CategoriesArchiveSearchRandom
View the archives

or

Search the archives
 

Archive for the 'quotes' Category

The Faces of Copyright

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Another case of IP law needing to be updated for the computer age…

Someone is suing movie studios over the copyright to characters which were created using facial contour mapping of actors onto CGI faces. the defence is arguing that this would be equivilant to Microsoft owning the copyright text written in Word or Adobe owning images made with Photoshop. of course the plaintiff disagrees:

”Generally, an author writes a book by typing every word into a Word document, and an artist creates a work of art by deciding on specific treatment of every pixel in a Photoshop file,” continues the brief. “But in neither case does their work provide input to software that synthesizes an original expression that is distinct from the author’s or artist’s input. … The core distinction between defendants’ analogies and the MOVA Contour program is the degree to which the output is the product of the effort of the program’s user versus the program itself. Where the program does the ‘lion’s share of the work’ in creating the output — as the complaint alleges the MOVA Contour program does here — the copyright in the output belongs to the programmer, not the end-user or the director.”

Lawyers of Rearden LLC in their brief as quoted in Hollywood Confronts a Copyright Argument With Potential for Mass Disruption [hollywoodreporter.com].<\cite>

I don’t buy the argument on grounds of common sense. The idea that the computer does the “Lion’s share of the work” crunching numbers implies that the binary math the CPU does, as instructed, is more valuable than all the other work done to produce a blockbuster film, or the work of the actor behind the CGI, stikes seems absurd. Computer programs do the Lion’s share of the work in so many aspects of the modern world.

Programers make programs to do things, people use the programs to do those things. If he wins then programer will own the world. 

Buy more ammo

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

“If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, quoted in Neglecting the State Department does real damage, in the April 29th, 2017 edition of The Economist

Death by Vice

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation.

Thomas Malthus [wikipedia.org] in An Essay on the Principle of Population

Scientific Method

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

This:

“Science is not a body of facts … Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

Marcia McNutt, quoted by Joel Achenback in Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? [nationalgeographic.com]

Also this, from the same article:

Scientific results are always provisional, susceptible to being overturned by some future experiment or observation. Scientists rarely proclaim an absolute truth or absolute certainty

Joel Achenbach, Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? [nationalgeographic.com]

The article is from 2015, but more relevant in the post-truth, alternative facts world.

Who Controls The Nukes?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Nuclear weapons are inherently dangerous. Handling them, using them, not using them, requires caution, care. Living as we do now with North Korea, Pakistani generals, jihadists, and who knows who’ll be the next U.S. president, the world is very, very lucky that at one critical moment, someone calm enough, careful enough, and cool enough was there to say no.

Robert Krulwich in You (and Almost Everyone You Know) Owe Your Life to this Man [phenomena.nationalgeographic.com]

That’s as close as National Geography gets to calling Trump insane.