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  • Aug 20th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Perfection doesn't exist. So what is the alternative plan then?

    Missing link, sorry.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805

  • Aug 20th, 2013 @ 10:06am

    Re: Perfection doesn't exist. So what is the alternative plan then?

    And this.

    Information collected under FISA is re-directed to fight narcotics traffickers. Its origins are concealed thru parallel reconstruction.

    I'm not blaming enforcement agencies for wanting to share this information, they are trying to do a job. But the history of technology and law enforcement has always been about where the line in the sand gets drawn between putting bad guys out of business and the right to privacy.

    If the DEA can use SOD intelligence, why not the IRS? Why not your local police department (oops, they already do). Whose decision was it that this data could be used for narcotics enforcement? And on what basis did they limit the application of it?

  • Aug 20th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Re: Perfection doesn't exist. So what is the alternative plan then?

    This.

    http://cryptome.org/2013/08/irs-special-ops-spy.htm

  • Apr 29th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

    Whoops, forgot...

    ...to insert the magic words "using a computer" in several places.

  • Apr 29th, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    Hat's off to EFF...

    ...for doing this. A quick read of two of the patent applications in question comes down to...

    (The first) In a 3D printer, use a computer to generate support structure geometry for an unstable part.

    (The second) In a 3d printer, mix two or more things together so a chemical reaction occurs and the material cures.

    If either of these applications fly, I'll be preparing my patent application for ice cream...

    Claim 1) A method of combining edible ingredients so that the result has a more pleasing taste than any of the individual constituent ingredients comprising:

    An opaque white fluid secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young;

    A sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants;

    At least one element that when combined with the above results in a distinctive quality as perceived by the taste buds,

    wherein the components when combined and subjected to a predetermined amount of mechanical agitation result in a confectionary with a melting point of approximately 0 degrees Celsius.

    Claim 2) The method of claim 1 where the confectionary is enhanced by the addition of pieces of the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed,

    Claim 3) The method of claim 1 wherein the confectionary is enhanced by the addition of pieces of the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed that must first be extracted from a hard kernel...

    ...which makes at least as much sense as either of the applications targeted by EFF.

  • Apr 29th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    (untitled comment)

    Had to check the byline, for a moment I thought Florian Mueller had become a Techdirt guest columnist.

    Synopsis of article:
    1) Google is stupid.
    2) Microsoft started it, which makes Google stupid and hypocritical for defending itself against a lawsuit it was already a party to once it bought Motorola.
    3) Defending oneself in a patent lawsuit makes one a patent bully.
    4) Google is stupid and hypocritical.

    Actual timeline of events:
    1) Motorola extends a starting offer to license its SEP under high (exorbitant)terms.
    2) Microsoft files a lawsuit alleging breach of contract of RAND obligation without attempting a negotiation.
    3) Google buys Motorola.
    4) Judge Robart places a RAND value on Motorola's SEP that is low enough as to essentially make it worthless. World rejoices, forgets where Seattle is.

    Betcha Florian puts a link to this column in one of his blog posts.

  • Feb 19th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Yes, please get this right but I am afraid...

    ...that scotus will split the baby badly. IANAL but...

    Apparently Mr. Bowman planted commercial beans (some of which were 1st generation progeny of the patented GMO) and sprayed them with Roundup before saving some of them as seed for the next crop. The act of spraying them caused a selection to take place in that only plants resistant to Roundup survived.The saved seeds were arguably exclusively 2nd generation progeny of the original patented GMO.

    Another way of looking at it is that Mr. Bowman bought seeds from the general population and then reverse selected to eliminate what he didn't want.

    I would expect scotus to seize upon this distinction. Although I personally would want to see exhaustion applied to all progeny (that's just an opinion), the best that will come out of this case will be that the seeds he bought from the grain elevator (from the general population of all seeds) were protected by exhaustion but subsequent generations of progeny resulting from the selection process he applied became new instances of the GMO and are therefore protected.

  • Feb 5th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Thievery but still legal, unfortunately

    Underwent the same scenario with VZW. Want to give my wife my old smartphone minus data for the convenience of having a camera, synchronized contacts, etc. but found out it couldn't be activated without a data plan which she has no interest in. So she's still got her flip phone.

    Pisses me off that a device I paid for is now junk unless I accept services not needed, but VZW has the only decent coverage in my area.

    Plain wrong but we're stuck until the FCC enforces a BYOD requirement on the carriers.

  • Nov 9th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    No, that's not extreme...

    "Cosmo" is a talented kid who committed fraud and a number of other crimes. Apparently the notion of right and wrong got lost in his upbringing.

    This article acts like internet access is a constitutional right or a life essential act like breathing. It is not.

    "Cosmo" committed crimes against other people and admitted to doing so. As part of the terms of a plea bargain, "Cosmo" agreed to certain conditions that kept him out of prison. If he fails to abide by those conditions, there's a pretty good chance he will end up in the place he wanted to avoid.

    The choice is his. No one is denying "Cosmo" access to the internet. He has voluntarily agreed to forgo it for a period of time to keep his freedom.

    The internet and public roads have some basic concepts in common. They are public thoroughfares and the average citizen should have a right to be able to navigate them responsibly and without molestation.

    "Cosmo" didn't get that. He saw a busy thoroughfare with potential victims and took advantage of that. Now he has to pay for that abuse.

    He agreed not to use the internet so he could stay out of prison. He is not a saint or a martyr.

  • Sep 13th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    AMZN still has to prove the model works...

    It's about more than e-books, apps, and tablets.

    Amazon has shown they can generate a lot of business with little profit but they have to convert that volume into profit before it becomes sustainable. Past 5 quarters:

    AAPL: $177b sales, $62.2b profit, p/e 16
    EBAY: $16b sales, $3.2 profit, p/e 17
    GOOG: $52b sales, $16.1b profit, p/e 21

    AMZN: $64b sales, $0.8b profit, p/e 318

    Obviously the market has a great deal of confidence in their ability to eventually generate sizeable profit, but I am not as sure...