Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Comics and the law at Yale Law School (Score 3, Interesting) 92

Yale Law Library has also delved into this subject, putting together a video and exhibit about the law's depiction in comic books. I don't know to what extent the library is open to the public, but if you are near New Haven, the exhibit closes 16 Dec. 2010.

Comment Re:A simple fix (Score 1) 96

I agree, and even if you just changed the color by one hexadecimal value, it should frustrate the script, but not change the appearance much to the end user. BUT, I'm not sure if the script can just read what your "visited links color" is and use the color dynamically. We are both presuming that the script has hardcoded the "visited links" color. I don't know if that assumption is true.

Comment Bad move. (Score 1) 275

This is a bad idea. The content cartels are not going to be satisfied by this reasonable accommodation. What they will do is use it as a hammer. "Aha, you censor auto-complete. That is an admission that X terms lead to piracy. Now you should censor them in all search results."

Look at the Viacom v. Youtube lawsuit. The content cartel doesn't give a fig for reasonable accomodations, they would squash all innovation where it might impact their bottom line.

Now, the DMCA does provide some Safe Harbor protections to Search Engine providers, but that can be defeated (by knowledge, inaction, etc.) And nothing presents policymakers (judges, legislators) from pointing to Google's admission regarding the keywords as evidence that the Copyright system needs changes.

Comment This won't be in the public domain (Score 3, Interesting) 327

Under U.S. law, these commissioned works won't be in the public domain. There is no way to "create" a work into the public domain. Work only enters the public domain upon expiration of the copyright term. (The one way to create a work into the public domain, is that governmental works are not subject to copyright.)

What the project can do is create a contractual license that says that all-comers are granted a perpetual, non-exclusive license. Even then, presumably the resulting works would be works of joint authorship, with copyright residing in all of the authors. And under the reversion provisions of US copyright law, those orchestra members, or their families, could have the licenses terminated after about 30 years.

Comment Topology (Score 1) 1186

I'm not a maths guy, but I bet there is a topology pun somewhere in this idea. You are tattooing on a 2-D surface, stretched over a 3-D frame (your skeleton, muscles...). And isn't there a question in Topology or metaphysics about whether you can test whether the universe is curved, from the vantage point of a observer trapped within the curved universe? I think there is probably a pun in there... Also, isometric(?) representations of 3-D objects in the 2-D medium would be both visually appealing, but with some math relevancy.

Comment Beyond Irony (Score 1) 375

The Italian Authorities actually threatened another man (Gioacchino Giuliani) with arrest for predicting this earthquake! And now they have the temerity to threaten scientists for not stepping forward with a warning? Well, with the incentives that you've put in place for the scientists, why should they put their necks out?!

Comment Original link appears to be down (Score 2, Informative) 427

Here is some info from the USPTO website:

Why are you telling me that my document is "upside down"? In a routine fax transmission, page orientation (top of the page first into the machine or bottom of the page first) is not critical because the reader can easily flip and arrange the pages to read them top to bottom. However, it is critical to our process that each page is faxed top to bottom with the top margin being fed first into the machine. Once they have been received in PTAS, fax transmitted assignments are processed strictly by electronic means. Although the PTAS software can rotate a document 180 degrees for viewing purposes, when the electronic document is extracted to generate the archival microfilm record, each page is extracted exactly as it was first received. Accordingly, a document sent "upside down" would be microfilmed upside down. To further complicate matters, because the system generated recordation and reel and frame markings on the pages would be in the opposite orientation, the resulting document would be difficult to read.

Comment Re:Actually... (Score 1) 222

You misunderstand the nature of "Intellectual Property" rights. It is not a "natural right" (such as the the right to bodily integrity). It is an artificial state-granted monopoly. And it's purpose is not to grant control over a person's work because they have a property claim to it. The US's IP regime exists to incentivize people to produce, because it benefits the public good. You appear to have some conception that producer's have an innate right to rigorous control over their work. This isn't how things work (at least in the US), and if you push on some of your assumptions, you will see how your system would lead to some absurd results.

Comment Re:The Hero of Time still lives on... (Score 1) 222

Exactly. I had never even heard of this movie before Nintendo's legal action made this a newsworthy story. This free publicity will actually ensure that MORE people become aware of the movie and see it. So, if that was Nintendo's true purpose, then this didn't really accomplish anything. The film producer's won't make any profit off of bittorrent downloads, so if Nintendo's goals was to prevent people from profitting off of their Intellectual Property, than this may accomplish that.

As a final word, that statement from the producers is NOT genuine. It reeks of of a forced statement that Nintendo's lawyers forced him to make at "gunpoint" (ballpoint?) to stave off community outrage.

GSM Decryption Published 299

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that German encryption expert Karsten Nohl says that he has deciphered and published the 21-year-old GSM algorithm, the secret code used to encrypt most of the world's digital mobile phone calls, in what he called an attempt to expose weaknesses in the security system used by about 3.5 billion of the 4.3 billion wireless connections across the globe. Others have cracked the A5/1 encryption technology used in GSM before, but their results have remained secret. 'This shows that existing GSM security is inadequate,' Nohl told about 600 people attending the Chaos Communication Congress. 'We are trying to push operators to adopt better security measures for mobile phone calls.' The GSM Association, the industry group based in London that devised the algorithm and represents wireless operators, called Mr. Nohl's efforts illegal and said they overstated the security threat to wireless calls. 'This is theoretically possible but practically unlikely,' says Claire Cranton, a GSM spokeswoman, noting that no one else had broken the code since its adoption. 'What he is doing would be illegal in Britain and the United States. To do this while supposedly being concerned about privacy is beyond me.' Simon Bransfield-Garth, the chief executive of Cellcrypt, says Nohl's efforts could put sophisticated mobile interception technology — limited to governments and intelligence agencies — within the reach of any reasonable well-funded criminal organization. 'This will reduce the time to break a GSM call from weeks to hours,' Bransfield-Garth says. 'We expect as this further develops it will be reduced to minutes.'"

Comment This is a bad idea because... (Score 5, Insightful) 128

This is going to make users accustomed to entering their paypal credentials into all sorts of unique interfaces, on a variety of websites. It is going to condition users to be less guarded about their paypal credentials. As it stands now, you basically only enter your PayPal credentials into either the or domains. Users know that if anywhere else asks for their credentials, that it is a phishing site. I think this is going to be a minor disaster for PayPal. But hey, maybe they're cash-flush enough to eat the cost of all the new fraud claims that are going to result.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.