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Comment Re:Inherited Work (Score 1) 115

This does not make any sense at all. Why should the heirs of the artist be allowed to benefit from the artist's work? No other job provides benefits for heirs after the death of the worker unless that worker has saved some of their income and put it into a suitable savings vehicle.

This is much too narrow a view.

My father's farm has been in the family for two hundred years. No one has ever questioned a son's right to benefit from his inheritance --- that has always been the whole purpose of the thing. Why should the inheritance of intangible property be treated any differently?

Comment "Real diaries don't have multiple editions." (Score 1) 115

real diaries don't have multiple editions.

Not true.

Mary Chesnut used her diary and notes to work toward a final version in 1881 --- 1884. Based on her drafts, historians do not believe she was finished with her work. Because Chesnut had no children, before her death she gave her diary to her closest friend Isabella D. Martin and urged her to have it published. The diary was first published in 1905 as a heavily edited and abridged edition. Ben Ames Williams' 1949 version was described as more readable, but sacrificing historical reliability and many of Chesnut's literary references. The 1981 version by C. Vann Woodward retained more of her original work, provides an overview of her life and society in the introduction, and was annotated to identify fully the large cast of characters, places and events.

Mary Boykin Chesnut

Comment Forget Mickey Mouse. (Score 1) 115

Well speaking of Mickey Mouse...

Forget Mickey Mouse.

The expiration of the copyright on Steamboat Willie gives you the right to produce derivatives based on Steamboat Willie and only Steamboat Willie. Eight minutes of silent-era sight gags with a synchronized sound track and a thin narrative thread. Walt Disney Animation Studios' Steamboat Willie

The character designs --- which is what the geek really wants --- are trademarked, and without them you do not have the Mouse in any recognizable form.

Mickey Mouse appears as a character in over 200 films, videos, and video games --- and god alone knows how often in other media. Mickey Mouse (Character) You would have a hell of time coming up with an original --- non-infringing --- story for the Mouse.

or for any of the other franchised Disney characters.

Comment Calder v. Bull (1798) (Score 1) 115

But Anne Frank's Diary was published in 1947. Extending that copyright beyond the term in effect at the time it was published is a violation of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws.

The geek remains ignorant of the most fundamental distinctions between civil and criminal law.

Over the years, when deciding ex post facto cases, the United States Supreme Court has referred repeatedly to its ruling in Calder v. Bull, in which Justice Samuel Chase held that the prohibition applied only to criminal matters, not civil matters...

Ex post facto law

Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386 (1798) is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court decided four important points of constitutional law.

First that the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution only applies to criminal acts, and then only if the law does one of four things: ''1st. Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in order to convict the offender.'' The decision restates this later as laws ''hat create, or aggregate, the crime; or encrease(sic) the punishment, or change the rules of evidence, for the purpose of conviction.''

Calfer v. Bull

Comment How private are your cash transactions? (Score 1) 179

The cash register was invented by a saloon keeper who grew tired of bartenders tapping the till and not the keg.

The downside to doing business in cash has always been the need the need to embed expensive physical defenses against fraud and theft. The merchant will need a safe or a vault. Alarm systems. Video. Perhaps an armored courier service.

Every transaction leaves a trail.

Given time and patience all but your most mundane purchases can be traced.

Comment Re:Solution? (Score 2) 143

The real problem is they are looking at written data. Sarcasm is based on auditory and visual cues of the person. Detecting sarcasm online is like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don't know what a needle or hay is.

To some degree yes, but there are still satirical works of literature throughout history such as Swift's A Modest Proposal that would pose a similar problem. The problem in understanding sarcasm or satire without the visual or vocal cues relates to understanding meaning (a difficult problem in its own right) as well as why a particular response is absurd given the context, which means you also have to know what the expected or typical answer should look like.

Both of you are right... and wrong. The problem is that most people don't know how to write - and thus what they mean as (what they misunderstand to be) sarcasm doesn't come across as such. That's the real problem the researchers are facing, lack of ability to convey meaning, not lack of context.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 2) 538

I have never figured out how any adult could possibly not know how to read a map. It just seems so blindingly obvious. You simply look at the damn thing. Isn't visual pattern recognition humanity's greatest advantage?

No, you don't simply "look at the damn thing". You also have to be able to relate the information on the map to landmarks in the real world - a much more difficult proposition not only because the real world is a spatial relationship problem (as compared to the pattern relationship problem of the map), but also because those spatial relationships are subject to perception as well.
 
I wish I could find a link to the studies I saw back in the 90's where they asked random people to draw a map of their hometown - and very few bore much relationship to each other or to the real world. Long routes were often drawn as short ones - especially if it was a route the person drawing the map drove frequently. Familiar areas took up large areas on the map, often in great detail, while the unfamiliar interstitials were compressed or absent. (Etc... etc...)
 
For example; back in my hometown new folks often had problems navigating via map because the city's 'cultural' map is rotated counter-clockwise nearly forty five degrees from the real world. Basically the road that ran out of the original settlement ran NW-SE, but folks called it the "North road" and the "South road". Two hundred and fifty years later, street names and business names still represent this convention in contravention to what you'd think based on their map directions and position. In the town my mom lives in now she lives in "Southside" (so named a century ago when the town was much smaller), but on the map it's actually nearer the north central part of the city. And there too, the residents think of the lion's share of the metro area as being the "south side of town".

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Most of what I said is platform-agnostic.

And that's why nearly everything you said is wrong.

You said power generation at point of use frees us from infrastructure needs.

No, I didn't. This is where adult-level reading comprehension really comes into play. What I said was: "you eliminate the cost of building and maintaining the vast majority of infrastructure that would be required for a central plant."

That does not mean you would not need infrastructure. If you build a central power plant you will need to connect it to the grid, and possibly augment the grid to deliver that power.

On the other hand, solar PV installed at the point of use piggybacks on existing infrastructure, and actually reduces the peak loads which reduces maintenance costs.

I hope you can appreciate the distinction.
=Smidge=

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Okay, you seem to have a few problems going on here.

For one, I'm talking about Photovoltaics and you seem to be alternating between PV and solar-thermal. This should have been evident because the very first thing I typed was "Solar PV..."

I don't think I'm the one with a reading comprehension problem here. I suppose it's also possible that you simply don't know anything and can't tell the difference.
=Smidge=

Comment Re:Wind Doesn't Come From Trees (Score 1) 74

Well actually, a small part of it does. The albedo of trees is generally very different than the albedo of the ground or vegetation around the trees. This creates differential heating between forest and non-forest, and the differential localized heating drives differences in localized air pressure. As soon as you have this, you end up with wind as the air flows from low to high pressure.

It's the same thing as a ocean/sea breeze or mountain breeze, just on a smaller scale.

(I'd add a close tag to being pedantic, but apparently I can not.)

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Wide-spread management incurs higher total cost.

Solar PV has essentially zero maintenance cost once installed.

Plus, with the benefit of the power being produced where it is actually used, you eliminate the cost of building and maintaining the vast majority of infrastructure that would be required for a central plant.

On top of that, the people who install the systems reap direct financial benefits through lower utility bills.

Up-front costs are higher in total, due to the need to shuffle electricians around

I get the impression that you have no idea what you're talking about...

The problems with deploying in wide area are large. Land use is inefficient

Wrong. The land in question is already being used for something else: housing. In essence there is zero additional land use. It doesn't get more efficient than that.

Transmission to point-of-use incurs more loss

You're producing *at* the point of use. There is essentially no transmission required.

That's another way of saying, "You close your eyes and pretend it's not there."

No, that's explaining the difference between pissing in your cornflakes and pissing in the ocean.

Do you want to cut down 5 million acres of forest or 5 million acres of forest?

No, and I just explained why we wouldn't have to. I get the impression that you're either have no actual experience with solar power or you're being deliberately obtuse.
=Smidge=

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

You could handily generate all of the electricity we in the US need just by putting solar panels on roofs of private residences, and not even ALL of them.

When people like you do these kinds of calculations, they seem to get stuck on the idea that it needs to be homogenous. Saying "5.3 times the land area of Rhode Island" might be technically correct, but it's meaningless: That's *0.2%* of the entire area of the contiguous United States. When you spread it out - as is the optimal arrangement for solar power anyway - it virtually vanishes.
=Smidge=

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