: get over it, it ain't a-gonna change. The takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution would require that everyone who had a shortened copyright would have to be compensated justly, and that would clog up the courts beyond imagination. Congress may be foolish sometimes, but it ain't that stupid! Now if you want to talk about shortening the term of copyrights that originate in the future, that's different...

Comment Collimation? (Score 1) 64

I can't help but wonder whether this kind of mirror could be used to produce a highly collimated laser beam. The more regular the surface of the mirror, the more parallel the rays of light emitted. I wonder if this technology could be effectively used to make a weapon that requires less power (the light being more highly focused on the target.) Perhaps the Star Wars concept of the Reagan years has returned?

Comment Interesting concept, but... (Score 1) 41

it really isn't useful except where there is a changing atmosphere and the absence of a stronger source of energy such as the Sun. I imagine there are places on the Earth where this could be used, such as deep within caves or piping. Where there is a change in humidity, there is likely to be a change in temperature too. That means that a Peltier device or a battery might be a better choice in most cases.

But I have no doubt that someone will, within a few days or hours, propose this as a solution to global warming. Let the games begin!

Comment Re:FFS, it's been available for decades (Score 1) 310


The model version being used for the CMIP5 simulations will soon be available in a complete package, though there are nightly snapshots of the current code repository available (including the frozen 'AR5_branch'), but users should be aware that these snapshots are presented 'as is' and are not necessarily suitable for publication-quality experiments.

In other words, the model isn't ready/reliable. Perhaps you'd better stop staring at the Sun for so long, AC: the risks to your health are much greater than those posed by Global Warming.

Comment Duh... (Score 1) 637

So says the article that we lack "the ability to adequately process the need for the whole species' long-term survival". Evolution sets forth that we compete with members of our species for resources, caring most about what happens to our relatives (those who have the most-in-common DNA). The reason we don't care what happens to the "whole species" is because that is worse for us as individuals, in the context of the propagation of our DNA.

Oh, and climate change doesn't concern the "whole species" either. It concerns only those who have beach-front property and those who will have to move from arid landscapes. The "whole species" will do fine through GW.

Comment Re:Meaningless politial release (Score 0) 310

And if you read the website for the Fifth CMIP (at your link on the first page), you'll see that it:

provide(s) a multi-model context for 1) assessing the mechanisms responsible for model differences in poorly understood feedbacks associated with the carbon cycle and with clouds, 2) examining climate “predictability” and exploring the ability of models to predict climate on decadal time scales, and, more generally, 3) determining why similarly forced models produce a range of responses.

The snippet from the press release doesn't identify the model(s) used; it doesn't even specify a model associated with the Fifth CMIP. So even if one were do "dig around" as you suggest, he would still have no idea what model(s) were used to generate their projections. Now when you get around to wrapping your head around that, then you can turn in your ignorance to overlooking the admission on the CMIP website that (1) the models they consider produce significantly different projections and (2) the feedbacks are "poorly understood".

Have a nice day.

Comment Re:Meaningless politial release (Score 0) 310

I'm talking about the code they used to generate the projections in their release. Without being able to examine the and develop opinions about its reliability/applicability to the real world, the projections contain nothing more valuable than what can be found in an advertisement for an expensive vitamin supplement.

Comment Meaningless politial release (Score 1, Insightful) 310

NASA is releasing global climate change projections to help scientists and planners better understand local and global effects of hazards.

Now if they'd only make available [1] the models (as in code) used to generate those projections and [2] a supercomputer to run it on, then someone could actually use this. The historical data has been available to interested scientists for a long time: releasing it to the public on a website provides only the appearance of openness. Without the transparency of how those projections were generated, the value of them is the same as a press release from a known politically-biased entity. (Yes, I'm talking about the Obama administration, which can't stop the endless string of daily press releases likely to be contradicted a couple of Tuesdays later.)

Comment Re:Lets set a few things straight. (Score 1) 639

The reason there is little research against global warming theories is because that effort is unpopular, in terms of funding. Universities, the government, etc. all want to claim they are fixing a problem. No one wants to fund a study that doesn't make a showing of "progress".

When the proponents of GW come up with confirmable theories (ones that don't require the "adjustment" of collected data and last more than a year or two), then they shall have my ear.

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer