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Comment: Re:Copyright is turning into religion (Score 1) 67

I think the key phrase is "were accused of illegal downloading." If the robo-call can prove that they are right on whatever they accuse, the case will be thrown away due to the Clean hand doctrine... The lawyer (Pietz) is relying on and hoping that the point can't be proven...

No, the lawyer (Pietz) is relying on the fact that he is a trained lawyer and you are not.

The Clean-hands doctrine is something that a court might use if a party were requesting an equitable remedy. That means, in legal matters, that a party is seeking specific performance of an agreement, an injunction, payment of the value of services rendered when there was no specific contract with an agreed price, etc.

The clean-hands doctrine does not allow the court to deny rights and legal remedies -- like the remedy in 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(3) of $500 for each violation -- that are specified by statute enacted by the government.

If you think that simply because the other guy has "dirty hands" the only thing you need to worry about is whether a government agency decides that you've crossed a line, you are sorely mistaken. Your lawyer will eventually explain that to you. You will not like it.

Comment: Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (Score 1) 170

by DRJlaw (#48436469) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better!

If you're launching belly laughs at a mere four since the release of Windows 8.1, have a doctor on hand for ~7/yr since the release of Chrome 3 and ~8/yr since the release of Firefox 3.6.18.

New major version!
      - Removed support for the blink tag
      - Upped the version number

Comment: Re:Responsibilitiy (Score 1) 137

by DRJlaw (#48412333) Attached to: Court Rules Google's Search Results Qualify As Free Speech

So, if Google's search results are considered free speech, do they also have the same responsibilities as other forms of free speech.
What if you search for a person and the results incorrectly suggests that the person is a pedophile? Does that qualify as libel, or is that suddenly not Google's problem?

It's not-so-suddenly non Google's problem -- specifically it's not Google's problem ever since the passage of the Communications Decency Act and the section 230(c) immunity in back in 1996.

If you search for a person and the results incorrectly suggest that the person is a pedophile, you need to go after the person who wrote and posted the material, not the search service that automatically indexed the material because, truth or falsehood aside, that material is relevant to the search.

You simply wish to shoot the messenger, or the big bad corporation, rather than deal with the actual author of the libel. It's been decided that that is a poor strategy, and that the benefits of automated indexing and searching outweigh your reflexive need to strike against the most convenient target at hand.

Comment: Re:Summary is misleading, you can work around (Score 5, Insightful) 327

by DRJlaw (#48397239) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

If you read the rest of the article, you find that you can simply disable the driver loading security to have it working again.

The article paints this as a huge security issue, but why?

Because you cannot simply add your own key, but you have to disable all driver signing in order to use one non-approved driver?

Cn anyone reasonably argue that having a system highly secure for non-technical users with easy workarounds for actually technical users is a bad compromise?

Yes. See every argument ever about UEFI secure boot on PCs intended to run Windows 8.

Comment: Meet the new Microsoft (Score 0) 327

by DRJlaw (#48397207) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

I look forward to posts from all those who decried the "Microsoft-sponsred" secure boot UEFI feature.

After all, at least with the former you could turn it off or add your own key to boot what you like.

The latter is merely a giant F U from Tim Cook to anyone who does not purchase Apple OEM or Apple-approved hardware.

Comment: Re:What did you expect.. (Score 2) 144

by DRJlaw (#48270759) Attached to: New Crash Test Dummies Reflect Rising American Bodyweight

Overweight people can (with a few exceptions due to medical conditions) change the fact that they're overweight. Gay people by and large cannot make themselves not gay.

Citation needed. For both.

Your "exceptions" are the rule.

Gay people can be celibate.

Frankly I'm more interested in the first point. While gay people can "not be gay," I wouldn't wish it upon them, they've worked hard not to be looked down upon for being gay, and all the more power to them.

Now on to your implied point that it's ok to shame overweight people because they supposedly can change the fact that they're overweight -- just like gay people can change the fact that they have same-sex relationships -- by overcoming fundamental physiological urges that you're oh-so-sure can be overcome by pure willpower.

Comment: Re:It makes you uneasy? (Score 1) 1007

by DRJlaw (#48244455) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

And you think we should "let them wallow in their beliefs" even to the point of using tax payer funded facilities to do so?

I'm pretty certain that they pay taxes as well. The mere fact that you contributed an infinitesimal amount to "tax payer funding" does not mean that you get to dictate how each and every dollar of that funding is spent, much less whether other members of the public have the ability speak at and use a public resource.

You're merely a censorious ass who doesn't believe that they are proposing censorship because they are oh-so-certain that they are right. Yet at the same time you decry "the hate of the masses," because, hey, that affects you...

Comment: Re:Misleading- Good will is common accounting (Score 3, Informative) 255

Goodwill is the 'gap' between the valuation numbers and the purchase price by definition (

No. Valuation only combines identifiable tangible and intangible assets. If you do not break out and assign distinct values to intangible assets like copyrights, trademarks, patents, or especially other intangible assets such as distribution contracts, those items do not fall within "book value," but rather the goodwill account. Read your own link. There are times that this needs to be done -- for certain tax benefits -- but otherwise you try to avoid this exercise.

To assign a book value to an intangible asset you have to be able to demonstrate that you've given it a so-called "fair value" . For intangible assets that can extremely difficult to do. The value of the "Coke" trademark is not traded on a market, or readily comparable to equivalents, or entirely described by a separate revenue stream (it is in part - licensing revenue for merchandise - but it is also inextricably part of the value of the base product). The entire point of "goodwill" is to provide an account mechanism for that portion of the fair market price -- the non-book value -- that cannot be marked to an asset market like most physical goods.

Comment: Re:Misleading- Good will is common accounting (Score 3, Informative) 255

The implied assumption in the article and in the commentary indicates a deliberate misdirection or a simple understanding of the accounting principles involved in how a business accounts for a BAD DECISION. Every business has the ability to use this 'loophole'. But it's not a 'loophole'. It's a simple recognition that a capital purchase that turns out to not be a good deal should have the loss (cost of the purchase price minus the fair market value of the asset) amortized over the book life of the asset against the income produced by the asset.

Kids, this is basic accounting 301 (Intermediate management accounting).

If it were basic accounting 301, then you would have learned that "goodwill" does not equate to the purchase price minus the "fair market value" of the asset. Goodwill represents the "fair market value" of the asset minus the value of the tangible assets -- the inventory, machinery, real estate, etc. that can be quantitatively and qualitatively priced by sales or marking to a known market.

If you were to purchase the Coca-Cola corportion, then you would be spending an enormous amount on "goodwill." That is because the value of the trade secret for the formulation of Coca-Cola, the value of the brand recognition for Coca-Cola, and the value of the bottler network relationships are all intangible assets that do not have a concrete or easily ascertainable value. A significant part of the value of Coca-Cola lies not in the value of the HQ building (real estate), the office computers, lab, and pilot plant equipment (you don't think the actual corporation owns very many bottling lines and delivery trucks, do you?), but in the value of being Coca-Cola and not Royal Crown Cola.

That's goodwill. You didn't necessarily make a bad decision buying Coca Cola because you didn't buy it for the price of RC Cola, you paid for intangibles that contributed to the medium term P/E ratio (or similar metric) that you actually used to detemine the price tha you were willing to pay. If you try to pack that value into the tangible assets of the corporation, which depreciate over time and must be replaced (note, also over much shorter depreciation scales), then you end up with silly values that are way above market. If you offer a price only based on "real" values of the physical assets, the seller is going to tell you to take a long walk off a short pier.

The difference between (1) the price of the tangible assets and (2) the price the buyer is willing to pay and the seller is willing to accept, i.e., the very definition of a "fair market value," is the value of the intangible assets. Some of those you can estimate a value for, if need be, but frequently they are all lumped together as "goodwill." Sure you can overpay and make a bad decision, but that's because you eff'ed up the value of the revenue stream you could generate versus the cost of the debt you took on(or the opportunity cost of the money you took out of whatever other investment you shifted out of to) to buy it, not simply because you spent money on goodwill.

A guy who does M&A work

Comment: Re:Want Critical Thinking? Fix the Public Schools (Score 1) 553

by DRJlaw (#48225967) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Freedom first of all means protection of the individual against the destructive power of the collective, freedom to own and operate his/her own self and his/her property, freedom of movement and freedom of contract.

Ah yes... your civic entitlement to protection against the collective, and other individuals, to be secured for you by others (yet without cost). Your freedom to move... on the property of others... since you cannot plausibly own the all the roads you use much less the water you sail upon or the air you travel through. Your freedom to contract... which only has meaning by dint of the power of the collective to enforce the contract.

And last time I checked, you were free to own yourself and your property... unless I understand you to be objecting to eminent domain, in which case you are of course free to abandon your use of those roads, railroads, etc. that the nasty collective forced upon your noble and downtrodden individuals.

Sick, paternalistic societies will end themselves so that eventually freer societies can emerge, too bad we are living here today before that happened.

Good luck with that one.. the period after the fall of Rome was such a grand improvement that I'm totally rooting for a modern repeat.

Go kooks!

Comment: Re:Want Critical Thinking? Fix the Public Schools (Score 1) 553

by DRJlaw (#48225817) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Example, Arkansas:

the State shall ever maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of
free public schools and shall adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the
advantages and opportunities of education.

Shall ever maintain... general... free public schools... secure to the people...

Your inability to parse a governance document for mandatory language which establishes a right does not mean that there are none. You'll note that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution only uses the word "right" once -- a "right to vote" -- yet there are multiple rights protected by the 14th amendment.

It's amazing what one can learn by actually studying and being tested upon Constitutional law, rather than making up ad-hoc theories about how the law works.

Comment: Re:Want Critical Thinking? Fix the Public Schools (Score 1) 553

by DRJlaw (#48224607) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Education is a public good, that isn't the same thing as a civil right.

Seeing as the right to a thorough and free public education is written into the constitutions of most, of not all, of the states within the US, that would make education a civil right.

Civil: a : of or relating to citizens b : of or relating to the state or its citizenry

Civil right: : the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially : the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to United States citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress.

Nevermind that you'd be hard pressed to find a society that doesn't provide at some level of education as a matter of right by constitution, law, or the like.

You may mean that it's not a "natural right," but your personal philosophy does not have the power to override the actual state of the world.

Comment: Re:Of course it does. (Score 2) 173

by DRJlaw (#47996265) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

For anything in the solar system to be YOUNGER than the sun, it would have to be MADE by the sun, or as a byproduct of the sun achieving fusion. Our planet is younger than the sun itself, but the elements that comprise it are much, much older.

That only applies to atoms, not molecules. I can point to oodles of molecules that in a "most recent step" sense were made by the sun (e.g., through UV radiation or 'solar bleaching') and oodles of molecules that in that same sense were not (e.g., plastics).

TFA is referring to molecules of water and whether they tended to form during planetary disk formation and consolidation:

[Shielding from cosmic radiation] makes it quite hard for these regions in the disk to synthesize any new molecules. This was an 'aha' moment for us -- without any new water creation the only place these ices could have come from was the chemically rich interstellar gas out of which the solar system formed originally."

There is still active debate over when and where the typical water molecule arose in the course of events leading to the formation of water-bearing planets. See this article, for example. If verified, this theory tends to favor interstellar formation.

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