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Comment Re:How to make a defense under 17 USC 117 (Score 1) 132

The big advantage of cartridges is that they are more rugged, easier to transport and harder to duplicate.

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure you are incorrect about the IP protection available to "mask-works". The mask-work protection laws protect the mask itself from being copied or being used w/o permission to create computer chips. The theory of mask-work protection is that the actual mask sets used to fabricate integrated circuits weren't sufficiently protected by copyright or patents. As a rule, copyrights do not offer protection against most utilitarian aspect of industrial design objects (e.g., so you can't get around the fact you can't patent a fork by allowing it to be copyrighted). Since a mask is pretty much all utilitarian, and although you can patent the chip that it makes, how do your protect the mask itself from being duplicated or used w/o permission? That's where these smask-works protection laws came from.

It is unclear that mask-work protection laws extend to actually protect the ROM contents represented by the mask (although in their "dumped" form, the software and game artwork is most certainly protect-able by copyright). In fact many statutory overviews I've read about mask-work protection seem to indicate that protection is only given to masks used to make a specific topological pattern of circuits on an integrated circuit, but not protect a circuit that is potentially functionally the same but a different pattern (e.g., a ROM that is topologically different, but functions the same). You could of course attempt to protect the functionality of your IC by a patent, but it would not be protected by mask-work protection laws. It might be hard to assert a new patent on a ROM device, except for potentially a novel copy protection scheme, so I'm not so sure how mask-work protection helps from a legal point of view over simple copyright.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 1) 557

> designed to ignore large flat signs that cross above the road.

Yeah, maybe ones the car can fit under. But there are no signs 'above' the road that are only 4 foot above it, that's an object you need to avoid.

AFAIK, the radar array in the Tesla S has mostly a horizontal footprint with only a single vertical positioned antenna element for detecting height. Given the typical noise in radar, that probably doesn't give much angular resolution to accurately determine the height of an object w/o lot of tracking and noise rejection. With low angular vertical resolution, it might be hard to tell if it is 4 foot or 8 foot above the road (which isn't always flat**) until the car is too close to do anything about it.

If the software was taught to think these kind of targets are usually signs that generally have enough clearance, the software might just wait it out until it gets a better read on the situation rather than spuriously apply the brake.

That being said, I'm sure they will put in better software in the future to get better read on the situation and/or track/filter more noisy radar returns over time to interpolate better vertical resolution. Perhaps they could simply cheat the tuning to be more defensive (e.g., brake at a different threshold of ambiguity), but I suspect that is a losing battle and it is better to make the software smarter than to attempt to tune a more primitive design.

Comment Re:doesn't matter (Score 1) 665

Doesn't matter why he did it
Doesn't matter who he did it for

What matters is what DNC did, they played a game, they lost, and now they say Russia is winning so vote for us because Russia is bad, but infact Russia is irrelevant, it's just a tactic to make Republicans look bad now, even though Republicans did nothing wrong (in this context).

Maybe we can morph that into a Chewbacca defense.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Guccifer 2.0. Guccifer 2.0 is a hacker from the country Russia. But Guccifer 2.0 claims to live in Romania. Now think about it; that does not make sense! Why would a hacker, a sophisticated state-sponsored hacker, want to live in Romania, instead of Russia? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a pundit defending a gaffe by a major political party, and I'm talkin' about Guccifer 2.0! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Democratic National Coronation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed electorate, it does not make sense! If Guccifer 2.0 is from Russia, you must elect HRC! The defense rests.

Comment Re:Who cares..?? (Score 2) 665

I have no idea how these talking points about DT necessarily appointing ultra conservative justices makes any sense.

Although it is highly unlikely to know what DT's position is on anything (he flip-flops all the time and talks off the cuff), his history of political donations doesn't indicate any ultra-conservative streak.

Not saying DT is the best candidate for the job, but these specific irrational fear-mongering talking points aren't really making a good case to vote against him. DT is definitely not Ted Cruz.

AFAIKT, both candidates attempted to throw a bone to the conservative wings of their respective parties by nominating Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.

But stick to your talking points, if that's all you got...

FWIW, that whole ultra-conservative justice talking point is mostly crapola this election cycle. Often this same talking point applied to the "Koch" brothers, but that's pretty misguided too. Politically, the Koch brothers can best be described as libertarian/progressive not ultra-conservative (and I think they are favoring, but not supporting HRC this year anyhow). That's like saying if you really feared the Koch brothers, don't vote HRC this time (wouldn't that be stupid).

What I think that democrats really fear is a non-activist court that doesn't want to advance federal concerns over states rights, but that doesn't rile up the base as much as warning it's gonna be an "ultra-conservative" court as that also fools the libertarian leaning wings of the democratic party to fall in line with the liberal wing of the party.

Comment Re:"What Difference Does It Make?!?!?!" (Score 2) 665

Trump is a sociopath and a narcissist.

I think nearly all politicians fall into that category. Including (and esp) H.R.C. That's basically a no-op comment.

He's an idiot too and Putin will own him repeatedly.

Quite likely true, but apparently, Putin feels threatened by recent HRC actions and is likely to escalate tensions. I don't know which is worse: having an isolationist like Trump or a warmonger like HRC...

Perhaps we should take comfort in the fact that her wallstreet buddies not wanting the economy to crash might reign in those warmongering tendencies, but somehow a candidate being owned by wallstreet doesn't feel like it should go into the "+" column...

Comment Re: The fix is in (Score 1) 268

Bernie supporters got swindled out of 220+ million dollars to see Bernie be a shill for Hillary.

So if someone named Bernie "made off" with your money, should you be

    A. mad at Bernie,

    B. mad at yourself for letting yourself getting swindled,

    C. mad at the system, OR

    D. all of the above
Just curious...


E. mad at the Russians (This choice was paid for by the Clinton Campaign)

Interesting theory. So Clinton must have paid a pretty penny to Putin for some compromising pictures of Bernie to convince him fold like a cheap suit...

Comment Re:Breaking news: investors are idiots (Score 1) 192

Which isn't really news either, because stock brokers and investors are idiots.

Actually, stock brokers are not the idiots in this scenario because they are the ones that made money on commissions because of the idiot investors want to buy shares (and they will make money again when the investors sell the shares for a loss).

As they say, look around the poker table: if you can’t see the sucker, you’re it...

Comment Re:Breaking news: investors are idiots (Score 1) 192

That $9 Billion valuation was given by Forbes.....not just a bunch of day traders buying up stock. If a "respected" voice in the financial industry can get it that wrong, I don't expect John Q Public to do any better.

Actually valuation numbers like "$9B" simply meant that a company claims that for the amount of money received from some sucker, the investors only got "N%" share** of the company.

In the case of Theranos, it was N~4%. Forbes (and other industry trade-press) did not give the valuation, it merely reported what Theranos said some sucker private equity firms were bamboozled into paying for a share of the Theranos dream...

Maybe John Q Public doesn't get that this effectively means the news source of the valuation was actually Theranos itself, but that's a problem with the modern generation of news consumers, they often don't stop to consider the source of their news...

**sometimes these deals are very complicated involving convertible loans, share warrants, and anti-dilution clauses, so often the valuation is inherently misleading as companies self report the figures with the most optimistic spin resulting in the smallest share of equity for the money invested (e.g, all loans repaid before they convert to equity, no share warrants executed, no dilution clauses hit).

Comment Re: The fix is in (Score 2) 268

Bernie supporters got swindled out of 220+ million dollars to see Bernie be a shill for Hillary.

So if someone named Bernie "made off" with your money, should you be
    A. mad at Bernie,
    B. mad at yourself for letting yourself getting swindled,
    C. mad at the system, OR
    D. all of the above
Just curious...

Comment Re:beware greeks bearing gifts (Score 1) 248

It's odd that the richest person in congress would put forth this proposal. It's true that he has a democrat joining in the bill, but what's in it for him? There must be something evil hidden in the text that we haven't discovered yet.

FWIW, Darrell Issa is a big advocate of Open Government as an analogy to Open Source and has partnered with Mark Shuttleworth to create the Open Government Foundation which makes Project Madison...

You can question his motives, and disagree with his politics, but unlike other legislative efforts, typically for the ones that Mr Issa generates, you can generally inspect the process and look for bugs...

Although Issa made his money long ago in the "please step away from the car" alarm business and nowadays makes most of his money from bond funds, I guess you never know what politicians have up their sleeves...

Comment Re:Simple Reforms Needed (Score 1) 248

Actually, the H1b program was *supposed* to work like this. Unfortunately, there are big fat exemptions to having the market wage determined on a case basis:

1. Just pay them over $60K/year
2. Have a masters degree or better
3. Don't hire more than 15% H1bs in your company
4. Hire a bunch of people under the same *nominal* title and share the wage certification determination between them.

You can easily use #1 in a high wage area like SF bay or NYC...
Diploma mills make #2 pretty easy
Big US based consulting companies like IBM and Accenture push #3 to the limit
Infosys/Tata/etc drive trucks through #4...

I think bill is made to address #1 by jumping the number to $100K and indexing it to inflation, and eliminating #2. It doesn't really address #3 or #4 at all.

Comment Re:Nothing from Hilary herself (Score 1) 455

I suppose Hilary's private email server has saved her from being published by Wikileaks.

A previous poster suggested something incriminating would catapult Sanders into the DNC nomination spot.

If nothing actually incriminating is found, but something unfavorable is revealed, that would then help The Donald.

FYI, as a public service, wikileaks maintains a searchable database of Hilary's private email server documents obtained from FOIA request.

Of course now wikileaks is also hosting these newly obtained DNC emails. These DNC leaks mainly serve to discredit the DNC as to being fair to the Sanders campaign and probably mostly serve to open up old wounds among Sanders supporters. I doubt that Sanders could get catapulted to the nomination, but perhaps embolden his supporters to attempt the same stunt that the #NeverTrump folks tried (and failed) to do in the Republican Convention (ie., unbind the delegates).

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 1) 146

The downside of blackmail is that you may make a lot of money from one mug. But if word gets out your business is essentially destroyed instantly.

Strongly disagree. The whole premise of ransomware depends on the existence of a sustainable model of blackmail. Just like any business you can be too greedy or too reckless and fail, but once the word of the standard operating procedures are established a working arraignment can often be found.

On the other hand, if some third party causes a break of the unwritten rules (e.g, 9/11 or ashley madison), then all bets are off for that type of business...

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 345

I have always wondered why the so called brand means anything when it's made by someone else anyway...

The theory behind a brand is that you are buying something from someone who has something to lose and thus might be more motivated to not screw you over.

In a game theoretical sense, a brand is simply an identifier used to track interaction over multiple iterations. It affects the payoff matrix in a way that can promote cooperation between suppliers and customers.

As a very coarse example, think of how people might act when buying illicit drugs on the street. The dealer is the "brand", but you probably have no idea where it was sourced. Trudging over to your "dealer" across town kinda sucks, but opportunistically a middle man (let's call him "Jeff") decides to start up a delivery service to your local 7-11. "Jeff" gave you a choice of dealers for you drug of choice at different price points. You might imagine your "dealer" might get pissed off if "Jeff" allowed other dealers to advertise their product under your "dealer's" name or other dealers that claim that they got their stuff from the same source as your "dealer", but at a lower price. Your "dealer" might get so pissed off that she might cut off "Jeff" and force you to trudge your butt across down to buy directly from her if you want the good stuff.

Your multiple iterations with your identified "dealer" affect your view of the payout matrix with your interaction both directly with her and through the "Jeff" intermediary, even though you know it is sourced somewhere else. A single interaction with other dealers require some other perceived improvement in the payoff matrix (e.g., cheaper, potentially better, etc).

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