"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

About Those Alleged Black Holes in Space: New Research Says They Do Not Exist

We have long been skeptical about theoretical black holes in space because they confound logic.

Real science must be based on evidence.

New research has provided evidence that black holes -- in the model propagated over the last decades -- simply do not exist.

American Values: See Jason L. Riley of the WSJ on Upward Mobility, Monument-Downing, Race Relations and Values

It is VALUES that count in the long run, which has long been forgotten [not just in the USA]. Jason L. Riley has a seminal piece on race relations and values in America in light of recent monument-downing turmoil. To turn the ship back on course, one must return to the proven values.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Says Trump May Yet Become a Good President if He is Willing to Learn and Change

Drudge Now reports that San Francisco's legendary left-wing politician Dianne Feinstein thinks that Donald Trump could become a good President if he is willing to learn and change.

“The question is whether he can learn and change,” Feinstein told the crowd at the Commonwealth Club event. “If so, I believe he can be a good president.”

Monday, August 28, 2017

Zakaria at CNN on Why Trump Won

To better understand what is going on in America politically, it is instructive to read Zakaria at CNN on Why Trump won and what aspects of that Presidential election win remain intact as strong forces in US politics.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 Cabriolet Concept Convertible

See the fabulous Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 Cabriolet Concept Convertible at RobbReport.

Donald Trump is an Economic Motor for the New York Times

Trump is proving to be a motor for an economic resurgence of the New York Times. No fake news here.

As written at CNBC:

"After posting strong earnings Thursday, The New York Times Company shares have surged to a nine-year high.

The company has seen a sharp increase in digital subscriptions, largely attributed to the "Trump effect," since last November's election."

Journalism is a business. To put it bluntly, in a real straight "news article" rather than a derogatory opinion piece, the boys and girls at the New York Times might consider ALSO thanking Donald Trump for being good for THEIR business and livelihood.

The reality of "the news" is somewhat different than the frequently partisan and oft biased reporting world. All things have varied aspects.

Or, in other words, let's keep things in a balanced perspective, folks.

Just sayin'.

Drones from MIT Can Track Warehouse Inventory

See MIT Drone Fleets Track Warehouse Inventory.

Hat tip to CaryGEE

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Online and Other Image Use: Creative Commons Licenses Explained by Jonathan Appleby of Copytrack (copy of an email distribution received August 24, 2017)

Creative Commons Licenses Explained

by Jonathan Appleby of Copytrack (jonathan.appleby@copytrack.com )

(Please note that LawPundit is not affiliated with Copytrack, but reproduces their August 24, 2017 email in the public interest. This is not a paid ad.)

"If you are a hobby photographer, an ambitious newcomer or a Flicker user, you might already know a lot about the Creative Commons licenses (CC licenses). However, what exactly is meant by this type of license often remains unclear. Copytrack is going to break it down. It helps to understand how the license works and what needs to be considered when using it. If applied correctly, the CC licenses are a clever and quick way to license your images for free.

The company behind the licenses is a non-profit organisation which offers easy-to-create, templated license contracts for the rights holder to share their protected work. Put simply, these license contracts are generally accepted license contracts which regulate the most important questions around the usage of copyright protected works. The so-called CC licenses are standardised and can be applied internationally.

There are currently four versions of the six different licensing agreements. The work can essentially be offered for free. Every time the image is used an attribution has to be given. No matter what, the licenses are irrevocable. That means: whoever receives the image with the license to start with can carry on using, even if the photographer changes their mind later on.

To mark a work with a CC license, there is a symbol and a bookmark that quickly allows the user to know if they can use the image. The licenses themselves vary. Three significant points have to be made: the permission to edit the work, how to pass derivates of the work to someone else, and the ability to use the image commercially, are the three main terms of the CC licenses. In the following we list the abbreviations that are used for CC licenses:

Depending on the combination of CC licenses the terms of licenses can change. A licensee can edit the image and freely use it for commercial purposes when it’s marked with “CC BY-SA”. Any new works created from the image must be shared with the same CC license. An unedited version of the picture can be used for free non-commercially when marked with “CC BY-NC-ND”. To help you better understand we have created a list of all the possible combinations:

AttributionThis is the most common license. Users are only obliged to mention the general, above-mentioned information. It is allowed to copy, display and edit the work.CC BY-SA Attribution & Share AlikeWhen using this license, the user can share the image, but only when the image retains its original license.CC BY-ND Attribution & no editingWorks with this license can be copied, distributed, but never edited. The licensee also has to give an attribution to the creator.CC BY-NC  
Attribution, non-commercial usagesThe image user can copy, edit, and share the work, only for non-commercial purposes. The licensor has to be attributed.CC BY-NC-SA Attribution, non-commercial usages, & share alikeThis license states that the image cannot be used commercially. It also implies the image cannot be edited and it can only be shared under the original license. As always, the image user must attribute the creator.CC BY-NC-ND Attribution, non-commercial usages & no editingWith this license, the image user cannot edit the image. The image cannot be used commercially and attribution must be given.

There are no other possible combinations! When you need help to find the appropriate license for your purposes go to https://creativecommons.org/choose/ for an application form, and with a just few clicks you can find the right license.

Watch out when using images with Creative Commons Licenses

It is quite clear that all CC licenses require an attribution. According to the license terms, however, it is not sufficient to specify only the photographer's name. If known, the user must state:

The name (or the pseudonym, if any) of the rights holder, usually the photographer If the proprietor has made an attribution to a third party (e.g., to a foundation, a publishing house or a newspaper), the name or name of that third party The title of the photograph A link to the source of the photograph, provided the licensor has specified it or to the photographer The name under which license the photo is offered Changes made by the user to the photo 

Here is an example of how a full attribution can look like: "Image XY" [link to image source] by Sam Davies, desaturated and trimmed by Monika Hurst, licensed under CC BY [link to license].

The CC licenses are not clear in some areas. For example, "commercial use" is not explained in detail. It is only stated that a commercial use is an act that aims at a business advantage. This wording consciously creates legal uncertainty to cover a wide range of meanings. At the same time, this wording creates a legal uncertainty. For the evaluation of the license, the image usage is the focus. The definition does not focus on where the image is being used.

Our tip: Creative Commons licenses are a great way for photographers to provide their photos to third parties. Through their application, the photographer creates legal certainty for himself or herself and for the image-user, which ultimately gives him or her a better possibility of sharing the work. With the mandatory attribution, a picture passed with a CC license also helps to promote the photographer.

Jonathan Appleby, Oranienburger Straße  4, 10178 Berlin
jonathan.appleby@copytrack.com, Tel: 00 49 30 809 332 962

About Copytrack:

Copytrack (www.copytrack.com) was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt and currently employs around 25 people from legal, IT, customer service and finance. The service supports photographers, publishers, image agencies and e-commerce providers. It includes a risk-free search of the global Internet for image and graphics data uploaded by users at Copytrack are found with a hit accuracy of 98 per cent. The customers define if images are used without a license and even determine the amount of subsequent fees supported by an automatic license calculator on the portal. Copytrack is fully responsible for an out-of-court solution in over 140 countries as well as a legal solution in the areas relevant to copyright law. If the image has been successfully licensed, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The pure search function is free of charge.

The following files are available for download:

Creative Commons Licences Explained"

Leaders Deserve Respect Says German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, says lawfully elected leaders deserve respect commensurate with the responsibilities of their office. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-23/friends-or-not-merkel-says-trump-deserves-respect-as-president

Wall Street Journal Chief Editor Lashes Out at Phony Journalism and Fake News Reporting

As reported at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Chief Editor Gerard Baker lashed out at phony journalism and fake news reporting.

Right on Gerard !

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The European Court of Justice Rules Torrent Site Pirate Bay Infringes Copyrights

We are a bit late on this important intellectual property court case decision in Europe, as the European Court of Justice has ruled that torrent site Pirate Bay infringes copyrights.

The case will probably harken the end of provider sites that knowingly enable media pirating by torrent streaming or otherwise.

See The Guardian at

Monday, August 07, 2017

Preseason College Football Ratings & Rankings NCAA Division I FBS 2017-2018 by SportPundit

Preseason College Football Ratings & Rankings NCAA Division I FBS 2017-2018 by SportPundit

Our preseason college football ratings and rankings for the 130 teams now in NCAA Division I FBS 2017-2018 are based primarily on our final college football rankings for the 2016-2017 college football season, as made after the completion of the bowl games and playoff games.

Past seasons show that position changes in team rankings from one season to the next are not that great on average, although there are always exceptions, and that keeps it interesting.

Our system is based on net average yards per play stats, which we calibrate primarily by adjusting for schedule difficulty. Other adjustments can also be made (*=adjustment). We take the cumulative yards per play stat data from cfbstats.com or college and university football athletic pages online, as linked below for each team.

Caveat emptor (Buyer beware): We make this material available in good fun out of interest for the sport of college football. Please do not rely on our material to place bets or wagers of any kind. No one knows the exact outcome of a game or a season before it is played and that is what makes it so interesting. We disclaim any and all liability for the consequences of anyone relying in any way upon our postings, analysis, links or reasoning -- for which we make no warranty of accuracy. May the best team win.

Preseason College Football Rankings FBS 2017-2018 by SportPundit
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
Preseason RANKING 2017-2018 by Sport Pundit TEAM
NAYPPA= net average yards per play advantage offense over defense, 2016-2017, stats from cfbstats.com (our calculation) yards per play offense via cfbstats.

per play
via cfbstats.

Schedule difficulty based on Massey Ratings, Sagarin,
& our ratings of average rank of opponents
x 3 / 100 is deducted from NAYPPA (*=adjusted)
Won-loss record (W-L) for the past 2016-2017 season - with 0.2 rating points deducted
per loss)
Post-Bowl 2016
-2017 Team Rating
Sport Pundit
3Ohio State1.76.024.3620*11-2+0.7
7Penn State1.56.505.0420*11-3+0.3
9LSU 2.06.714.7630*8-4+0.3
12Florida State1.2 6.455.2720*10-3+0.0
17Washington State0.16.116.040***8-5-0.9
19Texas A&M0.86.375.5525*8-5-0.9
20Virginia Tech0.75.734.9925*10-4-0.9
21North Carolina1.36.645.3740*8-5-0.9
22Miami (Florida)1.76.434.7560***9-4-0.9
23Oklahoma State0.86.735.9340*10-3-1.0
24Georgia Tech0.86.535.7640*9-4-1.2
25West Virginia0.96.425.5650*10-3-1.2
26Kansas State0.05.745.7715***9-4-1.2
29San Diego State1.66.484.9080*11-3-1.4
31South Florida1.37.175.8280**11-2-1.5
33Western Michigan0.86.665.8270*13-1-1.5
35North Carolina State0.65.755.1335*7-6-1.6
36Western Kentucky 2.57.655.20120*11-3-1.7
41Boise State1.66.845.2095***10-3-1.9
44TCU0.66.085.5140*6-7 -2.0
46Michigan State0.15.645.5310*3-9-2.0
48Appalachian State*10-3-2.0
52Notre Dame0.76.075.4045*4-8-2.2
57Mississippi State-*6-7-2.3
58 Memphis0.56.255.7765*8-5-2.4
59South Carolina-*6-7-2.4
60Louisiana Tech1.77.515.79105*9-5-2.4
61Texas Tech-0.56.527.0520*5-7-2.5
62Baylor*7-6 -2.5
63Air Force0.26.025.7970*10-3-2.5
66Boston College-0.74.425.0925*7-6-2.6
67Wake Forest-0.84.575.3320*7-6-2.6
69Colorado State0.66.686.1170*7-6-2.7
70Arkansas State0.45.374.9970*8-5-2.7
72Oregon State-0.25.525.7630*4-8-2.7
73Iowa State-0.1 5.915.9730*3-9-2.8
75 Vanderbilt-*6-7-2.8
78Miami (Ohio)0.45.675.2470*6-7-3.1
79Northern Illinois0.15.865.7960*5-7-3.1
80Idaho (last season at FBS level) -0.65.616.2460***9-4-3.2
81New Mexico0.66.856.29100*9-4-3.2
85Old Dominion1.06.415.41120*10-3-3.2
86Arizona State-*5-7-3.3
88Middle Tennessee1.56.925.47130*8-5-3.4
90Eastern Michigan 0.15.925.8475*7-6-3.4
91Utah State0.55.695.2370*3-9-3.4
93Army (West Point)0.85.895.09110*8-5-3.5
94Central Michigan0.15.805.7480*6-7-3.7
95East Carolina-*3-9-3.8
98South Alabama 0.15.735.6385*6-7-3.9
100Southern Miss0.36.015.71100*7-6-3.9
102Ball State-0.75.646.3855*4-8-4.0
104Georgia State 0.45.314.9185*3-9-4.0
105UTSA -0.35.385.6975*6-7-4.0
107Georgia Southern-*5-7-4.0
108Bowling Green-***4-8-4.0
111Kent State-0.44.855.2165*3-9-4.2
113San Jose State-1.15.336.4855*4-8-4.3
114Louisiana Lafayette -*6-7-4.3
118New Mexico State (final season in the Sun Belt Conference)-1.15.446.5655*3-9-4.5
119North Texas -***5-8-4.5
122Florida International FIU-0.95.436.3475*4-8-4.7
123Charlotte -1.14.926.0365*4-8-4.7
125Louisiana Monroe-*4-8-4.9
126Florida Atlantic FAU-1.25.706.9165*3-9-4.9
127Fresno State-1.04.685.7255*1-11-4.9
128Texas State-1.94.316.19***2-10-4.9
129Coastal Carolina (bowl eligible only starting the 2018 season)*10-2-4.9
130UAB -(Blazers back starting this season after a 2-year absence)------------