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Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 154

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)

Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 376

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 376

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

Comment Re:Making 26 YOs work 80 hour weeks is easier too. (Score 2) 231

I agree they're not much good on a smooth floor, but I use a broom for that. They work very well in that environment. We've had a Dyson for a long time and aside from eating its skinny little belts trivially if you clog it with hair, it's a very good machine for us. And it pulls stuff out of the carpet that other vacs don't, which is its mission...

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

When arguing ICE vs EV, I get the impression that noise and vibration is considered a good thing with ICE.

Some people seem to think so, and in a sports car that's as may be, but in other kinds of cars it's not so much. The thing is, that's not really a big problem. There's only a small amount of pleasant noise from my Audi (all real, none generated) and there's really no discernible vibration because of the fancy-pants engine mount setup, which is not even active. It's just good. The real benefits of EVs are not so much in sound (although there are some there) as in efficiency. When the batteries become cheaper, and when typical range gets a bit better, they will become ubiquitous for this reason.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

One day you should actually drive an EV instead of just spurting unjustified nonsense.

You can get a lovely used luxury car with better interior quality than a Tesla for around ten grand in very good condition. (The best examples of older luxobarges seem to run about that.) Per dollar, it walks all over the Tesla. Yes, the Tesla is a better car. It's not a hundred thousand dollars better. Used Teslas won't be that cheap for decades.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

I've watched the Jay Leno's Garage on his Doble. It was an amazing thing. But the system takes up too much space. Compare the Doble to a Fiesta with a 1 liter Ecoboost engine and there's no contest in any category. Physics limits how small a steam system can be; it could perhaps be more compact than in the Doble, but how much more? If you're going to go that far in your quest for a new-old engine, NASA's proven Stirling engine tech is probably a better example.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

Whatever you do, don't take a Tesla test drive. It will make you hate your slow, noisy, polluting ICE car forever.

What makes me hate my ICE car is unreliability. But when it's working, my A8 Quattro is not exactly an unpleasant driving experience. You can get a spectacular (old) one for ten grand and the price difference will pay for fuel just about for life. I should have spent more on mine :p

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 231

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1, Insightful) 231

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Good on him (Score 2, Interesting) 231

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

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