Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Copyright Removal Transparency Policy at Google Search: Official Google Blog Announces Policy of Providing Information About Copyright Removal Notices

The Official Blog of Google has announced
a new Copyright RemovalTransparency Policy
at Google Search.

Official Google Blog writes inter alia on May 24, 2012:
"Today we’re expanding the Transparency Report with a new section on copyright. Specifically, we’re disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content. We’re starting with search because we remove more results in response to copyright removal notices than for any other reason. So we’re providing information about who sends us copyright removal notices, how often, on behalf of which copyright owners and for which websites. As policymakers and Internet users around the world consider the pros and cons of different proposals to address the problem of online copyright infringement, we hope this data will contribute to the discussion."

Myths Exposed: Laziness Has Nothing to Do with Financial Woes in Some European Countries: Quite the Contrary: Productivity is the Key, Not Hours Worked

Work hard and be rich? Wrong. Otherwise slaves would rule the world.

Derek Thompson has a tremendous "think again" article at The Atlantic in Why Does the Laziest Country in Europe Work the Most?, writing inter alia:
"UK, Germany and Spain consider Greece to be the laziest country in Europe. Greece, on the other hand, voted itself the most industrious nation in the EU.

It turns out that the Greeks are right and the rest of Europe is wrong -- in a way. Greece is the hardest-working country in the EU -- and one of the hardest-working advanced countries in the world....

The missing key is productivity. Germans -- armed with large and scaled-up firms, low corruption, state-of-the-art technologies, financing opportunities, and smart global supply chain management -- get a lot more product out of each hour worked. So does the U.S."
See the revealing graph and chart at Thompson's article and start thinking about Europe's financial problems differently -- and more accurately. Poor countries are not lacking in industriousness, they are lacking in modern thinking.

The problem in countries with low productivity is to a large part "system"-caused, because people are backward and stick to outdated ideas and methods that are holding them back from being successful in the modern world. This applies not only to political, government and economic systems, but also to the thinking of citizens in general.

Look at America itself. One reason the USA is falling farther and farther back on the world economic and manufacturing scene, for example, is because of the entrenchment of much of American society in nostalgic and totally outdated ideas that have no place in the modern era.

Law and Wine: EU Wines Must Use Grapes or Grape Products from Within the European Union

Wine can not be made inside the European Union from grapes or grape products originating from outside the EU.

Well, that's the law.  Otherwise, wines made from or punched with non-EU foreign grapes or grape products would flood the European market and reduce EU wine quality standards. Of course, non-EU wines from foreign grapes or grape products can be imported, as "non-EU" country wines. We see nothing wrong with this European Union regulation. Europe is still the world's leading place for "quality counts".

Stephen Castle has the story at the New York Times in

When Is a Wine Not a Wine? When European Regulations Say It’s Not

This Year Mercator has Het Woord in Sint-Niklaas Belgium on His 500th Birthday

We greet all of our friends in Sint-Niklaas and Waasmunster
in this year 2012, the 500th Birthday of Mercator!

Copyright © 2004 by ANDIS KAULINS

The Sculpture Het Woord "The Word"
leads us to the Market Square in Sint-Niklaas
which is said to be the largest in Europe

Het Woord The Word Sculptur Sint-Niklaas Belgium
Het Woord "The Word", Sculpture, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

"Het Woord" The Word and the Market Square of Sint-Niklaas
with the Townhall (Stadhuis) and the
Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwkerk) in the background

"The Word", Our Lady Church, Town Hall, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Quiet Market Square on a normal day, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Market Square Sint-Niklaas

Market Square but no Market, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Bustling Market Square on Market Day, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Market Square Sint-Niklaas

Market Square and Market Day, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwkerk), a city landmark

Our Lady Church Sint-Niklaas Belgium
Church of Our Lady, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

This is the House Cock at the Mercator Museum
It crowed when we were there - perhaps it is the soul of Mercator

House Rooster Mercator Museum
Mercator Museum, House Rooster, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

The Statue at Regentieplein next to the Mercator Museum

Regentieplein Sint-Niklaas Belgium
Regentieplein near the Mercator Museum, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Go To: Mercator Museum Pages for
photos of the Mercator Museum by Andis Kaulins

Return To: Main Mercator Museum Page

Mercator Museum Photos by Andis Kaulins, LawPundit

Copyright © 2004 by ANDIS KAULINS

The Mercator Museum Entrance

Mercator Museum Sint-Niklaas Belgium

Mercator Museum Entrance, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

The Mercator Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, 1541 and 1551

Mercator Terrestrial Globe 1541
Mercator Terrestrial Globe, 1541, Mercator Museum, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Mercator Celestial Globe 1551

Mercator Celestial Globe, 1551, Mercator Museum, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Old Map of the World

Mercator Museum Old World Map

Mercator Museum, Old Map of the World, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Old World Map

Mercator Museum Old World Map

Mercator Museum Old World Map, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

The Interior of the Mercator Musuem uses Astronomy
The Mercator "Leo"

Mercator Museum Leo

Mercator Museum Interior, Astronomical Leo, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Kaulins with Mercator

Mercator with Kaulins Sint-Niklaas

Kaulins with Mercator, Mercator Museum, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Go To: Sint-Niklaas Photos for
photos of the Sint-Niklaas by Andis Kaulins

Return To: Main Mercator Museum Page

Mercator the Magnificent Turns 500 Years Old: GERARDUS MERCATOR RUPELMUNDANUS

This posting is adds to our past two postings on Mercator. We take this material from Two more postings follow.

The cartographer Mercator is historically the world's most famous maker of maps. Everyone interested in maps and the science of cartography should visit the Mercator Museum in Belgium in the charming city of Sint-Niklaas with the largest market square in Europe, just south of Antwerp. We are not affiliated with the museum in any way, but we include below materials from the museum which we obtained upon our visit to it in the year 2004.

Gerard Mercator Museum
Etching from the Sint-Niklaas Mercator Museum brochure
Stedelijke Musea, Regentiestraat 61-63, 9100 Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Tel. +32-(03) 777-29-42 or Tourist Office Tel. +32-(03)-777-26-81

Sint-Niklaas Belgium
Map Section of Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
The entrance to the museum is from Zamanstraat. Opening hours all year long are:
2-5 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


Sint-Niklaas Municipal Museums
M. Mengels/14/01/02

The commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Gerard Mercator's death on 2 December 1594, was the impetus for the renovation of the museum, which was reopened on 26 March 1994.

The Mercator Museum allows the visitor to become acquainted both with the rich Mercator collection of the Royal Archaeological Society of the Land of Waas, the most important one in Belgium, as well as with modern day cartographic techniques.

The permanent exhibition is set up like a triptych:
1/ history of cartography : an historical stroll through the ever-changing worldview;
2/ Mercator's treasure chamber: globes, maps and atlases by Mercator and his successors;
3/ modern cartography in Belgium (from 1831 through to present day).

As a means of introduction, it is made clear to the visitor what a map actually is and what knowledge is needed in order to make a map. Here, terms such as projection, scale, geodetic net are explained.

The history of cartography before Mercator is sketched with the use of examples of maps from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the age of discoveries.

Arrived in the 16th century, the visitor is confronted with a choice selection from the works of
Gerard Mercator.

Gerard Mercator was born as Gerard de Cremer in Rupelmonde on 5 March 1512. He always signed his work as Gerardus Mercator Rupelmundanus. In 1530, he registered himself at the university in Louvain, where he studied the humanities, and received the degree of 'magister artium' in 1532. After a short stay in Antwerp, he returned to Louvain in 1535 and began studying mathematics, under the tutelage of Gemma Frisius, and made scientific instruments, in order to earn a living.

In 1537, he published his first map, which was immediately successful: a map of Palestine, meant to illustrate texts from the Bible. The following year, he published a small map of the world in double heart-shaped projection.

Mercator acquired a name with his Map of Flanders in 1540, that was dedicated to the emperor Charles and which was quite accurate owing to the triangulation method.

The most highly prized pieces of the historical section are without a doubt the original terrestrial and celestial globes, made by Mercator in 1541 and 1551 respectively, and which were restored for the occasion of the Mercator year.

In the meantime, Mercator went through hard times: in 1544, he was imprisoned for seven months in the Rupelmonde citadel on accusation of heretic sympathies.

He left Louvain in 1552 and settled in Duisburg on the Rhine, where he produced his most important cartographic works.

One of the first masterpieces that saw the light of day here in 1554 was a map of Europe, a milestone in the history of cartography. On a astronomical-mathematical basis, he improved on the work of Ptolemy, whose vision had determined the world picture up to the 16th century. In 1569, the world map 'Ad usum navigatium' or 'for the use of the sailors' made its appearance, which was Mercator's last map in large format and the first (and only) map on which he used the cylindrical projection bearing his name. With this, it was possible for sailors to chart their course on the map as a straight line.

In the years that followed, Mercator tried to achieve his life's dream: the publication of a Cosmography, a synthesis of the history of heaven and earth.

The name of Mercator will always remain linked to the publication of the Atlas, a cartographic overview of the modern world. The first part appeared in 1585, the third and final one not until 1595, after Mercator's death. Together with the monumental wall maps, these and other publications give a picture of Mercator's versatility.

The collection is completed by a series of Mercator-Hondius atlases, published by Jodocus Hondius after Mercator's death on the basis of the latter's work.

After the division of the Netherlands in 1585, the centre of cartography moved to Amsterdam. The visitor continues on his way past splendid original maps from the 17th century and following that, gets acquainted with famous cartographers from the Austrian and French period (de Ferraris, Delisle).

In the 19th century, our own national cartography was created, of which the evolution up to present day is the subject of the 'Modern cartography' section, established in co-operation with the National Geographic Institute in Brussels. Whereas the first and second panels could be filled in by delving into the rich collections of the Royal Archaeological Society of the Land of Waas, completed with a limited number of lent items, for the development of a 'Modern Cartography' section, the city council had to fully rely on co-operation from third parties from outside of the region.

Through the Mercator year, close contacts developed between the city council and the National Geographic Institute, which as a federal public service institution delivers a whole range of cartographic and geodetic products and services, and as such, appeared to be the ideal partner for further expanding the already existing Mercator Museum. On 30 November 1995, an agreement of co-operation was signed by the city council and the National Geographic Institute, in which the N.G.I, lends on a long-term basis about 70 (mainly maps, plans, apparatus) and the city council commits itself to supplying the infrastructure necessary to exhibit this material.

This section makes it clear which steps the N.G.I. has taken since its foundation in 1831 under the name 'Dépot de la Guerre', to become the establishment that today delivers a whole range of cartographic and geodetic products, assisted by state-of-the-art techniques.

Original maps, plans, equipment and instructive panels illustrate the evolution from the very first military 'ordnance survey maps', surveyed in the field, via aerial photography up to the cartographic databanks of today. Terms such as GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System) and teledetection all belong here, just as the contribution by various Flemish companies active in this high-tech sector.

The exhibition makes it clear that besides being a science in full evolution, cartography is also an everyday aid for anyone going on a trip, far away or close to home, with uses in many fields and with a variety of activities in our society. In the exhibition, we literally broaden our field of vision and look into space from where satellites transmit information about ourselves and our planet.

The world on a map: an unsolvable problem?

Since it was discovered that the earth is round, cartographers have been wrestling with the unsolvable problem that it is impossible to correctly put the world on a map. In order to make the museum visitor aware of this problem, he can first get acquainted with diverse cartographic illustrations or map projections.

Period from 1831 to 1940
The start of the official Belgian cartography

The official cartography in Belgium started in 1831 with the establishment of a 'Dépot de la Guerre', which was commissioned to research and gather existing map material and to prepare maps for war-time operations, a clearly military task. For years, and even up to this day, the official topographical map has been known as the 'ordnance survey map'. However, the activities of this establishment increased, equally in the scientific realm as well as that of measuring, drawing and printing. The Depot was thus renamed to the Military Cartographic Institute (1878). In this period, the first large scale basic map was worked on, supported by scientific data, for which all sorts of measurements were taken in the field and frames of reference were established.

After W.W. II, the Institute was not only transformed to the Military Geographic Institute, but they also switched over to a totally different technique, namely aerial photo-topography. Since 1976 and up to present day, the establishment works under the name 'National Geographic Institute'. As a federal public service establishment, the National Geographic Institute publishes, besides the official topographic basic map, a whole range of cartographic and geodetic products and services, making use of the most advanced techniques.

Period from 1947 to 1988
The aerial photo between reality and map

Since 1947, topographic maps have been produced with the use of aerial photos. Maps, photos and apparatus from the N.G.I, archives make each step of the whole aerial photo and topographic map process clear for the visitor. Getting the basic map ready to print to a scale of 1:25,000 is a tremendous amount of work. In order to overlap the whole country, 237 sheets were worked out in the period from 1947 to 1970. Maps to other scales are derived from the basic map. Through means of generalisation, maps to a scale of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000 were produced.

Cartography of the 90's
The basic map today to a scale of 1:10.000

In 1988, the computer made its entry into the world of cartography. The editing and processing of aerial photos has been thoroughly changed. The recorded pictures are digitalised and the geographic information can be processed into a map or a digital databank.

In addition to the National Geographic Institute, a number of Flemish companies, active in the cartographic sector, also display their products in this panel of the exhibition.

The cartography of the '90's cannot get along without terms such as GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System), Navstar (Navigation satellite system).

GIS: a map for everything - everything on a single map
Geographic information from computer to the map

A map offers insufficient possibilities for clearly presenting all information about three-dimensional objects (ground, undergrowth, habitats and inhabitants, etc.). The legibility and the precision suffer. A computer-controlled system was developed to file, manage and analyse the three-dimensional information.

GPS: the position precisely determined

The star navigation system -GPS Navstar- enables every user to determine via satellite his position, speed and time, at any moment, anywhere on earth and regardless of the atmospheric conditions. The space segment consists of 24 satellites in 6 orbits at an average height of approximately 20,000 km. The N.G.I, calls on the satellite system in order to determine with extreme accuracy the co-ordinates of places.

Nowadays, the hiker in the mountains, the yachtsman or the rally driver can also purchase a receiving unit with which he can very easily determine his position. The GPS receivers are also built into vehicles, in combination or not with a board computer.

Teledetection: more than an aerial photo

Every phenomena on earth has the characteristic of transmitting or reflecting electromagnetic radiation, according to its own individual pattern and with a specific strength. Through this, individual phenomena can be distinguished from one another. Teledetection contains all the techniques with which, based on this characteristic, data about far away phenomena can be recorded.

Through teledetection, one can trace such phenomena as air pollution, deforestation and the formation of desserts. The growth of cities and urban areas, changes in the use of ground and natural resources can also be better detected.

Opening hours:
Thursday to Saturday: from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. closed Monday - Groups also by appointment Opened all year long

Admission price:
2,50 € for individual visitors
Groups and those entitled to reduction: 2,00 € per person
Schools: 1,50 € per pupil

Guided tours upon request
Information: tel. +32-(0)3-777.29.42; fax +32-(0)3-766.50.57

Go To: Mercator Museum Photos for
photos of the Mercator Museum by Andis Kaulins

Go To: Sint-Niklaas Photos for
photos of Sint-Niklaas by Andis Kaulins

Geeks Hail to the Wise Greeks! Who Invented the Gimbal? Even for a Two-Thousand-Year-Old Invention, the USPTO is STILL Granting Patents

What is the difference between a gyroscope and a gimbal?
The Wise Geek knows. Or should we say the "wise Greek" knew?


Gimbal with 3 Axes of Rotation

The gimbal, referred to in the previous LawPundit posting, is such an essential invention that we thought it would be pure oversight if modern tech companies were not claiming that THEY invented the gimbal, as they are doing with most everything else for which prior art stretches back thousands of years, like rectangles with rounded corners used for communication.

The Wikipedia writes about the gimbal:
"The gimbal was first invented by the Greek inventor Philo of Byzantium (280–220 BC)". [surely based on prior art even then, for nothing is created in a vacuum, but is a product of its time]
But wait, we spoke TOO SOON in assuming gimbals and/or gyroscopes are not being patented in our modern age. Of course they are being patented. How foolish of us to think otherwise.

In fact, as a quick search of Google Patents showed, the USPTO has been granting gimbal viz. gyroscope patents left and right for years, as one can see from the list at Free Patents Online at

"Representative Image [we love this "invention", gimballed gyroscopes in series for aircraft wings]:

View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
6305647Method and apparatus for steering the attitude of a satellite
Defendini et al.
6131056Continuous attitude control that avoids CMG array singularities
Bailey et al.
5931421Arrangement for attitude control and stabilization of a three axes stabilized spacecraft
Surauer et al.244/165
5628267Oscillation suppression device and ship provided with the same
Hoshio et al.114/122
5437420High torque double gimbal control moment gyro
5259571Aircraft with gyroscopic stabilization system
4608874Gyroscope apparatus rotating casing for a rotor
4573651Torque orientation device
4387513Aircraft body-axis rotation measurement system
4052654Gyro stabilized inertial reference system with gimbal lock prevention means
Kramer et al.
3941001Gimbal control mechanism
Kukel et al.244/1
3158340Gyroscopic control apparatus
3143892Inertial platform
3003356Free-gyro systems for navigation or the like
2811043Vertical reference and acceleration apparatus
2591697Stable reference apparatus
2493015Gyro antitumbling device
2158180Gyroscopic steering apparatus

Such are the modern "inventions" of mankind in the patently mad patent trolling age, where most "inventions" or "discoveries" are often merely minor "tweaks" or "applications" of prior art, not just here, but nearly everywhere. At least here one can see the high tech element as modern aircraft needing tweaked gyros and gimbals. We applaud the inventors! But we would greatly reduce patent protections and rewards for what are, in essence, foreseeable progressions of what already existed long before in terms of available technology.

Gerhard Mercator 500th Birthday Celebration Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, March 4 to August 26, 2012

Only 500 years ago? Amazing, given where technology is today.
Where would America and the law be without our knowing where we are?
Without Mercator, the Pilgrims and Puritans might have landed in Cuba.

As written at the Wikipedia:
"Gerardus Mercator (born 5 March 1512 in Rupelmonde, died 2 December 1594 in Duisburg, was a cartographer... remembered for the Mercator projection world map, which is named after him. This proved very useful to many later navigators who could (using his map) sail across the entire ocean on approximately straight paths (called rhumb lines)....

Mercator took the word atlas to describe a collection of maps, and encouraged Abraham Ortelius to compile the first modern world atlas – Theatrum Orbis Terrarum – in 1570".
The 500th Birthday of Gerhard Mercator is being celebrated this year in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium from 4 March to 26 August 2012. See

Here is a world globe with a so-called Cardan supsension (correctly a gimbal set) made by hand by a friend of mine who passed away some years ago, Ernst Kammrath (go to that link for construction essentials).

The Kammrath Globe

The Kammrath Globe and the late Ernst Kammrath

More on Mercator in coming LawPundit posts.

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