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Comment Re:Why are people going to jail for this? (Score 1) 664

In that case the person is still trespassing, using their agency over the drone. If you combine these examples and put the gun on the drone, a person using the gun with the drone to kill somebody is still committing murder.

The murder statutes don't need to say "a person with their bare hands, and/or a hammer, and/or an axe, and/or a piano wire, and/or a USB cable... " just as the trespass statutes don't need to specify "a person, or a remote-controlled vehicle, or a fibre-optic camera, ..."

Comment Re:Deliverance? (Score 1) 664

Sure. If you use Firefox or Chome on a desktop, with a cursor, install this script from "greasyfork.org" recommended by somebody who won't even put their handle behind the recommendation; which will read the source of every page you visit and inject the appropriate scripts and frames to load resources you probably don't need from third-party servers whenever somebody comments with a video link. Problem solved!

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 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

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

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

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.

Technology

Hammerhead System Offers a Better Way To Navigate While Cycling 249

Mark Gibbs writes "If you've ever tried to navigate using a smartphone while cycling you'll know full well that you took your life in your hands. By the time you've focused on the map and your brain has decoded what you're looking at you've traveled far enough to be sliding on gravel or go careening into the side of a car. What's needed is a way that you can get directions from your smartphone without having to lose your focus and possibly your life and Hammerhead Navigation have one of the most interesting answers I've seen."
Privacy

German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function 303

dryriver writes "Translated from Der Spiegel: Hamburg Data-Protection Specialist Johannes Caspar warns against using iPhone 5S's new Fingerprint ID function. 'The biometric features of your body, like your fingerprints, cannot be erased or deleted. They stay with you until the end of your life and stay constant — they cannot be changed. One should thus avoid using biometric ID technologies for non-vital or casual everyday uses like turning on a smartphone. This is especially true if a biometric ID, like your fingerprint, is stored in a data file on the electronic device you are using.' Caspar finds Apple's argument that 'your fingerprint is only stored on the iPhone, never transmitted over the network' weak and misleading. 'The average iPhone user is not capable of checking, on a technical level, what happens to his or her fingerprint once it is on the iPhone. He or she cannot tell with any certainty or ease what kind of private data applications downloaded onto the iPhone can or cannot access. The recent disclosure of spying programs like Prism makes it riskier than ever before to share important personal data with electronic devices.' Caspar adds: 'As a matter of principle, one should never hand over any biometric data when it isn't strictly needed. Handing over a non-changeable biometric feature like a fingerprint for no better reason than that it provides 'some convenience' in everyday use, is ill advised and foolish. One must always be extremely cautious where and for what reasons one hands over biometric features.'"
Science

The Science of 12-Step Programs 330

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Since the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous — the progenitor of 12-step programs — science has sometimes been at odds with the notion that laypeople can cure themselves because the numerous spiritual references that go with the 12-step program puts A.A. on "the fringe" in the minds of many scientists. But there is an interesting read at National Geographic where Jarret Liotta writes that new research shows that the success of the 12-step approach may ultimately be explained through medical science and psychology. According to Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at Hazelden and sober 37 years, attending 12-step meetings does more than give an addict warm, fuzzy feelings. The unconscious neurological pull of addiction undermines healthy survival drives, causing individuals to make disastrous choices, he says. "People will regularly risk their lives—risk everything—to continue use of a substance." Addicts don't want to engage in these behaviors, but they can't control themselves. "The only way to truly treat it is with something more powerful," like the 12 steps, that can change patterns in the brain. Philip Flores, author of Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, says the human need for social interaction is a physiological one, linked to the well-being of the nervous system. When someone becomes addicted, Flores says, mechanisms for healthy attachment are "hijacked," resulting in dependence on addictive substances or behaviors. Some believe that addicts, even before their disease kicks in, struggle with knowing how to form emotional bonds that connect them to other people. Co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety, make it even harder to build those essential emotional attachments. "We, as social mammals, cannot regulate our central nervous systems by ourselves," Flores says. "We need other people to do that.""
Science

The Case of the Orca That Killed Its Trainer 395

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "There's an interesting read at National Geographic by Kenneth Brower that probes the case of Tilikum, the homicidal killer whale, who killed his first trainer, 20-year-old Keltie Byrne in 1991. Then in July 6, 1999, a 27-year-old man who stayed after the park closed and evaded security to enter the orca tank was found dead and nude, draped over Tilikum's back with his genitals bitten off. Tilikum's most recent victim was Dawn Brancheau, the SeaWorld trainer he crushed, dismembered, and partially swallowed in 2010. 'Almost all students of orca believe that they are deranged by captivity, some more than others. Tilikum's record puts him at one end of a continuum. There have been dozens of attacks on trainers by an assortment of orcas in the marine parks around the world. [The movie] "Blackfish" shows video from several of these episodes at SeaWorld,' writes Brower. 'What is remarkable about Orcinus orca in marine parks is not these rare episodes. What is remarkable is their monumental forbearance.' For its part SeaWorld is attempting to cast the filmmakers as the true villains, characterizing them as anti-captivity zealots. The company says '"Blackfish" is inaccurate and misleading and, regrettably, exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau's family, friends and colleagues.'"

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