Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Where's the ethics of people who write this stuff? (Score 2) 122

"I've written new software that can use the wifi signals bouncing around in your home to help you change channels on your TV, or possibly give surreptitious surveillance to any law enorcement agency that can get a bullshit warrant from a rubber stamp judge. We promise it will only be used to help you change the TV channel."

Do programmers even filter this stuff through their conscience any more?


Comment Re:No patents either (Score 1) 105

>> "Despite the endless drivel about science, knowledge, children, and society, the entire purpose of public funding in the US is to support future commerce."

The early space program had the side bennefit of showing the Russians we were good at launching missles. There was a saber rattling component.

There are many reasons for public science. It will not go away just because companies can't take public reasearch and try to wrap patents around it.

I'm suggeting public research should be like the GPL. If you use GPL code there are rules. If you use public research money the same should be true.

Comment Re:No patents either (Score 1) 105

Do you drive? If so, I imagine your car, like most, has a steering wheel. The skills you aquire driving one car easily transfer to the next car because it too has a steering wheel. And a gas peddle. And a break peddle.

What if Henry Ford or someone else in the early car industry had patented these devices? What if every car you ever drive has it's own proprietary system of controls?

I didn't say there should be no patents in the world. I just said if you leverage research from a publicly funded study than you shouldn't be able to close those results.

If you want to build a better steering wheel and patent it, go ahead. But don't do it using public money.

Comment Re:Interpretations (Score 1) 93

Agreed. Music is full of covers. For example most people would agree Jimmi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" is a vast improvement on the original. Dylan himself performs the Hendrix version of the song to this day he was so impressed. The two men had been friends and Hendrix was a Dylan fan and gave credit to the original. I'm unaware of what if any royalties are paid from the Hendrix estate to Dylan, but the point is the appropriate credit was given to the original composer. The irony is Hendrix brought so much fire and energy the song that over the years most people mistake the song as being his.

A big difference from taking a work and representing it without appropriate credit.

Comment Re:Interpretations (Score 5, Insightful) 93

>> "The meta-interpretation is that I should only hire an expert in an appropriate field to analyze my data."

An aviation consultant is going to be a better expert on the subject than a dog breeder, chef, or locksmith.

"Expert" is an overused and abused title in western civilization. I recently watched a show on BBC about Roy Lichtenstein. He was a 60's pop artist who copied nearly verbatim comic panels from Kirby, Kubert, Novack, and many of the best artist in comics in that day. He projected the panels and traced them onto canvas and painted them with ever so slight modification, placing special emphasis on the dot paterns used in printing.

So the snobby BBC "expert" (Alastair Sooke) debated Dave Gibbons (artist from The Watchmen) and tries to sell Dave on Lichtenstein's art being better than the originals he ripped off. Gibbons puts forth the argument that in no other field, not music or writing, would such wholesale plagerism be tolerated. You can't pass off a Beatles song as your own because you changed on or two small things. Sooke looks Gibbons in the eye and says the original artists were less talented so this is OK.

Sooke, BBC's expert, having no background or interest in comics, has written books trashing the talents of the original artists who Lichtenstein left uncredited. He describes the creations of people like Jack Kirby as "trashy" and "low" and "pulp". As an "expert" Sooke makes the argument that Lichtenstein improved the images he copied (a subjective opinion) and therefore he is the greater artist, even though Lichtenstein in his life never sold an original composition or creation of his own.

Lichtenstein's painting "WHAAM!" has sold for $10 million dollars. It is a ripoff of an Irv Novick panel from "All-American Men of War". Novick, nor any other artist, ever saw a dime from Lichtenstein.

Bottom line - the world is full of "experts". Many of them are well paid and full of rubbish.



Comment Damned if you do.... (Score 3, Insightful) 273

A person expresses a desire to travel and improve him/herself. You snark.

If the same person had said they attempt to live frugally and therefore don't travel you'd probably say they were a typical Ugly American with no interest in the rest of the world.

Unless you're one of the millions of people in the world who drink unsafe water and live in shantys you also have "First world problems" and can STFU.

Slashdot Top Deals

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.