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Comment Copyright vs Patents (Score 4, Interesting) 205

It is a bit ironic that if you assert that someone has violated your copyright (e.g. used one of your images or some of your text), then under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), you can contact Amazon and they are obligated to take the listing down right away.

But if you assert that someone has violated your patent, the process is much harder. So young man, remember that (cue disco ball): it's more fun to play with the DMCA!

Comment The trademark just sailed through examination. (Score 4, Interesting) 281

I looked this up at the USPTO trademark site. It is registered trademark 3249982. Usually, a trademark examiner who is say...awake, would immediately reject the application on the basis that "THANKYOU" is "generic". Not here. The examiner just gave an initial "thumbs up" with no objection, and the rest is history. Amazing.

Comment Too close to "decimate" (Score 1) 184

I suspect that they avoided the "dec" prefix because it is too close to "decimate". This was the old roman practice military discipline in which soldiers were divided into groups of 10. Each group of 10 would draw lots, and the soldier who drew the unlucky lot was killed by his 9 fellow soldiers. Probably not so great an idea from the marketing perspective. Sort of like an early form of stacked ranking.

Comment Spending $20-$40 to get useless information (Score 5, Insightful) 56

Another big problem with the Elsevier model is that often after fully reading an academic paper, you realize that it is not very useful. I estimate that for every 10 academic papers I read, only about one is a worthwhile "keeper". So the true cost to find a useful academic paper, using the Elsevier model, is actually hundreds of dollars.

Comment The US Patent Office still requires Java (Score 1) 154

What is really annoying is that the US patent and trademark office (USPTO) still requires many of its users to use browsers running Java (not Javascript) for many applications. These days, that means running either Firefox or IE (classic). Persons using iOS or Android are out of luck.

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To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller