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Comment: Re:Not illegal to ask for money (Score 2) 217

by bbecker23 (#43112199) Attached to: Canadian Newspaper Charging $150 License Fee To Publish Excerpts

... if someone wanted to republish an article entirely now they can do it much more easily, instead of figuring out who to contact to negotiate a license.

Does it really do that, though? According to TFS, the popups come up for third-party quotes as well as for the original content. If this paper actually has the rights to that third party material, I'll eat my hat. If you think that's okay, I've got some Mickey Mouse licenses I would just love to sell you.

Mars

NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars 293

Posted by samzenpus
from the mars-needs-organic-polymers dept.
dsinc writes "Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars. 'Right now we have multiple working hypotheses, and each hypothesis makes certain predictions about things like what the spherules are made of and how they are distributed,' said Curiosity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres, of Cornell University. 'Our job as we explore Matijevic Hill in the months ahead will be to make the observations that will let us test all the hypotheses carefully, and find the one that best fits the observations.'" Update: Yes, it's a hoax

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 347

by bbecker23 (#41998337) Attached to: Meet the Lawyer Suing Anyone Who Uses SSL

The problem is that 5 minute thought process can exclude people from using an idea for 20 years.

And that's the problem, in a nutshell. That 5 minute thought process shouldn't be protected (non-obvious, anyone?). I work in learning systems and some of the implementations I've seen are, frankly, beautiful. If those sorts of things were the only ones accepted for patenting, that is novel and innovative discoveries, we likely wouldn't be having these software patent discussions. The problem only crops up when we start allowing "bouncy scrolling" patents and their ilk.

Comment: Re:It is about not lettting ideas be silenced (Score 1) 194

by bbecker23 (#41996499) Attached to: The First Amendment and Software Speech
Only the rights granted to it as a union. That's what keeps getting lost in the "corporations are people" vitriol. Corporations (and unions) have always had certain rights normally reserved for people. Signing contracts, financial identity, ability to be sued. The issue at hand is what those granted rights should be. Though granting unions only those rights held by corporations (whatever those may be) is something most of us can likely agree on. Nice try, though.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 747

by bbecker23 (#41495229) Attached to: <em>Innocence of Muslims</em> Filmmaker Arrested, Jailed

...without one word in support of the concept that even hateful speech is Free Speech and protected in America.

That's simply not true. The video is rather long but he makes it clear that despite the video being vile (and it is, let's not play that game), free speech is sacrosanct. A choice quote, if you don't wish to follow the link,

Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.

You'd have a hard time finding a greater free speech apologist than myself, but I think that the president has done a fine job of defending free speech while communicating with the Muslim community.

Comment: Re:Smarter or just less impaired? (Score 3, Informative) 102

by bbecker23 (#41341795) Attached to: Monkeys Made Smarter With Prosthetic Device

The feed back device didn't improve the monkey's intelligence, it simply undid some of the damage the crack did to them.

Really? Not even going to RTFS?

According to the study findings, the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active.'"

Emphasis mine. Your other points may be valid, but this technique certainly did more than just undo the effects of the drug.

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