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The Courts

Copyright Protection Business Model Expands, Plagiarizes Others 50

Techdirt has an amusing story about the expanding adoption of the RIAA-style business model of collecting settlement money from threats of litigation based on copyright infringement claims. This story comes with an amusing twist with the two cited companies, Davenport Lyons and ACS, being clearly related and ACS publishing an article with clearly plagiarized selections. Anything to make a buck I guess. "TorrentFreak noticed that an article apparently published by ACS Law was actually plagiarized from a variety of different sources, basically cut and pasted together with no credit or citations given at all. Remarkably, in some cases, articles with the exact opposite view of ACS Law were copied with paragraphs that just had an added sentence to the end which completely contradicted what the original article said."

Microsoft Rebrands Live Search As "Bing" 443

JacobSteelsmith writes "Microsoft is attempting to re-brand its Live Search, also known as Kumo. Bing, as it's known, is another attempt by Microsoft to lure consumers away from Internet search leaders such as Google. Microsoft has posted a quarterly loss in its online advertising business, compared to Google's sales, $4.7 billion in the first quarter. According to the Live Search blog, Bing goes 'beyond the traditional search engines to help you make faster, more informed decisions' by combining a 'great search engine' with organized results. It also adds unique tools to help the user make important decisions. It is being touted as a 'decision engine.'"

Mars Robot May Destroy Life It Was Sent To Find 129

Hugh Pickens writes "New Scientist reports that instead of identifying chemicals that could point to life, NASA's robot explorers may have been toasting them by mistake. Even if Mars never had life, comets and asteroids that have struck the planet should have scattered at least some organic molecules over its surface but landers have failed to detect even minute quantities of organic compounds. Now scientists say they may have stumbled on something in the Martian soil that may have, in effect, been hiding the organics: a class of chemicals called perchlorates. At low temperatures, perchlorates are relatively harmless but when heated to hundreds of degrees Celsius perchlorates release a lot of oxygen, which tends to cause any nearby combustible material to burn. The Phoenix and Viking landers looked for organic molecules by heating soil samples to similarly high temperatures to evaporate them and analyse them in gas form. When Douglas Ming of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues tried heating organics and perchlorates like this on Earth, the resulting combustion left no trace of organics behind. "We haven't looked the right way," says Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center. Jeffrey Bada of the University of California, San Diego, agrees that a new approach is needed. He is leading work on a new instrument called Urey which will be able to detect organic material at concentrations as low as a few parts per trillion. The good news is that, although Urey heats its samples, it does so in water, so the organics cannot burn up."

Comment Re:There are ~1,308,361 American dead... (Score 5, Insightful) 164

Have you submitted the article outlining the importance/significance of the day?

And though it's Memorial Day in one part of the world, this site is a part of the WORLD WIDE web.

I don't think that your post is a Troll, but please recognize that there is more than one thing going on around the universe today.


Space Vulture 73

stoolpigeon writes "In 1953 John Myers brought his friend Gary Wolf a book he had just read, Space Hawk by Anthony Gilmore. The two were already avid readers but this would be their introduction to an entire genre, Science Fiction. They both say that it was Space Hawk that sparked a life long love of all things Sci-Fi. According to both of them, they had an opportunity to re-read it as adults and found that it had not weathered the years well. They decided they would write their own science fiction adventure in the same style, but do a better job. The result is their book Space Vulture." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.

Oracle Won't Abandon SPARC, Says Ellison 280

fm6 writes "When the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems was announced, it was widely assumed that Oracle was interested only in Sun's software technology, and would sell or discontinue all its hardware businesses. Larry Ellison, in an interview just posted on the Oracle web site, says that's not what's going to happen. In particular, SPARC isn't going anywhere (PDF): 'Once we own Sun we're going to increase the investment in SPARC. We think designing our own chips is very, very important. Even Apple is designing its own chips these days.'"

Reliable Male Contraceptive In the Works 519

Hugh Pickens writes "The BBC reports that recent tests in China indicate a monthly injection of testosterone, which works by temporarily blocking sperm production, could be as effective at preventing pregnancies as the female pill or condoms. In trials in China only one man in 100 fathered a child while on the injections, and six months after stopping the injections the mens' sperm counts returned to normal. The lead researcher said that if further tests proved successful, the treatment could become widely available in five years' time. Previous attempts to develop an effective and convenient male contraceptive have encountered problems over reliability and side effects, such as mood swings and a lowered sex drive. However, despite the injection having no serious side effects, almost a third of the 1,045 men in the two-and-a-half year study did not complete the trials; no reason was given for this."

Comment Re:Who's business? (Score 3, Insightful) 370

I wouldn't call it a "disaster", but it certainly becomes difficult to compete with the rights holders (if they are a single entity).

You have identified the major points though:

  • GPL allows me to leverage the "free" model by getting my software into the hands of potential customers, letting them experiment or do initial implementations
  • GPL stops competitors from taking my product and using it to directly compete with me, at least initially

The GPL does not preclude the open source community from forking and out innovating me. But any innovation done has to be done in the clear, assuming those changes are beyond "customizations" for a single customer.

Comment Re:Evidence please? (Score 1) 458

First, I don't download music that I haven't purchased.

Second, this is not about me. Not sure why you feel there is a need to divert away from the points being made in an argument and instead attack the messenger.

This is about economics, plain and simple. Price of a widget tends to the natural cost of producing a single unit of that widget. In the case of digital content, the cost of reproduction is ZERO.

If someone decides to focus on a model that can easily be circumvented, then they have made a TERRIBLE business choice. Throwing technology and legislation in trying to support this particular TERRIBLE business model has shown time and again that these are wasted resources.

Now, as for your disdain of the term "civil disobedience"...murder and theft are NOT "civil". For you to align copyright infringement with them shows that you are not being earnest nor open minded with respect to this topic.

Comment Re:Evidence please? (Score 1) 458

Get this into your head: intellectual property is tradeable, and ought to remain so for otherwise artists, designers, and scientists would not be able to sell the results of their (very much appreciated) labors

You delude yourself, or have let the "IP" people do your thinking.

Why can an artist not make money without reverting to "IP laws"? Or designers? Or scientists (in fact, I know a LOT of scientists that make money without use of copyright, trademark, patents, etc...).

You have fallen for the broken-business-model trap. Simply because organizations have set themselves up on shaky business models and have succeeded with those using INEFFICIENT mechanisms, doesn't mean that society should continue to support that system. The general consumer base is now starting to understand just how inefficient the system is, just how badly the PUBLIC's rights are being trampled, and how advancements of the arts and science are being BLOCKED by these legacy organizations.

Civil disobedience is a signal of broken laws and traditions. "Digital Piracy" (sic) is simply a form of civil disobedience.

Comment Re:TPB is like a drug dealer (Score 1) 458

Terrible analogy.

TPB is not like a drug dealer. It is more like a street corner where the dealers have decided to set up shop. Or maybe better would be TPB is the yellow pages, where dealers decide to advertise. Or maybe...oh, never mind.

TPB does not "have illegal stuff", it simply points to places where you can download torrents from (note: you do not download torrents from TPB). The fact that a large proportion of those torrents are infringing on organizations' copyrights is not something that TPB has any control over.

Could TPB do things to remove "illegal" torrents from their listings? Possibly, but that is putting an onus on TPB that, IMO, they should not be required to do.

Comment Re:Evidence please? (Score 1) 458

Bandwidth? I am quite certain that there are places on the interwebs that would be more than happy to host the downloads of artists...heck there might even be a business model in there somewhere....

THERE IS NO NEW ECONOMY. This is BASIC ECONOMICS: the cost of producing a copy of a digital item is ZERO, and basic economics says that the price of that item will tend to zero. Why in the world would anyone want to pay more than a token amount for something that costs NOTHING to make?

This is not about an "entitlement" on downloads. This is about the reality of the digital world.

And no one is telling artists they cannot make a living. The reality of the economics indicate that artists should not be relying on making profits off something that costs nothing to make and can be easily reproduced by anyone. Instead, focus on things that CANNOT be reproduced, and let the digital wares be your advertising for that SCARCE resource.

In what other profession does someone work for free and then look to make money by "selling" things that cost nothing and takes no effort? Stupid approach to business, so adapt. Otherwise you are fighting your fanbase, fighting technology, and fighting BASIC ECONOMICS.

Digital technologies have changed the world of recorded entertainment. Digital technologies offer HUGE efficiencies (equipment, production, storage, distribution). Yet the recording industries have not adjusted their business models to reflect those efficiencies. They have (or could) lowered their costs yet won't change their infrastructures such that those savings are passed to consumers.

Consumers recognize they are being fleeced, and the market is naturally circumventing the MASSIVELY INEFFICIENT processes of the 1950s.

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"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell