Rather_Notsay’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:29pm


    Shows what an old fossil I am, compared to the average TechDirt reader. I was working at the Space Shuttle plant in Downey, California. It was like a death in the family. Reporters were hanging around the canteen across the street, trying to grab a quote.

    I still have the special edition of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. That was the only time I've ever seen a newspaper with "EXTRA". But there was no newsboy shouting "Read all about it!" There's no reason to expect that there ever will be again.

    And, yes, when you play around with large quantities of highly energetic chemicals you're bound to get burned sooner or later. That does not mean that the Challenger accident wasn't avoidable. The evidence that they had entered a dangerous situation was there. The Thiokol engineers understood why that particular launch was much more dangerous than the previous ones. They did a miserable job of communicating it. See their presentation in "The Challenger Launch Decision" by Dianne Vaughn and tell me with a straight face that you would have done anything different. I have presented their charts to a senior level engineering class as a textbook example of a rotten presentation. All that soft and squishy stuff sometimes matters.
  • Jul 29th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    What's so hard?

    I just don't understand what's so hard about filing a DMCA notice. If I was, say, in charge of copyright control for Warner Brothers, I would, every morning, go to Google, type in "Bugs Bunny" find all the posted videos of copyrighted Bugs Bunny cartoons, check to see that they really were infringing, paste the URL into a standard form letter, and email it off to the relevant site. Google would be my friend. They're doing all the hard work of finding all this infringing stuff for me, I just have to cut an paste. It wouldn't take someone of my skill to do this, I could get a low paid flunky to do it, it's that easy. Heck, I could get illegal aliens or people living in countries with extremely low pay levels to do it.

    There's an expense involved in that, tis true, but if the sale of Bugs Bunny cartoons don't generate enough revenue to pay a flunky in Pakistan to search on Google for unauthorized copies, one wonders why the copyright is worth enforcing at all.
  • Jun 5th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: creativity and money

    "Ultimately we might NOT want more Mozarts, Einsteins, and Shakespeares because they are viewed as isolated geniuses.

    Good point. In my one horse town we have a great civic theater. No big stars, just local people being creative for fun. Mostly they put on shows that have been written by someone far away and part of the copyright system, so they have to pay fees.

    There are locals who can and do write scripts. They rarely get produced because of a perception that a big name show that everyone has heard of is necessary to bring in the audiences.

    As the copyright maximalization industry gets to be bigger and bigger jerks about things, why not tell them all to shove off and do everything on the locally. That's more fun on multiple levels. When people see that there's an opportunity to have their script produced, they'll produce more scripts. If I could take someone's almost good play and mash it to suit a new audience, that would be even more production.

    All without getting paid any more than the actors do, which is nothing.

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