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Comment: Re:Offense: (Score 5, Insightful) 235

by fyngyrz (#48670521) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

No. Offense can surely be given. But trying to magically legislate it away is a horrific, cowardly, hubris-ridden mistake. Offense arises because of difference in opinion and grasp of fact, intentional or not.

Because of this, it can and will always arise, no matter how narrow you choke down the channel of discourse, unless or until all have the same opinions and grasp of facts, which, one hopes, will never, ever come about.

The most productive course is to try not to give offense, and if received, to assess it and take value (warning, insight, stance, new information) from it if possible — otherwise, let it go.

Restricting opinion by legal means is one of the worst ideas ever. Offense is not a legitimate mitigating factor for censorship and repression. When enacted into law as justification for anything, what it tells us is that we need new legislators, because the ones we have demonstrated fundamental incompetence.

Comment: Offense: (Score 3, Insightful) 235

by fyngyrz (#48669715) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

No one has the "right to not be offended." Being offended is subjective. It has everything to do with you as an individual, or as part of a collective, or a group, or a society, or a community; it varies due to your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs, your upbringing, your education; what offends one person or group (collective, society, community) may not offend another; and in the final analysis, it requires one person to attempt to read the mind of other persons they do not know in order to anticipate whether a specific action will cause offense in the mind of another. And no, codifying an action in law is not in any way sufficient... it is well established that not even lawyers can know the law well enough to anticipate what is legal, and what is not. Sane law relies on the basic idea that we try not to risk or cause harm to the bodies, finances and reputations of others without them consenting and being aware of the risks. Law that bans something based upon the idea that some group simply finds the behavior objectionable is the very worst kind of law, utterly devoid of consideration or others, while absolutely permeated in self-indulgence.

Conversely, when people are truly harmed (not just offended) without their informed consent (and legitimate defense is not the cause), then the matter is one that should arguably be considered for law. Otherwise, no.

Comment: Re:Patents... ugh (Score 1) 58

by fyngyrz (#48669631) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

It sure as hell is the property of the person who created it.

No. It's not. I can prove it.

You think of X. You're happily sitting there thinking it's your "property." But Joe also thought of this. Do you imagine you now own "half" the "property"? Or that you both "own" all of the "property"? What if it's so obvious that everyone thinks of it at the same time? Whose "property" is it then?

You see, it's not property. It's an idea. A flux of neural activity that you cannot prevent from happening in someone else's head. You can certainly pretend it's property, but none of logic or the legal system or the constitution supports that position, so I really don't see any reason to take your position seriously.

Comment: Re:Patents... ugh (Score 1) 58

by fyngyrz (#48669563) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

And why should they get a chance?

Because it's just an idea. It's not property. Also because that's the ultimate intent of our system. Patent owners get a short-term monopoly, society gets the idea after that. I'm trying to formulate a way that the benefit to society arrives sooner, as does at least some of the reward for the inventor -- without in the process creating a coerced monopoly at all.

To your perceived actual value of the invention?

No, not mine. I am suggesting first as an estimate by a group of people who understand the technology and the relevant market(s) at the moment, pre-release, then later on, after its actual value has been demonstrated by adoption, in a much more precise manner.

That business that starts ABCs is a complete strawman. I didn't say anything about legality. I'm proposing an alternate means of reward than monopoly. Also, the intent of patents was not at all what you say. The intention of patents was to obtain the benefits of invention for all of society, and in order to do that, a temporary monopoly on some rights in granted. Learn your history. Lastly, don't think to lecture me about business. I've run a few, still own three, and actually know a thing or two about profit, market and invention, among other things. From the constitution:

[The Congress shall have Power] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" is the point. Not your nonsense about "the person who invented the product or sold the invention to makes the profits and not someone who had nothing to do with it." Profit is used as the motive to get people to invent, so society (in other words, yes, people who had nothing to do with it) will benefit. Invention isn't protected in order that individuals profit. That's ass-backwards.

Are you willing to share 10% of your salary with homeless people?

Income, not salary. And we (the SO and I) do. Except it's more than 10%. And the majority of that is consequent to my own creative output, none of which was facilitated by patent monopoly. Presently, I give away *all* of my new creative output. Some of which is quite sophisticated; but none of which is anything someone else could not have done, either. I don't pretend to own ideas, even the ones I had first as far as I've been able to determine. I enjoy invention; I don't think invention confers ownership. I respect invention; I think it represents a great force for good. Monopoly, in my opinion, does not. Monopoly seems to me to be a force for retarding progress.

Comment: Re:Rose colored glasses (Score 1) 187

by fyngyrz (#48669313) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

Exactly my point. How things "are" is entirely dependent upon what your own challenges and successes are, and whether they are increasing or decreasing.

Nothing I said in any way denies the advance of technology or the shift of cultural values. My point is, what that means is relative to the individual. Your world view is not mine, and vice-versa. It's just ridiculous for me to say the world is better, or worse, for you. Only you can say that.

One person will rave about the positive aspects of kids having cellphones. Another will mourn the childhood exploration and freedom that the face-in-device, helicopter-parented youth culture has lost. One will rave about television, next person points out that the "gift" of Fox News and the rest is no favor to accuracy, education or sanity. A hundred years ago, the pledge of allegiance hadn't been suborned by the religious in violation of the 1st amendment. A hundred years ago, female and male roles were very different. Some of those changes may seem positive, some quite negative. A hundred years ago, you could buy a home on the wages of pretty much any job. Today, it is difficult to do without very, very expensive loans from third parties. 100 years ago, one could make many personal choices that are forbidden today. Marijuana, cocaine, etc. Just over a hundred years ago, the state began interfering with the choice to enter into a polygamous relationship, and we're still stuck with that coercion. You mentioned jury nullification, and you did so as if less of it was a good idea -- but to me, it's about the only power remaining that can save citizens from an overzealous and out of control justice system.

Many things have changed, and everyone can have an opinion on every change. It's all very much relative and personal. There's no way to say "things are much better overall" because you can't obtain or synthesize an "overall" viewpoint.

Comment: Rose colored glasses (Score 2) 187

by fyngyrz (#48668047) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

Yes, some things are improving. But others are not. And to say that the things these people picked define "the world" is nothing more than hubris.

There are many things that are not improving. Some of them bode extremely poorly for the future. Climate may be one of those (or not... we will see.) Loss of privacy is another. Militarization of police is another. Constitutional erosion is another. A continuously increasing burden of badly crafted and anti-liberty legislation is another. The US justice system is a horror show from one end to the other. We're presently building a mostly unemployable permanent lower class by the continuing and increased implementation of never forgive, never forget social patterns and supporting technology. The vast majority of wealth has become concentrated in the hands of a very few people and corporations, and those same people and corporations have assumed de-facto control of our political system everywhere it does something that matters to them.

Depending on where you sit in regard to these issues, and others, your world may be sucking harder on an ever-increasing curve.

The world is what it is. Happy-assed optimism isn't called for outside of your own situation, and only then if that's how you see it.

Comment: Re:Patents... ugh (Score 1) 58

by fyngyrz (#48667883) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

A person's property is their property. No committee should be able to decide how much a patent (or any other property or possession) is worth and force a sale.

I reject the entire concept that an idea can be your property. The only thing about an idea that is of personal significance is that you might have it first. You can't prevent someone else from having the same idea, even if you never open your mouth about your idea. Because it's not inherently yours; it's just a product of thinking. Property can really only be physical.

This is exactly the same as you liking chocolate, and then telling me I can't like chocolate for X years because you liked it first. Ideas are a product of the mind, and that's about all you can say about them in terms of where they come from. That doesn't lead to "property", in fact, since we all have minds, it leads precisely the other way. But the reason that monetizing ideas is encouraged is because some of them have the potential to advance society enough that it is thought that a period of monopoly is enough to justify everyone having access to that idea a bit down the road. The whole point is to make that idea available to everyone.

Right now, society grants temporary monopolies for the one who seems to have been first to describe the idea (although they're not very good at determining that, they can't be.) You'll note that even under the current system, society does not create a situation where the idea is "yours", that is, it's not your property. All they're doing is saying, you lay out the idea in detail, we'll let you have a limited time to monetize it. After that, anyone can -- so it's not your property. What you get is an opportunity, one that comes at everyone else's disadvantage, and which can (and does) lead to zero progress at all if you sit on it. In which case, thanks for retarding progress we could have had, eh?

I think offering a monopoly was a poor choice. If you have an idea, you should be able to do whatever with it. If I have or use the same idea, same thing. Being first shouldn't be worth much -- not a monopoly. Just enough to incentivize having ideas. Actually selling ideas -- that's where they have real value. So to maximize value to society, we should let anyone sell who feels they can make money doing so.

There are lots of opinions on this. Now you know mine, that's all.

Comment: Re:Patents... ugh (Score 1) 58

by fyngyrz (#48667735) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

The main thing wrong with software patents is the nonobviousness bar.

It's bloody obvious you can write just about anything you're competent to write and that is possible to implement. That's the whole point of a generally programmable architecture. To then say, "look, ma, I wrote an algorithm!" and THEN expect that no one else is allowed to write the same thing... the only thing obvious about that is that it is stupid.

Digital hardware is not very different software

That's one case of doing digital hardware, and it doesn't address the 99% of the realm of other hardware. See, the problem here -- unlike software -- is that you don't get to make a very effective choice about the amount of resources thrown at the problem. I can attack the same software problem as a large corporation and even come out ahead, and faster. With hardware, that's not true. There are all kinds of limits from certifications (FCC, UL, etc.) to lab equipment to mechanical design, assembly, testing, prototyping, packaging, distribution and so on; patents exist in order to encourage the investments required to address those costs. For software, such encouragement is unnecessary. It doesn't face the same problems unless you choose that it does (mainly by hiring less effective programmers and/or constraining programmer options (like choice of language) and/or putting layers of management in the way of progress.)

doesn't the current patent system already do that?

No. The current patent system enforces a monopoly, and then you get to earn whatever. I'm suggesting that if the invention is found worthy, the government immediately pay the inventor based on an initial estimation, and then revise that upwards if called for when presented with sales and social data ten years later, and anyone can use the invention. So the inventor gets rewarded; the risks of commercializing land equally on everyone's shoulders. If the invention is worthy, that is, it can be sold at a profit, that'll probably happen. If not, well, phbbbt.

That's stupid, because customers will always low-ball what they want to pay

That's why the revisit. Show the data, get the pay.

The price of any goods/service should be set by the seller, not the buyer.

This isn't about the buyer or the seller or the manufacturer. This is about the inventor. We want things invented. We don't want monopolies. So if I invent a widget, I get paid for inventing it. Anything from $10 to whatever they think it's worth. After ten years, it turns out this thing was used *everywhere* (say it's in cellphones) then I get more. But that more came from legit sales of the device (taxed), a tax that is built into its cost and doesn't make it any harder for one little guy to make it , or a big corporation. Given that the sales are known, so is the recompense.

nobody knows how much a patent is worth beforehand.

Estimates can be made -- we do that kind of thing all the time -- and the revisit can ensure that the actual worth is eventually related to the reward.

It could be worthless, or a few bucks, or billions.

No invention is worth billions. Monopolies on inventions are worth billions. And we should get rid of those. Then if you can make billions off of sales of devices, fine. But everyone gets a chance at it, and the inventor is already compensated.

You just want to create a system where the patent holders are royally screwed and you can get their ideas for cheap.

No. That's nonsense. Use your head. I want the inventor(s) paid well, and I want it to be related to the actual value of the invention. What I want to eliminate is the monopoly, because that's an albatross around everyone else's neck, a huge, hemorrhoidal, bleeding, infected open sore on the ass of progress.

especially the open source folks, who think everything should be free

The software types are entitled to value their work product at zero. Open source hardware is tougher to address within the bounds of my idea, but frankly, so few people actually build open source hardware for their own use I just don't think it's a serious issue. If they're building it to sell, then the sales get taxed based on inventions used, no problem.

Comment: Re:The Drive used to have "Deep Tracks" (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#48666529) Attached to: A mild rant

FM is now an analog/digital mix. They broadcast the analog channel with two digital channels piggybacked on the signal. They don't call it digital, they call it "High Def".

And if they're too broke to pay the fees, they must have trouble selling ads. KSHE has no problem, but they're probably the most popular station in St Louis.

Comment: Re:Other art forms that contain music (Score 1) 621

by mcgrew (#48666499) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I certainly agree that copyright lengths are way too long, and that the extreme lengths hinder creative expression. I ran across it with Random Scribblings; I had to change Dork Side of the Moon, reducing the lyrics of the two songs to "fair use" snippets, since I can find no way to contact Roger Waters for usage permission. That album is four decades old and should not be under copyright.

You are right, copyright is supposed to encourage creators so their work will belong to everyone after the copyright lapses. How is anyone supposed to get Hendrix or Cocker to perform again?

It does add challenges to creativity.

Comment: Re: Oligopolies usually suck (Score 1) 79

by Curunir_wolf (#48666209) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold

Wrong question. Why is the Sherman Anti-Trust Act no longer enforced? That's the question.

It is. That law was designed to encourage large companies to spend lots of money on Washington lobbyists, to provide plenty of private-money jobs for the insiders that like to slide between public positions and private ones. So it's working as designed. Microsoft went from spending the least amount of political influence money of any Fortune 500 company to spending pretty much the most.

Comment: Patents... ugh (Score 1) 58

by fyngyrz (#48665593) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

Software patents are utter bullshit from word one. They should just go away and stay away.

Hardware patents are something else, but it's pretty clear they are being *very* poorly managed. I don't even like saying it, but I'm afraid I agree with you: they do more harm than good now.

We need an entirely new model of encouraging invention. Trade secret is useful in providing a reasonable profit window and establishment of precedence in the marketplace (the only way to go with software, as far as I'm concerned) as the window you get correlates well with the complexity of what you've done, but has its limits when we're talking hardware.

Perhaps a way for society to pay for an invention, and once that's been done, it goes right into the "available to everyone" pool. Panels of experts setting perceived value and an immediate payment being made, followed by a revisit ten years later to determine how it all went, with extra reward possible if the invention's impact was underestimated?

Look at me, suggesting government committees. Oy. I should go bang my head on a table.

But damn, we *really* need to clean out the drains. Patents are the disgusting glop that are making the system run slower and slower, while getting legal sewage all over everyone involved. The only consistent winners here are the plumbers (lawyers.)

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 4, Interesting) 159

by sumdumass (#48664431) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

While this is true, the attacker does not need physical access for this. All they need is access to an innocent user who can be convinced to plug something in.

The FBI and secret service demonstrated this type of attack back in the early 2000s. They dropped usb drives near banks night drop boxes and front doors that pinged a server with the local ip and machine name and wrote a file locally when plugged in with the autorun on. Something like 70% or so pinged. People where plugging them in to try to figure out who's they were to return them.

Its pretty easy to convince someone to plug something in.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears