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Comment Can't copyright titles (Score 4, Insightful) 224

Can't copyright titles and 'pixel' as a word is too generic to trademark. Ignore the take down.

http://www.writersdigest.com/e...

Q: Iâ(TM)ve been working on a book and the title is very importantâ"I use it as the URL for my blog, for a weekly column I write, etc., and I want people to identify it with me. Can I copyright a title so others canâ(TM)t use it? â"Anonymous

A: Copyrights cover works fixed in a tangible format, but because titles are typically short, they donâ(TM)t fall under copyright protection. So no, you canâ(TM)t copyright a title to a book, song or movie. But you can trademark a title, which may give you the protection you seek.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states that a trademark protects words, phrases, symbols or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others. Brand names like Pepsi, Xerox and Band-Aid are all protected. So is the Nike âoeswoosh.â But more relevant to us, book titles such as The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and the Sorcererâ(TM)s Stone are trademarked.

Unlike copyright protection, which is granted the minute your work is written down, trademarks arenâ(TM)t handed out so freely. In fact, if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doesnâ(TM)t consider your title (or brand) a distinctive mark that is indisputably distinguishable from others, you will not be granted trademark protection. This is why you see so many books with the sameâ"or very similarâ"titles. Many of the terms are considered too generic or arbitrary to warrant protection.

Trademarks are not only intended to protect the creator, but also the consumer. Trademarks keep others from confusing a well-known work on the bookstore shelves with others. For example, Harry Potter is such a popular, distinguishable character by J.K. Rowling that youâ(TM)d expect any title with his name in it to be written by her (or, at least, a book approved by her). Itâ(TM)s not only her work, but itâ(TM)s become her brand.

So if you use the title of your book as the title of your blog, column, etc., it could be considered your brand identifier. And if you find success, you could qualify for trademark protection.

Comment To be clear (Score 1) 931

Religion doesn't factor into preventing depression in the first place, but only helps one get better? God is a constant in all of this. Since these people believed in God before, after and during their depression then one is already getting a regular "dosage" of God? Belief in God did not change before or after treatment.

I smell a rat. A rat that says, "oh well, it is not just the presence of God alone but God plus"

drugs
psychiatry

To whit, religion only works because you are also taking anti-depressants, taking group therapy or paying lots of money to a quack.

Religion and drugs. Surprise, surprise surprise.

This sounds like the perfect premise for a Phillip K. Dick sci-fi book: take the conclusion of this article and have a book plot where preacher starts disseminating drugs as part of church service. "Scientific studies show that religion works best when coupled with anti-depressant drugs! Here, have a Xanax!"

Sad part is that this may actually come to pass.

Comment Harmless convenience or rotting cancer? (Score 1) 1

I can see how it can be convenient, to be able to order books, CD's, online music, etc. from the core of your desktop. However, what I don't want, is Canonical to depend on you, the users, to buy DRM'ed music, and/or proprietary software.

I have been somewhat worried about the software center offering proprietary software, however, it seems convenient in the cases, where there is no free alternative, or when the free alternative is considerably less convenient than the proprietary version. However, the user should be properly warned, that this is proprietary software, that doesn't respect his or her freedom.

However, the idea that Canonical gets a dime or whatever, when someone uses Ubuntu to buy a new book, doesn't worry me. I wish they would extend their support on free software instead. I am sure people concerned about free software, would be willing to pay for support. We also need Canonical to offer governments, schools and stuff like that a proper alternative to the proprietary stuff, they use today.

If the idea with this thing, however, is merely to go for the money of random GNU/Linux users, who stumble on Ubuntu by coincidence, to buy proprietary software, DRM'ed music, and stuff like that, then it may very well be a cancer in the core GUI of the default Ubuntu install.

Businesses

Submission + - How corruption is strangling US Innovation-> 1

hype7 writes: "The Harvard Business Review is running a very interesting piece on how money in politics is having a deleterious effect on US innovation. From the article:

if you were in any doubt how deep inside the political system the system of contributions have allowed incumbents to insert their hands, take a look at what happened when the Republican Study Committee released a paper pointing out some of the problems with current copyright regime. The debate was stifled within 24 hours. And just for good measure, Rep Marsha Blackburn, whose district abuts Nashville and who received more money from the music industry than any other Republican congressional candidate, apparently had the author of the study, Derek Khanna, fired. Sure, debate around policy is important, but it's clearly not as important as raising campaign funds.

"

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Mr. Betteridge says... (Score 1) 767

Well said. You made your point well. I'm going to be more long winded. LOL

My counter would be, but almost anyone can cook.

To the extent that programming correlates to following well known recipes like cooking then anyone can do it.

Programming is such a nebulous word. Is a graphic artist who knows enough web technology to express graphics via CSS, Javascript, Photoshop, etc. a programmer?

Lots of accounts who use Excel can write some fairly sophisticated macros. Are they programming?

Personally I think the article asks the wrong question. The more germane question would be, 'Has the word "programming" become so muddled that it is time to expand the vernacular and come up with canonical classifications of programming?" To that I would answer yes.

In the field of genomics there are "bioinformatic programmers", usually part biologist and part programmer. They don't write application programs per se as much as they write custom analysis of data using scientific algorithms. they are scientists who write code. And, oh, btw, they also have to package that analysis in a program. The application takes a back seat to the analysis.

What is programming? The lack of clarity in definition is very similar situation to the words "software engineer" and "software developer".

Comment What objective? (Score 1) 1154

What is the objective of wider adoption?

"You have to be careful if you are not sure where you are going because you might not get there."
-Yogi Berra

Every since I could dual-boot I have always used both Windows and Linux. Now using both Windows and Linux is much easier with VMs.

Tools are tools and I use Linux and Windows where they most benefit me. To that end I've never used Apple because there is nothing compelling for me on Apple. There have been only two applications I'm aware of on Apple that might convince me to run the Apple OS:
1. Pro Tools
2. Final Cut

Adoption of Linux desktop is lacking a clear objective. I use Linux when it benefits me and Windows the same. Running both is trivial for those who are tech savvy. If you are not tech savvy you probably don't need Linux. Given the advent of smart phones and touch pads then the real question is not the future adoption of Linux Desktop but the future of the desktop in general.

Comment Re:alarmist and overgeneralized? yes. but also tru (Score 1) 1034

I like your perspective. I wonder if you would care to comment on the female technological craze:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/vibrator-sales-sex-toys-women_n_1501352.html

Business is booming -- for the sex toy industry. It seems that erotic accessories are poised to become some of the world’s most popular gadgets, right up there with smartphones. The Daily Mail reported that UK sales of sex toys are projected to soar above £250 million this year (approximately 403 million dollars). And as of May 2011, consumers were spending an estimated $500 million a year on these products in North America, according to Scientific American.

Are vibrators becoming too much of a good thing for women? It might help explain why both men and women in this country are content to stay in their respective
corners and not come out swinging. Your take on women having no partners struck me as rather odd, as if women were helpless. They most certainly are not. On the other hand, if Steely Dan is satisfying them then that is more believable to my way of thinking.

The other thing to consider is that historicial marriage was based upon men subjugating women. That's not the case today but courtship rules have not kept up with the times. I'm just pointing out a systemic deficiency that both men and women are up against. In the words of Zoey to Captain Reynolds on Firefly, "Are you enjoying your own like bio-slave?" is no longer an option.

Comment Re:You can't blame games and porn (Score 1) 1034

Well met. You should also factor in lifespan into your paradigm. Getting married at 16 was the norm until very recently in man's history precisely because that age represented the best years for reproduction for lifespans of 30 years. Today? Who gets married at 16? Till death do you part means 70 years of marriage? It is expected that everyone is socially awkward when they are young when people traditionally looked for mates...as opposed to midlife these days.

Comment Re:That is what annoys me most about things like t (Score 1) 1034

Well said and well met.

Technology is redefining norms. The problem with psychologists today is that comparative behavior requires comparing past and present and not starting with an assumption that norms of behavior are in flux.

If norms and social values are changing rapidly then what? There are some behaviorists out their who recognize this is the case. For example, the cell phone is making a huge impact on speech. Research is being done on language o help us better understand how to use cell phones appropriately. This type of attitude is not being conducted with respect to video games.

As technology gets adapted there are bound to be miss-steps in integrating technology into the human experience, obviously. The problem with modern psychology is the same problem with conservatives in general. That is both groups typically start with the assumption that the only "good" norm is a past, understood and proven "norm" and taking risks, making changes to achieve some new state of human experience is never a consideration. In that world then video games can only be destructive because video games did not exist in the past and these folk fit the facts to their negative bias. While evolution may take millions of years environment changes do not and anyone who is up on the cognitive sciences is well aware of the roll that environment plays in child development. The technology cat is already out of the bag and modern psychologists need to get with the cognitive science program and help us figure out what to do about it productively rather than focus on wholesale condemnation of that which they despise and do not yet understand. Video games will be with us as long as technology is. Get over it. Psychologists would be better served helping companies like Blizzard produce a healthier environment.

Comment Re:Well, if they're going to generalize, I am too (Score 1) 1034

"Their lives are certainly likely to be more interesting, and their odds of landing a partner increases."

A good send up, I say. My compliments. This sentence strikes me as rather interesting. I might rewrite it as:

"There lives are certainly likely to be more interesting from someone who doesn't game's perspective and their odds of landing a partner outside of gaming increases thusly."

I read somewhere that more women now play WoW than men, although the demographics are out of sync I think.

The key here is "interesting". I think psychologists and the world at large tend lump games like WoW into the same mindless bucket as watching TV or porn when in fact the complexity of the game-play, the interesting factor, is really one's choice. The mythology in a game like WoW represents thousands of names and places to get to know. The maps are rich. The PVE encounters are in the hundreds. Your toon can be as mindless as you like to as complex as you need. I like complex where I'm constantly tweaking macros and remapping the keyboard. I also use a lot of plugins. I also "tank" which requires far more sophistication than the other roles unless one is in a guild or doing PvP. Speaking of PvP, the other thing psychologists dismiss with online gaming is that "guilds" are key to holding people for the long run. Guilds typically use "Vent", a group chat, and viola people are talking to each other.

Only time will tell if video gaming becomes a norm such that those who do not game are deemed less interesting. As long as technology keeps trending the way it is I know where I'd put my money.

Comment The Language Instinct (Score 1) 318

If you are not an expert but would like more understanding on this topic, then I'd recommend Steven Pinker's, The Language Instinct.

http://www.amazon.com/Language-Instinct-How-Mind-Creates/dp/0060976519

One of his books discusses a series of experiments where babies were shown to be able to understand all phonemes but by the age of six-months only the phonemes of the parent's language are available. They did experiments with both adults and babies.

Also, Pinker talks about a group of people with no history that linguists have posited to once exist based upon common roots in modern languages that trace back to a period in history and then stop. Kind of a missing language link of people if you will. Not sure how that fits in here.

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