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Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 348

I would imagine that most places that take cash only advertise it when you walk in. You know going in that you need plastic. If there's no notification, then there's a reason to argue.

"Places that take cash only" would be exactly the opposite situation. We're discussing cases where the merchant only accepts electronic payment—no cash. And it doesn't matter whether they post a sign saying "credit card only, no cash"—if a debt exists, you can pay it with legal tender. Even if they had your signature on a written contract, to refuse your offer to pay in full in legal tender would amount to forgiving the debt. They can blacklist you for it, but they can't legally claim that you still owe them anything. If a merchant doesn't want to deal with cash at all their only option is to avoid giving customers anything on credit, even short-term credit such as one incurs at a restaurant.

That is what legal tender is: a payment method of last resort which can be used to settle any debt, regardless of any prior agreement you may have made to pay by a different method.

That is the legal situation, more or less. As for the morality of the subject, I perceive legal tender as a bit of a grey area: I disagree with the current political methods but also think that the situation would not be significantly different if limited to legitimate (voluntary) means. On the one hand, legal tender laws are being imposed on the merchant by force, and a customer or party to a contract who agreed to pay in one form should not attempt to escape that voluntarily accepted obligation—I consider that contract-breaking and tantamount to theft. On the other hand, it would not be unreasonable for a court charged with resolving such disputes to impose the condition that the plaintiff must agree to accept some standard form of compensation as a condition of receiving the court's assistance, rather than the specific property in dispute. Some cases would be impossible to resolve without that constraint; the defendant may not even have the disputed property. On the other other hand, the government's courts claim a monopoly on arbitrating such disputes, which means any conditions they impose are at least partly based on force. If you don't agree to their conditions you have nowhere else to turn.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Informative) 210

Seriously though, how can a golf ball have 11 patents on it?

Read Costco's reply to the court, in which each patent is listed along with Acushnet's claims and Costco's rebuttal. You can look the patents up online at the USPTO web site. Let's look at a few, shall we?

Patent# 6,994,638 - Golf balls comprising highly-neutralized acid polymers.
Abstract
A golf ball comprising a core comprised of a polymer containing an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt, a cation source, or a suitable base thereof, the core having a first Shore D hardness, a compression of no greater than about 90, and a diameter of between about 1.00 inches and about 1.64 inches; and a cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, or cationic ionomers.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball comprising: a core comprising a center and an outer core layer, the center comprising a thermoset polybutadiene rubber composition having a first hardness; and the outer core layer comprising a polymer comprised of an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt of the organic acid, and a cation source or a suitable base of the cation source; and having a second hardness; and an inner cover layer and an outer cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, polyurethnnes, polyureas, polyurethane-ureas; polyurea-urethanes; or cationic ionomers; wherein the first hardness is from about 50 Shore A to about 55 Shore D and first hardness is less than the second Shore D hardness by at least about 10 points.

Here's Costco's rebuttal:

11. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,994,638 (“the ’638patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 1 of the 638 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS golf ball do not constitute infringement of claim 1 of the 638 patent, however, because, among other things, the Shore D hardness of the center core of the KS ball is not “at least about 10 points” less than the Shore D hardness of the outer core.
12. The 638 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Patent No. 6,468,169 and other prior art publications and activities

Clearly, a lot of chemistry work went into this patent to make the balls have a certain elasticity. Costco says that their balls do not have the same properties, therefore they did not infringe upon this claim.

Here's another:

Patent# 8,123,632 - Multi-layer golf ball
Abstract
Golf balls consisting of a dual core and a dual cover are disclosed. The dual core consists of an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition.

Here's the claim in question:

"17. A golf ball consisting essentially of: an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and having a diameter of from 1.100 inches to 1.400 inches, a center hardness (H.sub.center) of 50 Shore C or greater, and an outer surface hardness of 65 Shore C or greater; an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition and having an outer surface hardness (H.sub.outer core) of 75 Shore C or greater; an inner cover layer formed from a thermoplastic composition and having a material hardness (H.sub.inner cover) of from 80 Shore C to 95 Shore C; and an outer cover layer formed from a composition selected from the group consisting of polyurethanes, polyureas, and copolymers and blends thereof. "

While a multi-layer golf ball is nothing new, this patent builds on an older patent for a multi-layer ball. Acushnet claims this is a new innovation that Costco violated. Costco claims otherwise:

15. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,123,632 (“the ’632 patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 17 of the ’632 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS ball do not constitute infringement of claim 17, however, because, at the least, the surface hardness of the outer core of the KS ball is not 75 Shore C or greater.
16. The 632 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Publication No. 2007/0281802 and other prior art publications and activities.

So Costco again says that because their balls don't have the same properties, they aren't violating this patent. This is all pretty standard legal wrangling.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 1) 210

Just another reason to SHORTEN the length of patents for none drug inventions. There is NO reason on earth that a patent on a golf ball needs to be 20 years

Why not? Is the research into the aerodynamic characteristics of a golf ball more or less worthy than the research into the hydrodynamic characteristics of a blood vessel stent? For that matter, someone who keeps active as a golfer is likely to be healthier longer than someone who is sedentary and requires drugs and other medical interventions to live. Certainly you'd agree that the sporting goods companies have done more good for public health than Martin Shkreli ever did as CEO of a drug company.

Research is research, and the law says that inventors can profit from their inventions. I'm sorry you don't like that.

Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 270

As an undergraduate, I had Set Theory class taught by Paul Halmos (yes, *that* Halmos).

On the first day, during his introductions, he suddenly veered into grammar. He addressed the ignorant statement as put forth in the quoted text above that "To recap: In English, there is no gender-neutral pronoun for a single person."

First noting that some languages have a pronoun for persons of unknown gender, he finished with "English is such a language. The word is 'he.' So you will forgive me if I do not say 'he or she' throughout this course."

He was (and remains) correct. "He" and "him" do not imply gender in English unless context indicates otherwise.

hawk

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 0) 211

"Seriously though, how can a golf ball have 11 patents on it?"

I have never played golf, and I know the answers to this. Seriously, though, have you done even a minimal amount of research into how golf balls are designed and manufactured?

If so, you would not have asked the question except rhetorically. You're welcome.

Comment Closing the feedback loop (Score 1) 56

0. Promote political articles to your feed based on 'criteria'.
1. Censor or demote (or delete) political articles based on content and decisions (aka someone's ideology).
2. Offer a link to elected representatives to react based on promoted or censored articles, though not on deleted articles.
3. Profit!

What could be wrong with any of this?

Comment Not the best advocate (Score 1) 260

"One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous "hockey stick" graph..."

If by "demonstrated conclusively" you mean:
- used sketchy, statistically dubious 'smoothing', omitted the Medieval warm period, and cherry picked data to 'prove' an already-supposed conclusion, and
- then when called to produce his data, "lost it" ....then yeah, he's the guy.

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