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Comment: Re:Dwarf Universe? (Score 2) 54

Earh is 50 kiloparsecs from the Large Magellic Cloud, 778 kiloParsecs from the Andromeda Galaxy. And 2 Megaparsecs from this newly discovered galaxy. Apparently. KKs is an isolated spheroidal galaxy-- not a satellite of the Milky way, Andromeda or even Triangulum, nor is it clustered with other dwarf galaxies in the local group.
The paper says

Since 2008, only three galaxies had been newly discovered in a spherical shell between radii 1 and 3Mpc around the Local Group. Two of them are dIrrs, UGC 4879 (Kopylov et al. 2008) and Leo P (Giovanelli et al. 2013), and the third one, KK 258 (Karachentsev et al. 2014), belongs to the transition type dTr with minimal but detectable gas and young stars. Here we report the discovery in this volume of a dwarf spheroidal system KKs 3 ([KK2000] 03 = SGC 0224.3–7345 in the nomencla- ture of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database) at a distance of D = 2.12 ± 0.07 Mpc and well removed from any other known galaxy.

So the interesting feature isn't that it's close. It's that it's distant from any galaxy.

Comment: Re:Smartphone with 50 Megapixel CCD sensor ? (Score 1) 90

by Jeremy Erwin (#48675661) Attached to: Kodak-Branded Smartphones On the Way

50 Megapixels in a phone is absurd. Even the most absurdly expensive glass has trouble keeping up with Nikon's full frame D800-- and that's only 36 Megapixels. It's more understandable in a medium format camera-- but those are significantly larger than phones, and far more expensive.

What really would be useful in a phone is decent low light performance-- noise free images at ISO 12,800 and beyond (as well as the focusing systems necessitated by this lack of light.)

+ - Well, if it's a war they want...

Submitted by cpt kangarooski
cpt kangarooski (3773) writes "Information has come to light, thanks to the recent Sony hack, in which MPAA and major studios are colluding as to what legal actions are available to them to compel an entity referred to as 'Goliath,' most likely Google, into taking aggressive anti-piracy action on behalf of the entertainment industry. MPAA and member studios Universal, Sony, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., and Disney have had lengthy email discussions concerning how to block pirate sites at the ISP level, and how to take action at the state level to work around the failure of SOPA in 2012. Emails also indicate that they are working with Comcast (which owns Universal) on some form of inspection of traffic to find copyright infringements as they happen. More information at The Verge."

Comment: Re:Creators wishing to control their creations... (Score 1) 268

Copying was a difficult and expensive enough proposition that a natural exclusivity existed even without copyright.

No it didn't. Pirates have never had a technological edge over legitimate publishers. At best there's parity, but usually publishers have an edge over pirates.

If you wanted to pirate a book before the invention of movable type, you could copy it longhand -- just like you'd have to do if you wanted to make an authorized copy.

And people did this all the time. In fact, the only reason that any books (other than those written on clay, stone, or metal) survive from antiquity is because they were copied, the copies were copied, and the copies spread far and wide. Often only one copy survived long enough for more to be made. Paper of various kinds has been in use for a long time, but the oldest paper book is only about 1700 years old.

There was no exclusivity. Some places, like the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, had an official policy that all books that entered the city had to be made available for copying.

The very idea that authors should have exclusive rights in their works is only a few centuries old.

Comment: Re:Creators wishing to control their creations... (Score 1) 268

How many people would publish if no option to have a copyright existed at all?

Well, all the people who published works before 1710 had no copyrights. All the people who published after that, but not in England had no copyrights until various countries slowly adopted copyright (the US picked it up in 1790, the French after that, and most of Europe in the 19th century -- and they only exported it to the rest of the world by means of colonialism, not on its own actual merits).

Plus there were various limits, e.g. the US only granted copyrights to Americans until almost the end of the 19th century; British authors had no option to get an American copyright at all... unless they became American citizens.

More recently, various classes of work were ineligible. For example, architectural works (in practice, buildings) were uncopyrightable in the US until 1990. Were no buildings designed and built in this country until architects were given copyrights?

What I think you're missing here is that there are a plethora of incentives for an author to create and publish a work. Money gained by exploiting a copyright on the work is but one of those incentives, and often is not the most important one, and also often is not an essential one.

I certainly agree that it can be useful, but that doesn't mean that we ought to go hog wild with it; as with many other things, a little might be beneficial, but too much can be harmful.

And what is the point of having a copyright in the first place if the creator isn't supposed to be permitted to try and exercise control over who may copy their works?

The point is to grant authors copyrights as an additional incentive in order to entice them into creating and publishing works which they would not have created and published, but for copyright. If they would've done it anyway, the copyright is superfluous, and granting it would be wasteful. If they require more copyright than is healthy for society, all things considered, we're literally better off not granting it even though it means we'll be bereft of the work in question.

It's not intended to give authors control over works for their own sake. That's just the means by which it functions. It's intended to produce a public benefit. And while the public does benefit from having works created and published, it also benefits from not having anyone controlling works.

Comment: Re:Creators wishing to control their creations... (Score 1) 268

Care to take a guess how many people would willfully publish their stuff if everything that they published had to become public domain?

Well, that's how it operated in the US from 1790 through to the end of 1977. Turns out that relatively few published works were copyrighted. Further, since there was a renewal term (that is, the copyright would be good for an additional number of years if you re-upped in a timely fashion) we also know that most authors of copyrighted works didn't bother to get a renewal, and let their works enter the public domain sooner than they had to.

It worked fine. We got great literature and the golden age of Hollywood on both film and tv, as well as tons of great music.

And frankly, a system of strict formalities to get copyrights is a more important thing to change in the law than shortening the term length.

Comment: Re:Creators wishing to control their creations... (Score 1) 268

Why should the creator not be able to impose any restrictions they damn please?

Why should the rest of us aid them in doing so? E.g. by conferring upon them some sort of legal rights that pertain to how the work is used by others.

While I think it could potentially be beneficial for the public to grant rights to authors, it's surely not always beneficial under every circumstance, and every permutation of works and rights.

And if the author doesn't like the terms under which the public might deign to give them rights, they're free to not create the work.

+ - A ChillingEffects.org for Domain Names->

Submitted by fsterman
fsterman (519061) writes "Domain name seizures used to be a rare occurrence, but US law enforcement has become adept at exploiting a quirk in the Internet's governance structure that allows them to seize a wide range of domains without due process. The rate has been increasing exponentially, with a total of 87 in 2010 to 1,700 in mid-2013. A month ago, nearly 5,000 domains were seized by a corporation using civil proceedings. The types of attacks targeting DNS have been increasing as well, such as when a US embassy had GoDaddy shut down a political protest site."
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