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Comment: Some did own the idea of a car (Score 2) 360

by SirWhoopass (#46151767) Attached to: Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

I would no more steal a car than I would tolerate a company telling me that they had the exclusive rights to the idea of cars themselves.

This did happen. A lot.

A consortium held the patent on the idea of a car, and would grant or deny the right to build one at the dawn of the 20th century. This patent was eventually fought by Henry Ford after the consortium refused to grant him a license.

Maganox held a patent on the idea of a home video game system. Atari, Mattel, Activision, and Nintendo all paid royalties to build a home video game

Thomas Edison held a patent on movies. Hollywood arose, in part, due to filmmakers running as far away from Edison as possible to avoid his patent enforcement.

I'm not defending infinite copyright, just pointing out that his example isn't as absurd as it seems. History is full of examples. And yes, I do understand the difference between a patent and copyright. The original author lumped the two types of IP together in his analogy.

Comment: Columbus Day is still a holiday? (Score 1) 254

by SirWhoopass (#45120495) Attached to: <em>Scientific American</em> In Blog Removal Controversy

I agree with the AC on this one. Columbus Day is not much of a holiday. It's certainly not a "three-day weekend" for most people. The public university I work for and the public elementary school my son attends are both open. I can't think of any private company that is closed today.

I suppose federal government offices might be closed today, if they hadn't already been shut down.

Comment: Re:"Starting from -infinity, got nothing to lose" (Score 1) 816

My problem with the birth of Anakin is that Lucas wimped out on it and created the midiclorians to cover it.

A great hero being conceived by the gods is a common theme in mythology. Either through diety-on-human sex (Zeus style) or divine conception, depending on how directly the culture viewed their interaction with the gods.

In keeping with the Campbell-greatest-hits-of-myth tradition he'd used before, Lucas wanted that for Anakin. But the whole immaculate conception idea would have been a hard sell to a society where a significant segment doesn't see how their particular flavor of divine myth parallels all the others in history. So he had to cover his ass with a psuedo-science angle for the Force.

It should have been, "Anakin was conceived by the Force" and left at that. Then we wouldn't have had midiclorians at all.

Comment: Re:Easy to infringe, hard to fix (Score 1) 286

You are correct, a DMCA notice requires that the person filing is the owner of the copyright (or acting on their behalf, such as an attorney).

That is the point the GP is making, isn't it? Funnyjunk does not require contact information to upload images, although they certainly could require it. Why not? Their business model is based on loose copyright enforcement.

Craigslist makes it easy to post, and also easy to flag for removal. Facebook is at the other end. They generally know who you are when you post, and they know who is filing complaints.

Comment: MBAs don't care (Score 1) 241

by SirWhoopass (#40287961) Attached to: Adopt the Cloud, Kill Your IT Career

I imagine that the MBAs realize it simply outsources the problems. From their perspective this is better. If the IT guys screw up then all they can do is fire them. If the Cloud has a problem, then they have a breach of contract with [Amazon/Microsoft/etc].

Whether or not they could recover any significant damages doesn't matter. Or the probability of failure. They have someone outside the organization to hold accountable. Someone who can be sued.

Comment: Re:Remailers (Score 1) 164

by SirWhoopass (#39795199) Attached to: FBI Compromises Another Remailer

So, are there any remailers in countries that don't have reciprocal juristictional arrangements with the USA?

Iran. North Korea. Syria. China... maybe? They might cooperate with the FBI depending on the target. Same with Russia. Are you looking for a country that doesn't have reciprocal arrangements, but that will also respect your privacy? I doubt it.

Comment: Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (Score 1) 515

by SirWhoopass (#39783929) Attached to: North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

'Counseling' implies more time being spent in the process. Also, money.

I disagree. I believe that counseling implies giving advice regarding the diet plan. Someone who counsels would be altering the plan in some fashion... eat more of X, less of Y, you can still eat ice cream every other day, etc.

Encouraging would mean to be supportive about following the prescribed plan, but not altering the plan.

Comment: Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (Score 4, Insightful) 515

by SirWhoopass (#39782787) Attached to: North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

"I advise you not to eat at McDonalds because a homemade salad is more nutritious than a cheeseburger". Thats all it takes to be a criminal in NC.

That is not correct. Providing nutritional information is perfectly legal in NC. Telling people about your diet is fine. Creating a diet plan for someone would be illegal. Which is what this guy was doing. Diagnosing symptoms and providing specific nutritional remedies for people with diabetes (charging $100 - $150 for this service).

The state board provides a PDF of what type of advice is legal, and what crosses the line. The short version would be that it is fine to provide nutritional information. It is illegal to provide nutrition care services.

Comment: Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (Score 5, Informative) 515

by SirWhoopass (#39782579) Attached to: North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

You are correct in that the First Amendment does apply to the states.

I am not certain, however, that is applies to this situation. The summary is misleading. He was not merely blogging about what he did and encouraging others.

He also diagnosing conditions and recommending treatment plans. And he was charging money for that service.

Comment: Re:he was giving out business cards.... (Score 5, Informative) 515

by SirWhoopass (#39782397) Attached to: North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

"Is he collecting cash?"

Yes.

Obviously we don't know all the details...

Except that we do. Especially if we read the state board's findings linked from his site and the article (6.3MB PDF).

The state board provides a print-out of his site with annotations. People write in with symptoms, he assess their situation and provides specific advice. The board makes it clear that his is counseling, which requires a license. The note that he could describe what he did (meals, fitness, etc), but soliciting questions and advising is what crosses the line.

In addition, he offered consulting services ranging from $98 to $197 per month. These services included phone consultation and email Q&As.

The state board didn't just drop the hammer out of no where. They reviewed his site and advised him that he could not offer nutrition consulting services without a license. Which is clearly what he was doing. He has chosen to ignore them and cry "free speech!".

Comment: Re:When people abuse prices go up (Score 2) 503

Yes, the United States does have consumer protection laws. Starting with the Uniform Commercial Code, plus the various states all have their own laws.

An item will have an implied fitness for purpose. The issue would be whether accepting the video signal from a 20-year-old video game system would be considered an "ordinary use" for a new television. I am not certain that is true. The original poster also explicitly avoided asking anyone at the store which television could do what he wanted.

Comment: Re:Headline (Score 0) 65

by SirWhoopass (#39630131) Attached to: NASA Shuttle Discovery Set To Buzz Washington, DC

I'm sorry (think of me what you will), but I think it's pretty ridiculous. Does anyone else feel like it's parading around a dead carcass? Put it in a museum and let people come and view it. Doing a series of low level fly-bys of D.C. just sounds juvenile and dangerous.

Did you even read the summary? That's what NASA is doing. They aren't going out of their way for a fly-by, they're delivering it to the Smithsonian.

Comment: Re:Woe Be The Day Cash Becomes Illegal (Score 3, Insightful) 447

by SirWhoopass (#39414967) Attached to: Sweden Moving Towards Cashless Economy

The currency that has had the most steady value in terms of a laborers wage over the last 4 thousand years is beer.

Beer is difficult to transport (bulky compared to its value) and spoils rather quickly. Distilling it to whiskey is a better option. The Scotch-Irish figured that out a few centuries ago.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.

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