Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Proposed European Data Protection Measures Destined To Confound USA and Put the Whammy on Misuse of Personal Information by Commercial Interests

Natasha Singer has the story at the Bits blog at the New York Times in

Tougher European Data Protection Measures Proposed by a Member of the European Parliament.

The new proposed regulations foresee a penalty that is destined to put the fear of God back into corporate board rooms. As Singer writes about the new draft regulation on the protection of citizens' data privacy:
"And it comes with a big stick: Companies that violated the rule would be liable to penalties of up to 2  percent of worldwide revenues."
Really, folks, what a much better way to finance government than the evil of taxation!

I mean, if Apple can obtain a $ 1 billion patent infringement judgement for a PONG-reminiscent rubber-band-like software-programmed "bounce-back" and thus keep legitimate competition from entering the country, and if Carnegie Mellon can obtain a $1 billion judgement for a simple decoding of "signal-dependent functions" without even having to identify them, then what is to keep governments from filling their tills with innovative -- yea, indeed, patent-protection worthy -- ideas for financing all the services that taxpayers need and want but complain about as being unwillingly financed via taxation.

Every time one of these companies misuses YOUR data for profit - WHAM! - up to 2% of their worldwide revenues goes into government ownership. Let us be frank. That is virtually a financial lock and the end of financial woes for the cash-strapped governments of the world -- and that seems to be nearly all of them.

If only ....

Sadly, reality will strike, and commercial interests will continue to exploit OUR data more and more for THEIR profit.

Why is it that WE, the PEOPLE, permit that?

To Define, or Not to Define, A Software Patent, But Where is the Line?

Everyone is FOR or AGAINST software patents ... but what are they? How about a definition?

Dr. Mark A. Summerfield tackles the dragon at Patentology in 'Software Patents' – A Problem of Definition?.

Carnegie Mellon v. Marvell Leads to Another $1 Billion Patent Jury Verdict

Dennis Crouch at Patently-O
reports on Carnegie Mellon v. Marvell: Another $1b verdict.

Again, the question is, why work?

Train your children in patents, parents!

Here is the "invention" whose patent was infringed, as Crouch writes:
"Apparently a key distinguishing factor from the prior art is that the decoding functions used are "selected from a set of signal-dependent functions." The asserted claims do not identify the particular functions used, only that functions are used."
As one comment there put it, there is of course some question here about the patent eligibility of the subject matter....

Or, as another comment observed, is it enough to obtain patent protection to "take some signals and perform a specific mathematical process on them." ?

On the other hand, this is a great way to fill university bank accounts, and, indeed, the verdict, as Crouch notes, is larger than CMU's endowment! All those inveterate scientists and innovators out there need money!

So, to greet 2013, we can affirm that the patently absurd patent train locomotive is still going forward with full force.

Legal Threats Shut Down Science Fraud Whistleblower Site

Bill Frezza has the story at Forbes in A Barrage Of Legal Threats Shuts Down Whistleblower Site, Science Fraud, writing:
"Fraud, plagiarism, cherry-picked results, poor or non-existent controls, confirmation bias, opaque, missing, or unavailable data, and stonewalling when questioned have gone from being rare to being everyday occurrences."
Well, we have been writing for decades that mainstream science functions according to the same system as organized crime, and we are surely not far wrong. VERY effective system against outsiders.

"Science" is a big money business.

What is "true" as a matter of mainstream scientific doctrine is not determined by the best probative evidence, but rather by who holds the reigns of power, and that is determined by who has the money and holds the purse strings.

This reminds us of the work of Imre Lakatos. As we have written previously at LawPundit:
"Lakatos is known particularly for his idea that the "basic unit" of science is not scientific theory but rather the research program, which propagates itself through increased funding over competition and through growing content, i.e. increased publication, which is a direct result of the CONTROLLED peer review publication process."
There is of course no doubt that science will be more carefully scrutinized in the future as the digital era takes its course and as more and more people obtain access to information generally, including materials about how the world of science works, what it actually produces and who it benefits.

Remember that intellectual property law (patents, copyrights, trademarks) reminds us continuously that science and knowledge are businesses first.

Read these links ... and prepare to get out your wallet. QED.

Locked in the Ivory Tower: Why JSTOR Imprisons Academic Research, by Laura McKenna at The Atlantic

Or try The Hubris of Science: Defending the Scientific Process From Political Agendas

It might be an interesting article, who knows, but you have to pay to read it.

Well, there is nothing wrong with that. But mainstream scientists want to have it both ways. They want to set themselves off as a knowledge elite not subject to the normal vagaries of the world rat race, but cash in while they are at it, which shows you the actual nature of the game.

Money. Money. Money.

Illegal Immigrants Fund Medicare and Social Security With No Hope of Benefits

Kimber Solana reports that Illegal Immigrants Give Billions to Medicare, Social Security With No Hope of Benefit.

Many illigal immigrants pay payroll taxes. That includes contributions to Social Security and Medicare, often via false Social Security numbers. They are paying, but get no coverage.

Critics argue that illegal immigrants cost more than they contribute, but the fact is that illegal immigrants thrive in the country because they provide cheap labor to agriculture and industry, who take them, and pay them.

It is the middle classes -- who lose those jobs to cheap labor -- who suffer, not the upper echelons who profit from such cheap labor, whether at home or abroad.

If wages around the world were "fair", there would be no cheap labor and everyone would be paid what they are worth. But exactly the reverse is the case.

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