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

Submitted by Peter Hudson
Peter Hudson (3717535) 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."
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Comment: Science-based medicine, brain-machine interfaces (Score 1) 552

by sanchom (#47075669) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

"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

by sanchom (#45423229) Attached to: Could Slashdot (Or Other Private Entity) Sue a Spy Agency Like GCHQ Or NSA?
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

by sanchom (#45423117) Attached to: Could Slashdot (Or Other Private Entity) Sue a Spy Agency Like GCHQ Or NSA?
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

by sanchom (#44732751) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public

If you didn't implement it, you didn't invent it.

I meant implement for mass market production. I may have the resources to build a working model, or a proof-of-concept, but not the resources to bring the invention to market.

If you didn't implement it, you didn't invent it.

That is not consistent with patent law.

Comment: Re:Just a thought (Score 1) 107

by sanchom (#44732573) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public

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.

Comment: Re:They're not trolls (Score 1) 107

by sanchom (#44731889) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public

This is mostly an argument for raising the bar on the non-obviousness requirement.

However, even if concurrent discovery is common, that may only be because of the concurrent incentive to discovery. Any of the hard-working, innovative, inventors could come up with the invention. Each is being spurred on by the promise of the exclusive right waiting at the end of the tunnel. Just because one gets to the patent office before the other doesn't mean that the patent didn't provide the incentive to do the work.

Comment: Re:Software a special case (Score 4, Interesting) 107

by sanchom (#44731855) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public

So, in other words, patenting an algorithm is as simple as adding "on a computer" after it, thus making it a process.

It's not that simple. In Gottschalk v. Benson, the US Supreme Court considered a method for binary conversion, and said: "The mathematical formula involved here has no substantial practical application except in connection with a digital computer, which means that if the judgment below is affirmed, the patent would wholly pre-empt the mathematical formula and in practical effect would be a patent on the algorithm itself."

The idea is that the patent claim must "add “significantly more” to the basic principle, with the result that the claim covers significantly less." If the patent claim is co-extensive with an unpatentable algorithm, the claim is not eligible for patent.

What "significantly more" means, and what it means for an invention to be coextensive with an unpatentable abstract idea (mathematical formula, or algorithm) are points under contention at the CAFC right now. I expect this to reach the Supreme Court for clarification in the near future.

Comment: Re:Just a thought (Score 4, Insightful) 107

by sanchom (#44731739) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public

Then, how do I, as a poor inventor without the means to implement my invention, how would I be rewarded for revealing my invention to the world?

I would normally just sell the patent to an entity with the resources to actually develop the patent. If I can't transfer the patent, then I hold an exclusive right that I don't even have the resources to protect. I'll never cash in. I'd probably just keep the invention secret and not tell anyone.

However, if patents are transferable, like they are right now, I would have incentive to publish my invention in a patent in exchange for the exclusive right to make, sell, or use it. Then, I'd sell that right to somebody else who could bring it to market or have the legal resources to run a proper licencing scheme. I'd get rewarded for my invention. The public would get the knowledge of the invention. And the invention may be more likely to reach market.

Comment: Re:They're not trolls (Score 0) 107

by sanchom (#44731711) Attached to: Taking the Battle Against Patent Trolls To the Public
How do you know that "the only way a patent troll makes money is if someone willing to actually make the thing has the same idea"? Patents are published, so the person willing to implement the invention could have just read the published patent and decided they want to make it. That is one of the mechanisms that patents promote the progress of science and useful arts: the public gives the inventor an exclusive right (which they can assign or licence), and the inventor gives the public his/her knowledge. It's a trade.

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

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