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Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 155

And that is the real issue here: with the DMCA, and now with patents, these fuckers are trying to create some sort of bizarro-world where Imaginary Property is not only no longer imaginary, but somehow actually superior to the right to own actual property!

You say that as if this is something entirely new. Welcome to 1873:

Unlike the analogous first-sale doctrine in copyright, the patent exhaustion doctrine has not been codified into the patent statute, and is thus still a common law doctrine. It was first explicitly recognized by the Supreme Court in 1873 in Adams v. Burke. In that case, the patentee Adams assigned to another the right to make, use, and sell patented coffin lids only within a ten-mile radius of Boston. Burke (an undertaker), a customer of the assignee, bought the coffin lids from the manufacturer-assignee within the ten-mile radius, but later used (and effectively resold) the patented coffin lids outside of the ten-mile radius, in his trade in the course of burying a person.

Here's copyright in 1908:

The [first sale] doctrine was first recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 (...). In the Bobbs-Merrill case, the publisher, Bobbs-Merrill, had inserted a notice in its books that any retail sale at a price under $1.00 would constitute an infringement of its copyright.

Sadly they won the biggest battle, except for open source 99.999% of all software is licensed through an EULA not copies sold like a book so you don't have any property rights to begin with. If you wanted to really restore the consumer-manufacturer balance the first thing you should do is create a "Digital Sales Act" that basically says if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck it's a duck. Once you start invalidating most shrinkwrap and clickwrap licenses then you can start talking consumer rights.

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 4, Interesting) 155

Is the author high, or trying to sneak in support for an invalid patent, or just plain confused? Patents affect who can make a product. Not the sale or use of the item after the initial manufactures sale.

35 U.S. Code 271 - Infringement of patent

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

Use is in general covered. The court has in 1992 upheld this:

The plaintiff in the case owned a patent on a medical device, which it sold to hospitals with a "single use only" notice label. The defendant purchased the used devices from hospitals, refurbished them, and resold them to hospitals. The Federal Circuit held that the single-use restriction was enforceable in accordance with the 1926 General Electric case,

But now it's not so clear:

The 2008 Supreme Court decision in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., arguably leaves unclear the extent to which patentees can avoid the exhaustion doctrine by means of so-called limited licenses (...) At least two district courts have concluded that Mallinckrodt is no longer good law after Quanta.

Can you avoid patent exhaustion by only giving a limited patent license? There is no clear answer in law, it's a common law doctrine. If they go back to the 1992 decision and say we meant that, the Quanta case was different then single use cartridges will be legal. The Quanta case was more if the product embodies all the essentials of the patent, the right is exhausted. In which case the sticker doesn't bind anyone else from reusing the cartridge.

Comment Re:Given that Venezuela's economy is tanking (Score 1) 74

because of a temporary drop in oil prices (we're a long way off from oil becoming worthless) why the heck are they doing so bad? I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that. Usually the rest of the world will send some aid to a country floundering like this. Heck even Greece got some. Did they piss everybody off somehow?

As I understand it the main problem is that the shortages and massive inflation means that most people spend most of their day standing in line for the scraps rather than do anything productive. And when they do get to buy some subsidized goods they overbuy and go to sell them on the black market, which means even more time is wasted on finding places to buy, places to sell and bartering. Running any kind of shop is pretty hopeless because you can't get reliable supplies or reliable customers or pay reliable wages. If you want anything done it's bribes, that again don't do anything productive.

Nobody will give a country loans without concessions and Chavez won't give any. Since the country is reduced to pretty much a giant money sink it's hard to see how anyone sane would invest in that economy. The only half functioning market is the black market, where anything is available to those who can pay but that too is running on fumes because so few still have money to buy with. Those who have money can get to do and have pretty much everything they want though, almost everything and everybody is for sale.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 358

The problem is that any given reviewer wont "mesh" with what *YOU* like. Or what *I* like.

True.

OTOH, I find that the aggregate consensus of several hundred reviewers actually gives me a really good idea of how good a movie is. That's not the same as saying it's a good indicator of what I'll like; there are some crappy movies that I like quite a lot. But if a film gets an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has a significant number of reviews (obscure films sometimes don't), I can be pretty much guaranteed that it will not be a waste of my time. Perhaps it won't become a favorite, but it will be reasonably well-written, well-acted, etc. In other words, it won't suck.

I do occasionally see movies with low ratings, but only when there's some other factor motivating me -- and I often walk out disappointed. I also occasionally see movies that I have no real interest in, but have high ratings (and which my wife wants to see) -- and I nearly always enjoy them anyway. There are exceptions both ways, but the RT rating is generally an excellent guide.

Comment Re: Oh well (Score 1) 187

There are always winners and losers. What amuses me is how you pretend you like birds, when what you really like is not having to do fuck all, and passing the buck to the next generation. And how many species do you imagine will get driven to extinction by spiraling climate change over the next century.

Comment Re:They are chickenshits (Score 1) 74

In part be because it's a horribly corrupt country run by crooks, and in part because it is a petrostate whose economy is largely dependent on oil sales, and because it's run by plundering thieves, there's no sovereign wealth fund, so low oil prices means economic collapse. Furthermore Venezuela cannot hope to raise money because their only friends are other poor Latin American countries, and wealthier investors wouldn't extend them credit.

With the exception of China, which will probably end up owning the country before it's done.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 194

I actually believe if self-driving cars take off, drive times will go down. The programmers of the cars can do a lot to alleviate the bad behaviors people have gotten in to that just makes heavy traffic worse.

If you then ban human-operated vehicles from (some) roads, or maybe just some lanes (which should be separated from lanes usable by human-operated vehicles), it can get even better. Vehicles in constant radio communication with each other and with sub-millisecond reaction times should be able to significantly increase highway speeds and reduce inter-vehicle distance to inches, while simultaneously increasing safety.

If you can remove human-operated vehicles from all roads, you can also get rid of stop lights and stop signs. Vehicles can negotiate appropriate gaps as they approach an intersection.

Comment Re:Please stop (Score 1) 235

It's a major problem in technology that really needs to be addressed if this country is going to be competitive in the future. It's unfortunate that it's so inflammatory, but it needs to be addressed.

Somehow I doubt it's particularly bad in the US tech industry compared to other countries, maybe there's more lawsuits but that's the American way. Anyway I think there's two quite different forms of sexism:

1. The belief that one sex is much better at something than the other by nature of their sex.
2. Inappropriate sexual comments/jokes/propositions that belong in locker rooms or on Tinder.

I'm pretty sure the first one is mostly dead and buried in the western world, at least I've never met anyone that has hinted to a natural order where doctors, engineers and mechanics are men and nurses, secretaries and hairdressers are women. Slight surprise yes, but no more than finding a man in a female-dominated occupation and never questioning their capability.

The second kind, well IT tends to attract people who are short on social antennas. Not that they're particularly wanted, but they don't get work in "people jobs" but as long as they can operate a computer they can do a tech job. That often means they haven't bonded on an emotional level and only think about women as objects for sex. Maybe they have experience from casual sex or prostitutes that reinforce that view.

Then there's the whole man-woman dynamic, for the most part men want sex and women relationships so the proposal is likely to be far more sexual. When a woman indicates she's attracted, most men will be flattered. When a man indicates he's attracted, many women will be insulted. Basically I think women in general are far more sensitive about unwanted sexual attention or objectification than men are.

P.S. Once me and one male, one female coworker had a conversation that started about her "cracking the whip" and it took a BSDM turn. And even though tolerances are higher here than in the US, I was wondering if this one had gone out of bounds. Then she took it to the next level with one of our other male coworkers as her leather gimp and a strap-on. I guess he should be the one suing about sexual harassment, if only he knew...

Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 240

Literally never seen another stuck signal, and that was a temporary kit pulled from the trailer of a work vehicles. What makes you think this is a big problem?

And signals should change periodically WHETHER OR NOT the loops detect a vehicle. Anything else is a design flaw. It just adjusts the timing if vehicles are detected on one and not another.

P.S. traffic lights pre-date mobile phones by quite a bit. It's not a problem. Guess what country had the world's first?

Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 187

Man, you're completely wrong. The Earth doesn't have a population limit. 8 billion is no closer than 1 billion. We can all live comfortable, luxurious lives. The problems we're facing have nothing to do with resource exhaustion (aside from petroleum), but inefficiency and pollution. We can absolutely produce goods without air pollution. We have sources of essentially limitless energy. We can absolutely use nuclear reactors to ship goods - no need for bunker oil. It's a question of economics and political engagement.

Cool. Get back to me when you've convinced the world to put a potential nuclear meltdown in every town and every cargo ship and drive EVs so they can use it for charging. Back in the real world, CO2 levels keep going up, up and away as countries like China go modern. After that comes India, Brazil and the rest of the developing world. Even if the population boom has subsided we'll still hit 10 billion people, that's another 33% growth.

The people who talk about reducing emissions are smoking crack, we're likely to double the world's CO2 emissions in the next 40 years if the technology doesn't evolve. Make that quadruple if everybody decides to pollute as much as Americans, because if they can why can't we? Whatever improvements we make will only make the explosive growth slightly less explosive unless we invent a working fusion reactor or something. Say what you want about nuclear but in the public opinion it's beating a dead horse. We're shutting existing reactors down, not building new ones.

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