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Comment A few bad reactions got some press. (Score 2) 86 86

You can become violently allergic to practically ANYTHING. (The immune system, in each individual, creates a large number of clones of cells making different antibodies by pseudo-randomly editing the genome making the antibody, kills off the ones that recognize the infant body, and amplifies the clones recognizing new stuff that appeared at the same time the body experiences damage.)

A few bad reactions to a few particular foods got a lot of attention - and overreaction. Which ones got the attention was mostly a matter of chance. So now the clueless bureaucrats are taking extreme measures against the handful of allergens that got the press, and the rest are completely off their radar.

They have zero tolerance for peanuts.
  - Do they have zero tolerance for shellfish? (Restaurants in Silicon Valley were very careful about allergies when I first moved here - because one had been informed that a customer had a shellfish allergy, fed her something containing shrimp, and she died.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for milk? (Some milk reactions are an enzyme deficiency, but some are an allergy, which can be deadly. Also: a protein in cow's milk increases the risk of Multiple Sclerosis).
  - Do they have zero tolerance for tree nuts?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for wheat?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for honey?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for corn? (It would be convenient for ME if they did - my corn allergy isn't QUITE to full-blown anaphylactic shock level, yet, but it IS to the "projectile vomiting" and "three days of flu-like symptoms" level. But I won't try to stop others from enjoying corn.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for eggs?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for fish?
And that's just the COMMON food allergies.

If they had zero tolerance for every food allergen that had caused anaphyliaxis, they'd have zero tolerance for FOOD.

Comment Re:Trading one for the other (Score 2) 120 120

I have no knowledge of the particulars in this case, but lobbying isn't even really necessary. It's often just the revolving door: The procurement people on the government side now have very lucrative careers in the private sector to look forward to, and that is something you can never get by going with the open source solution. But who knows, maybe this time they did make the call purely on its technical merits.

Comment How do you stop it? (Score 2) 428 428

What if you just don't connect it to any network, ever?

How do you stop it from connecting? These days most laptops, at least, have WiFi, Bluetooth, BLE (really distinct from classic buetooth), and maybe other radio-networking capabilities (GSM, LTE, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, 6LoWPAN-over-Bluettoth-4.2) built-in. Also infrared and ultrasonic-capable audio interfaces with microphones and speakers. Even with the ones that DO have a switch to turn the radios off the switch normally just tells the software not to talk on the radio - which the software is free to ignore.

(Not to mention that the remote-administration hardware/firmware built into the chips by the major manufacturers can, and does, listen on the radios these days for remote-administration commands, comes in UNDER the OS, and can't be disabled.)

Then there's the question of what good the computer is to you if it's NOT connected to a network?

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

If the copyright on "Steamboat Willie" expired, anyone could copy the work or create derivative works from it featuring a similar character, but they could not call the character in derivative works Mickey Mouse, nor use Mickey Mouse's image in such works.

No, when the Steamboat Willy copyright expires, there is no longer a copyright which prohibits people from making or distributing additional copies of the work, from publicly performing or displaying the work, or from preparing new derivative works based on it (such as a new Mickey Mouse short in which he commands a homemade submarine powered by barnyard animals or something). Of course, attributes of the Mickey Mouse character which originated in later, still copyrighted material would not be available; thus you're using the original 1928 black and white Mickey, or forking a new version of the character off from there. Can't give him a dog named Pluto, nor even the distinctive Mickey Mouse voice, as those both appeared in later films.

They would, however, be able to still freely copy the original work even though it featured said character that is still under trademark because the copy of the work is not considered a new work, it is considered a *COPY*

I don't know why that would matter from a trademark perspective. Trademark is concerned with goods bearing a mark all originating from the same source, so as to protect consumer expectations regarding consistent levels of quality. Even the goods of two different sellers are indistinguishable, that alone doesn't mean that one is free to use the trademark of the other.

The trademark issue here is whether the MICKEY MOUSE trademark even survives, at least with regard to goods such as motion pictures. This is because the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is inescapably connected to the Mickey Mouse character, and now the character is free for all to use, meaning that his presence in a work no longer indicates that it comes from a single source. That -- the freedom to use the character, and the loss of the single source expectation of consumers -- is what kills the trademark. And we know that the copyright lapsing will control what happens to the trademark based on precedents like Dastar (where the Supreme Court said that trademark is not allowed to operate like a perpetual form of copyright), and SHREDDED WHEAT (where the Supreme Court said that where a patent expires, anyone is free to use the invention and to use the previously trademarked, descriptive name of the invention).

the work uses the trademark with permission

First, there would largely no longer be a trademark. Second, that would be clear naked licensing, which would likely invalidate the mark anyway.

Comment Re:The sky is falling! News at 10. (Score 1) 190 190

The USA will face a different problem: inability to vote connect to new services that only exist on IPv6. Maybe some of the big players, such as Google and Facebook could add some features that you only get through IPv6 and then leak the info about it. I wonder how much noise will then occur on the web?

BTW Netflix supports IPv6 via AWS.

Comment Altitude is difficult to estimate (Score 5, Insightful) 388 388

There have been studies done before asking average people to estimate how high an object is in the sky (generally balloons or kites) and the estimates were generally awful. Even judging the difference between 60 and 200 feet is generally beyond the range of what most humans can comprehend in vertical distance.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

Sorry, but no. If anyone can make a copy of a work featuring a trademarked character, then the trademark on that character, with regard to goods that are copies of creative works, has to lapse, as the mark has become generic in that context. Once the door is opened for multiple sources of identically marked goods, it kills the trademark. This is just the copyright version of the SHREDDED WHEAT case from the 1930s, plus a bit of the more recent Dastar case.

And the trademark can't prevent people from copying works or creating new derivative works that feature the same trademarked characters.

You're thinking of something more like nominative use, in which a third party can use a mark without permission under certain circumstances. I'm saying that there would no longer be an applicable mark at all.

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

There is no stripping of assets.

The natural state of a creative work is to be in the public domain. Authors do not create copyrights; the public creates them (through our servant, the government), with the public benefit in mind. Some works aren't even eligible for copyright at all, because it wouldn't be for the public benefit. When a copyright is granted, it is for a limited period of time, because a perpetual copyright can never be for the public benefit.

Thus, a better way to imagine the situation is this: if the government owns a parcel of public land, such as a small building suitable for a restaurant at a visitor's center in a national park, it can rent the restaurant space to a private business for a period of time. So long as the restaurateur makes his rent and follows other previously agreed upon terms (e.g. compliance with applicable law, signage that complies with the standards set by the park administrators, etc) he is free to profit as much as he can.

But when the lease expires, the restaurateur cannot argue that his business venue has been taken from him, even though it might be a profitable location forever. It was never his to begin with; he just got to use it for a while.

Regarding Mickey Mouse, copyright policy has to ignore subjective assessments of artistic value. What's important is getting as many works as possible created, published, and into the public domain (and as close to the public domain as possible until fully in the public domain). That's how you best serve the public interest.

And if an author argues that his private interest is more important than the public interest, that's all well and good, and I don't have a problem with his self interest (indeed, we're relying on it to motivate him), but why should the public ignore its own collective self interest? As there's no possibility of a copyright without it being granted by the public, authors are not in a strong bargaining position.

Comment Re:I think they might'a meant to say something els (Score 1) 153 153

Actually, the Copyright Act was replaced entirely in 1976 (becoming effective in 1978), and has been amended some, yet in substantial ways, since then. Noises are being made about a new Copyright Act coming along in the near future.

The person who wrote the summary is a bit confused. What happened is that the Warner claim was based on a copy published in 1935. Evidence was discovered of a copy that was published in 1927. That's not terribly interesting, but a copy published in 1922 has also come to light. That is interesting, because the cutoff for copyright on published works is 1923. (Due to the duration of copyright prior to the effective date of the 1976 Act, which retroactively lengthened the term of copyrights that were still in force)

Comment Re:The sky is falling! News at 10. (Score 1) 190 190

IPv4 should just go away already. Linux, Mac, and WinDOS had had IPV6 forever. Whatever doesn't support IPv6 should just go away as well. All that old shit is hackable virus prone garbage anyway.

The problem is that numerous companies haven't invested the time or money in ensuring their network can speak IPv6 or to the IPv6 world. The main issue has probably been that it was cheaper to do business a usual. Until major services do an IPv4 blackout day or ARIN raises the prices of the remaining IPv6, companies will be dragging their feet.

One site amongst the feet draggers is /. Sure there was a bug in some of the Perl code used by /. a number of years back, that apparently prevented supporting IPV6, as an excuse, but should that still be a reason today?

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 153 153

Disney holds a trademark on Mickey Mouse, and can retain said ownership into perpetuity. That aspect alone can rightfully keep anyone else from utilizing the character in their own works, forever,

No, that part of the trademark will lapse when the copyright terminates. A trademark can't function as a substitute for a copyright. The remainder of the trademark might prevent people from selling MICKEY MOUSE brand breakfast cereal, but it would not stop them from using the character in their own works.

This is really the main reason that Disney is concerned about copyright terms; they know what would happen to the trademark.

Comment But 32 bits is enough for anybody (Score 1) 190 190

I am wondering whether at this point ARIN would be justified to raising the price for remaining IPv4 addresses and offer IPv6 addresses at a lower cost? And then raise cost as a ratio of remaining IPv4 addresses available to hand out? I am sure this would change business perspective on how much to delay IPv6 adoption?

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

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