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Comment: Re: Apple ][ was a great product (Score 1) 74

by cpt kangarooski (#49745473) Attached to: In 1984, Jobs and Wozniak Talk About Apple's Earliest Days

Though there was a good reason for the original compact Macs to discourage users from opening them up -- there were exposed high voltage monitor electronics in there which could give you a hell of a zap of not properly discharged.

The later all in one Macs of the 90s were better in that regard. Their user suitable parts (motherboard, drives) all were easy to get at, but the monitors and power supplies were fully enclosed.

Comment: Re:New Jersey and Other Fictions... (Score 1) 615

by cpt kangarooski (#49707607) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

These people are increasingly rare, given that more gas stations lack "full-service" pumps.

Well, chalk one up for electrics, I guess.

Tesla's working on automated full-service battery swapping stations. And apparently also on charging cords that can plug themselves in:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/1...

Robots of that sort already exist, so you can see the sort of thing he's probably referring to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615

by cpt kangarooski (#49707571) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Local delivery (Fed Ex, UPS etc) will still have an operator (or perhaps two or more) that can jump out with the package while the delivery truck drives around the block

That's what the Amazon drones are for. The truck just has to cruise through the neighborhood. Meanwhile, small drone aircraft that it carries will work to carry packages out of the truck and to front doors. A human will still be needed for heavy or bulky packages, or for deliveries that have to be brought inside or where there's no convenient place for the drone to land to deposit them, but those packages and destinations can be separated from the others at the local depot, and all put on a smaller number of trucks, therefore needing a smaller number of humans. You won't need a human for every truck if you work out the routes each day based on the nature of the packages you've got and where you're taking them.

+ - UMG v Grooveshark settled, no money judgment against individuals

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: UMG's case against Grooveshark, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), (a) a $50 million judgment is being entered against Grooveshark, (b) the company is shutting down operations, and (c) no money judgment at all is being entered against the individual defendants.

Comment: p-value research is misleading almost always (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by SteveWoz (#49495363) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

I studied and tutored experimental design and this use of inferential statistics. I even came up with a formula for 1/5 the calculator keystrokes when learning to calculate the p-value manually. Take the standard deviation and mean for each group, then calculate the standard deviation of these means (how different the groups are) divided by the mean of these standard deviations (how wide the groups of data are) and multiply by the square root of n (sample size for each group). But that's off the point. We had 5 papers in our class for psychology majors (I almost graduated in that instead of engineering) that discussed why controlled experiments (using the p-value) should not be published. In each case my knee-jerk reaction was that they didn't like math or didn't understand math and just wanted to 'suppose' answers. But each article attacked the math abuse, by proficient academics at universities who did this sort of research. I came around too. The math is established for random environments but the scientists control every bit of the environment, not to get better results but to detect thing so tiny that they really don't matter. The math lets them misuse the word 'significant' as though there is a strong connection between cause and effect. Yet every environmental restriction (same living arrangements, same diets, same genetic strain of rats, etc) invalidates the result. It's called intrinsic validity (finding it in the experiment) vs. extrinsic validity (applying in real life). You can also find things that are weaker (by the square root of n) by using larger groups. A study can be set up in a way so as to likely find 'something' tiny and get the research prestige, but another study can be set up with different controls that turn out an opposite result. And none apply to real life like reading the results of an entire population living normal lives. You have to study and think quite a while, as I did (even walking the streets around Berkeley to find books on the subject up to 40 years prior) to see that the words "99 percentage significance level" means not a strong effect but more likely one that is so tiny, maybe a part in a million, that you'd never see it in real life.

Comment: Regulation is ok, but the EU can't be a bad actor (Score 1) 247

by cpt kangarooski (#49476387) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Google does have an effective monopoly in search, and it's not a bad idea to have some degree of regulation in place to make sure that it doesn't harm consumers. (Though nonsense like a 'right to be forgotten' is going too far, and should be dropped)

The problem is that that very well may not be the EU's only motive here. At about the same time that the charges were announced, Gunther Oettinger, the EU's Digital Commissioner gave a speech where he said:

A great challenge is also Europe's position in the development of the next digital platforms that will gradually replace the current Internet and mobile platforms. We have so far missed many opportunities in this field and our online businesses are today dependent on a few non-EU players world-wide: this must not be the case again in the future. ... We need European industry 4.0 champions to win the global game in industry 4.0. ... Industry in Europe should take the lead and become a major contributor to the next generation of digital platforms that will replace today's Web search engines, operating systems and social networks.

Maintaining a level playing field and ensuring fair competition is one thing. Using the law to rig the market in order to engage in protectionism, however, is not acceptable. If the EU wants to pursue Google, they're going to need to do so in a way that is justifiably beyond reproach. Otherwise it's relatively easy for Google to restructure the way it does business internationally to avoid the EU from having any power over them, while still offering its services to persons in the EU, and to have many people cheer them on in the process.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49186121) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Then you fall into the second category. Or you're just ignorant.

Well, I'm a copyright lawyer, so I doubt I'm "completely and totally ignorant of the law." Have you considered the possibility that your analysis is wrong?

Since we're talking about works that haven't been around long enough to have their copyrights expire, that's totally irrelevant.

Just thought I'd mention it, since you did make a rather broad statement suggesting that works cannot enter the public domain unless deliberately placed there by the copyright holder. While copyright holders can put works into the public domain, it's not true that that is the only way for works to enter the public domain.

"Um, no. That would not be the scenes a faire doctrine."

The scenes a faire doctrine, which I don't have to google for, thanks, permits people to copy without fear of infringement, stock elements from works, which are typical, if not indispensible, for works that have a particular setting, genre, theme, etc.

In this case, where you have a show about teenagers fighting monsters with martial arts and giant robots, it would not infringe if you had a five person team, each member of which had personalities as described above, and where the members of the team were color-coded. It's simply expected of the genre, and therefore fair game, even if you copied it from another copyrighted work.

Now if the specific thing you copied was a very detailed example, and you kept all the details, you might then have a problem. So it depends on how much Power Rangers embellished on this standard device, if they did, and if so, how much of that embellishment, if any, was used in this case.

If you disagree as to my explanation, please feel free to actually say what you think the scenes a faire doctrine is.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49186033) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I didn't say Disney's Peter Pan. I was talking about JM Barrie's Peter Pan, which Disney's Peter Pan is based on.

A new version of Peter Pan, based on Barrie's, could still tarnish the character well enough (if done right, and if widely published) so as to harm Disney's Peter Pan merely by association. But it would be lawful to do this. Disney's copyright on their version of Peter Pan does not extend to stopping other people from making their own derivatives of Barrie's work, even if they're very unwholesome derivatives.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49177671) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

And time shifting doesn't use just one. Time shifting monetized (when done by a company) is almost always not fair use. Tivo is the only one that survived legal challenges.

Time shifting is typically something that the end-user does. Tivo, like Sony before it (The original time shifting lawsuit was against Sony for their Betamax), merely makes the machine. So long as there is at least a potential lawful use for the recording function of the machine, they can go on making them. The Supreme Court found that at least some time shifting would be fair, and that was enough.

Space shifting is another example, the original case was against Diamond for their Rio MP3 players, but Apple's iPod relied on it, as did basically everyone else.

But it meets more than just one criteria. It's non-commercial.

No, the purpose of the use for time shifting, while not precisely commercial, is to simply use the work in the way that an ordinary user, who did not time shift, would use it. It's not strongly against fair use, but it certainly doesn't weigh for it in the way that an educational or transformative use would. At best it is a wash.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 2) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49177639) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

I don't think the parody exemption for copyrighed works applies to things protected by trademark, which I wouldn't be surprised if the Power Rangers are.

It does.

(Though the question of parodying a mark directly is different from parodying a work which happens to contain a mark. Parodying Star Wars, which includes X-Wings, and the Millennium Falcon, and Lightsabers, and so on is different from parodying the Star Wars logo all by itself)

Also, remember that trademarks are inferior to, and cannot be used as a substitute for, copyrights. And that trademarks themselves are subject to various limitations to allow for certain types of unauthorized use.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 2) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49177611) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

Peter Pan is in the public domain in the US. You can absolutely have Peter Pan promoting drug use ('fairy dust' can be the street name; a side effect might be paranoid hallucinations of ticking crocodiles, etc.), and publish it widely enough to detract from Disney's ability to keep Peter Pan a wholesome character that they can make tons of money off.

Go nuts.

But because people can ignore that -- In fact, I'm confident that there are bad porn versions of Peter Pan floating around -- it doesn't really detract from the original, or from the Disney movies, unless you allow it to. It's up to you, the audience member.

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 2) 255

by cpt kangarooski (#49177593) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

a parody is allowed to use however much of the original work it wants to.

That's not quite right.

There's no special status for works which are parodies. Some parodies can be fair uses, but not all parodies are. And not all fair uses are parodies, though some fair uses are.

In any case, one factor in determining whether a use is fair or not is how much, and of that how substantial a part, of the original work is used. It's possible to have a fair use that uses all of a work, but also possible to have a use which uses very little of a work, but which is not fair.

While it all depends on the circumstances at hand, a good rule of thumb is to take only so much as you need. If you wanted to make a parody of Star Wars about how Luke waving the lightsaber around in Obi-Wan's house is dangerous, because Luke is a klutz, you could probably use some footage of that scene from the movie. You would have a harder time justifying using the entire movie, but only changing that one scene for the purposes of parody.

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