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Comment Re:It was part of his job (Score 4, Insightful) 267

That's not the way things work, usually. If he cultivated his followers and created content using company resources (time, equipment, etc.) then the company probably has some right to it. But, it may partially depend on his employment agreement. His employment agreement probably says what it is they own in the context of content he created on the job.

This is the reason that smart people don't use company resources to do creative things lest they be owned by their employer.


Google Tweaks Algorithm As Concern Over Bing Grows 397

SharkLaser writes "As Bing gets closer to capturing almost 33% of the market share in the U.S., Google has again made a large tweak to its algorithms to provide more up-to-the-minute search results. The change affects around 35% of queries and is intended to give users more recent news and stories. For breaking news stories the search engine will now weight more heavily the most recent coverage, and not just those sites that are linked the most, and for general terms the search engine values fresh content more than old. Google is hoping that these recent new changes will provide better search experience and stops users from switching over to Bing, which just recently launched its own GroupOn like site."

Comment Re:Here Come ??? (Score 2) 188

I came here for this. TMBG is great, but the stuff they are doing for Kids music is beyond compare. My three year old son loves Here Comes Science (Meet the Elements!), Here Come the 123s and Here Come the ABCs (Alphabet of Nations!). He also likes "No!" but that's slightly different.

Question(s): Do you (John & John) have any plans to continue making educational songs? If so, what subjects are you thinking about tackling?

Comment Re:There is no such thing.... (Score 1) 43

$1200/hr is quite steep no matter who you are. In the US, few lawyers bill more than $1000/hr. That said, it's common to see senior partners in things like IP litigation haul in 600-700/hr at the high end.

A junior partner, senior associate at a decent sized law firm might charge between $400 and 500/hr.

These rates are then blended with lower cost paralegals and associates for a lower overall cost. No one wants the senior partner review documents or sitting second chair at a deposition.

As a result, most places though, when computing "reasonable attorneys' fees" charge lodestar rates at the same number of hours. Those rates tend to be lower than the actual rates.

Frankly, no one should go into litigation assuming that an atty's fee award will cover the entire cost of fees.

Comment Re:What other products (Score 1, Interesting) 1019

It's also not really a choice NOT to participate in modern, American healthcare.

One of the proposed "fixes" originally was only to "require" insurance of people that partake of the healthcare system which is, at some level, everyone born in the United States. In other words, if you've never or will never use any healthcare, you'd be freed of the obligation. There are lots of practical problems with this, including, what to do with "free riders" or protestors that show up to a hospital, clinic, etc. when they're already sick or in need of healthcare.

And when people tried to posit scenarios of someone who would never need U.S. healthcare, you get politicians like Rep. Steve King citing babies discarded in dumpsters.

The fact is, everyone participates in the current healthcare system even if they don't want to. Even those that affirmatively try to avoid the system could wind up there nevertheless via an ambulance and a 911 call. Allowing certain people to NOT participate is highly inequitable and without any rationale basis.

All of that said, this result of the ACA is largely the Republicans' and insurance companies' fault. The more sweeping, Democratic vision would not have had the same problems and would not be unconstitutional on these grounds.

Comment Not Piracy (Score 4, Informative) 174

Perhaps this goes without saying, but the title is misleading. The Grand Jury did not indict Mr. Swartz on any copyright infringement or acts of piracy on the high seas. There are really only four indictments: wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information form a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

You can read the whole indictment here:

Criminal copyright infringement is not one of the charges.

Comment Re:Patents as well (Score 2, Interesting) 323

Work at a different school or negotiate a better contract, if you can. At many universities, the inventors (typically the grad. student or principal investigator) are the owners of their own works, in the first instance, but they can always choose to let the invention be prosecuted and maintained by their TTO. The exception is for research done with Federal funds which is subject Bayh-Dole and, frankly, the terms of the sponsor agreement with the government.

Comment Then don't publish there (Score 5, Insightful) 323

Look: copyright has nothing to do with it. If you don't want the publication locked up, don't publish in journals that make you give up all your rights or negotiate a different deal. The fact is, on this point, copyright isn't necessary because the terms of the contract would just take over. If the publisher didn't want you to publish outside its pay wall it could ask you via your contract regardless of the copyright in the work.

This reflects more on the economic and business incentives of scientific journals than on copyright. The journals don't care about the copyright so much as they value the exclusivity and the first publication rights. Copyright is just a placeholder for a very simple non-publication clause and associated penalties (or liquidated damages).

Comment Re:Bedrock is patent troll, and the patent is bogu (Score 4, Informative) 347

I assume this is tongue and cheek, but the Eastern District of Texas (in its entirety) has 10 Federal judges and 10 magistrate judges. In Marshall Texas, where a majority of the "trolls" file, there are three judges. (

Notwithstanding the sometimes (frequently?) wacky jury results, an interesting thing is starting to happen though with the Eastern District of Texas: the judges are getting very good at patent cases. The judges are very good at doing "claim construction" and other technical aspects of patent cases. The result is cases tend not to languish because the judge is confused or baffled by the process or technology.

By contrast, there are districts that it is virtually impossible to litigate patent infringement cases because there is NO expertise among the judges.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 243

This is ridiculous. First to File does not eliminate derivation (i.e., taking someone else's invention) and does not eliminate prior art. In fact, the reform bill includes new rules regarding derivation.

Regarding prior art, prior use, prior sale, prior publication, prior patenting, etc. are all still grounds for invalidity.

Moving to a first to file system only means that everyone needs to "rush" to the patent office to file. Which, in reality, is not much different than it was in the case of two near simultaneous patent applicants since the later-filer-but-earlier-inventor has to show diligence and non-concealment in getting an application on file to overcome the earlier-filed application.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 243

No. Well, sort of no. The system isn't much different for that person than it is under the current system.

The first file only impacts the situation in which two people file a patent application at or about the same time. The first to file rule says that one with the earlier postmark wins, essentially. Under the current rules, someone can have filed later in time but shown by evidence that they had possession of the invention sooner by proof of diligence and non-concealment.

I think that there is a lot of confusion in this thread about what First to File really means.


Anniston, Alabama To Censor Employees' Facebook Pages 338

ISurfTooMuch writes "If you're a city employee in Anniston, AL, you'd better watch what you say on Facebook. Under a proposal being considered by the City Council, employees would be banned from posting anything 'negative' or 'embarrassing' about the city. Note that they aren't talking about official city pages here, but employees' personal pages. Anyone care to educate these clowns on the existence of the First Amendment?"

Bastardi's Wager 672

DesScorp writes "AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi has a challenge for climate scientists. He wants one or more of their rank to accept a bet about temperature trends in the coming decade. Bastardi is making specific predictions. 'The scientific approach is: you see the other argument, you put forward predictions about where things are going to go, and you test them,' he says. 'That is what I have done. I have said the earth will cool .1 to .2 Celsius in the next ten years, according to objective satellite data.' Bastardi's challenge to his critics — who are legion — is to make their own predictions. And then wait. Climate science, he adds, 'is just a big weather forecast.' Bastardi's challenge is reminiscent of the famous Simon-Ehrlich Wager, where the two men made specific predictions about resource scarcity in the '80s."

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