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Comment Re:Why the surprise? (Score 1) 222

What happens if fan-art popularizes counter-culture versions of the IP characters, like Zelda and Link doing cocaine or joining in orgies? It's true that fan art is for the most part supportive of the original artist's direction, much like the amateur film in question, but without any control over which derivative works are allowed, the integrity of the game character could be obliterated. Even something as mild as suggesting Link is gay, while not inherently or morally negative, could hurt the image and damage sales of the Zelda games in areas that aren't as tolerant.

Sure, small-scale fan-fiction is impossible to control, but for all intents and purposes that type of derivative work only influences the community that created it and finds interest in it. When it comes to something as high-profile as this film, it becomes much more important that the IP holder has some say in how its characters are depicted. However, in general I think companies should be more willing to grant no-fee licenses to devoted fans since it only builds a stronger bond in the community. It's a shame Nintendo is fighting back against this rather than supporting it and sharing in the attention.

Comment Re:I am very sceptical... (Score 0, Troll) 1093

Global warming legislation aims to be the largest power grab since the civil war.

And we all know how badly that one turned out. If only that war never happened, then slavery and officially sanctioned power-through-wealth could be still dominate in half the county.

Seriously, it's good to doubt the purpose behind all politics, but in this case, scientists were researching and warning against global warming even when Bush was president (and many of those scientists on bush's payroll were silenced for it). Beyond politically-driven scientific research, a vast amount of study comes from non-profit institutions that have no ulterior motive other than accurately understanding any given aspect of our universe, whether it's about the truth of planets orbiting stars or gaseous molecules in the atmosphere trapping infrared radiation.

Comment Re:"Method" patents (Score 1) 150

That is precisely how I feel. Why is a series of everyday, physical activities seen as so intuitively not special, but when those same activities are translated into an electronic representation, the process becomes unique? Sure, I can accept copyrighting the particular code used to implement said functionality, but a patent on the process itself makes an arbitrary division between one's actions in the real world and one's actions in the digital world. There are so many examples of business method patents granted by the USPTO that describe the electronic version of business models that have been in practice for centuries. And unlike copyrights, if the "invention" that a patent is applied for isn't new and inventive, it must not be granted.

Take this podcast case: ever heard of a magazine subscription? Book/DVD of the month subscriptions? Honestly, I would like someone to explain to me why this bad patent doesn't cover something like e-mail newsletters.

Data is data. It shouldn't matter if the data is in the form of written language, auditory language or sounds, or static or dynamic visual pieces. It also shouldn't matter if you get the data by spoken conversation, radio waves, or binary streams. If a business method patent isn't limited to a single, explicit representation, but rather it is abstracted to cover any possible infrastructure system it sits on (i.e., TCP/IP), then real life should count as prior art. It's outrageous.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 244

Actually, he very well could be using the word "literally" literally. As you said, he stated that he believes certain shows intend to physically cause harm to his brain. If he really does hold the opinion that those shows display reasoning, taste, or behavior so atrocious that the only reasonable explanation for its transmission is to disrupt and whither the synapses in his brain, then he would be accurate in labeling the programming an assault on his brain.

I say sue them all to hell.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Robot attacks man... (

Taelron writes: ""A factory worker is almost killed by robot as he attempted to do routine maintenance at a factory near Stockholm. The tech thought he had cut power to the robot and proceeded to approach the unit when it spun around and grabbed the man by the head and seriously injured him. The company that makes the robot has been fined $3,000 in the attack." Time to bow down before our robotic overlords, all hail Skynet..."

Comment Re:The quarter wave problem (Score 1) 412

Also the least future proof. Electricity or at least energy consumption will increase, barring some disaster that leaves this all a moot point anyway.

An apt description. I apply the same logic to my personal finances. My spending will outpace my income, so why bother pinching pennies when it's so much more convenient to blow my whole paycheck on the first shiny thing that catches my eye?

The same goes for health too. No matter what you do, you will die at some point. But you don't need vitamins or exercise when you're dead, so why bother with it now? I'm not going to waste my time trying to make the most of what I have, I'll just wait until they develop a way to put my brain into an ageless robot.

Comment Re:News at 11 (Score 1) 553

On the flip side, it's actually not too hard to have the computer deny users from using passwords that contain words from the dictionary. So you don't need to say "there must be a digit and an uppercase letter and a non-character symbol..." You can just say "no words" and have the computer check the password for strings that match dictionary words.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman