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Comment: Re:What (Score 3, Informative) 245

You do realize that a logo is a trademark issue, not copyright, and trademarks don't expire as long as they are in use?

You do realize that trademark law concerns the exchange of goods and services, not the appearance of symbols on sculptural works constructed as permanent momuments to the dead, don't you?

Copyright is one of the few things that DC Comics could plausibly assert if this is a one off produced by an artist -- i.e., the logo does not attempt to designate a good, service, or source of such goods and services.

You'll notice that the summary takes a shot in saying that the logo "should be public domain," not that it is, and that DC does not actually claim that trademark law is involved. Thanks for offering the trademark theory, if only because it provides an opportunity to show non-lawyers that trademarks are not equivalent to never-expiring copyrights.

Comment: Re:um... how bout... (Score 1) 136

by DRJlaw (#47391117) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

If Amazon's updates cause resetting of in-app purchase flags, learn to deal with it. Part of dealing with it is to inform Amazon that their policy is broken, but it's their policy to make; if you don't like it, move on to the next or learn how to deal with it to fit your needs.

No, it's not their policy to make. You may wish it was, but (1) that's your individual opinion, (2) that's not the law, and (3) there are quite a number of people who disagree with you which, even in a representative democracy, goes quite a way to ensuring that your opinion is unlikely to become the law.

Quite a number of states, alongside the FTC, have laws governing unfair and deceptive trade practices. They've had them for quite a long time. Your ultralibertarian viewpoint does not reflect the way the world works, or apprecitate the difficulty even above-average customers have in finding good information about how a product or service actually works before purchasing it, or consider that 'learning to deal with it' or 'moving on to the next' have substantial after-the-fact costs, or actually demonstrate why we should permit a practice like 'resetting in-app purchase flags' on a routine basis.

You're perfectly happy assigning responsibility to the parents, yet you're willing to give the manufacturer/service provider a complete pass even after parents have learned the technology they use, and used the very mechanism provided by the manufacturer/service provider to deny the ability to make such purchases, only to see their efforts actively thwarted by manufacturer once they are 'on the hook'? It makes no sense.

Although we warn people 'caveat eamptor,' we do not endorse that as an absolute governing principle of business. You can neither intentionally design in nor conceal a material product defect, whether its a lock mechanism in a car or a parental control in an app store, and expect the public to say "well we just have to learn how to deal." Once you design in that sort of mechanism, it has to actually work as a reasonable person would expect it to. Otherwise, you become liable under any governing philosophy, whether it's Austrian school laissez-faire capitalism or European-style consumer protection regulation.

Comment: Re:Faith in God (Score 1) 296

by DRJlaw (#47377217) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Why does every discussion of anything nuclear related almost immediately turn into a straw man argument against some imaginary, fearful hoards of idiots?

Are you contending that the horde of idiots doesn't exist at all -- and is thus imaginary -- or that the horde of idiots is not right here right now and therefore not worth addressing, i.e., 'imaginary.'

I've never met a native Swede and none are right here right now, but I'd hardly call them imaginary.

Comment: Re:Smacks of Carmack (Score 4, Insightful) 138

by DRJlaw (#47328017) Attached to: Former NSA Chief Warned Against Selling NSA Secrets

But is *everything* they learned on the job is a secret?

1. When you've worked at a very high level the NSA;
2. When you are selling security information/services; and
3. When your asking price is far higher than competitive services by people who've worked at it far longer than you outside of the NSA,

What do you imagine lies in between publicly known and classified that justifies the price premium? Was he developing security procedures on his own time or at his second job?

Comment: I'm going to go buy fuel... for my meth lab. (Score 1) 380

by DRJlaw (#47327903) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Many catalysts can effectively crack ammonia to release the hydrogen, but the best ones are very expensive precious metals. This new method is different and involves two simultaneous chemical processes rather than using a catalyst, and can achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost. ...

Professor Bill David, who led the STFC research team at the ISIS Neutron Source, said "Our approach is as effective as the best current catalysts but the active material, sodium amide, costs pennies to produce.

Water soluble catalyst. Which means anhydrous ammonia. Which means that your local fuel station is going to be dispensing anhydrous ammoinia in bulk to everyone with such a vehicle.

What else is anhydrous ammonia used for? I don't know... Nothing detrimental, anyway...

Comment: Re:Is it also illegal.. (Score 2) 404

by DRJlaw (#47308569) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

To a 3rd party observer there is no difference. Person A gives money to Person B who moves their car so A can take their spot. How are you going to prove B would have moved earlier if not for A? Reading their mind?

You're assuming a secret offer from B to A and secret acceptance from A to B. But B has published their offer on the app -- which can be shown to the third party observer -- and no mind reading is involved.

The legal basis for regulating this out of existence is, quite simply, keeping the peace.

Person C can deny person A the right to take the spot from person B. Easily. Person C can use the app to locate the parking spot, drive to it, and then refuse to move away in order to let person A assume the spot. To avoid blocking traffic, person C could even drop a passenger off at the spot to occupy it the moment that person B actually leaves, thus securing the spot for person C. Anyone can be person C simply by using the app and refusing to pay.

Oh the battles that would generate... so we don't let it. Publishing the offer to move is against the law. End of story.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable... (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by DRJlaw (#47183999) Attached to: Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

People are voting with their dollars and their feet EVERYDAY. What is your "democratically elected" government worth in the face of that? How representative...

People vote with their dollars and their feet for dumping in unlicensed landfills and on abandoned property EVERYDAY. That doesn't make it a remotely good idea.

Comment: Re:Amen, brother Amen! (Score 1) 522

Your problem is only that you don't know how to change the default search engine. I sympathize, but it's still not the devil.

Says you. In fact I do. You'd do well to notice the part in my post about every other thing that you install trying to change it to another one...

Comment: Re:Amen, brother Amen! (Score 4, Insightful) 522

This is because, as a developer, you're a user who understands and knows what you want. Microsoft is writing software for the kind of people who'd type google into the google search bar to get to google.

I've done that, intentionally. Do you know why? Because between Microsoft deciding that anything that isn't at least a second level domain is a search request intended for bing and Time Warner deciding that anything that isn't immediately properly resolveable should be DNS redirected to their own god-awful search-like landing page, that can be the most reliable way to get to where I actually want to go.

I usually have set my DNS to OpenDNS, but if I've rebuilt the machine or traveled and stayed somewhere that mysteriously breaks my manually-specified DNS server, I may have reverted the notebook to use whatever is automatically set by DHCP.

I usually uncheck software's constant attempts to make [insert name here] my new default search agent, or to activate some added search suggestion do-hickey, but I'm not perfectly vigilant.

Nevermind that this browser will automatically assume "www." and that browser will automatically assume ".com" and maybe, but not consisntently, if you type "google" you'll actually get to the Google front page.

The kind of people who type google into the google search bar to get google are the kind of people who are not so technologically savvy that they can consistently prevent the ever-loving war to redirect any user typing something into what should be a URL entry field to some random "search engine" because user traffic = middleman $$$.


The Bing toolbar, Google toolbar, or what have you can be ugly clutter, but it can't be subtly screwed with by the other devils.

And that is why you get people typing google into the google search bar to get to google.

Comment: Re:Our patent system is totally broken (Score 1) 152

by DRJlaw (#46957539) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

Saying that the word " infinity cove" doesn't include a description of lighting doesn't add much value, and frankly I am not going to waste my time researching which of 16,000 search results they meant when they can't even provide their own link.

The burden of persuasion lies with the person citing (if you can even call it that) the prior art...

Comment: Re:Our patent system is totally broken (Score 4, Informative) 152

by DRJlaw (#46954327) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

There should be an easy and open mechanism for objections. The process as it stands is broken and very obscure.

Translation: It should take no knowlege, cost nothing, and preferably involve some charitable group that carries out my wants, unbidden, before I've even appreciated that I have them. Just like in everything else in life.


Citation of prior art and written statements

"Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing... prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent... [and] If the person citing prior art or written statements... explains in writing the pertinence and manner of applying the prior art or written statements to at least 1 claim of the patent, the citation of the prior art or written statements and the explanation thereof shall become a part of the official file of the patent."

That seems easy, open, to cost nothing (but time and a stamp), and not particularly obscure. But then, if you can't be bothered to Google how to submit prior art and then read one of the top 5 links, everything is obscure.

Comment: Re:Our patent system is totally broken (Score 2) 152

by DRJlaw (#46954215) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

Prior art: infinity cove. Patent dismissed. End of story. Thanks for playing.

No decription of lighting.

Does not anticipate.

All limitations must be shown to be obvious.

Dismissal reversed upon appeal to the PTAB. Back to the examiner.

Don't tell me the rules of a game I play for a living, son. I know them better than you ever will.

Comment: Re:Our patent system is totally broken (Score 1) 152

by DRJlaw (#46954105) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

Took me 10 seconds to find this page:

It took me about 30 seconds to glance at this:

1. A studio arrangement, comprising: a background comprising a white cyclorama; a front light source positioned in a longitudinal axis intersecting the background, the longitudinal axis further being substantially perpendicular to a surface of the white cyclorama; an image capture position located between the background and the front light source in the longitudinal axis, the image capture position comprising at least one image capture device equipped with an eighty-five millimeter lens, the at least one image capture device further configured with an ISO setting of about three hundred twenty and an f-stop value of about 5.6; an elevated platform positioned between the image capture position and the background in the longitudinal axis, the front light source being directed toward a subject on the elevated platform; a first rear light source aimed at the background and positioned between the elevated platform and the background in the longitudinal axis, the first rear light source positioned below a top surface of the elevated platform and oriented at an upward angle relative to a floor level; a second rear light source aimed at the background and positioned between the elevated platform and the background in the longitudinal axis, the second rear light source positioned above the top surface of the elevated platform and oriented at a downward angle relative to the floor level; a third rear light source aimed at the background and positioned in a lateral axis intersecting the elevated platform and being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, the third rear light source further positioned adjacent to a side of the elevated platform; and a fourth rear light source aimed at the background and positioned in the lateral axis adjacent to an opposing side of the elevated platform relative to the third rear light source; wherein a top surface of the elevated platform reflects light emanating from the background such that the elevated platform appears white and a rear edge of the elevated platform is substantially imperceptible to the image capture device; and the first rear light source, the second rear light source, the third rear light source, and the fourth rear light source comprise a combined intensity greater than the front light source according to about a 10:3 ratio.

Then to look at your linked page and see that this Mr. Dobbins used at most 4 work lights, set alongside the camera tripod, which bounced light off the ceiling and onto the backdrop.

Now you tell me... is the camera between the lights and the screen along the same longitudinal axis? Where are the rear light sources? Any of them?

What, exactly, are they trying to "patent" and why does this examiner still have a job? It's obvious that we need to have crowdsourcing prior art as an official part of the patent process.

Question, meet answer (above). Another thing that's obvious is that you have not read the claims or found anything that's more than background-relevant to whether the idea is patentable or not.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer