Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:70 years + is too damn much (Score 1) 337

>They are inventing a new right, apparently out of whole cloth, but certainly not based on copyright law.

The Right of Publicity has been around for a while, the lawyers aren't just making this one up. It's defined at the state level (as opposed to trademarks which are at the federal level) and, not suprisingly given its population of celebrities, California's laws offer the strongest protections of this right.

I'm not arguing one way or the other whether this is a valid "right," just that this isn't something new that the lawyers cooked up for the Tolkien estate.

You can read a little bit more about the Right of Publicity here, where its discussed in the context of rapper Rick Ross being sued by the real life drug dealer Ricky Ross --> http://33jones.com/blogentry.asp?EID=1150

Comment Re:Congrats! (Score 1) 559

I would hardly call a procedure that involves exposure to increased amounts of radiation and a recorded virtual strip search performed by an agency that has no accountability to the public "non-invasive," but maybe that's just me.

Aside from that, though, why do we even need to "hope that something won't happen?" Unless I've missed something, no plane has ever been blown up flying over U.S. soil in the history of commercial aviation. Furthermore, there has never been an explosive that has gone off on a flight that originated from the U.S. There isn't a single example of any airplane related attack in the U.S. that's been succesfully averted by the increase in airport security since 9/11. The shoe bomber and the underpants bomber were both spotted and subdued by passengers, not security, and they didn't even board their flights in the U.S. anyway. We don't need to hope that something won't happen, because in all likelihood it's not going to happen and even if it did it's not going to be prevented by these half-assed security measures.

And I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think it's clear that "what offends people here is the invasive nature of the screening." Just as offensive is how much of our taxes are being wasted on this ineffective and, yes, invasive, security theater.

Submission + - The legal realities of Fox's Glee (blogspot.com)

DeeFresh writes: Christina Mulligan has written an article for the blog Balkinization discussing the legal troubles a real life version of Fox's Glee would encounter. From the article:

"In one recent episode, the AV Club helps cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester film a near-exact copy of Madonna’s Vogue music video (the real-life fine for copying Madonna’s original? up to $150,000). Just a few episodes later, a video of Sue dancing to Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical is posted online (damages for recording the entirety of Physical on Sue’s camcorder: up to $300,000)."

In today's world, is it possible for a glee club to exist without violating some sort of copyright law?

Comment Searing steaks does not keep the juices in (Score 1) 763

According to Alton Brown (and others), the act of searing the meat actually causes more of the steak's moisture to be lost than if you didn't sear it. The increased heat required to sear the steak further damages the cells of the steak, and that cell damage causes more of the juices to leak out. You can see the script for Alton's episode, including a comparison by weight of a seared vs. unseared steak, here:


That being said, the act of searing the meat does produce a flavor that you wouldn't otherwise have without the searing. So there is a benefit to it, the benefit just happens to be unrelated to keeping in the juices.

Comment Maps and Copyright Traps (Score 1) 228

Just as a followup to your point, The Straight Dope had a good article about the "copyright traps" that map makers use:

He made the point that in addition to the copyright traps, some of the errors are a result of maps including "paper streets," streets that were planned but never actually built. And some errors are just pranks. From the article:

"Of course, when it comes to map errors, you can't overlook the possibility of a little good-natured sabotage. Monmonier mentions two prank towns appearing in an official map of Michigan, the edge of which showed portions of the neighboring state of Ohio. Some diehard Wolverine fan in the mapmaking department decided that would be a good place to put the nonexistent towns of "goblu" (Go Blue, get it?) and "beatosu," referring to the University of Michigan's traditional rival Ohio State. If you had to spend all day staring at squiggly lines and benday dots, you'd need some way to let off steam, too."

Comment Re:Good. Now it will leave the Gulf and move out (Score 1) 334

"Accenture (formerly known as Anderson Consulting) did the same after Enron."

FYI, Accenture's name change from Andersen Consulting was made official in January 2001. The Enron scandal didn't become public until October 2001, and that involved Arthur Andersen not Andersen Consulting (Arthur Andersen handled Enron's accounting, Andersen Consulting had split off from them in 1989). The relationship between Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen was actually rather acrimonious despite (or perhaps because of) their similar origins.

Full disclosure: I worked for Avanade, a division of Andersen Consulting/Accenture, in 2000 right before the name change.


Submission + - Hewlett Packard does not care about Black People (dallaspenn.com)

DeeFresh writes: HP has developed webcam software that incorporates facial recognition to keep the user's face centered and in focus at all times. The software does not seem to pick up on darker skin tones, however, as demonstrated in this video which shows the webcam's failure to track the face of a black man while capably keeping his white coworker in frame. HP has responded by saying that the problem is caused by poor lighting and that the company is working on a fix.

Submission + - Vulgar Comment on Newspaper site costs man his job 1

DeeFresh writes: "ReadWriteWeb has an article up today discussing an incident in which a school employee lost his job after leaving a comment on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. After the school employee responded to the newspaper's poll of "the strangest thing you've ever eaten" with a feline-inspired vulgarity, Kurt Greenbaum, the site's director of social media, tracked down the commenter's identity through his IP Address and reported him to school officials. When confronted, the school employee resigned from his job.
Here is Greenbaum's follow up article discussing the employee's resignation."

Submission + - Man arrested for directing protest through Twitter (guardian.co.uk)

DeeFresh writes: From the Guardian article: "A New York-based anarchist [and his associate] has been arrested by the FBI and charged with hindering prosecution after he allegedly used the social networking site Twitter to help protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh evade the police. Official police documents allege the two men used Twitter messages to contact protesters at the summit "and to inform the protesters and groups of the movements and actions of law enforcement".

Comment Re:too (abstract) (Olbers' paradox) (Score 1) 293

Perhaps a better approach to my original question would be:

If one were to argue that there is an infinite amount of stars/matter in the universe, would the light distortions caused by this Axis of Evil be a valid explanation for why the night sky is not filled with an infinite amount of light?

I must confess that I haven't read enough on the Big Bang or any other theory of the universe's creation to have an informed opinion on the matter, so this question may be akin to asking about possible explanations for why ships don't fall off the edge of a flat earth.

Comment Re:too (abstract) (Score 1) 293

The actual distortion is similar to the ripples of light you see on the bottom of a swimming pool due to ripples in the surface of the water. So, instead of even lighting across the bottom of the pool, you see a pattern of light and dark areas.

I'll admit up front that my knowledge of astronomy is severely limited, so please excuse in advance what may be a stupid question. But could this distortion be part of the reason why the night sky is dark rather than filled with light from the infinite amount of stars that exist?

The Straight Dope tackled this question a few years ago here, with the response that "there just aren't enough stars in the observable universe to fill up the night sky," but I'm wondering if this discovery changes things at all.

Comment Re:Um, what? (Score 1) 492

Meaning that if you're a record exec who doesn't know how to adapt to the evolving music scene, you're going to be out of a job soon. So update your resume (LinkedIn page) and start buying cheaper food (Ramen) because you're going to need to save up some money while you're unemployed.

Or something like that.

Slashdot Top Deals

Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is the best one. -- Jack Hurley