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Submission + - Bitcoin tops $1000 on attacks on cash as the year rolls over (

An anonymous reader writes: Wall Street Journal 30th Dec 2016 "For the year, that puts bitcoin’s performance far above the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s gain of 13% and even the year’s hottest commodities and currencies, which include natural gas, up 59%; crude oil, up 45%; and the Russian ruble, up 17% against the dollar.

Donald Trump’s election and the Federal Reserve’s rate increase amid higher U.S. inflation expectations have pushed some investors to consider bitcoin, especially in China, which has seen a slide in the value of the yuan versus the dollar.

India’s banning of large rupee notes has also driven demand and fueled concerns about traditional currency, analysts say."

On 1st Jan 2017 bitcoin cleared $1000/coin and currently a few percent over

Global political attacks on cash (India, Pakistan, Venezuela, Euro and gold (India gold ownership limits and Euro currency (Italian bank bailout worries, US (geopolitical uncertainty from Trump, interest rate hikes, brexit (UK in or out of Europe are all bullish for Bitcoin into 2017. Further bail-ins (Cyprus) and sovereign debt haircuts (Greece) maybe on the cards as well as continuing hyper inflation in emerging markets.

Comment Re:WTF??! (Score 1) 125

Emacs users have more time for commenting on slashdot. What else are they going to do while waiting for Emacs to load?

I don't know about the rest of them, but while I waited for Emacs to compile and load, I wrote a major made for posting Slashdot comments. Of course, I used Vim to write it because it has better syntax highlighting for Lisp code than Emacs does.

Comment Re:Unity on Slashdot? (Score 1) 282

Your two statements are contradictory.

They're not. Holding a copyright on a work does not confer one with complete authority as to how that work may be used. The rights which comprise copyright are relatively few; further, they are themselves limited in a number of respects.

For example, copyright on a book does not include a right to prohibit other people from reading the book. The list of exclusive rights that together form a copyright can mostly be found at 17 USC 106. (Again, only for the purposes of US copyright law; I have no idea about foreign copyright law, and I don't care to)

And posting a picture on your website doesn't tell or demonstrate anything.

The conduct of doing so, assuming a website open to the public, is an implicit license to anyone to access and view it (and to make incidental copies in the process of doing so).

If I happen to know that the Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre, there's nothing wrong with my telling people to go there to see it. And if I happen to know the URL of your picture, there's nothing wrong with my telling people to go there to see your picture; this is so whether I provide people with a link to be manually followed, or an embedded link to be automatically followed such that the picture appears in the web page. I'm not copying it onto my website or anything.

First sale is not profiting in a commercial sense.

It is absolutely that. A used book store will sell copies of works for a profit, because it is a commercial enterprise. It is totally reliant on the first sale doctrine. Ditto however many independent video stores still exist (since it's perfectly legal to rent lawfully made copies of movies that you own).

Commercial use is not fair use.

Well, where the hell were you when the Supreme Court needed your input in 1994 in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music?

There the Court not only found that a commercial use certainly could be a fair use, they even said that it is wrong to treat a commercial use as being presumptively unfair. Commerciality is just an element to be considered, and that's all:

If, indeed, commerciality carried presumptive force against a finding of fairness, the presumption would swallow nearly all of the illustrative uses listed in the preamble paragraph of  107, including news reporting, comment, criticism, teaching, scholarship, and research, since these activities "are generally conducted for profit in this country." Harper & Row, supra, at 592 (Brennan, J., dissenting). Congress could not have intended such a rule, which certainly is not inferable from the common-law cases, arising as they did from the world of letters in which Samuel Johnson could pronounce that "[n]o man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." 3 Boswell's Life of Johnson 19 (G. Hill ed. 1934).

But then I guess you already knew everything you wrong was wrong since you fell the need to try and make your point using an insult.

'Everything you wrong was wrong?' What the hell is that?

Anyway, I called you an idiot because you're clearly an idiot. It had nothing to do with my actual argument. But my advice to you is that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about, at least within the context of US copyright law, and you would do yourself, and everyone else a great service if you'd shut the fuck up and learn something from a legitimate, neutral source before you next presume to talk about it.

Comment Re:Unity on Slashdot? (Score 3, Informative) 282

You still retain all rights to decide how people may use that photo.

No, you still retain whatever rights you had. You certainly don't have complete authority to decide how other people may use it. So long as other people use it in a manner which doesn't infringe on your copyright, you can't control them at all, in fact.

At no time does making something publicly available give a 3rd party ability to profit from it.

It does for first sale. It does for fair use, if the particular use happens to qualify (commercial uses are fully able to be fair uses). There's a number of other exceptions that can apply as well. For example, if you release a record, other people can record and sell cover versions of it, and the whole intent of this was to allow third parties the ability to profit without the permission of the copyright holder.

This sounds like a perfectly ordinary copyright ruling

In fact, this is an asinine ruling. The court got it right before, when it found that linking to a file which had been put up with authorization was not infringing (which the exact thing you've been claiming was infringing, idiot). Here, the difference was that the underlying files had been put up in an infringing manner. But, rather than tell the rights holder to go after the actual wrong-doer who put them up to begin with, they decided to shift liability to third parties who were not responsible for the underlying infringement. It's very reminiscent of the stupid 'right to be forgotten' cases, in that it tries to sweep things under the carpet by imposing liability on the wrong parties just because they're more convenient.

Comment Re:Well, I thought we had settled this (Score 1) 282

Commercial use is, and it always has been too. This isn't anything surprising to anyone who's done as much as first year of lawschool. There's a big difference between publishing content, even distributing it widely, and making a profit of the said content.

I have no idea about European copyright law, nor do I care, but in the US, there's not any significant difference.

Infringement is essentially any infringement of the rights granted to authors in section 106, which are subject to various exceptions and limitations.

Prima facie infringement makes no distinction between commercial and non-commercial use. That may be relevant in computing damages, but often isn't. A few of the exceptions to copyright may apply in certain circumstances that include non-commercial use, but others apply in any kind of use.

Since no one in the US studies copyright law in their first year of law school, I wouldn't worry too much about what some 1L thinks.

Also I think your hypo with the photograph is wrong. First, 'embedding' is not a right of the copyright holder. Copying is, but in the case of embedding, the Coca-Cola company has not engaged in copying; only you and the end user have. Distribution is, but in the case of embedding, they're not distributing anything; you are, if anyone is. Public display is your best bet, but again, they're not the ones displaying it, you are. Your problem is that you have set up your server to accept requests from users who are not viewing your site, but who may be viewing some other site that is embedding an image from you. That's your fault, and within your control. Your failure to prevent it can be viewed as an implicit license for users to view that material, which kills any argument at direct, and therefore secondary, infringement.

As for the model release, that's a whole different kettle of fish, but certainly wouldn't come back against you.

Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 172

It would be fair use only if used infrequently. For example, if you want to quote someone else's article in your article, that's fair use. However, if your entire business is dependent upon making snippets from thousands of articles, that's no longer fair use, it's commercial use.

No, you're wrong.

First, fair use applies to both commercial and non-commercial uses. For example, when Mad Magazine did a movie parody, that would be fair use, even though the magazine us sold for an increasing cheap price and is a commercial venture.

Second, the previous poster didn't really explain it well. Fair use is when a copyrighted work is used without permission in a way that, but for fair use, would be infringing, but which is not infringing because it is in the general purpose of copyright to allow such a use. It's evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is completely fact dependent. This, any particular use might be a fair use, but not just any use actually is.

There's a test for finding out whether a use is fair or not. It has four factors, though it isn't a matter of adding up how many factors go one way or another, and depending on the case, one factor might be treated as outweighing another. Plus, it's just a tool; other factors can be considered too.

The factors are: 1) the purpose and character of the use, such as whether the use is for profit or not, whether the use would advance the progress of knowledge by resulting in something new or otherwise helpful; 2) the nature of the work being used, such as whether it is fictional and therefore very creative and worth protecting, or factual, and therefore not worth protecting quite so much (how a work presents itself is also often relevant in copyright; if you claim that something is a fact, even though it's made up or is just a hypothesis, others may get to treat it as a fact) as well as whether the work being used has already been published or not; 3) the amount of the work used, and how important to the work that portion is; and 4) whether the use will have a negative effect on the value or market for the work (positive effects are not considered).

Snippets of this type -- in aggregate, mind you -- have repeatedly been found to be fair use in the US because for the first factor, although the use is commercial in nature, it provides a benefit to society in being able to search for this material (which of course requires as much material as possible to be used in constructing the index, even though the index itself, as opposed to the results of a search, is not made available), the second factor may weigh against the use depending on the material being indexed, but it is not treated as being very important, obviously the whole work must be used to make the index for the index to be useful, so the third factor doesn't matter, and for the fourth factor, it doesn't harm the market for news articles to be able to find them and to see in one or two lines why they match your search terms. It doesn't matter if that's the business model.

And if you think this is extreme, look at time shifting, which is bad on all of the first three factors, but is sufficiently successful on the fourth so as to be fair use (in a general way, since again it is highly fact dependent)

Submission + - NetHack Tournament Includes New Version (3.6.0) (

jonadab writes: For the first time since the release of version 3.6 late last year, the NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament includes the new version of the game. Two of the public servers participating in the tournament are hosting it. NAO has the unmodified Dev Team release, and EME has a lightly patched version with the popular status colors patch. Several clans are gearing up to play. The tournament runs during the entire month of June (UTC).

Comment Re:When I was a kid... (Score 1) 324

I've been wondering about that. I've got a heat pump, and one down side is that it fares poorly when the weather is significantly below freezing. It's been a wicked couple of winters around here in the Mid Atlantic, and it would have been nice to tap into a huge store of moderate temperature just a few feet below ground.

Comment Re:EVs aren't that much better (Score 1) 630

Many countries are phasing out coal in favor of natural gas, which pollutes less and (due to fracking) has dropped considerably in price. It costs around $1.99 per gigajoule today (

Note also that not all environmentalists are in favor of ending nuclear energy. New nuclear plants are being built now, approved by the Obama administration: "DOE’s investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation’s energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility." ( There is indeed a quandary among environmentalists because the issue of nuclear waste is contentious, but many in the environmental movement recognize that nuclear power can be part of an overall strategy in reducing carbon emissions.

Comment Re:Compaq copied APIs from IBM (Score 4, Informative) 405

Compaq reverse engineered the BIOS. It did not copy the text of some file that defined the API. I don't think that the INT operations even had fixed names - they had numbers. So a BIOS call would be documented as
INT 16,0 Wait for keystroke and read
This exact operation can be described using different words e.g.
On Int 16,0 the system will pause until a keystroke is pressed and the value will be placed in AH.
I understand the issue in Oracle v. Google to be exact copying of some number of interfere files. Such files did not exist for BIOS as far as I recall.

Comment Gripe: Math versus Science (Score 1) 267

Science is respected for its reputation for certainty, and Math is seen as the purest (and thus most certain) of the sciences.

This bugs me. Math, on its own, is so "pure" that it has no connection to the universe whatsoever. Aliens don't appear in pure math. Neither do electrons, polymers, or three-toed sloths. Math is purged of all real world things. Math can't predict anything about the real world. Even the simplest tautologies, like "two apples are equal to two apples", requires extra real-world semantics to apply an abstraction like "equal" (which has many different definitions) to actual things like "apples".

So when people say "according to math", they're aspiring to a certainty that it doesn't earn. You could say "according to science". Science will always incorporate some form of math. But it's not identical, and if scientific claims seem "weaker" than math claims, we just need to live with that. Because we don't, in fact, really truly mathematically "know" anything about aliens. Not even a probability: our probability estimates are themselves subject to enormous amounts of guesswork.

Sorry for the distraction, but this bugs me. The article itself doesn't seem to be of much merit; it's all old news. So I'm gonna gripe about the headline instead. Thank you for your time.

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