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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 6 declined, 2 accepted (8 total, 25.00% accepted)

Patents

+ - Patry Closes Copyright Blog: "Too Depressing&#->

Submitted by
djmoore
djmoore writes "William Patry is closing The Patry Copyright Blog, which has for over 4 years been a key resource for tracking the deteriorating state of copyright law. Patry gives two reasons:
  • After more than two decades of private practice, he became Sr. Copyright Counsel at Google, but despite repeated disclaimers that on his blog he was still speaking only for himself, many news stories and posts quoted him as speaking for Google. However, 'No one at Google ever asked, suggested, or hinted that I should end the blog. To the contrary, in keeping with Google's deep commitment to free speech, the company encourages blogs like mine, and has stood completely behind me.'
  • Copyright law is so broken, that his blog became depressingly negative: '...In proper doses copyright is essential.... But in my view...we are well past the healthy dose stage and into the serious illness stage. ... Copyright law has abandoned its reason for being: to encourage learning and the creation of new works. Instead, its principal functions now are to preserve existing failed business models, to suppress new business models and technologies, and to obtain, if possible, enormous windfall profits from activity that not only causes no harm, but which is beneficial to copyright owners.'

At Patterico's Pontifications, Justine Levine says, 'Patry is not entirely blameless here in terms of how the current state of the law developed. But with that said, there is no disputing the profound truths that he has now come to admit and realize.' How many here have had the courage to publicly renounce some deeply held belief?"
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Government

+ - Supreme Court To Rule on Second Amendment->

Submitted by
djmoore
djmoore writes "The Supreme Court has granted cert in District of Columbia v. Heller. This is the first case examining the Second Amendment to reach SCOTUS since the much-misunderstood Miller case in 1939. The SCOTUS asks the question,[PDF] "Whether the following provisions, D.C. Code 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02, violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?" Some links to background information on this case and the Second Amendment can be found here. Oral arguments will likely be heard in March or April.

Roughly speaking, the question is, does an enumerated "right of the people" have as much weight as, say, the unenumerated right to an abortion? Or does the 2nd Amendment, uniquely in the Constitution, use the phrase "the people" to grant coercive power to the state?

Mandatory Geek Link: Eric S. Raymond's "Ethics From the Barrel of a Gun"."

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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - The Way We Were->

Submitted by
djmoore
djmoore writes "James Fallows at The Atlantic has abandoned his typewriter for an interesting new technology: computers suitable for home use and costing less than $5000. Fallows uses an already obsolete SOL-20, but Apple and Radio Shack's offerings are popular, and IBM recently introduced a more efficient model that works on sixteen "bits" at a time rather than the usual eight.

Best hardware advice: avoid slow, unreliable tape recorder storage. "I think you're cheating yourself if you get anything less than two double-density 5-1/4" drives, which together should be able to store 400K or more of data....The top of the line among storage systems is the hard disk...each one stores a prodigious amount of data, from two or three on up to several dozen megabytes."

Best software advice: "A DOS called CP/M (for Control Program for Microcomputers)...has become the industry standard....you should be wary of any machine or any program that won't run CP/M.""

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Robotics

+ - Bionic Arm Uses Rewired Nerves

Submitted by
djmoore
djmoore writes "Woman Gets True Bionic Arm Claudia Mitchell controls her prosthetic arm via a patch of nerve and muscle on her chest that's been rewired to the nerves that used to go to her natural arm. The developer, physician and biomedical engineer Todd A. Kuiken, is testing an advanced protoype that will control six motors rather than the current three (allowing Mitchell to reach above her head). Eventually, he expects to provide a sense of touch."

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