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Comment: Re: "clean up a gulf-sized spill within one month. (Score 1) 123

by bob frost (#33411164) Attached to: MIT Unveils Oil-Skimming Robot Swarm Prototype
Indeed, and with the case at hand in the Gulf, thanks to those dispersants, quite of bit of the oil is now a sort of emulsified goo. It has a specific gravity just about equal to that of the ambient seawater (so it hangs in suspension) and even if it could somehow be made to surface, it won't burn. AFAIK, there are no credible plans to get rid of that stuff. I'd imagine that it prolly clogs up fish gills quite well, too.

Comment: Re:Flawed premise (Score 1) 458

by bob frost (#27647219) Attached to: Reflections On the Less-Cool Effects of Filesharing
While the distinction between marketing and distribution is a good conceptual heuristic, in practice the two overlap, esp in p2p environments. "Distribution" on p2p systems raises the attention level (or mind-share) of others on the system. That mind-share piece is precisely the sort of thing that marketers are seeking. We have to acknowledge that attention is a very valuable commodity in the information economy, yet many analysts are blind to the fact that it's the only commodity in really short supply. Simply posting torrents does indeed increase mind-share, and it's that angle that the R*AA is also loath to admit.

Comment: Re:Why don't they just buy it? (Score 1) 395

by bob frost (#24332605) Attached to: Hasbro Sues Makers of Scrabble-Like Scrabulous
If it's only about trademark, the legal standard is (and I paraphrase), "the possibility of confusion in the mind of the average person." By that standard, I think Hasbro's gonna lose, as "Scrabble" and "Scrabulous" don't seem interchangeable to me at all. Remember that PTO allowed Western Publishing to take the walking fingers of Yellow Pages, put a small line through it, and considered that sufficiently different to avoid infringement--despite the fact that most consumers didn't notice the difference. Western built an entire business off of that confusion. Scrabulous isn't even close.

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)

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