Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Patent Markings May Spell Trouble For Activision 82

eldavojohn writes "If you pick up your copy of Guitar Hero and read the literature, you'll notice it says 'patent pending' and cites a number of patents. A group alleges no such patent pends nor are some of the patents applicable. If a judge finds Activision guilty of misleading the public in this manner, they could become liable for up to $500 per product sold under false patent marking. The patents in question seem to be legitimately Guitar Hero-oriented, and little is to be found about the mysterious group. The final piece of the puzzle puts the filing in Texas Northern District Court, which might be close enough to Texas Eastern District Court to write this off as a new kind of 'false patent marking troll' targeting big fish with deep coffers."

Comment Re:Not a problem for some (Score 1) 315

It's not going to happen. The US military is going to cut off any ISP that doesn't support IPv6 by, at latest 2011. Military paid for contracts to AT&T, Comcast et al are going to ensure that their off base officers are going to get IPv6. Once you've rolled that out engineering-wise, there's no way that people will stand for it being a military only facility. It just won't fly.

Comment Re:marketing speak = teh suck (Score 1) 315

Aw, poor babies don't have a sufficient buffer in their wetware to manage an IPv6 address. They're going to have to write them down.

Cry me a river.

The requirement to remember IPv6 addresses is just going to make for geeks that can do more math in their heads. I don't necessarily see that as a negative.

Comment Re:Tax Exempt? (Score 1) 490

So I should come over to, say, Ireland with my Romanian passport and expect to be able to land a job without a special work permit? The BBC had a story earlier this year on labor mobility restrictions that exist even inside the EU (

Comment Re:Tax Exempt? (Score 1) 490

Welfare limits are being eroded by legislatures across the country. It no longer makes sense to talk about monolithic limits. They vary widely by state.

The government crowds out private solutions. It always has. Once it has crowded those private solutions out, statists announce that only government can do that function. In fact, human ingenuity has found private solutions to problems that in the past were deemed only solvable by the government. The area where government is the only solution should shrink over time as we don't forget past solutions and each generation has its own geniuses who find new private solutions for problem. But it seems like government tends to grow over time. I wonder why that is?

Comment Re:Instructor Materials and Supplements? (Score 1) 216

K-12 education is generally not subject to a lot of updates and thus would be a better field, I think than college texts. But we don't pay for those textbooks directly, the costs are buried in our property tax bill in the US (where 1/3 of the whole bill often goes to primary/secondary education, the largest single chunk). That doesn't mean that we aren't paying, every year, for the textbook mafia's current stranglehold.

Comment Re:Computers to read the textbooks (Score 1) 216

Open source can have meaning in the matter of textbooks though it's not clear from what I've read so far that actual open source is what they're doing. If you have a chart, for instance, an open source textbook will make available the underlying table of figures used to create that chart. A public domain textbook probably won't. A public domain textbook might be scanned from the original paper or might just be paper but an open source textbook will include the source files needed to build the author intended rendering of the book and will allow for superior use by the disabled for instance. I'm not entirely sure how you'd have an open source printed textbook. It would seem to be somewhat useless.

Comment Re:Vice Provost of Caltech from 1994 said it best (Score 1) 253

Stop trying to rehabilitate a bloody, failed ideology. The economics of abundance (sharing on the net where copying costs are virtually zero) are not the same as socialism because, like capitalism, socialism is an attempt to manage the economics of scarcity, a task at which it fails miserably. Capitalism does much better at managing the economics of scarcity and has a few interesting things to say about the economics of abundance but we really are in poorly charted waters. Abundance is simply not that common a condition so there's a lot of work that needs to be done to extend what we know about economics to this heretofore uncommon state (take a look at ESR's discussion of potlatch societies in the Pacific NW for an old style abundance society).

It's much more productive to take Adam Smith's concepts of benevolence, generosity, and charity (see his Theory of Moral Sentiments) as a starting point for abundance economics, not least because it lets you create a wider view of functional economics both on the scarcity and abundance sides.

Slashdot Top Deals

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