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Comment Allow only 10 patents per year (Score 1, Insightful) 263

The abuse of the patent system is beyond repair. I say we completely overhaul the entire system and only grant 10 patents per year. There are not even 10 things that are patent-worthy invented in an average year. Not anymore. Combining a cellphone and a pen is not unique and nonobvious and should not be patentable. Give the 10 best, truly innovative inventions one of ten patents after an exhaustive review at the end of the year. No genetic patents, no "business method" patents. Only truly novel inventions should be patentable. Frankly I can't think of the last invention that I've seen that is worthy of a patent. 10 per year is still allowing at least 5 crap things to get an unfair monopoly that is completely undeserved.

Comment "The views expressed by ___ do not necessarily..." (Score 1) 342

The views expressed by your employees on their own time do not represent your company unless you take the time and energy to point it out and MAKE it so. No reasonable person would think that a Walmart employee's ranting on his/her facebook page represents the official views of Walmart. Of course, nobody should say who their employer is on Facebook or any other such site. But we know that's not going to be a prerequisite for firings. People have and will be fired for their online content even when they don't mention their job/employer. What's to stop Domino's pizza from firing an employee because she is pro-choice?

There is going to come a point where the First Amendment will need to be incorporated onto the actions of private actors like big corporations. Frankly I think we're well past that point.

Comment Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 593

Yes, exactly. You're the first person to say what I was thinking - the cops and the family want to find this purportedly missing person and none of them is willing to cough up a mere 20 dollars? There is no privacy right in having your phone turned off or turned on, and many courts have held the police don't need a warrant to locate a cellphone (though some have, as I recall). Regardless, the issue is over a corporation being cheap. But the people looking for him were equally cheap. Now, maybe the tried to pay but were told "sorry, only the account holder may pay" or "sorry we only accept money orders for overdue accounts, you can't pay by credit card on this account" or some other bullshit like that. In THAT CASE, with someone missing and maybe in danger, the company would be in the wrong. But nobody should ever have to shell out $20 to help the police (also known as the government). Plus this time they say it's a missing person, next time they say it's a missing person but it's really just some arab guy they want to spy on. The company is certainly not guilty of murder/manslaughter (had the guy died) as some people are saying here. That's ridiculous. Nobody has any duty to assist in an investigation beyond providing information you actually know.

Comment Re:Raise taxes - but who will pay? (Score 1) 1505

Closing a loophole to require owed taxed to be paid is not equivalent to "raising taxes" though that's of course the same pathetic argument the Republican-Christian party is making. "It's a substantial tax increase to force us to pay the taxes we've been dodging." Why should I, a normal citizen with a normal job, pay more in taxes than a huge company like KBR? It amazes me that anyone could side with tax cheats, and actually argue that not only should be be permitted to continue to avoid paying their taxes, but that it's bad policy and immoral to require them to pay such owed taxes. Unbelievable. Meanwhile a lot of the companies doing this tax dodging have been receiving bailouts from those taxpayers who do pay their taxes. Nobody wants to pay taxes, and everyone wants their tax rate to be lower. How about some consistency, though - like everyone who owes taxes should pay them.

Comment More faith than science (Score 0) 236

I am a person who entirely believes in science, and as an atheist I greatly disapprove of anything resembling faith. I hate to say it, but so much of this superstring, 11 dimensional stuff sounds more like faith, or religion, than actual hard science. None of what's talked about here sets out a testable hypothesis, and it sounds like they're just making up stuff the way religious people do, though using words like "dimensional" instead of "power of Christ" to explain what otherwise can't be explained (or explained within the bounds of their own premises).

I mock religion all the time. I have to hold science and scientists up to the same standard. I'd be a hypocrite to accept unprovable scientific mumbojumbo, interdimensional whatnots and all. at face value while discounting unprovable religious mumbojumbo all the time.
The Media

Submission + - Lessig Crowdsourcing Fairey's legal case versus AP (

christian.einfeldt writes: "Stanford law professor Larry Lessig has issued a call to the masses for help in assisting Shepard Fairey in Fairey's legal case against the Associated Press arising out of the dispute over Fairey's famous poster depicting Obama's upturned, thoughtful face, a poster that in the minds of many defined the Obama 2008 presidential campaign. Lessig, writing on behalf of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society (CIS), says that the CIS team would like help finding images similar to that of Mannie Garcia's preceding photograph of then-Senator Obama appearing with George Clooney during the campaign. Although Lessig is holding his cards close to his vest as to why similar photos are being sought, commentators on Lessig's blog seem to think that as more similar photos can be found, it becomes less likely that Fairey's poster alone had any impact on the market for the Mannie Garcia's photo; in other words, defending Fairey by spreading the "blame". But the more entertaining question might be: can the Slashdot effect alter the outcome of this case?"

Comment American Dad rip-off (Score 2, Informative) 135

There was a whole episode of American Dad ("Tearjerker") where Roger, playing a James Bond villian, was cloning hollywood actors/actresses, albeit with robots, to make the clones act in horrible movies nobody would want to see, so his movie would win the Oscar.

Crazy religious people should not be allowed to watch TV.

Comment You don't buy an eBook reader to save money (Score 2, Insightful) 398

I have a Sony PRS-505 eBook reader, and I love it. I love the e-ink, I love having all my books in one place (and it saves lots of space - don't need huge bookshelves). I like being able to backup all my books. There are many advantages to eBooks. But I did not spend $250 on the eBook reader because i somehow managed to convince myself that since eBooks cost a few dollars less than traditional bound paper books I'd save myself money in the long run. Only an idiot would convince themselves that an eBook reader is a way to save money. It's not. You can always buy USED paper books (go to Half-Price Books or another used book store) cheaper than you can buy new-release eBooks. But that doesn't mean it's not a useful device. That being said, many copyrighted ebooks can be downloaded for free on bittorrent sites (not saying one should do this). In that case, it would save money assuming you would otherwise be purchasing the books in traditional format from Amazon or somewhere else. But don't kid yourself, buying eBooks for $14 instead of traditional paper books for $17 is not going to offset the cost of a $250-$300 electronic device anytime in your near future. Hopefully nobody is dumb enough to use frugality as a reason to drop a few hundred bucks on an Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader. People are dumb, but that's the level of stupidity at which people probably are not going to be doing a lot of reading, let alone book-buying in the first place. I love my Sony Reader, but it was a luxury that I paid for, and I have no illusions that it will be saving me money anytime in the near future.

Google Video Becomes Search-Only, YouTube Holds Content 119

Bangor writes "Google is planning to turn Google Video into a search index of all the world's available video online. The change will see YouTube becoming Google's only platform for user-generated video and premium content sales, and Google said that YouTube content would be immediately added to the Google Video search index. The company plans to expand that to eventually include all video online. From the article: 'The company said that they 'envision most user-generated and premium video content being hosted on YouTube,' which clearly suggests that the Google Video storefront will eventually give way to YouTube.'"

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