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Comment Re:yay (Score 1) 513

You seem to have had trouble separating the "comedy" part of my post from the "real evidence" part of my post. The "comedy" part is a link to a funny sketch from a funny British sketch comedy that pokes fun at moon conspiracies by pointing out a circumstantial fallacy in their argument. While it is kind of a good point, you are correct that it is not definitive proof.

The "real evidence" part of my post, which you conveniently ignored, was the reference to the mirrors that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left on the moon right before hopping back in their mocked-up lunar module for their historic special-effects flight from the Lunar surface. (Also, have you seen special effects from 1969? If these are are special effects, it's a bigger accomplishment than a moon landing would have been.)

Those mirrors are used by astronomers (not just NASA ones) to gauge the distance to the moon with extreme accuracy. If the moon landing was a hoax, I'm curious how you think they got there.

Comment Re:Europe (Score 1) 100

It's kind of sad how Slashdotters think they're immune to the uninformed groupthink of the masses, and then post tirades like this that prove nothing better than their own ignorance. For future reference, there is a right way and a wrong way to analyze a patent and offer an informed opinion that it should not have been issued in light of prior art. This is the wrong way. I'm also curious which part of my post gave you the mistaken impression I was defending that particular patent in the first place.
Security

Senators Push To Preserve NSA Phone Surveillance 252

cold fjord writes "The New York times reports that the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Vice Chairman, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), are moving a bill forward that would 'change but preserve' the controversial NSA phone log program. Senator Feinstein believes the program is legal, but wants to improve public confidence. The bill would reduce the time the logs could be kept, require public reports on how often it is used, and require FISA court review of the numbers searched. The bill would require Senate confirmation of the NSA director. It would also give the NSA a one week grace period in applying for permission from a court to continue surveillance of someone that travels from overseas to the United States. The situation created by someone traveling from overseas to the United States has been the source of the largest number of incidents in the US in which NSA's surveillance rules were not properly complied with. The rival bill offered by Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Udall (D-CO) which imposes tougher restrictions is considered less likely to pass."

Comment Re:Europe (Score 1) 100

I don't get the impression the USPTO has any incentive to do their job thoroughly and competently -- but that this is what they've been told to do by the government.

Just keep cranking out patents and let the courts decide seems to be how they operate.

While that kind of platitude is great for an easy +5 on Slashdot, anybody who actually practices in patents is all too aware that it's not true. In about 99% of patent applications, the examiner's first office action is a rejection. Under Dudas, a Bush appointee (who was not even statutorily qualified to run the patent office), the "Reject, Reject, Reject" culture was so bad that his most onerous round of patent rules spawned litigation that got the rules overturned. Things got a little better under Kappos, but I still see ridiculous rejections.

Basically, patent examiners get credit for a first office action (a rejection), and then get extra credit for disposing of the case on the second action. The easiest way for them to dispose of it is to reject it a second time. (A "final" rejection). After the "final" rejection, the applicant has to pay a fee and file a "Request for Continued Examination," which resets the count for the examiner like it's a new case. So examiners have every reason to reject applications. And I have seen some truly ridiculous rejections. Things like an examiner saying that my claim was anticipated because she found a controller and said it was the same thing as a sensor, or telling me that a single disk was "multi-layer" because it had two sides. Seriously, try applying for a patent sometime and then tell me that the patent office just rubber stamps applications.

Comment Re:Backstory? (Score 4, Informative) 51

It does seem insane. I mean how can the court not see that this case is clearly about killing vimeo and by extension video sharing sites. How can they expect all employees to be 100% diligent. It's never going to happen. If the only option to adhere to Safe Harbor is to have google class content filter Youtube is going to be the only game in town in the US.

The legal fees alone are the killer. Veoh won every round, but had to go out of business due to the legal fees.

Comment Re:Backstory? (Score 4, Insightful) 51

Maybe it's not about killing Vimeo, but rather making it "play nice" the way YouTube has: Pay for sync licensing of the music and support the licensing costs with ads.

In my experience, their primary goal in every instance is to put people out of business, if at all possible. YouTube has been 'playing nice' with them for many years, but they haven't dropped the pending case.

Comment Re:Backstory? (Score 1, Informative) 51

The blog post linked from TFS is a brief (~70 word) summary of the recent development with no links to other posts on your blog for the background on the story, only the big PDF of the decision.

The decision, IMHO, gives you what you need to know about the facts of the case in order to understand the significance of the decision. 56 pages is enough reading in my view, for our purposes. If you want more you can go on PACER and get hundreds of additional pages from the case file.

Comment Re:Backstory? (Score 4, Informative) 51

1. I don't have a paralegal to work on my blog. I do all this stuff myself.

2. The guiding principle of Recording Industry vs The People since its inception in 2005 has always been that it is designed for readers who are smart enough, and serious enough, to read the actual litigation document rather than let someone else tell them what it means.

3. The blog post doesn't link to Slashdot for "more details" it links to it for "Commentary & discussion".

4. Most Slashdotters, I have found, do read the story and litigation document... not every word, but enough to form their own opinions.

5. And no, thanks, I am not looking for you to explain to me what the decision says; I read it, and I know exactly what it says.

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