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Comment Are they going to invent vector based FPAs too? (Score 1) 221

Because if not, they left out how they know what the underlying vector shapes are in the original image / video frame. Are those four pixels at the spatial sampling limit from what was originally a diamond, a circle, a letter o, a smiley face emoticon? I can only scale up if I already know that!

I can believe there is some interesting work being done in the algorithms that guess these things, and leveraging work done in the fields of machine vision and astronomy may translate to a video compression algorithm that is more efficient because of the inherently ordered nature of the universe (doesn't really matter if it guessed wrong if on random sample of images of real objects it stores the information more efficiently), but it's hardly novel to realize vector graphics work better if I'm making an illustration and I know what object I want it to represent rather than taking a picture (like the soda bottle with the small label on it).

Comment Re:careful what you wish for (Score 1) 419

If my link to your article increases the number of people reading your article (and increasing your ad revenue) then no, I don't think you're entitled to a cut of my earned revenue. Business relationships don't have to be zero sum andsearch engines are earning their keep here by providing added value (to the consumer by helping them find articles, and to the newspaper by bringing more eyes to their products).
There's some gray area where so called aggregators basically paste the entire article into their site and probably do steal readership, but its pretty hard to imagine Google's single line quotes do that. More importantly, we don't have to speculate. Any site that doesn't want to show up in search can use robots.txt to test for themselves whether search engines are a net win or loss for readership. What they can't do ask a fee to be listed and then complain that Google is "threatening" to not purchase the product. If you want to charge for something, your potential customers are allowed to say no.

Comment Re:backup your date to multisources (Score 1) 370

I agree with your main point, but I would dispute the implication that people have ever been very good about "backing up locally". Totally anecdotal, but I've known too many people who lost all their data (pictures and music on home computers, and expensively gathered data on work computers). They all say they same thing: "yeah, I know I should have been backing up, but I never got around to it." It's a rampant mix of laziness, underestimating the odds of data loss and under-appreciating the value of the data until it's gone. This was going on before Facebook and cloud storage, and still goes on now. And I'd wager almost anybody who recovers lost pictures from Facebook nowadays probably wasn't consciously using Facebook as a backup, but figured out they were the only copies left after their hard drive crashed.

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment How do you focus? (Score 2, Interesting) 152

Doesn't a contact lens sit closer to a human eye than anyone could ever actually focus their eyes on? In fact doesn't it sit on the focusing element? I guess the retina is different from the lens, but they are not very far apart IIRC, and can probably be considered one optic. IANAO (O = opthamologist) as you can tell, but I know a thing or two about optics. You cannot just display an image (either by absorption of the backlight or emission from tiny LEDS) onto an imaging lens (human or mechanical) that looks like what you want to display the way you can with a HUD or a computer monitor. What you percieve as spatially separated regions in your view map to different angles of incidence of light rays impinging on your lens. Each "pixel" in your eye (or literal pixel in a camera) collects light passing through all regions of the lens, but only at one angle. So to create a 256x256 display on a contact image that appeared in focus, the lens would have to emit light over a controllable grid of 256x256 angles.

I don't know that the technology is theoretically impossible, but I think articles like this usually gloss over this not at all minor technical difficulty. Transparent circuitry is much easier because of this same phenomenon. If you cover up 50% of the area of a contact lens with completely opaque circuitry, you won't see the circuits in your vision, you'll just see a reduced intensity as if you were wearing sunglasses, because the circuitry will be so out of focus it will appear uniform. If your circuitry is only covering 10% of the area, you probably won't even notice the difference.

Comment Surprising (Score 2, Interesting) 330

It sounds a little silly, but how different is it from other copyrights? I think most people would agree that culinary arts are as as much an exercise in creativity as visual or audio art. A particular combination of available flavors creates whole greater than the sum. Certainly copyrighting a recipe doesn't seem any different to me than a piece of software code. I guess the weak part in Malaysia's claim is that they seem to be trying to retroactively pull public domain works (recipes that have been around for generations) back into the copyrighted realm, but even that is nothing new. If they can get back the rights to their ethnic food, it seems like Beethoven's descendants should be able to continue collecting royalties on his works.

Comment Re:Why would this affect free software coders? (Score 1) 517

Unless you can prove the programmer intentionally released the buggy program out of malice, I doubt you could recover damages for bugs in software you didn't purchase. Perhaps you should be able to in an extreme case like your example; it's a reasonable debate I suppose, but I don't see anything in the original article suggesting that's how the new rule would apply, except from the BSA representative who's primary interests are commercial software vendors. It just seems more like the commercial software equivalent of a lemon law. There should be a minimum level of functionality a customer can expect when they purchase software.

Comment Why would this affect free software coders? (Score 1) 517

"...they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions,'...but where would this idea leave free software coders?"

I get that free as in beer != free as in speech, but there is a pretty high correlation, and really this article is trying to imply that if I give software away for free as in beer I can be liable to the person who "purchased" my software license. Are they really trying to suggest that the ubiquitous line in almost every free as in beer software along the lines of "hey I'm giving you this software for free, so I'm not liable" isn't legally valid? I mean if the only condition I ask of you when you use my free software is that you not expect it to be bug free, how can you sue me for damages? I didn't make anything remotely resembling a guarantee. You still have the choice not to use the software, just like you have the choice not to purchase any software with licensing conditions you are not willing to accept.

I mean I didn't read the text of the proposed law itself, but does seem like the idea that it will affect people who give away software for free is kind of a paranoid worst case scenario, and should be assumed to be false unless otherwise clearly stated, not the other way around. The text that was quoted in the article, "Licensing should guarantee consumers the same basic rights as when they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions." hardly seems controversial or applicable to free software. Sure, if you sell software for mission critical / safetly applications and your buggy software gets people hurt, you should held liable. Alternately, if you give away for free a DVD player which skips, ignores every other button and dies after 4 weeks, you can't be sued for damages.

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