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Submission + - App gives you free ebooks of your paperbacks when you take a "shelfie" ( 1

Peter Hudson writes: Alan Henry writes on LifeHacker: Paper books are awesome, but sometimes there's no beating the portability of an ebook on your phone or tablet. If you have a physical book you'd love to read on the go, BitLit may be able to get you an ebook version for free—all you need to do is take a photo of your book case: a 'shelfie'...

Comment Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (Score 4, Interesting) 436

The first amendment - like anything written in the Constitution is absolute.

That statement is not consistent with Supreme Court jurisprudence. There are limitations on many rights listed in the Constitution. For example, the first amendment has been held *not* to give you the right to incite violence. (See Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire.)

So either the Constitution is absolute or it is not

The answer is that it is not. Interpretation of the constitution comes down to a balancing act between competing rights.

It should have absolutely no influence in a court case between two individuals.

True. That's why this is about the *government's* prosecution of one individual and whether the elements of the crime were actually established.

Submission + - Elsevier to offer DRM-free ebook bundling through BitLit (

peterhudson writes: Elsevier has partnered with BitLit to offer readers highly discounted DRM-free "bundled" eBook editions on for 5000 of their titles. Elsevier which has courted controversy over the years in its journal business, may be adopting a more progressive stance on both DRM and consumer demand for format shifting physical media to digital.

Unlike the Kindle Matchbook bundling program which relies on billing records (and doesn't have any large scientific or technical publishers participating), the Elsevier-BitLit bundling program doesn't require receipts or point-of-sale records to prove ownership of the print copy. To claim the bundled eBook, a reader writes her name in ink on the copyright page and snaps a photo using the BitLit app. BitLit is free for iOS and Android and offers free or highly discounted bundled eBooks form over 200 publishers including other tech publishers: Packt and O'Reilly.

Submission + - Harpercollins will offer discounted ebooks to print book owners through BitLit (

Peter Hudson writes: Cory Doctorow writes on BoingBoing that HarperCollins is the first major publisher to sign with BitLit, a free app for iOS and Android that lets you send a photo of your book's copyright page with your name inked on it in exchange for a deal on the ebook. The HarperCollins bundling pilot includes Neal Stephenson's classic Cryptonomicon, and will offer ebooks to print owners at $2-3.

Comment Science-based medicine, brain-machine interfaces (Score 1) 552

"Communicating with the Locked-In" by Yale Neuroscientist and scientific skeptic, Steven Novella: http://www.sciencebasedmedicin...

It discusses the science (imaging, brain-machine interfaces) vs pseudoscience (facilitated communication) relating to communicating with the locked in.

Comment Re:A trademark claim might not be the best (Score 3, Interesting) 188

Trademark infringment is not a subset of fraud. Trademark law came out of the tort of passing off, which originally was a descendant of fraud/deceit, but they're now different in that fraud happens between the lier and the listener; trademark infringement happens between the lier and the owner of the mark that they co-opt. It isn't a subset-superset relationship anymore.

Comment Re:A trademark claim might not be the best (Score 1) 188

Trademark law originated as the common law tort of passing off. Passing off is *like* fraud, but differs in that fraud requires proof of damages, while passing off/trademark infringement does not require proof of damages. Passing off/trademark infringement is what the intellectual property owners could sue for. Fraud is what the end-users could sue for.

Comment Re:Just a thought (Score 1) 107

IMHO, you do not deserve compensation for coming up with an idea unless you also spend years building a worthwhile implementation.

Patents don't reward the coming-up-with of an idea. They reward the disclosure of that idea.

and patents should only last 3-5 years (about twice as long as it takes to develop a competing implementation).

This is not universally true. It might take 10-12 years to clear the regulatory hurdles in the pharmaceutical industry.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.