Fighting Over Little Words

Should more be done to limit companies like Apple from staking claims to generic words and phrases? What's the harm in this kind of appropriation of language?

TechDirt: "We've covered the ongoing legal fight over who can use the phrase 'app store' to describe their store for apps, and the NY Times is highlighting how there's a 'great language land grab' concerning this and other similar legal battles. But the real issue is that this is simply an abuse of trademark law — an abuse brought on by a few decades of people falsely telling the world that concepts and words can be 'owned.' Trademark law, of course, was never supposed to be about 'ownership.' It was always designed as a consumer protection statute, to avoid consumer confusion."

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
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  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
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Elon Musk's SpaceX approved to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
  • Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
  • Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
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