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Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 58

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 1) 154

by Tom (#49192363) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

You may have noticed I don't care how it got there, only why they are acting now the way they are.

Many companies have this immune system response that if something happens that shouldn't have, they will at the same time punish someone internally, and defend themselves externally claiming everything is proper.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 4, Informative) 154

by Tom (#49190131) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

They are taking a calculated risk knowing that very few GPL lawsuits actually went to court. They know it takes money to fight a legal battle and hope the opposing side doesn't have it, or will run out of it before reaching a final verdict. And finally, from the fact that they've been at this since 2012 - they probably think that it's a fairly cost-efficient way to buy more time and make business.

Comment: Too bad Harlan would sue to block it... (Score 1) 321

by Thud457 (#49188567) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

I fully expect that Manuel (Man) Davis to be a hard nosed, chisel-jawed, Lunar cop working closely with his partner, Mycroft Holmes (probably a robot) to defeat a crime syndicate.

Make it a series on Netflix and I'm all on that. We haven't had a decent sci fi comedy on TV since Quark.

Comment: banks again ? (Score 2) 355

by Tom (#49187501) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

The only way you can have losses that exceed your net-worth is if someone has given you a huge amount of money that they really shouldn't. Typically, it means the banks gave these guys credit beyond even the most loose definition of sanity.

More and more I'm thinking that the fantasy worlds we live in when we play roleplaying or computer games are much closer to reality than the fantasy world of the financial industry.

Comment: such stupidity (Score 1) 421

by Tom (#49186655) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

will run on [...] phones and provide an experience very much like the desktop. [...] repeatedly failed to take the mobile space [...]"

Yeah, I wonder if these two could be in any way related...

MS is a design and UI fiasco and always has been. The only reason few people realize how unusable the crap is, is that we are so used to it that we don't notice anymore - until the next major update, or if you don't use it daily and then suddenly sit in front of it and wonder who the fuck came up with this stupidity.

And everyone who knows anything at all about mobile devices and usability knows that nobody on the planet wants a windows desktop experience on their smartphone. People want a smartphone experience on their smartphone, what's so difficult to understand about that?

Oh, speaking of that: People also don't want a mobile experience on their desktop. They want a desktop experience on their desktop, that's not so difficult, either.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 252

by cpt kangarooski (#49186121) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Then you fall into the second category. Or you're just ignorant.

Well, I'm a copyright lawyer, so I doubt I'm "completely and totally ignorant of the law." Have you considered the possibility that your analysis is wrong?

Since we're talking about works that haven't been around long enough to have their copyrights expire, that's totally irrelevant.

Just thought I'd mention it, since you did make a rather broad statement suggesting that works cannot enter the public domain unless deliberately placed there by the copyright holder. While copyright holders can put works into the public domain, it's not true that that is the only way for works to enter the public domain.

"Um, no. That would not be the scenes a faire doctrine."

The scenes a faire doctrine, which I don't have to google for, thanks, permits people to copy without fear of infringement, stock elements from works, which are typical, if not indispensible, for works that have a particular setting, genre, theme, etc.

In this case, where you have a show about teenagers fighting monsters with martial arts and giant robots, it would not infringe if you had a five person team, each member of which had personalities as described above, and where the members of the team were color-coded. It's simply expected of the genre, and therefore fair game, even if you copied it from another copyrighted work.

Now if the specific thing you copied was a very detailed example, and you kept all the details, you might then have a problem. So it depends on how much Power Rangers embellished on this standard device, if they did, and if so, how much of that embellishment, if any, was used in this case.

If you disagree as to my explanation, please feel free to actually say what you think the scenes a faire doctrine is.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 252

by cpt kangarooski (#49186033) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I didn't say Disney's Peter Pan. I was talking about JM Barrie's Peter Pan, which Disney's Peter Pan is based on.

A new version of Peter Pan, based on Barrie's, could still tarnish the character well enough (if done right, and if widely published) so as to harm Disney's Peter Pan merely by association. But it would be lawful to do this. Disney's copyright on their version of Peter Pan does not extend to stopping other people from making their own derivatives of Barrie's work, even if they're very unwholesome derivatives.

Comment: Re:misleading headline (Score 1) 128

by Tom (#49183031) Attached to: Schneier: Either Everyone Is Cyber-secure Or No One Is

Those two missions aren't mutually exclusive. Defend yourself at home and go on offense abroad.

It works for bombs and tanks, but not for computer networks and communications. It might have even worked in the time of telegraphs and snail mail letters. But for encryption, it doesn't work. A cipher is either weak, or strong. You can compromise a foreign postal system without affecting the security of your own, but you can't secretly build a backdoor into an encryption algorithm that works only for you.

Simply asserting that something is mutually contradictory because it sounds good to use words like 'cognitive dissonance' isn't any kind of argument.

Now you're trying to reverse the chain of causality just to make a cute finishing sentence. :-)

Comment: Try and try again. (Score 5, Informative) 421

It is actually kind of sad if you know their history.

Back in the day they were competing with Palm, and had Windows CE and Pocket PC 2000. When PocketPC 2002 came out my employer switched over from Palm and I got to rewrite a bunch of tools. They did pretty good for a while with Mobile 2003, and Windows Mobile 5. It knocked Palm down several notches in the mobile market, with Palm losing value and getting bought out in 2005.

The fun thing about that era is that there were phones with PDAs in them, you can go back to "Pocket PC Phone Edition" for that. Each version of Windows Mobile supported running in phones, but they never took off.

The iPod was getting some power and some apps, but I loved that with a single CF card I could have my entire music library on my device; the Axim x51v used the same audio chipset as the iPod of the era coupled with better playback software where you could mix and such. It also offered all kinds of apps making the device useful for the other common tasks of the time like calendar, email, and web over both wifi and bluetooth.

Again you could get phones running WM5 and WM6 with all their apps, and in late 2006 they had 51% of the market. Blackberry had 37%, Palm was 9%, and Symbian at 9%.

Then came the iPhone. At the time I didn't really see the reason for the hype, when it came to processor power, memory, and even 3D graphics the iPhone was less powerful than my Windows 6 phone.

As the numbers came back, iOS rose and WM feel by the same percent; the other companies were flat in market share. By early 2007 Windows Mobile drooped to 42% and iOS was at 11%. By 2008, WM had 29% and iOS 19% and Android had entered at 2%. By 2010 Windows Mobile devices had dropped to 7% market share, Blackberry had dropped to 25%, Palm to 3%, and Symbian at 2%.

Phones running Windows Mobile continued to exist, but that's about it. Three more versions of Windows Mobile, the three editions as Windows Phone, they have never been able to get their market share back anywhere near 2006 levels.

Comment: Re:There might be hope for a decent adaptation (Score 5, Insightful) 321

by Thud457 (#49182653) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen
Don't forget that was one of the real arguments for the revolution.
Trade with Earth was bleeding them of water and would eventually lead to the colony's collapse.

They could probably have been self-sufficient if they hadn't been forced to send grain to Earth. But being a bunch of transportees and convicts, they didn't get a say in the matter.

Good luck explaining the finer points of a closed-cycle ecology, economics and politics in a 2-hour movie.

Comment: Re:I never understood the recent patent reform (Score 1) 97

by Theaetetus (#49181571) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

Switching from "first to invent" to "first to file" makes no sense to me. If you're working on something for several years and some asshat hacks your computer, copies all the data, then files the patent, why should they get credit for it?

If you can show that they did, they won't.

As to why it makes sense - the rest of the world uses a first to file system, only the US was different. This harmonizes patent law and makes it more predictable for businesses, which is a good thing. And finally, despite hundreds of posters on Slashdot telling you how big a change this was and how it guts patent law, the switch from first to invent to first to file affects about 20 patent applications per year, out of half a million filed - there were, on average, only 20 interference proceedings each year, which is where there's a dispute on who invented something first. They were horribly expensive (upwards of $30-50k) and time consuming, and they occurred only after you filed your application and went through full examination... so someone could be already out $25k getting an allowable patent and then be hit with another $50k trying to show they invented it before someone else. Instead, now you can just point to the filing date and save money.

Beyond that, I don't understand how some filers seem to be able to get patents in a few months while others take YEARS to even get reviewed. Something doesn't smell right here.

Not at all - there's a process called accelerated examination, which, for a substantial fee, pushes your application to the top of the queue. People in fast moving technologies like software tend to go for that, while people in slow moving technologies like pharmaceuticals tend to prefer waiting YEARS, since they're in FDA trials and can't actually sell any product. By allowing a fast track and slow track, everyone benefits.

And then there's the patent troll problem. Why has nobody put forth legislation that requires the patent holder to also be the applier of the technology?

Because that would make MIT, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, CalTech, etc. very, very sad and gut their research departments.

Comment: Re:Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 1) 97

by Theaetetus (#49181447) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

The problem with the current system is that the PTO has taken the approach of only rejecting patents if they can find documented evidence that someone has done the exact same thing before. If there is a single independent claim for which they can't find exact prior art in a timely manner, then they approve the patent, regardless of how similar it is to other prior art. They deliberately ignore the obviousness of the patent because they don't want to have to defend subjective decisions against appeal.

The recent Supreme Court rulings have forcefully asserted that this is not acceptable. The law clearly states that obviousness is one of the criteria for patentability and therefore the USPTO and courts must take that into consideration when deciding patentability.

Do you have a citation for any of your claims? Because I've got a half dozen patent applications on my desk under obviousness rejections, and I'd love to be able to push them aside because the PTO didn't actually issue them.

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