Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:This is not unique. (Score 1) 622

You're confusing patents, copyright, and trademark so much that I can't make heads or tails of what you're raving about.

A company I know of applies for a copyright to a word (not common everyday word, but the name of a famous person from old times).

Copyright does not apply to "a word". Perhaps the company in question applied for a trademark.

There are hundreds upon HUNDREDS of other patents that were granted the copyright

This is complete gibberish. I really have no clue what you're trying to say.

The copyright that this particular company applied for was not only under a different category than all of the above, but it even had another acronym attached to the name, so it was TRULY unique.

Assuming you're referring to trademarks, appending a couple letters to the end doesn't make an old trademark new again. Trademarks exist to protect consumers from getting confused between different brands. Ever seen "Durasell" batteries? That would never fly in the US, because under trademark law, even though Durasell is "unique", it could (and, of course, does) confuse consumers into thinking that it is the same as Duracell.

Similar trade names can be granted individual trademarks if they exist in separate-enough markets. That's why Apple Computer was once barred from entering the music business by the court system. Even though Apple Computer didn't want to get into the label business, the Beatles' label's market was close enough to warrant concern about consumer confusion.

So if what you say is true and "hundreds" of other trademarks have already been granted, there stands a high chance that the intended market for your new trademark was too close to one of the hundreds.

So moral of the story is, you can have prior art all you want. You can LACK prior art all you want.

Prior art has little to do with trademark law.

I understand that saying "patents", "copyright", and "bad" is key to /. karma, but really. Get a clue. Thanks.

Comment Re:Get ready to Bend over America (Score 5, Informative) 410

Actually, NYT got this story very wrong, according to cnet:

As part of the deal, Verizon would agree not to selectively throttle Internet traffic through its pipes. That would not, however, apply to data traveling over its wireless network for mobile phones, the report says.

Comment Re:Great (Score 4, Informative) 1231

I immediately found a very large irritant after upgrading. Previously, I had line-in set to play through to the speakers. There was a simple slider in sound preferences that existed back since at least 6.06. The same option exists under Windows. But suddenly, 9.10 removed this option. Line-in no longer plays through, and the option has been completely removed from the revamped (and somewhat disorganized) sound preference panels. I appreciate the effort to "modernize" the sound options like per-application tuning, but not at the cost of tossing simple, basic options that have existed since the invention of the sound card.

Also, regarding the bootup animations, they've changed for three or four consecutive upgrades now. I don't mind a refresher when appropriate, but "refreshing" every six months tells me that some priorities need some reordering.

XBox (Games)

Next Console Generation Defined By Software, Not Hardware 177

Fast Company recent spoke with Microsoft exec Shane Kim about Natal and the future of the Xbox 360. Kim said they're very interested in continuing to build out support for social networking and digital distribution, and he also made some interesting remarks about their long term plans. Quoting: "It really has much more to do with ... the innovation and longevity that will be created when Project Natal is added to that mix and the value and the entertainment options that we continue to expand on Xbox Live. The 'next generation' will be defined by software and services, not hardware. In the past we would always get this question: 'Hey, there's a new console launch every five years and you're coming up on that time for Xbox, right?' That's the old treadmill way of thinking. Before you had things that were very obvious, from a hardware standpoint — pushing more pixels, the move from 2-D to 3-D, 3-D to HD, etc. We got a very powerful piece of hardware in Xbox 360. I am confident that we have more headroom available, in terms of developers and creators figuring out how to get more out of the system. So I worry less about new hardware having to enable us to move to a different level of graphics. It's much more about the experiences that you are going to deliver."

Which Language Approach For a Computer Science Degree? 537

wikid_one writes "I recently went back to college to finish my CS degree, however this time I moved to a new school. My previous school taught only C++, except for a few higher level electives (OpenGL). The school I am now attending teaches what seems like every language in the book. The first two semesters are Java, and then you move to Python, C, Bash, Oracle, and Assembly. While I feel that it would be nice to get a well-rounded introduction to the programming world, I also feel that I am going to come out of school not having the expertise required in a single language to land a good job. After reading the syllabi, all the higher level classes appear to teach concepts rather than work to develop advanced techniques in a specific language. Which method of teaching is going to better provide me with the experience I need, as well as the experience an employer wants to see in a college graduate?"

Comment Re:Truly Gates now thinks he is God (Score 1) 380

So you say that the work required moving the cold water to the hot water is necessarily equivalent to that of directly heating the water. What if the water is 1mm away? 10m away? 1000 light years away? The work required for each of these is equivalent? Did you just discover a way to move water 1000 light years minus 1mm for free?

The problem with your "basic physics" is that work is equivalent only when the outcomes are exactly the same. Think about why heating x liters of water is not the same outcome as raising x liters of water some height.

Let me offer another example. Suppose that we want to heat 1L of 1-degree-C water to 50 degrees. It just so happens that we could move the 1L of water .00001m into thermal contact with a close-by 1L of water kept at 99 degrees. Now, the outcome of heating 1L of water to 50 degrees is the same, but the outcomes of the universe outside of that narrow scope are not identical. Opting for a 40% (or even far, far less) efficient mechanical pump saves energy over a heat pump heating the water 49 degrees because the work required for the two processes is not equivalent. (And, of course, if .00001m is changed to some obscenely large distance, opting for the the heat pump instead would be more efficient.)

Comment Re:Stop tagging correlationisnotcausation (Score 1) 458

No, it's not incorrect, you just failed to understand my point. You are isolating this study from other research and taking it at face value, whereas I am putting it in the context of substantial previous work and knowledge.

Imagine there were a study that correlated people letting go of things and those things falling to the ground. Taken at face value, as you do with this story, one should ask, for example, whether something else caused both the letting-go and the dropping-to-the-ground. But taken with previous knowledge, that would be an exercise in pointlessness; we all know what gravity is and that it exists, and so we can conclude that letting go of things is in a causal relationship with those things falling to the ground.

In other words, pedantry doesn't do anyone any good here, because we already have substantial evidence applicable to this new work. I appreciate your and the community's attention to correctness, but in this instance, it's being misapplied.

Comment Stop tagging correlationisnotcausation (Score 4, Insightful) 458

People, please stop tagging every study on Slashdot with correlationisnotcausation. I know it's standard here to believe this community is somehow more enlightened than all others, but do you really think that researchers became researchers without being able to ask simple questions? In fact, in an idealized study, it's not even a relevant question!

Moreover, this moronic practice is especially stupid for this story because the neurological effects of lithium salts have been explored for decades. This is not a revolutionary study by any means. So unless years and years of studies have gone horribly wrong, then yes, in this case, correlation does, in fact, imply causation.


Lithium In Water "Curbs Suicide" 458

SpuriousLogic writes "Drinking water which contains lithium may reduce the risk of suicide, a Japanese study suggests. Researchers compared levels of lithium in drinking water to suicide rates in the prefecture of Oita, which has a population of more than one million. The suicide rate was significantly lower in those areas with the highest levels of lithium, they wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry. And I was only worried about fluoridation affecting my precious bodily fluids before ..."

Comment Re:Retarded (Score 4, Informative) 874

If you voluntarily incapacitate yourself by getting drunk, you're responsible for any and all contracts you enter into while impaired. See Lucy v. Zehmer, the "heh, sure, I'll sell you my house for $100. I'll even sign a contract. I know you don't have a hundred dollars on you- oh, crap" case.

Erm ... that's not even close to what Lucy was about. Lucy had little to do with intoxication. Straight from the op. Ct., "In was in fact conceded by defendants' counsel in oral argument that under the evidence Zehmer was not too drunk to make a valid contract."

Lucy revolved around whether the contract was valid based on "outward expression" rather than secret intent. Zehmer claimed he was "joking", despite talking for months about it, despite writing it down, despite getting his wife to co-sign it. The Court found that Lucy entered into the contract in good faith. If this contract weren't valid, how could any reasonable person want to enter into a contract ever without mind-reading capabilities?

Not only did Lucy actually believe, but the evidence shows he was warranted in believing, that the contract represented a serious business transaction and a good faith sale and purchase of the farm.

..."We must look to the outward expression of a person as manifesting his intention rather than to his secret and unexpressed intention...."

And that's why Lucy is taught in every contract law intro class.


Google Challenging Proposition 8 1475

theodp writes "Coming the day after it announced layoffs and office closures, Google's California Supreme Court filing arguing for the overturn of Proposition 8, which asks the Court not to harm its ability to recruit and retain employees, certainly could have been better timed. Google's support of same-sex marriage puts it on the same page with Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft's man in Silicon-Valley, who joined other tech leaders last October to denounce Prop 8 in a full-page newspaper ad. But oddly, Microsoft HR Chief Mike Murray cited religious beliefs for his decision to contribute $100,000 to 'Yes On 8', surprising coming from the guy who had been charged with diversity and sensitivity training during his ten-year Microsoft stint. "

iTunes DRM-Free Files Contain Personal Info 693

r2k writes "Apple's iTunes Plus files are DRM-free, but sharing the files on P2P networks may be an extremely bad idea. A report published by CNet highlights the fact that the account information and email address of the iTunes account holder is hidden inside each and every DRM-free download. I checked, and I found I couldn't access the information using an ID3 tag editor, but using Notepad I found my email address stored inside the audio file itself."

Comment Re:Trip over beginners? (Score 1) 215

So if you are not held back by external requirements like dependencies on packages or third party software that hasn't been ported to 3.0 yet or working in an environment where everyone else is using another version. If you're learning Python for the first time, 3.0 is a great way to learn the language. There's a couple of things that trip over beginners have been removed.

Like basic grammatical structure, for instance? When did Palin become a Python dev?

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.