Monday, November 26, 2012

Man of Steel in 2013 Cinema : plus Superman Comic Book Animations Remastered : The Never-Ending Battle for True Justice : Comic Cartoon Villian Reminds of Going Thermonuclear on Android

Superman, The Man of Steel is returning to cinema in 2013 (see official trailer), and, perhaps in order to create market interest for the coming film, some remastered early Superman comic book animations have been released officially by Warner Bros.

Superman is a fictional hero virtually made for legal professionals.
Superman's comic book role was to fight
"the never-ending battle for true justice".
With emphasis on the true.

But in reality, Superman, like similarly IP proprietarily-caged Tarzan,
has long been an IP-endangered species, neglected by the masses,
and emasculated by "rights owners" for the profit of a few.
IP = intellectual property.
See Crypto-Neith, Holy Kryptonite and Superman and the Law.

Monopolistic IP law has over the years chilled interest in these cultural icons.

Andrew Webster at The Verge has a noteworthy posting and video at Watch this: Superman cartoons from the 1940s,
citing to Lauren Davis at -- "We Come From the Future" --
in You can now watch the 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons online:

As Davis writes:
"These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive (as well as other corners of the Internet) for quite some time, but now Warner Bros. has officially released the remastered initial nine from its DVD collection on YouTube."
The above video finds the villain going "thermonuclear" on the world for private gain. Sound or look familiar? Sort of like the expressed idea that:
"I want to control the technology".

The real-life problem of society is that there are no Superman clones available to help society fight "the never-ending battle for true justice" against those trying to monopolize the world's riches for their exclusive personal profit.

See how many things you can find in these and similar comic book animations that patent trolls later "patented" via clueless patent offices as allegedly "non-obvious" "novel inventions".

Novel? NO. Obvious? YES. Obvious, years ago.

Look, for example, at displays and their controls.

Below is an example of a display screen with multi touch toggle controls, snipped from the first Superman video as based on the comic book, and having a screen that enables an embedded view of distant objects.
Hey this is in 1941.

Below is a display screen from the Superman video Electric Earthquake (1942) upon which an image is "bounced back" and forth from left to right:

One monopolist recently got a "billion-dollar" judgment for alleged violation of its claimed "invention" of a display screen "bounce-back" -- something apparently already envisioned by Superman animators more than half-a-century prior to that. Pretty obvious. Definitely not novel.

And so on.

P.S. We would be thankful to readers out there to send us links to comic book or movie credit animations or anything similar that you know about that shows pages being turned or flipped by film, photograph or clip art animation. Thank you. We are interested to find out how far back in time page-turning animation or flipping can be traced.

Crossposted from LawPundit.

BBC-Related Libel Case Expands to Twitter Tweets

Eric Pfanner has the Story at the New York Times
in Libel Case That Snared BBC Widens to Twitter.

There is substantial need in society to go after online libelers.
The Internet is not a law-free zone.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Typeface instead of Facebook? Absolutely Delightful Interactive Video from Pentagram - What Type Are You?

Enjoy this interactive video presentation from Pentagram at
What type are you?.
Absolutely delightful.
And make sure you look at the other types too.

Thanksgiving Day in America! Thoughts About the Economic Outlook for the European Union (EU), the Euro Zone, the USA, and the Rest of World: We Have a Lot to Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone might consider sitting down today to make a list of all the things that each person has to be thankful for in our modern world -- and which nearly everyone takes for granted.

Compare your present status with those of people who populated our planet just 100 years ago.

The average life expectancy in the United States, for example, was 47.3 years of age in 1900-1902, according to the  Bureau of Census.

In 2012 life expectancy is estimated at 78.49 years, and a similar POSITIVE development is found in many of the countries of the world (see this link).

The truth is that most people today live in a "better" era, when compared to all of the previous ages of humanity. Of course, the world is still full of many wrongs, and many bad events, but things can be improved, and are improving.

Yes, I am thankful this Thanksgiving,
is a posting by Zachary Karabell at The Edgy Optimist
where he reports that:
  • U.S. housing is on the mend.
  • The euro zone crisis has receded. 
  • China is resuming its growth trajectory.
  • Unemployment has crested in the United States.
  • There is a consensus about what needs to be done.
  • People outside the media and the Beltway are going about their lives.
There is no denying that there all also many problems to be solved, but that is ALWAYS the case. On average, however, modern life is much better than it used to be, when Thomas Hobbes in the year 1651 wrote in the Leviathan that life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short". It surely was, in his era, for much of the population, and we still have this problem for some today too.

Thankfully, much has changed since the days of Hobbes, whose political philosophy is well worth reading to see how far we have advanced forward.

Hobbes, for example, opposed the "separation of powers" in government, a primary element of Constitutional legal systems of many political systems of modern Western Civilization today. Man has progressed since Hobbes.


Most of us can indeed be thankful on this "day of thanks" for our legal, economic and political system -- which permits us to live life as modern men and women, enjoying freedoms that were unprecedented throughout much of human history.

Things may not be "optimal", but they are "better" than they were.

We always like to point out that Henry VIII of England had SIX wives, six "Queens Consort" as it were, and NONE of them lived to be older than 50 years of age (Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, survived the longest).

How about being a "Queen Consort" in that era?
Just imagine what life was like in the society "below" the royals THEN.

Charles Dickens wrote about his Victorian era 300 years later, when things were already somewhat better in his day, but not much (Wikipedia):
"Dickens's novels were, among other things, works of social commentary. He was a fierce critic of the poverty and social stratification of Victorian society. In a New York address, he expressed his belief that, "Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen".[101] Dickens's second novel, Oliver Twist (1839), shocked readers with its images of poverty and crime: it destroyed middle class polemics about criminals, making any pretence to ignorance about what poverty entailed impossible.[102][103]
And if we go back to the Pharaohs, the mightiest rulers of ancient mankind, we find that their society was, for example, plagued by health problems in a world marked by short lifespans. See BBC History and Joyce M. Filer in Health Hazards and Cures in Ancient Egypt.

Things have improved since then, and they keep improving, even though progress is always a process of "two steps forward, and one step backward".

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pinterest Photos Predicted U.S. Presidential Election Outcome

Susan Moeller has the story at "The Blog" of the Huffington Post in How Photos on Pinterest Predicted the Election.

The outcome of things is often "written on the walls" beforehand, if we just look.

It is a bit like Supreme Court oral arguments. If Justice Scalia asks a lot of questions of a given counsel, that side is not likely to get his vote.

U.S. Economy in Best Shape Since 1997 Says Bill McBride of Calculated Risk at Business Insider

Pioneer economics blogger Bill McBride at Calculated Risk has gotten it right for years now where others have been so very wrong, and warned of the housing bubble already in 2005, long before it happened, but he now tells us that things are on the upswing:
"I'm not a roaring bull, but looking forward, this is the best shape we've been in since '97."
Joe Weisenthal has the full exclusive story at the Business Insider Money Game in The Genius Who Invented Economics Blogging Reveals How He Got Everything Right And What's Coming Next.

McBride has posted his own comment to that article at Calculated Risk here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Liberalization, Conservatism, Investment: China in Transition under Xi Jinping

Via J.J. Gould at the Atlantic
and the Washington Ideas Forum,
James Fallows speaks
with David Rubenstein,
co-founder of private equity giant Carlyle Group,
about investment in the People's Republic of China
in China's Power Transition
under Xi Jinping.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Planned Obsolescence and Modern Digital Devices

Planned obsolescence is an essential aspect of the economy.

A Cupertino company has shown it can be done successfully over decades,
exploiting a greatly flawed IP and patent law system, monopolising an intentionally "proprietary" system which attempts to exclude competition, and designing products for planned obsolescence.

Nick Bolton has it right at the New York Times in Disruptions: You Know You Can’t Live Without Apple’s Latest Glass Rectangle: Apple's New iPads and Planned Obsolescence in Devices.

But there are limits. See Austin Carr at Fast Company in Acer Execs Admit Innovator's Dilemma, Question How Long Apple Remains Apple.

One man's glass rectangle
is another man's protected patent
and the possible road to immense wealth.
But for how long?

The general developing realisation of the business and consumer public that it is being outsmarted via abuse of the patent and design laws is not stopping companies from developing new methods of planned obsolescence, such as incompatible plugs. Quite brilliant, actually. Such a simple scam to force users to buy the newest products.

We are gratified to see, as in Bolton's article above, that increasing numbers of people are realising that the patent wars are waged as minimally camouflaged product marketing, as corporations not only try to extract additional money by patent trolling, but stifle competition with temporary injunctions against competing product sale, etc.

When the patenting of allegedly "new" rectangles fails, new products that are incompatible with old ones are of course the simplest means to enforce "planned obsolescence", by forcing consumers to "upgrade" or "update", even if they otherwise would be quite comfortable with using what they already have.

Windows 8 anyone? How about Surface?

"Progress" has its price and the biggest rewards go to those who are clever at designing ways to exploit the widespread weaknesses of their fellow men, and these are infinite.

See Matt Braga at Tested
in Planned Obsolescence: Is Modern Tech Built to Last?

See e.g. Kyle Wiens at Wired in Copyright and Planned Obsolescence: The Shady World of Repair Manuals.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Blueprint for an America Built to Last and the Example of the Marshall Plan for Europe after World War II

The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, Tapping the Political Center and A Blueprint for an America Built to Last: The Example of the Marshall Plan for Europe (See Slideshare for An America Built to Last)

The final popular vote in the 2012 Presidential Election in the United States is going to be something like 61 million for incumbent President Barack Obama and 58 million for the challenger Mitt Romney. Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, and Democrats retained control of the Senate, though their small gain does not give them the super-majority they need to get anything done without Republican Senatorial cooperation.

Not only are 61 million votes a lot of people on one side of the ballot, but 58 million votes are also a lot of people on the other side of the ballot.

That fairly balanced division of votes suggests that there could be an identifiable political center around which the votes congregate.

But where is that political center and whose center is it?
We at LawPundit are political centrists, the "swing vote" as it were, so we were thus interested to read that immediately after the election, Kentucky Republican Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, vexing author of filibustering obstructionist strategies during Obama's first term, had issued a challenge to Obama.

Although McConnell had stated prior to the election that his own partisan top priority was to keep Obama from winning a second term, McConnell, given little choice, but showing leadership, now challenges Obama to move toward the political center in order to facilitate joint work in a divided government, stating:
"To the extent he [Obama] wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way."
Senator Mitch McConnell was a student body president in his youth, went to law school, and is obviously competent in law and legislation, which is the job of Congress. We do hope McConnell is abandoning harmful obstructionism.

We think that McConnell's "centrist" approach is pragmatic, and pragmatism was long the hallmark of the GOP, but lost in recent years. We also see that the Heritage Foundation has given McConnell a 75% "conservative" Senate vote rating. McConnell himself is thus not "the political center" he seeks. That center would appear to be to the left of McConnell. So where is it?

An American "political centrist" in any case is a far different figure than a European "political centrist", while a "political centrist" in California or New York State differs greatly from a moderate in the Southern states or even in the Midwest. The cultures and values are different in the regions identified by the Bureau of Census as America's four main geographic regions: West, Midwest, South and Northeast.

So what is the unifying "political centrist thread" that could be found there?  Could one posit that it is the consensus of a common pragmatic purpose more than a common ideology? We think so. We think that politics should focus on solutions rather than problems, on results rather than theories.

We ourselves definitely support freeing national politics as much as possible from the political extremists on the left and right political wings, whose politics are those of destruction, rather than reconstruction. They claim noble motives, but we see only destructive results. America does not need extremists destroying what has taken so many people, resources and lives to build up over hundreds of years. What America needs is a land from shining sea to shining sea filled with politically sensible and moderate citizens who share a consensus about a positive American future. Hence, the correct political path would seem to be a centrist-guided reconstruction of America.

As an example, America needs to rebuild at least 25% of its road and highway bridges. That is not a political issue -- it is a pragmatic issue. The cost is estimated at ca. $2 trillion dollars. Who else, but taxpayers, can pay that amount? and is that too much money? As well shall below, it CAN be done, and the amount is not out of this world.

It is the job of the legislators we now have in Congress to get reconstruction legislation passed, on both sides of the political ledger. Bridges are neither Republican or Democrat, but are bipartisan, or better, non-partisan. We saw that in the Minnesota bridge disaster of 2007 (Popular Mechanics).

Reconstruction will greatly help to take care of current unemployment problems throughout the country. It is the job of Congress to see that such reconstruction is properly financed. Although many people of means oppose taxation for nearly any purpose, the fact is that those who have the money have always financed such necessary reconstruction work and those who do not have the money are paid to do the actual required physical and mental work, and it has always been that way.

We could of course require that the "not haves" finance the work and that the "haves" do the actual work of reconstruction, but, really, have you ever seen the Trumps of this world working on construction crews? No? Neither have we.

One job of politicians is to get US citizens and legislators to understand the following basic economic truth: upturns in the economy can only be achieved if people have money in their pockets to spend, and they can only obtain that money if they work, and they can only work if the people who control the money in society provide that work, either through private enterprise -- for many the preferred vehicle in capitalism, or via government programs and financing. There is no other way. None.

Let us take one recent example of reconstruction in America, in Nebraska.

We visited Nebraska last year for the first time in 25 years and were pleased but amazed to see Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha being reconstructed and expanded, more than 50 years after Eisenhower, part of what was later named the "Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways". Only now is Nebraska starting to get a highway that will be comparable to a standard Autobahn in modern Germany, which has many of them, not just one. Many are masterpieces of engineering and design. If a small country such as Germany can build such magnificent roads, what, except for the failing will of leading US personages and the stinginess of its citizens, keeps a much larger America from reconstructing its roads and highways?

Indeed, almost all roads in Germany are paved and have underground drainage systems. Less advanced, open drainage trenches, ditches or gullies are frequent in the USA and can be found in the United Kingdom. Similarly, in view of frequent power blackouts in the USA due to power lines down in storms, many power lines in Germany run underground, not above ground as in the USA, thus greatly reducing storm-caused power blackouts.

But how is it possible that America lags so far behind Germany? After WWII, most of Germany was destroyed and everything had to be rebuilt from the ground up. How was it achieved? Is there a lesson here for politicians from both political parties in the USA? We quote here at length from the Wikipedia article on the Marshall Plan, which of course is taken from numerous sources:
"The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism.[1] The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again.[2]
The initiative was named after Secretary of State George Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan. Marshall spoke of urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.[2][3]
The reconstruction plan, developed at a meeting of the participating European states, was established on June 5, 1947. It offered the same aid to the Soviet Union and its allies but they did not accept it,[4][5] as to do so would be to allow a degree of US control over the Communist economies.[6] During the four years that the plan was operational, US $13 billion in economic and technical assistance was given to help the recovery of the European countries that had joined in the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. This $13 billion was in the context of a U.S. GDP of $258 billion in 1948, and was on top of $13 billion in American aid to Europe between the end of the war and the start of the Plan that is counted separately from the Marshall Plan.[7] The Marshall Plan was replaced by the Mutual Security Plan at the end of 1951.[8]
The ERP addressed each of the obstacles to postwar recovery. The plan looked to the future, and did not focus on the destruction caused by the war. Much more important were efforts to modernize European industrial and business practices using high-efficiency American models, reduce artificial trade barriers, and instill a sense of hope and self-reliance.[9]
By 1952 as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels; for all Marshall Plan recipients, output in 1951 was at least 35% higher than in 1938.[10] Over the next two decades, Western Europe enjoyed unprecedented growth and prosperity, but economists are not sure what proportion was due directly to the ERP, what proportion indirectly, and how much would have happened without it. The Marshall Plan was one of the first elements of European integration, as it erased trade barriers and set up institutions to coordinate the economy on a continental level—that is, it stimulated the total political reconstruction of western Europe.[11]
Belgian economic historian Herman Van der Wee concludes the Marshall Plan was a "great success":
"It gave a new impetus to reconstruction in Western Europe and made a decisive contribution to the renewal of the transport system, the modernization of industrial and agricultural equipment, the resumption of normal production, the raising of productivity, and the facilitating of intra-European trade."[12]
Consider that the Marshall Plan described above constituted ca. 5% of American GDP and that another $13 billion in aid was given prior to the official start of the Marshall Plan, making it 10% of US GDP.

The GDP of the USA currently is about $15 trillion, so that a comparable plan today for America itself would have a price tag of $1.5 trillion, which is near to the amount required. Could it be done? Of course it could. Why are Americans unwilling to do for themselves what they once did for Europe?

When America instituted the Marshall Plan to reconstruct Europe after WWII, that took a lot of money, US taxpayer money, and it worked. America got a tremendous return on that money, a massive yield which brought "the American way of life" to Europe and started a long-term European peace, not to mention the opening of new markets and a new kind of globalization via NATO and the transatlantic alliance, which reduced global dangers. Those advances should be continued.

However, the job of politicians today in America is to get Americans to put their money back to work in their own country, rather than financing growth elsewhere.

Moreover, when you put people to work, you must have them doing something that is constructive and sensible, rather than what is destructive or degenerate.

The American system has enabled the wealth of those "who have" the money today. It is THEIR responsibility to sustain that America.

The proper standard is:
If you take out of the pot or have taken out of the pot,
then you must put back in what you have taken or take, plus interest.
That is the only way a nation can be sustained over time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

American Presidential Election Day: The Winner 2012 Will Be? Do the Odds Tell Us?

On this Election Day, U.S. Presidential Election betting odds at OddsChecker make the incumbent President Barack Obama the prohibitive favorite to win the election, as President Obama goes off at ca. 1/6 odds to win, while challenger Mitt Romney goes off at ca. 4 to 1 odds to win.

You can calculate what that means at Conversion and Calculation of Betting Odds. Betting odds of 1/1 would mean even money. 1/10 means essentially that you would have to put up €100 to win €10, i.e. a return of 1 for 10.

In places where betting is legal, for the above Presidential election odds:
  • if you were to put up €60 and Obama won at 1/6 odds, you would only win €10 plus the return of your €60 bet
  • if you were to put up €60 on Romney, you would win €240 plus the return of your €60 bet.
Of course, betting odds are just that, and they merely calculate percentages based on what is known at the time. No one ever really knows how voters will actually mark their votes in the voting booth, since that is secret.

We will only know after the votes are counted.

Friday, November 02, 2012

In Effect Throughout the European Union: Samsung Galaxy Tab Does Not Infringe Apple Registered Design On Rectangle With Rounded Corners: High Court of England and Wales Orders Apple to Post Text On Its Website to Make That Clear

For more than a year, we have been posting at LawPundit about the absurdity of the court injunctions issued against Samsung Galaxy Tab products in favor of Apple, and we can now report to have -- again -- been juridically right all along.

This posting discusses a court-ordered notice required of Apple by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, with the image of the newspaper version of the notice linked from The Next Web:


As can be read above, the Apple company was ordered by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales to post a statement on its website that the High Court had found that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple's EU registered design No. 0000181607-0001 on a rectangle with rounded corners.

See the judgment, which is applicable throughout the entire European Union.

Apple, apparently thinking it is above the law, did not leave it at that in its court-ordered website posting but added extraneous text alleging Samsung infringements of Apple products in other countries -- inclusion of which was clearly improper, since the court decision in question ONLY involved the question of whether Samsung's Galaxy Tab infringed upon the EU design registered by Apple, which the Court in the judgment written by Sir Robin Jacob found it clearly DID NOT (we excerpt the judgment):
  1. "So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products. The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different....

  2. Other disputes between the parties in other countries have concerned other intellectual property rights. We are not concerned with any of them....
The Netherlands
On June 27th 2011 Apple applied for a preliminary injunction in respect of all three Samsung tablets. It was refused at first instance and on appeal. Apple has an outstanding petition to the Supreme Court on a point of law. On 8th September 2011 Samsung issued a claim for a declaration of non-infringement which is on-going.
Samsung issued a claim for a declaration of non-infringement on 8th September 2011. The claim is ongoing. Apple are challenging jurisdiction. How far that can get is perhaps questionable given that before it did so it entered a defence on the merits. It may well be that the proceedings have now been overtaken by events in that there is a European-wide declaration of non-infringement granted by HHJ Birss and upheld by this judgment. No preliminary injunction has been sought in Spain and none is in force. [emphasis added by LawPundit]
On 4th August 2011 Apple applied ex parte for a preliminary injunction in relation to the 10.1. It was granted without Samsung having an opportunity of being heard. Moreover it was granted on a pan-European basis. The defendants were SEC ["SEC"=Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd] and its local German subsidiary. Subsequently the injunction was restricted to Germany as regards SEC. [bracketed material added by LawPundit]
On 24th October 2011 the Landgericht Düsseldorf granted a pan-European injunction (excluding Germany) which included the 7.7 but not the 10.1 against SEC's German subsidiary but refused such an injunction as against SEC in respect of the 7.7. Apple appealed the decision to refuse pan-European relief against SEC.
The registered design injunctions in respect of the 10.1 and 8.9 were set aside on appeal in January 2012.... [emphasis added by LawPundit]
In the Californian proceedings where a number of patents (both design and invention software patents) were in issue, we were told the jury held that Samsung's products did not infringe the design patent corresponding to the registered design we are considering ("design patent" is the US terminology for what in Europe is called a "registered design"). The laws as to infringement differ somewhat.

6. The upshot of all this is that there is now no injunction anywhere based on the registered design or its equivalent....[emphasis added by LawPundit]
The High Court has now given Apple 48 hours to put up proper text and take down the improper text it previously posted. Apple has alleged that putting up new text in that time period could not be done:
"Apple was required to alter and change the positioning of its statement from a small linked page, to an apology on the front page of its website, which needs to be printed in 11-pt Arial font."
See Tech Crunch and Apple Removes "Incorrect" Legal Statement From U.K. Website Following Court Order In iPad Vs. Galaxy Tab Case.

As Natasha Lomas writes there:
"... Sir Robin Jacob ... is reported to have added: "I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit about why [compliance with the order] is such a technical difficulty for the Apple company." " [text in brackets added by LawPundit]
NO ONE is above the law. Also not the monopolist Apple.