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Comment Re:Sony should have lost this already. (Score 2, Informative) 205

you made me doubt myself and while wikipedia isn't the most reliable source, it's quick and usually in the right direction on non-controversial articles.

Sony vs. Universal City Studios

While the ruling wasn't as strong as I remembered, it was about that there were non-infringing uses and not even that there were widespread use of said non-infringing uses, but just the capability of non-infringing uses.

Comment Re:Sony should have lost this already. (Score 4, Interesting) 205

Sony made it's initial money off a sliver of non-infringing purpose with the vcr (with its ability to record, not play that is). almost all uses of it were infringing but there was the one case of time shifting that was deemed non-infringing and that sliver was enough that the lawsuits were denied.

Soooo, as long as there's a non-infringing use for it, even if 99% of the capability is infringing, it should be allowed as was allowed by the prior ruling.

Of course, as IANAL and the law rarely does what is right (or even remains self consistent) when faced by big money.

Comment Re:What happened? (Score 3, Insightful) 444

I remember someone predicting that when Bush announced his planned trips to mars and the moon, it was really a politically astute way of dumping the space program without looking like he was dumping the space program. There was no provision for how to pay for these new missions and by the time actual funding was going to be needed, it would be somebody else's problem (without even having to paint the shuttles pink). Otherwise, the very real problems of what to do with the short term needs at NASA were going to be center stage and have to be dealt with in his administration. The lack of a shuttle replacement, problems with the existing shuttle's safety/reliability, how to maintain the ISS, etc.

Comment Re:Nuke them (Score 1) 444

the physics of it don't pan out though. any asteroid large enough to be a significant threat is not something we could damage with current nuclear yields and making larger bombs, while possible, would be more dangerous to have here than the remote chance of an asteroid impact.

we'd be better off investigating other means of modifying an asteroids path such as solar sails, robotic mass drivers, parking a small mass near it for gravitational deflection to name a few.


Burning Man Goes Open Source For Cell Phones 152

coondoggie passes along this excerpt from Network World: "Today I bring you a story that has it all: a solar-powered, low-cost, open source cellular network that's revolutionizing coverage in underprivileged and off-grid spots. It uses VoIP yet works with existing cell phones. It has pedigreed founders. Best of all, it is part of the sex, drugs and art collectively known as Burning Man. ... The technology starts with the 'they-said-it-couldn't-be-done' open source software, OpenBTS. OpenBTS is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio such as the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), it presents a GSM air interface ("Um") to any standard GSM cell phone, with no modification whatsoever required of the phone. It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, though it can be used with other soft switches, too. ... This is the third year its founders have decided to trial-by-fire the system by offering free cell phone service to the 50,000-ish attendees at Burning Man, which begins today in Black Rock City, Nevada. "

Comment Re:Want to stimulate the economy? (Score 1) 219

not sure if lawyers would be able to successfully argue that or not, but the intent of that provision was that you couldn't criminalize something and then try someone for committing the crime prior to it being a law. invalidating patent/copyright protections would not be making them criminal nor trying to prosecute a person or corporation for claiming a patent/copyright.

Comment Re:cool (Score 1) 231

The fix would be to have the monitor hardware take the limited info and spread it around to the appropriate groups of pixels instead of trying to have the video card render and push billions of pixels through the video cable. 1920x1080? right, each pixel of input maps to blocks of 15x15 (to pull a number out of my ass) on the actual display. 960x540? each pixel maps to blocks of 30x30, etc.

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