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Comment: Re:Skimmed through (Score 1) 91

by suutar (#47424975) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

sadly, the legal definition of good faith (as described at has no connection with due diligence; it's all about taking things at face value. If the automatic scanning program says it's a hit, that's enough for a good-faith belief, until enough bad hits are revealed to show that the scanner is not deserving of that faith. (Which also means that copyright holders have pretty much zero incentive to improve such scanners until forced to.)

Comment: Re:Skimmed through (Score 1) 91

by suutar (#47424311) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

The problem is that filing a take down notice only requires two assertions: that you own or are an agent for someone who owns the copyright being (allegedly) infringed, and that you have a good faith belief that there is infringement happening. The first is subject to perjury penalties, which (perhaps unintentionally) prevents prank takedowns from non-copyright-holders. The latter, however, is nearly impossible to disprove without a smoking-gun email, leaving anyone who really is a copyright holder free to scatter takedown requests like rice at a wedding.

Comment: Re: And Joe Schmoe wont care. (Score 1) 348

by suutar (#47424167) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

It's STOL so it can work with smaller carriers, because the Marines insisted (they don't like being dependent on big Navy carriers for ground support flights, because sometimes they're not there). If it were just how many could fit on a regular carrier, they'd want them as small as possible instead of adding bulk and weight. And that would be fine except that adding the STOL equipment makes the plane bulkier (bad for stealth), heavier (bad for speed), and less maneuverable (barring vectored thrust tricks which sacrifice speed).

The Harrier was and is an engineering masterpiece, but it's still complicated to maintain, difficult to fly to its full potential, and neither stealth nor high speed were in its design goals. It's good at what it's meant to be, but it's not intended to be all things.

Comment: Re:The relevant part (Score 2) 560

by suutar (#47325543) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

from what I've read, the interpretation is that you may not be forced to _create_ evidence that may be used to convict you at the request of a government entity. Answering a question from a government employee is creating statements that didn't already exist. Filling out a form is creating documents that didn't exist. Evidence that they already have can be followed up. Evidence that is known to already exist can be demanded (blood samples, DNA samples, papers in a safe), and the fifth won't help because you're not creating anything.

Following this interpretation, data on the drive already exists. Taking the fifth when asked if you know the password may be allowable, but once knowledge of the password has been admitted, it's down to the "demanding evidence that exists" category and the fifth doesn't help.

I'm not saying that's the ideal answer, but there is a certain logic to the position.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with luxury? (Score 1) 276

by suutar (#47312859) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

Because one of the government's justifications in the past has been that it's not really that much of a hardship, and judges tend to try to avoid flat out saying "my predecessors and colleagues were idiots and their rulings were bullshit." So instead we're going with the "well, that may have been the case before, but not so much now, so we're going to rethink this."

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 4, Informative) 347

by suutar (#47310401) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

photons and neutrinos both travel at approximately the same speed in vacuum - "the speed of light"
However, when it comes to going through a non-vacuum, like a star, neutrinos have a straight shot because they don't interact with anything and the photons have to run through a pinball game (or a pachinko game, if you've seen those) until they actually get out. Best estimates of the time difference to date are about 3 hours.
Because of that, they would expect to see the light about 3 hours after seeing the neutrino burst, but in this case it looks like it was 7+ hours instead.
This guy (if I'm understanding it right) is saying that even "in a vacuum" light does enough zig-zagging to add a few hours to the transit time of a 163000 lightyear trip.

Comment: Re:Everything is an algorithm (Score 1) 263

by suutar (#47285349) Attached to: The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

Perhaps it should only outlaw things that we know how to reduce to mathematics. Software is a gimme. Lots of mechanical engineering stuff can be reduced to math; that's how we can simulate it. So maybe not so much need for patents there. Serious biochemistry (e.g. drug research) isn't fully simulatable yet (hence folding@home), and arguably that's the stuff that needs to keep patents. I'm not sure where something like chip fabrication technology falls on that scale, but I think it's closer to the "not quite simulatable yet" side...

Comment: Re:All about the symptoms (Score 1) 216

by suutar (#47249331) Attached to: US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

I will cheerfully support this. Any function that should work for a driver in motion should not be touchscreen. You can put a touchscreen in front of any/all passengers if you want.

Maybe this is the solution to the GPS issue too. The passenger seat can program at speed (if there is a passenger in the seat who is buckled up), the driver seat can only program while stopped.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)