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Comment: Re:Copyright Law (Score 1) 190 190

If someone decided to make a trademark today out of what had been your personal domain for years and they showed up, offered to promise not to sue you for a fee of $1 how would you feel about giving it to them?

Don't get me wrong, $1 is nowhere near worth going to court over. But come on... do you want to pay me a dollar not to market something under the name j-beda?

You are right that I would probably feel insulted, but if I responded to their letter saying "we are not in the same business, there is no infringement, I don't need a license" that in itself would probably satisfy their need to defend their trademark. If their response was, "sorry, it looks like there is infringement, you really need a license" I might actually consult a lawyer.

The offer could be more of a cross-liscencing deal with no money needing to change hands.

Remember, this is under the assumption that there really is some actual need to defend the trademark. If some company actually spent money on a stamp and a polite request to make sure the "Juvenile Base for Egregious Dumb Asses" was not confused with "j-beda", I might be open to a disclaimer on my website.A rude demand with threats from random bed manufacturer who wants me to just turn it over without question, not so much.

Comment: Re:Copyright Law (Score 4, Interesting) 190 190

This is also a trademark law maneuver.They must defend their trademark, and unfortunately, a lawsuit is the only way that the courts will recognize it. If they didn't, then anyone could use their non-response to the workbetter domain name as evidence to take their trademark.

I think that is not completely true. A simple exchange of letters and perhaps an explicit licence for a nominal sum ($1 for example) or a memorandum of agreement that the potential infringer will not enter into the domain that the trademark coveres would probably be sufficient to defend the trademark. And significantly less expensive.

This type of behaviour is stupid if they are merely trying to defend their trademark.

Comment: Re:Umm, what? (Score 1) 395 395

A fax has legal protections no other electronic communications has. It needs to change, but won't. There is a reason why faxes are still used.

It looks like a fax seldom has much more legal protection than other electronic communications. See for example:

A scanned seignature would generally still stand up as binding. It looks like an "e-signature" is actually MORE binding than a faxed one:

"Fax signatures are probably the primary way contracts are signed today, and broadly speaking, basic contract law recognizes a large variety of signature types where a mark or sign is made with an intent to subscribe to the terms of an agreement. Thus the question posed is the right one—not are fax signatures and pdf signature pages valid to indicate assent to the term of a contract—they generally are—but are they enforceable. More specifically, the question is whether they satisfy the Statute of Frauds, which provides that in order to be enforceable, certain types of agreements must be evidenced by a writing signed by the party to be charged.

Over the years, courts have concluded that telegrams, telexes, telecopies, facsimiles, and e-mails are writings satisfying the Statute of Frauds. But to eliminate any uncertainty, a majority of states have gone further and explicitly adopted legislation allowing the introduction of fax signatures into evidence for disputes involving routine business transactions. However, not all have taken this extra step. The federal government and the UETA have actually gone further in the case of electronic signatures, deeming most electronic signatures meeting their provisions equivalent to written signatures."

Comment: Re:Some still require ink sigs (Score 1) 395 395

The legal profession has embraced electronic signatures. At my work we use DocuSign for the majority of contracts with our vendors.

Not all participants in the legal profession have embraced e-sigs. For example, my wife and I needed to get a power-of-attorney (POA) so that I could a home purchase deal while she was out of the country. That was just a week ago. And the POA was required to be signed, in blue ink, before taking it to the court house.

Even in real estate, there are participants who, for one reason or another, still demand sigs. For the same property we are trying to close, the seller (a trust) required us to use ink signatures, which we found it very unusual since we have been doing e-sigs for ages.

For as long as someone demands an ink signature for something someone else wants, and there are now laws demanding e-signatures to be accepted when offered, we are going to have ink sigs. And that is going to be the case for a long, long time to come.

I don't think that a fax of an ink signature has any more "magic legal sauce" than a printed scan of the same ink signature - neither of them is the orignal signature. The fact that some people treat the fax diferent than the printed scan is purely one of mindset.

Often I have been in situations where someone wanted a fax of the document (so they could start work) but needed the orignial mailed or couriered to them "for legal purposes". In cases like that, the scan/email type of thing would be functionally identical.

Comment: Re: Why is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 510 510

Of course it does. Everyone knows there are only two positions for every possible topic. That's why the two party system is such a huge success, and why everyone loves it so much.(Excepting of course commies, who prefer a one-party system... see, there's the two options for how many political parties a system can have!)

The idea that there could be a third viewpoint is inconceivable.

I don't understand that last sentence. It is like my brain can make no sense of it at all.

Comment: Re:Within 3 years is BS (Score 1) 164 164

I'd like to see the stats for how many get sent back once they're off parole, and possibly correlate those to how many got send back for BS parole violations.

Those might be useful stats. What would constitute a "BS parole violation"? I do not doubt that parole restrictions can be strict, but aren't they better than the alternative of being in jail?

Comment: Re:Not seeking "justice" (Score 1) 164 164

American "justice" is more about getting revenge and punishing criminals Puritan style

Incarceration is an admission that the convicted person is a threat to society and needs to be removed. We don't know how to rehabilitate felons, but we do know how to lock them up so they can't hurt people, at least for a while.

Maybe that should be "We don't know, and we are not particularly interested in finding out" - there are lots of examples of things that are more effective at rehabilitation both within and without the USA borders. We just do not have great enough interest in implementing any of them, and there are enough individuals and groups with incentives to keep the system as-is that it is challenging to build any such interest.

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 1) 164 164

So, by that token, it doesn't even matter that we have "no-go zones" then, as the people in them don't get up to much anyway... Police presence or not...

Aha, so you admit you have no-go zones then.

You are supposed to put a little "smiley" thing when you intentionally misstate someone's posting. :-)

Comment: Re:This is a ridiculous way to make concrete. (Score 2) 94 94

My concern is, if this stuff works, how much will it work? Will it repair itself in the same area more than once? What is to stop the bacteria from forming a big lump on the surface after they bridge the crack's gap. Is the replacement material even nearly as strong as the original concrete or will it just break again under less stress? If the intended use of this for building construction or surfaces to walk on? I can see it being used in 1-3 story buildings as material, but any where solid concrete has to be used instead of those hollow cinder blocks, I can't see it being possible, much less if water is needed to activate it.

Being able to repair small cracks to keep water out would go a long way to minimize the freeze/thaw damage that makes small cracks into big cracks. Even without the same strength as uncracked concrete, concrete with some small filled cracks will perform much better and last much longer than concrete with growing numbers of growing sized cracks.

Comment: Re:that's fine (Score 1) 408 408

Honestly, you can say it wasn't their fault, but nearly 10% of them in 6 months have been involved in accidents. Even if it wasn't the fault of the technology itself, why is the accident rate so high?

One does need to factor in the number of hours/distance driven. I would not be too suprised if their per mile or per hour accident rate was much lower than the average. Of course, small numbers of vehicles will tend to give larger variance - this 6 month period might just be a statistical outlyer.

Comment: Re:US South (Score 1) 187 187

So much for theory of gun states having less crime.

When I looked at the estimated per-capita gun ownership rates by state, and the per-capita homicide rates per state, I didn't find a clear correlation.

Interestingly, it does appear that states with a higher gun homicide rates also have a correlation with higher non-gun homicide rates.

I think that there is a pretty strong correlation between a "culture of honor" and interpersonal violence. The social norms that insist on retribution and payback for transgressions, outside the pervue of established law inforcement can also contribute.

Comment: Re:The cause DOESN'T MATTER (Score 1) 187 187

If I see a Black Person, I see someone that belongs to a group statistically way, way more likely to murder or injure me. They are more likely to do drugs, be poorly educated and be a deadbeat father.

It simply doesn't matter what the root cause was, I know they should be avoided.

If you were interested in designing and/or implementing public policies to reduce crime, drug abuse, etc, then understanding the root causes is probably pretty important. If your only interest is in minimizing your personal exposure to risk, then understanding the actual statisctical underpinings of your fears might also be of use. Is your actual risk actually changed if you avoid ALL blacks? Should you be looking at relative risk changes or absolute risk changes? Are the risks worth worrying about in any case given your current risk parctices in terms of driving, eating, smoking or other potentially dangerous activits. Worring about 5 murders per 100,000 population might not be as important to worry about when you compare it to more than twice that rate in automobile deaths for example.

Comment: Re:I'll save you 30 seconds of Googling (Score 2) 257 257

Phi Sigma Sigma secrets are:

Phi Sigma Sigma (PSS) secretly stands for Philanthropic Social Society. However, this is never written down or recorded (until now) because it is so "sacred". The Handshake consists of a series of motions. Member A first begins ....

Assuming that you can find the poster, and that the poster is in fact a PSS member who might possibly have some sort of obligation to keep the secrets, how would the complainants ever hope to establish that these were the actual secrets if they have never been documented? Wouldn't they need to have testomony from the people who shared the rituals with "Jane Doe", and wouldn't that testomony have to go into the public record during the trial?

I suppose the judge might order the trail records sealed like is sometimes done when a vunerable minor dis involved with the courts, but it doesn't seem likely the courts would care much about such things in this type of case. Is there a "Greek Friendly" court in Washington somewhere like the "patent friendly" on in Texas?

John Oliver bit on patents:

Comment: Re:Hooray for druggies! (Score 1) 409 409

The dogs are consistently abused

Please cite some actual examples of police dogs being constantly abused. You have no idea what you're talking about.

I think "The doges are used in away to abuse the 'suspects'." was closer to what was meant, rather than that the dogs were being mistreated. There are numerous studdies to suggest that the potential for abuse exists:

Comment: Re:Hooray for druggies! (Score 1) 409 409

Or they can be trained to alert on whatever signal their handler wants to give them. Hell, they are dogs, they want to please their handler.

That sentence was valid with "their": "Hell, the handlers dogs, they want to please their handler."

" handler's ", or perhaps " handlers' " but that is less likely as the final "handler" is not plural.

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis