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Comment Re:Is it just branding or is it a real patent issu (Score 1) 241

You can play golf with a $110 set of clubs (which you can probably find cheaper used) at a public course for $20 to $40 a round, if you walk rather than rent a cart. If you want, you can buy some golf shoes, but they're not required. It does not require thousands of dollars nor membership in a country club.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 2) 241

There's nothing about a golf ball that makes it unworthy of patents. A particular composition of matter, for example, is a commonly patented invention. If the patent holder invented a new filling material, a new outer material, a new glue to hold it all together, a particular winding pattern, and a new machine to perform the winding, all that would be patentable (assuming all the other requirements for a patent are met). I suspect that's not what actually happened--I think this is an attempt to muscle a new competitor out of the market. But that doesn't mean there's nothing patentable about a golf ball.

Comment Re:If it's legal... (Score 2, Interesting) 448

There is a certain category of acts that are wrong regardless of the legalities. There are others that are wrong because they are against the law. Legally enslaving people falls in the former category. Legally paying zero taxes falls in the latter category. Note that "legally" does a lot of work in that sentence. For example, it presumes accounting and reporting that complies with the law, that is honest, etc. But if Apple is following the law in NZ, they are not doing anything unethical.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 218

"causing undue harm to a spec[i]fic segment of the population" is not one of the recognized exceptions to the free speech clause of the Constitution. Generally, reporting true facts is protected. The exceptions are few and far between, and heavily constrained. The most obvious one is the prohibition on the disclosure of classified national security information. But that prohibition applies to those who receive clearances and agree to the relevant restrictions. It does not apply to those who obtain and disclose the information without breaking their own agreements. This is why no reporters were prosecuted for publishing information from wikileaks or Snowden.

Comment Re:Popcorn time! (Score 4, Insightful) 1321

Actually, you've stated it exactly wrong: the counties with the differences were not "demographically similar." When you control for demographics, the difference in voting patterns disappears. See also https://twitter.com/Nate_Cohn/... and https://twitter.com/Nate_Cohn/....

Comment Re:Carbon dioxide makes food plants more efficient (Score 1) 345

The summary is incredibly misleading when it says that the opinion calls "man-made climate change an 'undisputed' fact." The opinion says, quite correctly, that man-made climate change is undisputed "for the purposes of this motion." This happens in every opinion about a motion to dismiss, because that's what a motion to dismiss is: an argument by the defendants that, even if every fact alleged by the plaintiffs is true, the plaintiffs should still lose. The court has definitely not held that climate change is an undisputed fact. (Note, I'm not making a comment about science; I'm making a comment about the way civil litigation works.)

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 310

So both responses to this post decided to respond to something I didn't say, rather than what I did say. I wasn't making an argument for no zoning regulation (and I didn't address fire or safety codes at all). I said that zoning regulations, *as implemented* make it much harder to afford housing in many places. Which suggests we should come up with better zoning regulations. For example, San Francisco could stop restricting denser housing development--something that makes perfect sense once you recognize that the problem is a shortage of housing. There are numerous studies about this, from researchers across the political spectrum. I suppose I'm lucky neither of you made the Somalia argument that is the usual straw-man response to anyone who questions a particular set of regulations.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 2) 310

And there is strong evidence that current zoning policies have contributed a lot to the unaffordability of housing in cities. That's not to say that all zoning regulation is bad. But as implemented, they make it much harder to afford housing in many places.

Comment Re:So? (Score 4, Informative) 194

You've identified the two most important points. "Robbery" (when used correctly) indicates a violent crime involving force or threat of force. It is usually classified as a crime against the person, rather than a crime against property (like mere larceny or, in some cases, burglary). A robbery is, by definition, a violent felony. And, of course, the officer got a court order.

Comment Re:dont know (Score 1) 254

"Paid for your time" does not mean "work for hire" in the U.S. If someone is not an employee, then only certain types of works can be works for hire: "a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire." Notably, even a written contract saying "work for hire" doesn't make something a work for hire if it doesn't comply with the statute. That's why it's important to have a proper contract, typically one that says work for hire *and* grants the customer an exclusive lifetime license.

I have no idea of the merits of this case or about German law on the subject, but if the contract did expressly grant a limited license, it's likely that it wasn't contemplated as a work for hire.

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