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Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 99

by Theaetetus (#48899033) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Along with your work, you provide a promise not to sue, giving up all your rights to the work in question. It's clearly illegal to do that with the intent of changing your mind later.

Well, since the armchair /. lawyers will soon descend upon your post spouting off about how you can't enforce anything without a contract, let's just go ahead and get this posted: Promissory Estoppel ;-)

However, as your link notes, the measure of recovery wouldn't be the same as if the contract existed, since there would've been no negotiation and awarding full use of the work would be unjust enrichment. Instead, a court would probably say that there are no royalties due for past infringement, but that you don't get an unlimited right going forward to keep using the work.

Comment: Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (Score 1) 686

by Theaetetus (#48893393) Attached to: Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

First your entire understanding is completely incorrect.

She initially claimed that a RO was needed becuase he was spreading nudes of her, while it was she who posted them publicly when working as a model. A) He did not spread the links (or rather nothing concrete can be found to link him), and B) they were distributed BEFORE the RO was issued; give they were used as justification for one.

Unless you are now arguing that action which promoted the issuance of a RO can then be used as evidence of violating it after issuance?

The police report you linked says that they were distributed in a podcast on 09/20/14. It also says the restraining order was issued on 09/16/14. Now, I'm no mathematician, but I do believe that 9/16 is before 9/20, not after.

Or are you arguing that the police report you provided is fake?

Secondly, I guess you missed the start of the second paragraph, wherein she claims Milo and Gjoni are part of some group whose purpose is to spread doxx information.

Nope, read it. You claimed - and I quote - she "claimed that he and Milo, are part of some professional doxxing organization." I responded that the word "professional" doesn't appear there. Are you now backpedaling on that and admitting that she's only claiming that he's part of a group that doxxes people? Or do you want to double down and claim that use of the word "organization" automatically means it's professional?

Third, if you simply listen to the podcast, it was not Gjoni discussing that information. KoP was, and Gjoni was just present. So even if the information was spread, it was not Gjoni spreading it. A RO may prevent Gjoni from discussing the matter but that does not hold him liable for when others do.

Do you have a copy of the transcript? I can't find one online, so I can't verify. Also, depending on the wording of the restraining order, a judge is still going to crack down on Gjoni if he tries to pull a "I didn't reveal her personal information, the person sitting to my right (reading the note I passed him) revealed her personal information".

Also in followup to this, Gjoni's Lawyer was then doxxed and threatened; and the doxxer is now being sued.

First, got a link? Second, I'm not sure how this is relevant to what we're discussing. Is there any claim that Quinn was the doxxer?
Incidentally, if by Gjoni's lawyer, you mean Mike Cernovich, I really hope he's not claiming to be Gjoni's lawyer, because he's not a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and unlicensed practice of law can get him huge sanctions.

RalphRetort has the rest of the links but I am opting not to share them directly due to doxxing issues.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. You can't provide a citation because you're afraid of being doxxed?

Comment: Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (Score 1) 686

by Theaetetus (#48889637) Attached to: Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

OR how as part of the gag order, she claimed that Gjoni spread internet links to nude pictures of her, while failing to mention these were images she had made public of her own volition, while working as a model/camgirl.

And claimed that he and Milo, are part of some professional doxxing organization, despite in reality they had never spoken prior to GG

http://theralphretort.com/wp-c...

*Police report obtained via FOIA

First, your link doesn't say what you claim it says. The word "professional" never appears anywhere in there, nor "paid", "compensation", or anything else that might imply it was a professional organization.

Second, the police report indicates that the restraining order forbid any posting of her personal information by Gjoni. But, as you admit, Gjoni spread internet links to nude pictures of her. Regardless of who put them up initially, it certainly seems like you're admitting he violated the restraining order.

Restraining orders are explicit orders to not do certain things. If you do them, you're in deep shiat, even if they seem to make no sense at the time. For example, when people with restraining orders who are told to stay away from each other due to a domestic fight later reconcile and get back together without first going to a court and having the order withdrawn go to jail. If the order tells Gjoni not to post any personal information about Quinn, and he posts a copy of a white pages entry naming her, he's still in violation of the order. There's no "sure, I posted personal information, but other people did too" or "sure I posted personal information, but it wasn't secret" defenses. You simply can't do it, or you're in violation.

Comment: Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (Score 1) 686

by Theaetetus (#48889529) Attached to: Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

I'm starting to think this gamer gate is just another grouping of right wing nuts.

No, that's been researched. GG is mostly left of center. This is authoritarian left (SJWs like Quinn, Alexander, Grayson, McIntosh, Chu, etc) vs libertarian left (GG).

Say what? GG's supporters include writers at Breitbart, Ed Morrisey at Hot Air, conservative Adam Baldwin, Christina Hoff Sommers, etc. This is Tea Party-style "libertarians" and conservatives against progressives.

Comment: Re:"Engineer" (Score 1) 78

by Theaetetus (#48838537) Attached to: Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

An actual engineer would have at least figured out a way to make 1 optical drive read discs from both systems.

They're both SATA Blu-Ray drives. Seems like it should be possible, but would need a SATA data splitter (which doesn't exist), or a switch to flip all of the data pins between each motherboard. In SATA, that's only really 4 pins, since the other three are ground, so a 4-pole 2-way switch should do it... but you'd be killing the shielding, common mode noise rejection between pairs, etc. at the switch. So, while theoretically, it might work, in practice it may just spit out drive errors. At least one advantage is that the SATA spec includes up to a 1m cable length, and you'd only need about 10 centimeters, tops.

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48815353) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

I'm pointing to the idea of popularity of an invention being nonobvious as an indicator that the idea was also nonobvious.

I don't see why the burden of proof is not on you for this claim.

First, because of the way the patent act is written - it says that if a patent application can't be shown to be obvious, then it will be issued. That makes sense logically, because proving that something is nonobvious after having disclosed it is going to be nigh-difficult if not impossible. What are you going to do, wipe everyone's memory and then quiz them?

Second, even disregarding that, I've already met the burden of proof - I provided evidence in the form of "you admitted this is valuable" and "this didn't exist". Together, that indicates it was probably not obvious, or someone would have done it. It's your turn to rebut it, with evidence, not just saying "it's clearly obvious".

And as of yet, you have pointed to no indicators as to whether something is obvious.

The indicator I am using is the metric that the invention in question could have been invented even if the patent had not been granted. We can never know this in the absolute sense that we can't change the past and see how it affects the future, but I think reasonable people can agree that a blue and gold polka dot smartphone could be invented even without a patent

Of course the invention in question could have been invented - it was invented, or else we wouldn't be talking about it. Your indicator is essentially "this was invented, therefore it could have been invented, and since it could have been invented, no one had to invent it because it was obvious". That circular logic applies to everything from the space shuttle to cancer vaccines.

(i.e. the R&D costs of figuring out how to do it are negligible compared to a phone of any other color)

The implementation costs are negligible... the R&D costs - figuring out that it is an improvement, doing user testing, etc., are quite high compared to the implementation costs... and, I believe, that ratio was your metric indicating it should be patentable.

Tell that to Zynga, or any of the indie designers they've ripped off.

If this were not true, then no one would ever design any games or software seeing as how unprofitable it would be.

Well, there's a lot of shovelware out there, and not much in the way of new designs, you'll notice. It's starting to become like Atari in the 80s.

On the contrary, it's pretty easy. [youtube.com]

Writing an application that mimics some very small subsection of a much larger UI is not very hard. If this was all there was to Apple's UI, then they *really* don't deserve a patent. This software is an "easy copy" of Apple's UI like how a picture of a Ferrari is an "easy copy" of a real Ferrari. Is it easy to copy a Ferrari? Maybe yes, maybe no, but a picture of a Ferrari is not proof that it is easy (unless you have a very low standard for what counts as a Ferrari).

However, once you can buy a Ferrari and take it apart, it's pretty easy to copy with a machine shop and some skilled workers. And since we're not talking about the engine, but the UI, it's even easier to make a body case of a Ferrari and build a fiberglass look-alike. I'd give a Hollywood special effects shop a week, tops.

Similarly, I'd give a team of Russian hackers a week or two to reverse engineer any UI you build, even if it took you months and months of trial and error and alternate designs to come up with the best one.

But they also come up with new aspects, which is why the UIs are evolving. Those new aspects that others copy, because they believe they're the best aspects, must not have been obvious, or they would already have been incorporated - since, as you say, they're acknowledged as the "best".

By this definition of obvious, *nothing* would ever be obvious because for anything, there was a point in time at which it didn't exist.

You're confusing "new" and "nonobvious" - they're actually two different statutes. If something has never been done before, then it's new, by definition. However, if all of the pieces of it had been done separately and they could be readily combined, then it's obvious, even though it's new. Peanut butter sandwiches are known; tuna fish sandwiches are known. Maybe no one ever put them together, because yech, so it's "new", but it's also an "obvious" combination of known elements.

But if the patent claim was peanut butter + tuna + [previously unknown substance], then that's not obvious, no matter how obvious peanut butter + tuna would be.

In the definition above, the UI designers come up with new aspects, which others than copy. Those new aspects haven't been done before. When the resulting UI is "known aspect" + "known aspect" + new aspect, then it's not obvious.

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48815021) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

I think you are confusing the idea of an invention being obvious and the idea of the popularity of an invention being obvious.

I am not saying that it is obvious whether any idea will be popular.

I'm pointing to the idea of popularity of an invention being nonobvious as an indicator that the idea was also nonobvious. And as of yet, you have pointed to no indicators as to whether something is obvious.

We are talking about copying the design of a piece of software, and incorporating it into your own software in order to sell. The cost of this is not negligible at all. In fact it is probably pretty close to the actual cost of designing it in the first place in many cases.

Tell that to Zynga, or any of the indie designers they've ripped off.

Go ask someone to recreate IOS or android or windows UI for use in your own product to sell. This cost will not be negligable. Nor can you just drag and drop some files to have that UI magically appear in your own application.

On the contrary, it's pretty easy.

All of these UIs have copied the best aspects (from their point of view) of the others, which is why there is a lot of co-evolution happening among UI design.

But they also come up with new aspects, which is why the UIs are evolving. Those new aspects that others copy, because they believe they're the best aspects, must not have been obvious, or they would already have been incorporated - since, as you say, they're acknowledged as the "best".

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48814509) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Was it? Here's the thing - you already admitted this was valuable. If making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you knew it, wouldn't you do it? Of course you would, you're a smart guy who likes money. Or, conversely, if making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you didn't know it, then that would explain why you didn't do it. So, when someone subsequently comes out with a gold and blue polkadot phone and their sales shoot up, you can't very well say "pff, that's obvious, I knew about that all along... I just didn't do it because I hate making money" and expect to be believed.

You seem to be reasserting the claim that something can not be obvious if no one has done it yet. It is this very claim that I am disputing.

While it may not be obvious that people will like a blue and gold polkadot phone, it should be plainly obvious that such a phone could be made and how it could be made, even if no one ever makes one.

Not exactly... I'm asserting the claim that if no one has done something yet and it's commercially valuable to do so, then it's likely not obvious. Evidence of that is the fact that if it was obvious, someone would have taken the free money. Because no one has, that implies no one thought of it.
You're disputing this by saying "no, it's plainly obvious." Well, that's a fine conclusion, but where's your evidence?

If X is the the price of R&D and Y is the price of copying it, we should allow patents on products with a high X:Y ratio.

Sure, let's go with that - the price of copying software is negligible, while the price of designing it is comparatively huge. In fact, the copying price is so small - a click and drag, in one scenario - that the ratio approaches or exceeds that of pharmaceuticals, where at least you have to make a physical product. So, software should be patentable, and expensive machines may not be patentable, depending on how closely the cost to build them approaches or exceeds the design cost.

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48812905) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Is it? If so, why don't we have it already in products?

For the same reason we didn't have smartphones until processors, batteries, screens, etc were at a level to make smartphones possible.

Once we had sensors like the kinect, the necessity for good ui drives the innovation.

Kinect came out in Nov. 2010. It seems like you're admitting that it wasn't obvious until at least then, no?

Prove it - explain why it was so obvious that people already knew about it, but no one bothered making it.

Something doesn't need to exist for it to be obvious. I can make a smartphone that is some color that no one has ever used to make a smartphone. Should I be able to patent smartphones of a particular RGB value? Or was it obvious that it this was always possible to make a smartphone of any arbitrary color regardless of whether or when anyone actually did it?

Was it? Here's the thing - you already admitted this was valuable. If making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you knew it, wouldn't you do it? Of course you would, you're a smart guy who likes money.
Or, conversely, if making a smartphone in gold and blue polka dots meant that your profit would increase and you didn't know it, then that would explain why you didn't do it.
So, when someone subsequently comes out with a gold and blue polkadot phone and their sales shoot up, you can't very well say "pff, that's obvious, I knew about that all along... I just didn't do it because I hate making money" and expect to be believed.

Why would you spend millions or billions of dollars to create and test a drug only to have some other company copy it and undercut you.

Why would you spend hundreds of thousands or millions on UI design to create and test a UI only to have some other company copy it and undercut you? In fact, why would you spend any money on research, if someone can just steal yours freely (and you can steal theirs)?

Comment: Re:Not very broad (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48812535) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Hopefully, I'm not falling for the bait.

I don't understand how you think this rates a patent.

Actually, I'm trying to guide you towards addressing the patent claims, rather than some vague gist of the idea... The claims are the only part of the patent that matters, not the title, not the abstract, etc. In order to call the claims obvious, you have to show that all of the elements in the claims existed in the prior art and could be reasonably combined by someone of skill in the art. Saying "mice exist and can do gestures" is a useful first step, but the claims recite a sensor that receives "a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device" and I'm sure you'll readily agree that a mouse doesn't do that.

Using well-known protocols and scripts already out there in the world I rigged my son's laptop to wake when he walks into the room.

Did you do that before 2011?

This constitutes a gesture in 3D space by the loosest criteria. If you read my post, I said that the patent on the sensing device and related firmware is fair, as that is what is determining the discrete actions in 3D space.

Probably not after the Microsoft Kinect, actually.

However, patenting a response to an input which has very broad and very frequently used precedent is dubious at best.

Except that you haven't proven it... You've said mice exist, sure, but I'm sure you'll also admit that a mouse doesn't actually read on this. You've said there are well-known protocols and scripts and that it's very frequently used... But just saying "prior art exists" doesn't mean anything unless you can actually name that prior art: which protocols? Which scripts?

As soon as the kinect came out dozens of people starting working on how to make the gesture capability do everything (even the impractical) via gesture. So the idea is neither obscure nor non-obvious.

But was it at the time? The Kinect was released in Nov. 2010. This patent is from early 2011. It may be obvious now, but you can only prove that by showing prior art that existed at the time.

The code implementation will be unique and thus protected via copyright,

Copyright isn't useful for protecting code. See, e.g. Dream Heights/Tiny Tower, Farmville/Farm Town, Candy Crush Saga/dozens of similar games, MS Office/Open Office, etc., etc. It's great when people want that specific thing, like the latest Avengers movie rather than a Bollywood superhero movie, or Harry Potter rather than "Larry Kotter, Boy Wizard", but it's useless when the software is fungible.

... and the gestures may be enforceable via trademark or copyright.

Not sure if serious. You can't get a trademark or copyright on a gesture.

This patent ranks right up there with "swipe-to-unlock" which again mimics a mouse movement in a different medium, making it stupidly obvious.

And yet, no one had anything like it before swipe-to-unlock came out, and lots of people immediately copied it. That indicates it wasn't stupidly obvious prior to Apple's disclosure of it.

IF they did something super spiffy like authenticating the user via Fitbit, audible pacing of footsteps, and a gesture then the patent still would not be on the concept, it would be on the aggregation of the data in such a manner that it constitutes and unique representation of the user. Definitely patentable, but probably more profitable to keep under lock and key copyrighted.

As noted above, if you write your own code to do that, you don't violate copyright. Copyright is useless for 90% of software. It only works in cases where there are proprietary formats of data, so you need to get the specific program rather than a competitor's, and lack of interoperability is a bad thing for consumers.

The only reason that Apple wants this patent is to "rent-seek" and inhibit competition on an obvious and ubiquitous feature while they can get away with it in court.

If you're rent seeking, you're not inhibiting competition - i.e. if you're receiving royalties for your patent, then someone must be practicing it.
No, Apple wants this patent to force competitors to come up with other ways of doing the same thing, because Apple believes theirs is more intuitive and will be preferred by consumers. I doubt they would ever grant a license to this patent.

For reference: http://www.sensiblevision.com/... http://openkinect.org/wiki/Pro... http://youtu.be/Krcguf4HO8Q MIT demo of gesture navigation in 3D space, sensors are different, concept... the same. http://youtu.be/UtozGpoDhwk Same sort of interaction via camera.

Yes, and? No one is claiming Apple invented cameras or gestures. Remember, you have to focus on the claims of the patent, not just "it's a patent on gestures, so if I find any mention of a gesture, I've invalidated it."

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48812359) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

You'll notice that I was not arguing against patents in general. I was arguing that patents like *this* one do not drive innovation, specifically because "inventions" like this one are so obvious that they would have been invented without the incentive of a monopoly.

Is it? If so, why don't we have it already in products?

The question "is it more valuable to make this than not" drives innovation. Patents drive adding those innovations into the public domain, which eliminates the need for every competitor to waste time reinventing the same thing.

This particular "invention" would already be in the public domain by default had it not been patented because it is obvious.

Prove it - explain why it was so obvious that people already knew about it, but no one bothered making it.

This "invention" was already more valuable to make than not before the patent,

Then someone would have made it. Free money on the table, right? They already have the idea, it's valuable to make even without a patent, so you should be able to point to at least one product including it...

Unless, of course, it wasn't obvious.

I am for granting patents that actually drive innovation (i.e. the ones that turn inventions from being less profitable to make to more).

Patents only on things that aren't valuable to produce? Why would people buy them? Or are you suggesting that with a patent will also come a mandate forcing the public to buy products they don't want? Please, we don't do that in this c-... well, we don't do that for anything except insurance.

Comment: Re:Not very broad (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48811631) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

Just so you know... ppl have been doing this for a while using webcams or motion sensors or mice...

The sensing device, which is not part of the patent provides the input, essentially the patent boils down to "Move the mouse in an axis 20cm and the computer will unlock."

Mice are certainly sensing devices, but they don't receive "a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device" as recited by the patent claim.

By "doing this for a while", you may mean "doing something vaguely similar, but lacking the steps explicitly recited in the patent claim", which is why those don't invalidate the claim.

The software to interface with said sensing device should be copyrighted if the owner wishes that protection but the action of unlocking a computer with a sensor input, should not be patentable... because it is fracking obvious.

Sure, it is, because you just read a Slashdot story telling you the idea. If I tell you a joke, then turn around and tell you the setup again, the punchline is "obvious" because you just heard it. The question is not whether something is obvious after it has been explained to you, but whether it's obvious before. Or specifically, whether the invention was obvious at the time of filing the patent application, and not after you've read all about it.

Comment: Re:posting the abstract is click bait. (Score 1) 105

by Theaetetus (#48811581) Attached to: Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent

The whole point of patents is to drive innovation. Being able to patent things like this is clearly not in the spirit of that goal.

Why not? Clearly, it's not so clear to Congress, so what's your reasoning as to why this is not in the spirit of driving innovation?

The question we should be asking is:

If a patent was not granted for this "invention" (i.e. a monopoly for selling this invention not granted), would it still have been invented (i.e. would a company still be willing to perform the R&D necessary to invent this invention without the reward of a monopoly).

It's pretty clear to me that the answer to this question is yes.

If this is the case, then granting a patent (i.e. a monopoly for selling this invention) actually stifles innovation.

Respectfully, that question is a bit naive. Patents aren't really about encouraging innovation, they're about encouraging public disclosure of innovations, as opposed to keeping them under trade secret or restrictive contracts. Without patents, would a company still invent this? Sure, it seems to be a commercially valuable advantage over a device lacking it. What would they do instead? Have purchasers sign non-reverse engineering contracts, non-disclosure agreements, restrictions on sales, etc. And those contracts could actually grant more rights than patents, since there's nothing to say they'd have to expire after 20 years or wouldn't include the first sale doctrine or patent exhaustion, nor could they be invalidated by prior art, etc., etc.

The question "is it more valuable to make this than not" drives innovation. Patents drive adding those innovations into the public domain, which eliminates the need for every competitor to waste time reinventing the same thing.

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