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Comment Garmin GTU-10 (Score 5, Informative) 296

I have two, on things I don't want to get lost.

Garmin has two plans. The simple one lets you draw virtual fences around where it's OK for the thing to be, and alerts you when it leaves the area, and also lets you poll for location at any time.

The more full-featured plan (basically $10/month) also will automagically poll and keep history, so you at least know where the thing was when the thieves realized that it had a GPS tracker on it and ripped the thing off.

I built a little 12v -> 5v converter for the one of these I have on a device that has a battery, and hooked it in permanently, so every time the main device is switched on, the GPS's battery gets recharged.

Comment Just put the date on it (Score 1) 211

I don't normally care about the copyright if it's a document on the web, because I can just point people at the original.

But I do care about when something was written.

It is mind-boggling how many academic papers out there that don't have a damn date on them.

C'mon people -- if you want to help out the knowledge of the world, you're not being serious if you can't help us put it in a timeline.

Comment Danger, Will Robinson (Score 1) 108

Generally, I code faster, and better, the second time around.

If you were the original author, there is some chance that a court would find that any second coding you do would be covered by the original copyright. You certainly wouldn't be able to claim "clean room" non-exposure to the original. And, whether the court would find that or not, that could still be an expensive proposition, if you coded something valuable enough for a post-bankruptcy assignee to decide that your second coding of it was interfering with their profits.

Small chance, you say? You're absolutely right. But OTOH, any company that wouldn't mind you using something that you yourself created the second time shouldn't really mind you using something you created the first time either.

No, I have to agree with the assessment of others that copyright assignment is a non-starter. There is a continuum of potential contributions, but at one end you have small bugfixes that are useless for any other piece of software, so nobody should care who owns the copyright. At the other end, you have major pieces of work that might contain large libraries of independently-useful functions. If you want to attract developers to create and contribute those then you shouldn't limit their ability to reuse their own creations.

Furthermore, if it's merely a license grant rather than a copyright assignment, then the damage that a wayward bankruptcy judge can do (think what happened to Novell's revenue stream in SCO) becomes quite limited.

Comment It's probably just about willfulness (Score 1) 148

If any patent is valid and infringed, then google may have some 'splainin to do about why they didn't think it was.

This line of questioning might have nothing at all to do with whether any of the patents are actually valid or infringed. It might just have to do with whether, if it was done, it was done willfully.

OTOH, it may be the judge's strategy to try to get google thinking about possible treble damages. He's probably trying for anything that might lead to a sooner settlement and cut his workload.

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