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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 176 176

caseih raises more excellent points, but IMO misses the worst flaw in your reasoning: it's not okay to drive on the wrong side of the road just because if you cause a head-on collision you'll be held responsible.

Even assuming that you identify the drone 'pilot' responsible, and manage to indict them for what they did; holding somebody responsible for damage or injury doesn't undo the fact that through act or neglect they injured somebody who was innocently going about their day, or in this case, doing their job to protect the community.

Why apply no-fly zones where emergency services are engaged in air operations? Because they already have too much important shit to worry about. Updrafts, smoke, terrain, coordinating with other air- and ground-based personnel, flying at or near load capacity, at low speed and altitude, identifying effective deployment locations on a moving fire-front and planning manoeuvres to hit them at the right altitude and angle, ON TOP of all the usual concerns with operating an aircraft.

Don't risk the safety of others, without need or consent. Just don't. This is why we regulate dangerous behaviour; to empower the legal representatives of society to judiciously apply appropriate corrective pressure to the anti-social behaviour of others.

If it's big enough, stable enough, and capable enough that you can't get all your fun out of it on your own property - probably inside - it should be subject to some regulation when operating in public space. If it could be encountered by somebody who has to be aware of in-air obstructions like birds, radio masts, and power lines; it should be subject to emergency services exclusion zones, public nuisance controls, and privacy/surveillance law.

Comment Re:Denial of use (Score 1) 281 281

Maybe I can get in with this before the entire debate falls apart... hah, yeah right. Anyway, here goes:

The Copyright equivalent of stealing a candy bar (or a car from a dealership, to use your earlier analogy) from a grocery store is actually:

  1. Man enters a grocery store and sees a $1 candy bar
  2. He goes home and produces his own candy bar just like it, with the resources he has available; with his own time, energy, and equipment (stove, mixer, trays and moulds), and ingredients (chocolate, nougat, peanuts, whatever)
  3. He could eat this bar, give it away, or sell it without having *stolen* anything.

The original candy bar is still available for purchase for $1 to the next customer. If the Man in the example were selling his candy bars for profit, he would have effectively created a competing business to the grocery store. If he sells them wholesale to the store, he's competing with their other distributors.

If they are confusingly similar to the original brand, he may be infringing the manufacturer's protected trade marks. If he uses their patented process to put bubbles in chocolate or something, he may be infringing their patent; but legal competition for manufactured goods is specifically not covered by Copyright law.

Back to the car example, manufactured goods may contain Copyright-protected work, i.e. microcode in the car's engine management unit; but if you build a functional equivalent of your own without infringing patented methods, you're good to go.

Keep in mind that a car manufacturer will have registered 'trade marks' like "the distinctive tail light arrangement" that you won't be allowed to produce competing goods 'confusingly similar to', but you can (YMMV, consult a lawyer) build one for your own use.

And yes, for the sake of argument a physical work *can* be subject to protection by Copyright, but would generally need to show substantial creative effort and merit to be enforced; such as a carved statue. In the case of the car example, the Copyright would apply to the manufacturer's plans, CAD/CAM files, and maybe physical prototypes; but almost certainly not the result of the process (again, YMMV, consult a laywer)

Comment Re:This just in. (Score 1) 281 281

People keep using the term "Fair Use" in a legal context as though it means what it would mean in an ordinary conversation. It does not mean that your 'use' is 'fair', but rather that it complies with the specific exceptions to Copyright law that are granted under that title. Call it whatever you like; as you say, it's still infringing copyright (and also the DMCA, due to that handy little anti-circumvention section, since you mention DRM), and the courts would find against you as such.

Not directing this at david_thornley, it's just a clarification that I feel should be made more often; particularly on Slashdot.

Comment Re:Not sure what they mean... (Score 1) 250 250

I imagine that Google thinks it far more common for one person with more than one of [ PC | laptop | phone | tablet ] to have the majority of same in the country they are in, than to only take one of the above to another country.

If you took your laptop, phone, and tablet with you, you'd be thinking that you should only have to change your location preference on one.

Really, I think changing my 'home' location exactly once for each time I stay somewhere new is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 532 532

A hundred times this.

Far from a PWM issue, most likely the cheap displays that illustrate this issue have insufficient power smoothing, and the culprit is likely the 100 or 120 Hz fluctuation from rectified AC, or (yes, some are really this bad), 50 or 60 Hz from clipped AC.

The duty cycle of a CRT phosphor group is in the order of 1/1,000,000 for an SDTV resolution - the point intensity of the energised area is unimaginably bright; look for high-speed footage of a TV to get some idea of it; or if you have a digital camera of some worth, take a pic at 1/2500 and see how many lines are still saturating the CCD.

Comment Re:Windows 7 (Score 3, Interesting) 965 965

Having long been a fan of minimalist window managers like Fluxbox, a friend recently recommended xmonad, which I promptly installed; and since doing so I have been amazed at how much time I can spend not managing windows.

There's apparently also osxmonad for the 'traitors,' but I haven't tried that out yet.

Comment Re:underwhelmed (Score 1) 120 120

... you'll be recompiling everything it depends on right down to the widget set plus everything that depends on any of that plus anything that depends on those things, and so on, recursively.

I always saw it as a feature than when a library maintainer fixed a bug, it'd get fixed in all the software that was using said library; or a any libraries that was wrapping that library, or any software that was using that wrapper...

Weekend, where are you?