4231 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 13:11 GMT
Re: fix a leak in helium tank?
Me thinks that without the Force in the script, the R2 unit would be more prone to mechanical problems than the helium tank.
Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:
The brick balanced on the F5 key could later be usefully re-purposed as a bookend.
The brick balanced on the f5 key could be sold at yard/garage sale for 5 cents or the equivalent thereof.
The brick could be usefully re-purposed to fend off an actual physical attack if you encountered one.
You would actually support the local economy by buying more bricks to balance on other F5 keys.
The brick could be used in a live demonstration of the laws of motion and gravity. (Cool be really cool if paired with a Raspberry Pi and some other electronic gear.
The Leonids are known to be a highly variable event. It's been ages since I looked it up but as I recall the rate ran somewhere on the 3/hr - 300/minute range. Theoretically peaking around the time the comet makes its appearance. IIRC 1999 should have been the most recent storm burst which would make the next peak season still about 15 years off.
Re: Why bother?
Because Army/Navy/Air Force are now somewhat archaic divisions in the unified military services outside of a bit of competitive camaraderie and personal pride. So a Navy's submarine launched drone might well be supporting an land action being taken by any branch of the UMS.
Nah, no need for scuba guys. You just open the the front recovery module on the sub a-la James Bond and bring it to the Captain's spacious quarters where his curvaceous assistant begins the refueling process.
Re: I await your down-votes.
Not a down vote so much as a nit. While some banks did misrepresent their risk, I think the bulk of them were just fuzzing the numbers the way the government told them too. But you noted political blame later. I put it all down to political blame, mostly in the form of the politicians wanting to give free stuff to people, not wanting to pay for it, and setting up the bankers as the fall guys.
Re: Better Idea
I don't typically agree with Don, but for this one he's spot on.
In fact, I'd let the sub-second traders time stamp their bids accordingly, but at the exchange the prices gets set every second. You take the whole range of sub-second trades, randomize the processing order and process until all matched orders are filled, and post the new price.
Re: Price fixing?
From a theoretical economic standpoint, "price fixing" is easy to describe. It occurs whenever you have sufficiently small producer segment that they can set prices to garner an economic profit instead of a normal one.
The trouble is, when you get to practical economics, absent government granted monopolies, an economic profit is indistinguishable from a normal profit. So for practical economic purposes "price fixing" is indistinguishable from the market pticing mechanism.
So what we've tended to do is make it a strictly legal problem. It is okay if the only three bakers in a community charge $2.00/£1 for bread so long as they don't talk to each other about setting the price of the bread. But if they all talk to each other and set the price at $1.50/£0.70 that's price fixing and they need to be strung up from the nearest yard arm/tree as is convenient.
Re: To the hard hearted it is indeed funny.
Not funny, just well deserved.
Re: why specs are often written by industry bodies
I'm not sure about Europe, but in the US there is another way to do it. You write the spec, copyright it, and leave it unpublished and protected as a trade secret. Companies and people who then want to use the spec sign specific legal contracts providing them access to the spec.
But that doesn't apply to Sun/Oracle either.
Quite honestly, given the necessary outcome for the IT ecosystem to survive, what I would most like to see happen at the conclusion of the case is Oracle getting bitch slapped: paying Google's costs as well as a fine to the court for pursuing such a frivolous case in the first place.
Re: if it was old Sun instead of Oracle
Yes, I would. And honestly I blame Sun as much as Oracle. Something is either open source or it isn't. You only wind up with these nutty lawsuits when some idiotic company/person tries to straddle both camps.
@ Ian Michael Gumby 05-12-2013 20:39
There is one true statement in your post. Unfortunately it is this bit:
its more than likely the judge will get it wrong.
Re: Has the US ceased to be a common law country?
There are no common law countries and there are no Roman law countries. For the most part we have a mix of both, except in those countries following Conan law.
Given the mix of both, the relevant legal topic, patents, falls under Roman law.
Moreover, according to our Constitution and subsequent legal decisions (most noticeably Marbury v. Madison), the US Supreme Court makes final decisions about law for the US. That means that the US constitution sets the primary boundary and US court decisions, not prevailing sentiments in European courts, set the secondary boundaries.
Re: You do realize that US based judges and courts rule based on the following:
Meh, sometimes. If we were that consistent we'd have fewer problems. The fact that one of the judges has shown anything other than skepticism about Oracles claims shows at least one of them isn't willing to follow precedent.
Your example with the bolt is extremely flawed. First up, nuts, bolts, screws etc are too old a concept to be covered by patents. What has been covered is novel ways in which to drive them or perhaps physical makeup to eliminate some other problem (galvanized nails come to mind). Hence you could patent the Philips head on the basis that the cross pattern prevented slippage which was an issue with flat heads. But if I use a flat head screw where you've specified a Philips head it's all legit. I'll have to match your diameter and thread rate, but those aren't patentable. What Google did was match the diameter and thread rate of the interface and put a flat head screw instead of Philips.
@ Thunderbird 2
The phrase is "joint and several." It means if the other guys can't be found and/or can't afford it, whoever has the cash does. At the moment he is the only one convicted, so he bears the full cost. And yes, this is standard practice when suing for damages in the US.
Re: obvious consequence of the engineering brief.
Except the engineering brief is for enterprise drives to be more reliable because companies employ bean counters to watch expenses and consumers don't. Companies also have the large number of drives over which the bean counters can calculate those numbers.
Kudos to Backblaze for continuing to publish their data.
I've heard similar claims but the apocryphal claim for the improved reliability is that the edge of the platters isn't subjected to the higher stresses of the larger platter at the same rpm. While it sounds plausible, I'm skeptical until someone releases hard data and publishes their rigorous test protocol.
Re: I just do not believe malware could infect a computer that way.
Especially since none of my desktops have microphones.
How come I can never find the link to the obligatory Bloom County cartoon for these things. You know, the one that ends with the teacher proclaiming "But Oliver, gerbils don't like peanut butter." and Oliver thinking to himself "Another beautiful theory slain by an ugly fact." I think he'd just worked out a formula for nearly limitless, pollution free energy production.
Re: There is no such thing as a natural right.
Thank-you sir for exposing your total abandonment of the rights Englishmen once fought to establish and revealing your complete conversion to the Marxist corruption.
Re: private property doesn't exist up there in space.
That most governments infringe on that natural right does not make it any less a natural right. It only indicates the extent of corruption within the government.
If the people likewise do not recognize it as a natural right, that only indicates the extent of their corruption. Time to start some self-assessment and work to correct your mistakes before you tread further down the path of darkness.
Re: They plan to jack up the price
Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe they calculated their margins thin on the basis that they can raise the prices to match actual cost increases thereby minimizing what customers are charged over the life of the contract. This new agreement undermines that legitimate business model.
The earlier poster was correct: the headline may feel good, but it is wrong. All this does is spread the cost of stolen phones over the entire customer base. Yes, retail establishments do something similar. But in the case of a retail establishment, they have a fair amount of control over the security of goods in their stores. That's not true of cell phones where the physical security is all up to the phone owner.
@ Charles 9
You've got a decent synopsis except like everybody else you've danced neatly around the heart of the problem:
Vista was the upgrade out of XP. And just like they are doing with Windows 8, they weren't willing to admit they screwed the pooch and provide a usable path out.
Yes, XP doesn't migrate to Win7 because the code base is different. But the same was true with the XP-Vista path. What they needed to do was rework the XP-Vista tool to allow XP-Win7. What's really ironic is they are repeating the mistake with Win8 to Win8.1, which should NOT have been an issue.
Even at that, MS have a serious issue they've been unwilling to confront. Businesses and consumers want a stable platform that just works. They don't want to redo their entire software inventory every 3 years. Their cars last 5 to 10+ years, they expect their software to as well. They want incremental updates, and they expect their data to move seamlessly from one system to the next. They'd like it if their programs moved seamlessly as well, but they are more willing to tolerate issues there.
Re: modern PCs are used for more than those from 1981.
Except that's not the right comparison. The correct comparison is the one between the PC at the time the tablet came out an now. On that scale, there's not much difference.
The reason tablets are popular in the consumer market is they are light, portable, and really, really cheap. We've seen repeatedly that cheap beats better so long as it is good enough.
The PC won't die. For what it does it beats a tablet hands down. But as earlier posters noted, the market is now mature. We (mostly) aren't seeing the need for increased horsepower like we did in the breakout phase. We've reached the IBM plateau for computational power, just a couple decades later than they expected.* So we are now in the replacement market. You will see the rate of purchase trailing off until equilibrium is reached.
*I'll note that in many ways the "Y2K bug" delayed recognition of this in the market. Instead of *fixing* the issues properly, companies simply bought new hardware. I thought we were starting to see this trend right before the panic started. And in the rush, MS and others baked new bugs into the system that took a few years to work out.
Re: private property doesn't exist up there in space.
You need to re-read Burke.
Private property is a natural right. Governments might protect or infringe on it, but they don't get to change that basic fact.
Re: Funny thing...
Clueless people should not speculate on things.
1. Yes, each taxing jurisdiction sets up its own categories. Let's assume 5 taxing categories which is probably on the low side. Now let's assume a mean of 15 counties per state. And a mean of 10 cities per county. We're already up to 37,500 districts. Those are all conservative numbers. Particularly the county count is probably much higher.
2. Each of those taxing jurisdictions can change the rates at any time. Recently some have taken to enacting "sales tax holidays" to spur shopping at certain times of the year. One is right around the start of school in the name of saving parents money. Tax during that time and you are breaking the law.
It's not the size of the database that is the problem although that is huge. The problem is keeping up with the constantly changing tax laws and the movements of items from one category to another. When I go to the grocery store I think there are at least three categories of tax that apply: free because its a necessity (raw foods), beverage, and straight sales tax. I expect I might even have to pay the restaurant tax rate if I buy fully prepared food.
Re: So will Amazon have to pay back taxes ?
Amazon doesn't owe the taxes. States in which they don't have representatives are dragooning them into acting as tax collectors on their customers.
I realize this isn't much of a distinction to you beaten down Europhiles, but it is an important distinction to some of us 'Merkins.
All the big firms you named are brick and mortar stores. They've always had to pay sales tax.
I've generally found that when I buy over the internet the shipping costs equal the price differential for brick and mortar stores. So I don't see it as a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage is the ease of locating and purchasing something I already know I want. This is specific to Amazon. For other operations like large screen tvs there is an advantage to the online vendor.
Also it is a SALES tax. There is no way to NOT pass it to the consumer.
That's not an escape pod. It's yet another clever battle tactic by the Silurians to hide their invasion fleet. I just hope The Doctor is ready for his holiday special appearance this year.
Or maybe a small dog will swallow it just before they launch their attack.
Either works for me.
Re: And I could go on forever, frankly.
Look on the bright side: even though the av definitions were outdated, at least they hadn't turned OFF the av software and released all the malware that had been stored in quarantine.
Yes, this actually happened at a client site circa the release of the "I Love You" virus. Yes, it was also on their Exchange server.
I think it's probably still best to keep Bruce on stand by,
and have a plentiful supply of wooden stakes in case we've got the wrong comet movie.
Re: IF a black hole is a true singularity,
It's not the size of the singularity, it's the size of the bubble it makes in space-time. The more massive the singularity, the bigger the bubble.
If you want your brain to really hurt, start thinking about the physics of the black hole at the event horizon. Material is always spiraling in but can never get there. Except that eventually one of those regions will achieve the same sort of super-density that causes the black hole in the first place. Now what?
Re: I suspect they could be formally sued ... and lose the case.
You suspect wrongly. If it went to court it would be expensive for both parties to file briefs but the result would be The Beastie Boys losing because it was parody. The only way for them to win was for the company to agree to drop the ad. What would have cost the company the most would have been the loss of goodwill from consumers. Sometimes (certainly not most times) that is the most important calculation companies do.
Re: THEN seek whatever permissions are needed
Sounded like this was done in the US. so long as it is since they did it as parody there is a BLANKET exception to the copyright law. You only legally need permission if you use the actual song and lyrics. It might be that most ad agencies would seek permission anyway just to avoid the potential of burning bridges for future ad campaigns, but that is a purely voluntary action for parody.
And yes, I've been advised by actual US IP lawyers on this point who were being paid to render their opinion on whether something we were doing was legal.
Re: we can all write the complete works of Shakespeare
While I generally support reasonable copyright law, Shakespeare is the last person to use as an example in arguing about copyright. His works are quite an outlier.
1. He didn't have the advantage of copyright, so we don't really know what would have happened if he and his family had protected his works the was a certain corporation protects a well known rodent. Since everyone could freely copy his stuff, it may have become more well known and more respected because of the copying.
2. While some of us are more than 90% sure we know who he is, academic debate continues on that point.
While I will claim Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor
I'm not sure I'd say he is the "ultimate" Doctor. The Brigadier put best in the show itself:
"Fine chap. All of them."
Each interpretation of him adds something to the character with no one incarnation fully being The Doctor. We only get that with episodes like this one where several incarnations of himself meet for an extraordinary purpose.
Re: Tellies can handle 60Hz input
I recall in the early days of ethernet auto-negotiation you'd sometimes get bad handshaking that resulted in mismatched connections. If you manually set one end of the connection things worked great. Want to bet it is something along those lines?
And while I'm on a rant, WTF can't the HDMI video signal encode to tell the display device what the proper aspect ratio ought to be? I hate flipping through 4 modes trying to figure out which one is the right one on something I've never seen before.
re: You're assuming the TV has enough HDMI ports
My gawd can't you people do anything right?
The K-Mart special I got on sale at Worst Buy four years ago has 3 HDMI ports, VGA, DVI, and whatever that really old 5-RGA cable standard (2 actually I think) was. And I'm probably forgetting something. Oh yes, S-Video should I ever have need of it.
Re: why do "we" hate "you"? perhaps you should consider fixing that too.
1. Nobody can fix stupid.
2. I don't have enough bullets. Yet.
Re: the numbers game
The most important number you need to know: $400/hr
That's the lower limit on an attorney's fee for IP related cases. A case will invariably involve at least 3 of them on your side, and that's before you actually go before a judge. It is unlikely more than one of them (assuming you are lucky enough to have any of them) will be at that rate.
Re: It's time to see some real data.
I don't need to see real data. As stated above I've known people at small companies who've been trampled by patent law. I see stories about its abuse on a daily basis. And I know someone who will probably benefit from it mostly because he is a lawyer and not so much because of his inventiveness.
Ages ago I was tested and determined to be of above average intelligence. But I know I'm not the smartest person in the world. In a room full of lawyers I'd probably even fall in the lower third.
What I want to see is a proposal that withstands more than 20 minutes of my scrutiny before I find a way that the big companies (whether trolls or not) won't benefit more than the small companies the politicians claim they will be protecting.
PAE is just another fancy name for a law firm
As such, they have never been at real risk of litigation and even if outlawed in their current incarnation will simply sprout in another one.
Re: USPTO was to be held accountable for the quality of their patents
Ok, I'll bite: by what legal mechanism do you propose to test for the quality of a patent?
While I generally concur with the sentiment, the problem is that the sentiment usually rests on unfounded assumptions.
I know someone who submitted a patent that was turned down. He never questioned it. Years later he looked at it again and realized he should have. His method eliminated a machining operation which would have dramatically reduced costs. Same guy with a different patent got run over again. The patent was for a device that depended on compressible capacity in a chamber to damp the pulse of a pumped fluid. Patent was granted. A foreign patent changed the shape of the patent from a cylinder to a V, then claimed better damping. There was no substantive difference, but the company didn't have the money to fight in court. When the company he worked for started selling in the foreign country, they were held to be infringing and had to pay patent fees. And yes, my former boss is a Merkin and the foreign country is currently an EU member in good standing.
Re: conflating the maximum sentence for an offence with a sentence that has been given
I hate Anonymous with a passion because I've seen the physical damages from the assholes behind the group. I hate hackers with an almost equal passion. And if I could sit on the jury hearing the case and the defense could present evidence that the guy was trying to get that specific crime prosecuted, I'd let the guy walk.
Re: Lets get this straight.
The "mitigating factor" on the 2 year sentence is that the perps were under age.
But typically if you're someone like me who thinks that's a load of crock and they should have been tried as an adult you get labeled a troglodyte and downvoted.
Your rules, suck it up and get over it.
@ rm -rf /
I beg to differ. They have learned, but not the lesson we techies would like. They've learned the same lesson the spammers have: there are enough foolish people out there that you can get away with it.
The real question here is
how many of the buggers knew how many other buggers were on her phone? And did they know their IDs?
Presumably the US and Brits knew about each other, but after that it gets murky.
Re: what changed?
A fair amount actually.
1. Stepped up intelligence actions. For all its invasiveness the NSA wiretaps. I may hate them and call them unconstitutional, but they certainly have been used to disrupt some plots.
2. They killed 3,000. Then like the wrath of God we came after them and killed even more. You hate us for it and criticize it, but it works.
3. The 9/11 attacks themselves changed the existing paradigm. Before it was: surrender to the hostages and most of you will get out alive. Now it is: kill the hijackers by any means necessary before they kill any of your fellow citizens; you might die doing so, but you will die if you don't.
4. This is the US. You hate us and criticize us for our gun love. But outside of gun-free government zones (like schools, airports, and airplanes) you don't know who might be packing heat. One well placed and moderately well trained cowboy could ruin your whole plan. You might not even get your 72 virgins. Because he just might be the sort of mean, racist f*ck who'd maim and disable you before shoving a pork sausage down your throat to choke you to death.
I'm sure there are more things, but that should get you started.
Re: why this obsession with aeroplanes?
This is the US.
1. We are always fighting the last war. For us, the last war is 9/11.
2. We don't travel by railway, ferry, or even much by bus. We do it in airplanes and cars.
3. Despite our religiosity, we don't actually put lots of people in cathedrals. If you want that, you're talking about a major sporting event or a rock concert. Major sporting events now work pretty much like airports. I don't know about rock concerts. Been to two in my life, maybe. Does 3,000 people count as a concert? If not, then I haven't been to any. And in fact the other one wouldn't have filled a medium film theater so I don't think it counts at all.
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