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Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 297

You take an old copy from the public domain, invest time and money, make it beautiful, and republish it.
Now, your work is copyrighted.

Some other guy can take an old copy and make it beautiful, but not yours. That's protected by copyright. He would have to invest again. And then compete against you.

So it's even better than in the case of books. With books, after they are in the public domain, it's a free for all, very low barriers to entry. With stuff that needs to be restored, it's even more lucrative for the republisher, because they get a new copyright, less competition.

Also, note that this only covers the 70-90 years of undigitized stuff. Todays works won't need _that_ kind of work done to be republished.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 297

Very interesting point, in theory. Luckily, that kind of thing has been studied, and it=s the other way around. Copyrights hinder availability, and entering public domain is an incentive for publishing.
Look at this, it was a study on Amazon availability of books : http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/copyright-stagnation.html.
This shows that books seem to get republished as soon as they enter the public domain, and for a long time after that too.

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 5, Insightful) 332

by orasio (#49538939) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Is killing an American hostage worse than killing a non American hostage? For practical purposes, we know it is, and even the Italian guy is from another NATO country, so not an American but an ally.
But I just would like to know if there's any difference on paper in your responsibility, when you kill non hostile local civilians vs your own civilians / allies .

Also, about the title, drones don't kill people. Some force did, or some guy behind the controls, but the drone itself, no matter how autonomous it might be, doesn't kill people.

United States

Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden 677

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-sir-I-don't-like-him dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Newsmax reports that according to KRC Research, about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done "more to hurt" U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. "The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming," says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "They are a generation of digital natives who don't want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls." Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States' largest living generation this year.

German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the non-crazy-software-judgments dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Following a four-month trial, a German court in Hamburg has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is perfectly legitimate. Germany-based Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus, has won a case against German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt. These companies operate Zeit.de, Handelsblatt.com, and Wiwo.de. Their lawsuit, filed on December 3, charged that Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions. The German court has essentially declared that users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web.

ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the point-and-shoot dept.
An anonymous reader writes Japan's Riken research institute has suggested a new idea for dealing with space junk. They say a fiber optic laser mounted onto the International Space Station could blast debris out of the sky. From the article: "To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea — nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds — seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan's Riken research institute has put forward what may be the most ambitious plan to date. They propose blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of space junk out of orbit with a fiber optic laser mounted on the International Space Station."

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 325

by orasio (#49493443) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

OK, I get that, I'm not sure that's more prevalent, and I was just providing a counter example. In Uruguay, spending on technology for education is a lot wiser at the government level, than it is at the private level.

I think that the market and the private interests are overrated. There are lots of cases where markets just don't work, and private interests add up against the common good. In those cases, people spending other people's money can end up with a better result, even accounting for corruption or lack of accountability.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 325

by orasio (#49493399) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

And about our education system...
In Uruguay, it's not really better than the US system. It's more egalitarian, but not that good.
Public Universities are free, but poor kids can't really use them. If you are poor, chances are you will drop out of uni after one or two years, because you are unprepared in the first place.
There are some student aids, but they don't meet demand. Also, high school results are worse in poor neighborhoods. Private schools are popular because of this, but they don't achieve better results, if you compare within the same economic bracket of population.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 325

by orasio (#49493331) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

The OLPC is getting old, but it's WAY cooler than an IPAD.
It has a keyboard, and is suitable for kids holding them for hours.
Kids use them on the doorstep of someone with wifi, or even the school on weekends.
They don't really get stolen, because there's no market for them, and they "die" if stolen.
You can use them in the sun, because they have suitable screens.
There's a dedicated network of local content, curricular and otherwise, even textbooks, tailored for it.

No way you can replicate all this, just by buying a crapload of consumer products. You need to create a tailored solution, thinking about the kids you are trying to reach. For instance, if they were doing this from scratch, it would look closer to a Lenovo Yoga or something like that, but with padding for kids, dedicated LTE or something close, and all textbooks included, something for teachers, something in that line.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 4, Interesting) 325

by orasio (#49487709) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Here in Uruguay, they got the OLPC. There is no market, and it works great.
All kids in public school have their own, you see them using them on the streets, public squares. It has its application in classes, and most importantly, it was instrumental in connecting all schools with quality internet service, allowing for remote classes, that kind of thing. It was a success in many regards.

Private schools, on the other hand, are subject to market forces and stuff, but are usually pretty poor in their decision making. For example, my kids goes to a private kinder, and their usage of computers is pretty dumb, they still have a computer lab kind of thing, mainly because they weren't wise enough to get a complete solution. Public spending was a lot better around here.

Comment: Re:Broadband speed and cost vs other countries (Score 2) 142

by orasio (#49477941) Attached to: How do your actual ISP speeds compare to the advertised speed?

Just think about it.
This is not an economic problem. It's a problem with regulation, strategy, or whatever.
Wherever you live, you have roads to get there. Roads are thousands of times more expensive than fiber, and they need constant maintenance, investment, and rebuilding. You also have electricity virtually everywhere, or you wouldn't care so much about internet access. Internet access is chump change compared to the rest of infrastructure that you keep building and maintaining.

The problem must be somewhere else, not in the level of difficulty, or the cost. Maybe the strategy, the regulation isn't working, but it's not because it's hard.


Transforming Robot Gets Stuck In Fukushima Nuclear Reactor 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the bend-me-shape-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes with more bad news for the people still dealing with the Fukushima nuclear accident. "The ability to change shape hasn't saved a robot probe from getting stuck inside a crippled Japanese nuclear reactor. Tokyo Electric Power will likely leave the probe inside the reactor housing at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex north of Tokyo after it stopped moving. On Friday, the utility sent a robot for the first time into the primary containment vessel (PCV) of reactor No. 1 at the plant, which was heavily damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. 'The robot got stuck at a point two-thirds of its way inside the PCV and we are investigating the cause,' a Tokyo Electric spokesman said via email. The machine became stuck on Friday after traveling to 14 of 18 planned checkpoints."

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