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Comment: Re:Or just boycott the major movie studios (Score 1) 371

by tepples (#49748047) Attached to: Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix

There are actually three options: use DRM, infringe copyright, or voluntarily do without.

Or fourth option: movie/tv show owners can wake up to the fact the digital file is worthless

I was referring to things that an end user can do. Most lack the billions of dollars needed to dictate terms to the incumbent movie studios. Most lack even the millions of dollars to start an indie movie studio that can produce a desirable feature-length motion picture to sell on GOG.

Comment: Drop Comic Sans in favor of what? (Score 1) 384

by tepples (#49745465) Attached to: Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair To Students

I've always hated cursive. It's always sloppy, impossible to read, and for the last 30 years has done nothing but piss me off. I'm glad to see it dead.

Unless you speak Arabic, in which case you even have to type in cursive.

Next up, comic sans.

If not Comic Sans, then which font to simulate neat manuscript writing would you recommend? Is Comic Neue fine?

Comment: Updates (Score 1) 118

Barring a standard port like a cablecard slot that lets me plug an embedded computer into my TV

There is a standard port. It's called MHL.

You can build a SFF PC for under $100 that will play 1080p video just fine. Why would you ever buy a smart TV?

If you build a PC, you have the maintenance headache of keeping the PC's operating system and applications up to date. And in case you figure that out, which parts do you use for a $100 SFF PC so that I can recommend them to others?

Comment: Re:Shifted to PVR or just not watching (Score 1) 214

The change was I switched from downloading TV shows after they have aired to PVR'ing every series I might want to watch.

PVR works so long as what you want to watch is shown on TV. But there are a lot of movies and TV series that aren't shown on TV, DVD, or streaming. How is one supposed to lawfully watch the film Song of the South, the film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night, or the TV series Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea?

Comment: Pub + 50 vs. life + 50 (Score 1) 214

The Berne Convention treaty requires a minimum of 50 years.

No, it requires a minimum of life + 50 years.

You're both right. Most motion pictures are works made for hire. Berne defines "life of the author" as zero years when determining the copyright term for a work made for hire. US law defines it as 25 years after publication or 50 years after creation, whichever is sooner.

Comment: Trademark dilution; nominative fair use (Score 2) 74

by tepples (#49745131) Attached to: Take Two Sues BBC Over Drama About GTA Development

Since trademarks don't apply outside the market the trademark is for

Unless the mark is "famous". Then a separate cause of action called "trademark dilution" comes into play.

Since trademarks don't apply to use of the mark to denote the product.

This is what U.S. trademark case law calls "nominative fair use". But the applicability of this defense varies from country to country. In Germany, for example, I've read that comparative advertising is prohibited. The BBC operates in Great Britain; does it recognize nominative fair use?

Since trademarks are to stop people confusing products that "are similar" and nobody will mistake a BBC documentary for an interactive computer game.

The confusion would be between a computer game and an authorized film adaptation of said game.

Comment: Inconsistency among states is the problem (Score 1) 803

by tepples (#49744577) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

In my state, if a traffic signal is not working it is to be treated as a 4-way stop. For all intents and purposes, a dead red is not a working traffic signal

You don't decide what "is not a working traffic signal". A judge does, based on whatever traffic statutes are in effect for a particular jurisdiction. For example, I've read that in Great Britain, a cyclist or motorist at a stuck signal is expected to make a U-turn and find another route, or call the police and wait for whatever they call police officers there to flag the road user through the intersection. I don't claim to be an expert on traffic signal laws in all fifty U.S. states, but I am not aware of anything prohibiting a U.S. state from adopting a hard-line approach like that of Great Britain. This article lists sixteen states that allow cyclists to proceed with caution against an overly long red light; I presume the others do not. So unless and until there comes to be more agreement among states on the conditions under which a signal is legally "in a state of malfunction", such as inclusion of guidance in a revision to the Uniform Vehicle Code, this will cause cyclists who cross state lines to inadvertently commit crimes.

Comment: Fighter pilots (Score 1, Informative) 49

But I don't think people with normal abilities will be trading in their limbs just to be able walk a little longer, run a little faster, or carry more weight.

You might see fighter pilots getting this done in order to avoid blacking out at high g-forces when the blood drains out into the legs. Examples include Sir Douglas Bader, who rejoined the RAF after losing his legs in an accident, and Super NES-era Fox McCloud, who is depicted in an illustration on the cover of Nintendo Power as having metal legs.

It's not an optical illusion, it just looks like one. -- Phil White

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