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Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 146

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) 146

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) 70

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:This is a bit absurd... (Score 1) 206

My gods, programmers have gotten lazy. What's next, extra CPU consumption for bold text? The system slowing down every time it beeps?

Or, we could at least allow for the possibility that the behavior was unintentional. If you've never written a program that inadvertently spins a core rather than correctly blocking while waiting for the next event in the event loop, then feel free to cast the first stone, but I imagine most programmers have made that mistake.

Comment Re:Please stop (Score 1) 228

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:Why move to hangouts? (Score 1) 60

The way to improve a product isn't to scrap it and build a new one every 6 months,

Lets not exaggerate. Google Talk was introduced 12 years go. Hangouts came 8 years later. Allo, 3 years after that.

I understand that it can be tough to let go of old applications, but sometimes a software company can no longer support it.

For old desktop programs, that just meant that it may or may not work anymore as systems are upgraded (as long it it uses only local resources and just isn't a client for an internet service). For web based applications though, it means they go away. Either embrace web based software and accept that or stick to traditional style desktop software.

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.

Comment Re:Research to extend lifespans should be banned (Score 1) 122

Correlation or causation? After all, education and prosperity are in that mix too.

Mostly correlation I think. The whole "have enough kids that some grow up" is driven by need, not love. It's not like parents consider them replaceable as human beings as if they have a spare. The need to have your kids support you in your old age is primarily economic, if you have a public system you get help and if you have private money you can hire help. So prosperity -> money for care of elderly, healthcare -> lower child deaths -> double effect of lower risk and less need. I think that's also why there's such a delay and population bulge in the transition, people have to see that hey these people had two kids and they're doing okay now as elderly, do we really need five more?

Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 187

Well the two main root drivers of emissions is population growth and increased standard of living. Really poor places don't have much emissions because they don't have cars and AC and 50" TVs. It's mostly sociology and not so much science. Against this near impossible to stop tide we try to act like "green" technology will save the day. Yes, not putting CFCs in refrigerators is probably a good idea. But it's doesn't really change that most of the world's 7.5 billion people will want one and even an A+++ rated one has to be manufactured, shipped and powered.

If they were really serious about solving it, we'd have an session in the UN to introduce China's one-child policy globally until the world population is sustainable is down to a billion. Until then we have to deal with people that think recycling, driving a Tesla and eco-tourism will save the world. It's cute but horribly naive as long as most of the remaining population and the world says thanks for taking one for the team, now we don't have to sacrifice anything or make any effort. Again, making a meaningful collective change is more sociology than science.

Comment Re:The Lemming Society is pathetic. (Score 1) 357

You get five stars for being over-the-top judgmental and insulting -- apparently that's a requirement on the Internet -- but unless you have the time and money to see every movie, try every restaurant, etc, then you have to decide which ones to try and which to avoid based on something. What you're advocating is either making random decisions (which can be fun occasionally but also leads to wasting a lot of time and money suffering through crap), or making decisions based on other, less relevant criteria (such as which movie has the most competent advertising team, or which restaurant happens to be located in front of your eyeballs when your stomach rumbles).

If you want to make your decisions based on subconscious reasoning that you don't even understand yourself, go ahead, but don't blame others for trying to make an informed decision.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 357

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

That's the point of aggregation sites like RottenTomatoes. Any given particular reviewer might have tastes that differ from yours or mine, but if 999 of 1000 reviewers all say the movie stinks, then it's very likely the movie stinks. Sure, you might be the rare exception whose tastes are similar to the lone holdout, but that's not the way to bet.

Comment Re:Asymmetrical warfare and rules of engagement. (Score 1) 100

Realize the Russians are not trying to win this war. They want to pressure the Ukraine government to stay away from the EU/NATO (...) As soon as the Ukraine gov gives up the war will disappear.

That is to win the war, just not by military means. You make it sound like Kiev could stop, then Russia could stop, then things would be fine. Ukraine is the second poorest country in Europe, only beaten by tiny Moldova. They need good trade relations either with EU to the west or Russia to the east. Traditionally it's been east. They were in talks with the EU to open up to the west. The president was trying to halt those talks and instead make a new deal with Putin, which lead to the revolution and a pro-western government.

The only way they could "stay away from the EU/NATO" would be to basically give up on everything they've stood for and that people have died for and come begging on their knees to Putin for a new trade deal. Quite likely they'd have to formally surrender Crimea and rebel controlled territory in the east to Russia too. That's close to unimaginable and it'd probably start a new war of secession in western Ukraine. So the talks with the EU/NATO must continue while the conflict areas will be used to interrupt and delay the process.

At this point it's only a question of how long they can be kept in limbo. But the EU has shown before with Cyprus that they can accept nations with territory they consider illegally occupied, without taking any action. Whether they'd have the balls to do it with Ukraine is a different story, but it's not an absolute blocker. Already things are opening up with the association agreement, it looks like visa-free tourism is going to happen... they're heading down that track whether Putin wants them to or not.

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