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Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 3, Funny) 99

by Yaztromo (#48179483) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

It's interesting that OP claims the government "owns" the "IP" related to the vaccine.

Something I left out of my previous post; generally, the Government of Canada doesn't own the patent; instead it's owned by Queen Elizabeth II, in Right of Canada, and represented by the minister of the relevant government agency.

Here's an example I picked purely because of it's humorous title, particular when you relate it to the Queen as owner: APPARATUS FOR PERFORMING SCROTAL CIRCUMFERENCE MEASUREMENT ON BULLS.


Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 99

by Yaztromo (#48179477) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

In Canada and most other democracies the gov't is the people, and the people are allowed to own stuff.

As a generalization you're correct, however, in the case of patents, they technically aren't held by the Government of Canada, but are instead held by the Queen. This is usually written as "HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, IN RIGHT OF CANADA AS REPRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OF..." in Canadian patents.

Of course, in a practical sense, the Queen is going around acting as a patent troll. She may own the patents, but control tends to lie with the minister of the responsible government agency.


Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 99

by Yaztromo (#48179417) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

The US has a patent on an Ebola virus.. Human ebola virus species and compositions and methods thereof

Looks like a Canadian patent, owned by the " The Government Of The United States Of America As Represented By The Sec Retary, Department Of Health & Human Services, Center For Disease Control".

It's the wrong strain, though. Also I'm not sure why the US government would own a Canadian patent.

I noticed that myself. However, as someone who has a few patents to his credit, it's not unusual for companies (and I suppose governments) in North America to file patents in both countries to improve their overall protection. The patent systems in the two countries are subtly different, and patents are still a national jurisdiction (meaning that US patents are unenforceable in Canada, and vice-versa). Things patented in the US but not here in Canada are fair game in Canada, as things currently stand. Canada also doesn't permit quite as wide a range of things that can be patented as the US does, so you can run into a situation where a Canadian company holds a US patent for an invention or process, but which doesn't have an equivalent Canadian patent.

A patent lawyer can probably provide a lot more detail, but if the US Government wants to assert its right to protect its patents in Canada, it has to file them with CIPO.


Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 2) 99

by Yaztromo (#48179331) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

They can be classified, but not "owned" except under very rare circumstances. While the ideal has been distorted, especially since 2000, the Federal government is still an employee of The People in the States, and doesn't really "own" anything.

Uh...I'll just leave this here...


Comment: Inventor here... (Score 1) 224

by Yaztromo (#48155485) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

I have a handful of patents where I'm listed as the Inventor, and have some experience in this area.

First off, my case is somewhat different form yours in that while I'm listed as the inventor, the patents in question are owned by one of my former employers, as I came up with the inventions during my employment with them. While this does have the downside of my never being able to monetize them, the upside is if a prospective employer can't really pressure me into giving them anything for free -- they get to take that up with the cadre of lawyers retained by a certain corporation associated with the words "big" and "blue".

So here's a few (hopefully helpful) tips and ideas, based on my experiences:

  • - Go ahead and list the patents on your resume, but keep the details light. I only provide the patents numbers, patent office that granted the patent (CIPO, USPTO), and the title. They tend to catch the eye of anyone reading your resume, and can be a great conversation piece when talking to an interviewer. However, even when discussing face-to-face, keep the details as light as possible, particularly if you're talking to a technical interviewer. The reasons for this are two-fold: a) if the idea is applicable to their area of work, they may be tempted to try to use it unlicensed (it can really suck to have a great idea of how to do something in your head, only to know you can't use it), and b) if they're already using it unknowingly, you put them in a potentially tough legal position. Neither situation is good for you as a prospective employee, so if they ask you for details on your patents, tell them you'd rather not discuss them for their own protection, and if they insist that they can go and read the patents themselves (suggest they only do so after speaking with their own legal counsel, however). Any smart hiring manager will actually appreciate this response (it's always worked really well for me at least).
  • - Just because they hire you to do a job doesn't mean they have the right to everything you own as well. I presume you know how to drive. You wouldn't expect your employer to be able to borrow your car without paying you for it, right? If they hire you and come to you wanting to license your technology, that has to be a separate deal.
  • - Worried somewhat about being pressured into allowing a potential future employer free license to use your patents? Incorporate and reassign the patents to the corporation. You don't have to let them know that you are the corporation if you don't want to. This gives you a firewall between your patents and your professional life.


+ - Scientists Seen as Competent But Not Trusted by Americans->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The Woodrow Wilson School reports, "If scientists want the public to trust their research suggestions, they may want to appear a bit "warmer," according to a new review published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The review, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that while Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted. This may be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm. In particular, Americans seem wary of researchers seeking grant funding and do not trust scientists pushing persuasive agendas. Instead, the public leans toward impartiality. "Scientists have earned the respect of Americans but not necessarily their trust," said lead author Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and professor of public affairs. "But this gap can be filled by showing concern for humanity and the environment. Rather than persuading, scientists may better serve citizens by discussing, teaching and sharing information to convey trustworthy intentions."""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Gigantic and growing! (Score 3, Insightful) 209

by Yaztromo (#48011117) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

I'm 61 and still buying toys. Some, of course, are for the grandkids, but some are for ME.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

In my case, I answered that I have no toys, but that isn't entirely accurate. It's more that my daughter has inherited all my toys at this point -- so when I sit down with her to play legos, it's her toys I'm playing with now.

The quantity of toys in our house has only increased. Anything that was mine is now hers, but that doesn't mean I don't get to sit and play with them anytime I want -- with a 4yo playmate to sit down and play with me at that!


Comment: Re:His Dark Materials? (Score 5, Interesting) 410

by Yaztromo (#47977487) Attached to: It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

Please. Atheists are so sensitive.

That's a pretty big assumption. Could it not be more likely that HDM made the list and CoN didn't because a) HDM being banned by Catholic schools was fairly recent and somewhat wide-spread, whereas CoN was, from what I can find, only ever challenged in a few school districts, some of which happened decades ago, and/or b) because the poll writer lives somewhere where CoN wasn't challenged or banned, and thus wasn't aware that it had been challenged/banned elsewhere?

FWIW, I went to public school, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was required reading in Grade 5. I didn't write the poll, but had I done so, I probably would have left it off too purely due to not being aware that anywhere had ever found it sufficiently controversial to keep away from young readers.

But hey, if it makes you feel better to blame atheism, have at it. Most of us have heard worse, and have had to form pretty damn thick skin.


Comment: Re:How can I get it? (Score 1) 323

by Yaztromo (#47921017) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Install iTunes somewhere, sign up for an account (you can do so without providing a credit card number), and download the album. Apple has been selling music DRM free for the last several years, so it's just standard AAC. Once you have it, remove your account, delete iTunes, and add the music to whatever music program you prefer to use.

Unless, of course, you live in Canada, where copying music from a friend is still perfectly legal.


Comment: Re:It's a relationship argument about control. (Score 1) 323

by Yaztromo (#47920949) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Sorry, forcing a download of an entire album is *not* giving you an option that "you don't have to tune into". This is not you giving the kids an album you like, this is you strapping them to a chair to listen to it à la "Clockwork Orange". If everyone got an email saying "Click for a free download of the album!" there would be no complaints. (Mockery, perhaps, but not complaints. :-) )

Except this is pretty much exactly how the system was setup.

In "releasing" the album, Apple pretty much just added a database entry for every user on iTunes to say that they had already purchased the album. It was then supposed to[0] show up in your iTunes library as "in the cloud", with an option to download it.

Nobody was forced to download the album. The only way you'd download it without needing to do so specifically is if you had previously turned on the option to automatically download all new iTunes purchases (which defaults to off). And the only way you'd have to worry about using cellular data for this is if you had the option to download iTunes Music purchases over mobile enabled as well (otherwise, it would wait until you're on WiFi). So yeah -- this is completely a tempest in a teapot from people who don't like U2 seeing a free album available for download showing up in their libraries.

Hopefully Apple have learned their lesson. It was a publicity stunt, and while it upset some people, here we are talking about it. I don't think it went off the way they were hoping it would, and hopefully they've learned some lessons in the process.

[0] - Here in Canada at least, it appears the setup for this album didn't work for a very large number of users. I know in my case, the U2 album did not show up on my iPad as it was supposed to, nor did it show up in any of my iTunes libraries. And I do have the auto-download option enabled. In order to get the album, I had to go into iTunes and find the section that shows all your existing purchases, and then select the "Not on This Device" list, and only then could I download the album. And looking at the album reviews on iTunes Canada, it seems that I was hardly the only person to experience this -- nearly every review when I last checked last night was form people trying to figure out how to get their "free" album. I haven't seen this level of complaints outside of Canada, so I'm assuming either a) something screwed up with the iTunes Canada edition of the album's launch, or b) iTunes Canada did something different in order to not run afoul of some legislation (although I can't for the life of me guess what legislation that might be). This situation seems to have been lost in the noise of everyone else complaining about getting a free album, so I haven't heard much commentary on the situation.


Comment: Re:Seemed pretty obvious this was the case (Score 1) 311

by Yaztromo (#47863743) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

FWIW, I agree that it may not entirely be "real-world accurate". It does pre-suppose that whomever is attempting to crack your password already knows something about the structure of your password (such as it being a dictionary word followed by a repeating sequence, as in the original "Ten!!!!!!!!!!!" example). However, if we take this at face value, it does give us a better worst-case scenario for password strength than those which simply presume a brute-force approach.

That is, given someone looking over your shoulder (but without sufficient accuracy to see exactly what you're typing), and then applying computational tools, how quickly could your password be cracked? That's certainly an interesting question to have the answer to, and if your password is resistant to a known-pattern based cracking approach, it's certainly going to kill any attempts to purely brute-force it.


Comment: Re: What the heck? (Score 1) 354

by Yaztromo (#47842609) Attached to: DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

OK, I don't get it either. If somebody is using GPL code and refuses to issue source, it's cut and dried, guilty. But I can't make out whether this is what is going on.

Nit-pick here, but using GPL code doesn't require you to issue source, even if you've made modifications. It's not until you distribute said modified code that you need to release source (and even then, you only technically have to provide source to those you've distributed binaries to, and not just anyone who happens to request it).

Thus if I take some GPL code, modify it, and use it in an internal process that isn't shared with anyone, there is no requirements for me to make sources available. But as soon as I share the artifacts with anyone else, they have the right to my source modifications, and all those rights entail.

How that relates to this case, I have no idea.


Comment: Re:Seemed pretty obvious this was the case (Score 4, Informative) 311

by Yaztromo (#47818883) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

A strong password CAN be easily remembered. How about remembering 10 and 11?


That's 10 and eleven "!" characters.

There are a number of ways to calculate password effectiveness. If you assume zero knowledge of the password characteristics, then the 290 million years the website you linked to calculated may be accurate.

Hackers, however, have typically found that certain patterns are used by humans more frequently than others, and instead of brute-forcing the password from the beginning (following UTF-8 order " ", " ", " !"... etc.), you can instead skip a significant part of the overall password space by only testing these common patterns.

I prefer this tool, which evaluates password entropy. The figures it comes up with do tend to presume that something about the structure of the password is known (i.e: in your example that it is a word followed by a repeating symbol), but IMO this is a good figure to base your password decisions off as it represents a worst-case scenario, and not the best-case scenario the tool you linked presumes.

Using that tooling instead, your passwords strength and estimated crack time is as follows:

  • password: Ten!!!!!!!!!!!
  • entropy: 18.669
  • crack time (seconds): 20.836
  • crack time (display): instant
  • score from 0 to 4: 0
  • calculation time (ms): 3

FWIW, (and purely for the sake of comparison) one of the passwords I use online has, according to this tool, an entropy of 61.819 and a crack time of 203355820622500.06s (about 6.4 million years). And yes, it's something I both change often and have memorized.


Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.