John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Sep 13th, 2018 @ 11:05am

    Pass the responsibility to the patent office

    I read these stories all the time here and I wonder when someone will go after the root cause: how do patents like this get issued in the first place? Why doesn't the patent office bear any responsibility for allowing patents that shouldn't be granted? Why does it take companies going back and forth (with usually millions in legal fees) to invalid a bad patent? Why not just not approve a bad patent in the first place?
    Yes, I know- patent officers are over worked and are under pressure to get things out the door, but maybe they need to slow down and consider the further effects of what they're doing.

  • Sep 13th, 2018 @ 10:31am

    Why do people vote against their interests

    "I know that many authors, musicians, journalists and other content creators cheered this on, incorrectly thinking that was a blow to Google and would magically benefit them."

    I'd like to see a separate article that digs into why so many people vote against their interests:
    - Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and other Republican state governors.
    - Brexit would usher in a new age of British independence from the EU.
    - Let's create a sales tax for every state, county, and town so every government gets their fair share without telling businesses how to collect the money or how to send payments to every tax agency.
    - "If Google or Facebook is making money then I'm not, so I want to stop Google and Facebook but I don't care about Bing or any other site."

  • Sep 13th, 2018 @ 10:21am

    Content should still be made available to existing customers

    I can see Apple's point of view that they may not be legally allowed to sell something when the copyright holder tells them not to. But why in the world do they have to delete the media that people have already paid for? Just make the items inactive on the storefront but allow existing customers to keep downloading and watching.

    However, maybe we should follow Apple's lead and complain to the copyright holders. Which movies were deleted from everyone's accounts and which studio should we boycott over this? At the very least, people should stop buying content from the studio because of this issue.

  • Sep 13th, 2018 @ 10:15am

    Re: Harry Potter isn't just films.

    "Does anyone know if WB own the rights to both or the name "Harry Potter" in any context outside of the films? "
    An interesting question, but irrelevant simply because it would cost too much money and too much time for a festival (or anyone else) to argue against WB's attorneys.

    Just look at the recent decision of San Diego Comic Con versus Salt Lake City Comic Con: no "magic festival" is going to risk defending themselves against WB when there's even a sliver of a chance they would have to pay millions in attorneys fees.

  • Sep 11th, 2018 @ 10:23am


    In that case, it's good that the officer was there to pass judgment and offer a summary execution. Just think about how much time and money has been saved by not arresting the guy and giving him an actual trial where he's presented with evidence and has a chance to defend himself in front of a judge.
    Because obviously it's better to shoot the guy than hope he might learn his lesson after getting arrested and going on trial. (That's sarcasm by the way.)

  • Sep 11th, 2018 @ 10:07am

    Occam's Razor

    All thing being equal, which is more likely: that a 3 year-old has a cardiovascular disorder and this lady actually needs a prosthetic limb to let her live her life or both of these people are dangerous terrorists looking to smuggle bombs onto a plane.

    If you immediately jumped to the conclusion that both of them are terrorists in disguise trying to sneak past security, then you too should join the TSA!

  • Sep 10th, 2018 @ 10:14am

    Give them what they want

    I say if the movie studios want their IMDB page taken down, then do it.
    Then IMDB and Google should put up a page saying "Information about 'Star Wars IX' is not available due to a takedown notice by Disney."
    Then see how long it takes for the cast and crew (and hundreds of people who worked on the movie) to get rightly upset that their listing on IMDB has suddenly been taken down as if it were a pirating site, simply because the studio's for-hire takedown service couldn't/ wouldn't get it right.
    Sure, the cast and crew might get angry with Google for taking the page down, but the takedown was a legal notice from Disney, so everyone should complain to them.
    And if the cast and crew of multi-million dollar movies start complaining that the studios are taking down legitimate sites, then maybe we'll see some changes to the takedown system.

  • Sep 7th, 2018 @ 11:00am

    Re: Wishes

    The main problem with politics in this country is that people get so dug-into their own position that they don't listen to each other. It goes something like this:
    Person 1: Trump's policy against immigrants is bad. (As reported by a few news sites and backed by Trump's character.)
    Person 2: I think Trump's policy is good (Okay, that's someone's opinion.)
    Person 1: But according to these sites, here are the bad things that will happen. (Again, using statistics and proof.)
    Person 2: I'll believe whatever I want and you have no right to censor my postings. You think Trump is bad now, just wait until my friends and I vote-in even worse people!

    And, yes, I've seen a number of sites talking about a "left-wing backlash" as far-right people try to "get back" at left-wing people for attacking them.
    So once again, people let emotion tell them how to vote: they're rather "get back" at someone else than vote for candidates that would be best for them or the country.

  • Sep 7th, 2018 @ 10:47am

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it

    I know I'm going to get a lot of arguments from security experts, but my motto is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    This holds doubly and triply true for software updates. There are countless stories on the web, and on this site, about how an update (usually Windows) broke someone's computer or forced an app to stop working or whatever else. Okay, sure, the company usually fixes the update within a day or 2, but that doesn't help anyone who has a dead computer right now.
    Yes, I know software updates include security patches, but each person should weigh the risks: is there a higher change that a "remote user could exploit a vulnerability in a Windows ocx file" (or however Microsoft puts it) or there a higher chance that the update could break something?

    As an example, I don't remember the last time I installed Windows 7 updates. But the last time I did it, Windows started displaying the menus on the left instead of the right. It took me 2 hours to figure out how to search Google to even get a usable answer.
    (The solution was that the Windows update read my Intous tablet as a pen input device and decided to set all the menus to display on the left for no reason. There's an option in the Pen & Tablet Control Panel to set the direction of the menus.)

    Anyway, United should follow the lead of Chrome, Firefox, and other companies and make their software use more and more system resources so that users are forced into getting newer hardware just to keep up. Then United could put out the usual press release saying "For a better user experience, please use the latest phone." Then it's not their fault people are still using older phones. /s

  • Sep 7th, 2018 @ 10:15am

    This sets a precedent for future cases

    The worst part of this decision is that the *judge*, or all people, should know that his decision sets legal precedent. If SDCC wins the case (even if it's for $20,000) AND they get to recover attorney's fees, then there's nothing to stop them from suing every other comic-con for using the same name.
    Oh, the jury only awarded them $10,000 in the next case against New York Comic-Con? Now that a precedent has been set, they should be able to sue for $4 million again.
    Aren't judges supposed to you know, judge the entire case, including how the law should be applied? It would have been easy for him to say "The jury ruled, neither party gets attorneys fees, and the case is over".

  • Sep 6th, 2018 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And if an organization removed those programs (or at least greatly restricted them) and another terrorist attack did occur, it would only cement the stupid idea in peoples' heads that we can protect ourselves against all evil and that those programs weren't a waste of money."

    And this is the same reason why politicians can't or won't vote to reduce the budgets on anything in the "war on terror"- they don't want their political opponents to accuse them of being soft on terrorism.
    So the same thing happens that always happens: someone asks if we really need invasive searching at airports and someone else says "but terrorism" and the agenda is passed.

    Yet no one seems to be asking about results. Do all these security procedures stop terrorism? Where's the scientific study showing statistics and proof? Oh, right, it's all about "feeling safe" even if there's no proof to show it works.

  • Aug 31st, 2018 @ 10:55am

    Hypocrisy at its finest

    This is what's confusing me:
    Republicans say they're all about the free market and letting business decide how to run their business. If a cake maker doesn't want to sell to gay people, then that's perfectly fine and it's not discrimination.
    But when Facebook and YouTube want to kick people like Alex Jones off the site for hateful speech, then it's "not fair" and the sites are "targeting conservatives".

    So, Republicans need to make up their mind: either companies can be allowed to discriminate, which means choosing to not serve gay people *OR* Republicans.
    OR all companies must follow government rules and offer service to everyone, no matter if anyone else finds them distasteful.

  • Aug 31st, 2018 @ 10:45am

    Video games are the problem, not guns

    Here's what I suspect happened: Bondi has realized that guns *are* the problem, but she's somehow indebted to the NRA by way of lobbying, political contributions, or simply being a "good girl" and following the Republican Party line. So instead of blaming guns, she deflects the issue and blames it something irrelevant.
    As many posters above have said, study after study has shown that violence in video games does not cause real-life violence. And I'm betting that some of these studies wee done 15 or 20 years ago.
    Yet *an attorney general* doesn't know about these studies?

    To also put things into context, this is the same attorney general who continued to fight *against* gay marriage, even after the US Supreme Court ruled it legal.

  • Aug 8th, 2018 @ 10:35am

    Just switch banks

    I love how people simply say "just switch banks- that'll show them".
    First, is this a realistic option for someone who has their bank account linked to automatic payments with their employer, electric company, water company, cable company, rent/ mortgage, and more? It becomes a major headache to have to update all of these accounts.

    Second, how many customers does it take before a bank even notices that it's losing business? 1 or 2 or even 10 people won't do anything. You'd need hundreds of thousands or a million... and you try convincing a million people to go through the headache I just mentioned.

  • Aug 3rd, 2018 @ 9:54am

    iTunes competes with free

    Here's another example about competing with free:
    MP3 files are super-easy to download *for free*. Yet Apple's iTunes seems be thriving by selling music. Why? Again, it's convenient, easy, and far less risky than downloading music from a pirate site.

  • Aug 2nd, 2018 @ 10:15am

    No Twitter means no Trump tweets

    What's the term for when something eats its own tail?

    So Trump uses (and abuses) Twitter.
    Congressmen say Twitter is up to no good so they want to sue it, which may cause it to shut down.
    Trump loses his ability to use Twitter.

    Hmm... maybe this is a good thing. :)

  • Aug 2nd, 2018 @ 10:12am

    Yet more outrage over mostly nothing

    Personally, I think the outrage over 3D printed guns is mostly about nothing. Like the article says, 3D files have been available for a while for anyone who wants to look for them. Then why is everyone getting so upset now? It is because one court said it was okay? Where was this "outrage" when other courts were talking about the issue?

    One of my friends made an excellent comment on Facebook:
    I'm going to 3D print a nuclear bomb! Then all I need is radioactive material, a detonator, a fuse, a timer, priming caps, and so on.
    In other word, and all the other things needed to make a working weapon.

  • Aug 2nd, 2018 @ 9:51am

    Free speech comes with consequences

    Again, people are free to say whatever they want, but there are consequences. If people claim that the snacks are made of plastic, then prove it. Otherwise, the statement is false and the person (and possibly the platform) could be sued for libel.

    Is it censorship? Sure, but as much you wanting to delete any posts where someone says you eat puppies when you never have.

  • Jul 31st, 2018 @ 9:58am

    Loss of respect

    And then these government agencies wonder why the public doesn't respect them- not just for the waste of money and the waste of resources, but that they're targeting regular people.

    I just wish there was more outcry, like maybe protesting airports and the airlines, until something is changed.

  • Jul 20th, 2018 @ 10:04am

    Another tip

    I use a laptop as my main computer and it's plugged into an external monitor while at home.
    The lid is either completely closed or cracked slightly open so I can press the power key- in other words, angled down. So if a hacker did manage to turn on my laptop's camera, they'd get a nice video of my floor... and maybe my feet as I walk by.

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