Re: Blind to the facts...
You appear to be discussing copyright and trademark.
The court case was about patents.
These three things are not the same.
3071 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008
You appear to be discussing copyright and trademark.
The court case was about patents.
These three things are not the same.
I don't normally respond to cowards - it's not like The Register has a real name policy or anything, so I assume that people only do it because they don't want their response tied to their profile because they know that their response is ill thought out.
But yours is so staggeringly off-base I'll make an exception.
The problem is, most of these patents are so broad or so obvious that people cannot innovate. There cannot be any progression unless it come from Apple; and Apple have no interest in such progression as once you are in their walled-garden, you are ripe for the plucking.
I'll give you one example: rubber bounce. How the shuddering hell is that patentable? Number one, it's software; that should discount it immediately. Number two, it's simply a feedback to the user through the device's response mechanism; in the real-world it might be force-feedback or something. It is not patentable!
But now anyone who tries to do any kind of user feedback that in any way looks even vaguely like rubber-bounce will have the Apple attack-dogs on their arse. This does not help innovation.
Then there's all the swipe to unlock bullcrap. Look at you hands. Look at your friends' hands. They look the same, don't they? So, and I realise this is a crazy idea, you and your friends will find similar actions equally hard/easy. Anyone doing a UI/device design will make actions easy for you and given that all hands are roughly the same, the set of answers it going to be pretty limited so everything is going to look pretty similar. And Apple has been given a patent on it! How the hell can they get a patent on something for which there is only one (or a small number) of answers? The shouldn't be able to.
Oh, and swipe to unlock? I've been doing that on my garden gate for years. It's is a known mechanism and on the phone screen it happens to be easy. Maybe you'd like it if Samsung patented "arc signature" to unlock, where you use one hand and you thumb to describe an arc (moving back and forth to enter your "pin")? Wow! Is that innovation or what? No it bloody well isn't! There's only so many answer with a set number of digits.
Innovation comes, not from brand-new ideas but from incremental steps and it's these stupid patents that stop these incremental steps. After enough steps, then you'll get a genuinely new idea and thus a paradigm shift.
Apple needs to protect it's profits; fine. But society needs to protect itself as well, and granting idiotic patents is not the way to go about it. The PC market only came about after the incumbent's stranglehold had been broken. That's a stranglehold Apple currently holds over smartphones and tablets, and it will hold us back until someone in power grows a pair and fixes the problem.
I'll give you one more example. Who invented the electric lightbulb? Edison?
Wrong. There were already lightbulbs.
What Edison did was figure out how to do it better than everyone else at the time, now imagine one of those inferior bulb-makers held broad enough patents to crush Edison, where would we be now?
Where would we be if other people if other people had not taken Edison's work and improved upon it again?
This is what overly-broad/stupid patents prevent.
This is what you wish to prevent.
Apple have had enough time to make a decent profit from there ideas, they have moved from being the "Edison" to the "shitty bulb maker"; to get a better bulb, society requires that their vice-like grip on innovation be broken. Because when the other players come in, Apple will be forced to up their game. Then the consumer wins.
And it's not just Apple; it's Amazon, Sony, Microsoft etc.
Is the consumer through a lack of choice and the patent system stifles innovation. This lack of innovation and advancement hits the economy (and thus the consumer) again. The lock-in for various services lets incumbent gouge their users, hitting the consumer again. And so on and so on.
This should be the alarm call that the USA patent system needs a grassroots overhaul and lots of patents rescinded.
Apple can copyright their design, fine. That prevents passing-off.
They can patent truly innovative ideas/technologies, not some that is simple application of a business process or an existing real-world idea to an electronic device.
Everything else? Away and swivel.
Apple is the current whipping-boy for the shitting USA patent system but MS, Amazon etc are all equally guilty.
But, of course, we have been in this situation before. IBM thought it could keep a strangle-hold on PCs, it got raped by the clones. Apple's day will come and the same thing will happen. Then some other company will try the same thing (maybe a social media one) and they will become the latest whipping boy.
The cycle will repeat until someone fixes the problem, and the problem is in the USA and their abhorrent patents system. Their cancerous rot is spreading; it must be excised before we all suffer.
"Basing your measurement system on the genetic accident of how many digits you have on your hands is no way to go about things."
Whereas basing your measurement system on the genetic accident of how wide your thumb is makes *perfect" sense?
Any metric is superior to Imperial by the simple fact the scale is a consistent linear progression. Of course the current decimal metric is inferior to a duodecimal measuring system.
@AC 14:28 (Why do people use AC? It's not like El Reg has a 'Real Name' policy!)
It (probably) has to happen sometime and I will agree that the cost will be huge if done overnight, so don't do it over night. Have a transition period. And that period will take many years.
Are there better things to spend money on? Not really. Oh wait, you're going to say "hospitals" and "teachers" aren't you? The money doesn't go to them though, it goes to the PFI providers (just ask the hospitals going bankrupt). And we probably need fewer hospitals anyway - concentrate all the knowledge down into a few centres of excellence to improve patient care; or would you prefer that children needlessly die because their surgeons do so few operations that they are verging on the incompetent?
Maybe you'd rather spend it on the military? Oh whoops! Won't go to the front-line troops. It'll be trousered in PFI. Again. Or wasted on jets that are massively over budget and decades behind in development. Or compensation for cancelled contracts that were failing to deliver, or...
Police? Maybe, but in a few years time that'll be a huge PFI hole as well.
Trains? HAH! Do not start me on that corruption which is supported by our spineless regulator.
I could go on.
So in summary...spending the billions of finalising this nation as metric is one investment that might actually do something and not just enrich the money laundering, tax-evaders in the City.
@Random K - Simple. The blaring horns let you know when it's amber! :)
Either way, the septics should get with the programme and join the rest of us in the 21st Century.
And whilst they upgrade, can we please have our signs and limits change to km? Puh-leeze!
@LinkOfHyrule - You have seen the meat butchering and processing system they use in the USA? And you don't find it disgusting? You prefer the animals to suffer, for the carcasses to be cross-infected, for massive amount of chemicals to be used to deal with aforementioned infection vectors? And for the end product to be some over-sized, tasteless pap?
And you think the factory farming is somehow separate to the factory butchering?
That's why all the downvotes!
"Manmade meat" FFS. You think a broiler is natural? You need an education.
@Arctic fox - just because someone resorts to an ad hominem does not invalidate the rest of their statement. That's woolly thinking - sorry.
@Arthur 1 - I put it to you that the military would prefer a dead solider to a wounded one. A dead one only costs them the funeral. A wounded one needs medical treatment, potentially life-long support and can have a devastating morale impact on their comrades. This is why some weapons are deliberately design to maim rather than kill. It's a sick sad world.
As for this "douchebag" (nice ad hominem, by the way) it all depends on where you draw your moral line. There will be some jobs that would pay your mortgage which you would refuse to do on moral grounds; he's just asking you to think about where you draw that line.
The military pays for the development of the Remote Ultra-Kill 9000 Drone that can carry 14 Mega-death missiles and 5 Maim-o-matic bombs, plus laser targeting etc. It can fly for 24 hours and does not always need a remote pilot (it has UAV capabilities at auto-target recognition).
It is, in short, a very nasty piece of work and can wipe out entire villages without any help.
It can carry a payload, fly itself and find "targets"...change the payload and change the purpose. Rebranded as Cuddles-From-Above its brethren are now sent out to scan remote area for lost skiers, hikers etc and drop aid to them, as well as report their position. They patrol the coast looking for oil spills, people in distress etc. Maybe they have "Don't panic" painted on their underbellies?
And that, unfortunately, is the problem. We are a potentially violent species, we elect/promote psychopaths to seats of power (no really, we do) and thus our ability for violence and domination is valued above our other traits. You can see this everywhere and in everything; short-term gain Vs long-term gain - short-term always wins. Even winning a war is a short-term gain because the cycle will repeat. I give you...well...the Middle East at the moment.
It would be nice to live in La-la-land, but we are stuck here in reality for just a bit longer.
Careful there Mr Alter Ego. The People's Front for Facebook is on the prowl. ;-)
If 2. is false for FB T&Cs, then 2. is false on every website and every EULA. Ever.
Not saying I disagree with you assessment (and I am probably naive in assuming that people actually read the T&Cs), but the ramifications go way beyond FB.
I thought that when you uploaded to FB you granted them an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (inwhole or in part) and distribute?
Given that is the case, why are people getting upset? FB is just using what they gave FB in a manner they agreed to in FB's T&Cs. If they didn't like it, they shouldn't have agreed to the T&Cs.
@MrXavia - "and very complex algorithms I.E. Cryptology."
No. This is boils down to basic laws of physics or mathematical functions. You cannot patent these, or shouldn't be able to at least. Patents are a tool and unfortunately they are tool that is being badly misused at the moment. This is bad for society as there is a massive cost (through loss of innovation etc) and also a cost to those who have genuine things that are protected by patents as the patent system become devalued by utter crap.
"Look & Feel should definitely not be patentable or copyrightable"
Actually, I would say look&feel could be copyrightable as this would prevent people "passing off" a product as something it is not.
"Copyright IS important though, and personal copyright should last 50-70 years."
You are right about that being important, but I disagree over the term. 10 years is more than long enough. This does of course mean that the way artists are paid needs to change, no argument there; this is a change the media companies are still resisting as they know it is the end of their current business model.
@ukgnome - Fetching data cannot be patented if it is done in software. End of discussion. Yes, it really is that simple.
Same goes for business processes.
In fact we can reduce the whole patentability test to two simple questions:
1) Is it new/innovative/non-obvious?
2) Can you lick it?
If the answer to either one is "No", then whatever it is cannot be patented.
Is it software? Yes? It cannot be patented. End of discussion.
"If a mistake was made in that example, please say instead of downvoting."
That's not how it works. If you speak out against Apple, MS or FB the shills/fanbois appear and just downvote. Don't expect much in the way of correction or discourse. The shills hold a point of view based on faith, not on facts.
It's bursting it is.
I know SSH/telent used to be open but got closed down.
I'd rather connect my own device as the VM Superhub looks f-ugly, has the cables in the wrong place and is generally a bit crap. For relative values of exceedingly pish.
Heck, a wee RasPi, few USB widgets/daughter-boards and you have a router which kick the living hell out of the Superhub (and probably most other consumer-grade routers too).
It's just a NetGear box after all - is there anyway to put an alternative firmware on there?
Or is it so stripped down and basic that there would be no real point?
It's a shame VM will not let you connect your own device to their cable. Would solve so many issues.
(Yes, I know about modem-mode; not good enough)
@Bainshie - "Excessive speed, lane hogging, tail gating. All easily spotable and enforceable with simple positional data."
Umm...no. Not unless the computer has full vision of the road, knows the conditions and has an AI. Staying in one lane (even the 'wrong' one) can sometimes be the right thing to do. But I don't think you understand that.
"It the middle of the night on a motorway? Increase the [speed limit] by 10MPH."
So at night (reduced vision) you want to increase the speed? You are assuming that the road ahead is clear, yet people have a reduced distance they can see ahead and thus less time to react; or does your wonder device also have active radar? You are clueless.
"No more hit and runs. Increase safety, insurance claims made a LOT easier."
Bollocks. Cloning/Hacking and you seem to forget that older vehicles won't have them. Oh wait, you want mandatory fitment don't you? Won't work you pillock. Never mind the sheer cost involved, some vehicles cannot have speed control etc. How are you going to manage that on a carb'd m'bike; hmm? And you do understand that m'bikes make active use of engine speed when cornering don't you? A sudden change in power could be catastrophic.
"Do you drive for the F1/other racing competition? Same answer."
Have you ever actually watched any motor-racing of any kind? Racers do not necessarily make safe drivers.
"Also I never get this 'Late at night' argument. Last time I checked hitting a kid at 50MPH, the physics involved doesn't give a damn whether it's light outside or not....If anything you're more likely to have a incident due to the reduced traffic inducing a level of false security, and the reduced vision (40% of all fatal and serious injuries happen during this time, even though there is a 60% reduction in traffic)."
Yet you advocate raising the limit at night. Make your bloody mind up!
"Stop being a arse before you kill someone. You are the reason this kind of system needs to be put in place."
Just because you are incapable of following the rule of the road does not mean the rest of us are. Yes there are idiots, but there will always be idiots and I'd like to retain at least some semblance of freedom and dignity if you don't mind.
If you are so obsessively concerned about safety, then sell your personal transport and use PT. Statistically it is much safer. Otherwise....do hush-up and go back to taking the meds.
1) Cost of enforcement goes up you mean. Now each vehicle carries its own nanny-brain which will need servicing, will take energy to run and then you have all the infrastructure required for the massive surge in fines. Plus you still require Old Skool enforcement for older vehicles and those who by-pass your Orwellian wet-dream. Oh, and you have to pay for continual updates as the system gets hacked. Oh my yes, it sounds like a step-forward so far.
2) Indeed. So why don't we simply have more traffic police then? They are well known to catch more than just speeders (tail-gaters, lane hoggers, weavers, drunks, unsafe vehicles etc). Seriously, more traffic plod please!
And with a little imagination you wouldn't have to put use under the heel of the technocratic overlords.
We have these. They are called "trackers" (there's a variety of them). You know what they do? They track a vehicle when the owner wants it tracked. They are not spies.
People should already be driving to that they can stop in the distance they can see. You think a blip on the GPS will help? They'll just turn the stereo up. Increasing gadgetry does not increase intelligence. Also, we already have warning triangles etc and the brains to exit the vehicle and move to a safe location.
@Graham Marsden - Not so much that, but with the GPS data some suit will simply ask "Why don't we automatically fine people for speeding?", "Why don't we charge for actual road usage"?
These ideas have been kicked around before, and they will come around again. Ignoring the fact that we already pay for road usage (fuel duty) and that there are various questions over just how effective the draconian imposition of speed limits actually is.
Whoops! Was that the correct name? Clearly I am not as much of a frood as I thought I was.
They need to go totally opaque.
Can we add some more to the list?
Every major supermarket.
Every major bank.
Every major accountancy firm
Every major...you get the idea.
Well hear some noise, see a few headlines but sod all will change. Just the Working and Lower-middle classes getting it in the neck as always.
@mbdrake - Thanks. I am not familiar with the terms of Blinkbox and to me "stream" generally implies a one-time deal. The article made no mention of a license-in-perpetuity (as Ultraviolet grants).
Considering the other downsides of a stream-only option I still find it over-priced.
£18? Really? For a one-time viewing? And only on that service?
What planet are these buffoons on?
I'll await the box-set thanks.
@kb - If it bombs too badly people think "Sod this" and find something else. People are already getting bitten hard by lock-in (and one of those people is MS itself), so greater adoption of standards leads to portability.
New OS/Application/Widget doing your box in. Switch to one that behaves as you like.
There is a cost of switching obviously, but when pain-of-staying > cost-of-switching; then people switch.
And I think that will be the case for some folks who get lumbered with Win8.
That which we call a turd
By any other name would smell as rank;
@Nigel 11 - "That patent / copyright technique probably fails, for the same reason that anyone is allowed to make 3rd-party car exhausts that are (on the outside) exactly the same shape as the manufacturer's registered design. It's allowed, because no other shape is possible: if it were a different shape it would not fit the car."
It would be nice if such logic and common sense were applied to the world of IT. Unfortunately....
@P.Lee - "No, you buy premium and expect it to last longer without repair than non-premium."
This holds true if the premium being paid is for quality/durability. I don't think that is where the premium goes on Apple products. Instead it goes on design, marketing (selling you a lifestyle) and being a status symbol. It's the same reason (say) Gucci sunglasses cost way more than most other brands, despite the fact they do they exact same job and the other brands may be more durable/better made.
And it's the exact same with Ferrari - if you want durability, buy a Ford, Honda or Toyota. If you want a status symbol, buy the Ferrari.
We all love car/PC analogies, so here goes!
IMHO they should apply similar tests to cars, nothing it more annoying than being stranded because you need a garage to do what should be a simple job.
"Req 1: The driver must be able to change any bulb within 5 minutes. Only tools forming part of the standard toolkit may be used."
And so on.
For PCs/Laptops? How about something along these lines:
"Req 1: The owner must be able to replace the battery using standard, off-shelf tools within 10 minutes."
"Req 2: The owner must be able to replace the HDD with a standard driver within 10 minutes."
"Req 3: The owner must be able to upgrade/replace RAM within 5 minutes."
And then the kicker
"Owner repairs will not void any manufacturer warranty unless the manufacturer can prove that the owner acted below the level of a 'competent person'."
Or something along those lines at any rate. (Pretty much how it is with cars really)
A Dyson vacuum cleaner is expensive, but I can strip that myself to get at the offending part and replace it. No need for a repair engineer or anything.
...there are two points to not.
1) Head. Sure, a small flat-head might do it, but all they would have to do is re-jig a few of the spokes or make the design more curved to solve that. It also looks rather shallow, so not much purchase.
2) Thread. It does not look like a convention screw, much more rounded. This means that is the screw were drilled-out it would be hard to replace as normal screws probably won't work/hold with that thread shape.
Ah - but what about the fakes/pattern parts. Simple. Patent and copyright that design, then sue that arse out of anyone who is selling them to non-Apple bods. Apple is highly, highly litigious; so this is probably the path they'd choose.
If I was renting and iDevice, I wouldn't really care. If I rent a TV, fixing it is not my problem. But if I buy an iDevice then is in mine and I can do what I want with it. Or I should be able to.
Time for the regulators/consumer protection bodies to have a word with apple.
If this is true of course.
And seeing as they have the Demonoid account data - better be ready for that knock at your door. Err, I mean having your door kicked in.
@Dave 142 "Well theoretically looking after the customers means they want to buy your product and then the shareholders are happy."
Indeed - now who are MS's customers? OEMs? Service Providers? Enterprise? The great unwashed (i.e. consumers)?
I put it to you that it's the first two, with "enterprise" some way behind and "the great unwashed" barely registering. Simply because consumers do not rush out and by "a Windows". They buy "an Acer/Sony/Toshiba/ASUS" that happens to run Windows. MS do advertise to consumers, but only to drive customers to towards OEMs.
By selling their own hardware, MS are basically shoving two-fingers up to their biggest customers and playing a dangerous game as they are already a convicted monopolist. And before the fanbois start; I have a fairly dim view of Apple, although that is "less bad" as they are not a monopoly and have never had OEMs (beyond cloners whom they crushed).
My genuine hope is that enough OEMs take umbrage at this and start to release some of their devices with a different OS. Not because I am a bleeding-heart penguin-ista, but because there is no competition within the consumer space and thus very little innovation. Apple stuck the cat amongst the pigeons simply because it was not MS/Windows and could do things in a new way.
A further advantage beyond innovation is interoperability. If there are enough users of alternatives, all players get forced to interoperate (i.e. conform to standards) and this massively increases customer choice as well as improve longevity. And by "standards" I mean "publicly available and patent/copyright free"
At the moment we are stuck in a world of false choice. We can change the badge on the car, but the chassis and engines are all the same.
Incorrect. A company such as MS should be looking after the shareholders; looking after the customers would mean having a vibrant marketplace with open competition to drive innovation and keep prices in check, something MS has managed to long resist.
I really don't care what MS does with/against it's customers, I just hope the "riot" which ensues will see some break away from MSs vice-like grip and offer alternatives.
You know, a choice.
Something that would benefit the customer.
Yes MS, please keep this policy up! It is the best new in years. Hopefully by screwing your OEM partners over they will start to offer hardware with an OS that isn't Windows.
Then we might actually get to see some competition in the PC market!
Having some data on the cover might be handy (esp. if low/bo power e-ink type stuff). But then that has been done too, hasn't it? Think of the flip phones with a second screens etc.
Apple could copyright this design, sure, but patent?
No. Not IMHO.
There is a difference between holding a patent on whatever trickery that allows one to manufacture a flexible display (and there may be multiple solutions, so multiple patents with competing holders), and quite another on holding a patent on simply using a flexible display.
Once you have the flexi-tech, using it on a cover is rather obvious.
No streaming off the HDD? Fail. Not interested.
So the city dwellers (and lord, no less) have decided that the country bumpkins are incapable of deciding for themselves what they want and must be told. And we all have to pay for it. How nice. But, hark, what is this I see before me? b4rn
Maybe these peers are more concerned about local initiative hitting their share investments; are worried that the great unwashed may realised they can do things for themselves? Or could it be that the high-and-mighty just can't stream their grumble flicks fast enough when relaxing at their second mansion?
It amuses me so much that MS's proprietary lock-in on IE6 is now biting them hard on the ass.
...if possible migrate away from Windows altogether.
New Win8 kit may be locked down (UEFI).
Will it run Win9? Will Win9 even allow you to install it on non-Win9-locked-down kit?
Why take the risk?
Move away from the platform if at all possible.
Sticks and stones, sticks and stone.
If we were to exact the full extent of the law for every infraction we would be living in Hell. I can't comment on the threats (probably not credible) as those tweets are not public, but one would have thought public ridicule is more than adequate punishment for the insensitive comment.
If you want people to be arrested for comments like that, time to put Frankie Boyle et al in chains. Time to re-try Paul Chambers and find him guilty again. Time to...well, you get the idea.
So what has this kid done? Made a rather repugnant comment and some (unverified) threat. He's a dickhead. We don't have prisons big enough if we were to gaol all the dickheads.
...when did the UK outlaw being a dickhead?
There are a few issues with the SuperHub:
1) It is poorly designed. What is wrong with the idiot lights are the front and the cables at the back? Why is that blue LED on the front so freaki' bright? (I've tapped mine up)
2) Many "nice to have" features are missing (e.g. VPN) which could be solved by a firmware flash (which is what I would do, if it were my own router)
3) Provided router firmware is dreadful (needs a reboot after just about every change, PITA when trying to set-up a fine-grained configuration)
4) Updates are applied without prior notice or warning (ok, so that's more of a management issue)
That's about it really. The V+ box is pretty sucky and I don't think the TiVo would be much better to be honest (unless it allows streaming over the LAN; a feature that is sorely missing from the V+ unit). I don't like their bandwidth limits nor do I like the ridiculous OS-block they put on their catch-up service (they even block access to iPlayer via their catch-up service, even though it works perfectly; heck, they even block access to Help/FAQ!)
But you are right - by-and-large you get the advertised speed and the advertised service. The TV programming is largely terrible - but that is not really VM's fault.
"Why oh why do people persist in using Virgin Media?"
Because by-and-large it works? I'd prefer it if I could connect my own router, but that is my only real issue with their Internet service. I know about "modem mode" but that still means I have to use their crappy Netgear unit.
The train companies are isolated from the vagaries of demand, they just get the government (i.e. taxpayer) to cough up more to cover any loses (or "lower then predicted profits").
Demand for trains is relatively elastic despite the poor level of competition* as alternatives do exist (cycle, car, motorcycle, car, bus, car-share, taxi, foot; etc) and people will switch if they can.
Not so with energy. People might switch from one company to another, but the level of any reduction they can make is going to be slight unless they invest in insulation/more efficient equipment; so it remains easy to raise prices to cover the fixed costs without seeing much drop in demand. It's not as simple to just throw up a solar array and a wind generator as it is to change mode of transport. Thus demand for energy is relatively inelastic.
As I said - it's basic economics.
*Whether or not there should even be competition on the railways is a different question. In my opinion the experiment has failed and should be scrapped. It's not going to work in the NHS either - unless we are prepared to raise spending on health to the same levels as the USA (from ~8% to ~15%). Your MPs are working hard to impoverish you even more - but so longs as they get a fat directorship and the perks; they don't give a damn.