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Comment Re:the usual stalking horse (Score 1) 419

Pedophilia is a sexual orientation.

Whether it's under the Western legal system, or under any cognizable system of morality developed by the human race... children are not recognized as being capable of forming proper consent for sexual activity. Therefore, sexual activity with a child is inherently coercive and exploitative. Therefore, the only pedophile who is arguably "non-threatening" is one who is a pedophile only in his or her mind... without ever putting it into practice.

This is a debate that can be held with calm and cool heads, addressing each other rationally. However, the claim that pedophilia is a "sexual orientation" really does warrant a gay person punching you in the face. Really, really hard. You do not get to piggyback a ride with illegal aliens, or Muslims, or any other completely unrelated group that is solely calculated to draw reflexively-liberal sympathy. That accomplishes nothing except hurting those groups by giving ammunition to their right-wing enemies, who already think in those terms and look for excuses to justify it.

Comment Damn you, Steve Jobs! (Score 1) 419

The damnedest thing is that pedophiles are about as peaceful a group of people as can be found...

Hmm... the child rape apologist is modded "5: Informative", whereas most people pointing out how fucked up that is are modded "-1: Troll" or "-1: Flamebait".

Either there's an organized group with mod points... or else Slashdot culture has finally drifted to the point where I'm no longer part of the community.

If it's the latter, then I blame the Apple fanboys for starting this process.

Comment Re:Using ATG in 1998... (Score 4, Interesting) 109

I think that was the party that took place in New Orleans...

Ah, yes. Around 2000 or 2001, my then-employer rewarded some overtime by sending me to New Orleans for the "ATG Open"... ATG's version of Java One. ATG hired a hundred or so jazz musicians to stand around the hallways of the hotel playing music all day. They hired a few dozen more people to dress up as the company mascot (a square with a dot in the center), just to stand around the hallways for the hell of it waving to everyone. Free booze was everywhere, and at night the hotel conference rooms were turned into dance parties with half-naked women suspended from the ceilings in cages.

On the last day, they closed off Bourbon Street for a parade with all the musicians and weird "dot" mascots. That night they rented out the freaking Superdome for a jazz/rock concert, along with carnival rides and a field goal kicking contest (NOTE: Football kickers deserve respect, 25 yards is a LONG way!). On our way out, they gave each attendee hundreds of dollars worth of premium-quality swag... designer pens, football jerseys, and a weekend luggage bag that I still take to the gym today.

I miss the dot-com years.

Comment Re:Don't let the headline fool you (this IS Slashd (Score 2, Interesting) 232

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the machine-or-transformation test is not at all applicable to Beauregard claims. However, BPAI rulings and District Court decisions over the past year have been all over the map on it. Some view Alappat and Beauregard doctrine as turning a "general-use" computer into a "particular" machine, satisfying that first prong. Others opinions "pierce the veil" so to speak, and consider the particularity of the machine apart from merely having software on it (e.g. Cybersource in California).

Regardless, when you invent software and install it on a general-use computer... in my opinion it's fundamentally disingenuous to say that you have a "particular machine". Even if Beauregard claims offer weaker protection than claims written in method or system form, the fact that a patent issues at all creates a chilling effect because most parties will simply consent to a licensing shakedown rather than spend the $4+ million required to litigate validity or non-infringement. Beauregard is simply terrible doctrine, and it would have been nice for everyone (even those who disagree) to get some finality on its status either way.

Comment Don't let the headline fool you (this IS Slashdot) (Score 5, Interesting) 232

While Bilski lost, the Supreme Court did not throw out software or method patents. The Supreme Court actually re-opened the door just a bit after the Federal Circuit had left it cracked.

The actual majority opinion is only 16 pages long, and really doesn't say much. They more or less like the "machine or transformation" test that the Federal Circuit had come up with... wherein a method patent must tie any abstract ideas to a "particular" machine or transformation of matter, such that the abstract idea may be combined with other machines or transformations not protected by the patent. However, the Supreme Court now says that while this test may get the job done most of the time, it is not necessarily the only possible test (and they don't say what the other tests might include.

Most important for software patent watchers, the Supreme Court completely ignored In re Alappat and the impact of "Beauregard claims" on the Federal Circuit "machine or transformation" test. That older Alappat decision opened the door for patentee to write claims for software as being articles of manufacter. This "Bearegard" format is basically a sneaky trick... saying that you haven't invented software on a hard drive (which should be analyzed as a method), but rather you've invented a hard drive that has software on it (which should NOT be treated as a method). This is how most software still gets in the door, as the PTO gives it a wink and a nudge doesn't treat it as being "software" at all! This was the issue that software patentees were watching mostly closely, and Supreme Court was completely silent and left the status quo untouched.

Nice headline, but it does not reflect the total picture. This opinion is NOT a victory whatsoever for the anti-software patent crowd.

Comment How did this story make it off Idle? (Score 1) 126

Sometimes I complain that everything on Slashdot is either: (1) a misleading story about intellectual property and piracy, (2) a misleading story about the latest events with either Apple or AT&T, or (3) an absurdly misleading story about China, Microsoft, video games, the military, or medical science.

Then every few days the editors put something on the main page which doesn't fall into one of those categories. When they do, it reminds us that maybe those three categories are for the best after all.

Comment Re:Who Cares (Score 1) 439

I'm not the biggest BP fan right now... but this is probably the only intelligent comment in the whole thread thus far. If they HADN'T set up some sort of highly prominent web page with information on what they're doing, people would have criticized that too.

Comment This post was a volcano of punctuation marks (Score 5, Funny) 799

I think that the second half of this post says that that the oil leak is bad, or could cause the end of the world, or something. However, it's such a gusher of spastic sentence fragments that I can't quite be certain.

Someone should drop a containment dome over this guy's keyboard until he's learned to organize his thoughts.

Comment Good grief, Slashdot... (Score 1) 211

Back before this website's buyout, editors used to post reasonable things... and commenters would fly off in random crazy directions without having RTFA.

Today, the editors fly off in random crazy directions without having RTFA... and half of the comments are reasonable things posted to correct the misinformation.

In this story, the data collection in question is widely publicized to Kindle owners. And it is disabled by default... users must opt-in, not opt-out. There is nothing more to see here, move along.

Please people, don't feed the trolls... by "trolls", I mean "today's Slashdot editorial staff". When you see some post about digital rights armageddon or corporate bad behavior, fight the impulse to fire off a knee-jerk comment in response. RTFA instead, or simply wait 15 minutes... and other people will RTFA and post comments explaining why the editor is a misleading troll. There are plenty of things to talk about and focus on in the digital rights area, but Slashdot takes advantage of people's passion with inflammatory fluff... and it hurts the credibility of digital rights in the big picture.

Comment Re:this isnt the 70's (Score 5, Funny) 319

Discussion of female grooming habits is one thing, but there are too many comments here from dudes about their own "manscaping". If Slashdot is going to have an "Informative" tag which mods posts up... then there should also be a "Too Much Informative" tag which mods posts down.

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