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Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 2) 226

Excuse me? What have they patented exactly? A sticker saying "Do not remove"? Some software on the chip? And this invalidates my rights to buy, install, or use aftermarket parts or services because..... of.... what clause in patent law exactly?

Lexmark patented the design of the toner cartridges for their printers. Their argument is based on the premise that the long-standing "First Sale" doctrine doesn't apply, and that their patent rights extend to any subsequent use of their patented product, so that Impression Products' refurbishing and refilling, and subsequent sale of, expended Lexmark toner cartridges constitutes infringement of their patent. If SCOTUS rules in their favor, it would put a severe damper on, if not kill outright, the ability to sell refilled and remanufactured cartridges. Since I don't see (although IANAL) how a toner cartridge could be a sufficiently innovative and unobvious advance to justify a utilityt patent, this patent of Lexmark's would presumably be a design patent, which would have a term of 14 years; the ability to prevent knockoff and refilled cartridges from being sold would effectively give Lexmark a monopoly over sales of toner for its printers; I don't see many people continuing to use the same printer for more than fourteen years.

Comment Re:No need for Microsoft to spy on the Chinese (Score 2) 98

The real stumbling block is setting up an orderly approval process by the Chinese government for the 'recommended products' pop-ups on the Windows start pane so that Microsoft can push ads-in-all-but-name to Chinese users with the same frequency as users of thte regular versions do, and to arrange to fork all their telemetry transmissions to ensure that the Chinese government gets an automatic feed of every individual's use of Windows 10 without having to have pesky monitoring software installed.

Comment Re:Already solved! (Score 1) 76

Isn't this what free apps like HiYa and TrueCaller do?

With apps like that, you're still getting the robocalls, you just don't see them. The carrier still has to carry them. They take up bandwidth on the trunks and frequency allocation on the cell towers. The ones that originate as VOIP sessions from some boiler room in Bangalore clog up valuable spectrum on transatlantic cables. The earlier in the process they can be blocked, the better.

Comment This is not a sign of demand for suburban life (Score 3, Interesting) 207

This is a sign of a shortage of higher density living in the urban core. There are multiple reasons for that, the power of the NIMBY lobby being one of them. But for the demographic of young single professionals at the early stages of their careers, vibrant and compact walkable neighborhoods are so much in demand that rents are being driven sky high and lower income people are being displaced to the suburbs where they are either saddled with longer commutes of forced to find jobs on the periphery.

Suburbs are great for when you get a little older and want to raise a family, but in the meantime the city is where it's at.

Comment Re:the Snowflake Jihad (Score 1) 252

If a private business has a right to limit offensive speech on a social media platform in the name of moral righteousness, they have just as much right to deny service to people they find objectionable on the same grounds such as homosexuals or muslims.

Not if they want to do business in the the United States they don't. Religious groups are a federally protected class, and with very few exceptions, cannot be denied service on that basis. Sexual orientation is gaining traction as a protected class at the state level; any web-based service discriminating on that basis is likely to run afoul of some of these states' laws (for clarity, "public accommodation" in the context of that map means a business that is open to the public).

Would you be OK with ISP's being pressured by moral crusaders to not provide connectivity to people who host "offensive" content because the moral crusaders decide to label everyone they don't agree with "neo-nazis"?

No, I wouldn't be OK with that because the moral groups would have no standing or injury. Unlike YouTube and its advertisers, the moral groups in your scenario are not party to any contract with the ISP or its customers. Further, I'm of the opinion that ISPs should be regulated as utilities and required to serve anyone who's capable of paying their bill, just like the electric company. That, I suppose, is another discussion entirely.

Comment Unsurprising (Score 1) 38

Patents have become another "must-have" item in a scientists resume. It presumably shows you're able to create practical applications from otherwise abstract research results.

In practice, of course, you can patent pretty much anything you want if you put your mind to it, and the vast majority of granted patents are never implemented in an actual product and never make any money at all. So researchers just jump through another set of hoops to pad their CV with, usually, a completely worthless patent or two.

The researcher is happy since they got another item on their career-critical CV. The university is happy since granted patents counts toward university rankings. The granting agencies are happy since it shows their research grants are producing tangible results. Too bad the actual end result - the patent - is utterly worthless.

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