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Comment Citation Needed (Score 1) 113

You say that as if you need no facts to back it up. Looking around, the best estimates I could find were 3 to 5 percent of the cost of a plane are litigation and litigation-prevention costs. There's also a fairly significant amount for insurance, some of which goes to paying for litigation, but all totaled it still seems to be less than either of the two largest costs, parts and labor.

So, please stop pulling numbers out of your ass.

Submission + - Depeche Mode's Martin Gore subpoenaed in WoW Suit (

slick_shoes writes: Having unsuccessfully tried to sue (among others) Microsoft for "undue stress" over a broken Xbox 360 and Sony for banning him from the PSN, therefore violating his First Amendment rights in the past, Erik Estavillo has now filed suit against the makers of World of Warcraft. He is claiming that the game is a "harmful virtual environment" and its developers follow "sneaky and deceitful practices". Despite this, Estavillo admits he "relies on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life".

More bizzarely, he has subpoenaed the guitarist of UK gloom merchants Depeche Mode as an 'expert witness on melancholy' as "he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes". Winona Ryder's love of Catcher in the Rye has also landed her with a subpoena to testify about "how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real life videogames such as World of Warcraft.".

Estavillo is seeking $1m in damages.

Comment Re:Take ball, go home (Score 1) 367

The fact that the idea you propose is like using a nuclear bomb to swat a fly. Most electric companies have literally billions of dollars of investments in the cities they service. They're not going to abandon that over a 3 or 4 cent a kilowatt hour difference that they could only use on a very small minority (those who generate their own power) of customers.

Comment Re:Can someone explain this guy's logic to me (Score 3, Informative) 367

Not really. The standard electric meter runs forward when you're buying electricity, backwards when you're selling electricity. With a standard meter, the company can only tell your net energy use. If you use 100 kilowatts, and put back 95 kilowatts, all they see is 5 kilowatts. There's no record of when each kilowatt was used, or anything like that.

This assumes a standard mechanical electric meter, which is what is in something like 95% of residential homes. Digital meters can keep track of when you use, and meter at different rates, but for the most part they're only used by larger commercial power users.

Further, several states forbid the electric company to buy from consumers at a lower rate than they sell to consumers.

Comment Not his first time. (Score 4, Informative) 319

Not long after being disbarred, Ol' Jack spammed the entire membership of the Florida Bar (all Florida lawyers) asking for personal stories about how other members have been "unfairly" targeted by the Florida Bar. I presume he wanted to start some sort of class action suit, but I haven't heard anything further about it.

United States

New Bill Would Repeal NIH Open Access Policy 223

pigah writes "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act has been reintroduced into Congress. The bill will ban open access policies in federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These policies require scientists to provide public access to their work if it has been funded with money from an agency with an open access policy. Such policies ensure that the public has access to read the results of research that it has funded. It appears that Representative John Conyers (D-MI), the author of the bill, is doing the bidding of publishing companies who do not want to lose control of this valuable information that they sell for exorbitant fees thereby restricting access by the general public to an essentially public good."

IBM Wants Patent On Finding Areas Lacking Patents 151

theodp writes "It sounds like a goof — especially coming from a company that pledged to raise the bar on patent quality — but the USPTO last week disclosed that IBM is seeking a patent for Methodologies and Analytics Tools for Identifying White Space Opportunities in a Given Industry, which Big Blue explains allows one 'to maximize the value of its IP by investigating and identifying areas of relevant patent 'white space' in an industry, where white space is a term generally used to designate one or more technical fields in which little or no IP may exist,' and filling those voids with the creation of additional IP."

Submission + - Solar Panels at $1 per Watt are cheaper than coal (

Nesster writes: "A Silicon Valley start-up called Nanosolar shipped its first solar panels — priced at $1 a watt. That's the price at which solar energy gets cheaper than coal. So far, there have been 83 bids and the price has reached $10,300. The auction is over on December 27th at 17:13:10 PST. Essentially, they've figured out how to print solar cells on thin sheets of aluminum with a printing press."
The Courts

Submission + - Disbarment case for Jack Thompson (

An anonymous reader writes: GamePolitics is reporting that the disbarment case for our favorite lawyer, Jack Thompson, is moving forward. The Bar has reportedly set aside a week for the hearing and Judge Tunis has until December 21st to issue a ruling.

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